From the hallequins. .Mills’ n’bones and other romance novels..
He, dashing prince charming, body of a god, eyes as dark but beautiful as the sea, peircing into your soul..reaching your very core and shattering your every resolves..
He would ride on a white horse, espensive sports car or walk down the streets with a rolled up shirtsleeves and a opening from the neck or he would be simply a rugged handsome stranger who comes to save you, a damsel in distress… and in that cold night, far away in the forest, while you both hide in the cabin away from the evil persecutors , he would wrap you up in his arms, the fire not the heat that makes you hot, but his warmth, the strenght of his arms and the soft breath on your neck would cause you to quiver, and squirm in helpless delight.. untill..
Until he closes the distance and savours your lips.. causing both you and him to burn, untill all that is left is the satin red sheets..and your bodies entwined in a lover’s dance.. till the top.. till over the cliff … to the dreams and fantasies all but fulfilled…
This was every girl’s dream when she finally meets him..falls in love and end up in the fairy tale wedding and forever – afters! !!!
But movies..books…and dreams are over ‘ rated. ..
All that she feels is fear.. innate fear for that which everyone craves..
Fear of being touched.. wanted..desired..
Fear for junior..
And maybe Bruno. .
And maybe every other person who walked around with a third leg… fear of that Faceless man…who desires naught but to lay untop of her…his breath on her skin and his tongue licking her delicate skin…. making her skin crawl..making the fear to swim from her toes to her head….
And more fear..
But who could she tell.
Who would save her…
When all of them look thesame…want thesame….desire thesame…
What crime has she commited to be a woman… a girl….
Her beauty is her cause..
Her delicateness are inevitable ruin….
Her chaste..pure and untouched self would be her downfall. …. and that’s what junior desires…all he desires..!!!
“You have been staring down at your hands for the past 10 minutes..not touching your food and you still refused me to feed you. Ama?….what is it my child…talk to me..please”…. her mother sat down beside her, holding her by the shoulders and turning her…
….*I wish I could mama…I wish I could lay down all my fears… I wish you can listen with an open heart…and don’t ask me questions if I tell you to forget about me going to school… that junior, maybe even Bruno. ..all lions in disguise… to ruin.. to collect, devour …my essence.. my pride…and leave me for the vultures to feast on….
I wish I can tell you that… a man doesn’t just seek to help a girl he has no affiliations with, without taking a payment…
What if I tell you mama… that in order for me to accept to.go to school… at the expense of Bruno. .. that he and his friend… wants to bed me… touch me ..use me…and do vile things to me… just for that. ….
What if I turn his help down..
Would you be happy..
Would you think I don’t mean well for you..
Would you think I don’t want to fulfill your life long dream of finishing school, and work and take care of you..
Would you understand me mama..
Would you listen???*…..
Ama bites her lower lip..sighing a little and shakes the tears away from her eyes… she opens and then closes her mouth a fear times.. aware that her mother followed the movement, patiently waiting. She turns and faces her mother, looks her straight in the eyes…
…* whatever happens.. I have to tell you mama… I just can’t. ..Forgive me …your dream would come through some other way…God is alife. All would be well”…
“See mama— ” She began,. A knock on the door stops her midway..
“Ehen wait, that must be Bruno. . He said he was coming back. ” her mother gets up from the chair and goes to open the door.
I didnt go back straight to the house, I turned at the next bend, I noticed a supermarket at the entrance… I didnt know what I was doing but …
I entered as picked a few things off the shelves., beverages and the likes..
Heck I didnt have much money on me but I felt like doing something, anything nice. To get my mind of things I didnt quite understand.
“That would be N6,500 naira oga”.
The boy, maybe a little over 17 said to me. I looked at him and he looked like someone who had his life ahead of him. But because circumstances, because economy.. because bad government and maybe parents. … that little kids knew that hustling was the way.. and it’s still boils down to the survival of the fittest. I shook my head.. and left a hundred bucks change for him. His smile reaches his eyes and he thanks me..
I walked slowly back to Amara ‘ s. Her demeanor was disconcerting. She reeked of fear. And then of helplessness..
Was it fear of me?? I haven’t done anything to her to warrant her to be scared of my presence… or was it junior’s. . But, he swore he hasn’t done anything to her either. Was it her mother’s health? Was it money…?
Shit!!!! I don’t even have the luxury to help out on that fact… I owe David a ton already, borrowing money to foot Amara’s school fees if… no no no , when she enters school.
I need a better job! !!!
But Amara,…..something is wrong. I can feel it. And am not leaving till she tell me.
I got to their door and knock once, and then twice. Waiting for the voice that answered to come it. I looked down at the bags in my hands, hoping they don’t reject it…
“Ha!! My son please come in. ” She opened the door wide for me.. ushering me in.
I walked in, dropping the stuffs on the table,
“Mama, I got some things for you both, I hope you don’t mind. ?? ”
“Hey! !!” She laughs walking to the table and peering in, one bag at a time.. ” awww thank you Bruno. This is too much. God bless you my son. I hope you didn’t spend much??”
I knew I had a thousand five hundred naira left in my wallet. And that was supposed to be my meal, transport and other activities dough for the rest of the week till pay day. Ama be alright… I mean I have to be. I just have to be.
“No ma, not at all. It’s nothing. I didnt spend a lot.” I lied. How did that saying going again…? * what mama doesn’t know won’t hurt her*. I shake it out from my head and turn to Àmara.
“Why haven’t you eaten…” I face her mother. .’ Why isn’t she eating..??”.
“Amam oh!!!” She replied. ….” I don’t know oh ” she repeated in English again….” I have been begging her to eat but she just stares at the food. Even refusing me to help her. And I wanted to go out now to see a friend who just put to bed ….and I can’t go with her looking like this…”
A light bulb went off in my head..!!!
“Erm…I can stay with her while you step out…I don’t have much to do today at work I would just call it in…”
“No”!!!! Amara cuts in sharply. ..
“Ok!!!” Her mother replied.. but both out heads turn to Amara…
“No” she repeatedly calmly..shaking her head.. ” I am fine mama. You can go. I am a big girl I can stay at home alone. Or I will.follow you. “..
“No Ama… you are staying home.and I won’t be long. Bruno would stay with you. I am much settled if someone does. I won’t be long. Just eat your food. Bruno my son, I will be back. Make sure she eats” .. and without another word, she disappears into the inner room, appears shortly after with a scarf around her head, a small purse under her arm, touches Amara’s face and leaves.. repeating ” Eat, I am coming oh Ama.”.
There was a huge thick silence in the room like a huge dark green elephant with the silence peircing the sound bars in my ears.. I never knew silence could be this deafening till today..
I got up , sitting close to her. Then I got up, sighting a stool close to the edge of the chair, I pull it closer, shifting the table away, lifting the food off the table, sitting on the stool, directly infront of her with the food on my legs…facing her.
I noticed her eyes followed my entire movement. .her fingers shook slightly.. I have never noticed her nervousness before.. was it always there.. or was it that I never quite took a minute to observe her ….up close before..
Well, I avoided her for good enough reason. .. I avoided her for I didnt trust myself…
“Would you allow me feed you??”
She grabs the food from my legs, but she wasn’t fast enough..
“Let it be Amara… I asked you a question. Would you allow me feed you or you would feed yourself? ”
“I am not hungry”
“Wrong answer Ama.” I picked up the Spoon, mixing the white rice particles with the thick red paste of stew..
She looks up sharply, ..” Don’t call me me that. Only my mother calls me that”.
I felt a jab in my heart.
“Fair enough. Amara, please eat. Hhm…okay??”
She shook her head. And managed to shift a little away from me. That movement. ..that lone body movement right there screams alot…
“What is the matter Amara??Are you scare of me?? Are you scared of anyone..did anything happen to you.. did anyone hurt you… what happened to that once happy jovial girl …who sold me oranges and made sure I took my changes worth the next time she saw me…where did she go. ?? Is she under the chair…. behind me…or just poof!! disappeared like the green fairies??”
There. A brief smile…but it was gone quickly..too quickly..replaced by a more sadder look.
“Do I make you uncomfortable? Do I scare you. .are you afraid of me? Tell me the truth…”..
I felt claws like hands holding my heart as it slowly crawled down my sleeves… I held my breath as I slowly braced myself for the answer I was sure would break me….
She looks up..directly at me..staring into my eyes..as though her eyes could see me.. see the badness and horrible nature of the life I had lived and the hearts I had broken along the way…Judging me… and I became uncomfortable and then broke the gaze… I was scared that she saw and knew me in that brief second more than I knew myself…
I heard her sigh . That resigned sigh.. and then shake her head…. but she didn’t say a word.. and the seconds ran into Minutes…
“Ok since you won’t say anything. I can’t leave here even if I wanted to, untill your mother comes. Atleast just eat, then as son as she comes I would leave…maybe my presence here is making you worse..or I dunno…” I mixed the rice again, filling the Spoon. .raising it up to her mouth. She stared at me…like I was was strange creature… she didn’t open her mouth but take the Spoon away from my hand, then she fed herself..
I watched her eat silently..
The grandfather’s clock on their wall danced a shy away from 5pm… barely 20 minutes after her mother left..
Then I heard the tap tap sound of the water gods galloping on the roof. …. I looked out of the window and noticed the clouds had darkened… and the whoosh whoosh sands of the winds sweeping the curtains back and forth like shadows doing the waltz behind the thick folds…. then the tap tap sounds increased to heavy thick clots of water balls….
I walk to the window and look outside. .. their varendah and the streets ahead had formed a tiny river blocking the road, making the granite pavement invisible to the eyes…. and the water lever seemed to be increasing….
“Erm, does this enter into your house when it rains??”
I ask her staring at the foot of their door??”
“It..used too…but not anymore. We raised our pavement up. You should go. Once it rains heavily like this …you won’t be able to cross the water . The gutters are deep and once might fall in unknowingly and okadas won’t be able to navigate through. …”
I turn to face her…
“How would your mother come home??”
“Wait till the water goes down. ”
“How long does that take??” I face the window again, watching the water rush against the window, wiping the dust off from it..
“It depends on how heavily the rain falls. If it stops now. Maybe an hour or two . There are no proper drainages. So the more the rain, the longer for the aftermath to disperse…. you should go .Please “..
Was she worried about me getting soaked or falling into the gutter. Or just to get rid of me because she was scared of me ..being alone with her for that long. ?? But I didn’t want to leave her ..alone. Not till her mother comes. I just didn’t want to leave her alone..
Even if the weather was any indication for me to tuck my head inside my shirt and run.
Because rain. Because cold.
Because a man and woman in the same room is a very very bad combo…
And because Amara, beautiful Amara standing before me …wearing a lose cloth …and I could tell that she had nothing on….not even a bra…..and no underwear.
I knew that much when I lifted her off the ground when she fainted…when I shook her awake on the sofa… when she closed her legs and moved away from me.. it was pretty obvious. ..
Her soft delicate skin… her ..her..
I felt myself stir. ..
Focus Bruno. . Get your head out of your thoughts. …
I turn away from her. Facing upwards …
“Nice try big guy. Is this your way of testing me…to see how am gonna Fxxkup myself and untame the raging lion within me…… this is evil mehn…please let this rain stop…so I don’t get tempted to do something stupid. Please God!!!!!” I muttered a silent prayer. ….”Please stop the rain….and send her mother home….”
My phone buzzed in my pocket. ….. I picked without looking at who is calling…
“Hello” I rubbed my eyes..
“Er …my son. It’s me, Amara’s mother. The rain heavy for here oh.. and the road have block the entrance and no body can come in or even go. No okada sef to carry me… not even pim person dey for road. Rain is heavy.
They say big tree fall for the road so na till tomorrow morning na big truck go come commot am for road.
Please abeg, I don’t want Amara to be there alone. So she doesn’t faint and nobody is there with her..
My son please, stay with her for me. There is food , eat. Early mor-mor I will come so you will go to work…..okay. Thank you. …God bless you”…
“Credit have finish. Thank you Bruno. Tell Ama for me oh. Take care” …
Line goes dead.
My mouth remained opened… sweat broke out on my forehead quickly…
“What did my mother say??” I heard her ask….
“Rain. Road blocked. Not coming home. Tomorrow “..
“What? ?” I heard the fear creep in her voice..her hands flew to her throat.
“Yeah…what!!!” .. I heard my own fear in my voice..and then the tightening of my frontal area.
Now I wasn’t scared that she was scared of me for no reason. …
I was scared that I was scared of myself….
For it was cold.
For It was raining…
And then for my thoughts…
For my raging hormones. .
And there…standing just a breath away was Amara…
Who have plagued my waking and sleeping moments. ..my dreams…
My desires… my wants…
And I knew….. I needed God to help me tonight. ..
If not…. this may very well be my end
Or begininging ….of my nightmare.!!!!!
For then I may not question her fears….for it would be evident..
“Shit”!!!! I muttered again. Swearing more under my breath… I turned facing the window. ….and willed the rain to stop.
“Nature can be an arse. And cupid a sly bastard! !!!” I hissed.
To be continued. ….