THE TEMPERATURE OF FEELINGS
Some persons love rejections are innumerable like the rejection mails I’ve received from literary houses. However, the love rejections I’ve had can be counted on one hand because I have abandonment issues — I abandon people but I don’t give much room to be abandoned. How selfish of me, right? I’m never cautious falling in love, hence; it gets to me often. Love is a drug that gets to everyone, either it humbles us or it makes us act in manners unbecoming of us, many times both. For me, my drug is Eva and I’m heavily dosed. Eva is the kind of girl you date and you have an instant rise in social standing. “Hey, Jerry, meet my girl, Eva. Eva, Jerry?” When some guys, by chance, bring(escort?) a pretty girl to a party or an event, they literally can’t wait to show her off to their colleagues for clout and rub it in with I-am-not-your-mate smug plastered on their faces. With Eva I wouldn’t mind slipping into that mode. I’d love to talk a little about Eva, in fact, I should tell you about Eva because when you love someone you only want to talk about them.
There’s something about Eva’s amber coloured eyes. They are shaped like a broken heart, dreamy, melancholy, drunken, almost sad, and now that I think of it, mischief. They look like many things at the same time. Almost translucent, they look like a motif of cracked glass, like cotton-wool clouds. Like the commands of traffic light and as things practiced at seduction — a recipe for disaster. When hit by the glow of the sun the inside of her eyes turn golden brown like dancing flames.
Her lips, moist as a wet biscuit, are the colour of fresh wound; pink as the insides of a fleshy guava. When curved into a smile they reveal those neatly arranged set of gapless front teeth, and when they move to speak, words stumble out, soft as a gentle breeze.
Eva is slim and tall and almond. In a sentence, visually stunning and emotionally resonating. She looks more the part of a Greek god with the trademark bound locks tumbling in layers down her swan neck and over her shoulders. Her skin is the colour of roast corn, soft and tender as the cheeks of a new wife. She is blessed with a stunning shape of Nile-long legs. Beautiful stems that were gift wrapped and sent from God; normally, they are the supposed works of killer workout regimes or yoga, Eva as I know can’t lift a broom, even if it’s meant to save her life. Often times, I pay attention as she struts about in the grace of those chiseled features, dabbing the earth leisurely like an artist’s paint brush on a canvas; always graceful in their care free movements, quiet and unhurried in their steps like slanting October rain. She measures her footsteps deliberately in the manner one foot is placed before the other, to the rhythm of a song only she hears.
In the scheme of love, the moderate swell of her breasts which sits unhinged on her chest like hot round loafs of bread is only a small matter. It would be illegal and unconstitutional not to love Eva, man and woman alike. I, sometimes, secretly wish to know what other talents this daughter of Calmday, murderess of my sleep possesses, aside being beautiful. Her beauty doesn’t exclude her flaws, which compliments a weird piece of trivia about me — I prefer my friends and lovers fundamentally flawed. There are many other impressive features of her beauty to talk about, if I should continue, it will probably take all the time Robert Mugabe spent in office and more, and you’d still have to literally point a gun to my head to make me stop. To save your time and my brain matter, I’ll resist the urge to continue painting a picture of her.
The only time I held her tapered waist, and such tapered waist she’ve got, she was perhaps a little bit tipsy and her headspace filled with shisha smoke. It was at the coming to close of my roomie, Kingsley’s birthday, when we held hands real good for a long time. Emboldened by that and perhaps dutch courage, I ran my fingers along her lower back and she placed a hand and her head on my shoulder, leaning against me under the soft glow of the silver moon, beaming at stars we could not see and breathing in copious amounts of our selves. We are couples in that instant; almost, as we wait for a bike to take her home. When she left, I went to my house feeling happy like one promised a parcel of weed.
My gut intuition tells me Eva wants me, but for obvious reasons she wouldn’t see it happen. Perhaps, she want things I don’t have to give yet, and that’s fine. I’m not mad about her choice, I also want the good things of life, it’s the reason I chose her in the first place. Sometimes, the ones we want are beyond our reach; really, they are, and the ones within our reach are not what we really want. Other times, we don’t even know what we want or we pretend we don’t want what we want. This is part of the reason why I am never in want to be moved beyond the ladder of friendship we are enjoying because she’d decline the offer. With a calming lilt, in that usual slow speak of hers, like she’s admonishing a child to shun cultism, she’ll put me off in the fewest of words possible. So I keep to being mute. In such instances, sometimes, the best thing to say is nothing.
If I request for a relationship things may become awry between us; way more awkward than the respectable tension I always feel at her presence. Like that taut feeling, in movies, hovering above the air during a game of Russian Roulette. Maybe I am scared to request a relationship because I am broke, with no defined payday, and still largely dependent on my parents to finance me with money they’re not using. I’m still indulging the habit of looking beneath the pages of books, scouting trouser pockets and garnering bits of money in all my bank accounts to raise money for little things such as a movie ticket, how can I afford to be in a costly thing as a relationship? Will a barrel of LOLs be enough? Scoff all you like but there’s no real romance without finance from at least one of the parties. And I don’t think Eva has secret billions stashed away in Cayman Island or a Swiss bank.
There’s so much about Eva that the eye doesn’t meet, her mouth doesn’t want to tell either. Like, who is her boyfriend — is he a Chairman or is he an Alhaji? Does she have a boyfriend or is the boyfriend in the abroad like most girls with no visible boyfriend often say to single guys? I never asked because I hate getting to find out an information that may not sit well with my frail heart. The closest she had ever come to telling something of sort, and I don’t know if it was a joke but it felt so; it was when she talked about Lokoja not having the men of her taste. How many men has Eva tasted? These and many questions rummage in my head for such a long time until I felt stupid for considering such. Why should I concern myself with her sexual relations or the lack of it when, I’m not ashamed to admit, I’ve had my own fair share of women — a statement that need not be stretched further than this.
Isn’t it cruel, take a while to reason this or maybe you have; someone wants you badly and decides to take the leap to ask you out, but is left disappointed with a subtle no? Yet, there is another you really want but they too pretend not to notice your presence. That’s the dilemma I’m in between Eva and the others — no questions. Guys, by a show of hands, has a girl subtly said no to you or did she dismiss you like you were none existent? Ladies, what emboldens you to say no; like Eva, with such art form, without necessarily saying it, that one might not see it as rejection but be tempted to loiter around with promises of hope? Do you say yes to guys with chiseled features and often dismiss guys with chicken arms? Tell me if chiseled features are the trending taste, for I have chicken arms and a lissom body that moves in the direction of the wind. Can you please help me ask Eva if she wants me to grow a muscle? Could it be she is given to guys in crisp-ironed shirts that has shiny well tended beards with glossier hair and wear ties that reaches their crotch? While you are at the previous message, please, can you help me beg her to ignore the travesty I have for beards. I’m sure she must have noticed they look like strands from a maize cob.
The day I first met Eva she was less exciting than domestic chores. Not the least it kept the wheels rolling until now we’re here — which in all honesty is still not much. I doubt if she still remembers our first meet. There is nothing spectacular to remember about that night in Mami market except the liquid display of enthusiasm by our mutual friend, Faith. It was Faith’s insistence that we meet and she nursed ambitions we might end up together. Nevertheless, I was less enthusiastic in our brief meeting because Eva looked totally uninspiring in her sombre sweatshirt, her practiced smile, her limp handshake and the rehearsed manner she told me about the necessary details one gets from another at first meet. Everything about her points to a constitutional friendliness. We exchanged numbers out of necessity but I wasn’t too eager to place a call, wasn’t interested in knowing much about her and cared the least we share the same alma mater. I got the impression of being treated with contempt as she either tried too hard to string a conversation whenever we cross paths or not interested in my personage. During those periods, there always seemed to be a vacuum of nothingness going between us or not going between us as the case maybe. Our talks, whenever we had them, were littered with heys, hellos, wassups and other monosyllables.
The thing with humans is strange, the one you never cared for in the beginning later become the very one you wouldn’t stay away from. There were no special talks or moments, no extraordinary deed, no zinging, nothing at all. A feeling grew within me over time, sipped into the very fabric of my dreams until I became restless like pine leaves in the wind and fell for her the way a chopped tree would. Eva will be surprised I could still recall the early days. Why wouldn’t I when the moments we shared and all the talks we’ve had are short and far in between. Besides, love. Love makes one remember even the littlest of details. I’d love to spend more time with Eva if she isn’t such a recluse, if she could understand how communication is a critical part of our social fabric, if she would shorten the tall walls she had worked so hard in building around her. But I won’t go about probing because there isn’t any sense in the continuous prying of her breathing space nor attempting to regulate her enthusiasm.
I thought Eva to be a snub — a feeling, her friend, Chi Chi once shared — and that relating with people is a chore to her until I figured she is wired differently. When everyone is going this way, no she doesn’t go the other way as you might want to believe, she just retires to the comfort of her home. Her view of public places is akin with the disdainful look many Game Of Thrones fans view those who don’t follow the series. Perhaps, she’s agoraphobic. Often times, after a brief but necessary show in public spaces she withdraws to the safety of her room, faster than the Biafran army would have. There, she’d loaf about in her bum shorts and listen to music, which I perceive she have got quite a really good taste as evident in her playlists. A little old school blend with new schoolers like Frank Ocean, Halsey, Khalid, Party Next Door and also some questionable ones like a certain Indian tune which Chi Chi says is her favorite. How defining that chatting with her has been more promising when we talked about music.
I do not know Eva as I’d love to, given that we’ve been friends for well over a year now. And the “tell me about yourself” question is as stupid in saying as the question itself, hence, I’ve retorted to knowing her by collecting bits of her, like one who gathers artifacts, trying to form an opinion form her choices. It’s torturous but I’m gladly conforming to the stereotype: When a man is in love, a new mumu is born. I think I’ve been reborn a new man, a new Adam, hoping to find Eden. Will Eva be in Eden? That much I can’t say. Though, I may boast and say I have sailed past this falling in love shit; in truth I am just a guy who falls in love with girls all the time. I’ve learnt to shroud it in secrecy, letting no emotion betray me but some cases, like Eva’s, rummage through my life without even trying. She fascinates me, this girl. She makes me feel many things. Her presence makes me feel giddy in indefinable ways, like the sweetness of cotton bud on earwax. Without her, and because she’s not too keen on daily correspondence, I take to writing poetry.
I’m not even a poet but when my poems have been about her I may have scribbled my best poetry, yet. I have written more than a dozen poems about her but only had the cheek to send her a couple. My liver often fails me to do so, I deserve a new liver. While I go through her phone I find out she keeps screenshots of the poems I sent. Maybe she keeps them because they make her giggle or giddy, or perhaps they do suggest to her a nostalgic feeling of what might have been or what will be. What ever the case, I don’t want to be free from this feeling; from this miasmic love. My obsession with her is getting concerning, the cheerleading is getting weary too, so I must stop my confessions now. I bide you all farewell.