FOR-NEVER

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What a time to be late.

I just couldn’t make it no matter how hard I tried. This is beyond me. Irrespective of what I do, I wouldn’t be at my wedding. Her wedding. Our wedding.

What a time to cancel.

By the time  I got to her room she was a crumpled mess, sitting on the floor in her white gown looking like a pack of exposed serviette in drizzling rain.

She looks even more beautiful when she’s in tears, just like she did when I asked her to marry me. Those were tears of joy and she didn’t mind that her mascara was ruined.

Now she’s crying for real, and why wouldn’t she; when the love of her life decided to bail on her on her wedding day. Their wedding day.

What sort of douche would do that? But I didn’t decide; it was made for me and there was really nothing I could do about it. What can I say, fate throws curve balls at you.

I couldn’t be at my wedding. Her wedding. Our wedding. Now she’s going to attend another event I couldn’t miss even if I wanted to. She’ll see me there for the last time and say goodbye.

I’m boxed in on this one and no matter what I do, I cannot miss my own funeral.

What a time to die.

#FlashFiction

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DEAR YOU…

Remember that wedding in July, the one where Seyi got married to Wande? Maybe it’s crazy but that moment’s forever etched in my mind. Maybe it’s because it’s the first one I’ve ever been deeply involved in – I was one of his groomsmen. Maybe it’s because of what I saw that day when the couple took their vows.

I was seated in front with the other guys when this happened. It was really beautiful watching Seyi and Wande take those vows but I wasn’t really looking at them. I saw you instead, in that resplendent white gown, looking into my eyes with nothing else but pure affection in your eyes as I vowed to love, hold, cherish and protect you for the rest of my life.

I saw our wedding that day.

So what happened? Just two more years down the line and we’re in pieces – with the shards set to cause more damage at any attempt to put them back together again – like two people in a Humpty Dumpty relationship. I was a fool and you were just plain silly at times.

You wanted me to talk more. I do talk, but I’d carved a cave where I stuck my innermost feelings, passions, fears and hopes into. That’s the part of me that you wanted to see the most and you did try. I’ll give you that; you badgered, pleaded and coaxed me to let it out. I’d almost get to that point where I finally let you in but then you tune off and disappear and the hurt of finding you at that crucial point and not meeting you waiting where you said you would made me recede even further.

So I would express myself the best way I could, by imagining how things should be – just as I imagined myself making those vows. We’d have a lot of conversations, half of them in my head but they’d seem so real that I would wonder why you still didn’t get me. To me, you should know why I’m the way I am. Why I act the way I do. Why I only keep real conversations at the simplest, most mundane level. I thought I told you so you should know. But you didn’t know; you couldn’t have known because half of what I told you about how I am was all stuck in my head.

I should have been gentler with you, more patient. I shouldn’t have treated you like you should automatically get me – like some sort of robot that I act like. You’re human, I am too but it beats me why I don’t act like one. Why I’m rarely excited or enthusiastic about anything. Like I’d been here before and seen it all so I’m bored with the world and the people in it. But I’m interested…sometimes; I just don’t know why my emotions on the inside don’t translate to my expressions on the outside…sometimes. You almost get me to the point where these two become one but you’d give up right at the most crucial moment and I’d fall back.

You would reach for me before I fall and I would reach for you just as I fell to grasp your nothing. No hands, no straws. So I got used to falling, deeper into my shell.

I could blame you for this but if there’s anything I’m grateful for, it’s a keen sense of perspective. So I could say you were lazy, not so committed or just playing games with my heart but I’m a difficult person to love as well. I’ve got no problems loving, I like imagining being loved but the thought of it happening in reality, seeing pure love radiate through someone to me scares the living shit out of me. If I’d be nice to myself I’ll just say that I’m not meant to be loved. But I’m not so nice to myself either. Put simply, I’m insufferable as fuck.

So when you told me you cheated, I was broken. I fell apart like the contents of a toppled hourglass but as hard as it was for me, I was hopeful. I felt that the fault was meant to be a shared burden. Maybe it was at this nadir that we could have finally gotten everything back on track. So I wanted to know what the problem was. Was it me? Was I not as attentive, caring or passionate as you would have liked? I probably wasn’t. Was it my inability to be really there for you? It was probably because of me. So I felt that the solution was in the knowing. To you, the weight and shame of the initial confession was more than what you could bear. Still I wanted to know, for my sake and sanity. For our sakes.

And this has always been my problem. You’ll give a little taste and I’d always want more of what you’re reluctant to offer. You still expected me to chase even when it was obvious you (and I) were going nowhere. I on the other hand expected you to keep up with me. Whatever it was, I don’t know.  In the end, we’d run off in different directions without realising the chasm we were creating would be too wide to bridge. And now that we’re done running, we’re too spent to find our way back together.

I’m not a bad person, you know this. But I’m kinda messed up. I hurt people – I don’t agree but they say I do. I wonder how. They’ll read different meanings to my intentions or motivations for leaving people alone. I think people are confused: they want to be with you and they want to be alone as well. I have this problem but my awareness of the fact is already half the solution. People always leave dear. So I wondered why you didn’t even after all this. But it’s not that hard to figure out. I say to myself that I’m done with you every time. Then I see you and just want the shared moment at that time to linger forever.

People always leave and I let them. Why you’re still in this messed up relationship, I don’t know. I don’t love you any less and I even think I’m undeserving of you. But then, it’s never okay knowing just half the story – that’s torture. Completing it is my way back to you and as much as I want to, I can’t jump that far. I’ve got to retrace this bit by bit and this tip of the iceberg that you’ve given me isn’t enough. In fact, I believe it’s sinking our Titanic. And this is why I’m doing what I’ve never done before.

I’m leaving you.

I don’t wanna hurt forever
I don’t wanna keep on feeling
I just wanna say what we both know
I’m letting you let go…

Letting You Let Go – Paper Route

Image Credits: https://twitter.com/bitters101

STAY

I can’t see you
But like lovers in a long-distance relationship
I feel you more than words could tell
You’re in me
You feel off me.

Like a static sun
An unperturbed stallion
You don’t turn or kick often
Like the others did before they washed out

Still there’s energy
Quiet but coursing through
Like the lazy rumble of an idling sports car.

I could be wrong
You might be like the others
Soon I might look down
At the part of me that used to be your home
Baby bump gone

I could be right
That you’re here to stay
That you’re not some impatient sprinter
One who jumps the gun only to be disqualified
Evicted from your race to life before it’s begun

I could be right
There’s so much life within you
You just might have found a home within me
I just might have found some hope in you
And just this time, I believe you’ll stay.

 

In the meantime, I’ll pray
I’ll hope
I’ll wait with so much love on offer
What I’ll call you I do not know
But you will call me mom.
Photo Credit: 4-designer.com

ONE-0H-7EVEN

They’d had a wonderful time at Barbies 2.0, a favourite hangout at Ita-Merin, usually frequented by modest boys who wanted to spoil their girlfriends, the yahoo-yahoo internet fraudsters and the rich kids. Barbies had become the favourite spot for students of Olabisi Onabanjo University, rivalled only by Belle, another joint about 500 metres away.

Timi couldn’t wait to celebrate their anniversary which was still a good nine months away so he decided that they’d toast to new beginnings on the day that marked one year since they met. One year during which he was made to chase after a girl who made the others he’s had pale in comparison. One year since they met at the Motion Ground on campus.

Jessica had just finished taking some new photographs that morning and was rifling through the old photos in the photographer’s stall, looking for the ones she’d taken a week ago. She loved tTimig photographs that much; sometimes Timi had to say his battery was low just so he wouldn’t indulge in selfies with her. Sometimes he won; most times he lost both his battery and the anti-selfie battle.

When Timi saw his photograph with Jessica that day, she didn’t just go through it and continue searching for her pictures. She lingered and only lifted her eyes ten seconds later when Timi said, “You so much admire your future boyfriend in the picture. I bet he’ll let you keep that if you ask…nicely.”

Jessica looked from Timi to the picture and back to him before realising that she was indeed staring at the dude in the picture, all six-foot-plus-something of him. His remarkable jawline stood out and the way he pursed his lips as he spoke made her dislike the cockiness in him. But there was softness in his eyes, a certain glint of kindness that belied his physique and it wasn’t something she’d miss. So what if he’s a cocky, kind asshole? Not to be outdone, she shoved the picture back into the pile and continued searching for hers, offering a two-word comeback with a chuckle as she did, “You wish.”

Good, this one didn’t know who he was. Or she knew and was still defiant. In any case, he liked that. He was not just intrigued by her beauty but by her quick wit and calm as she dismissed him. So he waited, and when she was done searching for her picture, he picked out his own from the pile, ran after her and still asked her to keep it. Jessica simply smiled as she took the picture and disappeared into the new Management Sciences building.

Good. Now he knows where she receives her lecture.

They met again at the same building three weeks later. She sure was hard to find and he’d asked around for a while, wondering how such a girl would be so difficult to pinpoint. He was walking by on his way to the AA lecture theatre when he saw her. This time around, he made sure he got her number and dialled it to be sure it wasn’t fake so she won’t slip away again.

And she didn’t. But it didn’t mean he had her. Yet.

They got closer and she finally found out who he was – what he was. Hidden within the calm, wit and humour was the stone cold leader of the fearsome 7even, one of the deadliest cult groups in school. At first she couldn’t reconcile the charming, intelligent Timi with even the lowliest 7even foot soldier. But she figured it out – his going off radar when violent clashes occurred, his selectivity for surroundings and some other clues. It was true. He was. He is.

So Jessica put her foot down. She was so much in love with him already but she swore to ‘zone’ him if he didn’t quit.

“Nobody quits Jessica. You only appear to quit when you leave school or you really quit when you die.”

“You will quit Timi. Find a way, you’re their Number 1. You always find a way. If you don’t then it only means you’ve found a way to lose what you say you really want while holding on to what you never wanted in the first place. I’m not afraid to say that I love you but I’m not afraid to walk away either. It would hurt but I’ll live with knowing I did the right thing. Leaving 7even isn’t only for me, but for your own good as well”

Timi knew she was right. He never really wanted to be in the 7even but they recruited the smartest as well as the strongest with subtle persuasion as well as force and intimidation; creating a deadly mix of brains and brawn in the clan. He rose through the ranks and despite some dissent within and became their leader in the first semester of their final year. Now it was time to leave.

This wasn’t something he could wriggle out of; Jessica meant every word she said.

He called James ‘Jamie the Viper’ Beck, his Number 2 and told him he wanted out. It wasn’t going to be easy because it had never been done before but Viper agreed after a lot of lobbying. It wasn’t cool but it was done.

And their celebration that night was both an acknowledgment of his new lease of life as well as their ‘epic’ moment. He was free. She was finally with him. Nothing else mattered.

After dinner, they got into the car he borrowed from his roommate so he could drive her home. But a student’s car is never to be trusted and a few streets from Jessica’s hall, the car broke down.

They weren’t far off, they would walk. Nothing was going to spoil the wonderful moment they’d just had, not even a broken down car.

But there was something. Sometimes fate takes the most inopportune moments to suck the joy out of people.

As they approached Jessica’s hall, seven burly figures emerged from the shadows.

They knew where he’d been. They knew he was coming. They’d been waiting.

Timi could tell from the scarves around their necks that they were from his clan but he couldn’t recognise them because they were wearing masks. He hailed them. They replied but he knew something was up; the boys never wore masks if they weren’t out to score.

Oh Viper you bloody son of a gun! Fuckin bastard knew I could take three or four down easy.

But it wasn’t Viper. His former right-hand man washed his hands off like Pilate did Jesus. Nobody leaves. Leaving the clan made Viper look weak and the mutineers felt a lesson had to be taught. Forgiveness is a sin.

“Okay guys, I know you’re here to serve a beating. But I won’t make it easy for you; that much I owe myself,” Timi said before turning to Jessica to tell her what she really needed to hear.

“Run.”

As she ran without looking back, the goons – his former goons – took off their masks. No, this wasn’t just a beating but a death sentence. No clan member leaves his face open if there’s going to be a witness. There were four clan members who never liked him and three members he couldn’t recognise – fledglings.

“So this is how it’s going to be? I bet you aren’t following Viper’s orders so you’re gonna kill me and make him think the Scorpions did it. Then you’ll finally have the war I’ve stopped you from having for a while. You better be sure that I’m dead when this is all over tonight. You better be sure…”

He didn’t finish before they attacked.

`                                               ***************************

When Jessica returned with her neighbours, they found six bloodied bodies scattered across the street. They couldn’t make out whether they were alive or dead at first but some faint groans caught their attention. Two of the men were still alive, calling for help; three others were even more messed up. They weren’t moving; the remaining two goons weren’t on the scene, suggesting that they weren’t badly wounded. Timi’s was found farther off from the rest in a pool of blood; his skull had been bashed in from the left side of his head. He wasn’t moving as well. Jessica screamed as she threw herself on the floor and gathered him into her arms checking for any sign of life.

There was no pulse. He wasn’t breathing too. Timi was gone and there was no stopping the piercing wail of anguish that Jessica let out as she realised this.

******************************

The police arrived with an ambulance in tow and proceeded with cleaning up the bodies. Timi and the three other bodies were zipped in bags and carried off to the morgue in the police wagon; the other two injured were carried off in the ambulance to the general hospital.

At the morgue, the coroner examined the bodies and shook his head; this was one brutal fight. Throats and ribs have been crushed and cut; noses broken in such a way that splinters would have been sent up into the brain and there were multiple stab wounds on some bodies. Timi’s head was still bleeding and the coroner wondered why, there was no pulse and his body temperature was zero – he was toast. There was no need to cut anyone up that night and he’ll only do so if the police came over.

All done, the coroner instructed his assistants to put the bodies inside the ‘fridge’. The fridge an assistant would open about four hours later because he heard faint thuds from within.

It was Timi.

*********************************

Time slows down when you’re healing. You want to get over your issues quickly and move on. Time can be both a blessing and a curse; when you’re healing in the flesh, it can be frustrating to wait; to see the holes fill with flesh and the bones mend. And even after waiting, scars remain. What’s worse, time doesn’t seem to close the deepest wounds of the heart.

It took one year for Timi to be discharged from the hospital. His parents wanted every form of therapy done abroad so he was flown there as soon as he was in a stable condition. They mourned in public but rejoiced in private that their only son was alive. To everyone else, he was dead – even Jessica. Dead people aren’t hunted, tracked or killed and as funny as it might sound, the dead are the safest.

After a week at home, Timi headed back to school to see Jessica. People wouldn’t readily recognise him because he wasn’t expected to be alive but he still took extra precaution. Wearing a baseball hat pulled down to cover his face; he stepped out of the car and went to the block of self-contained rooms where Jessica lived. When he got to her door, Timi took a deep breath and knocked, raising his finger to his lips as soon as Jessica opened the door.

Jessica was shocked, but the joy that flooded her was so much more. She leapt into his arms, buried her face in his neck and sobbed quietly.

They talked about everything and anything that happened while he was gone. His friends had rallied impressively; Jamie called often, for weeks he swore he had nothing to do with Timi’s death. She believed him but she wasn’t ready so say anything about her loss or why it happened. She didn’t want to. Still, James kept calling once in a while to see if anyone was bothering her or if she needed anything. Jessica needed to grieve, and she did for months – sometimes with a smile on her face. She had basically shut everyone out when he was gone and buried her head in school work. She was a year behind him so she was now in her finals. Still it was very painful that they had lost a year of each other. But it didn’t matter; nothing mattered. He was there with her, now.

The next morning, Jessica saw Timi off to his car. He couldn’t stay around for long without anyone discovering at some point and it wasn’t time yet. As he started the car to leave, he heard a knock on the window on the passenger’s side. It was Jessica so he wound down.

“One year away and some things still haven’t changed about you, Timi. You’ve got something on your mind and I know it. You won’t move on easily and there’s something you feel a need to do but you don’t know how I’m going to react so you kept quiet.”

Timi locked his gaze with hers for a bit and sighed. He wasn’t shocked that she sniffed him out. He was shocked at the calm, level tone with which she spoke when he knew she was burning from the inside.

“I know, I understand. You renounced your membership of the clan Timi, but some came after you. You showed that you were better, you chose me. You chose love and life over death and violence and they took one year away from us. They almost took everything from me…”

At this point, He knew exactly what she meant.

“There’s three down, four to go. It’s time to finish this circle. Go get them.”

Hi guys,

Funny how I haven’t posted anything this year. Really sorry and I’ll get to it soon but there’s a lot of unfinished business out there right now. It would all be over soon.

So today is Valentine’s Day and everyone (almost) is basically a walking pole of mush. I don’t get it – I mean I’m all for love but this mass mushiness creeps me the hell out, like everyone got infected with a lovey zombie virus. Oh well…Cupid shot me once (the sneaky bastard) and I broke his arm and stuck an arrow up his butt. I digress, that’s a story for another day.

Here’s what I’m gonna do.

I’m posting a valentine worthy 30-song playlist ranging from the very mushy to the whatever. I dunno what I first fell in love with: books or music. Depending on whether you’re taken, about to be taken, pretending to be taken, taken for granted, believing you’re taken or simply not taken seriously, these songs might make you smile, muse or outrightly mess you up. Most of them are rock songs by the way. Here goes…

I don’t wanna miss a thing – Aerosmith
Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
Always in my head – Coldplay
No Words – The Script
I won’t give up – Jason Mraz
Let’s make it last – Brandon Heath
Sunburn – Ed Sheeran
Shirtsleeves – Ed Sheeran
Afire Love – Ed Sheeran
Love, love, love – Of Monsters and Men
Ariel – Anathema
Dear You – Josh Auer
Found – Phillip Larue
Lost in You – Three Days Grace
Anathema – Anathema
Cosmic Love – Florence + the Machine
Dark Paradise – Lana Del Rey
My Immortal – Evanescence
When you can’t sleep at night – Of Mice and Men
Another you – Of Mice and Men
Valentines Day – Linkin Park
Life After You – Daughtry
I’ll Fight – Daughtry
Skulls – Bastille
Someday – Nickelback
Battleships – Daughtry
You’ll be the anchor that keeps my feet on the ground, I’ll be the wings that keep your head in the clouds – Mayday Parade
Time bomb – All Time Low
New York – Snow Patrol
Rainy Zurich – The Fray

TOUCH

So like I mentioned in my last post, I got my revenge here on my friend TJ. Next time, he’ll know not to cast me in such a mischievous way in his stories. I swear I shivered when I saw what he did so it’s nice to get one over him.  By the way, this was inspired by one very correct music video… No prizes for guessing right but I’ll love to see anyone try.

************************************

TJ looked at Sabre as she stared at the newspaper in her hands. Then he heard the spattering sound of tears hitting the paper before she flung it on the table in frustration. She didn’t look at him. She now knew what had happened and it would be hard to take. He understood. It would be difficult for not to react like she was reacting now.So far, it’s been hopeless. She wasn’t even acting like he was there, the sadness, anger and misery was all consuming so he just sat there and watched her go through the emotions ravaging her.

Sabre has always been expressive anyway, he’s the contained one. Thinking about it now, he chuckled upon the realisation that he’s never called her Tolu; or any name other than Sabre. That was the name he got when they met online. The name struck him because it reminded him of Diego, the tiger character in Ice Age and this was the only reason he added her as a friend. Once she accepted the request, she noticed his really cynical personal post and asked him what got him so pissed.

“Hey.”

“Hi.”

“Added you from NaijaPings just in case you’re gonna go all ‘where did you get my PIN?’ on me”

“LOL! Nah that’s okay, I know.I’m not that type.”

“Good, saves me energy. I’m lazy like that.”

“Thanks for the heads up. I bet you’re an angry one tho, going by your last post. Is there anyone you wanna kick to the curb?”

“Hahaha, no. I just get to think of random stuff sometimes and I put it all up. By the way, what’s behind your Sabre name, hope you don’t bite?”

So he sat at his desk in the office smiling at his phone (like an idiot) for an hour while chatting with a complete stranger.  They talked about Sabre-toothed tigers, Diego and Ice Age cartoons, and a ton of stuff he probably won’t be talking about with just anyone, much less for an hour up till the point when Sabre asked, “Hold up TJ, what the hell are we?”

“I have no idea kitty; I guess there’s a lot of time to find out.”

And find out they did, that they’re what people would readily call soul mates. It was all so wonderful till what happened threatened to destroy everything they had come through. He was still trying to go through the events when he heard the sound of a briefcase snap shut.

She was leaving.

“Don’t go. Please!”

She didn’t even look back.

He didn’t say anything else but kept repeating the same three words as he followed her down three floors.

“Don’t go. Please…”

Still there was no answer other than Sabre’s losing struggle to muffle her sobs and stop herself from shaking. She put her luggage in the trunk and got in the driver’s seat. There was no way she’ll be staying inside that house, not after what she saw inside the paper.TJ told her he was travelling to Ibadan and would call her when he got there.He didn’t call and she didn’t hear from him. She wouldn’t have known what happened if she didn’t see that newspaper. After seeing it, she wished the vendor didn’t come around that day. She’d prefer living in ignorant bliss and since that had been taken away, she felt her only remaining choice was to getaway from the pain.

People deal with pain differently; some go through it by connecting themselves to whatever remains of pleasant memories while others try to get themselves away from anything that would remind them of the pain. She didn’t want to see her pencil-drawn portrait on the wall – TJ drew it. Neither did she want to go anywhere near the kitchen because they cooked together. She’d smear his shirt just so he’d take it off and he’d do the same. It was where they played the silliest games. The couch would be untouchable because they cuddled there while occasionally wrestling for the TV remote.

Sabre wanted no memory, no reminder of what was, and definitely didn’t want to stay where she’ll be surrounded by memorabilia; she was better off leaving.

It’s a futile enterprise and she knew it. You can’t leave pain behind, especially not by vacating a location. It follows like a stray dog stalking a stranger.

“Don’t go…Please!”

She still didn’t act like she heard him.

Banishing those thoughts from to the innermost recesses of her mind for the time being, she pulled out into the street in Ogba and headed for Ojodu. As for her actual destination, she had no idea. Perhaps she’ll drive around for a bit before deciding. Go back home or stay a while with her best friend, Dotun? Another decision she put on hold.

Sabre was off now, and to stop her TJ ran after the car as fast as he could. If he can overtake her before she entered a major road, she’ll stop – except if she didn’t mind running him over.

He was too late.

She was wiping tears off her face while looking into the rear view mirror when she ran a red light at the intersection in front of Excellence Hotel. An oncoming truck hit the car broadside and didn’t stop for another ten metres. TJ screamed. In seconds a crowd had gathered to help pull the victim out of the wreckage. To the amazement of her rescuers, save for a small bruise on her forehead, Sabre was fine. A policeman motioned for her to follow him into the Area G Divisional Headquarters which was a stone throw away from the site of the accident.

That was when she saw him.

TJ stood on the other side of the road. He was still wearing the same shirt he wore when he left home. The silly smile she had become so used to was on his face. After her near death experience all she wanted to do was hug him so she ran into his open arms.Still in his arms, he finally said what he’d wanted to say all the time she ignored him back at the apartment.

“I’ll always love you, never forget that.”

“I know.”

The policeman, puzzled as to why the young lady stood motionless on the sidewalk, walked back and urged her on.In his hand was that morning’s newspaper with a short headline and passport photo of TJ at the bottom corner:

“MAN, 29, DIES IN AUTO CRASH ON LAGOS-IBADAN EXPRESSWAY.”

RUBBER BAND VOWS

There I was on a lazy weekend when I saw the red blinking LED light on my phone, it was a Facebook notification. A writer friend of mine Tarfa ‘TJ’ Benson just sent me a message: “So here’s the thing, I find people’s trouble, here’s your turn..lol.” So here it is, I do hope you enjoy it. Plus I got my revenge a few days ago. Would publish that one next.

“You can’t break up with me…” he said, reclining in boxer-shorts on the sofa.

“I can.” she said, strutting half naked to where he sat, bending down to kiss him. Her lips moved over his, easy and familiar. When his hands reached for her waist, she sprung up and rubbed her forehead like she was suffering a migraine. “It’s been a blast.” She declared to the ceiling like it held a screen that replayed summer. “But the training and workshop is over so…”

“Well like I said, you can’t just break up with me.”

“Why?” She turned to the mirror and fixed her earrings. “Because you think you are a god in bed?”

He ran a hand into his scalp. “No, because we are married.” He held up his index finger which had a rubber band wound round it. She stopped packing, covered her mouth to stifle a laugh. “My God you’re still with that thing!”

“I did say till death do us part you know.”

She shook her head and smiled a sad smile at her reflection in the mirror as she drew an identical arc on the lips of each eyelid. “And what will you tell your pastor papa when you get back to Nigeria? That you have been living in sin?”

“No.” he stood up to his full height and her breath seized for some seconds as he loped to her with the calm grace of a tiger, his cross eyes dancing at her in her negligee. His eyes always gave her a delicious sense of suffocation, free from binocular vision they probed different parts of her at the same time. “I’ll tell him that he has a daughter in-law, the child of his best friend.” He pecked her cheek. “He’d be the happiest father in-law on earth.”

She zipped her traveling bag. “So we were-” he bit her earlobe “-okay ARE attracted to ourselves and we didn’t want to break our promises to God to keep ourselves till marriage, and so we did a phony exchange of vows as our clothes fell to the ground, I wonder if we even finished reciting them sef.”

“I remember reciting the most important part, till death do us part.”

“Jesus Christ Deoye! What if we are different people at the end of the day? What if we can’t stand each other, you know attraction is not enough to build a lasting relationship.”

“We’re just ordinary people…” he sang in a mock John Legend voice. “…Maybe we should take it slow…”

She shook her head and sighed. “I just knew coming for this summer training with you will land me into trouble, I knew it!”

“You knew it was long coming.”

“And i encouraged it.” she was pacing the room now, no more in amusement. “I told myself sharing a room with you will make us look good to the company, saving lodging costs and all that.” she stopped at the center of the room and regarded him on the bed, with a scowl. “You know the only reason MD let us share a room was because we grew up together, because we are family friends.”

“It was God at work.”

She ignored his opinion. “Now that we’ve made the mistake let’s correct ourselves before we offend God again, by divorcing.”

“We didn’t make any mistake.” Deoye corrected. “We are in love, we exchanged marital vows.”

“Yes, and rubber bands.” She pulled on a dress. Then she turned sideways at him on the bed, her hands pulling her braids into a bun on top of her head. “And who will you say officiated the matrimony? Who was the priest?”

He shrugged lazily on the bed. “Jesus Christ.”

“WHAT!”

“Hebrew  says Jesus is the everlasting High Priest, Hebrews 8 verse 1 says so…” she was stunned, there was something wrong about the guy who’d worked fireworks in her body lying half-naked and seriously quoting the Holy scriptures. “More so, Mathew 18 verses 18 and 19 tell us that whatever we agree on earth will be done in heaven.”

She just watched in awe as he said these things, she couldn’t move if it would save her life.

The door flew open.

“Oops, I’m sorry…” the African-American maid was embarrassed, her glances shuttling from her to Deoye on the bed. “Just that…your boss waits for you in the lobby.” The woman disappeared back into the hallway.

She picked up her travelling kit and pulled it out of the room, as quickly as she could, before Deoye could say something again.

“So you…” he said casually, not worried that the boss waited for them in the lobby.  “What will you do when you get back to Nigeria? Will you be able to just leave everything here and continue your life?”

She shrugged slightly at the door before shutting it behind her, “Well I’m catholic; I’ll just go for a Friday confession.”