Supo called. The brows on his forehead furrowed as he looked at her with exasperation.
Oladele jerked out of her reverie. She hadn’t realized she had been staring into space for the past five minutes. Supo sighed. He held her hand tighter. Dele winced at the pain of his grip; he had been holding her hand for a while now.
“Did you hear what I said?”
He asked, looking at her intently. Oladele tried to avoid his eyes; those beautiful, hazel eyes that had the power to melt her very soul. Eyes she had never been able to resist; they were one of the things that had endeared her to him.
But she knew she wasn’t just avoiding his eyes so she wouldn’t give in to him, she was avoiding them so he wouldn’t see the disappointment in hers. He lowered his voice; his eyes still looking for hers.
“Dele…” he said, “did you hear what I said? Dele?”
But her mind was already far away once again. She had tried to focus her mind on the question Supo had asked, but as she did, thoughts began to creep up her mind.
She loved Supo; at least she thought she did. She was almost certain she did.
She wasn’t supposed to be confused. It shouldn’t happen that way. She was supposed to be certain Supo was “the one”. They were supposed to fall in love and walk away into the sunset. But this didn’t feel like sunset, it felt more like dawn.
Dawn: A realization; an awakening; a period of sudden perception.
But what was she perceiving? That Supo wasn’t the one? No, that couldn’t be it. He was perfect – an amazing guy – and they were great together. And she wasn’t just consoling herself with that fact, everyone else said so.
Her friends would say,
“You and Supo look so good together!”
They would squeal and hug her tight as they told her repeatedly how lucky she was to get such a great boyfriend especially as she was just in her first year in the university.
His friends would call her Supo’s wife and hammer on and on about how they wished they’d find a girlfriend that was such a wife material.
Material: A piece of cloth.
So what was it? Why was she not excited? Why couldn’t she feel the butterflies in her stomach? Or hear the fireworks light up in her head as he asked? Or why didn’t her leg pop?
He had asked a perfect question, in a perfect way, it was a perfect moment, and she knew he was the perfect guy but she was sure she would ruin it with a not-so-perfect reply. She had expectations, and suddenly realized that her perfect guy didn’t meet any of them.
She sighed and looked at him. It was dark, so she couldn’t see his face clearly. But as they sat on the metal bench in Gamaliel Onasode Park popularly known as “love garden”, Dele could tell that he was nervous. She knew him only too well.
He was shaking his leg and his grip on her hands was getting tighter by the minute. She longed to free her hands from that grip that felt like they owned everything they held.
Maybe that was part of the problem? She thought.
No, she was just looking for excuses. Fishing for what was not there so she would have a reason to run away.
He had been calling her.
When she finally looked at him, he heaved a sigh of relief and pulled her hand closer to him.
“So, Dele, what is your answer?”
He continued, looking at her hopefully.
“Supo, I don’t know…if you wanted to borrow my laptop, couldn’t you at least have said, ‘please’?”