It’s a new month and we begin with a story. It’s from my 0 Degrees Abstinence and I’m sure y’all will love it.
A TALE OF ALEX
IT WASN’T ME
“It wasn’t me”
Alex thought to himself on that dark night, late into the dry season. He was all alone, dragging and inhaling the almost dense fumes of the Benson & Hedges he had lit barely a minute ago. He heard a voice in his head, the self-same voice that had been singing a never ending tune in his head again and again.
“It wasn’t me”.
Alex was having a blissful relationship with the girl he loved, to better put it, the girl he thought he loved. He used to imagine growing old with this girl; that was until she said those three words. She had gone home for her sister’s traditional marriage and was due back in a week. Just two nights ago, they had stayed up till late in the night, expressing their heartfelt emotions and feelings to one another amidst the tears and pains that were birthed of their need to be with the one they missed sorely.
He took a long drag of the cigarette that was balanced precariously between his fore and index fingers; he choked and coughed on it as it threatened to drive the life out of his lungs.
Alex was not much of a smoker, but he, like most other casual smokers, appreciated the way the toxic fumes helped him center himself and control whatever anxiety and anger was causing through him. Sure, he could have just taken deep breaths himself, but what would be the point to that?
It was a little past 11 pm and it was unnaturally quiet and a near pitch-black darkness hung like a dense fog in the New Science Lecture Theater (NSLT) in which the young man sat by himself. The quiet of the hall did not seem to bother him, neither did the almost, never ending darkness.
One could conclude that it did not register to our smoking, maudlin friend that the quiet, dark hall was the ideal training ground for many an idle mind. There was a high chance that he might have a run-in with the children of the night who might decide to dispossess him of his phone (a month old i-phone 6) or his Gucci wallet that was loaded with several #1000 bills, but that didn’t seem to bother him either. He just sat there, smoking and wallowing in self-pity.
‘It wasn’t me’, Alex thought for the umpteenth time.
‘How could she have thought it was me?’ It had only been that one time, he was sure of it. ‘I was very careful’, he thought, worrying his brows into rows of wrinkled flesh that looked out of place on his 18-year old face. How could she … It wasn’t me!” he thought aloud.
He sat there, all by himself, until he had finished a pack of twenty sticks, and still he sat until his butt went dead from lack of blood and the soulful fingers of numbness threatened to wrap themselves around his limbs in a lover’s embrace.
He walked the lonely road to his apartment, taking little knowledge of the chilly wind or the rustling of the leaves as they were carried along by the wind, or the scurrying rodents that sought shelter from the wind, or the rapidly slithering snake that moved along half a heartbeat before his foot made contact with its tail.
He had all his attention on his thoughts. “It wasn’t me”, he said unconvincingly, “It can’t be me”, he said again.
She had called that afternoon to give him the news. It took her exactly 21 seconds (formalities included) to pass her message across. 21 seconds was all it took her to shatter his picture of happily-ever-after.
“It wasn’t me”.
He was a 100 level student, just a kid. He still had his youth and his life ahead of him. “Oh Lord!!!”. He cried silently. This would mean the end of his life as he knew it! His parents would tear his limbs from his body and beat him to death when they find out.
However Alex though of the crisis before him, he was sure that he could not be burdened with such a curse, he needed a way out and fast.
Not now , not after what happened to Uncle Timi; who dropped out of school to take care of his girlfriend, a girlfriend who upped and died on him six month later. Uncle Timi has never been the same ever since.
“This cannot be happening to me”.
“Please God, it wasn’t me”, he thought as he laid on the floor of his apartment to allow room on the mattress for his roommate and his classmate.
Ordinarily he would have spent the better part of one hour pondering on the stupidity of his roommate. He had watched his friend’s curiosity towards same sexual relations transcend to a way of life yet the buffoon still took his time to lie to him. This was the same room-mate who had gone through secondary school as a raging homophobe who would punch any effeminate fellow that crossed his path. He always wondered if the fellow protested too much. Now, with the silhouette of the cuddling men on the darkness of their bed, Alex was sure that he had been hiding his true feeling when they were younger.
He could not spare the brain cells tonight though; why would he bother with another man’s problems when his chickens had come home to roost. He just lay on the floor, as far away from the cuddling men on the bed as possible, thinking of the few options he had before him.
As much as Alex had painted a happy ever after with his girl, he never liked the idea of the first girl he ever slept with being the only girl he slept with, but he always believed he would figure something out eventually.
She, on the other hand, had been with over three boyfriend before him not counting the guys she called ‘quick nooners’. With all that experience, no way he was going to accept this disaster. He fisted his pillow as he prepared himself for his worst night yet.
He tossed and turned all night thinking of ways to escape the maximum security, miserably-ever-after, jail term this girl prepared for him; he thought about running far away, but he thought against, it would accomplish nothing.
Alex felt helpless and feeble. Everyone had told him the disadvantages of dating an older girl but he listened to none of them. He resolved to give her a piece of his mind at the break of dawn. No way was he going to let her lay to waste his fruitful life and all his potentials.
He found very little sleep that night.
At exactly 6 am, she called him. Before she could say a word, he screamed into his phone, “I will not let you ruin my life! You better find who got you into this mess because I’m sure it’s not me, UNDERSTAND! Who knows what you’ve been up to behind my back”
There was a long silence on the other end of the conversation. “Hello, did you hear me?”
“I did”, she said, “I just called to tell you…”, she paused.
“To tell me what?” he demanded in ear splitting decibels.
In a teary voice she said, “I only called to tell you… April Fool’s Day”, and then she hung up.
P.s: Who noticed how many April babies there are?
Way too many cards and wishes to share around, and I’m way too lazy.
I’ll just put them up here.
April’s Fool, first of his name…