“I’m falling in, am falling down, hmmmmmm. I wanna begin but I don’t know how, to let you know how am feeling, yeah. I’m high on hope I’m reeliiiiiiiinnnnggggg”
Justin shouted into his soap bar as he sang Jonathan Clay’s ‘Heart on Fire’ song to himself as he showered. He had woken up feeling on top of the world, feeling he could conquer anything.
“I won’t let you go, now you know, I’ve been crazy for you all this time. I’ve kept it close, always hoooooopppiiiing. With a heart on fiiiiirrrreeee!!! A heart on fiiiiiiiirrrr……”
BAM!! BAM!! BAM!!!
“Dude what is your problem now? Your voice is horrible and am trying to sleep” Tokunbo shouted at him. Justin ignored his friend. He was too happy. Kevwe kissed him. Kevwe freaking kissed him.
He had replayed the incident over and over again. It didn’t last up to ten seconds but in those few seconds he felt the softness of her lips, he felt the connection. “Hmmmm what was going to happen” he thought. “What would the others say? Oh shit what of her boyfriend?” Surprisingly he hadn’t thought about all that till now. His spirit went down from the euphoria of joy it was in just a few seconds ago.
“What of her boyfriend???” The question resounded.
“Dude wetin now?” Tokunbo asked Justin as he walked into the bedroom from the bathroom in his towel. Tokunbo had obviously given up trying to sleep. He was making his bed, an annoying habit Justin felt was odd for a guy.
“What’s tingling your senses this morning? Which of your babes don give you green light?” Tokunbo knew his friend for years and knew it was only when it had to do with the opposite sex that Justin ever dared to sing.
“Why are you grouchy? It’s almost 12noon. And who said it has to do with babe now? Can’t I be excited that tomorrow is my first day on the job” Justin said trying to stir the conversation away from women talk.
“Yes, if it is because of job I know how you will act. You will be acting how you have been acting this past week, EXCITED not LOVE STRUCK. Bros I know you” Tokunbo said with a finality that made Justin cave in.
“Kevwe kissed me” Justin said calmly.
“Say what?” Tokunbo turned from his bed making to face Justin. His face showed no sign of lying.
“When? How? Why?” Tokunbo poured the questions out.
“Na me you want to describe how dem dey kiss? Which kin stupid question be ‘how’ now” Justin taunted as he changed into a jean and a shirt.
“Answer me joh” Tokunbo said curiosity getting the better of him.
“In the kitchen, around mid-night. The why part I can’t explain. I have been brewing on that since” Justin said flatly.
“Dude she get boyfriend oh” Tokunbo said seriously.
“Guy I know, it just hit me some minutes ago” Justin answered back,.
“Mehn you now that is not how we do” Tokunbo reminded him.
“Guy!!!” Justin exclaimed in irritation “you think I don’t know that? Do you still see me jumping and singing?”
“You should talk to her” Tokunbo suggested.
“I no be oyinbo wey go say ‘I need closure’. Talk to her about what?” Justin asked. But deep down he wanted to know. What was it all about? Did she like him? Was she interested in him? This was why he never really got attached to girls. All these emotions was so much work. But he had been having a crush on Kevwe since their university days, that kiss just ……
Knock, knock, knock. Justin’s thoughts were interrupted as Maryam poked her head.
“Hope you guys are dressed oh” she said walking in “good morning abi afternoon”.
“Good morning dear” Tokunbo said.
“Hey Maryam, morning” Justin said.
“So none of you went to church?” Maryam asked as she bounced on Tokunbo’s ready-made bed. Tokunbo groaned.
“I just made that” Tokunbo said.
“Toks, still all neat and clean. Always loved that about you. I’ll straighten it dear” Maryam said sweetly.
“Did you go? Anyway I have some paper work to get to, we have mock trials among the associates at our firm. Need to be sharp” Tokunbo said. Maryam looked at Justin who seemed lost in thought.
“What about you Justin?” She asked.
“Is Kevwe awake? Huh? Oh church, no, yes I did not going” Justin replied and went into the bathroom again.
“Why is that one confused?” Maryam asked as she watched Justin leave.
“Let’s say he is threading on dangerous waters” Tokunbo smiled sadly.
It was obvious Priscilla had created a special spot at the dining table to work at, for once again, books opened, glasses fixed on her nose she was engrossed in reading. This masters was nothing close to what she had imagined.
“…… As in it is sermons like this that touch me. Not just boring prepared sermons written on paper but words of humor and actual reality” Kevwe said cheerfully as she opened the main door with her elbow. Her arms were filled up with 2 packs of groceries. Closely followed by Kenny her boyfriend who held 2 as well.
“Hey Pris, how was service?” Kevwe greeted happily to Priscilla.
“Hey you, Mass was fine” Priscilla said intentionally trying to distinguish ‘Mass’ which indicated her a Catholic from ‘service’ which most Christian denominations used. She looked at Kenny “hello”.
“Priscilla meet my boyfriend Kenny, Kenny my housemate Pris” Kevwe said.
“Hi, nice to meet you” Kenny smiled at her. This was the first time he had been into the house.
“You are welcome. Nice to meet you too. Head quite a lot about you” Priscilla said.
“Kenny dear, have a seat. Let me get these into the kitchen” Kevwe said sweetly. Then to Pris. She asked “what of Maryam?” “I think she’s with the guys. Matthew isn’t back from church either” Priscilla said.
“MARYAM!!!” Kevwe screamed up the stairs then headed for the kitchen. In a matter of seconds footsteps were heard coming from the stairs and Maryam came into the living room.
“That yeye girl doesn’t have respe… Oh Kenny what’s up now” she stopped noticing Kenny.
“Hey dear, happy Sunday” Kenny said.
“Hmm this one you visited us today, it is a very pleasant suprise oh” Maryam said and Kenny smiled.
“Where is that your yeye girlfriend?” Maryam asked.
“You are not well” Kevwe came into the living room again” she said playfully knocking Maryam’s head. “And you can’t even defend me” she accused Kenny.
Noooo, I was about to now” Kenny smiled in defence.
“Leave him joh. Hope you didn’t bully him to come?” Maryam asked Kevwe but was looking at Kenny.
“I thought we should have another barbecue so I invited Kenny” kevwe said.
“You invited him for barbecue or to help drive you to the market to shop and drive you back home? Which is it?” Maryam asked dodging another knock.
“You know I had that thought too” Kenny joined in the humor.
“Keep having that thought and it is bone you will eat” Kevwe said and then dragged Maryam into the kitchen.
“I’m sure you are used to Kevwe, can I get you a drink?” Priscilla said. “I heard that Pris. Don’t join the enemy side oh.” Kevwe shouted from the kitchen.
“Don’t mind her” Kenny said “and yes I would love a drink”. Priscilla walked to the fridge to pick a bottle of soft drink.
In the kitchen, Maryam started unpacking the food stuff. Kevwe had out done herself. Spices, barbeque sauce, potatoes and some of the basic necessities for the house.
“Nice one babe. You try oh” Maryam praised her friend “but come oh. Thought you and Kenny were beefing?” Kevwe didn’t respond. As Maryam finished placing the bottles of spices in the cupboard she turned to see Kevwe pacing.
“What’s up?” Maryam asked.
“I messed up. I kissed Justin” Kevwe wispered.
“YOU WHAT??” Maryam exlaimed in suprised.
“Sssshhhhh, what you shouting for now?” Kevwe hushed her friend. “I just admitted I messed up. Don’t dare start scolding me. Not in the mood. It was a moment thing. You know Kenny and I have been having issues and i had been drinkihg. Arrrrgh what do i do?” Kevwe said. It was clear she was panicing. Maryam was lost for words. She was suprised to see Kenny because Kevwe said they had beef and now this?
“What of kenny?” Maryam asked.
“We met in church. Had a long talk from church to market to here. Trying to sort things out. That’s why I came up with the barbeque idea sef, to spend time with him and talk more.” Kevwe said,
“No wonder Justin has been acting lost all morning. How are you going to handle this now?” Maryam asked. Kevwe stood bitting her fingers.
Just then Tokunbo and Justin came down stairs and into the living room.
“Finally you guys come down. Let me guess, stomach be rumbling” Priscilla said. She had just served Kenny and was looking for something interesting on tv. Both Justin and Tokunbo saw Kenny, then exchanged looks.
“Kenny right” Tokunbo walked towards him. Kenny nodded.
“A pleasure” Tokunbo said and shook his hand. Not to look awkward Justin did same saying a simple “sup man”.
“Great everyone is here. Let’s get the grill out and cook some meat” said Kevwe walking into the living room closely followed by Maryam.
Tokunbo looked at Kevwe then at Justin who was transfixed looking at Kevwe. Maryam looked from Justin to Kevwe and back. Justin caught her gaze. She knew.
“……and she didn’t stop there. She was like ‘you know I don’t go out to shop anymore. I get my things online’. I was so shocked” Matthew said laughing. Tokunbo shook his head.
“I hate materialistic girls” he said with disdain “allow me to spoil you on my own terms. Don’t come forming all needy”.
They had cleared a section of the compound some weeks back and Kevwe had dedicated that area for chilling. So they had mounted the grill, arranged chairs and were enjoying drumsticks, stake with spiced potateos and some drinks. Kevwe was running the grill assisted by Kenny which irritated Justin who took a chair to a corner, Maryam insisted on sitting on Tokunbo’s laps and Priscilla had a wooden stretch chair to herself. Everyone seemed relaxed and having fun as Matthew replayed an incident he had toasting a girl some days back.
“Na guy go toast, na him go woo, na him go come take care of you? Do I look like your daddy or guardian?” Tokunbo continued his argument against materialistic girls.
“Ehn some girls call their boyfriends daddy now” Maryam said as she playfully placed a piece of meat in his mouth. Priscilla adjusted her seat to face anywhere but Tokunbo’s direction.
“That is why you are still single” Kevwe laughed at him “Be there forming baddest guy ever liveth”. The girls laughed. “You want girls to be chasing you abi? For this Nigeria? You will soon form wait-ers association”.
“That’s not what I mean now” Tokunbo said.
“Then pray do tell” Maryam said sipping her drink “because it sounds like you want women to toast you”
“And that ain’t happening” Kevwe added. “When am not cheap, why will I toast a guy? So he can belittle me?” Priscilla cleared her throat looking at Kenny. Maryam noticed and giggled.
“So Kenny swooped you off your feet abi?” Maryam teased.
“Abeg no put my name” Kenny laughed, “as a smart guy I support anything my girl says”. Everyone except Justin laughed as Matthew jammed knuckles with him in approval.
“All I’m saying is girls shouldn’t ask guys out. That is just a plain sign of desperation” Kevwe defended her point, “you Nigerian men will never appreciate a girl that is so forward”.
“I will” Justin finally broke his silence. Kevwe, Maryam and Tokunbo all turned to look at him. “I don’t like stress oh. If I am attracted to her and she says she likes me, why not” he said, all the time looking only at Kevwe.
“See, all am saying is guys can’t do all the chasing” Tokunbo said.
“Why shouldn’t he?” Kevwe asked “Isn’t he the one that wants me? He should come get me”.
“Yes oh, and that’s what I did” Kenny joked again which caused some more giggles. Justin just raised an eye brow.
“So you don’t want him abi?” Tokunbo asked. “The feeling isn’t mutual?”
“Help me ask Kevwe oh” Justin butted in again, raising his glass to take another sip. Before Kevwe or Tokunbo could reply Priscilla exclaimed.
“Yaaaaaaaaaaay Justin and Kevwe have kissed and made up” she said happily.
Justin spat out his drink and dropped his glass, Kevwe jumped in suprise at the phrase. Their eyes locked. Justin then looked at Priscilla who was confused at what had happened.
“Yeah, it’s about time. I was beginning to suspect both of you’s maturity status. Can I have another piece of meat please?” Matthew oblivious to the awkward silence that loomed the group moved his plate towards Kevwe.
“Let me clear this up” Justin said. He go up, picked the broken pieces and headed to the house. Without another word Kevwe followed. She found him in the kitchen washing his hand. He had cut himself from picking the broken pieces.
“Here let me help” Kevwe went to his side.
“What’s this Kevwe?” Justin asked “You kiss me last night and now you bring your boyfriend here? What are you playing at?”
“Can we just drop it” Kevwe said trying to reach out to get his hand under the tap water.
“Drop it? Are you for real?” Justin pulled away shocked.
“See let us not blow it out of proportion. I felt bad and I apologize, but before then I had been drinking and well my emotions were …. You know all over the place. It was a mistake. Sorry I kissed you” Kevwe said.
Justin’s jaw dropped. He couldn’t believe it. That was all she had to say. She couldn’t even look at him in the eye.
“Well since you won’t let me help I’ll leave you be” and with that Kevwe walked out of the kitchen.
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Muyiwa blogs at htttp://abluntnigerian.wordpress.com
You can follow him on instagram/twitter – @mfadarated.