Meeting the Future
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“That line between love and lust is thin as a whisper.”
By 1pm, you are at The Art Cafe, seated on Table 5, opposite Olorunsogo Martins– after the initial ritual of light hugs and cheek kisses, taking him in again, detail for detail; as he orders you both Cow Leg Pepper Soup and White Wine. You cannot contain your glee at seeing him, finally, for the first time. He looks just as you had imagined; if anything, even better—bald shiny head, tiny eyes that squeeze at the edges when he smiles, and full lips. He is wearing a Yellow Polo Shirt on a pair of Black Jeans, with black high-top Gucci sneakers. His cologne smells familiar, like home, like Papa. You talk easy, about his trip down, work; and you and him.
“S-o-g-o” you spell his name out as you fondly do when you are about to play mischief. He raises his eyes, familiar-ly, anticipating the sass your smart mouth is about to bring on. But you choose to surprise him instead. “What do you want from me Sogo; from us?” you ask.
He pauses a bit before answering; warmth seeming to steal over his eyes at once, displacing the initial mischief that settled in them only seconds ago. “I want this” he begins “I want this, and what we’ve shared these past months. Friendship. Honesty. Passion.”
You are touched. “Sogo, I want all of that too; but you must know I am not a young girl anymore. At this point in my life, my relationship goals are aimed towards marriage, towards sustainability. I am not looking to scare you, but I would not delve into something that I don’t intend to stay in…” he is looking at you intently, and you are afraid maybe you are saying too much, too soon; but you damn it. What has got to be said has got to be said, sooner or later. You have chosen now, and that is that.
He takes your hand in his now, “Omolara Adekoya Omobanke…” you smile, as he calls your full names “… I travelled down to see you today, shouldn’t that count for something?”
Oh Jesus, take control! This man is it! You think to yourself. You let out a sigh now, as you squeeze his hands in response. It should count for something, and in fact, it does. And you realise at once, in the scream of silence and warmth that envelopes you both that minute, what you feel for Sogo: it is something between respect, and peace, and you decide, that indeed, love is a little bit of both: of respect for, and peace with someone. You are in love with Olorunsogo Martins. This is it, your first love; your last love too, you hope. This is certainly meant to be, for as long as it will be.
That evening, before you part ways, he disvirgins your lips. He walks you to your car after Lunch, and stares at you deeply one last time, in that way that only he knows how to, as he tells you again: “I love you Omolarami.” He reminds you of your father then, with the way he owns your name with the pronoun “mi”. You smile, and repeat his words to him: in your own pace, with your own warmth, in your own voice. Yet, it feels like a festival of affinity and sameness. He takes your lips by surprise then, seeking the warmth of your breath, the depth of your tongue and mouth, the fullness of your lips. You handle it surprisingly too well for a first kiss, feasting on his lips, and feeling his face with your hands at the same time. Mary Jane would be proud of you. He breaks off reluctantly, resting his head on yours for a while before opening his eyes. “I swore I would own these lips of yours one day. And you let me. Thank you. I want to do it again too, sometime soon. And maybe every other day.” He does not know it is your first kiss. You blush, and bid him farewell as you drive out onto the broad Island road, merging with the rest of the world again.
You return home, happier than you have ever been your entire life; resuming your prayers for his safe return back home. You head on to take a long warm bath, and launch into your kitchen to make some Pancakes; after which you attempt to watch the new series you heard about at work the other day, New Girl. Mama calls, something around 6:00pm, interrupting your movie.
“Hello darling! So how did it go?”
You hesitate before answering her “Mama, I didn’t have lunch with him o.”
“Ahn ahn. But why?”
“Mama, I met someone.”
“Met someone ke? Shebi I asked you yesterday, you said no?” mama asks, sounding a bit confused. “So where did this someone come from between yesterday and today? Is he real? Has he proposed? Is he looking for date, abi marriage?”
You sigh, exasperated. “Mama, he is real. I love him. He loves me. And we are looking at a sustainable relationship.”
“Egba mi ke! That is story for the gods fa! You are not getting any younger o, shebi you know? I just hope you are not losing a diamond in search of a worthless stone sha.”
You are getting a little angry now. “Why so much confidence in this Johnson man sef Mama? You needed to have seen the way he acted rudely today!”
“That’s your problem! You always complain. Is that not why you are still single today? This one will come, you’ll say he’s too short. The other one will come, you’ll say he’s too tall. Silifa, your fathers’ younger sisters’ third born is married. Sola, Sola the daughter of Mama Ologi is married, and she is only 20 years old. Tinuke, my childhood friend’s niece is getting married next Saturday! You, you are there, playing ten ten (playing games). I hope you know there are few men that would not be intimidated by a woman like you? Shey you remember your aunt Rebecca that lectures in the University at Abuja, single at sixty? You had better take what comes when it comes, and know what you are doing; because opportunity comes only once o!”
“Okay ma” you answer her, resignedly, angry. You have been at points like this with Mama when nothing you will ever say will make sense to her; so your best bet is to agree with every word she says. Every line, so that it ends soon. And it is at times like this too, that you just want to rebel and do whatever the hell it is you want to freaking do– because you can! Like have sex and get drunk on it, without feeling remorseful about how heartbroken Mama would feel because she has always been too enamored with comparing the lives of her children with other people, that it takes priority over her interest in how you really feel, and what makes you truly happy. You shun out everything else she is saying, and fill your thoughts with Sogo instead; your new found happiness. She ends the call a few seconds later without saying goodbye.
Cliché! You say goodbye into the dead phone speaker, and resume your movie as if nothing just happened. Sogo’s call comes in almost immediately. It is a video call. You rush to the seating room mirror, adjust your hair, eyelashes and everything adjust-able, before rushing back to pick his call. He is back home safely, he says. And he’s glad he made the trip. You smile. You are glad he did too. He is in the kitchen making dinner, shirtless, and in those jeans. You try to stay focused, but it’s hard. Those jeans, his waistline, and everything else above and beyond…
Sweet Jesus, take control!
Damore is a short black girl, a Chartered Accountant, and a hopeless lover of words. She is terribly shy on some days, and provocatively assertive on others. You can find her smiling away by herself at a corner of the room with her ear phones plugged in, and her head stuck in a novel or anything that looks as interesting as a string of figures begging to be analyzed. Or you might find her in the same bus as you, typing away furiously at her phone. You might think she is chatting, but chances are she is writing about you. She blogs at Miniscule Diary. Check it out. You may find yourself in one of her posts.