I had just received an overly optimistic pep talk from Will Smith in the guise of "Hitch", a match-making genius who (although entirely capable of linking other people together,) was completely inept at making his schemes for snagging true love work for himself.
But by doing what I was about to do, he had made the stars align for himself. His true love had recognised him. And they had gone on to live happily ever after. At least, that is what was implied as the movie credits rolled.
Clouds had gathered and the wind had picked up the reddish dust which is synonymous with eastern nigeria, along with scraps of paper, cellophane and anything that was not tied to the ground. A whirlwind of sorts.
"This is just the right atmosphere for what I need to do..."
I thought to myself, unconsciously checking my pockets to ensure I still had my Sagem phone as the breeze bellowed.
I had called Barbie [false name to protect her identity, lol.] to come downstairs that I need to see her. Needed to tell her something utterly important.
More reason for me to run.
Didn't want her to get to her gate and not see me.
Everything had to be just right.
I was going to throw myself at her feet.
We had had the strangest history between us. I had seen her a few other places before, with a few mutual friends, yet we'd never spoken.
I was (supposed to be) pursuing her friend, [let's call her Lizzy] the newest 'hot girl on campus' who was eerily reminiscent of my immediate past crush who had done as her title suggests and TOTALLY "crushed" me.
Obviously, the comparisons to my past flame would never have let me fully let down my guard around Lizzy.
Still, I got bored easily and had a low threshold for loneliness, so I'd go seek Lizzy night after night after night.
So one night, while trying to "hang" with her, she thoughtfully asked her friend Barbie (who at the time didn't seem to have too much going on in her own life) to keep me company because she herself had previously made an appointment with some rich dude who she couldn't stand up.
Barbie and I sat down on a ledge in front of her hostel, just us and the stars (and a third wheel of a friend who has no bearing in this story), and I went on to have one of the most wonderful nights I had ever had in those years.
Even writing this, I'm awash with endorphins remembering how beautiful that night was for me.
As we talked, we (and by that, I should say "I") realized that we had a lot in common: past histories of low self esteem which had been "cured" (with varying rates of success), love for the same type of music with almost the same fervour, love for novels, creative writing, the use of literary tools in everyday parlance... The list was endless!
In my eyes, she was a (waaaay more beautiful) female version of me.
To put it succinctly if I, with all my sensibilities, looked like Brandy/Gabrielle Union, I would be her!
And needless to say, I was addicted.
All thoughts of Lizzy (or anything else, for that matter) disappeared from my head. All I could think about was her.
And even though I was a broke student at the time, and could only afford to eat twice a day on good days, love kept me strong.
I'd starve all day, saving my daily allowance until night-time when we'll meet, and I'd be more than happy to spend that money buying her supper.
We'd talk, sing, laugh, daydream, discuss medicine, (she was also a med student). We'd "connect".
For me, it was heaven on earth.
But it only lasted for about 2 weeks.
Problem was, there were a lot of loose ends.
Firstly, I was officially asking her friend out.
Secondly, she had not gotten over some guy from her past.
Thirdly, she had another friend who was our 'third wheel', and that friend was quite adept at throwing the well aimed spanner into the works more than occasionally.
Omo. It was not easy.
I knew we'd not move forward if we didn't deal with our issues.
So I decided to fix my own end.
But on the very day that I summoned the courage to handle the first issue, to tell Lizzy that I've developed feelings for Barbie, one way or another, Lizzy found out before I had told her.
And the number one rule is "Let Them Hear It From You First".
But I broke the rule.
It led to amazing fireworks.
It was totally understandable.
After all, ANYONE would feel betrayed if that happened to them.
Safe to say, our friendship (which is what it really was, because we had never crossed what I call the "anglophone barrier" which is, when two people stop speaking "english" and start interacting via body language... Y'know, when they start touching ANYTHING from first to fourth "base") was never the same.
Still, I thought to myself, as long as I had Barbie, it was fine, y'know?
But then, did I REALLY have Barbie?
Some time after the 2 weeks, she travelled to Nsukka, the campus where she had spent her first year, to "tidy up some things".
And one night like that, I had a nightmare that she was busy doing the unspeakable over there...
If you see the speed with which I woke up in a cold sweat and started calling her frantically, you'd think she stole my money!
I just KNEW. Intuitively. I just knew she'd gone back to the guy from her past.
I KNEW (insert "had a STRONG feeling") that they'd consummated their relationship, but I loved her stronger than that.
I was willing to do whatever she needs to get over the guy and be with me.
The night she came back to our campus was the night I watched Hitch for the first (and only) time.
High off of hope, I ran all the way from my Off Campus BQ to her hostel so I can get to talk to her before the 9pm curfew that we had at the time.
I got to her gate as the winds broke into a drizzle, but I was way too hyped to be concerned about the minor inconvenience of being drenched by the rain.
And God seemed to want everything to go my way, cos I had barely gotten there before I saw her graceful form arrive in her hostel lobby.
Not yet raining, No long wait.
All the words were ready, the atmosphere was poignant, the major characters in the play had converged...
She walked up to me and I opened my mouth to speak...
---(To be continued)---
Its Your Boy
Fly Fellow Y'all!