’Twas like a dream when I heard continuous knocks at my door, and I opened up to see Bridget standing, shivering and staring covetously into my one room apartment.
Many people think I’m nerd, some would even take the pain to say it to my face that I am a fool. I smile; anytime anybody says anything like that to me, I only smile impulsively. What do they know?
They say everyday for the thief, one day for the owner, and that, I have personally interpreted simply as, ‘Everyday, the common wise people get their chances but someday, we – so called fools and outcasts would undoubtedly get ours’
Having Bridget at my door gives only one clear signal, today was going to be my day. My heart melted with optimism and happiness, as I watched her shaking pitiably, behind her was the very heavy rain that had brought her to me. It blew constantly towards my door way.
I couldn’t disclose to her in this her short appearance, how much I had always dreamed of her coming to visit me. How much I’ve lusted after her and how much I’ve satisfied myself with the thoughts of her.
Bridget is the only girl in my class I consider beautiful. Her brunette hair swivels nicely whenever she smiled her smile and turns around towards my seat in class to see who was behind her. If she saw a friend of hers calling, she exposes her bright white teeth in a wider smile, displaying simultaneously the deep dimples that dug into both sides of her chubby chocolate cheeks.
If she turned around and saw Festus, Bridget would convert the smile on her face into a pure careless laughter and she’d move her ears towards his lips as if by reflex, while he smuggled her into a warm embrace. He chirps words into her ears and thus ignite the dying laughter on her face even more, causing her to splutter shamelessly in the process as she laughs uncontrollably.
Then, they’ll both laugh and laugh until I realized awkwardly that I was already satisfied by their sight, and I would also realize simultaneously that I would not be able to stand up and walk comfortably for the next thirty minutes.
“Toyin?” She spoke softly; her unmistakable soft tenor voice always magnetized my attention anytime I heard it, irrespective of now that her speech was being punctuated abruptly by her knocking cold teeth.
“Toris” I corrected lightly, happy that she even remembered some of the consonant sounds in my name.
“Toris. Sorry. Please may I stay in your place until the rain is over? I’ve been standing at the bus stop for over thirty minutes in this heavy rain, but. . .”
I couldn’t read meaning to her words for long, her face was distractingly beautiful, and the light that illuminated it scillintilated brightly in the droplets of raindrops that had washed over her face.
I did not allow her finish the tragic tale of how and why she couldn’t find a taxi home when I began to nod my head vigorously and shout, “Come in, come in please.” As far as I was concerned, Bridget could stay in my place forever.
And as she walked her addicted catwalk in, I watched with hunger the water dripping from her wet clothe making wet patches on my new carpet, but it didn’t matter. Today was my day, and not the thought of the unavoidable odoriferous smell of my wet carpet could discourage me.
I led Bridget to my giant wardrobe, holding her hands as if it was necessary to do so. Her hands felt soft and milky; far more beautiful than the sight of them. I opened the cupboard before her, and she took her hands off mine, causing a moment of embarrassment and making me feel idiotic as her fingers brushed off mine. I apologized and told her she could change into any of the sweaters she wanted.
“I’ll excuse now.” I promised and grabbed my umbrella quickly as I headed for the door, and dashed to the next street.
Very rarely, I visited the chemist, but with the heavy rain, I couldn’t have been happier at seeing that Habib was yet to close for the day.
“Any sleeping pills.” I almost screamed.
“You want fast one or . . .”
“Yes Habib, fast sleeping pills” I replied hastily.
He went into an inner room and brought a small nylon containing dozens of small white drugs and then carefully selected two, which he put inside a small white envelope.
“Quick sleep” he assured, “within thirty seconds of consumption”.
There was no need to ask if he was sure of what he said, I dropped a five hundred naira note on his flat table and hurried quickly to my abode. In less than five strides, I remembered something that was equally very important and I turned back to get it.
“Condoms!” I whispered loudly and then watched him drop a brown pack on the table, I picked it up and said, “Two packs please”. He gave me the second pack and I headed right out of his chemist.
Knocking my head against his metal door would have hurt on any other day, but that didn’t really get into me today as I raced home to my lucky bounty.
“Welcome” Bridget greeted in her soft tenor, “Is the rain light now?”
“Oh no, still very heavy” I prayed.
She had worn my big black and blue hood; I guessed she must have tried some others before she concluded that this was the most comfortable for the weather.
“What can I offer you?” I asked as gentlemanly as possible. Calculating in my mind that her blue jeans would not be hard to pull off once I successfully get her to take the pills.
She stared at me for few seconds that ticked like ages.
‘Juice! Juice! Juice!’ I prayed in my heart, and then she said; “Do you have any juice?”
Now, that wasn’t starkly a lucky guess, Bridget had been my crush for over three years and I know she loves juice more than water, so I wasn’t completely surprised that she demanded it even in the cold weather. I ran to my small fridge with confidence that today was going to be mine, as I retrieved the only Five Alive juice left. I picked a tray and two tumblers.
Bridget already sat on my only chair, watching the TV and increasing the volume – that was something I really wished I could tell her about her again, Bridget had confidence in everything she did. She was in my house for the first time and she felt soo relaxed and confident. I learned from that, I had to act likewise to avoid suspicion of any sort.
A pastor was preaching in the TV, he was praying, something about evading evil plans and Bridget was saying Amen audibly.
I smiled as I placed the tray on the small stool in front of her, and then I balanced the two tumblers on it. I lifted the juice to pour and she gawked impulsively to be sure the seal wasn’t already broken.
Realising the purpose of her quick stare, I made the juice seal obvious. Then Ibroke it and poured hers first.
“This is very kind of you Toyin” She gestured with a smile and a half bow.
‘TORIS!’ I’d wanted to shout, but I kept mute and a plastic smile on my face. I watched her pay complete attention to the screen, and as I slipped the two tablets into her drink imperceptibly, I said in my heart; ‘Bridget, I’m sorry. I’m only doing this because I really love you. But there is no way I could say it to you. It’s complicated. Get angry if you want to, but please understand that I really love you.’
She stared innocently at the screen while the pills dissolved in her drink, I poured mine but in the process, I upset the glass cup. We both suddenly made haste to save the cup from turning over, and you could bet I did that with my life, to avoid any interruption. We saved the cup from turning over, but some droplets had sprinkled on the tray already – just few drops. I ran to get a napkin and I wiped it completely while we sat back to enjoy the drinks.
“This is my pastor preaching” She said
“I like him” I lied.
We had a little chat, about the day, the rain and school life generally. Although, we were blank almost throughout the jist. I suggested we took our drinks.
We cheered to bright future as our glasses clinked. Then we both turned our cups over, draining the content in our throats. I beamed with joy as she emptied the juice in her mouth and poured more for herself from the big carton. That was the final proof of it all, today was my day and nothing would stop me from savouring my desire.
Habib had said thirty seconds, I watched my prey smiling at me dizzily and started to count the seconds after she gulped down her second cup.
She spoke gibberish for few minutes while I waited desperately.
I realized that she wasn’t the one looking dizzy in the following thirty seconds – it was my blurry eyes. I couldn’t tell how much longer she was awake because I felt a very strong sensation all over me, like I was gradually submerged in a warm Jacuzzi until I felt numb and slipped swiftly onto my carpet.
I opened my eyes within seconds, to see if she had slept – but it wasn’t within seconds, it was twelve hours after. Bridget was not around anymore, I saw a note on my table,
‘You slept rather too quick and too deep.
I hope it wasn’t because I changed our drinks when you went to get the napkin.
Thanks for the hospitality anyway. Take care
– Bee Jay’