See here for the previous episode.
‘m dedicating this post and the subsequent ones to Joel Jemba and my darling Zoe Du. Thank you for bringing this on. And thank you to everyone else that’s been following this story so far… you are the inspiration. I hope you enjoy this episode and leave some feedback too.
Retrospection: How you got there.
You have never been in a relationship. Men had come, or more precisely, boys– during your University days; but the ones you liked never liked you enough, and the ones that liked you did not come close to impressive. So, you had worked hard to make your A’s without blemishes or excuses instead. It soon became your only goal– winning. And you had won all the winnables, the Scholarships, and Awards… and even now, you’re still winning; an Assistant Professor at 25– the only single lecturer at your Institution. But it soon began to dawn on you, every moment of every day, as you stared at the sparkly plaques, and the shiny certificates, while browsing through your closet, or walking around your exquisitely furnished two-bedroom Ajah apartment in your favourite Cashmere T-shirt and woolen socks, that maybe you had spent all that time amassing volume, in place of Substance. Love is substance. Substance is Love.
You had felt even lonelier every day since you can remember now– because soon after your Doctorate degree, Mama– every time she called, would never cease to ask you about your marriage plans, while gently reminding you of someone– maybe your childhood friend, or her neighbour, or best friend’s daughter, or your cousin, or her niece, who got married a week before, or had fixed a date for Introduction two months after. You had become fed up, and in want, and in need. And you would watch those Hollywood movies like Titanic, and series like Mary Jane, or Grey’s Anatomy or Fifty Shades of Grey– and your emptiness will widen, your curiosity will stretch, your yearning will deepen.
It had been that need that drove you to the brink of desperation at the beginning of the New Year, when you created accounts on all the dating forums you ever heard of– Badoo, Twoo, Meet your Partner– every one of them. And you had put up your best photo, and promptly received lots of messages– from the raunchy, to the sane, to the profane! It had been around that time that you met Sogo, on one of the Dating Websites. You do not remember which of the Platforms exactly, but you remember it was only Four months ago. His first chat had been something like “Hello there. Can I get your number? I don’t come on here too often, but i’d like to chat with you, and keep in touch; if you don’t mind.”
There had been something about that chat. It was different from the others where people would send you their numbers and ask you to call them (what guts!), or even worse, call you something like Baby, or Sexy, or Sugar (how dare they?!). You had been too tired to think too deeply that night, so you gave him the number to your least accessible line, and that had been that. A part of you had been eager to talk to him. Another part of you liked to think you were indifferent. In the end, you had waited consciously, making sure to take your phone everywhere– even to the bathroom, lest you missed his call. You had been curious and desperate. You had almost given up on ever hearing from him, when his call came in, that evening– exactly five days after. His voice. His voice was all it took for you to fall in love with him.
You had talked again, after that day. He had promised he would call back soon. You had counted down, again because you remember he had called you another five days after. Then, you had returned his call the next five days– and it soon became a routine at the end of the First month. Towards the middle of your Friendshipy affair in the Second month, he had asked for a Skype Call. You had been hesitant about it for a second or so because you hated Video calls, but seeing as you were eager to see what he really looked like, you agreed just as soon.
Sogo. Sogo is beautifully made. You quickly surmised after that first video call, that his pictures did him no justice. His facial features beckoned boldly through your Laptop screen; his bald shiny head, his little eyes that squeezed sweetly together at the edges when he smiled, and his full promising lips. You had talked at length, with lulls in between, after which he had told you repeatedly, how beautiful he thought you were. You had blushed that first night, as many times as he had said something nice about you. It felt good. He felt good.
So you would Skype every other day, and soon, it became every night. He would put his Laptop on the Kitchen Counter, bare-chested, with only a pair of blue Jeans swaying deliciously down his hips; as he chopped Onions, or cleansed the Stock he needed to make his soup, while he talked to you. Even though you could never perceive the aroma, or taste from what he cooked, the way he owned the kitchen space assured you he owned top notch Culinary skills too– one you couldn’t even dream of competing with. The other day, he had taught you how to prepare Oha soup, which he said he learnt during his Service years in Imo State. And the day after that, you had been the one with the Laptop on the Kitchen Counter, donning a pair of Shorts and your favourite Cashmere t-shirt, as you made the soup he taught you, while he watched with eager eyes. You could not not fall in love with him, even more.
You began to talk every day in the third month– like best friends who had known each other for ages. He works as a Lawyer in a big Law Firm at Abeokuta, so you would ask about his work, his Cases and everything in- between. He would ask about your Lectures, your students, and everything else too. He is the last of four children, from four different women, he had once told you. His father was one accomplished polygamist, he had emphasised, humorously; after mentioning that both his parents had passed on. You had told him it was just you and your brother from the same mother and father. And that really had been that.
You would watch movies together sometimes, through his Laptop or yours. On one of such days, just after you had finished watching Heartfelt, he had caught you unawares when he said “you know on some days, all I can think about is kissing you like that”, referring to the lead characters in the movie you had just seen; and you had blushed, thoroughly. That had been the first day. The first day that your body had yearned to be touched; the way it does these days. And he had looked deeply into your eyes, and you into his, through the Camera on your laptops, as if you had been sitting just in front of each other. “If you were here”, he had continued, “if you were here Lara, the things I would have done to you…” You had looked away then, biting your lower lips until they hurt. Your nipples had peaked at that point; thoroughly embarrassed, you had hoped he did not see it. You do not know if he did. Then he had finished off “… one day Omolara. One day, I promise you, if you let me, I would. And if you don’t, if you don’t, we would both wish you did.”
You do not remember much else of what had been said that night before you had both bid each other farewell; but you remember that you had stylishly reverted to Voice Calls only, with hopes to lock away the part of you he had opened up that day; but you had failed, terribly. It was as though he had suddenly made you aware of the things a man could do to a woman’s body, and not just any woman’s body, your body; and you had found yourself delving even deeper– wanting to know, and understand; seeking and exploring, testing the limits. And all the spark it took, all the motivation you ever needed, was as much as his voice; or as little as a flicking passing thought of him– bare-chested, with those jeans swaying down his hips deliciously, as he tended to his cooking, like an artist to a piece of his creation. No more. No less.
© The Short Black Girl, 2016.