General Stinson Adewale was retired three days after his visit. You know military and their protocols; the President of the Federal republic of Nigeria had previously appointed a new set of Service Chiefs who were somewhat lower in ranks so all high ranked officers had to be retired. There was a retirement party held in his honor in Lagos state and Lami pleaded that we go together but I couldn’t make it.
See, I was in class that Wednesday trying to read MTH110 (MATHS) which is by the way a confused course with a confused text book – or “material” as UNIBEN students would call it. Lami came in with what looked like some wedding invitation cards. She asked what I was doing on Friday.
“Anything aside going to a club with you” I said.
“How about an all expense paid trip to Lagos? Arik Air return ticket?” she said as she flaunted the “what looked like some wedding cards.”
“Ummm… Is the Alhaji gay?” I asked, agreed it was dumb.
“Fool! My Dad’s retirement dinner party” she replied punching me on my left arm. I had to say, I was not the ideal person you land a punch on.
“Arrrrgh! I hate the fact that I can’t punch you because of some random weakness you feel, and punching you is so fun!” she culled my face with her hands and apologized.
During one of our many talks, she landed me a punch that actually gave me a hard time standing up. I had to tell her that my muscles lacked strength to recover from instant stress; I didn’t tell her about the ailment but she got the drill – don’t ever punch Balarabe.. EVER!.. Ok maybe sometimes.
I couldn’t go to Lagos; I had no plans of going there for anybody. I told Lami that my parents wouldn’t approve (I lied) but she was not ready to give up. After her “You want to waste 40k plane ticket” emotional blackmail, she tried “You really don’t care about me do you?”…
She left Benin angry with me that Friday, she said I chose to go on a “food” treat with a friend rather than spend a special time of her life with her. Elvis (The guy that took us to Blue Meadows) ended up taking my place. No it was not really a food treat, it was rather an agreement. I should probably tell you what happened…
Miriam called me that Wednesday night to ask why she didn’t see me in service. I couldn’t place her question; like was she thinking I would suddenly become a full time member and attend the service which I totally had no Idea was holding? Even if I know, wetin make I go do?
Anyways, she promised me a time out at the General food court if I attended their Thursday service and part of the bet was to say Hi to her after service. It was not about the food, I just wanted to spend some quality time with her.
After the service, I had to wait for 30minutes because the Executives were having a meeting. While I waited, I came across another bulletin and the writer was talking about the Adulterous woman and how Jesus freed her from people who wanted to stone her. I read it for the umpteenth time but I couldn’t fix the whole story, I hated the fact that the writer stopped where Jesus told the woman to go for he does not condemn her, the writer didn’t tell if the woman condemned herself…
“The adulterous Woman… perfect story to illustrate God’s compassion towards us” I heard Miriam say behind me. She couldn’t have been there for long because I didn’t smell her around.
“Ummm… The story seems incomplete though” I said, changing my position so I could see her face.
“Why would you say that Mr.?” she asked, collecting the bulletin from me to cross check.
“It’s just funny, God didn’t condemn her but what about her own self-condemnation? Why didn’t Jesus just erase her memory of the sin? Why did the writer made it look like once the sin is forgiven, everything is alright? Isn’t there supposed to be a proof?” I should have continued asking her questions and probably tell her goodnight if she tried answering these questions because the smile on her face didn’t seem like these questions were a challenge to her. But then again, Joshua came out of nowhere to interrupt our conversation, making things easy for me.
Joshua started his questions, despite Miriam’s attempt to stylishly tell him to let us alone; he chose to goad me. I had enough when he said: “You are in 100level right?” I had to clap back; I had to put him in a place that he wouldn’t like.
“Miriam, Buka 7… heard they have the best Egusi soup in town… And nice ear rings, it matches with the buttons on your shirt”
Yeah! I hated myself for the flirtatious statement but I just had to. Joshua was building this wall around Miriam which was scary because he was not even dating her. I mean, it was obvious that he was crazy about the girl, so why couldn’t he just ask her out? Why was he acting like he was her father? And no… I was not even thinking of asking Miriam out, I could be one hell of a confident man with some mad mood swings but I didn’t see myself dating her. Not just because she was way out of my league but also because I was too messed up for her.