Nesta had always known how I felt about him from the first day we met under the shade, away from the torrential rain. I actually had not noticed him until it was only both of us left. They had been six of us but the other four ventured into the rain angrily after waiting for what seemed like eternity. Maybe I would have joined them but I was not so much in haste. My house was a few miles away, very close indeed and I had already called my younger brother on the phone to come and pick me up with an umbrella.
It was after that we actually noticed each other. Actually his hand mistakenly brushed mine and as he turned to say an apology, our eyes met and locked for a while. Gosh! I had never felt the way I felt for him at that moment all my life. I instantly felt my heart flow out to him.
“Hi”, he said jamming into my thoughts.
I muffled a “hi”. I was so shy and abashed to have been caught staring.
“I am Nesta and you?”
“Princess” I replied coyly, instantly looking downwards.
“Princess”, he repeated. “Do you really happen to be one?” he asked turning to face me.
“Not really”, I replied. He smiled in understanding then leaned against the shade and said no more.
I couldn’t understand the gesture. Somehow I was afraid that maybe I threw him off. I had wanted to find out if I said something wrong when he raised his heads once again to see something but stopped shut on seeing a huge guy come behind me. I laughed out loud when I turned and saw the alarming look on his eyes.
“It’s only my brother” I said.
“Oh that. I wasn’t afraid one bit. I saw the resemblance in him from a far distance” he covered up smartly.
I muffled laughter within and introduced him to my brother. I watched Nesta, he hesitated a bit before he accepted my bulky brother’s hand in a handshake.
“I have to go now, I said”
“Of course” he said as he dipped his left hand into his pocket and brought out his phone. “Can I have your phone number?”
“Yes”, I replied smiling as I called the eleven digits number for him. I watched him punch the numbers into his phone after which he flashed me so that I can save his own number.
“I got it”, I said, raising my ringing phone up for him to see. He nodded
“I will call you tomorrow” he said
“Okay. I would have loved to help you home with an umbrella, I don’t know…”
“No, don’t bother” he interjected immediately in objections. “I have already told my cousin that I am here. He stays around he will soon be here” he said. “Oh there he is”, he added immediately
I turned to see a bulky guy step in. He shook hands with my brother and his cousin but merely said hi to me. We all said good bye to each other and faced the way home. After we have walked quiet distance, I turned to look at Nesta and found him staring back at me too; I muffled a short laugh before we bent towards the road home.
I couldn’t sleep all through the night. I felt like calling Nesta at midnight but kicked against it. I didn’t want to appear cheap or make him feel that I was down for him. It was around 3.00am, when I was already thinking of retiring for the day that my phone buzzed. I picked it and saw that it was Nesta calling. I was so happy but I hid the happiness in my voice once I picked the phone.
“Hello”, I said with a feigned drowsy voice.
“Sorry I disturbed your sleep”, he said at the other end, in a sincere apology.
“It’s okay,” I said.
“I just wanted to say hi. I don’t know but I can’t sleep” he said
Same thing here, I said within myself, not out lous of course and listened.
“Can I see you tomorrow morning?” he said
“I don’t know” I said into the phone. Of course I would love to see him but I refused to admit that. No I have to play my cards well or he will toy with me, I told myself. “I will be going to school,” I lied
“Oh!” he said dryly. “It’s okay, I only thought it could be possible, I had wanted you to help mw with some preparations.”
“I understand” I said. “Don’t worry what I am going to do in school isn’t so serious. I will be back before 12. I will give you a call then”
“Bye”, I muttered into the phone and ended once he had replied bye too.
Once I dropped the phone, I leaped up in excitement, when I found myself laughing out loud; I clutched my hands against my lips to muffle the laughter.
I met Nesta the next day around 2.00pm at his cousin’s house. I found out that he had just written his final exams at Unec and was planning to celebrate it. He was throwing a semi grand party that day. I joined in the preparations and exactly around four, the party kicked off. I was so naïve and young then and didn’t know how to behave among big boys and girls. I felt so out of the party. I had to step outside for some fresh air leaving Nesta to entertain himself. Actually I felt a little jealous, watching him dancing with a black Sheila with so much abandonment. He looked so happy even though he can’t dance and I didn’t want to ruin his party for him after all he had first asked me to dance with him and I have refused because I felt bashful.
Standing outside at the balcony and leaning on the rails barricading the flat we were in overlooking the heavy main road before me. My thoughts were far, I tried to think about Nesta to see if I could be able to explain the kind of man he was, although we haven’t known for too long. Nesta was quiet very fair, tall, slim and looked irresistibly handsome. He had a kind of unfamiliar charisma about him that had drawn me so close to him when we first met. He was also humorous but most of all, he was sexy, devilishly sexy. Listen to him when he talks and you are sure to fall in love. I just love the way he talks and the way he uses English. Inside he had told me he studied Estate Management and had went on to tell me a little about his nuclear family. He was the first son but not the most handsome of the three boys, he had said.
I was still standing outside, leaned on the rails before me, ignoring the hip hop-highlife music blaring so clarion from the sitting room, when I left someone tickle me from behind. I turned to face the angel that has been tormenting my dreams. He was standing there with a plate of pepper soup and a bottle of malt.
“I didn’t know the brand you take”, he apologized as he handed me the pepper soup and the malt.
“Which one do you take?” I asked gullibly.
“This”, he said raising an unfinished bottle of Star up to my face.
“Oh! Not that. This will do quiet alright”
“You don’t take alcohol?” he sounded astonished.
“No”, I replied.
“What else don’t you take?” he wanted to know. “I hate to serve you poison someday”
“You won’t” I replied and saw him raise a questioning elbow. “You didn’t today”, I finished and turned to eat the pepper soup.
“So tell me more about yourself”, he began leaning beside me as he took a sip of his drink.
“What do you want to know?” I asked just as the hot pepper soup scalded my tongue. I hid it and instead took the cold malt to quench the hotness in my mouth.
“Tell me everything”
“Okay”, I said and began to tell him all. I merely told him about my family and my younger siblings and how it took me two solid years before I could get an admission.
“That’s natural”, he was saying. “It took me three years to gain one”, he said.
“Oh!” I was speechless and silenced.
“Well that can’t be all about you”, he jabbed into my thoughts. I turned tartly to face him. Obviously there were frowns of inquisitress on my face.
“Don’t look at me that way”, he said with a laugh. “What about your boyfriends?”
“You talk as if I have many” I chided.
“Well maybe not many but you can’t be a virgin”
“I am”. I replied and watched his pupils disappear only to appear to darker. Nesta was taken aback and the impact of my revelation had obviously affected him. There had been a guy I have met before, he had been surprised too. In fact he had left me because of that. He had two reasons, first he can’t defile a virgin and two, he can’t bear staying in a relationship without f**king her. To me with was good riddance to bad rubbish.
“I have just been offered an admission into Enugu State University of Science and Technology to study Chemical Engineering was preparing to write my first semester Examination in two weeks time”, I said when he couldn’t say anything after the shattering revelation. We stood out there listening to the cool music and chatting away until it was time for me to go.
“Can I show you something inside, before you go?” he asked. It took me a while to consider that but what harm could he do to me when the house is filled with people partying?
I followed him inside. We went through the sitting room filled with jolly-old fellows. Most of the people were exhausted now, only few remained dancing. the rest sat with either their girlfriends or boyfriends, almost everyone was drunk as they shamelessly touched themselves in the open, I abruptly felt abashed for seeing such evil. As we passed a door, I heard loud moaning and screams behind the door and shivered. I suddenly felt like turning back and running away. Oh God! I hope he is not trying to rape me. I prayed.