I imagined her on her first day, jumping buses , trying to beat time in order to get to her first class.
I imagined her, chewing on her pen butt, trying to solve a statistic equation..
I imagined her, sitting by herself, staring out of the window as she munches on her snacks .. being shy of the strangers round about her.
I imagined her, coming back home.. after a quick stop to her mother’s, she knocks on my door.. smiling when I open and ushers herself in.. maybe give me a hug. Maybe sit down next to me, maybe hold my hands and maybe. .just maybe. .brush her lips to mine.
I imagined her ..with a lot of things.. different sceneries .. but everytime ..with me.
I imagine her, like now.. walking behind me, hand in hand.
I long to hear about her days.. her desires … her dreams and fears.
I long to sit down and run my hands through her hair. I long to place my ears to her chest .. to hear her heart palpitate beneath her breasts.
I long to stare at her beautiful eyes .. touch her skin ..feel it’s softness. I desire not to digress.
I desire not to dent her walls of innocence. .
I desire not to damage her reins of virtueness. .
I desire rather, to protect her like an egg.
A flower, blossoming in the garden of beauty…
Like a mother hen to her chicks..
Like a lion to his cub
Like a brother to his brother ..
Like the Eagle over its priced trophy…
I desire to keep her as she is..
For her innocence is every indication that there is still beauty in this world.
For her innocence is every indication of my rascalilty in my yonder years..
For her innocence is every indication of me being aware of my past and awareness of my shame..
For her innocence is every indication that I want to be a better man.. not just for her..because I have no idea what I want to be to her. .
But for me.. for I have every reason to be a better version of myself..
Only Amara makes me want to be different.
And I was content in just looking at her far away..
That soiling God’s perfect creation. .
And if paying her way through school would give me redemption. ..
Then I would do it…
But why does my heart keep catching in my chest..
Why do I yearn ..
And at thesame time…
Why do I rather want to protect her and keep my raging hormones at bay …
:Oh God! !! .. help me..!!” I mutter to myself, walking back to the bar where I left Timothy. Lost in thoughts I heard familiar voices wispering..
“……yes yes.. I told Bruno what you wanted me to tell him”…
I hear Timothy say to someone who looked like junior. He had a drink close to his mouth.
“Tell me what.?” I ask. What were they talking about. What did he ask him to tell me. Was I missing somthing.??
They both turn. Evident shock registered on their faces. I close the distance..
“Hey.. Bruno my nigga. . How you champ! !”
He side hugs me Slapping a hand over my shoulder to give me a side hug. Timothy avoids my eyes. .
“Am good. What were-
“What are you drinking. ..? Bartender.. give my boy something to drink. Can’t leave a brother without a glass. !” Junior cuts me. Timothy seemed to be shifting on his feets. Still avoiding my eyes.
“What were you guys talking about. Tell me what. What did you ask tims to tell me junior??” I turn to Timothy who seemed to like be having difficulty swallowing his beer
“What was that about Timothy ?”
Timothy laughs. ., nervously. . Looking from me to junior. More to junior. I had that negative vibes crawling up my sleeves again.
“Oh it’s nothing… Bru. I had tried calling you and it didn’t go through so I called Timothy to tell you I was on my way down here. Right Timothy? ?
“Erm..yeah yeah” he scratches his jaw. Still very much uneasy.
I shook my head. “I have been with Timothy and he didn’t tell me anything. Infact he had asked me where you were and I told him you prally went chasing skirts. And I have called you and sent you messages to meet me at the bar. So……. am trying to marry the two. Doesnt make sense. Timothy what did he say you should tell me? ”
“Well…. He had erm…” Timothy began
Junior laughs.., nudging my shoulders ..
“Yeah Yeah. I just called him . Just now . Your number wasn’t reachable and he told me you were with him here so I came. Actually , the thing is-
“Let the man talk junior. He got two balls and a large junk. Am sure he can hold down his forte” .. I stated. Junior began to protest ..but I stayed him with my hands. Why do I feel something else was going on here. Junior gets up.. prally uncomfortable. He stands behind my back.. but I don’t pay attention to him. Timothy on the other hand…was still avoiding my eyes .
He turns and stares at me… a quick glance to junior and he says ..
” actually he wanted me to tell you something and I told him I had.. but I haven’t actually gotten around to it. ”
A quick glance to junior. .
“So I will tell you. .” Junior states
“No!!” I interjected
He raises up his hands ..” I will do it myself.”
I wait.. Junior paces behind my back. Timothy downs his glass..
“Am going to be a father! !” He blurted out ..
I turn to junior , and for a strange reason it seemed as though he was as shocked as I was. .I turn back to Timothy. He runs his hands over his face. . Scratching his jaw..
“For real? ?” I laugh in shock..
“Yea for real bro. .” Junior speaks, coming to stand in our middle, placing his hands on Timothy ‘ s shoulders..
“Yes mehn. But you see i ain’t ready for that responsibility and shit. And I don’t want to marry now. I gat too much going for me right now. Need to enjoy life to the fullest. Can’t be having a baby and baby mama tagging on and raining on my parade you know…”
I nod. …
“I see. Well, first things first. Congrats!!!. Cos I don’t know whether to be happy for you or be sad. Because you apparently aren’t happy about it .. so what do you want to do??”
“I told him to ask her to terminate it. Simple”. Sometimes I wonder how junior thinks… I stare at him
“This is a child we are talking about here. Plus.. you aren’t a kid yourself. You have a job. A home. I mean, it’s your child. Forget those stupid days at school. I know some would have done a number on you and you didn’t care . But you are no longer a kid. You need to focus on more important things… and I think she should keep it. You must have liked her to bang her..continuously apparently… so what’s the problem. It’s a child. . Think about it . I mean…C’mon tims” I look at Timothy now, who seemed indecisive. .
“Mehn. I don’t know. I just don’t think am ready for that responsibility right now..”
“And you aren’t. .so do the needful”
“Oh just up!!” I tell junior. My phone rings. .
“Excuse me fellas. I need to take this ” I excuse myself walking away from the noise as my heart began to beat rapidly. . Amara was calling me.
Junior smiles mischievously. …staring at Timothy. He looks to make sure I was out of ear shoot.
“I swear dude… you are one hell of an actor. That was a bloody nice save.” He slaps his shoulder , pulling him into a hug that Timothy pushes himself out from.
“Don’t junior. Just don’t. You dey mad. If Bruno finds out I lied to him you know how he can be. He is going to Fxxk me up big time. He isn’t called the Baron those days in school for nothing. He gonna Fxxk you up too big time. You don’t miss with a brother’s chick. ” Timothy was visibly angry
“Oh come off it. No de fear. Besides Bruno isn’t like that anymore. More level headed..and this chick is making him want to be a priest. ” he laughs .
“Besides, she isn’t his chick. Yet. He hasn’t stated his claim. He is just beating around the bush. Can you believe he offered to pay her school fees through Uni… ” he shakes his head “that dude sense has been washed off long ago. So technically, she ain’t his girl so it’s a fair chase. Let the best man win. Plus… I know am going to get her first, eat her up real nice. Doesn’t matter how many times she refuses me. Am going to take it. You know..violence taketh it by force” he laughs again..
Timothy eyes him..
“You blind. Even if he hasn’t stated. It’s pretty obvious he likes her and a guy can’t be doing that kind of stuff for a girl if he doesn’t like her. And from the way he talks about her..She is like the real deal for him. So why Fxxk with that bro. It’s evil. Wicked. And just fxxked up. Dragging me into it too is just wrong. You don’t back off now it would blow up in your face and I won’t stand in the middle when the Bad side of Bruno tears his head . Plus it’s apparent from what you say. .she dont like you. So..back off”
“Tah!!! Nothing go happen. Plus .. she no get choice for the matter. And he doesn’t even stand a chance either. I am poisoning her man against him so she thinks we just want to Fxxk her.. well I want to. No doubt. Am plain like that. He wants to but he isn’t in denial. So I tell her..either ways. It’s gonna happen. But Bruno is the worse from us two. But me… Ama treat her like a queen. So you see. . I got everything covered. And when all is said and done. Bruno na my boy. I tell him sorry . Spin a yarn or two. Paint her a slut forcing herself on me. He would believe me. He always believes me. Amara out of the way.. I and Bruno remain friends. Life goes on. Capish!!! Finito! !! All is right in the world . Another drink good man…??”
Timothy shakes his head…
“I swear.. you are worse than the devil. No I don’t. Lost my zeal to drink. Have to be wide eyed. God knows what you have planned for me…too. ” Timothy declines the drink.. be needed to leave. He made a mental note to distance himself from junior. He wished he could tell Bruno to be wary of his friend. He really wished.
“Hello..Amara ” ? I breathed. .
“Helo..my son.. its me Amara’s mother. How are you??” She sounded happy.
“Er oh..mama. good evening oh. I didnt know it was you. I am fine. And you mama??” I smile genuinely..
“I am well. Ama said she has told you the good news oh. We thank God. Even for you. . Because he has used you to open doors for us eh..my son. God bless you”..
“A haha. .mama. its okay. It’s God. ..”
“Ehen.. Biko I have prepared something nice for you to eat. Send me your address. . So I can send Amara with it. No don’t refuse me this time oh. Pleas eh. I have already cooked it. Ama will bring it. Okay..? Text it . Thank you my son.” She cuts the line before I could protest ..
Oh well.. what’s the harm there. But I pause … Amara and me..alone in my house?.
I walk back to find them staring at the TV. .as a football match was on..
“Have to head home. Timothy, think about it. And make the right decision” I shake his hand
“Why ..why you de rush go house. You came out not too long ago..” Junior askes me.
I wondered if I should let him know or not.
“Amara told me she got the admission. They are excited about it. But her mum is sending her over with food for me. ” I shake my head. Not able to hide my smile. Timothy exchanges looks with junior. ..
“The girl you are pining over??” He askes me.
“Let just have that talk some other time. I have to bounce”..
“She is sending her over to your place alone? With food? .. hmmmm” he says . But his tone was vexed. I raise an eyebrow.
“No oh. .. i was just asking na. So after the food…. there would be De-FUUUUD”!!” He demostrated someone Slapping a butt, while plunging into it. Rolling his waist and making sex faces ..
I don’t smile. I was tired to telling him I didnt think of Amara like that. It was becoming annoying..
“I will see you guys later ” .. I move away
“Wait!!! Am coming with you. Am actually kinda hungry “.. He made yo get up. There was no way he was going let them them be alone again. No sir.
“No sir. You are not. You hungry. But your own damn food. Mama Basira’s shop isn’t far from here”… I wasn’t in the mood for his lewd talks. Especially with Amara around. I exit the building .
“Guy… back off” Timothy warns
“Shut up!!” Junior fumes.
“Oya Amara. . Shei he has sent the address. Oya Oya come and go. Quick. Before the food gets cold”.. her mother hurries her.
Nkechi watches Amara. Her curiosity reaching its peak. A man has offered to pay her fees. Amara should be excited. If she was the one she would be jumping with joy. But Amara looked sad. Is it that the Bruno person is asking for marriage. Is he an old man. Or very ugly. Why did she paint him out to be the devil.
She walks to her..
“Amara you want me to follow you??” Amara pauses while packing the food.. as relieves washes all over her. Atleast she won’t be alone. She nods.
“Okay. Let’s go before my mother begins to call me. .” She urges her
“Mama.. I have gone. I will escort Ama and I will go home from there”
Amara mother agrees.
“Ok dear. Ama, lemme go to the town hall for a meeting eh. Call me as soon as he eats eh. Okay. Greet him for me okay. Take care. Look at the road oh. Don’t make him angry eh.. okay. Oya be going. Quick. It’s getting late. Before night will meet you here.”.. she ushers them away. . Picking her small and only bag and heads to the opposite direction.
“Is this the place??” Amara askes..
“That’s no.24 birabi street. That there is a chemist infront of the gate. You should enter and knock on the door by the second entrance. House 7.” Nkechi reads loud from the text.
Amara nods, holding on to the food. They both walk in following the directions.
“Ok. We are here. Knock now “.. Nkechi tells her, who just stood staring at the door. After a few minutes and seeing that Amara had no intention of moving her hands. Nkechi sighs and knocks on the door.
Once. Twice. Thrice.. and waited when she heard movement.
“Someone is coming. I think he is the one.” .. can’t wait to see this mysterious Bruno who has Amara afraid of her own shadow and speaking in parables…
“Can’t I just drop it and leave.? Why did mama insist I wait till he is done. Lawd!!” Amara mutters under get breath turning away
“Whats that now??” Nkechi turns to her, taking her eyes away from the door..
Knock ..-knock..knock. .-knock knock knock! !
I had gotten home and taken a shower. Put on a clean shirt and arranged my room.
No. It’s not what you think. I don’t want her thinking am unorganised.
I rush to the door .
“That must be Amara. !!” I take a deep breath and let the air out slowly. I open the door . Finding Amara standing there. Beautiful in her simplicity and another girl. Whose eyes suddenly grew bigger out of its sockets staring at me.
Nkechi and Amara turns unpon hearing the door open..
Nkechi didn’t realise when she opened both her eyes and mouth ..nor when she said .
“Holy cow!! You are fine AF!!! Damn!!!..
Amara’s cheeks burned..
She looks away. But I stare at her. I only had eyes for her, ignoring the girl taken with my looks… a shadow crosses my vision. .
“Helo ladies” the shadow speaks..
They turn. I frown.
To be continued. …