Someone once said that tingly feeling you get when you like someone is simply common sense leaving your body, but with Bimpe, I didn’t mind. I could have become so devoid of common sense that I would turn into a blubbering idiot and yet, it wouldn’t have bothered me. The first day I saw her was the day I became a believer in true love.
I was taking a stroll that fateful night when I ran into her – literally. As I wont to, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed so I didn’t see her coming in the opposite direction. She wasn’t engaged in any such activity so I wonder – in retrospect – why she didn’t avoid the head-on collision. Anyway, we collided and the books she was holding fell from her hands and so did my phone. I immediately bent down to retrieve my phone before another passer-by stepped on it. She also bent to gather her books while apologising profusely. I slid my phone in my pocket, sand and all, and then helped her with the books. We both straightened and I handed them over. That was when I saw her face and fell in love. Just like that. I know it sounds cheesy but I don’t care, I was completely enamoured.
Bimpe was beautiful beyond words. She was fair in complexion with bright eyes and an aquiline nose that reminded me vaguely of the Arabian belles of the Middle East. She had dainty lips, on which she had applied a pink glossy lipstick and eyelashes that were a mile long. My gaze dropped down her body and I noticed that she was tall (almost my height and I’m no midget at 5 feet 11 inches), and curvy too. She was wearing a purple tee shirt (my favourite colour, by the way) and tight blue jeans which accentuated her slim long legs. She was the complete package, at least physically. I must have stared at her for a while because she shifted her feet impatiently. I realised I was blocking her path but my muddled brain was still not functioning. I couldn’t move so she had to skirt my immobile form to continue her journey.
I turned to watch her as she walked gracefully away. I knew I had to see her again but I could think of nothing to say to her at that moment. Me! A legend amongst my friends concerning all things female. I was even nicknamed Nova (shortened form of Casanova) because of my exploits with the ladies. Before long, she turned a corner and was gone. This jolted me out of my reverie and I immediately followed her. I started chanting a mantra: talk to her, get her number. I was like a zombie.
After following her at a safe distance for a while, I realised she was headed for one of the lecture halls. Obviously, she was going to study, probably through the night (We called this Night Class), which was something I had never attempted. By this time, my brain was back from the leave of absence and I formulated a plan. Just as I suspected, she entered the 1000-seater lecture theatre and soon settled down to study. I hung around for a while, scanning the faces of the other “serious students,” hoping to find someone I knew. Luckily, I did and I put my plan in action. I barely knew Gbola but we played football together and that was enough. I hailed him, slapped hands loudly with him and we snapped fingers – typical guy style. I chatted briefly with him and then borrowed one of his textbooks and a pen. He looked at me as if I was crazy – we were not in the same faculty – but I assured him I only needed the book for half an hour or so. I’m right over there, I told him, pointing towards where she sat, deeply engrossed in her books. I bought some sweets from a girl who sold edibles to the night classers and made for the seat behind Bimpe. I sat down casually and started flipping through the borrowed book, perfectly willing to bide my time.
I could barely see the letters printed in the book because I was so busy stealing surreptitious glances at the nape of her neck. Such a beautiful neck, I though, such flawless skin. Suddenly, I dropped my pen and loyal as it was, it rolled out of my reach and settled between her feet. Perfect aim, I thought gleefully, congratulating myself. She picked up the pen and turned on her seat to face me, offering it back. I waited for a split second, what I hoped would pass for the time it took me to recognise her.
“Hey,” I said in feigned surprise, “You’re the one I knocked over back there.”
She raised her eyebrows as recognition creeped into her eyes. She nodded.
“I’m truly sorry,” I said, collecting the pen. “I was distracted.”
“No problem,” she replied with a little smile and turned back to her books.
I tapped her shoulder and offered her two of my Éclairs. “Would you take this as a peace offering?” I asked, giving her a little smile of my own.
“Don’t worry about it.”
“Oh, but I insist. Absolutely.” I grabbed my book and scaled the table easily, landing on the seat beside her.
She smiled again and I dropped the sweets in the middle of her open book. She thanked me shyly and concentrated again on her book. Dr. I.A. Bello’s Physical Chemistry. That meant she was in the Faculty of Sciences – my faculty. I wanted to climb the table, dance a jig, and sing to the heavens. How could I be so lucky?
“Are you in Chemistry?” I asked casually.
“No,” she replied, “Science Laboratory Technology.”
Same of same, I thought. “What level?”
“I see. I’m in 300 level, Chemistry Department. I took that course last year.”
“Really? Did you find it difficult?” She was facing me now, obviously interested in what I was saying.
“Not really, once you get the hang of it.”
“Could you please teach me?” she asked cautiously, “I find it a bit confusing.”
“Sure,” I replied, hoping to God that I could still recall the content of the course. It was a tricky one but I managed to get a B in it so I felt fairly confident.
“I’m Bimpe,” she said, with the never-far-away shy smile.
A couple of hours later, I was walking her to her hostel. Luckily for me, she was not one to study through the night. When we got to her gate, she asked if I could tutor her some more the next day and I quickly agreed. She must have been impressed with my teaching skills, I thought happily. I didn’t sleep a wink that night, I was busy thinking about Bimpe.
We met the next day and the day after, for two straight weeks. Then I started visiting her and before long, we were dating. Bimpe was perfect (and I’m not looking through the rose-tinted glasses of love). Apart from her great beauty, she could cook like a gourmet and was as caring as they come. She was also very intelligent and obsessed with cleanliness, especially my own. Personally, I couldn’t be bothered to put my room in order or wash my clothes until I had worn the very last pair but she changed all that for me. She made sure my room was spotless and my laundry was done every other day. Her good habits started rubbing off on me and I was grateful. Wife material through and through, my closest friend, Dapo, told me. Little did he know that he was only echoing my own thoughts. I had found my wife. However, all that changed the day she invited me to her church.