ADETOUN; THE LOVE I NEVER HAD!
17th September, 2013 presented a bright afternoon in Bodija, the obvious heart of Ibadan. In case you have never heard of West Africa’s largest city, Ibadan, it is the soul of the southwestern states and the educational capital of my dear Nation, Nigeria. My appetite was nowhere to be found as I concluded I was not having lunch. I sank into my seat with the intention of taking a nap within the break period. As I closed my eyes, the seraphic image of this young lady filled my head, I could hear the sonorous sound of her calculated steps, I imagined her silent giggles and angelic smile, it was just five days since I last saw her and to me it was like forever.
A hard slap on my shoulder jolted me back to life, as Samuel, a friend at work said;
“Oga its Tuesday, aren’t you going to the usual place?”It’s Monday, I replied with mild anger lining my voice as I went back into daydreaming. “Yesterday was Monday and a public holiday, today is Tuesday ogbeni”, Samuel said. I could feel my heart beat faster and my glands secrete more sweat as I shifted the mouse of the flat screen HP desktop computer in front of me, it was indeed Tuesday. I scrambled for my car keys and jacket as I ran out of the banking hall of the bank where I work. I was heading for a canteen.
A man without appetite yet rushing to a canteen!
She takes the last morsel of amala hurriedly because she wants to give a reply to what her friend just said to her as she chokes. I wish I was close enough to give her a glass of water, but it would have been silly to travel all the way when her friend could easily hand one over to her, which was exactly what she did. I am done with my own meal too but am taking it slow with my drink, they laughed over what? I wouldn’t know! I just wish I could get close to her, I wish I could say a word to her, I wish I were the one holding her arm and smiling with her, instead of this fat; fat is a mean word so I’ll say plump friend of hers.
God please help me, it has to be done today because I can’t imagine what would happen if I never see her again. God forbid! For the past 3weeks she comes in around 1:30pm for lunch only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It was very boring for me last week Thursday when she didn’t show up as planned. Oh, did I say as planned? I meant as usual. Thank goodness last week is history. I waited till 3pm, hoping she would show up, had to leave when my boss called that a query would be waiting on my table if I turned break period from 1-2:30pm to 1-3:30pm.
What if she decides to change her lunch spot, the thoughts of last week mustn’t repeat itself that is why I must get her phone number today. Thanks to her loud-mouthed friend I know her name, but am clueless as to who Adetoun really is? I think she is a born again Christian, the only premise for my conclusion though I haven’t exactly concluded yet, is that well she prays before eating her meals and two weeks ago I saw a Bible sticking out her unzipped bag. I know it’s shallow to think that she is born again as result of this, but don’t blame me what can I do but hope for the best. The more reason why I need to approach her!
The problem is I am not used to this kind of situation. I don’t meet girls as complete strangers, I prefer someone introducing me, but sadly there is no one to introduce me to Adetoun. What other name for a dazzling beauty, she definitely looked like a princess even in a simple black knee length gown, if I met her as an astronaut in space; I would conclude she is not human, but definitely an angel. One would have thought that the black colour would dim the brilliance of her beauty, but I do believe that it must be her fair skin that retains the brightness around her.
I remember how I trailed her like an undercover agent when she left the canteen two Tuesdays ago,and this was not my first time. You may call me a stalker, but if you have ever been in love with a total stranger, you would know better, I just had to. Unfortunately I lost her again while I was stuck in traffic. I wonder if the sleek metallic car she drives really belongs to her, her fat, sorry, plump friend who drives it sometimes or her husband.
What if she’s taken or conquered like Samuel often says. There’s no ring on her finger so am not going to conclude. Fate must smile on me today! She is moving towards the counter to collect her change, this is my chance, I planned to meet her at the door. As a man eating without appetite, I swallow hard as I could feel a lump in my throat; she turns around and makes her way towards the entrance, her friend is still at the counter making usual jokes with “Alhaja”, the owner of the canteen. I could feel a trickle of sweat rolling down my spine as I was a few steps behind her, saying a silent prayer from my rapidly pumping heart.
I closed in but then she stopped moving, I slammed my brakes hard. I thought, now is the time. As I took a step further, she came falling right into my sight as I ran to save my queen from falling. My world stood still, it felt like a dream come through, I was at the gate of paradise gazing into the eyes of my pearl. I was oblivious of the pandemonium all around me, before she could see the passion in my eyes, before I could say a word, before our love story could begin, light was out of her dazzling eye. Breath betrayed her seraphic frame! It was the end of our love story that never began. Adetoun was the love I never had.
**special appreciations to Tijani Mayowa for helping to put this story into shape
Olabisi is a lover of God and his Christ, a Law graduate aspiring to provide one of the best company secretarial/legal services ever in Nigeria. ff on twitter @labissy