#LoveLiteratiContest – ‘This Is How A Thing Loses Its Meaning’ by U.M. Umoh

Love Literati contest - shortlisted submission - elsieisy blog

Love is  …….

If, at the start, a thing is not properly defined, it allows for modifications and inclusions made to suit personal preferences. This breeds misconceptions.

Love na scam.

Your story will begin on one of those unbearably hot Saturday afternoons when the Lagos sunshine has sworn to steal your shine. Your choice outfit for your high school alumni get-together dinner reveals your flesh too generously for your liking. You will wear it nonetheless. Ironically, you’ll be the least revealed woman at the party.

You will notice him from the moment he comes through the door, and your eyes will trail him as he walks across the room; exchanging pleasantries with the other guests and occasionally exposing brilliant white teeth. He makes charming and confident look so easy. As he slowly approaches you, you will hear the soothing velvet in his voice and your heart will skip two beats and a half; just enough skips to make you have to catch your breath; but not too much to kill you. Notice that he still has the scar on his right temple from an injury he got on one of those days when he got into silly fights with equally silly boys after school hours. Scar or no scar, Elom has grown into a fine man.

Salome, is this you my eyes are seeing?”

Act surprised to see him too. Surprise seats better on your extremely pancaked face than the obvious excitement you try hard to conceal.

You will spend the next hour catching up on past memories and, twice, when you catch him staring at your breasts, pretend not to notice it. In between the trips his eyes will make, he will observe the fullness of your lips and wonder what they taste like.

Three days later, after a late night dinner at KFC, he will learn that they taste like strawberry. He will tell you every sweet word in every sweet way and you will fall recklessly for his lines. Elom is such a sweet talker.

“…When you giggle, you sound like champagne bubbles would sound if they were capable of laughter

I do not offer the type of love every other person can offer

My love is true dear Salome, it’s true love.”

When a word loses its meaning, it becomes handicapped in such a way that it requires another word to qualify it; as if the word in itself is not sufficient to stand alone.

“True love”.

Just when he has sealed your heart in his grasp, he will lose his appetite for strawberry. When you first see the signs, ignore them. Doubt the  suspicions you are beginning to have about sweet Elom. You will spend your days trying to convince yourself that the sext message you saw on his phone from “Adaora xoxo” was just one of his silly guy friends trying to play pranks; He will spend his days in the bosom of “Adaora xoxo“.

When he finally sends you the break-up text, your heart will skip two beats and a half- Just enough to make you see that love in itself is a truer thing than “true love”; but not too much to kill you-.

U.M Umoh.

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