What Would Never Be…

As I ended the call, I smiled to myself. Though I had had a long day at work and all I could think of was my bed, I made an exception for today. My buddy and male bff,Lade was around and wanted to hangout and I’ll be drunk if I didn’t hangout with him. I smiled at the thoughts of our mischievous childhood and hurried home to freshen up for my ‘chillout’ with my friend.

*                                                  *                                                             *

Lade and I had grown up together. As a gangly tomboy that had no friends and whom the boys refused to play with, growing up was quite difficult for me. I tried to make friends but I wasn’t cool enough for the girls and my brother’s friends didn’t want to babysit. That is all except Lade. It was another Sunday and everyone was either out or asleep. I had done my chores and homework. Needle work held no appeal to me and I was tired of drawing. I picked up the game pad to my brother’s game and started playing, hoping I won’t get caught. I did get caught, but by Lade. And after beating him mercilessly at 3 rounds of Mortal Combat, he looked at me with what seemed like grudging admiration and said to me,’You’re alright’. That was the beginning of a brotherly relationship that lasted to this day.

*                                              *                                             *

I got to the quaint restuarant and rushed in. I wasn’t late but I was eager to see Lade. It had been a few years of constant phone calls and chats. His trip to the states to study has turned permanent when he got a comfortable job. He only came home for weddings and even that was rare. He saw me before I saw him and in a minute had pulled me in for a bear hug. I hugged him back, grinning stupidly at having my friend back.
‘You’ve lost your wild ways and settled into a becoming young lady’ he said assessing me with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
‘No, I replied giving him a playful punch on the shoulder,’this is all press release o! I’m still a hellion’
We both laughed and launched into reminiscing. He was an auditor at a big shot accounting firm and he loved his job. His bosses and colleagues were alright and he didn’t have much of a social life.
‘Hows Sasha?’ I asked grinning wildly. Sasha was his Caucasian girlfriend who had chased him with a vengeance. He had finally given in and dated her.
‘Married’ he replied and grinned as I nearly choked on my drink.
‘But….I thought……you guys were in love or something’ I stammered.
‘She had a marriage agenda that I wasn’t ready for,’ he answered looking at me intently.
‘You still have your phobia for marriage’ I said, a wicked smile on my face.
His smile dimmed and he gently lay his hand on mine. ‘Not any longer’ he said and in a flash, it was 2002 again.

*                                                            *                                                      *

He was working at First Bank and I had just gotten out of the University. While we still hung out when his work permitted, I could sense something was not quite right with our relationship. Things seemed strained. I caught him giving me lingering looks on a few occasions and I wondered if I had done something wrong. He would go the 12th mile for me if I asked him to and I was getting very uncomfortable. Not one to shy away from uncomfortable situations, I confronted him. That was when things went topsy turvey.
‘Olanna, I love you. You’ve made me fall in love with you’
Huh?! I thought, momentarily thrown off track. ‘I’ve made you?!’….it sounded ridiculous, like I had staged an elaborate plot. Calmly, I told him that nothing of the sort would ever happen. He kept prodding until I had to avoid him like a plague. Shortly after, he left the country and we started communicating again via phone calls and chats. He never brought up the issue again and for that I was grateful.
I looked up at him and drew my hand from under his. There was a few minutes of awkward silence and then he spoke up.
“Ola, my feelings haven’t changed’
I sighed and looked at him. I couldn’t see a lover there, hard as I tried. I only saw a brother and a trusted friend.
“Neither have mine Lade. I’m so sorry”.
He smiled, a wistful sad smile and continued with the discussion but the damage was already done. It was like a wedge between us, a broken bridge which non of us could cross.
The night ended quickly after that. At the door of my car, he placed a chaste kiss on my forehead. ‘I do love you Ola. I’ve tried not to think about you but I think I’ve failed woefully.” I stood there feeling sad and lacking unable to be for Lade what he wanted me to be. And when I lay down to sleep, I gazed into space, wondering at what could never be.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Bankole says:

    The writing was good enough to draw me into the plot. Save for some punctuation issues (like you seemingly undecided between using the double inverted commas or single ones for your conversations) and one or two spelling errors (you misspelled restaurant somewhere), this reads good. Yes, the proper nouns too! I believe it should be First Bank, Sunday, Mortal Kombat etc etc.

    PS: Something (or is it someone?) resembles me in this story. Hey!

    1. Intoxyka says:

      Lmao, its not you o! Met up with an old friend and we all sat down to talk when someone said, “you made me fall in love with you”, it was funny. Sounded like it was done under duress or something

  2. simply SAMAD says:

    Another wonderfully crafted piece, which leaves me feeling really blue and unhappy (for some strange reason i just can’t explain). Why do i suddenly begin to remember all the many things that i longed for at different times of my life especially those relating to matters of the heart? Like an excursion into my past, i turn my head the other way even when my body and mind continue to get dragged back into the past. I really do not know whether to thank you or frown but i am leaving the author with this line: “When the past refuses to stay in the past, it comes with a wind that bears a pretty semblance with something almost sinister…”

  3. Bekisu says:

    Since I’m no expert critic. Let me just say, Jess, that this tugged at my heartstrings. It brought back those ‘what if’ thoughts. In other words, I’m saying I relate. O yes, I do. Nice piece.

  4. otibho says:

    Truthfully Amazing……..

  5. Junaid.I says:

    Hey Jess, this writeup is really cool and i think you were born to do this. Keep it up

  6. Evon Pink says:

    What would never be. . .Don’t we just get a lot of those?! Nice story dear

  7. Olufunso says:

    beautiful piece….jst funny that u did d same thing to lade and I…

  8. So emotional and intriging

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