Story: The Rich, The Poor, The Miserable Love – Episode 2.

You must not mistake me for a person that easily lusts after women, neither must you mistake me for a person that doesn’t get attracted to good-looking women; what happens to all young men who live in the uncensored part of Lagos had happened to me too, corrupted by the directness of ladies whose definition of decency was to display their thighs and practically show the roots of their cleavages in such seductive ways that while you even pray, such pictures would not cease to flash in your head like some nutty Christmas toys with shimmering silver plates.Those nicely painted passages that connected the meeting hall to the field, I walked through them that day with so extreme a fear that pissing in my pants would have been a cheaper escape. I began to realize, it seemed I was not doing it for myself, I was rather doing it to not appear frail to Mr. Phillips.

Of course I treasured the girl, who wouldn’t? What doesn’t attract the poor man in the moneyed man’s house? …The rugs, the chandeliers, the electronic installations, the frescoes, the paintings, the cars, the settee, the ceiling, the pets, the plates and every single thing. And this had happened to me too; the girl, her car, her rings, her elegance, her conduct, her… oh my God… her everything!

Bashfully, hesitantly, nervously, tentatively, slowly, and fearfully, I progressed after the girl with my hair on end. If she had gone out to receive a call, she should not be far away, but if she had got tired of the meeting, she would be in her car or around the grounds. Relieving enough, I spotted her leaning over the banister at a balcony that looked over the field of expensive cars parked by the parents, I froze. This was the first time I got the chance to look at this Cadillac girl with such uninterrupted completeness that my fear disappeared, replaced by wishes and longings instead.

Damn it! I’ve seen ankles discolored by the complications of bleaching creams; I’ve seen girls of beautiful faces but swollen bellies; big bosom but small bum-bums and conversely; perfect appearance but poor dentition; this one was totally different; this was what the word ‘perfect’ was created to describe, simply perfect.

She was not as fair as Tori Kelly, but not as dark as Beyonce. She leaned over the iron railing though, I knew she was straight. Is that not iPhone 6? The jacket, the jeans, the gold, the… first time I would see that sweats could make someone look more attractive. And there she was, on a call with someone, murdering an innocent soul, yet not knowing. If I suddenly fell back and died, would my mum have… well… thank God I didn’t.

She passed by me with a perfume as perfect as herself before I realized she was returning to the hall, and the “excuse me,” that came out of my mouth was absolutely not of my doing, I swear. I would never have been so valiant, it was my adrenaline. And yes, she turned to me and looked into my face and… well, sorry to disappoint you, I ran out of words.

I’ve boldly wooed diverse ladies all my life but… this was totally different, entirely different. She was an angel in front of a country carpenter. If the carpenter had not considered it a dream, her presence would’ve just simply oppressed him, as it simply did. I felt weak. I felt like God was not fair in His distribution of His grace. How could He have bestowed elegance as regal as this on someone who was already rich?

There she was, an arm’s length away from me, looking directly into my eyes, penetrating my being, felling my stamina, and I was sure I’ve never met this kind of specie before. Her lips were slightly parted to utter greetings I did not pick. English so fluent, perfume so pheromone-like, eyes so peacefully violent, lips so… putting my lacrimal ducts to turgidity. Damn it, no—no—no, trust me, this was a splendor. I will never be poor in my life. It’s so unpalatable to be poor. While we run around chasing the proud simpletons who believe love is a branch of a charitable and philanthropic propensity, assuring us they were the best, these angelic complexities were at the other side of the class, although wrapped in Rolex, Diamond Crypto and sometimes parent-induced pride would fall for mental and behavioural brilliance rather than material thrust. Such atmosphere!

“…inside” was the last word in her short sentence and that was the only word I picked.

Some boldness came over me then, I suddenly became my old self, Lord eBay, a man called lord, Second of the Order of Six Pure Fellows, of course she was just a girl with money, not a vampire, I would approach her now. I sighed briefly, took a more upright pose, pulled on my collars, put on a slightly smiling face, cleared my throat and held unto my Hot Note X551 in such a fancy way that would make it look more expensive than it was. But, ladies and gentlemen, just when I opened my mouth to speak, my confidence disappeared. I didn’t know what to say next, so I lost direction and said, “I thought you needed assistance with something. I’m—am a t—teecha here and we—we’re s—we’re to see that you’re well… tended.” My heart was in my throat; flibbertigibbet cavalier and his gory will o’ the wisp!

“Huh…” A smile like we were all in paradise already. “Thanks sir, I got it handled, just came out for a call. Thank you.” She backed away.

Stupid guy! That was what I called myself. I had the girl right in front of me and all I could say was some stupid assistance sham. When did I become like this? I used to be a smart guy for God’s sake!

“Did you get her number?” That was Mr. Philips again, now becoming a celebrity at appearing out of nowhere.

I felt so mortified. He had to come and face me when I couldn’t face him on time. I was sweating like a Christmas goat. Shame, I could have sworn, was visible on my face, but he probably didn’t see it. He was still excited.

“Did she give you her number?” he asked suspiciously now.

“I didn’t get any number joor. She didn’t give me audience. Mtchewww… I’m not interested again gan sef.”

“What? Why? How do you mean? What did you say to her exactly?”

“I didn’t say anything joor.”

“But you said she didn’t give you audience. Mr. Adebayo, are you kidding me? Ah—ah, I’m not going to be happy if you miss this girl o. Why are you sweating like this anyway?”

“But why are you so interested in this wooing of a thing anyway? Is it by force?”

He was going to respond to that when the hall suddenly got noisy and there were loud laughter and movements, the meeting was over. Before we could move, Big Victor was already at the end of the walkway with a flock of parents trooping out after him. He did not look anywhere else but at us, I knew what would be on his mind as that angry look of Jide Kosoko crossed his face. Mr. Phillips would get me sacked from this job, walahi! So I screamed in my mind. It was too late to act as if I was outside for a consequential reason; I was frozen up, soaked in my perspiration. Cluelessness! But not for Mr. Phillips, a phone was already in his ear and he was so serious with his ghost caller that Big Victor did not look at him twice, unlike how he looked at me as he passed by us. I didn’t know how Mr. Phillips disappeared from that spot and left me alone as parents brushed past me. I wanted to kill him at that moment, but where was he?

I dawdled down the hallway when it was clear. I had some parents I should be with, that was where I slowly headed, wiping my sweats. As noisy as the school was on that day, it was quiet in my ears. Only the picture of the girl was loud in my mind, every other thing was silent. I would wave you back a Hi if you waved Uncle Geography at me though, but you would only be a shadow briefly glanced at by reflex.

I was in love and I could not express it. How many of us have committed such suicides in the past? Nothing is more common among young men! Those that woo for sex are the bravest; those that truly love are often shy. But sometimes too, the luster braves also sag at the presence of feminine complexities completely out of their leagues. I didn’t even ask what her name was, not to talk of asking her out. Regrets filled my soul. I should have said this, oh I should have said that! Where was Mr. Phillips anyway?

I was a guardian to some Edo students in Senior School, brilliant kids. Their parents loved me, brought many gifts and foodstuffs. I asked some students to put the gifts on my table in the staff room. I stayed with these parents, joked with them as if I was not the one that just felt like crying back there. Thanks to God for giving us the ability to mask our feelings and pretend, man would’ve been so miserable without the ability to harbor one thing in their minds and express another. I stood there talking loudly, passing funny comments on how quickly David finished his provisions in the hostel and how Deborah would not finish a single vase in a term. And I was completely not with them, the moment, when the girl stood before me, still taunted me. I sat at some point and let my smiles faded a bit for reality to set in, I knew what I wanted, I wanted the Cadillac girl. So I stood up at once and headed towards the field, maybe I would be the man called lord this time or his strange shadow, I was determined to try again. “You’re a prince, eBay, you’re a prince, that girl can’t scare you; she’s just a lucky rich thing, not a vampire.”

So I went there, walked faster at some point, walked slowly at some point, but when I looked forward at the direction of the car at some point, who did I see talking with the Cadillac girl, both of them laughing so freely, her right hand in his? It was Mr. Philips.

“This guy has gone behind my back to woo my girl, oh my goodness!”

As if that was not enough, a Junior student suddenly appeared behind me and said, “Sir, Big Victor requests that you come to his office now, sir.”

…to Be Continued!

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