Blaine looked like someone who could effortlessly steal your woman and bestow himself as her muse. Elegance forever tagged along him as if it was his Siamese twin. His dressing was incessantly dernier cri. He was the ilk of men who gave you restless nights because in all honesty, you knew you would lose a battle to have your woman back if he ever too her away.
How he showed up at Luciana’s door at opportune times. When I didn’t have any plans for her. When we had had a scuffle. When we felt like we both were fed up with one another. When I doubted if I really loved her and meant all those names I called her. When I wondered if I would hesitate to choose Cindy over her.
Cindy, the lady who had a rump as magnetic as to makes heads swivel and a face so ravishing, it had tongues wagging. Once or twice, I had taken a shot at seducing her but I hit a brick those very times. “You have Luciana, why do you want me? You men though.” She had said. But I never faltered. Every time Luciana and I had issues, I would go flirting with Cindy, indirectly hinting at being her boyfriend while at it but she never cowed.
Unbeknownst to me, Blaine would be offering tempting offers to Luciana while I was away attempting to steal Cindy’s heart. And the thought of that never sat well with me.
Truth is, I was scared of losing Luciana. It didn’t matter what happened between us. There would always be a window to redeem myself. So whenever I got wind of any information that Blaine was lurking around Luciana, I would get back to her and be the gentleman I had always been. The one who only had eyes for her and her alone. The one she fell in love with three years ago.
But what happened if I didn’t get wind of Blaine’s presence around her? Blaine would reign.
He had his way with words. Uttered them with a meticulousness he seemed to have mustered for quite some time and with an ease of someone who had done so cyclically.
“You don’t have any plans this weekend, Luciana, do you?” He would ask. Before she could answer, he would add, “Let’s go out. We’ll have fun. We’ll go boat riding, go to the waterfalls, and eat chicken. I know how much you love chicken.”
He knew Luciana loved chicken. Hell, tell her you’d give her chicken and she’d do just about anything for you. And he never hesitated using it against her. She could not muster the guts to say no. Add to it Blaine’s overly handsome face, beautifully mustachioed face and a well kempt goatee, his glowing skin complexion and alluring machismo. This was not someone to have around your woman. Not if he would use every opportunity to lure her to go out with him. But I wasn’t around to stop them. And he knew which buttons to press to make Luciana curve to his demands and she could not say no.
“I don’t have an answer right now. Phone me on Friday, I’ll tell you my decision.” She would respond.
“Well, from your face, I think I know what to expect. And it is not a no. I’ll call you on Friday still.” Blaine would say strutting off.
Of course they go out that weekend. They do everything Blaine promised and even more. He even buys her a black forest cake to go eat back at her apartment, yet another thing she so much loved.
And Luciana comes back and tells me how it all went down. Maybe to clear any doubts I might have. Or maybe to tell me how to treat my girlfriend.
I don’t like it that she is telling me all that much as she is doing the right thing. What anybody who has nothing to hide would have done. But I am vexed. And I tell her bluntly that I do not want to hear any of what she did with Blaine for it doesn’t concern me only for her to go berserk.
“Raymond!” She shouts my name. “So what do you think happened between us? This is me being honest with you, telling you how I had a good time with Blaine but look what I get from you? Act like a man stop acting like an adolescent on her periods.” She yells at me moving all around the house.
“It is not what you think, Lucy. I don’t think anything happened between you and Blaine. It is just that… it is just that” I begin to stammer.
“Just what? Spit it out. You think I don’t know what’s been going on between you and Cindy? Do you ever tell me about it? Do I even ask you? Yet here you are acting all insecure when all I did was go out with Blaine.”
I don’t give any of my lip for the next couple of minutes until I decide that this is my mess and I should step up and rectify it.
“Luciana, I am sorry. I am sorry I overreacted. It’s only that I am jealous of him and how he comes around you whenever we have issues between us.”
You should never let your ego stand between you and honesty. I wasn’t about to let that happen. So I poured my heart out. Told her that Blaine makes me feel insecure when he is around her. And went on and on about how losing her to anyone is what I dread most. And how I don’t know what would be left of me if she left me.
“Listen to you. You need to stop all this crap you are telling me. And for clarity’s sake, I am not the girl the guy gets at the end of a day out. If somebody wants me, they’d better earn me. Lest you forget what you had to go through before I agreed to date you.”
Well, Blaine is on his way to earning you. I thought to myself.
Several weeks later, Luciana asks me to help her type an assignment from school on my laptop for hers had a technical breakdown. I agree but on one condition. That she will be by my side, telling me stories as I type and not on her phone. Only, it is the only the latter she does, to my disappointment.
She remains glued to her phone till I rant. She acts all sorry and perhaps in a bid to appease my heart, she gives me her phone and offers to read out the manuscript as I type.
But her phone buzzes unremittingly. With every buzz, she lifts her head up wearing a pitiful face as though to tell me to give her phone back to her but how can I tell if am no Blaine? The Blaine who could read her face and determine what she wanted.
On seeing my adamancy is relentless, she asks me to give it to her. That she has some information to pass to me. Something that has just hit her head. And she can’t say it by mouth because it won’t sound as interesting as when read. She assures me that she will give me her phone when she is done.
How can I be sure that this is not a ploy of hers to text some other guy? Only time will tell.
The text she sends me reads; You have a gorgeous face, Raymond. And looking at you makes me want to love you forever.
I read the text, my face beaming with shyness and a little excitement. But I don’t get over the fear that she might have used me to have the phone so she could text someone else. She remains engrossed to her phone, seemingly typing a message to someone.
Briefly after, she gives me back her phone and immediately it lands on my palm, it buzzes. It’s a mew message. I take the phone and glimpse at it from the notification bar. The sender is not saved as one of the contacts in her phone. It could be anyone, I say to myself.
It is the message that makes me squirm. It reads: Love, I wish you had even the slightest of idea how much I miss you. I hope to see you soon, love.
This is likely to be Blaine. Who would want to see her again if it is not someone who she had gone out with? I wonder.
I stash the phone to my side and keep typing but I stop midway. The message keeps hitting me in the head. Love! Not even you call her love, so who in the name of God could this be?
“I think this is a good point to stop.” I cough. “We will pick it from here, love.” I make sure that I put stress on the last word before bidding her goodbye and walking back to my bedsitter where from my window, I will be able to look at her in her apartment. Even if it is only the apartment.
As soon as I get into my room, my phone buzzes with a message from her.
Okay Raymond. I know what you are thinking and it is not the case. The message you glimpsed at? It is from my ex. He has never gotten over me. And he still calls me love. It has never occurred to him that I have you or that he should insert the suffix “ex-” before “love”.
I text back.
Maybe I have never told you what breaks a young man in love. It is the thought of being fleeced his woman. It destroys you. It brings you down from wherever you are hoisted, your ego not spared. And it does a stellar job at it. It leaves behind a devastated and beat person and that is something I am afraid of.
My message is confirmed as received and read as soon as I hit send. She starts to type her reply but stops halfway. (All hail WhatsApp, you make us know things we otherwise would not have known.) From my window, I watch her move around the house before her lights go off. She still doesn’t seem to be typing a message. At least not to me.
Eyes still on her window, I can see that she has turned on her flashlight. A silhouette that doesn’t seem to be hers nor that of any female appears. I beckon my roommate to come to the window and help me put a face or a name to that figure.
“It probably isn’t anyone you should be afraid of. Get to bed. You seem worried.” He says as he heads back to the bed. “But if it is who you dread, you are toast.”
By A.J.O Okoyo