I woke up that morning feeling listless and particularly homesick. It was August and the morning had fully unfurled out of the foggy night, with the painful sun piercing through the window panes and tearing the light curtains to strike my soggy eyes. I could hear the other boys in the block snorting at every heave of the dumb bells in the gym house. Saturday mornings were always ponderous; the boys were usually abuzz with indiscriminate chatters of their salacious fantasies with the girls in the blocks as they queued up to use the gym.
I had planned to wake up much earlier than I did but I had slept too profoundly, so that not even my fortissimo tones could beat me out of sleep. Realising the day had fully dawned, I had reached for my phone which lay close to the figurine that cradled my bedside. My chat with Bonnie was still open. Bonnie and I had had several disagreements at that time, and we had tried to patch up our endless fights and frictions. In the middle of a one too boring conversation with her last night, I reckon I had drifted off to sleep. Oh well, it was Saturday and I imagined she was the least of my problems. I had planned to cook a nice dish, probably with chicken, drink to my fill and flake off all day, giving Bonnie a wide berth.
Fighting with the temptation not to lazy around, I realised my room was cluttered in books and dishevelled clothes flung to different wavelengths of the room. I dribbled some chilled water into a mug, sipping selfishly with one hand over the panes as I watched the little birds across the field pecking in search of worms. After a short while, I’d looked round the room again imagining Bonnie’s face all over the wall like some funny graffiti. Bonnie liked interesting things – she had transformed my room with her thoughtful touches- the silver candlestick holders, the ivy mirror and the warm cashmere blanket she had given me only a fortnight ago. Maybe I needed to come to grips with the fact that I had missed Bonnie for a while too long. I had blamed our friction on my being overwrought with studies and that her busyness also had taken the better part of her time too and so, I looked forward to the holidays. “We’d get along as always “, I relieved myself. Strangely enough, she had remained unruffled and calm in spite of my mulish attempts to overemphasize our differences. “I should call Bonnie today”, I soliloquized. But, no sooner had I decided to call her than the thought of my culinary adventure overwhelmed me again.
I hadn’t prepared chicken on my own before but I deemed I could give it a try. It was noon already. I had started boiling the chicken in a kettle filled with water and chopping the vegetables to make a stew with. With every step I got rightly, I’d lift up a knuckle in an arch arm to the air as though I had won a trophy. In between one of my inelegant screams was a knock at the door. Taye! He always had a knack for my dishes. I was sure it was he who knocked as he always got the cues I was up to some kitchen delights! I opened the door to find Bonnie in front of me. It was awkward as I moulded a huge smile on my face to dispel the planned look I intended giving Taye as a sign that I disapproved of his endless visits at opportune times of my culinary endeavours.
“Why are you so happy Clyde?” she warmly enquired with a corresponding smile as she mildly pushed my arm away from the door and let herself in.
“Nothing actually. I’m just happy you’re here” I had said, noticing she was wearing the usual look she gave whenever she was sure I had told a fib. I was a bit excited to see her, yet angry she had not been moved by our apparent strain as I least expected her visit. She was brightly dressed with her beautiful skin radiating as though the heavens sprinkled gold dust on her body.
“I’m cooking by the way, you could come help me out” I said accompanying it with a grin. “Clyde, I only paid a flying visit to check up on you, I do not intend to stay up long” she had retorted. I could sense she wasn’t exactly happy either at the way things had been but I also knew she didn’t come all the way to say a brazen hello. I was silent for a while and I noticed she shuffled round my rack of books. I walked silently to her and spontaneously lifted her up my shoulders. She screamed and laughed at the same time. She had once told me she loved it when I did that and I knew I had to entice her to stay. I landed her safely on the settee with an intent to appeal sensually in order that she’d let things slide.
“I’m sorry Bonnie. I know I’ve been really insensitive towards you and for blaming it all on you”, I regretted.
“Clyde, we can’t keep doing this. One moment we’re hands in glove, the other we are at loggerheads” she bluntly retorted. It pretty saddened me. I reached for her arms and squeezed her gooey palms warmly. She sweated in her palms when she was nervous or pissed.
“I know I’ve routinely misbehaved. I’m sorry. I want you to smile baby, more than ever” I said, and she did smile. She dragged off her hand from my grip, followed with a grimace, characteristically in an attempt to prove that she’d forgiven me and still wanted some more apologies, a game we both had learned to play very well, given our incessant disagreements lately.
I left for the kettle which had already steamed. I pulled off the lid, tipping it clumsily and nearly scalding myself. I fiddled with the pot I had placed to boil rice and watched her from time to time with the side of my eye as she battled to remove her top. The room was stuffy and Bonnie wasn’t the type to keep a stiff upper lip when she felt uncomfortable. The static bands in her top made it stick it to her body and each time she attempted to pull it away, the material leapt back, holding more tightly to her breasts. I walked behind her pretending to be unmindful of her mesmerizing figure. My hard back brushed against her ass cheeks and she paused for a while. I gently undid her blouse, smiling mischievously. I waited for a minute before I pulled her hair from her shoulders to plant an ant line of kisses down her neck. She twitched and slowly, she turned towards me to engage me profoundly in our typical French kisses like two turtle doves. I pulled her up a bit and kissed her neck and cleavage. Her hands palpated my head as she raised her head up high causing me to imagine the feeling that tore through her nerves.
“I love you, Bonnie”, I had whispered passionately. She pushed me away with a broad smile. I reached for her again but she snivelled her waist away like some oiled ball bearings. She kept flirting with fetching smiles patching her cheeks. While she flirted, she kept coming closer till she dropped her thighs on my trunk, wrapping her hands over my broad shoulders. Only then did she allow me wrap my hands around her waist. She kept on lifting her hips from side to side as she beamed with smiles. She was happy, I had supposed. Gosh! Although she didn’t like smiling often, she had the best I had ever seen before hers. I spontaneously raised her up, kissing her softly. I had led the way backwards, on and on until we retired into the sofa. We tugged hungrily at each other’s clothes and this time, nothing mattered to me; not my pot of rice, not the kettle that kept whistling with steams and certainly not the furious chicken that kept spitting angrily through the kettles’ nozzle.
“Are you expecting anyone?”, She asked after some heated moments of inexplicable intimacy, knowing how ungainly I could be with cooking.
“Not anyone to interrupt this”, I had muttered. I pushed my head up some more, greedily reaching for her lips as they were slowly leaving my lip’s care. She pushed back my face teasingly and stepped out, heading towards the kettle at the end of the room which was now screaming. The boiled water had rent the chicken into several vanishingly small amounts. She had helped me with cooking that day and I could bet I’d have made a mess out of the meal given my lousy attempts at preparing plush delicacies. It rained heavily thereafter and it orphaned her plans of going back home.
Dusk befell us much more than expected. Rainy evenings eh? There was no electricity but it didn’t matter. It was drizzling outside and the droplets showered the roofs like blunt arrows, hitting hard but unable to break through. We both fell into bed, serenaded by the crickets and toads. There, in our dimly lit room illuminated only by a candle light and enveloped in the piquant smell of dusty books and insect repellent, we made love.
It’s been ten years and the memories haven’t eluded me. Not even for once. That night! I remember how she had gasped for breath as I shrank her beneath my weight and also how she pulled me to herself each time I tried to relieve her. In the coolth of dawn, we lay close to each other with beads of sweat still cascading down our bodies like scarlet rain. I had cradled her beneath my chin as she raced her fingers through my chest to my groin. We had remained silent for a long while, communing only with the thumps in our heart beats. The sounds of the crickets and chirping morning birds stole the silence and just then she cleared her throat.
“For how Long, Clyde?” She had asked once again, on that fateful moment. I had always squirreled away from answering the question for too long and that day was the final nail in the coffin. We’d known each other for a couple of years and still, I didn’t know what to do with Bonnie. I loved her so damn much and I didn’t want a relationship with her, even after the long wait; strangely so. She meant everything to me, even forever. I feared dating her would be the end of my loving her and at the same time, I was convinced I was never going to stop loving Bonnie. Because she was it Bonnie – everything I ever wanted in a lady. That moment, I had felt like a genie trapped in a small bottle drinking my sorry past fulsomely. I feared I had allowed my fears gotten the better of me and I was going to lose her. My pasts had always haunted me by why her? Why torture her? I had asked myself.
“Clyde, You told me to stay on the phone even if you fell asleep but you’ve been sleeping and I just wanted to be part of your dream. For how long more Clyde?” She had asked again and again. Confused, I sought to reach for her lips and kiss her but she turned her face and the kiss landed clumsily on her cheek.
“I don’t Know, Bonnie”, I had replied cowering in wait of deserving tantrums.
“You don’t know? How Can you not know! Why can’t you just man up Clyde!” she had yelled that morning with her eyes already gooey. I was so pained. I had the option of popping the question and making us what we desired but I knew I’d just have been taking another leap into what I was sure was not only dark but also deep – something I never wanted to make her go through. Yet, it hurt so badly.
“All I know is that I love you and I’ll always do” I had bravely muttered in tears burying my head. I had raised my head to find that she was gone already, slamming the door behind her and only vaguely aware I was chasing after her. The morning haze wearied me and as she trudged away, I could imagine the stabbing pains in her heart and somewhere around the blocks, some one was playing Ellie Golding’s “Love me like you do”
The sight of Bonnie today made me remember everything again. We had not kept in touch all these years because when she said she was done, she wasn’t speaking with her tongue in cheek. As I turned to walk away from the parking lot where I kept my Car, I saw Bonnie! Good heavens! She had grown into an amazing lady. Everything as I have narrated above all played in my head in split seconds. I continued gaping at her until she noticed a man staring awkwardly, gesturing a clumsy hello. She walked away from her car, heading towards the cafeteria as her driver sped off. My flight was in 2 hours and I supposed she was in a hurry.
“Bonnie“, I called out behind her and she turned swiftly. She squinted to have a clear vision of me or probably captured my voice. As I drew closer, she screamed and held her chest as she smiled uncontrollably. That smile! Nothing much had changed. I raced towards her and we hugged each other like the prodigal son did his father. I was so excited to see her.
“Bonnie, I missed you so much”, I could hardly find the words. She laughed courteously maybe in a bid to explain she couldn’t say she missed me. We walked to the cafeteria together with our hands bumping awkwardly into each other. She was excited to see me; she teased my head for suddenly developing an interest in baldness. It bothered me that she seemed calm and happy but I didn’t know why.
“Bonnie, I don’t even know where to start from. It’s been 10 years since we graduated. Tell me everything” I requested so she’d do the talking, as I was too nonplussed.
“Everything?” she repeated, raising her eyebrows feeling suddenly irritated by my request. I could understand anyway. I mean, did I really think I could just waltz in and out of her life and asked whatever I wished? Those days were over, quite understandably. And, in that understanding, I felt a sharp pain comb my heart again. I really missed her. She was even more beautiful than I last saw her. Her hair glowed and the furrow that ran across her forehead spread like fine cat’s whiskers. We grabbed two cups of coffee and chatted as we chased every gulp after the other down the hatch. We did well to avoid personal questions as we tried to catch up, and I appreciated that. As a terrible pretender I imagine how my countenance would have appeared if she told me about her husband. The pretence of wild laughter and the excitement of seeing each other after a long time soon wore off.
“You’re still angry with me right?” I ventured with all the courage in the world, trying to hold her arms again. She diverted her attention to the coffee and her affectation exuded the silence that swallowed us both for a while. She touched my hand, half clutching at my fingers and half stroking them.
‘What would be the point being angry? It is too late for that now” she said. Uncomfortable with the absurdity of our discussion, she got up. I walked close to her and told her how much I’d miss her if she left again. We both had our flights to catch up with.
” I missed you a lot and I’ll miss you too Clyde. Take Care of yourself” she finally said and just when I thought that was all, she pulled me back and hugged me deeply again. I reckon a tear or two falling on our shoulders as we tore ourselves to part ways.
I haven’t seen Bonnie after the last time and I probably never will. But, each time I remember Bonnie, I am reminded that love exists; that there’s always that one person we’ll never stop loving but sadly, we can’t have a second chance with… Or, they are not what we envisage anymore…
© This is dedicated to all those who have their hearts with some persons they once loved, still love but may never have again… You’re not alone.
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