The Devil Who Loved Me By Foxyflow…Part 9
“Close your eyes, tell me, what do you see?”
Amara asked me. I closed my eyes and thought for sometime. Nothing was coming to my head.
“Tell me now.”
She pricked me with her pen. I jumped with a start. We were seated in lecture room 42. I had gone to her hostel, waited for her that evening before we headed to the lecture rooms to read. We had scanned the auditorium, it was crowded. The only place with little peace was LR 42. Having picked the last seat, we had sat down and read continuously for three hours. It was already 9:00pm before Amara started playing. Maybe out of boredom.
“Wait na, let the image finish forming.”
I said to her still keeping my eyes shut.
“So what do you see, or is it just dark….?”
I did not allow her complete the word darkness before I started talking. I kept my voice low so as not to attract the attention of anyone.
“I see stars, dancing on a field that have the sun going round in circles. I can see little red roses blooming, their fragrance flying around like little pixie dusts. I can see two bright butterflies chasing after each other in reckless abandon without minding the inviting aura of the Roses. Seated on the grass that appears green and slightly wet with Dew is a little girl. I can see her crying.”
I paused a little bit to catch my breath. A little nudge from Amara prompted me to go on.
“She seems to have lost her bright red purse. Her body is shaking violently from the sobs tearing through it. I can see a boy in a grey hat walking towards her. In his hand is her purse.”
I stopped and opened my eyes. There was no nudge from her. I looked at her face and saw a lost look. Her lips curved in a bid to say something but instead of words, she swallowed hard and faced the book in her front. I was a little bit confused. I wanted asking her what the problem was but decided against it.
I looked at the pages of the book spread in front of me. The words held no meaning for sometime before I was able to pick out a sentence.
“Communication could be done in various ways, while some are spoken words, others could be in form of body language.”
I shrugged. I couldn’t read her body language and it greatly vexed me.
I was jolted back to reality.
“This is the third time I called you.”
She said to me shaking her head. I did not hear her, I was lost in the world of my thoughts.
“I want to go back to the hostel.”
She said to me closing her book and getting up. I only nodded and stood up with her. I had momentarily forgotten that we had agreed to study for five straight hours albeit using an hour to rest and talk of everything and nothing. I dropped my books into my back, slung it over my shoulder and moved towards the exit of the class while she followed me hugging her books to her chest, her face blank and expressionless.
Few minutes later we were standing in front of her hostel. No word had been spoken between us throughout the walk. As we stood side by side looking at the light that escaped through the windows of the four Storey building, my thoughts kept rioting in my head.
We spoke at the same time.
“Go ahead and speak.”
She said to me. I saw something like a flash of laughter dash across her eyes.
“No, you should speak first.”
I said to her gesticulating with my hands. She smiled. The first smile since my imaginary story in class.
Did I expect the sudden movement or the softness of her lips pressed against mine? What about the involuntary closure of my eyes and the colourful lights that sparked in my brain? I was transposed from that realm into one of total silence and complete tranquility.
“I am sorry….”
Amara said to me. I was yet to regain my breath when she dashed through the gate into her hostel screaming…
into the night air. The walk from her hostel to mine was not on solid ground. Each step I took levitated me until I was practically flying. I sang with the night creatures and only stopped when the sweet blackness of sleep stole me after my back touched the bed in my bunk.
“Do you know that the man who went with Neil Armstrong to the moon is not known because he chose to keep quiet and not say anything when their shuttle touched the moon?”
One dark man with bushy beards asked.
“Are you serious? No wonder I keep hearing that it was only one man that made it to the moon. So they were two?”
A thin man with a long neck asked as he lifted his tumbler filled with golding liquid to his lips. He closed his eyes as gulp after gulp made his Adam’s apple perform acrobatic displays.
“Yes! The man is in fact an Igbo man who sold spareparts in Aba market back then. He was the only one that understood the true thermodynamics of the shuttle. This made the white men come all the way to Nigeria to pick him.”
I was as surprised as the the thin man and the other silent one on their table. My drink remained untouched even though I had opened it and had poured some into my cup.
“Your story is different from the one I heard in Ibadan the last time I visited there.”
The silent one spoke for the first time. On his face, just slightly below the right eye is a scar that still looked fresh.
“Madam, give everybody in the bar one bottle extra. The bill is on me.”
Hailing and chants of his name resounded from different corners of the bar. When he had spoken the second time, his words had come out in a slur. He was drunk already.
“Don’t mind those Afon!jas, they should concentrate on their books and aim to become lawyers so they can defend us the Igbos who are great inventors.”
I was tired of listening to them. As the lady serving the drinks made her way towards my table, I stood up, dropped enough money to cover my bill and serve as a handsome tip on the table before moving outside. As I stood stretching my legs and thinking of how long I was going to wait, the silent one with a scar made his way outside. He staggered towards a dark spot, his head wobbling from side to side.
I smiled and shook my head as the bushy bearded man came outside, stepped into an ash Camry, sat for some moment before turning on the ignition. I hopped into my car and drove into the night tailing the ash Camry.
To be continued