Watching rain drops fall into puddles in the ground outside the restaurant’s glass windows is just my way of avoiding Femi’s gaze. I don’t want to keep looking at him and risk falling for his honey brown eyes and oh-so-luscious-looking lips. Every time I forget myself and look at him…my mind loses track of every sane thought and all I want is to feel the softness of his lips on mine, gently massaging them, and pushing me off the edge little by little.
My best friend Kenny always mocks me for being a pro at describing kisses but never having experienced one. She claims I have unrealistic expectations for that ‘great’ first kiss and that whichever ‘unlucky’ guy who has to unknowingly attempt to meet those expectations eventually would fall painfully below the set ‘bar’. I think she is just being overdramatic though. Typical Kenny
But now, back to my dilemma, maybe she isn’t so wrong. I’m swallowing spit now, licking my dry lips and studying the napkin in front of me like handout for the ‘exam’ of life.
All this while, he’s been watching me, I can feel his eyes on me, gauging my every move, even as he rants on about an annoying co-worker. His baritone voice rumbles in my ears and I can already imagine how soothing his breath would feel on my cheeks.
I’m not sure but I think my fingers are trembling now and I can’t keep a firm grasp on my phone. I pull my hands down and into my lap, pretending to be cleaning out my nails of imaginary dirt. Don’t mock me please, I’m trying to hold it together here. Can’t I just tell him to shut up and kiss me already? Why is he tormenting me so much?
Okay. Wait. I know what you’re thinking and you’re probably right. I look so calm and slightly disinterested, he might even start to worry that he’s boring me. If he could just read my mind, lol…if.
Imagine his arms…wrapped around my waist to pull me close, then one hand raises my chin just enough for my lips to be inches from his…teasing me with his breath and the smell of his cologne, his eyes dancing with mischief, knowing the effect he’s having me. These thoughts I’m having…they give me some strange sort of pleasure, just knowing how pure, undiluted and raw they are…What’s that thing they say again? Oh yeah, the thoughts have no filter. Soon, he’ll ask me how I feel…about him, about us, about his hope for our future but as usual, I’ll hold back, fearing that I’ll voice my wishes and jinx them, wondering if he won’t just leave me abruptly for being too open with my feelings, scaring him with the depths of my emotions, affecting the high esteem he holds me in, risking sounding like a desperado.
As expected, he starts with the questions and my brain starts working on overdrive trying to think of ways to avoid answering. After a few seconds of desperate brain wrestling, I settle for feigning sickness. I activate my inner acting zen and in the next two seconds, I have one hand on my tummy and the other on my forehead. Then, I continue with loud, exaggerated moans of ‘pain’. If that doesn’t shut him up about ‘us’ then I am flush out of options…and…quite literally, doomed (to giving him an answer I am not even sure of.)
‘Nana, what’s wrong?’ Ah yes, it’s working.
‘I don’t know o…there’s just pain everywhere.’ I add in another moan and double over for effect.
‘Is it that bad? You were fine a second ago.’
Why is he being so inquisitive? I need to think of something believable so we can get out off here ASAP. Acting is really hard work, no wonder actors get paid so much. From the corner of my eyes, I watch his face contort in confusion as he reaches a hand out to touch my face. Oh no, my body is absolutely normal, it will give me away in no time. Nana think! Think!
‘I think it was something in the food.’ I lie through my teeth sending up a quick prayer for forgiveness simultaneously. Sorry God, but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do to avoid such awkwardness.
‘The food?’ He shakes his head and stares at me incredulously. ‘You hardly took two bites of your food Nana. How can it be?’
Yes idiot, I was too busy staring at your lips and fighting anxiety. ‘well…I wasn’t really hungry. Maybe that’s why it’s not so bad.’ I brink rapidly and look up at him, to see if he’ll buy the lie…and sneak another peek of his lips of course. Yeah yeah, you got me, whatever. Now, he’s squinting his eyes at me and tapping the table silently. For some reason, I’m convinced he now knows I’m pretending even if he was unsure before. I definitely shouldn’t have looked up. My eyes always betray my feelings, the exact reason I had been avoiding eye contact all evening.
‘What exactly are you so scared of?’ yup, he definitely knows but some part of me still holds out hope a little longer.
‘What? Me? Scared? No!’ My voice came out so high pitched, even I wouldn’t believe me. Disaster…that’s what this is.
‘Don’t play dumb with me Nana. You’ve been acting strange all evening, you hardly touched your food and knowing you…that’s quite abnormal and you’ve been avoiding my questions and my eyes. So…out with it. Now.’ Busted!
Is it weird that I like the tone he just used on me even though I should be using it as another weapon of escape, like accusing him of being controlling or something? Oh well, here goes nothing.
‘I’m just tired that’s all.’
‘That’s another lie I’m not buying.’ God, this is so frustrating. I lick my dry lips again and try to think of something else to say, anything to just keep the conversation going in another direction until I can think of a way to leave early. Why is it so hard to stop thinking about the kiss that hasn’t even happened yet?
‘Nana.’ He’s waving his hands in front of my face so I know I zoned out a little.
‘Talk to me. What do you want me to do? I’m running out of ideas here and you’re not helping.’ He says it so softly it’s almost a whisper. Despite his sift tone, his words still feel like an accusation.
I swear a shiver just went down my spine. ‘I want…’ I swallow hard and look down at my shoes.
‘You want…’ he prompts.
‘You…’ I mutter.
‘You? Me? You…want…me?’
‘Yes yes…but no.’ I can’t believe I’m stuttering so much. I never stutter. Urgh!
‘So. Then What? Cuz I honestly have no idea what you’re saying. Help me out here Nana.’
Why does he have to say my name like that? Why is it so sexy on his tongue? Why is this so hard for me? And why on earth, am I considering telling him my thoughts? Only one answer to that…I have finally lost it.
‘I mean. What I’m trying to say is this…I want you. To. Kiss me.’ There, I said it.
‘What?’ He looks so lost and I can already feel my heart shattering. I knew I shouldn’t have said it. Without looking up, I stuff my keys and phone into my purse and start walking out. He follows me and blocks my way. No….don’t make this any more embarrassing!
‘Where are you going?’
‘Home.’ I keep my eyes on the floor tiles.
‘Look at me.’ He gently puts one hand on my chin and raises it just enough for my lips to be inches from his…teasing me with his breath and the smell of his cologne. He wraps his other hand around my waist to pull me closer, his eyes dancing with mischief, knowing the effect he’s having me.
This is the moment of truth.
‘Nana! Nana wake up! We’ll be late for class!’ Kenny’s voice pierces my thoughts and I know for sure that this was all a dream.
Ah…the urge to break something!
-The Grace Ola | Socials- @thegraceola