It was not long after I dropped my Saudi-made prayer rug when I heard my phone ringing. It must be a call. And i just return from Juma’at prayer/mosque. As hungry as I have been- having gone to the mosque grated by our house-cook’s failure to get the food ready, before I left- I found it unsettling to receive a call at this critical time (of ephemeral hunger). I never thought of who the caller may be- just felt harassed. Ergo, I resolved not to take the phone out, from my tightly sewn pocket. Few minutes later, *melody * melody *…What again? It was the phone ringing again whilst I was dragging the usual lunch-plate- a metallic one, but rubberised. I paid no attention to the “call” nor did I stop the resonance; they should go to hell, for all I care.
I was munching on my meat in the usual, organised prioritisation ( I always finish the meat or the fish before going after the main comestibles) when the phone rang again, but this time different tone and different duration.
“A text message.” I thought.
I did not give a damn to check; continued with my miniature feast. Yummy! the food was so delicious, and the smell redolent. The house-cook’s respect and admiration increased in my eyes, I felt like snuggling her… Mammy won’t spare her engaged son reacting this way; not when it’s almost a week to his wedding. I just enjoyed the food. I still can remember myself mouthing “ummm”, but bereft of words to justly describe the reminiscence.
” Krn! Krn…” rang the phone, for the third time.
Having just done with my food (I’d decided to check the phone immediately after the meal) I plunged my hand into the pocket to bring out the phone. No name assigned to the number; I don’t know or have it in my phone/record.
” Mtswwww! ” I hissed and picked ” Hello, who’s it?”
But the caller hanged up without a word. I shrugged and scroll away. Two missed calls, one message- I hastily unlock the screen to nurture my inquisitiveness- Ya Salam! What I read…. Lord of mercy! It was a message from Bilkisu, my fiancé. I felt guilty and disconcerted.
” Why haven’t I…?” Why?” I stuttered.
All the two missed calls were Bilkisu’s. I can’t believe what I did. What next? I opened the text message, but it appeared to me that it was from an unknown number- perhaps the one that called me recently.
” Hmm. Tell the woman who halted you from picking up my phone that she’s not a woman enough, since she can’t stop a man like you from answering from a new number. Hmm, I pity this infantile woman. And to you, thanks a lot.” the message reads.
” It is Bilkisu- what did she concluded? that I refused to pick her phone? Oh, no. I must explain. Yes, I must clarify this.” I told myself.
My hunger returned. What she may think, i don’t know. Women are very stuporous; she might have thought that I intentionally ignored her calls.
“Kai! wait, I eventually answered the last call and she’s the same caller. Lallai, I have no point to prove. She won’t believe me. But I shall try.” I spoke, inwardly.
I speedily grabbed my phone to call her. I searched all the phone-book but couldn’t locate the name “Future” (for that was what I call her). I scrolled down again…D,E,F- yes! got it; “Future” located! I calmed down and organised myself. I rallied and garnered my remaining courage to coax her. I arranged all my pleas in one basket; I just want her ears, finish!
I dialled, it’s ringing but no answer. Second time, third time…. 7 times but still, it went on, no answer. It was at my final attempt that the screen of my phone dare to display “user busy”- that means the user has rejected the call out of volition. My emotions grew wild not because she is angry with me ( we love and forgive each other), but because she may report me to my mother; who’ll NEVER take it lightly with me. I paced about my room, pensive. I planned this, I planned that. Then suddenly an idea struck me- why not visit her in person?
” Yes, that’s it. I believe when we see face to face she will listen and hopefully understand, plus agree with me. I have to go as early as the evening begin to evince.” I determined.
I used to take a temporal nap in the noon- when the sun passed the center of the sky- around 3pm. Alas! the siesta cannot be granted its deserved justice; I can’t sleep due to this deliberate incidence. It’s not that I am an pessimist. I tried as hard as I could to snooze but couldn’t. I blame myself for agitating my sweetie- which may cost me a thing, or diminish the trust Bilkisu had for me (is that Rihanna who said “love don’t cost a thing?)- and for denying me my “right” to doze. But don’t blame me, blame it on hunger!