“Believe me when I say I normally don’t do this” He said looking blankly into the air.
“You don’t have to do anything” I replied as my glass journeyed from the table to my mouth.
“I’m so confused bro… I don’t know… only if…” He paused.
I kept a calm fixed look on David A.K.A ’Believe’… cos he uses that word a lot. But you don’t want to call him that to his face. A 27 year old, well chiseled, fair, good looking young accountant from Enugu State. A very intelligent chap with all the comfort he could ask for as a bachelor. Working with an oil company, cruising his own RRS, living in a fully furnished 2 bedroom apartment, Owning a…
“Ok! I’m gonna make it quick” he blurted out like it was some eureka moment.
“First love never dies but true love they say buries it alive. Yeah? So, I & June, my first girl ever, started dating in 100level and we dated throughout my university days. We were the S.I unit for other relationships in school back then. The most memorable moment then was receiving the best couple’s award and she, the most beautiful girl on campus in 300level. Another one was rain kissing one night like in the movies, few weeks to our final exams. I really loved June, from her name to her smile to the advice she gave to…”
“hunmh hunmh” I cleared my throat for Dave to realize his voice was fading out.
“You know how that long distance ish is now. Abuja to Porthacourt… And even when I gathered enough money and determination, her cousin said she was in London. Her extra year in school while I was serving is what I’ll still blame cos after her grad, all effort to keep in touch with June was just in vain. God knows I tried but that’s history cos in one word, we painfully faded out. We didn’t even break up. Did we?”
I gave him the “Are you asking me?” look.
“Well, you know Titi now” He said with a smile like a nursery school kid.
“I can’t forget the first time we met on that flight from Abuja to Lagos. Believe me when I say I have never lost concentration cos of someone like that before. Can’t even remember how I went Scot-free with failing to type the quarterly report for my boss then. I can even count the number of times we’ve disagreed since we started dating over 2 years ago. It’s like we’re almost always in synch mode. Titi brings me inner peace. The welcoming way her mum talks to me also makes me know she’s the one I’m gonna settle down with.”
Dave’s phone rang and he raised a finger for the ’excuse me’ sign.
“Hi babe, how was work today and is this your 30mins? Go to the mall first, and then see your ophthalmologist. I’ll be waiting at your place… Aiit… Bye. Love you”
“How is she feeling now?”
“She just should accept her fate and use the damn glasses”I poured myself another glass and stole a quick glance at my watch to avoid digression.
“So as I was saying, I’m happy to be a one-woman-man unlike some of you guys. But you won’t believe who I ran into at the NSE annual conference in Abj this last December. T’was June!”
I almost spilled the drink in my mouth.
I could smell something! Either it was trouble or the body odour of the man in suit that just walked past our table.
“We connected straight up man. Just we like we never lost contact and gosh! Believe me when I say there’s no limit to how beautiful a woman can get. From inside that workshop where we met, everything we had, instantaneously started rushing back. Memories all returning in a Lazarus-like manner. If I’m standing in a confession box right now, I’ll tell u I think I still love that girl. Yea, I said it… But I’m about to be engaged man… why would she even ever show up again? Huh?!… We’ve spoken like seventeen times between then and now. During the conference, she invited me to her hotel room and we…”
“What?!” I had the countenance of some angry activist.
“No!… We just talked to be honest. I went around 5pm and left around 9. Although it was just like I had spent thirty to forty five minutes. She’s still single or so she told me but I told her everything about me including Titi and I was surprised I could still read her- She was jealous and it gave me some nonsense feeling of triumph and security. It seemed so right but I don’t need to be told that this is all so wrong man. I know it is.”
His phone which was now on the table rang and a quick glance showed “Ex Sch. Mate” as the caller.Immediately I knew he was deeper in this very hot soup than he could possibly describe to me.
“What’s good J? Please I’m gonna have to call you back in 5. I’m in a meeting right now. Take care dear. Talk to you later”
I adjusted myself in my seat.
“Believe me when I say I’m really excited, June’s coming to Lagos next week. She told me 2 days ago that she has a 2 weeks course in preparation for her transfer from Abj to Lag. I forced myself not leap for joy cos Titi was just a few steps away and she’s one helluva detective. I’m hundred percent sure I’ve got true love for Titi but why won’t the buried affair between June and I stay buried? Maybe your first love will forever keep haunting you after all, meaning that the saying is so false. A minute part of me doesn’t even want to see her when she comes around but it’ll take fasting and prayer for that to happen. You won’t believe I have all the lies… I mean excuses I’ll need to tender to Titi to see her mapped out. We were chatting on whatsapp yesterday and she was like she can’t wait to come around. She even promised to get me something, a surprise. If only I could just erase or blot her outta my memory, I probably could just walk past her without even looking sideways like i’ve been doing ever since I started dating Titi. This is all so so confusing. I’m not even scared I might get myself in trouble and if…”
“Do you even have the fear of thralldom” I asked with the gaze of a mentalist.
“I’m not sure I know what I’m doing but it could at least do me the favour of feeling wrong if indeed it is. Maybe it isn’t wrong afterall”
“Dave, the first thing i’ll say to you is…”His phone rang again
“Hi Babe, I’m so sorry. I’ll be at your place in 15. You can take a sit by your stopwatch if you want to. Love you honey”
“Will you put this on your discussion site?” He asked grabbing his keys “You know I am not scared of the spotlight. Gotta run now before madam gives me query letter”
“If you want me to, no problem. Drive safe and my regards to ‘madam’ Titi”
“Whatever happens next week, you’ll be the first to know”
I didn’t know if I was supposed to say ’thank you’
He ran off like a perpetual late comer to school, not even seeing the waiter who was about saying something. I beckoned the waiter over, covered the expenses, walked towards the door, typing on my memo pad as I anticipated what’s going to be the report from Dave next week…
Mature Minds Talk.