#LoveLiteratiContest – ‘A Meeting Of Souls At the Cross Roads’ by Ekene Ezeji

Love Literati contest - shortlisted submission - elsieisy blog

Our eyes met briefly almost by accident and a stream of unarticulated words passed between us in that moment.  I know because when we later alighted from the bus at CMS, he was bold enough to catch up to me, like a teenage school boy, his opening line: ‘do I know you from somewhere?’

‘No. I don’t think so.’, I stammered and yet I too knew I was merely buying him time. Time to say enough to make our next date a natural next step.  For surely, I would remember if I’d ever met someone like him before.  Slender yet acutely masculine, deep set intense eyes that seem to have crossed over from a romantic novel. He was unsure and yet confident.

I would later learn that he felt as though he’d known me forever even though we’d just met.

I a 21-year-old just beginning my youth service at a well-known bank and him a 24-year-old trainee architect at a well-known firm.

Funny how perfect and yet imperfect that first encounter is; you couldn’t script it even though you were given all the money in the world.  Looking back, it had all the hall marks of a mile-stone event, even though the two of us did our utmost to act as though it were a casual moment and we were unaffected by it.  Yet from that moment flowed a merging of two lives at a crossroads: how we agreed to look out for each other on our way home later that evening, having established that we took the same bus route in and out of work; how we agreed to visit the Lagos museum together, on a subsequent weekend – our first official date; how multiple dates after that we travelled together to meet his parents and them mine. 

How our families were not surprised but feigned surprise at our announcement of our traditional wedding plans.

How our eyes remained locked on each other and on our future together, through the family negotiations, detailed administrations and every increasing budget, leading to the landmark day.

How that day would pass as if in slow motion, a haze of activities and bustle of proceedings, our hands frequently locking in friendship, the same unspoken stream of words flowing between us.

Our first year living together an intense flurry of daring and caring, daunting discovery and fond familiarity.

How now I sit plum and expectant with our first child, as Kunle calls me to let me know he is on his way back from work and I shouldn’t worry if he’s late because of the heavy traffic.

Later that evening he’ll walk through the door of our compact cosy flat; jaunty, if a little jaded, his eyes filled with love to see me.  “Anuli,” he’ll say, nuzzling his stubbly chin into my navel, “you’re my ‘needle in a hay stack wife’.  I needed some divine GPS to locate you O!” I’ll giggle like a school girl and playfully chide him for the tickly sensation his affection would arouse.

Much later that evening, we’ll sit on the veranda sipping pineapple juice and reminiscing on how far we’ve come – 2 years since that accidental meeting of our eyes on the bus to CMS.

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  1. I am glad that what started at a crossroad eventually took the turn of one road that depicted nothing else but oneness. The unity of purpose that runs through the entire piece makes it typical of a Romance story. I had feared that the image of a crossroad and the picture it paints would later surface in the story but grateful it did not. No doubt, this is a compelling story, well crafted with apt imagery combined with mastery of the language used.

    1. This is a great short story with a soft, authentic touch. I really enjoyed reading it

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