Endless Love October 15, 1995
The Faceless Man
No doubt, theres a bit of something which does trigger ones nostalgia to come alive. It might be a name, some sort of a thing, celestial bodies, et cetera. But whatever it possibly could be, is it not a good thing? The past is one major life no human can do without. It is that force perpetrated for the present which guides a man cautiously going, thus, a life spark.
Vividly, my father and I have this same celestial body that does trigger old memories to come alive. Though, our experiences are far different. On my part, the sight of a full moon brings nothing but heartache challenges while to him it was an evergreen experience.
His memory which the full moon holds is blissful and fun. It holds the perfect then when he was in his prime; years filled with prattle activities. Storytelling allows the grands to host the bright young ones underneath a tree in a serene perfect twilight. How could he forget such years? Those innocent nights were blessed with the greens and virgins euphony fine musical tunes. And were such nights not incited with palm wines too!
One day, I had arrived home from an evening footballers set in a long-abandoned site; a more sand, less grass space the big boys before my mate and I had cleared its thick bush for a football field. As usual, I met Tade in the kitchen preparing supper for the family. And I had hardly settled for a clean-up when she told me of an errand our mother wants me to go for at aunty Ores place. After I was done cleaning up my dirty sweaty self and had had a change of cloth, I informed her of my leave.
It was a couple of minutes past the hour of seven. As I hurried through the busy night lit by the full moon in the sky, I tried to sweep aside the retrospect of the big fatty moon phrase which kept pondering my mind. Before now, it was hard for me whenever it was a full moon. I could barely escape being tortured by the trauma that comes with the sight of it. The big fatty moon! The big fatty moon! , my mind pondered heavily. In a flash, I felt journeyed back to the chronology of events that had formulated the disturbing phrase.
I was seventeen and in my final secondary school year. One day, the bell rang for all students to come out for the school work-out or physical and mental fitness program. Every student had then left his or her various classes for the school field. I had finished my part of the exercise and was stretching myself a bit when suddenly a boy ran me over. He knocked me down so hard that I felt a pang below.
The prefect has been knocked down, someone helps him up , bellowed a boy, pitifully.
How hard has the elephant fallen, unable to rise , mocked another, sarcastically.
As I turned to see who it was that had mocked me thus, I found the culprit to be Deji, the mountain goat. I wouldn say I wasn surprised yet, I was. For quite some time, perhaps it was because the W.A.E.C examination was fast approaching, and the enmity between us had died down. So seeing him mocked right at me at that moment shocked me to my bellow. Deji the goat! , I growled in pain, forcing a scornful smile at him.
Indeed, he is a goat who needed someone to specifically help him to the class of goat he belongs to. Well, during our Junior Secondary School days, class three precisely, I helped him out deciphering that. We got into a fight, one he started. Although the rage of the fight was nipped in the bud regardless, I let him know he is nothing but a mountain goat and the jungle is his home. This compliment incensed him so bitterly that he kept planning another fight; one I was never ready for.
As I tried on getting myself back up, I felt support. I was perplexed at first. The beautiful nymph standing right before me was the last figure I could ever think of. The moderate lighted-skin girl was helping me get back on my feet. Afterward, I was taken into the sick bay for a medical check-up. Thank you, Kemi. Thanks so very much were the words my mouth could manage as I was still trying to help myself to believe. And I think I heard her say, You
e welcome or my pleasure or something of a sort.
Kemi Aderibigbe was a girl of my age and an ex-classmate who joined my class in the last year of our Senior Secondary School. She was undoubtedly my first love. After that ugly incident, we got too close. This closeness, therefore, aided me developed a strong feeling of love for her. As the W.A.E.C examination days drew closer, I told her of my reserved feelings and untamed emotions. It was on a Saturday when we had our last subjects practicals. At lunch of that days third section, every one of us had made way for the food vendors place. Kemi and I walked together alongside O.M. and a friend of hers, an external student too. Already at the beginning of that day, I had contemplated dropping the bomb. And because I had no problem as regards secret matters with O.M, I made it go boom at a period when he had beguiled her friend. Although it wasn easy, somehow, I did manage to lay the ghost to rest. As if she had expected me to cue such an act, her reply thereof was quick and lovely.
O.M grew so fond of her beyond words could convey. He would say, Kemi and I are in every way compatible. Indeed, we were. But little did we know of the beautiful beast in guise.
As the days and months flew past so quickly so does our love bird as it keeps soaring at a high altitude. Seeing each other almost every day made our love uncompromising and stronger. But then came a day when she told me her family was on the verge of relocating to their newly completed apartment in Atan, Ogun state. Relocating! , appalled, I responded. That means we will be lovers in two different worlds! I was never happy about the relocating idea of a thing not even with that long-distance area, but at that particular point in time, there was nothing, absolutely nothing I could have done. We were only secret lovers. No one in my family knew about us except Tade. Moreover, before she could affirm my course of love, she made me assure her that I was going to be circumspective and continent enough to not break her virgin knot before all sanctimonious ceremonies are fully administered.
Lovers in two different worlds! I think I enjoyed the love ride anyways. Honestly, the ride was frustrating and at the same time scintillating. There were lovely memories of that time that are hard for me to get rid of. The best part of everything was her telephony smiles, chuckles, and giggles which did get me over the moon. Yielding the whole scenery into the dear hand of fate, shepherded, I accepted everything with love. But little do I know that there is more to what was come already. And like every living being, I couldn beat against tomorrows imagination.
Because neither of us owns a handset of our own, we resort to our relatives; I used Tades while she used her Mothers handset. For fear of not getting her in trouble, we had certain cliche we used in communicating, like: The old clock is ticking for Call me back or lets talk. The blue sky over your head for I love you. The big fatty moon for I miss you , and the like. With these coded phrases, no one outside our wall ever got suspicious.
Minutes seemed like an hour, hours like a century. Everything was going on fine and I had no doubt our love bird in flight would crash, but not until one day. However, before that day, things weren the same as it was used to be. For days, she never dared to call or text, and when I did, she hardly would reply thereby, I lost the stimulus to try over again. It troubled me for days and diverse thoughts of the situation flooded my mind that it was grave. I had no audacity to journey that distance locale she lived. Even if I had permission, money was a big problem. I had no choice but to wait on her until she was ready to talk. Unsurprising, she did.
Seeing her uncoded call-me-back text appalled and surprised me on that tearful day. It was strange; It was passing strange. And I who am with a quick sense of judgment had visualized the whole trajectory before the big blow struck deep.
” Hello , her voice quaked. As I could sense the fear, and tenseness in her sweet tiny tendered voice so also were the joy and pretense as clear and resounding to ear. Theres something I want to tell you ”. Even if she never said that I knew there was something she wouldn hesitate to spit on me.
Okay, speak on. Im all ears , I managed with little composure.
” Ehm, you see, it wasn my fault… I had tried… I fought against it for days but you just have to forgive me . She paused for a while then continued. My father was more determined than any man could be , stressing further. I can carry … The words were too heavy for her lips but she broke it anyhow. We can be together, not anymore, because my father had betrothed me to someone and… please, just find a place in your heart to forgive me. I don mean to hurt you but at the same time, I cannot fail my parents ”, boldly and hastily said she in tears. And the call section was terminated.
Each of her words was sandy and understandable, yet I sensed the faked tears in the betrayals heart and deceitful eyes. But are those tears and pretense really necessary?
In my perplexity and hardness of heart, I tried phoning her back but the line couldn be reached. I tried and redialed but to no avail. Right there in the kitchen where I had stood by the door, managing a downward slide, I tried not to, but I broke down in tears. Tade held me close to herself, comforting me. For days I tried reaching her but the line was out of reach. Then I knew that she was made.
Was her love for me really in any way at all? How could someone claim to love and still hurt inconsiderably? Isn she the real villain in her fathers shadow then? A real villainous scamp and heartless liar who faked love and tears! O.M and Tade couldn help resolve these heartache questions of mine. They couldn argue either.
Weeks later, the news of her wedding reached us in the neighborhood. Truthfully though, her father had given her out in marriage to the Chief with whose help he had used to acquire the house they moved into. Still, do I care? She was over twenty years of age. Anyway, that was how the fetus of our love was denied the chance to see the light of day.
I had been deeply lost in the thought of this that I knew not when I arrived at aunty Ores place. She attended to me without hesitancy and henceforward, I was discharged.
It wasn too long a distance as I left her place that I met with O.M. You
e indeed a true born of your father. I had just finished digesting an ethical thought of you , I joked.
After an exchange of pleasantries, we embraced each other. As we walked on, we chat and laughed at other nostalgic events. It was fun; It was twilight fun. I made us pass through mothers shop perhaps she would still be open for sales but arriving at her place, she had closed the days sales already. Without further ado, we made our way to his place where we bade each other goodnight.
Knowing fully well that my strength was fading, I walked briskly on. Walking on, I pressed on the something wrapped in a black polythene bag that aunty Ore had given to me. I tried guessing what it could contain but succeeded not. The harder I tried more difficult it was for me to uncover, so I gave up. One thing about my mother is that whenever she sends anyone an errand she doesn expect that fellow to try to run a check to discover whatsoever it is her errand entails. Besides, the former had done a perfect job wrapping the assortment too. Its knots were bonded tightly.
I was dire exhausted and hungry when I got home. I began humming to announce my arrival until I was at the door. Knowing fully well ain no way my mother could escape the special sound effect, Maami, Im back , bellowed I with the last strength in me.
My food mustve been set, ready for consumption , I hoped.