Unlike other days, the sun peeped through the cracks of the sky lining, shinning on us. The breeze was gentler on our skins too, like some sort of compensation for the scorch, in recognition of candor, space, time, happiness and dominion.
“If you ever had to squat in college, especially in a room of 12, meant for 6, you will understand this good news” My aunt alluded.
So, we finally moved out of our borrowed apartment. My aunt is perceptibly the most excited and she couldn’t help but get expressive. She is very terrible at concealing feelings. She is that type of person who will tell you your newly made gown is beautiful, but her face is basically saying; ‘it’s messed up’.
“Thank you for the glorious time spent here. May God Almighty reward you for the kindness you’ve shown to us” she said to them before we stepped out of the apartment.
Earlier, she had told her husband that she would rather live in a shanty than continue staying with the Adebayos. She was dead serious, and my uncle knows better than allow the issue to linger without a solution. As soon as the Lagos lockdown got relaxed, he began house searching with all four eyes.
Soon, we were set to leave.
Hurray! It’s the best news of 2020.
But it isn’t same with me. I will be leaving Leke behind, over whom I fought Ben and asked for a break from whatever we shared.
I’m so dead.
However, what happened between Leke and I was enchanting, and magnificent. Maybe it’s about the “newness” as a famous poet put it.
I realized that Ben and I are not meant to be. He believes he could manipulate me and get me to do whatever, by owning my being. It’s true that I mistakenly sent him a message intended for Leke but I meant no harm.
Or is there a crime in a little flirting?
All I did was flirt with Leke, nothing extra. We only chat all day. Don’t analyze further. I’ll help you.
You see, there are several categories of flirting, at least, I know three (3) and I’ll explain them. I need you to get in, so you may understand what level Leke and I were riding on.
There are people who flirt with total strangers and they can be 99.9% sure not to meet in this lifetime.
Others flirt around known persons with a huge age difference or power dynamics involved. Imagine a student flirting with his/her lecturer, or an intern with the CEO of a company. This kinda one just need a little switch to turn into an abuse. I still cringe at the thought of my age mate calling her father’s mate baby. Wow!
I hear a lot of things go on in the University. I am so minding my business once I get in.
Finally, there is one within your age group with whom you’re very familiar, which is either done to woo the person or just for the fun of it. Leke and I are on this table.
And If you belong to category 2, I’ll say;
“Egungun take cognizance, you’re gravitating towards the motorway”.
I won’t say more than that! Not to sound judgmental.
“If you can chat it, you can do it”. So, be careful what you chat about.
Things are no longer the same between Leke and I, since Ben made an issue out of it. I’m not even sure if I’m ready to do this relationship thing again. It’s really stressful. I’ve asked Ben for a break and I’m going off WhatsApp too.
Anyways, it was around the same time that everyone was swimming in happiness over and about our new apartment, that I sank deep into the whole mess. For me, the new apartment, apart from separating me from Leke, means that I would return to my FAM in Ibadan. I know my aunt will soon bring it up and heaven knows that this time, I want to go.
So, we got here earlier today. It’s a 3-bedroom apartment as the previous one.
It’s a newly built house with residual smell of cement and sand – oh how I love this smell. Should I mention the new furniture, wall paint, and the jar fragrance, blending into a concussion of smell? It’s heavenly.
My aunt had worked so hard to ensure the house is in good shape before crashing. She must be having her best sleep in Months.
Mautin and Oviyon jumped from one end of the sitting room to another, glowing in what I call “Uncontrollable joy”.
My aunt doesn’t joke with dishes left undone, it’s now a culture to which I am accustomed. So, I decided to clean up what we used that morning when my uncle walked into the kitchen.
First, he mentioned that he admires my ability to multitask, delivering with speed and accuracy.
Who doesn’t love compliments, I blushed!
Then, he went on.
“You amaze me all of the time”
“Oh. Thank you, sir” I muffled
“I will be happy if you get admitted into University of Lagos. You will be close to the house and can come around during the weekends”
“You’re amazing with the kids and quite helpful in the kitchen too. Well-done for all you do.” He said.
I am used to his words, at this point, so, I kept washing the dishes, with a couple of thank-yous.
My uncle’s secret weapon is his power of thank you. In fact, he will thank you for assisting you and thank you for thanking him afterwards.
“You should start asking Mautin to join you here” he finally added and moved out of the kitchen.
I could hear his voice in the sitting room, talking with the kids. I felt so happy for the kids and the family as a whole. They deserve nothing but the best things.
I was almost done with the dishes when my uncle suddenly returned.
“You are still here! Why not take a break”
“I’m almost done sir”
“Learn to rest!” he said, closing the door behind him.
My heart skipped , and it became quiet as neither of us said anything further.
He moved closer and I felt his presence strongly. Then, he held me by my shoulders, standing firmly behind me. It was so weird to have him do this, so, I tried to wriggle off, but his hands had moved faster than I could and formed a chain around my arms, making it impossible for me to even do the dishes. At first, it felt normal, but he didn’t stop at that. He had moved even closer.
“I want you to feel free with me, Feranmi” he whispered and kissed my neck
For a second, I was weakened by this irritating show of naughtiness and disgust. I wanted to scream and break loose from his grip. I also thought of hitting him, to let go of me.
But I couldn’t do any of those.
Maybe it’s some sort of confusion
“You should not be shy around me” he spat some more.
“Feranmi! You’re a big girl now and there is a lot for you to learn”
“Ehmmm. Okay sir” I stammered, unable to turn around or move away.
I struggled a little bit more to no avail, then, decided to stay put until he loosens his arms around me so I could break free.
The kids went silent and we could hear a pin drop. So, he let go of the grip, to which I was most grateful.
But almost immediately, he pulled me over to one of the cabins and placed a kiss to my forehead, holding my face with both hands.
“I like you, Feranmi” He said
Suddenly, the door opened. Startled, we both turned to see who it was.
There was nobody there after-all. So, he walked out of the kitchen, leaving me in shock, irritation and fear.
“Oh my God! I should have pushed him away”
“The worst has happened”
I moved back to the dishes but could do nothing with them. I stood there, lost!
Lost in this reality!
In few seconds, i was enveloped in a strange feeling, ushered in by chills from my feet towards my shoulders. I felt goosebumps rising all over me.
“Do I tell my aunt?”
“Please, what do I do?“