It was a quiet afternoon. Cynthia, Linda, Major, and Eedris had gone out; leaving myself and Ana in the flat. They had gone to see The Big Short at the Cinemas. It was supposed to be a flat day-out but I opted to stay home and Ana followed suit. I had wished to be alone with my thoughts, brooding, thinking, or doing whatever with it– just alone, not talking or worse still, listening but Ana’s presence foiled the plans.
“You know I talked to Richie yesterday.” she began, without need or preamble.
Of course I knew. When did she not talk to Richie? Her almost-happened-and-unsingle-boyfriend “Hmmm mmm?”
“We talked for like 30minutes. He said he missed me.”
“Awwn. I see you guys are on great terms. That’s good news.” I feigned genuineness for a second and returned to the e-novel I was trying to read on my tablet, hoping she’d take a cue and shut up or walk away or something close. She did keep mute, for a second or so…
“But, I think he didn’t mean it. I think he was just saying it to make me happy.”
I sighed, and put the tablet aside; knowing the next second, she’d be wrapped in a ball, spraying tears all over like 100 dollar bills. I was right.
“See Ana…” I was beside her now, and proceeded to start my usual speech again. “… I understand that you love Richard, and you guys had something great going once; but he’s seeing someone else now and —“
“—you need to leave him alone.” she completed my words. I kept mum. “It’s easy. It’s easy for you to say Nkem. Have you ever found yourself in this sort of situation, loving something so much you’d rather have a part of it than nothing at all?”
She had no idea. I had stood up to march back to my seat, when she tugged at my arm and pulled me into a hug. “I love him Nkem. I fucking love him.”
“Okay, that’s it! Go take a shower and get dressed. We are going out.”
“To where?” she managed.
“Ana, I’ll give you 15 minutes max, or else I will go out and leave you alone in the house.” I knew how much she dreaded being alone, so I didn’t need a prophet to tell me that was all the motivation she would be needing, to not question me any further.
We were at Ozone in thirty minutes. I wasn’t particularly in the mood to watch a movie; in fact, I wasn’t in the mood to do anything. I just wanted Ana out of my hair. I had my own troubles, and worries– a love life to muse or rant about too. Seemingly, half the problem with half the world is the presence of love or the stark dearth of it. Mine seemed a little of both. I let Ana pick a movie of her choice, because that was the only way to have her seat in silence and beg no disturbance or trifling interruption not even from nature’s call. Once we had settled in comfortable seats, chosen by Ana too, I escaped into my world– and finally, I had a chance to think.
About Last Night.
Eedris and I are very good friends. He had once dated my elder sister, a final year medical student at the same school, but they never worked out. She was a good girl, he was the thin line between right and left- simple. I, on the other hand, had been attracted to him since our first meeting. There were so many things to love, but his air of mystery was most compelling. He was well put together, different, diverse, challenging– like a to-do list. One I knew I had no business doing. I had written about him in my bedtime diaries, masturbated with his face in my head, and done a dozen more despicable things after which I asked God to forgive me. In fairness to me, I never made my intentions known–
“There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told. ” – Edgar Allan Poe
In fact, I had made no contacts with him since he part ways with my sister; but early September saw us getting allocated to the same flat, and re-igniting our friendship. And soon, the days saw us shuffling to and from school together- as friends, then very good friends. Movies, music, football, occasional clubbing– and then, close friends. My feelings remained same as before, if anything, they intensified; and he soon seemed most fond of me. But we had boundaries, unspoken yet clearly defined boundaries, which we both respected enough to not breach– until last night.
“Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action for no other reason than because he knows he should not?” -Edgar Allan Poe
He had returned from the club, and sneaked up behind me in the kitchen where I was having a late snack of Pringles and Yoghurt in my spaghetti top, bum short and woolen socks dancing to Adekunle’s Pick-up playing from my headphones. It was his distracting Tom Ford cologne that had me turning to find him watching me keenly from the door post. I shuddered. I had never seen that look in his eyes before. But I recognised it– my instincts recognised it; it poked me in the loins. There was something raw about the way he looked, something urgent…
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there; wondering, fearing, doubting” -Edgar Allan Poe
“Eedris?” he had crossed over to me then, in the beat of a second and pushed me into the pantry with a fervent feverish kiss. I didn’t fight him. I couldn’t. I wanted it, him– the smell, the need, the hunger, the thirst. I had dreamed of it my whole life. My fingers dug soft scars into his skull, my heart beat grew in leaps and bounds. I tried for words, like stop, or do not, but only sounds gave. Delicious, embarrassing sounds muttered between mouthfuls and tongue-fuls; a disservice to my dignity and morality. Soon he broke off and spaced for air– a beat, a second, a minute– and we just stood there, pacing our heartbeats; unable to speak, because words were hardly enough. Then he left.
The movie had finished, on a seemingly happy note too– because Ana would not stop grinning from ear to ear. Plus she had made a new friend of her seat partner- quite a fine gentleman, if I may- and they had exchanged contact details to my delight. I was instantly glad I suggested the outing. We returned home shortly before 7pm, and after “thank you’s” and “take cares”, I returned to the ambience of my room. I was quite hungry but memories of the previous night would not let me revisit the kitchen. I was confused, hungry, and yearning for him. What if he hadn’t meant it? What if it had just been the alcohol? What if he didn’t drink? Or maybe it was just a much-too-friendly kiss? I marched out of my room and bounded off to his to seek answers, before I had a chance to change my mind. I had only knocked once when he answered the door; and before I could form a question, he had dragged me in with a familiar kind of urgency. He had not been drinking that night, I promise. And again, I had had no desire or will to protest. He undressed me slowly, touching and feeling as he went at it. Questions plagued his eyes, the kind that unsettled my mind, but no words were said for none were needed. That night, the answers we sought lay in the bare of our skin. Same as many other nights, and many many more after that…
“Sometimes i’m terrified of my heart; of its constant hunger for whatever it is it wants. The way it stops and starts.” -Edgar Allan Poe
© The Short Black Girl, 2016.