Reality Is: The Wahala With The Truth I
When Dapo was twelve a horse kicked him.
It was like watching it all over again – the sudden intense heat and the crippling numbness that came with unconsciousness. It happened on the weekend of his twelfth birthday, and his parents had kept their promise of taking him to the Bar Beach. At first, the rush of half-naked human beings and the sounds of the waves kept him paralyzed, but after some urging from his dad he had begun to enjoy the splashing of the waves on his feet as he ran, laughing and running up the beach away from the tide.
It was his birthday after all.
He was resting from one of such races when the horse kicked him. And it wasn’t the horse’s fault. She was standing, minding her business when Dapo bumped into her solidly, startling the poor horse. Reflex kicked in, ‘reflex’ being in form of a casual back thrusting left hoof that landed right in the middle of Dapo’s tummy. He fainted.
Years later, and his father still joked about how his mother’s scream had drowned out all the sound blasters on the beach. Everyone would laugh while Dapo would quietly seethe with anger. It wasn’t amusing to him – particularly since he still felt the twinge of pain in his belly every now and then.
Almost twenty years to the day and he felt the twinge again. He was on his way out of the Silverbird Galleria after watching the sour Wolverine movie and trying to figure out what the next thing was to be – either go home or head to Ozone to watch another movie.
He felt the twinge as he saw a girl close the door of a blood-red Camry 2012. It wasn’t just that he ‘saw a girl’ – after all, saying you saw a fine girl at the Galleria is as pointless as saying you saw Genevieve standing next to Stephanie & Omotola while Yvonne Nelson took their picture…you get the point.
It wasn’t the looks. He stopped short of the doors and watched her through the glass. She was fishing in her Ghana-must-go size handbag for something, hair obscuring her face. The way she moved made the twitching in his belly steadily worse and he grabbed the offending part and bit his tongue to keep from crying out.
“Are you okay?” someone at Dapo’s elbow asked and he turned to look at a bulky security person. Dapo nodded and the guy walked away. He continued observing the girl and noticed she had found what she was looking for.
As she put the device against her hair with one hand, slung the bag on her arm and then pushed a button to lock the car doors with the other, he saw her clearly for the first time and suddenly, his heart started beating war drums.
A few moments ago was bad. This was worse.
His memory card opened up a part of his mind he would have preferred remained locked.
She wrapped her arms around him and looked into his eyes.
“Mope…I….” he started. She cut him short.
“Dapo, I know. I know. It’s just…” Sitting up, she swung her legs off the bed and ran her fingers through her hair. And then, conscious of what she was doing, Mope looked up at her boyfriend who smiled and held her from behind, his arms across her breasts. She leaned into his embrace.
“I’m just so into you, you know. It’s as if you’ve taken over my being.” She sighed. “However did you learn to control yourself so much?”
He could still feel her trembling; ruffling slightly like leaves stirred by the evening wind. Kissing the back of her neck softly, he rose and looked underneath the table where he kept his cooking things. Rattling the pots to see which of them still had stuff in them, he answered her over his shoulder…
His memory dumped him back in the Galleria abruptly and he woke up to realize the girl was almost at the door. He nearly bolted in his panic before calming himself down. Slow down, bobo. It’s been what – seven years? What are the odds she does not – will not recognize you?
Yeah. What were the odds?
Dapo moved away from the door and busied himself with reaching in his jeans pocket for his phone. He intended to make his way outside to his car and just go home. He intended to abandon his car right there and just take a cab home. He intended everything – well; everything except what actually happened.
He moved because he thought he was too conspicuous – standing by the door, and that was why she saw him.
Because he moved.
She stopped so abruptly the guy walking behind her bumped into her. He mumbled an apology, but she didn’t notice. She was still, staring at Dapo with her mouth gaping open like a Venus flytrap. “Da…Dapo?”
He looked up, ashamed. “Hi Mope,” he said, trying to plaster a smile on his face and not quite making it.
The reason for the drama was not so obvious. She was the three-hundred level ‘I-believe-in-happily-ever-after’ girlfriend he had bailed out on seven years ago.
He was the final year ‘greatest-love-of-all’ boyfriend she initially thought was dead.
Next part will be up on Wednesday!!!