She was seated in one of the vintage sofa in the sitting room, the television was on but it looked like she was busy with her phone. “Hey big Sis…” immediately she heard my voice, she looked towards my direction and smiled, nah… I refused to be bought with a smile.
“Hey! Sorry I had to come uninvited.”
“Yeah! I figured I had to give you your birthday gift anyway.” I said, dropping the bag that was containing the gown my Mum got her on the table. “By the way, you look beautiful. Way too beautiful to be visiting a drug addict by this time in his house.” I meant it, well not like in the evil way though.
“I know right? I am sorry you had to hear all that. You have the right to be angry but you didn’t hear it all.” I hated the fact that she was fluent; she must have spent the past few minutes rehearsing what she was going to say.
“Hear it all? Wetin dey there to hear again na? See I am cool alright? But wait, weren’t those the same people that you talk so much about? The same people you couldn’t disappoint? How does it feel though? When the people you trust so much doubts you?”
“You don’t have any idea do you?”
“Idea what? I am lost h-“and then she interrupted me.
“They do not doubt me. They are just trying to protect me from you.” Her voice had started breaking and she was getting too vulnerable for my liking. The Miriam I thought was superhuman, flawless and had her life planned was not the same person I was seeing. I wanted to say something stupid, something that would reduce the rate of my heartbeat, and something that will remind me that I had stopped breathing. But then she was not done.
“If I tell you that I have not been confused of late, then I will be lying. The worst part is that everyone expects me to be alright. Quite cool, I have to be an example but I am human too. I prayed for a friend that would see me for who I am and that very morning, I met you at June12, it couldn’t be a coincidence that you were wearing exactly the same type of shirt that used to be my brother’s favorite. You were so strong yet weak, just like my little brother; I left you that day knowing that we would meet again. I definitely didn’t expect it to be that soon. At first it was my little brother that I saw in you, and then it was my desire to introduce you to Jesus, now I don’t even know. And the more I tell myself lies, the more confused I am. I confided in one of my colleagues and emmm… he thought it wise to go behind me and tell the rest.”
“Can you stop the little brother word? Please?” No, I was not angry. I was feeling stupidly funny. Imagine being given 10million naira as a gift, now multiply that feeling by 20 and think of something greater than it… there you have it.
“I am not reading this off a paper stupid… And stop smiling; I am being so un-African right now. My Dad will disown me if I tell him I told a guy that I am tripping.”
“Gerrarahia! You haven’t told me that” I said. There was an assurance in her smile, like everything was going as she planned.
“Pathetic… Anyways, sorry about the colleagues thingy, but did you have to accuse them of tripping?” she asked.
“Ummm… I think I accused them of Lust. Isn’t it obvious? They want you to themselves. Especially that Joshua. Is there a law against you guys confessing lust for one another?”
“Shut up!” she retorted; throwing a cushion at me.
“Stand up?” I said. Then I walked her to the mirror by the dining.
“What?” she asked.
“Look into that mirror and tell me you aren’t lusting after yourself.” I said.
“I am in love with the girl in the mirror…” she said.
“Well, same here.”
I know you must be thinking this is a good style to flirt or ask a girl out but I dey teyuuu… I didn’t mean I was in love with her, I meant my reflection in the mirror. But then she thought I meant otherwise. Ok! I meant I was in love with her, but seriously, I didn’t know when I said it.
A smile beclouded her face and her eyes caught mine in the mirror. Something funny was in those eyes, I was standing right behind perfection in human form, and all I had for her was respect. I mean, not like I wasn’t sexually attracted but there was something about her, she was so vulnerable yet her soul reached out to me in protest. We stared at our reflection in the mirror and I saw lust in my own eyes. I could read ‘If you kiss me right now, I won’t be able to resist, I want you to but please Bala, don’t…’ in her eyes.
She slid out of my sight, picked up her handbag, facing the door way. “I am sorry but this can’t be happening.” She said, not looking at my direction. I was in awe, how on earth was it that she was so uncomfortable around me? How was it that she had so much passion in her eyes yet her actions spelt guilt? It was like she was holding back a promise, like she didn’t want to cheat on someone.
“No, I am sorry.” I said. She turned to look at me with teary eyes. And she said “I can’t afford to make myself your god, I won’t have peace if I am first in your life, I can’t replace God in your life Bala… and it feels even worse because I am right here with you and the person that cares so much about you is out there, dying in silence just to see that you are happy.” She couldn’t be serious. She must have been talking about a secret admirer because it just couldn’t be Lami.
“Ummm… what are you saying? Who are you talking about?” I asked, hoping that she wouldn’t say exactly what I didn’t want her to say.