“… and you are my special one and only sweetheart. The one that must not kiss me otherwise we’re both in trouble o!”
They both laughed. Deep and hard. Aisha began to wonder what he meant by that. It was the second time he was saying it. The first time it had been funny too. But now she really had to think about what he meant. She cast her mind back to about a month ago…
Bode was an old colleague from the University. They had not known each other while in school but had met at a training in Nigeria a couple of years later. She was surprised and also excited to see someone who had attended her school. They talked a lot, sharing memories and experiences and they exchanged numbers. She had not seen him since that training, hadn’t kept in touch either and then a month ago, they ran into each other at Shoprite. She was window-shopping with her friends that day. Amazing what boredom could do. Bode on the other hand was trying to get a nice birthday present for his mother. They greeted like old friends and he asked her to stay and help so they could also catch up but she was about leaving with her friends and didn’t want to waste their time. He pleaded with her making some funny faces that she thought silly, yet cute. Fati nudged her and asked her to stay. “He’s really cute” she’d whispered. She didn’t think about it again. She just gave in. Bode offered to take her back to Silverbird to meet up with them when they were done.
They looked through most of the shops but still couldn’t decide. Bode’s mum wasn’t really a fashion crazy woman. She was pretty random. Eventually, they walked into one of the accessories’ stores. There was so much to look at, Aisha almost went crazy! She walked towards one of the stands and picked up a beautiful pair of gold earrings with a pendant and matching gold chain. “This is really nice. I think your mum will love it”
Bode walked over and collected the items. He held them carefully and studied them. Dropping earrings, not too long. Heart shaped but not flat. Almost like a locket but they could not be opened. Tiny strings were attached to the bottom. Yes. His mum would really like something like this. Only she didn’t go out much. So she would probably only wear it to church. He asked the lady at the front desk for the price and he gulped when she told him. Aisha laughed. He looked at her and he laughed too. He strung the pendant on the chain and asked her to turn around.
“uh, not such a good idea. It’s for your mum. Should I be trying it out?”
“I just want to see what it looks like on someone. What? It’s not a ring that could get stuck in your finger. Or do you have a sticky neck?”
They both laughed.
He put both hands around her neck and she raised the 20 inch Brazilian weave that stood in the way.
“This hair you girls will be carrying up and down that won’t let us see road sef”
Aisha laughed again. She felt his arms, cool against her skin and she shivered slightly. Bode seemed not to notice. Rather he fastened the chain and asked her to turn around. Without realizing it, they chorused a “wow” together, softly, under their breaths.
Aisha seemed to get back to earth faster than Bode did. She took off the chain, they paid for the items and walked out of the store.
“Maybe we should get something to eat” Bode suggested.
Aisha laughed again.
“Naah. You’re forgetting my friends are waiting for me at SB”
“We don’t have to eat here, we could just buy a chicken and chips and eat in the car. We really haven’t spoken much. I’d like to know what you’ve been up to”
Aisha laughed yet again and just as she was about to reply, he cut her short.
“You keep laughing at everything I say. I’m not funny o.”
Aisha burst into fresh spasms of laughter.
“Sorry, you’re just saying pretty funny things. Anyway, there’s not really much I’ve been up to since the last time we saw. Just work and hanging out with my girls.”
They went to get their meal and Bode made fun of almost everything they saw on their way there. From the girl whose weave-on length reached her waist to the little kid yelling at the top of his lungs for ice-cream. Aisha found herself laughing up until they got to his car.
“Really, I can’t imagine how we were in the same school and I never met you…” Bode said with a smile on his face.
“Oh well, it was a pretty huge school and like I told you, I never went out much. It was mostly. Classes, the library and parties like once a month for me”
“well, hopefully I’ll be seeing you around more?”
“Yeah, sure. And this time, make use of my number!”
“Ahan! So it’s now my fault abi? Why didn’t you call?”
“Are you not the guy? You took my number but you didn’t use it.”
Bode got into the car and shut the door. As he turned the key in the ignition, the car easily came to life.
“Are you kidding?! We exchanged numbers jor. I took yours and you took mine!” Bode’s tone was light and teasing.
“Ok, fine. We exchanged numbers, but you’re the guy, it’s in your place to call…”
The argument continued almost all the way to Silverbird. Eventually, Aisha conceded.
“Fine. We were both at fault. I enjoyed chatting with you that day and I expected that if you did too, you would call but then you didn’t, so I was not sure. So, this time, I’ll probably text you later. Will that do?”
“Well, I’m not sure why I didn’t call. I guess I got too busy. But I’ll definitely call you sometime soon.”
She got out of the car and thanked him for the ride. And as he drove off, she smiled to herself and walked up the stairs into the building. Her phone buzzed at that moment. She slid her thumb across the screen and read the message.
“My flight has been delayed. Not sure what time I’ll get in. Can’t wait to see you. Yours”
Khalid always signed his texts that way. She sighed.
In real time, Aisha sighed again. Thinking about Bode usually made her smile, but whenever Khalid got mixed up in the thoughts, it was not so much fun. There was a lot she wanted to remember. Especially the gradual build up to her intense attachment to Bode but that would have to wait.
Until next week Monday!
by Ogechi Nwobia