There are a number of things that could go wrong and still be right. Like a bad hair- do, or bad make-up, or wrong outfit… but not love or the stark absence of it, atleast, that was what I thought. It didn’t feel right, nothing did. I cried the whole of Sunday night away, and resumed to the tears on Monday Morning. I then realised how much of a fool I was to think he had called me to work things out and be a better man. And then again, I thought, maybe I over- reacted; maybe I was too fast; maybe I shouldn’t blame him… too many maybes, but things weren’t getting any better by the second. I was angry at myself, love, Denrele and everything. Eager to share my plight with someone that would listen and not judge me for being so hasty or irrational, I called my elder sister.
‘Baby, guess what! I thought of you this morning o, and promised to put a call through.’
I smiled a little. ‘Great! Someone still genuinely thinks about me. That’s a rarity.’
She chuckled ‘Crazy! And why do I perceive something is wrong?’
‘Because something is. Infact, everything.’
‘Oh? You’re 24 baby, you don’t have a stroke, do you?!’
I laughed. She is a clown. ‘Haha! Let’s meet and talk.’
‘Okay Darling! Debonaires, 12. A slice of Pizza for every thought shared.’
I laughed again. ‘Okay sis! Thanks, later.’
Pulling through a hectic morning at work with an overdose of coffee to stay strong, I met with my elder sister for Pizza at Debonaires.
‘So what’s up!’
I told her everything, from the worrisome months of his absence to his return, the lull, his text, the meeting and the goodbye.
‘So why are you confused?’ she asked.
I looked at her, askance.
‘You see girl, people treat you the way they feel about you, so believe them… but then again, only you knows best how to see how they treat you and thus, feel about you, so don’t deceive yourself. You think he loves you, best believe it and give him some time. You think he’s playing around, best believe it and move on with your life.’
That was it. She had given me the lesson of a lifetime, but it didn’t seem almost enough. Like most people in my shoes, I wanted someone to tell me point blank – he loves you, or he doesn’t love you. I was too lazy to think, or maybe scared of over- thinking things that I just didn’t want to bother about it anymore. Eventually, I took a stance and watched things unfold.
The next day, I woke up to a text from Denrele. “Hey, I miss you.” Four words, and I was bawling again. But I didn’t respond. I couldn’t. Then he called. I couldn’t not pick it. I missed him too.
‘Hi.’ I managed.
‘How are you?’
Friends? ‘What are you about?’
‘About Sunday, I am… I am sorry, and I respect your decision, but can- can we remain friends? I was kinda hoping that…’
‘Wh– See Felicia…’
‘I’ve got work to tend to Denrele. Do have a nice day.’
Is it just me, or Denrele had really gone bunkers?
I was stunned! How could we possibly be friends? It was a miracle how I pulled through the rest of the day, but nothing warned me of the unceremonious surprise I was to expect until I entered my apartment to the smell of Pancakes that night, and there was more…
Everywhere was dark, safe for soft music playing on the background with a fleet of pictures moving in succession all over my walls. Denrele was there, in my apartment- his laptop, projector and other gadgets sprawled all over my sitting room floor, and I didn’t have to ask how he got in, my sister must have given him the keys. Pictures of me and Denrele, from the first day at my sisters wedding, through our random hangouts before his travel, through our first kiss and everything. I just stood there, in a bit of a trance wondering what to do or what to feel. It was all there on a replay in front of me, and I didn’t know what to make of it. It brought back so many warm memories, reminded me why I fell in love with him. And when the slideshow was over, he was beside me, looking a bit over-size in my apron, holding a plate of mouth- watering pancakes in his hand. I gawked at him, it was all I could do to keep back from jumping over the roof just yet.
He set the plate down, and took my hands in his. I couldn’t resist.
‘I don’t know how to do these things. Love or stay in love. People have said so many things that I don’t even know which is right. Some say, hold them tight. Others say let them be… and truth is, I have never had to bother about it before. But with you, I want to learn how. I am very slow at a lot of things, and sometimes when I want to talk, I don’t even know the right words to say… but with you, I want to try. I am not the most organised person in the world too, but for what it’s worth, can we just like errm… start again? I- I want to try again. Please?’
I couldn’t say anything still.
‘Say something Felicia.’
‘Why? Why so back and forth?’
‘I– You are home. Even after wandering for days, I just want to be enveloped in the Sanctuary of your love.’
I smiled. ‘I need you around, in soul and spirit. I want to talk to you everytime. Call me, don’t ignore my calls. Talk to me about your day, or your trip, about everything. I care, and ‘m very concerned, so don’t leave me begging to know what’s going on in your head. It’s either all or nothing. Don’t hold back. Don’t.’
He smiled ‘So err, hi, I am Denrele. Your elder sisters husbands younger brothers best friends brother.’
I laughed, with gait. ‘I love your beards.’
‘Now i’m jealous. That was what you said the first time. When will you start loving me?’
I laughed again, then we kissed. Truth be told, I still don’t understand him; but tonight, I won’t even try. I just want to eat these sumptuous pancakes, and fall in love with his smiling beards all over again.
© The Short Black Girl, 2015.