The Mishap (2).

Being

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I am a blog maniac. That time of the year, just a year back, I had been reading random blog sites, and stumbled across Dare’s Dare to read blog space. I became enchanted, that day and night, I was all about Dare; and if I’d talk to anyone, in every two sentences, I would quote a line from Dare. It was crazy. I knew I had fallen in love with a witty writer’s mind. And I would read all of his posts and drop my two cents everywhere possible. I never nurtured the thoughts of seeing him in person, but I knew he knew he had found a stalker in me. Soon though, beyond my expectations, he picked interest in me and we began to chat off his blog space. Then, I told him about my best friend, who happened to be a writer too, Kemi, and how she was jealous that I didn’t even talk about her articles as much as I did his. Months after, we decided to meet. I thought it was going to be fun, so I invited Kemi too, and he promised to bring a friend of his along as well. That was the mistake, and undoing. The beginning of my folly.

So we met. Myself, Dare, Kemi and Tade…

I fell in love with Dare anew the moment I recognised him stepping into the restaurant that Friday night. He had a Ralph Lauren cap on, a black polo shirt adorably hugging his well structured body to life, and a pair of jeans. I couldn’t be bothered about what graced his feet any longer, he looked fine enough already. I didn’t notice the person he was coming in with until they stopped by our seat and Dare introduced Tade as the friend. Dare sat beside me, thankfully, just opposite Kemi, and Tade beside Kemi, just opposite me. I made the rest of the introductions and we ordered goat meat pepper soup and a bottle of red wine. We talked about books, and I made sure to impress Dare with my scholarly mind… and I think I did, until out of the blues Kemi started on about sports. It didn’t take two seconds for Dare to shift his attention to her, and surprisingly, Tade who had been quiet all along, joined in too. So it was just me from then on, looking askance, lost on what to say or how to steer everyone’s attention back to me. That was how I lost Dare that night even before having him, and I am still contemplating who to blame for it- myself for inviting Kemi, or Kemi for trying to outwit me before my crush. It was a surprise, and a big blow to my breaking heart that just months after, Kemi announced to me that they were dating. I felt betrayed. In a bid to make him jealous, I started dating his friend Tade, who had not stopped sending me flowers and calling me every other day for another meet up since that hazardous dinner night, and to my folly once again, he fell in love with me!

**

Why? Why oh why?

I know Dare likes me. We share a bond, a chemistry… the one between a writer and his number one reader. I understand Dare more than he understands himself, and see way more than he chooses to share with words on his blog space. That feeling is something no one else can share with him or understand, not even another writer. And It is not fair that I have to lose a man I love because I cannot write, or because I don’t love sports, or play computer games, or watch cartoons. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friend Kemi and I am happy that she is happy. But I am not happy, and it is sad that she doesn’t even seem to be aware of it.

Adele’s take it all comes to a wrap on my earpiece just in time for me to hear Tade’s persistent knock at the door. I feel the urge to go let him in and discuss my hearts dilemma with him but it’s too late, or is it not? I should have done it this morning before we left for church but we were running late, and he seemed in too good a mood… or yesterday when we went shopping for some decorations for ‘our-house-to-be‘ but Kemi and Dare were shopping with us too, so I couldn’t… or the day before that when he proposed, if only he didn’t do it in the presence of everyone at my office just before we closed. No time just ever seemed like the right time, and now it’s too late to make things right.

Or do I just tell him now?

Quickly, I run to the door to let him in. He is stunned to see me still fully dressed with my eyes red and swollen, but he is calm and gentlemanly as he pushes past me to sit on the bed after carefully shutting the door behind him, leaving me in shades of guilt and doubt. Soon, he beckons on me to join him, and after a second of silence, he begins…

“Gbemisola Blessing, it’s a pity I love you the way I do, but my heart feels better this way. I might even cry if you break my heart, but I will be happy that I once loved someone like you. Now, I don’t know for sure what happened in the church, and what’s happening now, and if my gut feelings that you’re not excited about this marriage as much as I am are real or just an echo of my own fears… but i’ll like to hear it from you here and now if you’re not okay with us getting married. I won’t hate you, or love you less… i’ll even always remember that blessed dinner night and how you swooned me to speechlessness with your intelligence, wit and the might of books you’ve read in your lifetime_” he smiles now, and I cry more “_ just… just tell me you don’t want this, and i’ll walk out of your life for as long as I can keep my two feet apart from each other.” he laughs shortly, then continues “well, you get the point, i’ll try. I’ll try to stay away. I promise.”

I feel abashed. It isn’t that he can’t get someone else, but he has chosen me over every other option there might be. Will I ever get a man to love me like this again? I don’t know, I can’t see the future. But I can see now, and it seems like the best I may ever get. I hug him now, and I am not totally sure what that gesture means, except that I certainly am not telling him off tonight either.

Maybe I don’t love him now, but i’ll learn to love him soon. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next, maybe never even. But he loves me, and he cares about me, and I think that’s enough. He hugs me back now, and I feel his smile on my hair. He is a fine man, and what’s more, I am sure he will make a fine daddy… Besides, there’s the saying that sometimes in life, what matters is not what’s right or wrong, but what’s left.

He is all I have… now. And maybe, always too.

**

Quote by Zayta Kamal: Sometimes in life, what matters is not what’s right or wrong, but what’s left.

© The Short Black Girl, 2015.

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The Mishap (1).

Being
People think I am lucky because I have Tade. He is a very tall, good- looking, rich, and influential man; a devout christian too. Always well dressed, speaks impeccably well, and very generous with gifts. Truth, he is almost all I wish for in a man and he loves me so, but I don’t and can’t love him back. I have tried, beat myself day and night, cast my heart forth and back, but my mind is made up, it won’t love any other safe for Oluwadamilare. I can’t say…

“…Sister Blessing. Sist_”

“I do!” the words are out of my mouth before I realise it’s the wrongest thing to say at the moment, as laughter amidst thunderous applauds fill the air. I feel a gentle tap on my shoulder again, and it is only then I get back into character. I open my eyes now, remembering that minutes ago, I had closed them as I knelt before pastor Femi with Tade by my side- in front of the congregation that Sunday morning- duly after Tade had announced that we would be getting married later in the year.

“Yes Pastor.” I answer eventually, slightly embarrassed as I realise the whole congregation has taken a seat now, and Tade is standing upright beside me while I remain on the floor, with my kneels to the ground.

“You may stand up now. I hope there is no problem? You seem eager to get this marriage thing over and done with.”

Flushed, I rise to my feet, and shake my skirt to rid it off dust as I fumble for an explanation in my head. “No pastor, I was connecting with the Holy Spirit. Pastor, the Lord is indeed wonderful, and marvellous. He is happy with the choice I have made.” I state, almost matter- of- factly, staring into Tade’s wide black face that seems to host a ghost of a smile. My heart rises with guilt, as I tear my gaze away from him.

Pastor Femi smiles too, offering us both a re-assuring nod as he ushers us back to our seats where the congregation welcomes us with even more applause. My stomach turns, I think I just might be sick.

The Sunday service is soon over, after a thorough lecture on the Do’s and Don’ts of marriage, specially dedicated to us as delivered by Pastor Femi. Unexcitedly, I exit the church hall with Tade, after having shook hands with the lot of the other members congratulating us on our engagement, most of whom seemed green with envy as if I had just claimed their most coveted prize. Finally, we make it into the car and I release the breath I wasn’t aware I had been keeping until now. I stare out the car, trying to avoid his gaze, and hoping he would just drive and not try to act heroic or something by asking me if I am okay. But no…

“Gbemisola Blessing, what’s the problem?”

Incensed I am, but I manage a smile, as I turn to him for a brief second. “Nothing, just cramps. Thanks.”

His face is awash with concern, and I just want to cry. Why can’t I love this man the way he loves me?! He straightens my hair with his palms and places a gentle kiss on my cheek before starting the car. Finally!!!

In an hour, we are at the Lekki apartment I share with Kemi. I let myself into the house with my set of keys, Tade tagging along despite my fervent prayer that he’ll just leave me be. I hear muffles and quiet laughter from the door, and soon, I notice it’s from the sitting room where Kemi and Dare are entangled in an X- rated movie position on the couch, my favourite couch, watching a football game. That just about does it for me! Or almost…

“Hey guys! Wassap! Una don pray finish kiakia. Mr and…” Now, that’s it! I don’t wait to hear the remaining of what Dare is saying, I just rush into my room and slam the door shut; not forgetting to turn the key and plug my earpiece in, because I know Tade will soon find his way to my room. Now, I play the scene over and over again in my head for the umpteenth time, of how I met Dare and how he might have ended up being mine rather than Kemi’s…

__

Kiakia- quickly

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2015.