It’d been weeks Julia met her mysterious Marvelous and they had tried to maintain communication. She had tried talking to her first caller who seemed to have had a bad impression of her. She thought she had to do some damage control but he didn’t seem interested. It was like his mind was made up that Julia was not someone he could touch with a ten inch pole.
Julia hated being given a cold shoulder when she was trying to be nice so she just deleted his number and told him to shove something up a part of his body.
Julia closed her eyes and leaned her forehead against one of the wooden bookshelves that flanked the desk she’d set up at one side of her room. She stood up, flexed her tight shoulder muscles and wondered why the irritating feeling she had been having since Marvelous called refused to subside.
It was a strong feeling that seemed not ready to leave and this development was a serious discomfort to her. Tonia had told them of her escapades with Kunle but she felt the lady had exaggerated and it was now happening to her.
“This just can’t go on,” Lola had said earlier that afternoon.
She had removed her black trimmed glasses and pinched the tip of her nose, a habit she had whenever she had something serious to say.
“Oh please!” Julia replied.
“First it was Tonia and now you. You girls are taking this too seriously.”
“Miss Goggles, please don’t start with that lecture again,” Julia had said, haven decided to visit Lola after a very uneventful and boring morning.
“Phone pals,” Lola had lectured, eyeing Julia from across her writing table, “Do not have any silly feelings for each other.”
“Since when do you know that?” Julia had asked.
“I have known that since I started using my common sense. You are just supposed to have all communication through telephone. Not get mixed up with emotions. Abuja guys are the worst of them and I know he is an Abuja guy. They are trouble,” Lola had admonished.
Julia had lowered her eyes. She had thought of not telling any of them about Marvelous but she felt Lola would be different. She had thought that Lola would not judge her like Nike would.
Julia knew that in the few weeks that Tonia had had her phone pal, she had not been talking to her friends as she used to. They had started to complain about it and even her flat-mates had complained to Julia about it too. Hers was a little more discreet than Tonia’s and she had intended to keep it that way for a while. Tonia on the other hand told anyone that cared to listen that she was in love with her guy.
“You said you people now make it a habit to call each other every night just to know how the other person is doing. That is cute….” Lola had begun to say.
“Yes, we even…,” Julia had interrupted.
“But it shouldn’t get out of hand,” Lola concluded.
“I don’t know why I’m wasting so much time trying to convince you that this may lead to….”
“This may lead to where? Coming from you I will take it as a joke. It started just like this with that Tonia too but hers is understandable but yours. I am not so sure what to make of it,” Lola had queried.
“Don’t even compare me with Tonia. I am quite different from her and Marvelous is not like that Kunle of hers. He is a…,” Julia had begin to say.
“Oh!! Please let’s just talk about something else,” Lola had said moving to her fridge to offer Julia something to drink.
Julia had shrugged and had continued reading her magazine.
It’s been hours since that conversation. Julia flopped down on her bed, and tried to ignore the yearning in her head. The sound of Maitama traffic, the opening and closing of doors told her that the other people living in the house were not really ready to get some sleep and the night poopers were just getting to it.
Without a doubt, Marvelous had occupied her mind. She knew what it was to dream of having a connection with another human being, but her head had never experienced this intense desire to be truly loved. This was terrible. It was horrible. She wanted more than just listening to his voice; she wanted to feel his touch, feel her hand touch his…
“Stop this, you silly girl. It’ll make you so cheap. Get a hold of yourself. He is supposed to be the Mr. Right so make him beg for it,” she reprimanded herself.
Lying in the darkness, she squeezed the materials of her night dress around her body and tried to understand what was happening to her. Emotions she had never realized she was capable of having were coming alive inside her. In a curious way, it was a relief that her heart was capable of having some emotions for someone. It still felt strange, but it was very real. Could she really be in love with a student like her and a student in the same school as hers for that matter?
They had agreed to remain anonymous lovers for a while until further notice. It was a decision that made Julia glad as she wasn’t sure what to make of everything at that moment. She sat up in the middle of the bed, twisting her hair around her finger and starring at nothing, but remembering many things.
Would it be such a terrible thing if she held on to that miraculous contact a little longer and forget what Lola said? She couldn’t bear the thought of going through the rest of her life asking herself how nice or horrible it might have been if she had held on. She didn’t know whether she wanted to play her usual game or not. She didn’t know what was right or wrong for her to do to him. But for the first time in her adult life, she knew what she needed and had always yearned for. She had always yearned for the feeling of being wanted and Marvelous was ready to provide her with all the love she needed in a steady boyfriend.
He said he was not interested in her past whatever it was and that was okay by Julia. She gave a loud yawn. Things could happen, even pigs could fly. Take things as they come, she decided. She pulled in a shaky breath, and turned on her side, minutes later she was snoring still with the thoughts of Marvelous and why he hadn’t call for a while.
Tonia woke up with a start. It was seven o’clock in the morning and the music was barbaric. Dear God, please make it stop. Tonia thrashed around in bed, pulling her pillow over her head. There were time she wished she was from a rich family and this was one of those times. If she was, she could have gotten herself a self-service apartment, instead of having this noisy, rap conscious co-tenant.
This was just a horrible, terrible dream, Tonia thought. She imagined Julia in that kind of situation and how she would have given the noise-makers a thrashing of words but that was not Tonia. She had slept very late and wanted to stay in bed a little longer. She decided it would go away with time if she would just ignored it. She silently prayed that whoever it was had somewhere important to go or an early lecture to attend.
But it didn’t go away nor did the volume decrease, if anything, it seemed to grow louder. Tonia sat up in bed, grabbed her watch from the bedside table. Her watch read seven- thirty. Seven thirty in the morning and someone found that loud music entertaining. She hated the kind of music the person was playing. It was rap. She threw the covers off the bed and she got up, grabbed a wrapper from the wall-hanger. The person was going to hear a piece of her mind that morning, enough is enough.
Fisayo didn’t hear her come into the sitting room, he couldn’t have. The entire room was vibrating with metallic pandemonium. Fisayo’s big pioneer, twelve-loader compact disc player was blasting from the electronic cabinet. Fisayo was standing in front of the television with his feet doing wondrous things in tune with the loud music.
“Will you please turn that thing down,” Tonia shouted.
Fisayo turned around just that moment and smiled at Tonia. He turned down the volume of the music and bade Tonia a good morning. He continued to dance and made a move as if to increase the volume again.
“Oh no, do not do that,” Tonia said moving towards the CD player and she switched it off. Fisayo stared at her and demanded why she had to do that.
“What is it?”
“It’s seven-thirty in the morning and some of us had a late night and wish to stay longer in bed but the noise you are making is making it impossible. You wouldn’t dare do that if Julia was visiting,” she complained.
“Well, I’m sorry about that but I also live in this house. I have a right to do whatever I want to do. Considerate as I am though I will reduce the volume but I will not switch if off,” Fisayo replied and switched the CD player on with the music considerably turned down.
“Thank you,” Tonia said. “Let’s dance,” he said and twirled.
“Who is going to dance with you? I’m going back to bed to resume my interrupted sleep,” Tonia replied. Fisayo looked at her and smiled. They all knew that something had been bothering Tonia for a while, but couldn’t place what it was and when they asked, she’d tactically dodge the question. She was closest to Fisayo among all the students that lived in the flat so he was worried.
He felt sorry for her because she actually used to be a very lively, fun-loving lady, full of life and happiness. Ever since she moved to the house, they’ve all developed a liking for her. The girl that used to occupy her room was a crazy girl who picked up fight with almost everybody in the house and even the whole compound. They eventually had to report her to the landlord who was a retired soldier.
It was after she had a fight with another lady and almost threw the poor girl into the well outside the house. She had felt no remorse after the incident, she even boasted that she would have done it if she had not been stopped.
The day the landlord ejected her out of the house was a dramatic day. She raged and raved at all the tenants and swore they’d have no peace in the house; she was rumored to be a female cultist. The landlord had chased her with a gun.
It was two weeks after this incident that the landlord brought Tonia to the flat as their new flat-mate and she moved into the house the third day. She was very shy and reserved. They ignored her and she ignored them. She rarely talked to anyone. It was just her usual normal greetings. She rarely had friends over and this left the other occupants wondering the kind of person she really was.
Fisayo stared at her retreating back now.
“Whatever it is that is bothering you. I just pray that you let it out soon. You’ve turned into a wet blanket if you haven’t noticed. I don’t like it one bit,” Fisayo shouted at Tonia’s retreating back. “I have things to tell you but I can’t.”
“What things? What have you been up to lately?” Tonia asked without stopping.
“When you are back to your senses I will tell you,” Fisayo replied.
Tonia turned to look at him then; she smiled and sauntered off to her room to resume her sleep. Fisayo sighed and sat down.
His new adventure had woken something inside him and he yearned to tell her. She was the only one that could understand but she had been acting strange. Fisayo knew he would have to wait for her to snap out of it before he could tell her. He picked up his phone and called his new found love.
She had told him her name was Julia. What a lovely name, it was just like Tonia’s friend. Fisayo had a big crush on that Julia but was not bold enough to tell her how he felt. He knew her various escapades but didn’t mind about them at all. He had even defended her honor many times when people gossip about her.
That Julia was the kind of person that anyone could call Margaret Thatcher and Fisayo dared being turned down by her. So he decided to keep his distance and do all the loving from afar. His big crush had refused to leave but it would have to now. There is this new Julia whom he had also fallen in love with. It was a perfect coincidence, one that he would hang on to for a long time.