African StoriesEditor's ChoiceLove and RomanceNaija Stories

Chemistry

Me: See let’s end everything we think we are doing. It ain’t real at all, I want something new, real and different.

Kel: What’s happening?

Me: I don’t want to continue doing this stuff anymore.

Kel: Dearest, you’re piercing me.

Me: With what?

Kel: Words.

Me: Well, I’m serious this time.

Kel: Please Skye, I promise I’m coming back on the 5th. I know distance has been making you send me this kinda message. You are breaking my heart. I’ve told you before, I can’t lose you. It would tear me down.

Me: Kel, it’s not about you coming back. I’m fed up. I don’t even know what we are doing. I don’t know if you are dating me and if I’m dating you. I don’t get it. Besides you don’t call me, and even if I chat you up, you don’t respond.

Kel: That’s not true, Skye. I call you, but you don’t pick, and when you do, your voice is so cold. And you know chatting is my weakness… Okay, I promise to call and chat you every day. Please stop saying all these…

This was my WhatsApp conversation with Kelvin. I threw my phone down on the bed and paced up and down my room. I know I was being unfair to him and to myself; I know I would be shattered if I do this. But I have to. I had to find my lane. Kelvin was becoming a drug, yes, my cocaine that I know I had to stop, but couldn’t. I cannot even define my relationship with him. We didn’t officially make it known to each other that we were dating. Let me say chemistry happened between us and we haven’t recovered since then.

I know you might be thinking, “Babe keep up with this Kelvin of yours if you love him and end this story.” But you don’t get. I’m twenty-two, I need to be in a serious relationship… like, a relationship with destination. You still don’t get it? Let me start from the beginning.

I met Kelvin in my second year UNN. I had decided to join the Legion of Mary and had to stay back after mass for the meeting. While we were saying the Rosary, he walked in and my eyes beheld the most handsome guy I had seen in my two years in Nsukka. He caught me staring, and I slowly looked away, trying my best to make it look as casual as possible. I later realized he wasn’t even looking at me. Someone behind me had signaled him to pass a handbook. Funny right? Whatever.

This guy was too cool to notice me, I thought. And how right I was… he didn’t. His eyes were fixed on the big ‘blue and white’ statue of Mary while his hands counted the beads on the Rosary. I felt kind of jealous of her. Damn Skye! You are in church!

Time passed by and I was still a ghost in his sight. I noticed how the other girls who claimed to be ‘daughters of Christ’ looked at him.

Well I became reluctant about Legion and finally became a lukewarm member. And then, one fateful day, while I was washing my stove outside my room, I saw him. He had a jerrycan in his hand and was about climbing down the stairs. I couldn’t hold it any longer.

“Hello, you are the guy in Legion of Mary, right?” I blurted out, not knowing exactly what to say.

He murmured something and climbed down the stairs.

Stupid, idiotic fool! my mind screamed after him. He thinks he is handsome. Feeling like the back of a pot, it continued.

“Anyway, it’s my fault, if only I had kept quiet,” I murmured.

The next morning, I had to fetch water from the other lodge since our well didn’t have clean water. I heard someone call, I turned and it was him.

“Good morning, you going to fetch water?” he asked with a smile.

“Yes.” I smiled back. I had forgotten all about yesterday.

“Then let’s go together,” he said.

I was with a big gallon and he had a small bucket. He offered to fetch the water for us and even carried my gallon of water, while I took his. He told me his name, said he had to stay with his friend this semester, they were given a quit notice because his landlord wanted to renovate their lodge. And so we would be neighbours.

We became friends, went to school together, night class together, and even at Legion, the girls started to notice how close we were. I discovered he was the reserved type and talked less especially with girls. It took a full semester before he became free with me. We were best of friends. I was happy and carefree with him. And I enjoyed the fact that I was the only girl he was that free with too. I also found out he was the innocent, church going virgin. You want to know how I found out? I will tell you that too.

You see, the next year, he got his own place, and I would come visiting. I was also a virgin and so, all we did then was play and read. But one night, as I joked around with him, he kissed me. The kiss was short, surprising, sensual, soft… it said a lot of things. In short, I loved it. It was the first real kiss I had. Like, the first kiss I returned. On two occasions I have been kissed. But they just kissed with my lips shut tight. But this was different.

“I love you Skye Oluoma Ogbuagu,” he said while looking at me with the most serious face I have seen.

Yes! Yes! Yes! my brain and my heart danced together. We love you too, they chorused.
I stood looking at him, surprised. So this holy one can fall in love? I thought.

“Please don’t expect me to say anything now,” I finally said. He nodded. We laughed and continued reading our books. I swear, I still can’t remember the topic, or even the course I was reading after that incident. I just stared blankly at the sheets.

Well, we continued visiting each other. We would sleep on the same bed, my head resting on his shoulders. A times the weather would be too hot and he would pull off his shirt and sleep. We didn’t touch each other until close to my third year exams, I was in his place. I had just finished reading, and so I decided to sleep.

I was on the bed when he came to the bed and kissed me. I slowly reached under his shirt and felt his stomach, I went up to his chest, his nipple, I was exploring. I felt his hand creep into my top, towards my bra and cupped my breast. His finger brushed my nipple and I felt an electricity pass through my body. He wanted to kiss it, I hesitated. I hadn’t been in that situation before. My hesitation was weak because deep down, I wanted it. His tongue touched it and I swear, I can’t explain the feeling. But it was more than good. My hand crept down, wanted to know what it was that was down there, but he stopped my hand sharply, said he didn’t want us to take it that far.

After we have gotten over the feelings at the moment, I cried. Well I can’t really say why I cried. I cry almost every time for almost every thing. If Kel sleeps before me, I cry, if I wake up before him, I cry, if he goes out to buy something and stays too long, I cry, if he calmly explains (because he never shouts at me) why he doesn’t like what I did, I cry (yeah, I know, me too, I’m already tired of myself). He doesn’t like seeing me cry. So I get more attention and cuddling when I cry—if you know, you know.

Well, back to why I cried after I had enjoyed every bit of his touch. He was scared he had done something wrong to me.

“We sinned,” I said.

He was surprised for a second before he replied, “I’m sorry I caused you to sin. I didn’t want things to get this far. I love you, I’m attracted to you, but not to make you go against your wish and God’s.”

“Let’s pray,” I said.

We prayed, and apologized, and asked Him for the grace to stay off each other. Two days later, our hands were back on our body, and as months passed by, my hand reached its destination, right inside his boxers.

Well, that was how I met him. Okay, years had passed and I am done with school. I had to pursue my life without him. Yes, without him. Did I hear you say why? I will tell you.

Though he is twenty-five and I’m twenty-two, he is still in his fourth year in the university. To make matters worse, it’s a five years course. And please don’t tell me anything about waiting for him. I have calculated things and it won’t work out between us. He hates hearing this. I have tried breaking up with him like five times now, but that isn’t working either. He insists that he will get broken if I do break up with him, I am his first love; and he said he wants me to be his last.

You know, we haven’t had sex since then, but I don’t know if I can call myself a virgin because my hands and eyes have gone to forbidden places. Though his hands too have gone down there once or twice and I had insisted he let it be. We were young and curious, but also afraid.

Men had come for me, for a real relationships and I had always given the excuse, “I’m in a relationship.” My system was already used to him, and he didn’t want to let me go. But I want something more formal and real. Most cases, thinking about this gets me confused. I don’t see a future in both of us, even if he insists there is. I want a man, a working class man. All my friends have one. I need to stop dating a student. I have grown past that. Well, he is coming back from IT tomorrow. I will sit him down and talk some sense to him.

That is if my lips don’t betray me.

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