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Shackles of Love

She emphasized on the fact that boarding motorcycles was way too risky and claimed she was allergic to boarding motorcycles and that we go board a bus. Trust me, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid to agree with her decision.

It was the first day of UTME 2018, March 9th. We boarded a bus eventually according to her satisfaction to our UTME center. Getting there wasn’t a headache. We were all eager to write the exam and at the same time frightened of the exam, What a paradox!

Finally the searching begun and the males were separated from the females. I had no time to take note of the number of people present that fateful day, but someone who was looking would attest that we were roughly over three hundred students.

There the security officer went, searching the students thoroughly like he had something against us. The order of searching was from the crown of our heads down to the soles of our feet, like suspected criminals. I gave an awful look when I took careful note of the manner of the search; the security officer would take his anti-bomb-designed search engine, place it very few inches from the body of his search quarry and let it detect from the crown of his head to the sole of his feet, anything implicative.

As if that was not embarrassing enough, he would place his hands beneath the reproductive organ of his male search quarry and between his clumsy laps and allow it to rest bountifully on his crooked hands, balance it again, gauge it, weigh it, squeeze it a bit, leave it and patter it a little all in the name of affirming that there was no room for malpractices. I don’t want to describe the way he searched me. I’m sorry it’s a story I don’t like to tell.

The searching came to an end and we all majestically walked into that spacious hall,
my hands vibrated, my lips muttered more than what I was reading. Fear was in the air and nervousness was our companion as nobody was smiling. All those who had poke-nosed into the discussion of some students who grouped themselves before the exam to discuss how they will squash the questions trembled like banana leaves that was been tossed to and fro by the restlessness of the wind.

My neck stretched to the best of its ability in search for her, but it was all to no avail. Its elasticity reached its limit the moment it remembered these things about her: she was short, therefore, the possibility of not seeing her was high; she was a genius and a paragon of educational standardization therefore, she would be so eager to squash the questions; she had been very famished of the questions right from the genesis of the registration, therefore she would be so eager to devour the questions like a prisoner who had just been released; she was a devout Christian; therefore, she must have bowed to say some prayers to her God.

Though it was free and fair, fright hung in the air, refusing to descend. We were so conscious, so conscious of the time; so conscious of the time that we’d look at the time almost sixty times a minute for fear of the elapsing of our time and the tripping off of our computer systems.

The questions weren’t as tough as I thought they’d be. I finished before the time, crosschecked my work, and gave The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) my remaining forty-one minutes, thirty- three seconds. I felt fulfilled as I majestically walked out of that cold hall that seemed like a cold room with a broad smile.

There I went again searching for her. I waited as I sat under the coverage of that crooked canopy under the troubles of a running stomach. I didn’t care though, the shackles of love subsided it.

My heart leapt for joy on seeing her bouncing out of that hall with a tender, but charming smile. I had been expecting her to come out and I did know fully well too that she’d be looking for me immediately she was out. To the left she looked, forward and right, then she beheld me and gave another tender smile that told me her questions were playmates to her. Once upon a time, we’d been discussing about UTME. Now, it was history!

We boarded a motorcycle, forgetting the fact that she was allergic to it. She, almost with both hands, griped the seat of the motorcycle for fear that she might fall off of it. She decided to branch at her uncle’s shop to say hello to him, probably before going home.

We got to her so called uncle’s shop and it was like he had prepared an oral questionnaire for her before her arrival and had developed impatience already, so at the sight of her, he couldn’t wait to throw them.

“Who is that young man with you? where did he come from? why is he following you? who is he? is that your boyfriend? where is his residence? who are his parents? has he eaten?

My intelligent miss quickly answered the question that best suited such inquisitive man. “He is our former pastor’s son.”

It was then that he reluctantly let us go. We decided to make ourselves comfortable by having dinner in a restaurant before going home again. We sat opposite each other, she gave her order and insisted that I ate what she preferred. I had no choice, so far as her preference wasn’t swallow foods, because I hated swallow foods right from time. I am practically averse to any food that would not be chewed before it would be swallowed, owing to the fact that I am susceptible.

I wanted to watch the way she’d scatter her mouth to eat, but no, she arranged her mouth well and carefully compressed the food in it. I knew she’d want to be descent sitting in front of me, although she was descent by nature and everybody liked her for that.

As for me, I didn’t mind if any ‘jack’ or ‘harry’ was looking at my mouth. I ate the way I have been eating in my house, no pretences, no new methods.

But I kept wondering why she would be eating in that manner, it was just too descent. One would like to use her lips and its entirety as tourist zone with the way they danced slowly and nicely to the rhythms of the food and the way her oesophagus majestically walked, pocketing one of its hands and with the other, carefully passing the squashed food to its bosom friend, the stomach. Then she confessed that she was shy. I thought as much though.

She began to share her lifestyle and stories with me; of how to the core and with passion her dad detested her moving out of the house, unless personally sent her on an errand; of how strict her dad was, of how she once fell into the trap of her dad; of how she got bruised at age thirteen by her dad’s anger; of how the wrath of her father wounded her; of how she was told by someone that if she wanted to excel or succeed, it would not be by staying indoors all day, week and month long. She narrated how extra-careful her parents, especially her dad were.

Gradually, I began to lose appetite and so did she. She didn’t notice though, but I was trying to quell it by all means when an idea came to my mind and I listed them to sweep away the aforementioned ugly past.

“It is well,” I started, “did you know that we have so many things in common?”

“Hmm.” She sighed with a broad smile that meant she was ready to listen to them.

“We have the same birthdays,” I started, “we have the same birth year, we attend the same church , we are both in the choir department, we both attended public school, we graduated out of secondary school the same year, we registered for our UTME the same day, we wrote our UTME the same day, in the same center, our parents are ministers, we will soon be gaining admission, co-incidentally into the same university, the same thing your uncle sells is what my uncle sells too, we both like water like thirsty camels and you are beautiful and fair to look upon and I am handsome and fair to look upon too.”

When I was done listing them, she nodded slowly, reading meanings to my every statement and concluded it has a meaning. I told her I’m sure more similarities were on their way and she nodded again, but this time, in acknowledgment.

One would think that we were just a perfect match and that she’d be a good wife material to me, but it’s not every decision that is good that is godly. In fact, she was once my heart-throb only that I have not prayed about it, plus she was older than me. Besides, I know she was not the bone of my bone and I know the bone of my bone. So, I had to call it quits.

Though, our age difference was six months, but the fact that she was older than me remains and will forever rise like oil in water.

I told her I’d be travelling to France the next month and she insisted on going with me. She sarcastically laughed when I told her that taking her along with me was like giving her dad a machete to cut off my throat.

The shackles of love has began to spread their barriers round about us with the way things were going and if care wasn’t taken, she would’ve thought she was my heart-throb.

Praise be to the Fetters of Wisdom who came to instruct me and gave me principles of how to besiege the shackles of love in our parts.
Though to say she is a ‘good wife material’ would be an understatement!

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