It has been almost a month since Louis. I still feel shitty, I must admit. My heart broken; my privacy infiltrated; my dignity…stolen, more like given away without dispute and replaced with ignominy and regret.
But I’m one positive puppy, and life must go on.
Louis had moved out anyway from the Art school. Luckily for me, he was only there till our session was completed and it had, so he left. That didn’t mean I wasn’t greatly tormented by his silly acts in school and after classes. The winks, biting of his lower lips, silly love messages in a note proclaiming his disgusting, nauseating, undying love for me. He begged me to be his, to stay and take care of him. But how could I when I could barely stand his presence? The mere whiff of his perfume around me, even when he wasn’t present or nearby, got my heart racing and the urge to run away as fast as my skinny legs could take me, which isn’t very far, was high. I didn’t see him before he left, and that was on purpose. I visited a friend outside of town to avoid his drama which would have included tears, and repulsive kisses. Pain in human form, he was to me.
Art school over, I threw myself into my work. I forget that I haven’t told you of my job but that is of no importance. It will come in subsequent time. I worked late into the night and drowned my sorrows in alcohol and drunk outings with the girls on weekends. Sad, I know but what else could I have done with my miserable, desecrated soul? Or maybe I was just being too dramatic from the back-to-back watching of oversentimental, melodramatic romance movies and series.
Would I ever fall in love again? Or maybe even have sex with another the way it was with Kojo? I wouldn’t
lie. Since Louis, I have been having desires and urges; especially on cold nights. Fingers and Dildos don’t provide that much of a solution and neither do cuddle bunnies.
‘Body no be wood na.’
‘Daydreaming at work again?’
I looked up at who was speaking like I didn’t already recognize the voice.
‘No, Ayo.’ I sighed and closed my laptop. ‘I was just thinking of what I am going to have for lunch today. So many choices, so little time’
I got up and picked up my purse from my desk.
‘No. Let me take you out. It would be my treat, and you can take all the time you want. I’ll accept the blame for your lateness.
‘And why would you be so nice to me?’ I sighed and sat back down back on my seat. ‘Alright. What do you want? Don’t you already have our boss’s soul in calabash somewhere?’
‘Nothing. I just want to know my coworkers better’
‘Ayo, we’ve been working together for almost a year now and of all days it is today you choose to know me better?’ I laughed lightly and stepped out of my cubicle.
‘There’s a first time for everything. Isn’t there? Or would you rather I texted you?’
‘I really don’t mind…or care’ I walked past him.
‘So, are you considering my offer or you have agreed to it?’ He walked after me.
‘I’m an African woman. I would love Eba and Egusi for lunch’
‘Really? How do you maintain your shape with lunch like this?’
I stopped before opening the door.
‘With a great body comes great responsibility’
We left for a nearby canteen close to the office.
Ayobami Johnson. He was new here. By new, I mean he had started working here a few months back, and by few months, I mean five, six months ago. He worked directly under my boss and as such was above me but not really above me. Our office dynamics are difficult to explain. It will come in subsequent time.
He is tall, looking like 6 feet and a few inches to me; dark, clean, prim and proper. The typical affluent, aristocratic Yoruba family looks. He is a Johnson. One of the wealthiest and famous families in the City but, he is a rebellious one. He moved out of the house in other to establish himself and not hide under daddy’s shadows. You know the same old story.
I admired him for it. I mean, who wouldn’t admire a man who takes control. He reminded so much of Kojo. Kojo was… No. No. Not going down that lane.
Ayo was nice as far as I’ve known him. Even though all we ever shared were simple Hellos and His and
‘How was the weekend?’ and some office jokes before board meetings and in the photocopying room. Most of the girls liked him, and the ladies adored him. There were always stories about whom he had been with or who he is with. My life troubles were far more important than meaningless work tales. But from what I had gathered from their narratives, he was one of the most eligible bachelors in the office and in the City. I just think he is a nice guy.
‘So how was your weekend?’ he asked, after which he swallowed a morsel of amala.
‘Our usual conversation starter? and it is a Wednesday, don’t you think it is way overdue?’
‘Did I ask you about it on Monday?’
‘No. You weren’t around to do so. You went on that trip with the Boss and I didn’t see you at work on Tuesday’
‘Yes. I was too lazy to come to work so I called in sick’
‘It must be awesome being teacher’s pet. Getting a leave for a week is a long thing with him and you…’
‘It is all in the smile, baby’
We both laughed.
He did take the blame for my being late, and as usual the boss let him go scot free. What a turd! My Boss, that is.
Ayo was a real gentleman. I have a thing for cliché sentences but I really can’t help it. He asked me on a few dates, went out to movies with me on Saturdays and drove me back from work whenever I let him. He even went to the amusement park with me. Hardly do you find men with the heart of child these days. Especially, one of his caliber and status.
I was happy. I had found someone after Kojo. There are definitely more fishes in the sea. We hadn’t kissed yet or done anything either but you could feel the intense passion when you saw us together. I decided to talk to him about it. Maybe he was gay or not into pre-marital sex. I mean considering his reputation, why was he restraining his desires?
It was a Friday night. He was over at my place, eating popcorn with soda.
‘Can I ask you something?’
He looked up from the popcorn bowl and at me.
‘Sure. Is something wrong?’
He dropped the bowl on the coffee table.
‘No. I’m just curious about something’
‘What is it? I think I can guess it but I want you to say it’
I looked puzzled and felt it. Did he sense it? Was it written all over my face about how I desired him?
‘No. I want you to say it’
‘Ok’. I took a deep breath. ‘How come you haven’t kissed me all this time or made an attempt at sex with me? I mean, you do have a reputation in that arena, or are you gay? Am I making you gay? Or you have built me a mansion in your friend-zone estate?’
He was looking at me bright-eyed and interested until the last few sentences when he burst out laughing.
‘Why would you think that?’
‘Come on, Ayo. Don’t act naïve. Just answer.’
‘Ok, Ok.’ He stopped laughing, moved closer to me and held my hands.
‘Babe, I could have had sex with you or kissed you or anything else intimate but I wanted to know that what we had was real not one of those many girls who feign humility to get with me in the magazines and papers. I like you a lot, Gee. I really do but we would have to take it one step at a time’
‘Is that ok?’ he asked and kissed my hands.
‘Yes. Yes, it is’ I looked down shyly still smiling and feeling mushy inside,
‘But first…’ He moved closer, lifted my face close to his and kissed me. Slow and passionately, that I felt I was going to cry from all the excitement I felt in my stomach and how fast my heart raced. I was certainly over Kojo this time around.
I was starting to believe that this could be the start of something good.
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