Good morning, happy people.
So I was minding my business sometime last week when a story I’d read a while back popped into my head. It was written by a friend, Dunni. Before I could stop myself I had written a sequel – even though nobody asked it of me; and the story is complete in itself.
Anyways, I wrote it. But before you read that, I think it would only be appropriate if you read the original story first.
Read Inside Out here.
And then, without further ado…
It was the glasses.
There was something about the way she wore hers that did not make her look like a nerd – even though they were ‘seeing’ glasses. She looked like the bookish version of Alicia Keys…
Thinking about her that way made me want to start making beats or something.
I don’t know. I’d lied to her twice the first time we met and that probably made a poor impression. Still, I hoped she would remember me. I wanted to see her again.
But days became weeks and I didn’t catch a glimpse of the steel glasses. Or the girl who wore them.
So maybe I’d become a little disinterested or something. I did know walking to her street wasn’t the fun it used to be anymore. I should have just gone to the house and knocked – I should have asked for her number then too – but I had thought that would have been typical so I hadn’t.
In the back of my mind was the realization that she had started work, and if I didn’t find myself something to do soon I would become socially disadvantaged. Armed with this knowledge I spent the following two weeks searching for a nine-to-five; but it looked as though the Nollywood stories of graduates looking for jobs till their shoes got scuffed or something were a frightening reality.
It also looked as though the only place passion made any difference was in motivational speeches.
Ago Palace Way looked as it looked in the evenings as my bus drove into it – hyperactive, angry and hardly home for me anymore. I got down at the AP bus stop and began to walk towards my neighborhood. It was the longer way round but I wanted to think. Think and keep thinking.
I almost didn’t recognize the girl smiling at me from the corner of the Sweet Sensation outlet along the road. Instinctively I had begun to smile back; my shoulders stiffening in spite of their fatigue – and then something about the smile told me to calm down.
I had seen it before. Only then, it was attached to a bespectacled face.
For the first time in my interesting career with women, I was genuinely confused.
If I thought she looked like Alicia Keys with her glasses on, she looked like Chidinma with them off. There was a startling clarity…an openness; that came with her face as it was. A vulnerability.
I had a moment wondering which one looked better – Alicia or Chidinma. And then it occurred to me; why choose when you can have them both?
“You liar you,” she said as I marched up to her, smile looking like Berger would look if NEPA suddenly restored power. My face assumed a rueful look as I took the hand she was extending.
Obviously she remembered.
“Good evening,” I gave her hand a gentle squeeze for every word. “I hope you don’t expect an apology – because I don’t have one.”
“Oh? And why’s that?” She was looking up at me with vertigo-inducing eyes.
Remember that Craig David jam; Seven Days – particularly the video?
I swear I paused everything and stepped out of the frame for a moment to wonder if somewhere along the line my brains had been swapped with cooked Mimi noodles. What the freak is ‘vertigo-inducing eyes’?!
Without missing a beat I replied; “Being called a liar is a small price to pay for making your acquaintance, holding your hand – “ I looked pointedly at the hand she was still holding. She blushed and let go of it.
“- and making you smile,” I finished with a flourish.
She brushed her hair back, beaming brightly. “And the ‘I have a girlfriend’ part’?
I coughed. ‘Well…honestly, the last time I saw her was at the POP, showing off her newly-acquired Alhaji as I was showing off my newly-acquired certificate.”
Her laughter drew me in like a Bovi joke, and I found myself laughing along with her. Quietly I blessed whatever it was made me decide to drop at AP and reached for the nylon she was carrying.
“Seriously?” she said, mischief dancing in her eyes like they did in Loki’s. “It’s just food jo. Impress me some other way.”
I coughed, uncertain for the second time in minutes.
“Where do you work?” she asked suddenly.
“Are you headed home?” I countered while my brain tensed and flexed for an answer. Her eyelashes played curtains as she eyed me – and then she nodded. I gently held her arm and started walking.
“Well…I’m actually between jobs,” I said.
“Yeah – the last one being NYSC,” she shook her head. “This country sure is hell on graduates.”
A screeching bus covered us in exhaust fumes as it sped past. My hand tightened round her arm and I started jogging. Her arm jumped like a worm suddenly doused in salt as she pulled it from my grip – before replacing it with her hand. She giggled in excitement and ran with me, not stopping till we turned a corner into her street – Femi Kila.
“That..was…fun,” she breathed, inhaling large draughts of air. I couldn’t respond, very much out of breath myself. I made a mental note to resume working out and quickly straightened up to hide my breathlessness.
“Wanna walk me home again – maybe tell me my dress is right on this time?”
I slapped upside my own head. I had been ogling her since – and not once did I tell her that.
“Actually it’s the body your dress is wearing that has me bugging,” I said without giving it much thought. Her brows wrinkled and I kicked myself again. “Too much?” I asked wryly.
She smiled, blinding me again. “Don’t worry, you’ll get there soon enough.”
I hooked her arm in mine and smiled at the grinning Okada men. If I don’t collect her number this time…
We walked into the sunset.
I really hope you enjoyed that! Compliments of the moments.
Have a great week!