My friends and I sat under the mango tree, receiving the fresh air that nature had to adduce. The sweltering heat was too much to bear, our faces were clothed in sweat and grime and I could feel the sun’s radiation stinging my eyes, making it slightly burdensome to see miles ahead.
As we chatted and argued about our different alma maters, a beautiful lassie walked past us, her midsection swaying elegantly as she strode past. She emitted such a fragrance that captivated me in such stupendous a way; I was awed. I watched her walk away in a hypnotic state.
I was totally oblivious of time and my environs, trapped in space-time continuum like a lost astronaut, and that was when I felt the harsh tug on my sleeve.
Vigorous pulls dragging me out of reverie, and into reality. It was Emmanuel, the explicit member of our cherry squad. “Guy, what’s up with you?” he inquired with an impish smile tugging at the corner of his lips. “You have probably eye-fucked that lady.”
A mocking laugh erupted somewhere, little and contagious. It was Elfrida, the subtle member of our cherry squad. “You guys should leave Tristan alone, there’s nothing wrong with eyeing someone from a corner in a creepy manner.” She chuckled afterwards.
She was being awfully sarcastic. I paid no attention to them, I was still drooling over the lady that just walked past us.
“Guy, If you want her, you shouldn’t revere from a distance. Take a bold step.” That was Kelvin. The music geek of our cherry squad.
“Insolent step?” asked Stephanie as she scoffed. She was the tedious member of our cherry squad. “This chicken? If Tristan approaches that girl, I will gladly give him a thousand naira note.”
With the mention of money reverberating in my ears, I quickly turned towards Stephanie. “Are you serious about that?” I asked eyes wide.
She nodded excitedly. “Yes. If you can approach her and get her phone number, I will give you this money.”
I watched her produce the money from her purse, waving it in the air, as if emphasizing come and get it. I was quiet for a while, my heart and mind in a a state of turmoil.
Voices erupted in the background. Emmanuel and the rest of the squad arguing whether or not I was going to make the move. After what felt like eons, I said rather coolly to Stephanie, “We have a deal.”
My friends exploded with spontaneous commendations for my brave act, hooting and howling like prehistoric birds, bellowing like wild animals. I smiled. I tried to keep a straight face, but deep down, my heart was thudding like crazy.
As if on cue, the young beautiful lassie started walking back towards us.
“Tristan, here she comes. Ready yourself, guy.” That was Kelvin speaking directly into my ears, with kinky and keen eyes peering forward.
I stole a quick glance at Elfrida. She look unenthusiastic like she knew I would blow this whole thing up. I wasn’t bothered. I watched the beautiful lady close the distance between us. Damn! She was so beautiful. Her face a Michelangelo art, body perfectly symmetrical, shaped like it was and carved by ancient deities. She was a goddess. I had to talk to her. I had to. Not even for the monetary benefit involved, I just had to.
Walking like I was being compelled to, and feeling like my heart would implode soon, I approached the goddess. As I stepped out into the heat of the fiery sun, I heard faint voices of my friends in the background; the annoying giggles Stephanie gave out when she was excited, Emmanuel yelling words of courage, trying to boost my confidence. Kelvin was probably split in two worlds, his attention divided, literally. One focused on the pending disaster, the other probably on his mobile phone, making jam beats.
“Hey, hi. Hello,” I said to her. Was that too much? I speculated.
She stopped, turned and looked at me. Probably bemused by the sudden approach. “I am doing well, thank you.”
“Uhm, are you in a hurry?”
“Kinda, yes. I am. I am having lectures soon, and I don’t want t be late.”
Okay, what went next? “Oh, yeah. I loathe going to class late too, all the seats would be occupied, and you wouldn’t find a nice place to sit.”
She was quiet for a while, no doubt discerning my features, and wondering why I was sweating so damn much.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
She smiled. Her eyes squinting as she did, making her extraordinarily beautiful. “Madonna,” she said, “But you can call me—”
I stopped her, not letting the words escape her lungs, before she could spew it out. “But I can call you Maddie, yes?” I chuckled.
“Yes. Maddie. How did you know that?”
“Yeah, lucky guess. I didn’t catch your name?”
“My name is Tristan. And I know what you’re thinking. You’re obviously thinking what kind—”
She cut me off too, “Yeah, I know the history behind the name. About some knight…”
The rest of her words came as a blur to me. I wasn’t listening, I was staring at her intently, observing and absorbing all the intricate patterns to her beauty. I was loving her more and more. “Maddie, can I tell you something?” I asked in a daze.
The sudden change of topic made her flinch. “What’s that?” she inquired, grinning.
“Nothing serious, other than the fact that you’re beautiful, and I would love to have your number.” That was honestly brutal. She smiled. The sun caught her hair, and I swear she looked more radiant.
“My phone number? How much are you willing to pay for it?”
“Five hundred naira, if you give it to me now.”
She smiled mischievously. I then told her about the deal, and how I was willing to give her half of the money if she gave me the number. She told me she’d make it more dramatic by hugging and pecking me on the cheeks.