An unseasonal rain was falling, threatening to shred the flowers in his hands to pieces. The roads that had been reduced to a series of rock-hard ruts and potholes during the long dry span were slowly being transformed into slippery ooze. They looked bad, as if carved out during the tumultuous era of erupting volcanoes and raging fires. Otoyo, just like the roads, had a story to tell; the story of a long dry spell.
Aha, spare the laugh kid. He walked as he listened his shoes make that ‘slurp’ sound in the soft mud. Being the superstitious lot, he tried to decipher a message from everything that made his eardrum vibrate. Yet his shoes seemed to be reminding him of what a fool he was making of himself. He was on his way to see Mo, his ex-girlfriend. I’m sorry for being euphemistic, not to see but to ‘everything else’. Huh? Can lions surely eat grass?
It had been long; Eighteen months precisely. All this time, his head saying, ‘Who cares?’. But then his heat always whispered, ‘You do, stupid!”. And all this time, the only thing getting repeatedly slammed on his bed is his alarm snooze button. Yet they didn’t in any real sense break up. They just went silent on each other. And like the harmless egg changes into the perilous caterpillar, the silence grew to awkward silence. He didn’t hate her. No. He just got bored. Oh, and stupid. That’s what a miner does when he leaves the gold mine, sweaty and hungry, for some lunch; after lunch, he wants his gold mine back.
Besides the road; grass and bushes. Frogs croak at a nearby pond. The grass blades stand erect at the instantaneous climate change. A heap of elephant crap jolts Otoyo to his senses as he takes a giant leap to avoid disturbing the harmless mass. This area borders a game reserve, well infested with jumbos, which sneak out of their confines just for fun; like you did in high school.
There’s a new small path made by jumbos just off the road that Otoyo would have used but puddles of water had already raped the virgin clearing. So he had to go the long way. He checked his watch; 6.30pm. Are you supposed to feel sick after every single movement when visiting your ex? Just checking; because Otoyo farted. He actually thought no one had seen him. Then he looked up. The moon looked down like a huge eye, unblinking and eerie in the darkening sky.
* * * * * * * *
“Oh my God!”
Mo gasped as she opened the door. She was home alone. Being just seventeen, Mo lived with her parents. Otoyo had to confirm this through Gadu, her neighbor who also seconded as the milkman, though playing other roles such as Mo’s stalker. He preferred using the term “Minister of her Private Affairs”. What the milkman didn’t know was that Mo was a secret admirer. It was a crush she’d never understood; as if Gadu worked charms in the milk. Or maybe the milk cans swinging noisily every morning as Gadu approached her gate resonated with Mo’s round mounds juggling up and down as she went on to let him in.
Here stood Otoyo, wet like sea weed with a cocktail of sweat and rain dripping down his forehead. He sighed as a cold drop trickled down his back. She stared at him in utter shock and gestured towards a seat as disbelief reeked the atmosphere.
“Welcome, what brings you here? Dry spell?” she chuckled.
“Oh uuuhm… no!” Otoyo shuddered as he noticed his voice had also turned rebellious; ran away to Hoarseville. Blame the cold. He had forgotten that she, Mo’s a launcher. Unprepared, he hadn’t expected a missile thrown at him this early into their convo.
“She’s brilliant,” he thought as he looked up at Mo who was leaning against the only table in the vast room. Her ‘chest raisins’ were staring at him till he blushed and looked down. Mo’s v-necked blouse had only hidden the ‘duo’s’ eyes, but was tight enough to allow them to peep through and harass him.
As he looked down, he noticed the bundles of stems he’d clutched so tightly like a lifeline. for the first time, he felt absurd. The red petals had all been washed away and he was pretty sure Mo’ had all this time thought he was holding a bundle of khat. What a pitiable sight!
The silence in the room was so loud; it spoke volumes. The two human beings had seemingly been reduced to paranoid humanoids. They battled with the voices in their heads which slowly dissipated into oblivion like a radio sucking the last life out of worn out Eveready batteries. Then Mo broke the silence like a ninja; unexpected and instant.
“I missed you so much, Otoyo” she blurted.
“Where on earth have you been?”
A screen popped up in his head and he scrolled through the numerous answers he had to that quiz; wondering which one to opt for:
a. Flirting with the phantom beauty on facebook.
b. Stalking Miriam, the new polytechnic lecturer.
c. Printing Achi’s photos, downloaded from Instagram, and sticking them on his room’s walls.
d. All the while, thinking about us, wanting you to miss me more and more.
He directed the ‘pointer’ in his head to ‘click’ on ‘d’, having opted thus, mainly because she thought he was a dummy, dumb and douchebag for playing all this while with her fragile heart.
She realised she still loved him. She didn’t know why; the sex? the weirdness? the curly hair? or the shyness that hid itself between the cheek-lines that formed his smile? The mood was tense in that living room, yet the atmosphere reeked of intimacy.
As if reading her mind, the wet rain-soaked Otoyo stood up, arms outstretched, allowing them to culminate in a melting hug that despised the cold. They stood in silent embrace until Otoyo’s phone broke the silence. He fumbled in his pants’ pockets to dashedly retrieve the old Blackberry 9180 that was vibrating in a deafening cacophony. A pack of condoms jumped out of his pocket as if pricked out of their secret slumber, and fell on the carpeted floor.
Then the door swung open. A rush of wind. Then, a rush of blood. There stood Mo’s dad. Sent by the gods!