“Oya now, be careful ooo!”
“If you like come back late again today.” She then says, as she begins to laugh uncontrollably, pointing at me.
The sting from her slippers is reignited on my back again, as I remember how she had speared me and greeted me with her rubber slippers when I had come back late looking for a certain lemon green notepad paper. (The sad part: I still didn’t get the bloody number, so I got the pain and the heartache.)
“Ha Ha mummy, so funny.” I reply, making sure I use my most drab and sarcastic voice, which only makes her laugh harder. She was laughing so hard; her eyes were brimming with tears.
So, she’s mocking me abi. (So, she’s mocking me, right?)
I smile sinisterly as I calmly walk towards her, then immediately pinch her and race out the door as fast as my legs could carry me, leaving her in the dust waving her signature slippers.
It has been two days since I had defeatedly come back home after losing the number of the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. I had resigned to wait for the next class and hopefully get her number again then maybe confess my feelings immediately after.
Is that moving too fast?
If it is, then I’m obviously joking. I’m Nigerian for God’s sake. Na we get the OT (We have game).
I have been watching the time since she walked into the class, 10 minutes late and looking spectacularly exquisite.
Yes, I am down bad.
We had locked eyes before she had sat down, and I can swear on my life but mostly your life, that I had seen a trace of disappointment in her eyes. She had taken the last free seat which was in the second row, and in many ways far from a back bencher like me.
I had hoped our eye contact was not a mistake by staring at her throughout the class. But not once did she ever look back at me. Which was why 5 minutes to the end of the class, beads of sweat had formed across my forehead, and my heart was beating like I had just completed a 400-metre sprint.
As soon as the bell rang, I picked up my phone and speed walked to her table. The whole class seemed to have stopped around me, obviously shocked that the usually quiet Nigerian backbencher boy, was walking up to unarguably (for me) the prettiest girl in class. But I couldn’t care less, I must get her number this time.
And her name, yes, her bloody name.
“Hey” I say nervously.
“Hi…, the Nigerian boy, right?” she says squinting as if she was trying to remember my name.
“Hope you’re not too disappointed?” I say, desperately hoping she would remember the joke I had made when we first met.
I see a little smirk forming at the corner of her lips, the she says, “Very disappointed. I had no idea Nigerians did the 3-day rule as well…”
“I honestly wish it was the 3-day rule I was following…” I pause look down then continue in a sadder tone, “… I had mistakenly misplaced the number.”
She takes a look at me, cocks her head to the left making her beautiful black and brown locks bounce slightly, then says, “Oh…, then give me your phone then.”
I immediately unlock my phone and open my phone app before handing it to her. She puts in the number then begins packing up her things.
I need to keep her talking.
“So…,” I look around anxiously, thinking of the best topic that would be the most useful in this situation. Yes! “You came late today, hope there was no problem.”
“Err, no, no problem.” She pauses, then asks obviously noticing my unease, “Are you good?”
“Of course.” s___ I’m messing this up. Think fast dummy. “When is the next group meeting?”
She is done packing now and is standing up. She looks at me then replies, “Tomorrow evening at Study Room 3. Send a text and I’ll add you to the group chat so you’ll know if anything changes.”
“Err… alright later then.” I say whipping out my ‘coolest smirk’ trying to salvage the situation with my moderately interesting features.
“Yeah, later.” She says before she then looks at me. And almost immediately her lips begin to quiver like she’s trying to hold back laughter.
“What is wrong with your face?” She says as she burst out laughing. “Are you trying to smirk or something?”
With that I too burst out laughing, well aware of how embarrassing my ‘coolest smirk’ might’ve looked.
“I was trying to be cool.” I say causing her to dissolve in more cackles, inherently stoking more laughter in me.
“Alright then, Later Cool Nedu.” She finally said trying to contain the laugh that was still tickling the corner of her lips.
Awwnn she remembers my name.
I smile like a puppy as I watch her walk away.
She’s so cute.
I immediately open my phone with the sole purpose of saving her number, but when I click on the save number icon, I quickly realize…
“Wait!!!” I shout, desperately running after her. As soon as I reach her, I ask the only question that has been bothering me since I met her: “What for Christ’s beautiful sake is your bloody name?!”