Despite what you may think, I really was going to train after the group meeting. Even though I was spurred on by her statement, I had always planned on training. I’m not that down bad. Right?
“What’s up Nedu?”
I see Dami -formerly known as Derek- walking up to me with a duffel bag.
“I’m good, how you doing?”
“Omooo I dey ooo.” (I’m good ooo)
“So how we go run am today now?” I say, as I bend down to check my laces. (So, what’s the plan today.)
“We fit just do some light jogging come do some sprints after.” (We can do some jogging, then sprints after.)
“Oya now. What’s your fastest time?”
“When I was in Lag. I think I did 10.12s one time.” As he says this, my eyes open in shock.
“Damn bro, that’s mad. It’s true sef, when did you move here?” I ask out of curiosity.
“About 3 months ago, that’s why I’m like you.” I give him a hurt look.
“Shey you dey try reason me ni?” I say laughing a little. (Are you trying to mock me?)
“No now, but na the truth actually. If not for my sister wey don dey here since I for no sabi anybody.” He says as he does some stretches. (No now, but it is actually the truth, if not for my sister that has been here a while, I won’t know anyone.)
“Oya now.” I say, eager to start the training.
“What’s your own fastest time?” He asks.
And I wonder whether I should lie or not, and I figure what’s the point, we are definitely going to race now and he would definitely tell if I’m lying. Unless I make up one dumb injury. But I don’t have the strength for that right now. So, I simply reply, “10.66s”
“That’s… cool” He stuttered.
“I can literally hear the condescension dripping from your voice.”
“No s___.” He says smiling.
“Oya now, I must beat you today then.”
I beat the bitch. After all his stupid mouth, I still beat him. Haters can call it a consolation win after he had beat me 4 times out of 5, but that one time I won, meant the clown LOST to me. And it simply means, he’s probably not that fast.
“How does it feel to taste defeat bitch?”
“You should know, you had like 4 more bites.”
“Ohhh, you’ve left sprinting you think you’re a comedian now, right?” I pause, trying to catch my breath. “I’d have raced your stupid ass again, but I don’t run after 8. Plus, I’m saving my muscles for the real competition.”
“Excuses, excuses, excuses, does anything else come out of your mouth?”
“Of course, the fact that I beat you.” There’s an awkward silence after this statement, as we both try to understand what I was trying to say and how it correlated. We did not see it.
“What the hell are you saying dude?”
“Simple, I beat you…DEREK!!!”
“Is Sarah coming?”
“Yeah, she said and I quote ‘she won’t miss it for the world.’”
I would have gagged but to be honest, if Ilane had said that I would be on cloud nine right now, eating whatever unicorns eat and blushing the way this fool was blushing.
“That’s cool actually.”
“Having a committed relationship. It is so difficult nowadays.”
“How? What do you mean?”
“I mean like, for example, I heard of this dude who cannot eat bread, because his babe suddenly heard of gluten.”
“Are you serious right now? I even thought you had something important to say.”
“I’m just joking. I was just going to say that relationships nowadays are difficult because you never know what is real and what is not.”
“What do you mean?”
I take a deep breath and make sure my words are completely unambiguous. Even though I feel like I would completely fail. But what the hell, I will try anyways.
“These days words don’t hold any meaning anymore. When we were growing up, or rather when I grew up, I grew up thinking the word ‘Love’ had meaning. But now it is used by every Tom, Dick and Megan in a relationship.” I pause, catching my breath. “Any 3 days old relationship has probably thrown the word around like 10 times all because they probably had one good f___ session.”
“And so, at the end of the day, the word is just another rite of passage in a relationship. Instead of it being the pillar of the relationship. When a couple say the ‘L’ word to each other, it used to mean something strong. But now, it means nothing.”
“s___ mehn, that’s heavy.” Dami says, chuckling.
“I know, it’s just that I don’t want to enter a relationship with someone who would mistake infatuation with love.” Which I then realize is largely ironic, coming from the guy who has been calling someone the ‘love of his life’ and he doesn’t even know her last name.
I’m different. I’m following my father’s footsteps.
“Well, hopefully, we will all get what we want.” Dami says, looking straight towards the road.
“Amen ooo. I know who I want though.”
“Oya nowwww, who’s the babe?”
“She’s this goddess that was given the most beautiful name in the world.”
“Come on man, stop putting me in suspense. What is her name?”
“Her name is Ilane.”
“Hmm, is she the one majoring in Law, a first-year?”
“Oh my God Yes! Are you crushing on her too?”
“Hell, no man. That’s my sister.”