WORLD OF A RECLUSE 5

Tamuno spends nearly the whole week shopping, I don’t know but I find it weird and annoying. It’s Weird because we are meant to shop in South Africa and annoying because she is dragging me along on this miserable journey. I can recall her getting on my last nerve a hundred times. Somehow I try to understand her excitement but stop myself, no one should really understand Tamuno unless they need mental help, yes she’s my best friend but I choose sanity.
We finally conclude on our arrangements and are set to take off tomorrow. Truth be told I’m excited too, a little nervous, but mostly excited. Desmond hasn’t called me all week, so I read this meme earlier today that says “life is so simple, why complicate it” you miss someone: call them, love them: tell them and stuff like that, maybe I should follow this principle and take the bold step, I feel like I’m in front of a large audience and they are all encouraging me by shouting, “Go Mimi” so I do it, I pick up my phone and take a deep breath, “come on Mimi, it’s just Desmond” I tell myself. I take my phone and dial his number again, the lines connect and I tap my foot in unison with his ringer, it rings for a while then disconnects, he didn’t take the call, bad as I feel I console myself with the assumption that he is busy at the moment and would call back when he sees my missed call.
I drag myself downstairs to the sitting room, my dad is sitting in his favorite chair (the one facing the television directly) face buried in a newspaper he Is holding with both hands, i move closer and clear my throat, he looks up at me with a frown, his goggles are almost at the tip of his nose making him look like an old principle.  My dad is handsome, for his age and way too conscious of it, standing at six feet, two inches he carries himself with so much pride, I’m a perfect replica of him though I took my mommas height
“We are leaving tomorrow sir, we have finalized our arrangements”, I said with the  straightest face ever, standing at an “at ease” position, an outsider would think I’m an officer speaking to my superior. He sighs and closes his eyes while I roll mine; I’m definitely going to be here till midnight.  I look at the time; it reads 8:49pm, what is wrong with me? Why did I come so early? I’m used to his many sermons anyway.
“Sit down”, he says finally.
I take the chair opposite him, I’m certain at some point of this talk I would doze off and I really don’t want to get caught. As predicted, our monologue ends at some minutes past midnight, I would call it a dialogue but he did all the talking, my only inputs were, “yes, no, amen” so yeah, monologue it is and yaay! I didn’t doze off at any point probably because I made him three cups of tea while his sermon was going on, I’m glad it’s over though.
As the little children our parents still perceive us as, Tamuno and I are taken to the airport by our folks. After checking in our luggage we all sit together at an eatery and listen to our folks talk politics and religion. My phone beeps and I jump, it could be Desmond, but it’s not. It’s Tamuno, “when are they leaving, I’m bored #sadface” I smile at my phone and look over at her, she really looks bored and sleepy so I get up, excuse myself and drag her along with me. We head for the rest room, laughing all the way there, we get a few weird looks from fellow travelers but we don’t care. Finally we hear our boarding announcement and head back to our parents. After hugging them goodbye, I feel a tinge of sadness; I let it linger before shaking it off and boarding the aircraft. Tamuno and I sit by each other, her eyes are closed and both fists clenched, I reach out to them with  the aim of unclenching them, she’s not so comfortable flying.
“It’s ok to be nervous right?” she asks, giving me the puppy look.
“Yes baby, it is. We’ll get there safely, I promise”
“Oh please, you are not the pilot”, she rolls her eyes.
I laugh, “so much for trying to put you at ease”. She’s obviously still nervous and I think of what to do to ease hers anxiety a little, then it hits me, “I called Desmond yesterday”
She turns sharply and gives me a piercing look, “you did what?”
I really want to laugh this off and pretend it was a joke but who would I be fooling, I sigh and look down my laps.
“What did he say?” she asks maintaining the piercing look.
I force a laugh, “he didn’t take it, maybe he was busy or something”
She starts laughing hysterically, calling the attention of a few passengers on board; my cheeks are burning with embarrassment.
“Congrats on making almighty Desmond mightier, I never knew you were miss desperado”
“Hey it’s ok to like someone, care for them and also show them that you do”, I snap at her.
“But hasn’t he shown you it’s not mutual, ladies are meant to be chased by men and not other way round, and that was a desperate move desperado”
Her words sting so bad but I somehow manage to swallow them without spitting back venom, the plane is in motion now and the flight attendants start their description and demonstration of safety measures in case of a crash, I roll my eyes. If the plane crashes, only God can save us. I say a word of prayer, pop a gum in my mouth and listen as the plane slowly maneuvers its way through the runway and then takes off, beside me Tamuno has fallen asleep, so I take a novel out and start to read and in no time join her in dreamland.

WRITTEN BY: MIRIAM EHI-SULAIMAN

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