The ticking of the clock hesitated. Amara gazed up at me. I could smell the surprise on her face; the shock in her eyes. The seconds ticked away and i feared the worst.
It was Amara who broke the suspense. ”I am not -”
David bumped into the room. ”Hey Amara, whats up!” He was clutching a bottle of Malta Guinness.
She shuffled her feet into her footwear, her head bowed, and left. I thought I saw water drop from her eyes; maybe it was all my imagination.
David stood akimbo, his goggle shifting focus to my stranded self. He then stretched out his hands sideways, as if asking me: ‘What the hell just happened now?”
* * *
David was a fine man. He loved music and church. It was never a shock when he was appointed as the president of his campus fellowship. I could clearly remember the day, it was a memorable one.
The room was dimly lit by a candle. Few minutes after Amara left, power had been interrupted. David was seated on the blue plastic chair, his face hidden by my shadow. I was standing, facing him.
The scenario was the perfect echo of a bad student in the Principal’s office, awaiting his judgement. The difference was: I did not expect to be judged.
”Was that all you told her.” David’s voice was cold.
”I think so.”
”Sam, please don’t think.” I could touch the anger in his voice. It was semi-solid. What the hell was happening? Was David interested in Amara?
”Lower your voice”, I said calmly, ”I’m not your younger brother.” David was the first child out of seven.
The room was almost dark and for a moment i thought they were lit up by David’s eyes. He was on his feet, staring at me, eyeball to eyeball. I did not recognize this part of Ademola David.
”Samuel, are you out of your mind?” He was pointing a finger towards the side of his head. ”How could you have told her that sort of rubbish. Do you know what that girl is going through? Do you?”
He was not asking a question, I knew that. ”David, calm down”. He was fidgeting, like an asthmatic patient under attack. Gently i guided him to a bed and lobbied him to lie still.
David did not speak to me throughout the night. He made some phone calls and grumbled something i could not clearly decode.
The night was dark, the moon refused to show up. As i lay on my bed, my eyes affixed to the ceilings, i thought about Amara. What was she going through? I really loved her.
* * *
I woke up the next morning with a heavy mood. It seemed like an hangover from a bad dream. David was gone.
I cleaned up, dashed to the school canteen and left for lectures. My thoughts were fixed on one thing – Amara.
Amara was in 100 level, I had noticed her during my fellowship Fresher’s Welcome. Her chocolate skin forever glinted in bare delight. She was the sort of girl that triggered the wow effect.
During the lecture, my thoughts swayed around her, like perching house-flies feasting on excreta. Was she engaged? Did she like me? Why was David being so protective?
”See you next week”. The lecturer rounded up and I dashed out of the class, hoping to find answers to my riddles. I was amazed at my own audacity of purpose.
* * *
Amara was just a few meters from where I was standing, her back turned towards me. The adrenaline that had boosted me to scour the whole campus for her suddenly vanished. I was left alone in the wilderness of timidity and with my HP back-pack, which hung desperately on my shoulders.
‘You still have the chance to run Sam’, I told myself, ‘she has not seen you’.
Just as i decided to take to my heels, she turned her back…and we met.
Fear came with its big clubs, I stood my ground. The die is cast.
* * *
While searching for Amara, I had received a text message from David on my cell phone. The message read: ”Don’t go near that girl, she is dangerous.”
I had deleted the message from my phone. Maybe I should not have.
* * *
Her eyes were milky with beauty and her hair rhythmically danced to the tune of the mild wind. She stood still, her hand seemed to be clutching the hand-bag strapped on her right shoulder.
I made my decision, and I walked up to her.
”Good morning Amara” My voice was cool and calculated.
She did not reply, her eyes were locked with mine and I could see that they were full of unshed tears.
We were standing by the road that lead to the School Studio. It was less traveled at this time of the day. The morning was soothing and fresh as the sun silently caressed the world. I felt like we were the only survivors of an extinct planet.
”Amara”, I took her hands, ”You are the woman of my dreams”.
Her gaze tightened on mine. It was like she did not believe. I was ostensibly one of ‘those guys’.
I felt like kissing her right there. Her lips were wet and inviting, like cooked Indomie used for commercial adverts. My blood was pumping, gushing out of their arteries at a frenetic pace. This was the moment, this was the cross-road of destiny. Save me Amara.
” I – I – I am – I am not -” her voice quavered as she broke into a sob. The whole compassion in my heart leapt out. I was shattered, but I had to be the man.
”You are not what? I don’t understand.” I held up her head in my trembling hands.
”I am not deserving of you”
You are not deserving of me? Was this comedy or tragedy? It was comedy because I did not see myself as an expensive project. It was tragedy because I was a bad literature student. I could not read between the lines.
…TO BE CONTINUED