The Perfect Man

The Perfect Man

Love. It’s never been more than a word to me. If anything, the idea of love and romance feels like a joke. People describe the phenomenon of love with exciting words and equally powerful enthusiasm. I try not to laugh, believe me.

As little more than a child, I saw love as boys waging wars to win a girl’s heart, girls accepting or rejecting the victory and vice versa. Either way, it was a thing worth fighting for, a treasure at the bottom of the sea. Magic accessible to all that seek it.

Except, it was accessible to everyone but me.

At first, I imagined it was a thing that would come late for me. And when girls would write notes for me and leave them in my locker, I would try to find some hidden feeling, a need to win their hearts and I would come up empty.

Something had to be wrong with me.

And how badly I wanted to feel it. I searched everywhere for a space that was hollow inside me. A place I couldn’t fill with the love of family or the friends that made my young heart flutter in a special way. But the space would echo loudly whenever I found myself without these things. When I lay in bed, waiting for sleep and tried to imagine what it would feel like, it simply eluded me.

I got older and found something quite close to love. It was fiery, an inferno that lit my skin with an intense heat. I found lust. But in the unlikeliest of places; in the arms of other men. By then, I figured, something was definitely wrong with me.

So now, I do a mental giggle when I hear about love. But lust – now that feels unmagical. Feels real.

The thing about lust is it never quite lasts. Fire can only burn for a while. And lust burns out faster when it’s attached to nothing but empty spaces.

But I try to feel it as much as I can. I love the taste of a man’s tongue against mine, the heavy breath on my neck as we search for ways to make our bodies sing, the hungry gaze that reflects on my own eyes. And when it gets more complicated than this bliss, more than my lustful soul can baer, I leave. This had me leaving a trail of hearts and blood in my wake. I simply could not love.

And it’s not like I don’t warn them. “I am not a good guy,” I would try to explain in between the encounters, the sheets, the rapid touch of skin against naked skin, the moans and the eventual googly eyes. But they’d laugh, indulgently, like I’d just told a joke – laughter that always end when it is time for me to move on.

I try not to think of how conspicuous I am starting to feel as I sit by myself at the table, nursing the drink I bought almost 30 minutes ago, waiting for someone at my favorite restaurant. I’d agreed to a blind date with a friend’s friend. His name is Jude, and from the pictures I saw of him in my friend’s phone, he looks like someone I can entertain myself with for a little while.

That possibility is however dimming as the time ticks away. He is almost an hour late. I give a sardonic chuckle as I remember how my friends had hoped he would be the one who would “make my dead heart come alive.” They always seem to be on the lookout for the perfect man for me. Judging by Jude’s tardiness however, I doubt he’d possess such heart-resuscitating power.

I raise my hand and scowl at my watch. I hate waiting. I watch the traffic of people trickling in and out through the front door of the restaurant. I catch the eye of my server and he arches his “are you ready to order” brows. I shake my head at him, with a half-apologetic “I’m still waiting for my date” shrug.

I am just about to dump my patience and leave when someone waltzes in through the entrance, snatching the oxygen momentarily from the air. My breath hitches. He is not somebody I know. But he is somebody I instantly feel I’d like to know. There’s a smile on his face that rivals the overhanging chandeliers in brilliance, and his walk radiates nothing but confidence. I blink, hard, because the world seems to have literally lost speed. Time is moving slower and I cannot take my eyes off this stranger.

I notice him stop at a table and smile at the group of people at the table. He hugs all of them. It’s a mixed group of good-looking men and women. All of them look to be in the same age bracket as the Stranger. The Stranger himself looks to be in his late thirties. And he is gorgeous.

I stop staring and look down at my glass. Time resumes its pace. The scowl from earlier hasn’t entirely left my face yet – in fact, it may have deepened with the arrival of the Stranger. I can’t help it. I have to look, just one more time.

I look up and he is already seated amidst his friends. He still has that smile on his face. It brings a little smile to my own face. And right then, he looks up. Using his index finger to push up his glasses, he looks directly at me.

A frisson runs up my spine, explodes and scatters all across my entire body. Panic sets into my mind as I feel it – whatever this is – as it flits about my insides, causing me to involuntarily hold my breath, and then stopping in my chest before resting and fluttering like an electric butterfly. I gasp from the unfamiliarity. I gasp from the terrifying newness of the feeling.

The world moves slowly again.

He keeps my gaze and holds it very firmly. Not wanting to show any weakness, I lift my right brow and just then, he does the same thing. The expression is so deliberate, so comical, that I almost laugh. Instead, I bite my lower lip to stifle the outburst of amusement. He squints then, and so I squint back, watching as a small smirk begins to shift between his mouth. It feels like a challenge, a game we’re both unashamedly playing. His smirk grows. He smiles. I frown. He doesn’t blink, so I don’t either.

No way am I losing whatever this is to this weirdo.

His smile gets even bigger as if he had read my thoughts, and finally, a small smile slips through my face before I can catch myself.

Just then, the Stranger vanishes from my line of sight as someone steps in front of him, pushing back a seat and settling down in front of me.

What da –

“Hey!” Jude says with harried enthusiasm.

“Oh.” I blink rapidly, remembering why I am here. The world picks up its usual rhythm again.

“I’m so sorry. Was I too late?” He is talking, the doe-darkness of his gaze welling with apologies.

Those eyes that stared at me from my friend’s phone, interesting enough to make me say yes to this blind date. The eyes that have now ceased to interest me ever since the Stranger from the other table walked into the restaurant minutes ago.

“It’s fine,” I say.

I look beyond him, to the Stranger behind. He had resumed his conversation with his friends.

Did I imagine our visual flirtation from a few minutes ago? I think with a frown.

I shake my head to clear the foggy feeling, as though I’d just woken up from a dream.

“You look really good,” Jude says with a grin.

He has a nice grin, but it holds no comparison to that smile from a few tables behind him. I don’t know what to say to his compliment; I usually do – I usually know what to say when someone compliments my looks. It’s a savvy you acquire from years of being good looking and being reminded every time by those smitten by you.

But today, right now, I am at a loss for even the glibbest of responses.

“Good day?” I ask instead.

“Sure. Busy but not a bad day,” Jude responds. His brow creases a bit. “You seem…distracted.”

“I’ve had a busy day too,” I answer and then force another smile, force my eyes from straying to the table behind him, to stay focused on him. “Shall we order?” I look down at the menu with deep interest.

Seconds later, an itch begins at the back of my neck. A stir, like a soft breeze brushing over the tiny hairs on my skin. There is someone watching me. Eyes are on me. It is him. I just know it’s him.

I look up to find him gone from his seat. I look to my right instinctively and find him at the bar. He’s staring and smiling at me like he knows a private joke about me. My heart starts to thump in my chest. And my eyes begin a journey from his face and down over his body, taking in how snugly his shirt and pants hug his sinewy body. I gulp.

This is ridiculous! I think to himself.

“What is?” Jude asks, looking up from his menu, startled.

I realize I’d spoken out loud. I take in a deep breath and get up to my feet.

“Please excuse me,” I say to him and turn to walk to the bar.

As I draw closer to him, he observes the frustration on my countenance and his smile becomes a low chuckle. I can hear it. I can feel it, thrumming against my body, over my nerve endings. I stop before him. He arches a brow and waits.

“Do you know me or something?” I ask. “You keep looking at me and smiling.”

He says nothing at first. He inclines his head and gives me a contemplative look before saying in a voice with a husky rush to it: “No. I don’t know you.”

“Okay…” I take a beat, wondering what I’d expected would happen. “Well, stop staring then.” I try to say this confidently, but I feel incredibly silly.

He smiles again.

“And stop smiling,” I add and turn to walk away.

Only to run into someone else.

“Abdul!” my friend calls out my name.

“Kola!” I enthuse and we hug.

“I didn’t see you there,” Kola says. “I just arrived and spotted Uche.” He looks behind me and waves. I follow his wave to the Stranger at the bar, who has waved back and is still smiling.

“Uche, huh?” I taste his name on my tongue. And it feels almost like I’d never heard the name before, not until now.

Kola looks quizzically at me and says, “I saw you two talking to each other. How do you know each other?”

“How do I know who? That guy?” I feign ignorance. I feel Uche moving closer. It’s an instinct that feels like a kiss at the back of my neck.

“We just met,” he answers Kola. Then he stretches out a hand to me. “I was going to ask you your name.”

“Before or after the staring contest?” I move my hand to meet his and Uche holds it softly and firmly at the same time.

He laughs too, at my witticism. “I knew you’d be funny. And even cuter up close.” His gaze warms over my face as he looks at me quite deeply.

The world loses speed again.

“What’s your name?” he asks.

“Abdul,” I answer.

“Abdul.” He repeats my name as I’d done with his.

We keep staring, oblivious of anything else around us. And for a little while, for an infinitesimal moment, it feels like we’re alone.

That moment gets shattered when Kola clears his throat, bringing us both back to the present, permitting time to work normally again. I shake my head.

“I’m still here.” Kola waves at us. “Where’s everyone?” he asks Uche, looking around before finding their friends. “We should go join them.”

“Yes,” Uche says. Then at me, “Come and join us.”

“I’m with someone.” In that moment, I wish Jude had still been out there, running late.

He glances at my table, at Jude, with an expression that is so carefully blank, I am sure it is hiding an unattractive emotion.

“Your friend can come too,” he says.

I chuckle at that. “No, thank you.” I turn to my friend. “Kola, it was good to see you. Let’s talk soon.” With that, I turn and walk back to my table.

“I’m sorry,” I say to Jude.

He nods and smiles at me.

The evening continues with me trying hard to tamp down on my wayward thoughts, thoughts that Uche has determined never to let go of. Thinking about him fills me with a heat – no, this isn’t the usual heat. It feels like an inferno.

An hour passes and we’re about to leave. We have settled the check with the server.

And then, I feel him before I see him approach our table. I feel him like that kiss behind my neck reanimating. He stops at our table, cutting off Jude who is just about to speak.

“Can we talk?” he asks, his eyes on me.

I look up at him. “We have talked, haven’t we?”

He doesn’t answer and just stares at me. I stare back.

“Excuse me. We were having a conversation here,” Jude snaps at him, a challenge in his voice.

Uche flicks a look at him, one that isn’t so carefully blank. His eyes have dimmed with that unattractive emotion. I decide then that I never want to cause him to reveal that unattractive emotion.

Then he turns back to me again, the snub aimed at Jude very deliberate. He leans closer to me, his face mere inches from mine, the scents of him assailing my nose and causing my breathing to hitch.

“I’m going to go now,” he says in a low voice, “but we will see again, won’t we?”

“Yes, we will,” I find myself saying, as if under a spell.

He smiles, his genial confidence swiftly returning and radiating as if it never left him. He looks back at Jude, sharing the warmth of his smile between us. “It was very nice to meet you. My apologies for interrupting.”

“I’m sure,” Jude responds snarkily.

But he was already finished with Jude as he turns and walks off, back to his table, where his friends are rising and preparing to leave.

I am very aware of the look of bafflement that Jude has rested on me. Before I can confront it, my phone buzzes with the reception of a text message.

Tomorrow, yes? The text blinks at me.

Kola must have given him my number. Instead of the irritation I usually feel when people breach this boundary without my permission, I feel that familiar frisson racing up my spine again and splintering into a thousand sensations all over my insides. I don’t even try to hold back the smile that lights up my face. I look back toward his table and he’s smiling at his phone as he and his company exchange air kisses all round.

I feel something I’d never felt before – a promise, a hidden feeling breathing clean air, a space beginning to fill. My dead heart coming alive. And it is puzzling as it is electric. It feels like the charge doctors inject into a dying patient’s chest to revive him back to life.

I feel alive as my fingers move across my phone screen.

Tomorrow, yes.

***

Love. It was never more than a word to me. If anything, the idea of love and romance felt like a joke. People describe the phenomenon of love with exciting words and equally powerful enthusiasm. I try not to laugh, believe me – because the funny thing about love is its unpredictability. It is never what you want it to be. It creeps up on you with an incandescent smile and a confident gait. And the moment you feel it, it is magical – the most genuine thing in the world.

Sometimes all it takes to find it is the perfect man.

Written by Abrams

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Previous The Savage Response To The Woman Who Condemns Homosexuality With The Bible Book Of Leviticus
Next Hugh Jackman explains where the gay rumours about him may have originated from

About author

You might also like

Fiction 10 Comments

SERENDIPITY

They met at a colleague’s wedding. Evans was forced to attend since the entire office would be going. He avoided any interaction with his colleagues outside work and this had

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Fiction 69 Comments

I REMEMBER

FOREWORD: The following is a work of fiction, written by Masked Man and dedicated to all those who have experienced the loss of loved ones. * I remember vividly the very

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Fiction 5 Comments

The Pornstar

“Take it all in,” he said, as he face-fucked the twink. “Yes!” He threw his head back, basking in the pleasure of the twink’s mouth wrapped around his dick. I

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

13 Comments

    • Pink Panther
      November 25, 06:37 Reply

      Lol. Love has to start from somewhere. And it’s usually with overwhelming lust.

  1. Mandy
    November 25, 09:20 Reply

    This “Love will eventually get you” mentality is something Hollywood and romance novels have been selling to us for years. Now society believes there’s someone for everybody.

    Well, what if that’s not the case? What if a romantic waits and waits, and never ends up with a soulmate? What if the hoe keeps on hoeing till he dies and doesn’t get arrested by love? This world would feel a lot less lonelier and desperate if we started believing that some people aren’t just going to find love.

    • trystham
      November 25, 12:30 Reply

      You sound like u have now made HollyWood an eternal enemy

    • Keredim
      November 25, 12:31 Reply

      Mandy, ndo o?

      You will be fine..

      😢😢

    • Tobiasoka
      November 25, 18:19 Reply

      Mandy, what Hollywood movie/ romance novel damaged you like this? Lmao 😆

    • J
      November 25, 23:06 Reply

      Love is a scam, a fairytale – especially that unconditional or agape type, whatever they call it… It will become a cliche very soon and people will get sick of hearing it. Love always come with a condition and it often fades away when that condition is not constantly met.

      I have been following Shannan Watts and kids murder… I basically lose hope on love after that incident, including other stories I have read and from my personal experiences. I feel most people are acting and claiming to be happy and in love, while deep down there’s a major problem. People can lust, be infatuated with someone, be committed friends, tolerant and all that, but true love in the real context does not exist.

  2. Tristan
    November 25, 14:26 Reply

    This doesn’t go well for me. I think Uche was very ungentlemanly.

  3. Taul
    November 25, 18:44 Reply

    One hundred times the best post I’ve read here. Your witty arrangement, seamless transitions and astute descriptions are quite enviable, kept me glued.

    More of this, please!

  4. Delle
    November 25, 19:18 Reply

    Uche’a suave debonair is quite charming but choking.

    Do I want a man like that? I do not know for sure. Seems to me like one who’ll be very skilled at emotional blackmail.

  5. Black Coffee
    November 26, 08:55 Reply

    Hehehehe, just how the predator became the prey. I don’t see Uche feeling the same way Abdul feels though.

  6. BRYAN PETERS
    November 30, 16:24 Reply

    I absolutely love the way you write. U
    You had
    me sitting and reading and giggling to myself. Really awesome read

Leave a Reply