BURN

‘Nigga, burn that shit down.’ Scar said.

***

After the night with Kalakuta Princess, we seemed to fall into a place of awkward silences, and even more awkward attempts at conversation. It started slowly, but before it was a week, a cycle had formed.

– Hey

I sent the message at 18:03 and a reply didn’t come through till 20:05.

– Hi there.

Followed with a

Bye there

Sent at 22:09.

I woke up the next morning to see her messages.

– Lol. Good morning. How’re you?

– Morning dear. Sleep good?

– I did. Up now and getting set for work.

– Oh ok. I’m waiting for water to boil…

– Water for?

– Pineapples.

I stopped typing for a second to try to puzzle out what the relationship was between hot water and pineapples.

– I want them black, just like my coffee.

– Forgive me I couldn’t resist.

– And he’s gone.

I had set my phone down to get dressed and ready to head out. I saw her messages and replied her.

– Lol. I’ll just be all unlooking of that right there. I’d like to see this black pineapple though.

– I’m horny.

– (._.) (._.) (._.)

– Oh sorry, loud thoughts. You had breakfast? Want me to make some for you?

– Some what?

– Breakfast. I want sausages. I want your sausage.

I read the message again, slipped my phone in my pocket and didn’t return to the chat again for the rest of the day.

The next morning, feeling guilty, I sent her a message.

– Hey, how’re you?

– You ran away. I’m chill.

– Lol. To where nau? See me here.

– Since yesterday.

– Work palaver. So what did you get up to yesterday?

– I went to see a movie. A late night movie.

– what did you see?

– Jupiter ascending.

– How was it?

– Fine. I was freezing most of the movie.

– Did you go alone?

– Nah, but the way I dressed…

The next time we chatted was three days later.

– Hi, you there?

– What’s up?

– You don’t talk with me like you used to.

What? Wait. What?

– Why would you think that?

– I don’t know, conversation is stilted. And you seem distracted, disappearing in the middle of chats.

But that’s how we’ve always chatted.

– I’ll try and do better.

When I met up with the guys that evening for video games, I gave them the gist, and the general consensus was that the relationship meant totally different things to both of us.

I felt so too.

‘Guy,’ Sly said, ‘women are crazy. What did she think? Y’all shag and then settle down to happily ever after?

‘You people say burn the bridge like, no o, it’s guguru. I will just close my eyes and open them and like that, bridge is burned abi?’

‘Me, as I am crossing that bridge I am laying the charges. As soon as I am done and I walk back across the bridge, I set the charges off as I go.’ Sly said. ‘See, I am not friends with any of the girls I’ve shagged. It’s not even possible. My cardinal rule is, never go that way twice. Okay, if e too sweet, I fit do another one, but only once, and after that, I don sky.’

‘Me, I let her know what’s up from the start.’ Phantom said. ‘The problem is that the girl will say “okay”, but after, she will forget. So what I do is, I stop taking her calls and I won’t reply any of her messages. Then one day I will answer one of her random calls and tell her my girlfriend saw her messages and it almost ruined my relationship. Guy, you never see gbege!’

‘I remember this girl,’ Wale said, ‘we don dey play this butterfly play dey come since.’ he snapped his fingers repeatedly. ‘When we come finally track, we do everything: remove cloth, do foreplay… everything. I don wear boot make I play naim she put hand hold my chest say “do you love me?”

‘See guy, I dey entrance to paradise make I enter and she dey ask about love. Shebi na love? Me, I dim eyes look her eyeballs tell her say yes, I love her. As we finish ehn, I dress up leave her for hotel. She still lie down for bed, me I just drop her small cash, dress up and tell her say make she leave key for reception when she ready to leave. Another reason why I nor dey carry woman reach my house.’

We all howled, some of us doubled over.

‘She sent me messages and abused my life. Wetin consine me?’

‘The one I find most annoying is when a girl asks you, after the fact or during “what are we doing here?” What does it look like we doing? Definitely not eating shawarma.”

That set us off laughing again.

As we were laughing I got a message from her.

-Pssssssst.

– Heyce

– Hawayu?

– I. Am. Groot.

– Looool

– What are you up to?

– Home. Battling sleep. Got assignments…

Sly was reading the messages over my shoulder and he said,

‘Dude, you’re not her best friend. I suggest you end this. Now.’

‘The two of you are not on the same page, I don’t even think you people are reading the same book.’ Phantom said. ‘ She thinks you people are friends, and before you know it, you will do again. Guy, let it go.’

I looked round at the guys and, to a man, they all felt the same way.

I would say the same if it was someone else. When something has run its course, you just let it go. But for some reason, I didn’t want to take a cleaver to this. Not just yet.

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