My phone is ringing. I don’t want to pick it up. It’s still ringing. I might as well pick it up, It’s woken me up already. I reach for my phone; it’s a text message though.
”Good morning beautiful. I hope you slept o.k. I miss you. Let’s hang out today”
Aww. It’s Sam. He’s been sending me good morning messages, everyday, for like a month now. I love good morning messages, much more than the good night ones anyways. They make me feel like I’m in someone’s thoughts as soon as they wake up.
O.k enough with the mushy talk, I’m only mushy in my head. On the outside, in reality, I am 23 years old, independent, strong and…..strong. I studied mechanical engineering in the university. I actually just graduated. I met Sam at the camp, the NYSC camp. He had walked up to me.
”Hello” he had said grinning.
”Hi” I had replied, my facial expression asking ”Is there a problem?”
He had stood smiling and I had stood looking quizzical. After like 10 seconds, I asked him ”Err, how can I help you?”
”I’m sorry but it’s just that I had seen you from across the room and well I knew I just had to come up to you and say hello. Unfortunately I didn’t think up what I’d say after the hello. But uhm, err…..” The boy started stuttering and saying nonsense.
I appeared highly annoyed. I appeared very unimpressed. However, in my head I was thinking that his sincerity was a breeze of fresh air. Also, I was feeling quite flattered. Anyways, back to my irritated girl act.
”So, do you have a name?”
”My name is Samuel, my friend’s call me Sam”
”My name is Kim. It’s been nice, but I really need to get going.” I wanted to go, I was meant to meet up with my friends that day, so we could gossip, watch a movie, talk about hairstyles, girl night sha. And Mr. Naive here as cute as he was, didn’t seem engaging enough.
”Please let me walk you.” He sounded desperate, like maybe I would say no. I felt a tinge of guilt. I really hadn’t been the nicest person in the last 10 minutes.
I flashed a smile. ”O.k!, no problem.” I looked up, he was smiling. I felt better.
He was tall oh. Very tall. He was dark skinned, had nice teeth, had clean hair. Check. Check. Check.
So that’s how we met. With time, I found out he was very learned. He was intelligent, he knew a lot about a lot. As in the guy kept me up night after night on skype oh; me that likes sleep. When he eventually did ask me to be his girlfriend, it wasn’t hard saying yes. In fact, it felt like a proposal. He himself felt like he had stepped out of my dreams or a novel. Surreal thing really.
I reply his text message. Nothing mushy mushy. Remember all that stuff is between me and me in my head.
”O.k. Cool. Come over to my place by like 12. Choose what we do, I really have nothing in mind..x”
Almost instantly, let’s say 45 seconds, my phone sings again.
”We’ll have lunch then, there’s this new place. Don’t eat breakfast oh, so that you can enjoy yourself. I’ll be at your place 12.30 sharp, lemme give you time to get ready ”
What shall I wear oh. I’m still in bed, mentally looking through my wardrobe. I come out of it with nothing. Now I’m mentally looking under my bed where I keep my shoes. I just bought these Pink Michael Kors pumps. Tres cute. So, I’m going to wear something that will match my new shoes, I decide.
I get out of bed and physically walk to my wardrobe this time. I come out with a black dress. Talk about cliche; my little black dress it is then. I feel very bubbly, very excited. I didn’t date much in University, so this whole looking for what to wear and getting ready before ‘he’ comes thing is quite new to me.
Brush. Shower. Dress. Make-up time!
Sammy likes the way I put on my make-up, especially my eyeshadow. He hasn’t actually ever said that, but he’s flattered and complimented me to no end every single time I’ve done the smoky eye thing.
12.28…The bell rings. Always on time this guy, always. I press my perfume puff. Yes oh, my perfume has a puff thing like in the movies, not the conventional nozzle. Guess who bought it? Sam of course, hehe.
I open the door, he’s looking good. He’s smiling. No, actually he’s grinning and he has his hands behind his back.
”I got you something”.
I’m thinking in my head that I’ve gotten more gifts from this guy in the past three months than I have ever gotten from anyone in my life.
”Wow, are you serious?”
He pulls out two boxes. One is velvety and rectangular. One is a box of chocolate. He buys me chocolate like all the time. I love chocolate. The thing is though, I have never told him I love chocolate!! Well, obviously by now he knows I do, but back then, when we started, how did he know? Sometimes I have the feeling that God read my diary and made some man and sent him straight to me. I snap out of my thoughts. Apparently I’ve had on a blank face, he’s looking concerned.
”I’m sorry, I was just thinking how you’re too good to be true Sam”
He’s looking at me, He’s probably thinking if he should believe me or not. I’m not one to shower compliments or ‘talk’ affection. He’s believed me now though, because his eyes are twinkling and he’s smiling the way the character in some Nora Roberts book I had read smiled. Nora had said that he smiled from his heart because he loved his woman with all his being.
It’s wonderful how he doesn’t ever believe me when I say nothing’s wrong. It’s remarkable. Thanks to facebook fan pages, boys all know that when a girl says ‘nothing’ she most likely means ‘something’ but then I’ve never met a guy that was willing to probe me for what that might be.
”Don’t you want to see what’s in the box?” He raises the hand that holds the velvet box, he walks into my apartment, strong strides I must say. I love his gait, his walk. Oh my gosh, shut up! *I yell at the little excited girl blabbing in my head.* He puts the chocolate box on the kitchen counter, while I close and lock my door.
He turns around, walks back to where I am and picks me up! No, like seriously he picks me up, like I’m some kid or a toy. I’m not slim, I’m not small but what can I say, my man is strong and huge . So he carries me to the living room and then drops me.
He opens the box. It’s a bracelet. But wait, wait, wait!! I know this bracelet. I had gone window shopping with Chioma last week, we had entered some jewelery shop and I had drooled over this piece in front of me for almost 10 minutes. We left the shop, I soooo could not afford it.
So, now I’m screaming oh…Like proper screaming and squealing too…how on earth did he know?
I look at him in disbelief.
‘You like it, aye?’
‘duhhh, obviously silly’
‘Come, how did you know?’ I ask him.
‘Know what?’ See this boy oh. Hmmmm, did Chioma go tell him or what? If she did I’m going to kill her.
‘How did you know that I’d like this?’
‘I didn’t, I was just hoping you would. O.k so let me help you put it on so that we can start going.’
I stretch out my hand like a girl obeying her daddy. He makes me feel little, in a good way. Maybe it’s because he’s 6 years older. Yes 6 years. So? It’s not like we’ve beat Ojukwu and Bianca’s record.
‘Wait, Let me just use the bathroom, we’ll go now.’
I enter my room, close the door and dial Chioma’s number. She picks on the third ring.
‘Come, babe, did you tell Samuel about the bracelet? Don’t lie to me oh.’ I know that I sound annoyed, my friend will most likely fess up if she has any clue whatsoever.
‘Kim, it’s not like that oh!!, It wasn’t like that. He sent me a facebook message last week and he was like do I know anything that you’d really really like and what came to my mind was the bracelet.’ She sounds panicked. I love this babe, bestest friend ever. ‘I hope you’re not annoyed oh Kim?’
‘Of course not silly, I will call you when I get home, me and Sam are going out for lunch, take care, I love you, bye.’
‘Bye, have fun.’
I’m standing dazed. Sam had gone to Chioma? All that effort? Just to make me happy? I’m pinching myself, this is a dream abeg. This cannot be real jo, I’m not in a movie, I’m not the character in a novel. I’m a real girl. This is real life. In fact, this is Nigeria. It’s not like it’s America, at least white men rate higher than black men in the surreal romance sector.
Well, something catches my eyes. It’s the reflection of light off one of the precious stones on the bracelet. My bracelet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the bracelet. It’s the effort. It’s the feeling that he wanted to get me something that I’d love. It didn’t matter that it was jewelry, at this point it could have been malted milk biscuits and I’d still be ecstatic.
I leave my room, he’s waiting. He looks impatient.
‘I reserved a table dear, let’s not be late.’ His patience is not the best but that only makes me happy. It’s there to remind me that this is a human with flaws and so therefore I’m awake and he’s not a dream.
‘Thanks so much Sam’
‘No, seriously, I love it, I appreciate the gift, and I love you’
‘Love you more babes’
Emeka hardly calls me my name, ‘babes’, ‘babe’, ‘baby’, ‘darling’. I love it! Come to think of it, does he know that I love the endearments? I’ve never told him. Can this nigger read minds abeg?
So we’re in the car. No one is saying anything. I’m comfortable though. Our silence is always comfy, I always still feel like we are saying something that’s inaudible but loud.
‘So, where are you taking me mister?’
‘Oh, Chike told me about some new place in VGC, Chinese place, he says it’s awesome’
Chike is his best friend. Chike likes me. I can tell. I usually know when people find me amazing. I like that Chike likes me, so that if anything ever goes wrong between me and Sam, he’ll put in a good word for me.
‘O.k then, I hope he’s right because I’m starving’
‘No be only you ohh.’ Sam says chuckling.
‘Ehen so why did you buy me something so nice for no reason dear?’
‘No reason ke?? One there’s always a reason I do anything for you; I love you. Two, today is our anniversary.’
‘Yes nah, babe…ah ah…you’ve forgotten? This day two months ago, you said ‘yes”
Something is ringing in my head. Alarms. I have never dated a guy who remembered even an actual 1 year anniversary, this one is here remembering it in months. The first guy I dated, that was back in high school didn’t even remember my birthday! Basically, I was under the notion that African men did not remember such things.
‘Best two months of my life Sam, best!’
We get to the restaurant. Nice place I must say. Thank goodness, my tummy was already singing an album. He pulls out my chair, I sit. Yup, Sammy pulls chairs, opens doors, the works! The waitress comes to take our order. She’s very pretty, fair skin, glossy lips, nice smile, thin curved figure, she’d be a size 8 max. She takes our orders and leaves.
Something else I love about my Sammy is how he can be very civil and nice and charming without actually flirting. Amazing. My last boyfriend would flirt with every waitress in every place we went too. With me sitting down there oh! How embarrassing.
Food comes. Appetizer first. We both have some kind of soup like that, I’ve forgotten the name, he picked it out.
We’re on the second course now when he goes; ’Ah, I can’t find my phone.’ He’s searching his pockets…’Babe help me flash it.’ I dial his number. It rings. I hear music. We hear music. The phone is here, I can even see it’s light through his trouser’s pocket. But wait, I know this song, it’s ‘ain’t that a kick in the head’ by Dean Martin. How does he know this song?
‘Ah ah you changed your ringtone?’
‘Nah, my general ringtone is still mgbono fele fele, but I changed your ringtone, I heard this song yesterday and It sounded like what I would have written…for you.’
‘wow, thanks.’ What? it’s not like I could say even more if I wanted to.
‘Excuse me, I’ll be right back.’ I needed to gain composure.
I walk into the restroom. This is too good to be true. He’s tall, dark, sensitive. He remembers anniversaries. He remembers everything I say in fact. He’s sincere, he’s affectionate, he’s generous. He’s spontaneous, he’s romantic. He’s intelligent, he’s smart. He’s an architect too, hot shey? He can cook. He cooks for me, two different things. He plays the guitar and the piano. He texts me every morning and calls me every night. Something’s wrong.
‘Why are you always so pessimistic and cynical?’ My heart asks me. ‘Why!?’
‘I’m just being realistic.’ my brain retorts.
Anyways, now I can hear music in the restroom. How come? Where from? It’s the song, ‘Ring the alarm’ by Beyonce. I know the song. That’s my alarm tone sef. Who turned it on?
I’m awake. I switch off my phone alarm. Wow, some night. My head is throbbing, I had cried myself to sleep. Tunde had stood me up…again!! I look at my phone, You have 1 text message.
”Sorry oh, I forgot. I hope you didn’t wait too long for me eh. When I remembered our date, I was already at the bar with the boys, couldn’t leave. Come over to my place sha, if you can. Mwahh”
I’m awake, to my real life, to my real, lame boyfriend. I’m awake. I knew it was a dream. Somewhere deep down I had known it wasn’t real, hadn’t I?