PART 2: How I found Love During ongoing ASUU Strike

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Two things worried me the most: what will people say and again what will people say. “Just go out there and assume you are talking to someone who has already said YES. You must know that women have no issues with a guy unless he brings it upon himself”. There and then I made up my mind to abort the mission. What will I say, what if she hisses and walks out on me, “what if” kept coming up in thousand folds. I wanted Alex to go with me and do the talking. I wanted him to sell me well to her but it seems upon all of our alliance he is letting me fail all alone. My parents have noticed my new closeness with Alex but they assumed I must be guiding him on ways of life. This guy has failed me. I won’t be going anywhere I concluded within.  “Are you not coming with me” I asked. “You don’t need me when you are talking to your friend, I can escort you to her if you insist” he added. He must have noticed the frustration on me.

I rushed out to Alex’s room 6:13pm, with sweaty palms. He was on the phone talking with someone and seems totally unperturbed. “How far?”  he asked . I looked at him and momentarily began to doubt his capacity to deliver me. I felt like I had started a wild fire and immediately wished to put an end to it. I was no longer interested and blamed myself for derailing. “Alex, let’s stop all of these.  ASUU I learnt are already in meetings with the government and schools can reopen anytime soon. Why talk to her today and strike is off tomorrow?” I said seeking to console myself. He paused as though he was meditating something and then gave me the most irritating, shocking answer “okay” he said.

The next morning, I could hear him close his door for work. All alone in my room, I put a call across to my few friends; many of whom give me high regards because of my in-depth religious know how. My closest friend resident in Zaria spoke of how he intercepted his sister’s text message with a guy. The guy had sought for them to meet ‘at the usual place’. He laid curse on the guy immediately for wanting to defile his nineteen year old sister. “You should have asked her about the guy. And why would you go through her messages behind her back l?” It was like a thunderbolt. I couldn’t believe I said those words. My friend paused at the far end of the phone. The expectation was for us to together lay more curses on him for being wayward. What was happening to me? I pondered in fractions of seconds that elapsed between my words and Abdul’s next word. “You mean I should ask her?…hmmm..okay” he said. The momentum for the discussion had diminished. We ended the call sooner because all of our conversations were later in one word.

Late that evening, without power at home, I stepped out because I didn’t want to be around when Alex would arrive. There is one entrance to the compound to which he occupies the BQ. I usually sit outside when the power of OFF and for now, I want to stay off him. My relationship with him is corrupting my morals I had concluded. Walking down the clumsy street to my far right was MY CRUSH……and a guy. The joy and smile on her face caused my heart to palpitate. As usual, She was focused only on who she was addressing.  He must be her boyfriend whom she deeply loves I concluded. My eyes went back deeper into their eye socket. When angry, the vein on my skull enlarges: in this instance, I could feel the strain on that vein. A sense of betrayal fell upon me. My forehead was sweating despite the cool of the weather. I turned back after less than three hundred meters to return home via same route. They were still there. The guy faced the road standing near a cement container while she backed the road. I walked pass her with the distance between us less than three meters.

That Evening I went straight to my room in the darkness, sat on my mattress and suddenly felt moist down my cheeks. If anyone in the history books had ever said I could shed tears for love, I would immediately call for that portion to be expunged. Power came back and I was forced to stand up to reduce the speed of the ceiling fan. Through the window, I could see Alex’s slippers, he was back but his help will be too late now as she already has a boyfriend I concluded.

After 10 minutes of loneliness, a strange courage came upon me and I found myself knocking at Alex’s door at 9:15pm. Luckily, he was alone in his room with only his boxers on. I expected him to be surprised but he doesn’t really seem so. He shook my hand firmly with so much joy. I would later get to know his joy was because Manchester United is bouncing back stronger. They won 3-1 at home earlier that day. After much, he broke the silence. “How far that your babe?” The word ‘my babe’ sounded extremely strange to me. “ I saw her today …with her boyfriend!” I replied him.  “Oh. You later spoke to her? He inquired. I wished it was that easy for me I grinned. “No.but I saw her with a guy standing and smiling at each other this evening.” He must have tried hard to curtail his shock at my folly but couldn’t. He broke out into a short laugh; the embarrassment on my face must have stopped it abruptly.  “So, if you saw me and her talking and laughing. I must have slept with her right?” The question was one that brought me back and somehow reset my head. “Guy, you need to take it easy” he said. “ I don’t know this girl o but if your conclusion is because you saw her laughing with a guy, then it’s a big error. If not because you show no interest again..“ he meant to continue when I brought him down “If truly that guy is not her boyfriend, then I am interested”.

“What is your main fear sef? Alex inquired from me. Due to my silence he continued and I received a brief lecture I could call GIRLS101. “ No girl wants to go out and return home without an admirer. No girl wants to take her bath, makeup, perfume herself, and walk down the street for nothing. Every girl wants to be appreciated.  Too many good girls fall into the hand of bad boys because the so called good boys are scared of approaching them. The world then blames her for going for such a guy. You are a responsible guy so what is the issue..” he spoke as though scolding me but I liked it. “Girls have their own insecurities.” He explained to me that night .For about 30 minutes, he supplied me practical examples of girl’s confession to him. “The most unattractive thing to a girl is lack of self-confidence; they notice it faster that you exhibit it” He admonished. I got so much courage I wished I could see the girl I crush on immediately. We agreed to talk the next day as the time was far spent. I retired into my room a bit fulfilled because after all, the guy might not be her boyfriend as I initially thought.

The next day, I made up my mind. It’s either today or not again. I remembered one of Alex’ statement the night before: “Girls like surprises and you can plan a coincidental meeting with this girl for the first time”. For this reason, I waited till later not knowing how but as fate will have it. The guys in the area organized a road show as continuation of Christmas festivity so the population on  our main street was scanty. I could see her washing something within their compound. She as usual wouldn’t raise her head or look to the side. The time was 5:35pm and I really wished Alex could be there to tell me what next to do. Luckily, she went inside, came out hurriedly  and I knew she was headed for the local market. It’s my judgment day. She appeared a bit in a haste and I was almost about to give myself that as an excuse to let her be. The market wasn’t in  my direction and so I walked faster also towards her direction. As I walked I assumed the earth could hear my footsteps, my mouth was slightly open to accommodate the heavy breathing of the heart. There she was with one of the HAUSA MALAM buying onions. “Good evening “ I said as she walked towards me after completing the purchase. “ Good Evening” she replied. It was at that point that I almost began to believe Village people were real as people say. I didn’t know what next and she paused in front of me. “I have been meaning to talk to you…” I said almost inaudible. “ I have something on fire and as you can see I just came for onions” I was so glad she had to go. To me, these wordings alone were an achievement. “Your number?…” I asked unsure. She obviously was in a haste, she retracted back and punched it on my phone. If there was any trophy outside this, I wasn’t interested. I could have exclaimed out in joy but I managed myself. That day, I walked home looking at girls and boys hanging around as though I am not their mate in this game.

Concluding part tomorrow…

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