The picture was quite ordinary. He didn’t seem very remarkable. He wasn’t even smiling in the picture. It looked like one of those pictures you take randomly that end up looking better than you expected it to, so you tentatively upload it on whatever messaging app you’re on, and it probably goes unnoticed, because it’s a nice picture but not nice enough to be commented on.

When Dotun saw the picture, he typed his response to Wale, who had messengered it to him on BBM: No, I don’t know him. Why do you ask?

Wale: He’s doing a program in your school. I just wondered.

Dotun took a look at the picture again. He liked the way the guy’s nose was shaped and the feigned meanness in the eyes.

Dotun: He’s kind of cute though. If you don’t mind and he doesn’t mind, could I get his contact details so we can talk?

Wale: *laugh emoticon* Hoe! I’ll have to ask him.

Dotun smiled, and went back to studying. However, his mind would stray once in a while to the picture and he’d smile again.

The next day was typical for him. There were lectures and impromptu tests that left him wishing he actually stuck to his vow to study a bit harder. He remembered the picture with less frequency, but occasional flashes of the image in his mind still made him smile a bit.

As he left the campus, he popped his earphones into his ears and left his music on shuffle. He walked to the campus gate, enjoying the music, singing out loud, and not really caring that people would hear. It had rained earlier in the day and the air smelled fresh and clean. He maneuvered his way through puddles, feeling like he was in a music video as he listened to Tove Lo tell a boy that she was not on drugs, then feeling Kat Dahlia admitting that she was in love again, and nodded along with Lady Gaga as she talked about stalking the hell out of some dude. He skipped any sad song that came up on the playlist. Today was not a day for sad songs. It was a good day.

He got to the campus gate, and that was when another Tove Lo song came up – a personal favorite, Time-bomb.

What’s the worst thing that could happen / Cause the worst thing that could happen / Could be the best thing ever…

His feet hit the pavement in tandem with the beat of the song, and he was in another world…a world where he was writing his own script and there was background music to go with it.

He boarded a bike to take him to his house off-campus, and within moments, they were zooming off down the road. And that was when he saw him. The guy from the picture.

It was weird – No. not the part about seeing the guy. That wasn’t weird. In fact, Dotun felt like it was supposed to happen and that he had been given a chance by the universe to actually write a script for his life, and that when he’d be with his kids and they asked him how he met daddy, he’d have something nice to say, and not ‘I met him on Grindr.’

What was weird was how everything seemed to be in place. How everything seemed to be movie-like just at that moment. The exciting beat from Tove Lo singing, “We’re not forever, you’re not the one, you and I could be the best thing ever.” And the memory of that nose that had made him smile throughout the day.

Yes, he thought. Maybe my life could be like one of my stories, hopefully not a tragedy.

He asked the bike man to stop and put a wad of change in his hand, before hurrying off around the corner they had just turned. His heart was racing with the tempo of the song which had reached a very nice crescendo. He didn’t think about what he’d say or whether the consequences of his actions might be harsh. He had been given a moment and he wanted to seize it.

But he was too late.

In the time he had taken to ask the bike man to stop and everything else, the guy from the picture had melted into the crowd of pedestrians trooping about.

He walked a bit along the road he had come through, silently hoping he’d see that face again. He was sure the guy was wearing a black shirt. But there was nothing, no one, certainly no indication of the guy from the picture. Tove Lo had stopped and with that, the moment the universe had given him too. Life was back to its original script.

Dotun turned and walked on home.

Written by James

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  1. kacee
    August 21, 07:38 Reply

    Awwwww i just love this part “when he’d be with his kids and they asked
    him how he met daddy” It’s lovely James…

  2. Ace
    August 21, 08:18 Reply

    Love the way music transported Dotun to different places in time. It does the same to me too. Sometimes, I hear a good song and become jealous that I wasn’t the one that wrote such powerful lyrics. Nice work as always.

  3. Masked Man
    August 21, 08:47 Reply

    A lot of people I see and feel like talking to, but I just smile and walk away.

    • Brian Collins
      August 21, 10:56 Reply

      MM, are you sure it is only talking you want to do when you see these people?

      • Masked Man
        August 21, 10:58 Reply

        Well, not a bad idea if one thing led to another. It’s good generosity.

          • Masked Man
            August 21, 12:06 Reply

            To receive and extend generosity is now a bad thing?

  4. sinnex
    August 21, 10:02 Reply

    I see…

    I guess this is fiction sha.

    Nicely written.

  5. Tobby
    August 21, 10:54 Reply

    I’m still scratching my head at that end. What a weirdly- written, interesting story

  6. Khaleesi
    August 21, 12:26 Reply

    What a beautiful poignant story, muah James! i love how you write from the depths of your soul, it was like i was there on the campus watching as the events unfolded … you truly are gifted!

  7. Kester
    August 21, 14:20 Reply

    Na so una de go touch somebody’s heart without permission. So melancholic. Every tb worth his salt has experienced this and you look back and ask countless times what if? We survive, we move on we remember but we dream again…… and again. James we must have been fuck buddies in another life that should explain all this braingarsms you give me. For those looking for a series, not happening this is perfect as it is.

    • Brian Collins
      August 21, 18:18 Reply

      Ehn, na so i plenty reach abi? @those looking for a series. mtcheew….ewww

  8. Diablo
    August 21, 16:47 Reply

    I kept wondering where this was going, then I saw who it was written by, and wasn’t surprised that it went no where

  9. Max
    August 21, 16:49 Reply

    Music transports me into another world almost every time, and I get furious when I’m pulled away from that world, when I’m interrupted by a MOFO.

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