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It’s not officially a federal offence to drink and drive… well, except you’re caught. But one offence you can never be scared of getting caught is to think and drive.
It was like Titi and I had exhausted our vocal creativity in the pub. Hence, we kind of found it very difficult to talk. She commented about “Passenger – Let her go” playing on the radio, I commended her for the maintenance of her ride and that was it.
It couldn’t possibly be uneasiness. Could it? We just finished talking almost like we used to, some five-ten minutes ago and the flow was smooth.
Probably it was the change of… environment?… Was inside the car any different from inside the pub?
Well, probably the devil wanted to come home early for dinner. In the absence of things to say, I involuntarily allowed myself to drift off in thought and in split seconds, I was strolling down memory lane.
———– 4 years ago ————-
I was always doing my evening exercise with two of my hommies in our estate. This estate where you see the same set of strangers every day for years unending. I grew up here and can proudly boast to know the place more than most of these newbies forming Porsche. I was here when the estate was just one developing thing with excavated grounds here and there. For a very long time, I had always seen this almost completed building. Other’s foundations were laid, building constructed and finished for use while this one stood like a patient old lady waiting for the said ‘God’s time’ which is the best.
On this particular evening, what brought an early end to my regular routine was the activity going on around the house. I never noticed the house had been completed and the occupants were moving in. I was surprised… And that was the first time ever I saw this chocolate skinned, slightly tall and very attractive young lady. I had the ability of guessing people’s age but this seemed tricky as I couldn’t just place it. Probably I was too far off. Arms at akimbo, sweat dripping from my body and my earpiece plugged to my ears, the song was playing but I just wasn’t listening.
The dad, the mum and two other kids I guess were her younger ones. A boy around fourteen and a little girl around seven, sitting with their elder sis, all watched the movers going in with loads and coming out to fetch more.
“Let me go and assist them”
Only God knows where that thought came from, and like a zombie with no ability for thought processing, I walked back and began jogging towards their direction. I didn’t know what exactly I was doing but I got to the spot, greeted everyone, smiled like the king’s fool, congratulated the parents, and offered to assist the movers.
They welcomed me like they had been waiting for me and in no time I was on my fifth round of load carrying. My joints were burning and my arms were shivering but I was smiling and never complained because for some unknown reasons, I felt like I was showing off or performing my responsibility and at the end of the day, after the movers had gone, the Mum offered me a glass of chilled water, and some change which I refused. All through, I was just stealing peeks at her and I made sure I did it so well, no one, including her would have the slightest idea.
I was on my way back home when I heard “Hey!” afar off. Not belonging to the group of those that throw attentions at “Psss!”, “Hey!” and the likes I kept on moving. The “Hey” was getting closer and closer and I just had to stop and look back.
I looked back!
There’s always a story for those who looked back in the bible right? And I can say it kind of pretty much applied cos locking this same young lady’s gaze for the first time was like an invisible bucket of ice was out poured over me. I literally froze! Lips couldn’t move, eyes couldn’t blink, arms were stiff.
“You forgot your music player” she said in the sweetest and best pitched voice I’ve ever heard from any opposite sex, stretching my iPod and earpiece towards me. She had to raise it since I was taller.
Without exaggeration, it took me around a minute or two to collect the iPod, blink and mutter any words of appreciation.
Gosh! This girl is beautiful
Eclipse shaped face with a fantastic hairline, perfectly placed questioning eyes like they were resting on her slightly pointing nose, dark and artistically curved lips and a nice a slim rounded neck. Nice curves and a rather big breasts for her stature. I stood, oblivious to the fact that I was just gaping.
“Isn’t it yours or was it for one of those guys?”
“Auhmmm… yea?… Yes it’s mine. Thanks. I…I… would really have being hurt had I lost it”
“Oh… Thank God you didn’t then”
“Yep. Thanks to you too”
Was I really stuttering?!… Me?!… Ok now, this is strange cos I never and I mean NEVER! Stutter in front a girl. First meeting, tenth meeting, hundredth meeting, I never stutter.
“Can I… hum… Can I know… your name?”
We exchanged further pleasantries, she told me her name and I told her mine. I ended up walking her back home and felt like very happy on my way back home
We kept in touch and became close friends after that and since my house was just a ten minutes which always seemed like two minutes’ walk to her place, I often told various lies at home to go to her place and see her. At home, I’ve either gone to visit sick Daniel or Joe wants me to help him repair a gadget. Weekends were easy- I’ve gone to watch ball. Everyone at her place liked me, especially her mum but I never really got to know her ‘always travelling’ dad. Whenever her dad was around, she’ll always tell me to postpone my appearance. I challenged the idea though but I never crossed the “Pop-is-around” boundary.
She invited me to parties, even family occasions which sometimes really got me washed up in embarrassments ‘cos I sometimes felt like an outcast especially when she, the only familiar face wasn’t around to keep me company. She always was busy with serving food, supervisions and the likes, really hardworking. I never really had anything to invite her to except a few shows and one or two friend’s birthday bash. And every time she was always turning heads and I felt like a celebrity even though we were just friends. The mere fact that she has no bf, neither me a gf was all the security I needed at the time.
I was so comfortable around my friend and we got closer with every passing day. At a time, she could proudly boast to know more about me than any of my friends and even my childhood friend who we grew up together. She just had this dominating and commanding aura about her, my friends just take a chill pill anytime she was around. She isn’t shy to go into an argument with anyone. Guy or girl. Arguing with a girl automatically gave her the upper hand and one thing that always keep me coming to Titi was the fact that she was very unpredictable. I really loved that about her and most times I was guessing wrong about what she was gonna do next. She’s always hitting you from the direction you weren’t even thinking. Also, she was so driven and determined, I’ve almost never seen that kind of determination in any female. She never takes “NO” for an answer… except every option has been exploited and no other option was physically or fictionally available.
By the time I met Titi, she was in 100L in Bowen University and we got so close, people thought we were dating even before we were. We both couldn’t wait for the holidays to see each other and gist about what happened during the semester and how many guys in total asked her out. We talked, we laughed and the laughable thing about us laughing is that sometimes, we don’t need to talk. Something happens; we’ll look at each other and just burst out laughing. She also had a funny way of talking and laughing at the same time.
One Saturday evening when coming back from the cinema, she Had offered to see me off to my place and walk back to hers and I knew better than to try convince her otherwise.
At the front of my gate we both had said our goodbyes but nobody turned to leave. Spontaneously, my mouth moved towards hers and hers towards mine. We met halfway in the most passionate kiss anyone could ever imagine. It lasted a while and we stopped.
“Uhmm… I’m sorry” we both said, almost together like it had been practiced.
She hurried off, I hurried in and headed straight for my room. I flew on my bed and cried. Till today, I can’t really say if it was tears of joy, love, pain, sorrow or broken friendship. And that was it. We started dating. She later told me that she cried when she got home that night. I never told her I did too though.
I dated Titi throughout her university days. We were both adventurous and we never got tired of doing things out of anyone’s wildest dreams. We were crazy about each other and we both kept things on the low in our estate. We both feared our parents. Although we both knew it was just a matter of time before the speaker busted, we were determined to enjoy our relationship while it lasted.
I visited her in school and she did the same but our hoovey-Joovey was soon to end just before her NYSC when one night she called me and told me her dad took her phone and exploited everything from the wallpaper which was me to the texts, the pings, even the call logs. I was sad and I cried. She said she couldn’t see me no more. And I understood. I really don’t know who she feared more… God or Her dad.
“What about our memories, hanging out at the pub, watching ball together, sneaking into each other’s houses, our future plans and all the promises” I could remember asking tearfully.
“If God says we’ll be, no man can stop it” she replied with tear chocked voice.
We talked, we wept and we said our goodbyes.
“I’ll always put you in a special place in my heart”. That was the last sentence she said before hanging up.
Titi went for her service and I never saw her until the day Dave was going to force me to meet his girlfriend and I was staring straight at Titi.
I remembered the day Titi won the company’s promo. She was drunk and I had to smuggle her through the back door to my room, not knowing I had injured her knee in the process. The scar was permanent and although I felt sorry at the moment, I also had the ambivalent feeling of putting a mark on my property.
My eyes were misty and I decided to take a quick glance at the scar on her knee
I saw it and just as I was about smiling….
….I heard the loudest car honk ever. It was a trailer with full head lights straight opposite us and that was the moment I remembered I was driving.
My heart sunk in my stomach.
“WATCH OUT!!!” Titi screamed.
Mature Minds Talk.
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