Two days to Valentines!!! My own countdown started yesterday, you know, to keep it simple 🙂
Today, I have the penultimate story of this series written by Ajoyo Sowande. He’s also an admired writer. He decided to honor this blog with this wonderful piece. Please enjoy.
A LONG WALK FROM HOME
I had never set my eyes on anything so gorgeous. She stood five-feet tall on a pair of red stiletto heels, a stunning black gown, adorned in the loveliest human hair I had ever seen. I could conveniently pass her for Agbani Darego. Her voice rang through the hall as she prayed, and goose pimples crawled over my body. It was that feeling of the Holy Spirit’s presence overshadowing the entire hall, and it was hard for me to decipher if I was in awe of the hallowed presence of God or the compelling aura that emanated from her. I wondered if I was the only one that felt that way.
“Who is this sister in fellowship?” I said to myself, in the ‘aha’ moment that made me feel like shouting “Eureka …Eureka…“. I burst out in tongues, since we were in fellowship. This was the moment of revelation, the moment of truth. I had found the bone of my bones, or so I thought.
I walked briskly across the hall to the toilet in the ‘Thank God I found her’ spirit, went straight to the mirror, combed my afro, and adjusted my shirt. “God, this is what I have been waiting for…give me utterance and boldness“. I needed utterance, not to preach to a lost soul, but to stand before Miss pretty, open my mouth to pour out the fire of passion burning in me. I walked calmly out of the toilet speaking in tongues, now charged for the mission ahead.
My eyes scanned through the crowd of students in the hall as they made their way to the exit. Many of them were the ‘Sunday-Sunday Christians’, who came to Heartstrings just to see the awesome choir renditions. There mission and number would not prevent me from spotting her as she walked towards the back exit. I got the first confirmation that God was involved in my pursuit of passion when the prayer secretary told me that the prayer meeting for that Sunday had been postponed as a result of a proposed visit to the charity. “The charity visit is an excellent idea, Charles“, I replied and disappeared in the direction that held my spell bound gaze while he was speaking.
Compelled by an inner compass that seemed uncontrollably magnetized by her metal presence and movements, I navigated my way towards Miss Pretty. The force of the magnet was reinforced by a push from a good Samaritan behind me. That assisted me in running into her. I caught her fall as she struggled to balance on her shoes.
“Thank you“, her voice melted through my arteries.
“My apologies, I could have been more careful“. I picked up her bible from the floor.
“Thank you all the same. Few guys would bother with that“, She pointed at the bible.
Pretending it was a normal gesture, I shrugged and introduced myself. This was utterance.
“My name is Dafe. Four hundred level. Sociology.”
“Duro Emmanuel. Five hundred level. Law”
We connected like long lost friends who shared some puppy love as neighbors when they were children. We hardly realized that we had walked two kilometers on foot to her hostel, and I was five Kilometers away from my hostel. She told me I made good company, and she would love to see me again if I didn’t mind.
“Mind? Lady, if only you knew..“, I said to myself. She laughed carelessly over my reply -“I would cross the oceans to see you again“. It was a night to remember. For the first time in my life I knew insomnia. Sleep departed my excited spirit.
The next day was monday. I followed Mr Kazeem, our Industrial Sociology lecturer, closely behind as he took his leave from the lecture theatre. Once outside, my feet took long strides towards the Law Faculty where Duro was having classes. I waited for thirty minutes and almost entered her skin when she came out. She smiled when she saw me, and our love story took a new turn.
We grew fond of each other, and I asked my room mates to pray along with me as I sought a confirmation in my spirit that she was the one. I never bothered to get feedback from them, but they got much from me regularly; I kept late nights, abandoned my studies, and came back occasionally with a designer perfume or a bottle of wine, and sometimes there were red stains on my shirt. Duro had a problem she asked me to pray with her about. She withheld the facts from me, but i was willing to be the fool. When I ask her she had a template answer.
“The spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for us to utter“. My response was to pray in tongues many nights as we took long walks around the campus holding hands. She seemed so unsettled at some point that I began to fast, and ask God to resolve a situation I knew nothing about. It was a bit frustrating, not knowing why I was praying, but I wanted to make Duro happy.
It was a Saturday evening in December. We stood at the gates of St Annes, her hostel. As I searched for the words to describe to her how much I loved her, and to ask that we begin our relationship officially; she pulled me to herself with both hands, and hugged me tightly.
“Dafe, Don’t say it! I love you, but I am already in a relationship, my fiancée…“.
The next set of words she uttered was scrambled in my head as I suddenly felt giddy. I was a tree losing its leaves in harmattan standing alone in the cold. I struggled to retain my sanity, as all the rhymes I rehearsed earlier disappeared into my shivering soul.
“I am sorry“, she pulled me away and looked into my eyes.
“What effrontery?“, I spat out. “You look into my eyes to tell me this. Duro? After five months of lies and deceit?”
“I didn’t lie to you. I just could not tell you the truth. We broke up for six months. That was what we had been praying about all the while.”
We were interrupted by the full lights of a Honda Accord that drove towards us, and parked a few meters away. A young man alighted from the car, and hugs Duro. He introduces himself as her fiancée.
“Dafe..“, I managed a handshake.
“She has said so much about you. Thank you for taking care of her“, he said with confidence. Duro walked to the other side of the car swiftly and disappeared behind the tinted side windows. Femi said goodnight and shut his door. I thought I caught a glimpse of them kissing. It was 11.30pm, and the only dialogue I could have was with my shaking legs and knocking knees. It was a long walk back home.
“Wow..it’s been a long time pal“. Charles’ greeting as I entered the fellowship hall the next day made me I realize I had gone too far from home, I had been led by my flesh for too long, and God must have been waiting for me all along. I promised him I will never walk alone no more, I will never allow my eyes to rove dangerously again, and if it roves I will not walk away from home. I choose to be led by him, at all times.
That same day, as we were closing fellowship, a bible fell from the lady beside me. She looked my way, most likely checking if I’ll be a gentleman.
“I pass“, I said to myself. I walked past her without a word.