Writer’s Note: There will be pauses in between the narration of this story, to analyze the things that got me suspicious.
It was a throbbing Thursday, and I just had to hold something that throbs, anything actually. My not-so-real name is Adrian anyway, and Christopher was my throbbing Thursday rendezvous.
Let’s go back to like few months before throbbing Thursday. Christopher and I had been chatting on Facebook for quite a while. I’d had my eyes on him for quite a while on the social media, but I didn’t know how to get him to look my way.
Then his father died! Yay, this was my chance. Okay, I didn’t mean to take advantage of a man’s death, but the heart wants what it wants. Mine wanted Christopher. Did I mention Christopher is over 6ft tall, light in complexion, well built, and when I say well built, I don’t mean the steroid-induced-well-built, I mean the evidence-of-good-workout-well-built. He always reminded me of a sculpture of a Greek god.
On the day his father died, he posted the info on Facebook. I promptly chatted him up. He responded. Before then, he had the habit of forming Mister Busy for me. Luckily for me, he had my time that day. I offered my condolences and I asked his permission to write a piece in honour of his father. He gave me the go-ahead. I put pen to paper and came up with something real, not too many smart words, and he loved it. He posted it on Facebook, and it got a lot of positive comments. We started chatting a lot more than before, and I was like, Mission accomplished.
Quickly enough, the chatting was no longer enough for me. I suggested we hang out, he said he was quite busy, but he would call me. He asked for my digits and I gave him. GLADLY, I might add.
Now let’s come back to throbbing Thursday. I was at school, minding my NYSC business, and my phone rang.
Stranger: Hey what’s up?
Me: I’m cool, who’s this please?
Stranger: It’s Christopher.
Me: Hey, good to hear from you.
Christopher: Yeah, I’m free today, was wondering if you would like to hang out.
Me: Sure, anytime from 4pm.
Christopher: Ok, I will call you then.
Me: Aii, bye.
I was home early though, listening to music, and it was 3:47pm when my phone rang. It was Christopher.
Me: Hey, sup with you?
Christopher: I’m good. You free now?
Christopher: Ok, I’m at Harold’s Avenue, but will be going to Rainbow Town soon. Can you come to Rainbow Town?
Me: Sure. It seems you’re close to my house though. I stay along Harold’s Drive.
Christopher: Really? Come out now then, so we can move together.
Me: Cool. I’ll call you when I get there.
In ten minutes, I was ready, all dressed up and ready to be probed by a throbbing whatever. I boarded a taxi and got to the junction where I was supposed to meet Christopher. I’d just decided to call Christopher, when I touched my pocket to discover that my phone was gone. I turned back and I could still see the taxi I’d just alighted from. I immediately switched to Usain Bolt Mode. All I was thinking as I pursued the idling vehicle was, Nigga, if you don’t get that phone back, how you gon’ call Christopher?
And that was all the motivation I needed. I chased that taxi like I left my sex-life in there. Luckily, I got my phone back.
ANALYSIS: While walking back to the junction, four words popped into my head: THIS IS A SIGN. I thought about it for a while. But it had been long since I – you know, did the thing . . . that thing nah . . . Well, if you don’t know by now, you can never ever know. So I pushed the thought aside and was singing the Christmas song that popped into my head as I walked back to the junction.
**NOW BACK TO THE STORY**
I was at the junction, and this time I could make that call. I made it, and in no time, I was with Christopher. In the flesh! I lost my composure for like eleven seconds. I said to myself, Good things really come to those who wait. The introductions were soon out of the way, then he said he came to visit a friend who he hadn’t seen for a very long time, that he’d been with the friend for over three hours. He asked that I escort him back to the friend’s place, so he could say his goodbyes and then we could go hang out. That was cool with me. I met the so-called friend, and during our acquaintanceship, he introduced himself as Harry, said he just got into town and he hadn’t been in Calabar since 2007, which was the last time he saw Christopher.
Christopher: Harry, oya nah, make I dey roll.
Harry: (after thinking for a few seconds) Oya nah, make we dey roll.
(That was how they said it, just like that, like it was rehearsed)
ANALYSIS: We? Who’s we? Nigga, you didn’t tell me about no we. I began to think, he didn’t even tell his friend where he and I were about to “roll” to, and he didn’t ask his friend where he was intending to “roll” to, and all of a sudden, “we” are all rolling? Hmm…
**BACK TO THE STORY**
I wasn’t cool with the “we” shit. But I kept calm. Harry was then about to lock his door, so “we” all could roll.
Christopher: What about that guy wey dey live with you?
Harry: Him comot o. But him know where I dey keep key.
ANALYSIS: Isn’t this the Not-been-in-calabar-since-2007 guy? So how come he came in yesterday and a guy who knows where he keeps his key is already living with him? At this point, I wasn’t comfortable anymore. The rat I smelled wasn’t just dead, it’d been dead since last week, and it was really stinking up the whole place.
**NOW BACK TO THE STORY**
We got to the junction to take a cab to God-knows-where. While standing at the junction, my phone rang, and it was my dad! I picked the call, and the old man was like, “Where are you? I’m in town!”
ANALYSIS: Five words popped into my head this time: THIS IS CLEARLY A SIGN! But, daddy, why? Why now?
**BACK TO OUR STORY**
Me: Where exactly are you?
Dad: I’m at Total.
Me: Okay! I’m not home now, I’ll be coming back in three hours time.
I was now somber and quiet, and thinking if I should ignore these ‘signs.’ A cab stopped just then, and the three of us got in. I was quiet all through the drive, while Christopher and Harry kept on chatting and reminiscing. It all sounded fake to me though. Then, all of a sudden, Harry was talking to Christopher and he referred to Christopher as “Timothy.”
It was a slip of tongue, I said to myself. They continued chatting, and I noticed Harry was the loud-mouthed one. So I decided probe him.
Me: So Harry, where are you going to?
Harry: I want to go see my uncle. He’s travelling tomorrow, just want to spend time with him small.
Me: So he stays around where?
Harry: Satellite Village.
After a few minutes, I turned to Christopher.
Me: So where are we hanging out?
Christopher: There’s a bar opposite Fiesta Fries, let’s just chill there.
At this point, they got awfully quiet and kept straight faces. I was wound tight in the corner of the car-seat where I was, and noticed when Harry looked at me with something you all know as odu anya, or corner eye. And that’s when I knew the game was on. However, I kept up a smiling face, as I didn’t want to give myself out. But inside me, I had mentally peed my pants like ten times.
And then we got to Fiesta Fries.
Christopher: Harry, how e go be nah?
Harry: Me, I dey go forward o. (Then after thinking for a few seconds) Or make I just chill with una. After, I go where I dey go.
Christopher: No wahala.
I smiled inwardly as we got down from the cab. And I walked slowly until Christopher was ahead, and I was beside Harry, and then I probed further.
Me: I thought you were going somewhere…
Harry: Yeah, it’s just my cousin I’m going to see. It’s not that important. I can go later, since it’s been long I saw Emeka – sorry, I mean, Christopher. I said lemme just chill here small…
**NOW ON A SERIOUS NOTE, PAUSEEEEE**
ANALYSIS: First of all, it was “Timothy”, now it’s “Emeka.” So what’s next? Usman? Femi?
Secondly, I thought he said he was going to see his uncle. Now it’s his cousin. So I’m guessing his uncle died and reincarnated as his cousin, abi?
And by the way, so he left his far away house for an unimportant visit?
**OYA BACK TO THE STORY**
At this point, it was like I was seeing a movie and the part where I saw Harry looking at me with odu anya was on repeat. I just kept seeing his face over and over. I started analyzing that expression as the reel kept on repeating itself. You know how a movie ends and you see something like. Directed by Steven Spielberg before the credits start rolling? Well, the movie with the “odu anya look on repeat” ended, and what I saw instead was “RUN!”
Christopher was still ahead of Harry and I. We were about to cross to the other lane of the road. Christopher crossed first. I waited a bit for Harry to cross. Christopher walked straight into a bar across the road, and I observed him; he was just too familiar with the bar and its occupants. Then I saw him talk to a man with gestures, and the man gestured back, telling him to go inside. All this while, he thought I was behind him. I was still about to cross the road. Then I saw a taxi coming up, and I waved it down, hollering Harold’s Drive at the driver. As my Guardian Angel would have it, the taxi pulled up. So Harry crossed the road. I crossed the road too, walking instead straight to the taxi. Harry turned in time to see me getting into the taxi. Through the windscreen, I waved at him as the taxi drove off.
Minutes later, Christopher started blowing up my cell phone. I simply hummed along to my ringtone until he got tired and gave up on me.
Written by Adrian