Well, this certainly changes things. I grin at her as her friend leaves. Awwww she is so sweet. It’s a bit disconcerting though that what I want to do to her isn’t close to sweet.
“For the record, Tito certainly didn’t know what she was saying.” She says defensively and looks away. She always can’t meet my eyes when she is fibbing.
“Really?” I say not believing her and walk back into the room. “She sounded convincing though.”
“Haha.” She says, following me.
“So, when did you start developing this crush? It sure wasn’t in high school.”
She looks astounded for a minute, then, her mouth opens and closes like a fish out of water, then, “Did you not hear what I just said?”
“Well, one of you is lying.” I say with a plain face then I walk up to her and hold her hands. “And I hope it’s you.” I say in a low voice, looking into her eyes.
She extricates her hands from mine. “I think it’s time you left. Go do something productive.” She says and shoos me away.
“You always run at the slightest hint or trouble or discomfort.” I comment.
“Boring.” She says.
“Let’s go to Lagos. ” I suggest, whimsically.
“I’m not going to Lagos. What is wrong with you?”
“Yes, you are.” I say with a playful smile as I reach for her. She yelps and makes to run from my reach but I move faster and envelope her in a big hug. She tries to extricate herself almost prying my fingers to bone.
“Let me go, Akintomide.” She demands and I finally let go of her, raise both hands up in a cross between mock placation and false surrender. “Alright.” I say, reluctantly. “So, none of what she said was true?” I ask again and I know I sound desperate.
“Why are we back to this?” She asks with a groan.
“Because I would like her words to be true.” I say and make to reach for her again. She doesn’t frustrate my attempts this time around but just looks at me. I dunno. Maybe she is trying to gauge me. I’m being truthful and I wish she knew half of what has been going through my mind these past few weeks. Feelings I had to stamp down those years back. She was ten for crying out loud. That was child abuse and the after effects of that thinking is what kept me going all the years after high school before I got lost in fame. It’s just so hurtful that the girl I fell in love with when I was just fifteen won’t even admit that she has a tiny crush on me. It rattles somehow and I exactly don’t want to examine too deeply what it means to me and how much it affects me. Am I making sense? She was amazing back then and she is amazing now. I must admit that I’m a little but surprised that she agreed to help me with this. Not that she wasn’t helpful. In fact, in the short period I had the honor of spending with her back then, I found her to be the most helpful ten year old even though she wasn’t exactly so to me. In fact, she seemed to be the total opposite. She seemed to antagonize me back then. I was a prefect, so, naturally-plus the fact that she is my sister’s best friend- I wanna throw her a bone but she gets all monster face and cold. Not to brag or anything but I was the most loved in that school. So, I didn’t understand why… In fact, the mere thought of those two years I was in that school with her… I don’t want to be thinking about this. I just want to live in the moment. In the possibility that there may be hope for us. Now, I’m not promising happily ever afters or anything. I think I’m too damaged for that. I just want the security that she evokes in me for a while. I’m afraid it’s too late to give her those things I could have those years ago. It’s too late for me.
“Okay. Maybe I had a tiny crush on you?” She admits in a tiny voice and gives me a brittle smile.
I nod and smile, distractedly. “Do you still wanna go to Lagos?” I ask, her smile falters and all I want to do is kiss away her doubts. I want to make love to her and assure her so badly that my body shakes but I squeeze her hand reassuringly instead and she smiles tentatively.
Talk about the wrong time. Sigh.