So this month marked the ninth month anniversary of bae and I being together. It hasn’t always been a smooth ride of course. There are days when you’d seriously look back at when you were single and realise how much easier things were, and other days when you seriously cannot imagine how you ever lived without him.
So something ghastly happened to me last week and I just couldn’t resist sharing.
Okay, so I got into a little scrape – as I always do; my friends call me “calamity magnet”. I lost my Fidelity Bank ATM card in the middle of a crowded marketplace. It was the only account I had cash in at the time so I had to call up Bae for quick assistance. For some reason, he couldn’t use his mobile app to transfer directly into my empty Diamond Bank account and had to go to the bank to pay it in on the other side of town. I stood in the small slightly-crowded bank building with the long row of ATM machines, waiting for the alert that’d signify that he had paid in the money. An hour went by and I was starting to get impatient. I dialed his number and listened to the ring-back tune I always found irritating till the call ended without a response. I was beginning to get offended. I fleetingly thought about how long it would take me to trek the usually thirty-minute distance (by bus ride o!) home. Quickly passing it off as impossible, I moved to dial Bae’s number again only to see an incoming call from him. I answered it while trying to steady my temper. And that was when it happened.
I don’t know if my cheek pressed against the loudspeaker icon, or if my village people were simply playing the ogene with my destiny, but in a second, Bae’s baritone filled the small quiet ATM room filled with up to six different users.
“Baby mi,” his voice reverberated, “I’m so, so sorry. The line at the bank is horrible. My love, just hang on a bit for me, okay? It’ll be in soon, inugo? I love you.”
I froze. The other customers froze. The world froze. My fingers were too stiff even to end the call.
“Baby… Baby, are you there?” the treacherous baritone called again. “Nna, can you hear me?”
I found my senses and fumbled with the phone, ending the call immediately. I stared at the phone screen, unable to collect my senses enough to look up. Eventually, I did. I finally lifted my head and the other people in the room all looked away quickly, finding random places to focus their stares on.
In a minute, the alert came in. I punched at the keys on the ATM machine, feeling the sweat trickle down my back as my phone rang in my hand. Probably Bae calling again to find out if I’d received the alert. Robotically I took the cash and moved to walk out.
I had gone a few steps when – “Hey! Excuse me!”
I stopped in my tracks and turned a face that to the rest of the world must have looked cold and calculated to the caller, whereas inside I was frozen, iced out, shriveled up. I turned to face the young man who’d called out to me.
“You forgot your card,” he said, handing me the green square plastic.
“Thank you.” My voice came sounding chipped, a little too curt. Maybe I should have offered a small smile or a nod. That’d be the polite thing to do.
Instead, I turned and walked out of the small building whose cool interior did nothing to relieve my shirt from being plastered to my back with sweat.
Written by Kainene