I’m sorry, but who is this?
I read the message again, composing and rejecting replies in my head.
– I’m sorry, message sent in error.
– lol. Bobo you are so cute; sometimes. I was just teasing you.
Of course I know it’s you. Even if I deleted it, I doubt I’ll forget your number anytime soon.
The contrast between how gutted I felt only moments before, and the way my heart leapt, in that instance told me everything I needed to know: I had to let Keme go.
My stomach was not built for this ping-pong of emotions. If I carried on like this, I was sure to get ulcers.
I have to free Keme. Just not yet.
– I don’t know why I’m doing this, but I just thought of you this morning. No, not just this morning.
I think about you a lot. Should I be telling you this?
What is wrong with me?
– lol. Like I told you, you’re cute.
“Woah,” Phantom exclaimed, “you go fear nau.”
Scar pursed his lips and whistled.
It was evening and we were at Wale’s place for some FIFA 15. I told them about my day and the conversations I had with Brown Sugar and Keme, I even showed them the chats.
When Wale read out “Like I told you, you’re cute”, they erupted in laughter. I managed a tight smile.
“Make una see my life o.” I said.
“Personally,” Sly said, “I think you’re going about it all wrong.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You have no business still talking with what’s-her-face, and you had absolutely no business messaging Keme. Not after she told you not to…”
“But she messaged me two w…”
“In a moment of emotional weakness to tell you of a death.”
“Ehn, this was my own moment of weakness nau.”
“The reason why you’re ‘so cute’.”
“Touchy, are we?” Wale guffawed.
They were right. I knew they were right, but it irked to hear them treating my fuck up.
“Waka.” I splayed the fingers of my right hand in his face.
We all laughed. The moment passed.
“But guy leave play,” Sly said, “all these girls wey you dey track…”
“Na dem dey track me…”
“…wey you dey track up and down. these days, wetin be your plans?”
“How do you mean?”
“See you have to, at some point, decide what you want in a woman.”
“Mehn, relationships are hard; being single is harder sha.” I said.
“I tell you,” Scar said. “Sometimes I imagine a relationship based on love, respect and what have you, but then I meet a girl and I am reminded how devilish they are.”
“Some are more devilish than others.” Wale said. “It’s just to hope that when you enter a relationship it’s with someone whose devil you can tolerate in average doses.”
“There is such a one?” Scar raised his brow.
“I once knew a girl who was the gentlest soul I ever met…” Wale said.
“So how come you’re not with her?” Scar cut him short.
“Guy calm down nau. She was divorced, well, separated at the time. And with a kid. We got serious and everything, and I didn’t mind that she had a kid. The boy and I bonded well. That’s how after a year the girl threatened to slit her wrists.”
“I know this story!” I interjected. “I remember her.”
“Correct,” Wale gave me a thumbs up, “exactly. Her. So, as I was talking go, she threatened to slit her wrists. Why? That I wasn’t jealous enough about her, so I didn’t love her.”
“Ehn?” Scar asked.
Phantom and Sly who had returned to their game of football set their pads down and turned towards Wale.
“She said that when she went out for hours I didn’t call to ask where she was and what she was up to. And that when boys called her phone, I didn’t display any signs of envy.”
“Wait first,” Sly said, “and if she kill herself wetin go happen?”
“She say e mean say I no love her and if I no love her, she no fit continue this life. Guys, una for see me that day.”
“Una dey see craze person?” Sly asked no one in particular.
“Any idea where we were when she threatened to take her life? My house!”
“Omo mehn, police for carry you your leg no go touch ground.” Phantom said.
“I sofry beg her, pet her until she gree go back her papa house naim I call her brother report am. Na dia relationship end.” Wale said.
“And this was a girl that, until this happened, I kicked myself for not making a move on the day Wale and I saw her.” I said.
“Wo, this thing called relationship is try-your-luck,” Sly said. “I just thank god for my wife. For now.”
“Maybe her own craze still dey boot,” I said and we all laughed.
My phone beeped, it was a message from Brown Sugar.
– Hey Bobo
I rolled my eyes.
“Guess who just remembered me?” I asked them. “Brown Sugar,” I said without waiting for answers.
– Hey, what’s up?
– Hw r u? I’m ok. Jst hr
– I’m good o.
– Wat r u up to?
– Not a lot. Hanging with my boys
– Ur bz?
– What are you up to?
– Grt tanx. U dnt want me to c u, oya introduce me to a fine/nice frend of urs. Cus I knw it’s cus ur dating.
“Shey you see what I was telling you about the type of girls you attract?” Sly asked after reading the message.
“Abi your head dey touch? No be here we dey person send me message?”
– Are you back in Lagos? I asked her.
– If I am will u c me? Last tym u dodged.
– Looooooooooooool! I dodged? Oh my days.
– Yea u dodged.
“Dude, end this chat and block her. You’re the one encouraging this… this… I dunno sef.” Even Wale was irritated.
“Remember that video of DJ Khalid? Girl you smart?” Phantom asked.
“When I saw it I thought the guy was just an asshole. Like, is it supposed to be a breakthrough to find a smart girl? But lately, after meeting a certain girl, I realised that could actually be the case.” He threw his hands up in the air. “This particular girl was only interested in music videos and Coldstone ice cream.”
“Hmph,” Sly sighed.
“She struggles at every other common sense thing besides watching music videos and eating ice-cream from Coldstone.”
“There are girls like that nau,” Wale said. “There are certain girls a common friend met when he was serving in Uyo…”
That was met with coughing and cat calls.
“… all those girls were interested in were indomie and dick. According to our common friend, that is.”
“Before nko?” Scar asked.
“Is that worse?” I asked.
“Actually, no difference. Na like custard and pap.” Wale said.
“Shebi you people have one ProConnect something the blog you write for is doing? Guy register, at least you might find a single professional…” Sly said with a wink.
“Or a professional single.” Scar finished.
“Una no well.” I scrolled through the options menu and selected Block contact.