POSTED 05/26/2018 13:59:13
Kuyet knew she didn't mean a word of it when she typed it, but she's a gymnast with three feet - she almost always sticks to landing. He had suggested to her that they make better friends than they did lovers, and although his words assaulted her esteem without caution, she made light of her leaking emote with the occasional dark humour on which their relationship was founded upon, 'k' she replied.
He had inflated his approval of her demeanour with a reply of 'lwkm', succeeded by 'I hope you die a slow death' - theirs was never a style of communication that could make it into a Pixar animation. Not by a long shot.
Their conversation had eventually wandered into how long it had been since their last reunion, as she had hoped, and when he suggested they go see a movie together at the cinema that weekend, she made it clear to him that at no point in that meeting should he be thirsty enough to try to kiss her. She typed the words with so much conviction that she nearly convinced herself that she wouldn't let her lips tussle with his if he did make the attempt.
It was barely three months since they broke up and this would be the second time they would meet since their ridiculously casual asunder. To her, she had survived their first meeting unscathed, mostly because their interaction that time lasted only seconds, not because either of them suppressed urges.
They had been in a relationship for almost a year before their breakup. A relationship strained by distance; a relationship in which she slightly wanted to, but never did see him naked or let him see her in her priciest designer apparel.
Kuyet was stood in front of her mirror with a towel bound about her chest and her hair lacking touch when her phone rang. He told her he called to tell her there was a high chance he would sneak into her room that night and murder her in her sleep if she stood him up, to which she reminded him about how the only time he attempted slaughtering a chicken triggered a panic attack and an artless light headedness that assigned him to the floor for almost a minute without consciousness.
She added that she had forgotten that their meeting was scheduled for today - she lied, and she knew he knew it too. They bantered a little longer, exchanging blunt jokes. He pleaded with her to wear a gown for him, she told him to go fuck himself with a blowtorch. They had already set a time for their meeting at the mall where the agreed cinema was during their previous conversation, but he claimed he called to confirm it was 5pm, and before she cut the call, she did confirm it.
Her reflection in the mirror has an exhaustive look at her. Kuyet doesn't think of herself as what the world calls beautiful, but neither would she describe herself as ugly. She feels she has a way of looking both ways depending on what the designated mood for the day is. She has been thinking about her meeting with Bodam since their last sighting at her cousin's wedding. She wondered why he didn't stop to have a decent conversation with her, but she never saw herself as the kind of girl to ask any man such a desperate question.
A part of her is nervous about today. With Bodam, she always knows what to wear and what to say, but it's the silent stints that always throw her off her game - when he would stop mid-conversation and smirk lavishly while staring at her like he has a fork and a knife in his pocket, ready to pick her apart and feed on her without a care for added spices or salad dressing.
Bodam tosses his phone across the bed, steering his attention back to the music video he was watching when he had dialled her number to 'confirm' the timing of their meeting. He hopes that yellow gown with the high slit she wore when he last saw her at the wedding his mum needed a chauffeur to, to be what she shimmies into for their date today. On second thought, he hopes she doesn't be that cruel - the look she had at that wedding jerked his spine in every literal sense. It was the first time he had seen her make an effort to look like she wasn't an anarchist to society and its feminine demands, and it was as painful a sight to behold as it was immaculate. He needed to run. He wouldn't want to stutter and sweat profusely at a wedding while standing next to the likes of her. He wasn't prepared. He was under-dressed. He had to run.
He was uncertain she would agree to go on a date with him after he clearly ignored her at the wedding, so he promised himself he would delete her contact from his phone if she dared to reject his proposal (for real this time). That was his strategy against his fears - an utterly flawed disappearing act.
If she knows she remains the meanest of his fears, would she cradle him and make alive seem unlike the chore it presents itself to be? If he acknowledges this feeling to himself as fear, would he learn to tame it?
Jermaine Cole's Friends is playing on the television now and Bodam has always been a fan of Cole. Not so big a fan that he made plans to meditate before his date today to ease the anxiety, no! Bodam rolled a joint laced with four crushed 50milligram tramadol pills the night before, and medication is the play today.
He sits on the edge of his bed and he thinks about how hard it was to ask her to be his girlfriend - how she didn't let him finish asking; how she never really said yes; how she kissed him instead; how soft her lips were; how excruciating her smile was; how fluent her laugh always is. Bodam isn't ready for today, with Kuyet, he has had a history of ever being unprepared, but he will be today. He has to be.
Fifteen minutes to their agreed 5pm, Bodam gets her text about how she overestimated the traffic on third mainland bridge and that she's an estimated two minutes away from the mall. He's only halfway through the joint and he worries she'd detect the burn in his breath, so he hurriedly takes a second bath just in case. He's not one for elaborate outfits so dressing up isn't that big a worry. The mall is in trekking distance from his aunt's house, where he's staying for the holidays, so he takes his time to bathe a third time with cheap cologne and sets off for the date of a lifetime with the love of a life unwittingly his.
Almost at the mall, he remembers he intended to brush his teeth after bathing the second time but forgot, so he fast-walks back home to do just that. He's in the bathroom with a toothbrush in his hand when she calls. He tells her he's on his way and laughs about how patronizing her voice is. She threatens to leave if he's lying about being on his way already and he dares her to leave before reverting to begging her to wait on him for only five minutes. The top he has on has a smudge of toothpaste foam on it on the chest area, but he doesn't notice it until he's at the gate of the mall. It’s dried already and he makes a weak effort to finger it off.
He gives Kuyet a call to ask where in the mall she is. She tells him she's at the second entrance. He tells her he thinks he’s at the second gate as well. He tells her to look around for him because he's there already, but her tone comes off somewhat agitated and she compels him to quit the jokes. She asks if he’s at a gate or an entrance, adding that there are four entrances and two gates to the mall. He pauses a while to decode the trick question. She asks the same question again, this time, he feigns a bad network reception and he hangs up on her. He knows it’s impossible that someone of his age and assertion could get lost in a mall, but remembering his tendencies, given his most recent diet plan, the impossible seems increasingly likely. Bodam resurfaces out of himself and calls her back, “entr… wait, babe, I’m at gate four!”
He's making claims as regards his being at the fourth gate when he catches a sign above his head that reads entrance 4. He bursts into laughter about it while still on the phone with her, and he apologizes repeatedly about his mistake. He tells her to wait for him to find his way to the second gate before she corrects him- “you mean the second entrance?” And without missing a beat, he affirms, “mhmmm.”
He hangs up on her and walks towards the closest cluster of people similar to the one that attracted him to what was entrance four, while looking out for a sign that should read entrance 2. He should have told her he has never been to that mall before but he didn't regard the information as necessary to her. He gets a Whatsapp text from a male friend asking about why his former phone number has been out of reach for a while now, and he halts his march to text back so as to avoid bumping into any of Lagos' renowned confrontational strangers.
It's over fifteen minutes now and he realizes he shouldn't be on his phone considering sliding into a stranger's DM, but he doesn't remember going on twitter, or why he's stood there, or... Yes! Kuyet! He calls her to ask where she is. She doesn't pick for the first seven times he dials her number. He realizes he didn't actually dial her number; he was staring at an old photo of her he has had on his phone since four months ago. He suggests to himself how horrible a person he's being at this moment; how she, of all people, doesn't deserve to be treated like this. He feels sorry for himself - a familiar sentiment for him.
His phone rings again. Even if she's angry, she doesn't let her voice sell it. She asks why he's taking so long. His tone sounds different from earlier - she deduces he sounds lazier now. She tells him he's trying too hard to sound sexy after he tells her he's almost at the second gate. She giggles for the first time. He's almost proud of himself for enabling her giggle.
He doesn't remember starting the conversation, but he's smiling at an older lady now, telling her how gorgeous she looks. He asks the older lady if she knows what direction the second entrance is and she warmly smiles back at him. The older lady tells him they are both stood at the second entrance. He perceives disgust in the tone of the older lady’s reply. After her statement of direction, he stares at her for a while, leaving her more concerned for him that irritated by him, he storms off without thanking her for her assistance.
"Bodam!" He stops in his path. His heart sinks. He's unsure if he's tripping or someone really did just call out his name. In a bid to compose himself, he closes his eyes to track his breath, "in, in, in marafaka, then out" he mutters to himself.
"Seriously?" It's the voice again, but this time, closer. He panics and attempts to hastily tread away from the voice, but like a snake charmer would their commensal, her familiar scent and her articulate breathing nab him. He turns, catches Kuyet's eyes, and he smiles at her.
"Guy, seriously??" she asks, wearing what was neither a smile nor a frown and ignoring the faint white patch on his grey tank top. She's trying to get him to talk back, but he's at it again - His eyes bathing her like sunset, his smile sculpted on like Greek art.
"Hey you" he thirsts.
"Hey yourself!" she burps.
Did you enjoy the story? Let your friends know about it