“…you need to change your soap”, was his response
Funny. If only one could exorcise demons by telling a joke. But he laughs and you begin to wonder how he became your friend.
One Christmas, you tell your parents. Your mother is stricken, how old are you to be so possessed? You try to meet her eyes but they fall to the ground like she is searching for the youngster whose only problem was waking in the morning for devotion. Your father chides you by asking how often you read your books. You do not answer. It doesn’t matter; falling in love does not affect your C.G.P.A. Grades are icebergs; they rise and melt. You think of love as a season, a sickness, something you catch when exposed to the right weather.
But they tell you off before you could tell them you have been getting it wrong. You have a god inside of you, a hungry god, made from the pangs of a young man wanting to love. It fed on your past relationships and the smithereens of your broken heart.
How best could you explain this god? You like to sort out the angles any time you are on your bed with your face to the wall to show you do not want to be disturbed.
You hate to remember but her name pops up. Sarah. Ambitious Sarah. Three years older and a perspective to life you thought you could match. She knew the value of friendship, but you were not ready to become a disappointment to the boys. Why get the blue heart when you could shoot for red? So you shoot. Beneath a shed, as you sipped your bottle of Cola, staring into her eyes as you have rehearsed. The shot hit or you thought it did because afterwards she laughs in your face and calls you stupid. You are stupid to think that her tight hugs and love texts is love.
I was just being nice, she said.
The god eats your heart for the next three days; you feel the cramps as your best friend asks if you had eaten. You haven’t but you lie. Remember. The Boys. Disappointment.
But the hunger continues.
The next girl sells you counterfeit notes – hopes – and you keep on investing waiting for the day of returns, or the night, we don’t reject gifts around here. You are not drunk like Beyoncé said you will be but stone-cold sober. The electricity is cut from your eyes as you watch her paint colours around your heart. You are what she wants you to be, where she wants and when she wants you to be. It dissolves one day when you walk out and fail to return. The god does not make a meal of this. Love tastes better when it is exchanged. That is what mother had taught you about God. But you know you are the bastard child who falls for any girl who shows you the slightest attention.