Her head was still rested firmly on my shoulder. She hadn’t moved a muscle and for a moment I thought she hadn’t heard. I loved the way she scented, her perfume was sweet and soft just like her skin which was right now rubbing against mine. Her body was warm against mine, just as it had been on the day we kissed. I cherished these moments, all the more so as I risked losing it all in a few moments…
“What did you say?” She asked, her head still on my shoulder. I wished I could see the look on her face, so I could gauge what her reaction was going to be like. I raised her up and held her by the shoulders so that she was looking straight at me. Her features were, well, blank.
“I said, I see things that others do not see. Things that nobody, actually, should be allowed to see.”
“You mean, you hallucinate?”
“No I don’t hallucinate,” I paused. This was going to be difficult to explain. “I kind of see into the spirit realm, or third dimention, or whatever you want to call it. Everyone has that ability, only, not on this side of the veil.”
“The veil? What are you talking about?” She was beginning to get alarmed.
“The spirit world is divided from this one by a veil. Look, forget the intricate details, what you need to know is that I see things that make me able to read people, know their problems or gifts, and sometimes help them out when I can.”
“Like the pastor the other day?” She asked
“Like the pastor the other day.” I affirmed. “He was doing fetish things with the oil he was using on the people he was praying for, only that I could see he really didn’t want to do it but rather his wife pushed him into it. You know, a miracle here, a manifestation there, and his congregation would swell. But I saw into him and realised he didn’t want anything to do with it. So I pretended to go for prayers and instead advised him to stop. He was grateful. Hence the thank you. ”
She listened on in silence. She had this look on her face like, ooooooh, so that was what that was all about. I watched her for a while longer wondering what she would say next. When she said it I wasn’t too surprised.
“So what do you see when you look at me?” She asked.
“You have beautiful wings.”
She looked at me a while and then registered shock and surprise as realization dawned on her. “That’s what you said the day we met! You weren’t looking at my bosoms!”
I laughed and she laughed as well. It was amazing! If it had been a white chick she would have probably told me to go and see a psychiatrist. But I guess Africans and especially Nigerians were a little more accommodating when it came to supernatural issues. Or maybe it was just her personality. I was relieved though that she seemed to be taking this revelation rather well. however I still had something I needed to tell her.
“There’s something else,” I said. I had since let go of her shoulder and she had relaxed into the chair. But now she sat up curiously.
“Your wings. They are tied pretty tight with golden chains. I have honestly not seen that before and was wondering what it meant.”
Her eyes widened and she impulsively looked at her shoulders as if to see if she could spot anything.
“I honestly don’t know o, this is the first time someone is telling me that I have wings talkless of chained wings. Can’t you find out for me? Do they look heavy? Maybe they are my sins?”
I shook my head. I had thought of that before but it didn’t male sense somehow and besides I would have seen it on someone else by now. Unforgiven sins usually appeared like dull grey rusting chains tied around a heavy ball of steel and attached to the ankles of the ones who carried them. They weren’t beautiful or shiny in any way. This golden chain however seemed tobe both a blessing and a curse to her. A thought came to mind and I voiced it out.
“What if it has to do with the relationship you are in? Maybe your decision, being a selfless one, is what makes the chains golden. Its a good decision but self limiting. What do you think.”
As I explained, her countenance became sad. She said nothing but tears came to her eyes. I can’t stand seeing ladies cry, it does something to me, makes me feel helpless somewhat. So I brought her close to me and hugged her, offering as much emotional support as I could. She stayed in my arms for a while but then suddenly pushed me away.
“No! That can’t be it! You don’t understand, you’re just using the information I gave you to make things up so you’ll score points with me. Well I’m not falling for it!”
She got up and started to gather her things. I watched her, my mouth open in surprise. Weren’t we just laughing a while ago? What had I said to warrant this? why was she hot one moment and extremely cold the next? The chains around her wings appeared even more tight today than it had been yesterday and i wondered why i hadnt noticed it before. I suddenly remembered something.
“What happened last night?” I asked.
“Huh? None of your business!” She retorted.
“You called him, didn’t you? You are going to meet him soon, maybe even agree to go ahead with the pact even though there seems no logical reason for it!” I had raised my voice a little. “You are about making a huge mistake!”
“Its none of your business!” She repeated hotly.
I threw my hands up in exasperation. In a way she was right, it wasn’t any of my business. I was letting the feelings I had for her cloud my judgement.
She saw that I had become quiet and stopped fidgeting.
“I’m sorry. Maybe I over reacted there a little. Its just, its complicated. His father has been very good to me and my family.”
I closed my eyes and said nothing.
“His father has agreed to come and see my guardians.” She said suddenly. ” He is coming with his dad to my place tomorrow so we can discuss a few things.”
“I see,” I said, “well, far be it from me to play the devil’s advocate in this scenario. The truth of the matter is I’ve fallen in love with you. I wake up in the morning everyday with the hope that I’ll see you smile, or laugh or just talk. Everything about you is beautiful to me”
“Chuks…” She said.
“Please dear, let me finish. I’m not really one for putting my feelings out there but I have to let you know this. Its becoming obvious to me that you may not feel the same way. Still I can’t let you go knowing that you’re getting yourself into a situation that will hurt you. That’s why I’m trying to make it my business. If you don’t want me fine, but don’t sign off the rest of your life to a guy you don’t love just because you made a kid promise some years ago.”
She sighed and sat down again. We were quiet for a while and I could hear the gentle rumble of thunder.
“It seems like it’s going to rain.” She said. I nodded absent mindedly. This was definitely not how I intended spending my Saturday. The atmosphere in my room was tense and glum and I suddenly felt sick of the whole thing.
“Screw this, I’m taking you out.” I said.
“What? When?” She asked, taken aback. I got up and yanked her to her feet. I felt her exhale as I drew her close to me. Those lips, those lovely eyes…perfect gentleman, perfect gentleman….
“There’s a nice spot a few yards away called ‘Sadi’s place.’ I said. ‘They sell the best barbacued fish this side of Lagos. We are going there now.”
“But, the rain,” she said hesitantly.
“It’s an indoor place and they have taxi for charter in case we want to go anywhere from there. Come on, it beats sitting around here moping, abi?”
She laughed then and agreed. I wore my shoes and we went out the door
“You know, maybe you should come along to my place, maybe tomorrow,” She said as we were going. “You’ll get to know my house and you’ll meet Obi. You’ll see his not a bad guy at all. A bit glum, but not bad.”
“Let’s see how today goes first”, I said. I wasn’t particularly thrilled about meeting my competition but it was an opportunity to know her place so why not? And besides, maybe I could read him, and see if there was anything that required me worrying more about Nina.