How do I tell you that my day started with the thought of my friend Emowarin who was leaving for the United Kingdom? How I had to hurry to the airport that evening to see him before his flight took off. I pushed through the crowd as my phone continued buzzing till I pushed the beauty I was yet to see.
How do I tell you that I lost my voice and with my mouth agape, I starred? That the next buzz of my phone revealed what I failed to accomplish. My friend boarded without the sight of me. The phone call distracted me and I lost the face that got me stuck on the spot.
How do I tell you that my mission became fresh as I went about in search of the face? How I lost my African woman pride to walk up to him as soon as my eyes rested on him again “Excuse me, sir, I am Grace. Please can I have your number, something tells me I will need it in future”, I rattled lest my breadth fails. Oh, he looked at me dazzled just as the man standing beside him did. I threw shame to the wind and obliged him when he indicated that he would rather have mine.
How do I tell of the days and nights of longing? How I waited upon the stars for his call. The hope that a wish upon a star do come true, subjected me to mosquito bites every evening. Maybe if I knew his name at least, I wouldn’t have sought inspiration desperately from my night sky pals or put my plea on paper.
“Oh stars I gave my wish,
Carry my plea to the king,
Draw unto me the radiant face,
The Prince that stole my peace.
Make him the king of my heart,
And may our story speak volumes,
Even in the midst of hundreds to come”; my sincere prayer.
How do I tell you that I vented my anger on an unknown caller one afternoon because the caller made a seemingly silly inquiry, “please who am I speaking with”? But before you pass your judgement, note that whoever it was, called me.
“How can you call someone you don’t know! ” I snapped. I should say it wasn’t entirely my fault as I was returning from a fruitless outing that afternoon when a motorist splashed muddy water all over me. I was remorseful in the evening when I sat out with the stars.
How do I tell of the shock that gripped me later when I returned the call? I apologized for being rude, introduced myself, and inquired about his name…his because the voice sounded masculine. His name said it all…Philip Johnson. Wow, a name true to the outstanding creature. I knew right then it was he. His image became fresh. He was slim, light-skinned, and adorned with black hair. He looked either white or half caste. He was dressed simply in slacks and a fitted white top that complimented his color. He was everything I imagined.
How do I describe the joy that enveloped me? It radiated in everything I did, everyone around me felt it. I celebrated for days and the story began. My Philip Johnson, My Phil!
How do I relate this story to you? But first, you need to know that I thanked the stars.
“Oh my shining armor,
You remain true to the hearts that hold you dear.
You’ve shown forth and brightened my heart
And now my dove has come to nest.
I see glory and wonder,
I see love blossom
We have planted together
The tendril we will attend
And my smile will gloat you more.”
How do I describe the days that followed and the calls that completed each day? How do I explain that three weeks turned into years or so it seemed for we covered facts about us relating daily on phone? No day seemed complete without a call and a narration of the day’s event. We connected as friends, dear friends, close friends, whatever, but not as lovers.
How do I narrate our first meeting as friends to you? Do I tell you how he helped me settle down at the restaurant, his gestures, and lovely smile throughout the course of our meal, or do I tell you of his appearance, his good dress sense, and peculiarity that got me starring at him most of the time? Would you rather I told you how we ended at the beach that evening, appreciating nature and trying to make sense of our world? Do I include how we played around in innocence or rather companionship and shared an instant bound words cannot express?
If your thoughts are filled with our kisses right now or our discussions of intimacy, it is just your imagination. We continued as bosom friends, true and sincere. I learned his story, how he lost the girl he loved, how he blamed himself for the accident that claimed her life, and why he should date another girl. The new girl wasn’t me. She was someone his father introduced to him four years ago during his first visit to Nigeria. His father passed on months ago so he decided to date her to keep his memory. Should I tell you that his mother was white and that he spent most of his life with her, that the advent of his father’s death brought him home to a country and company he knew so little about, and that Sandra, his new girl, the daughter of his father’s best friend, had been the one chosen by his late father to intimate him on the affairs of his legacy?
If you think I was jealous, well hmmm…at least I had become his best friend, his confidant.
How do I tell you about their great quarrel that ripped off his feelings and choices? Sandra didn’t accept his close affinity with me. She complained about our daily calls and did not tolerate his mentioning of my name in their discussions. She gave him a choice, she or I.
How do I tell you that I severed the wonderful relationship we had when he mentioned the option she gave him? I simply concluded for him and bolted away. I felt I couldn’t bear the pain should he choose to wash away our friendship for his relationship. I lost patience when he told me about it so I gave him no room to tell me his choice. Weeks passed by and rolled into months but our voices spoke in our hearts. Many nights I cried and mourned him. I spoke to my night sky pals about my broken feelings. I grew lean.
“It is better not to discover the taste of fish than to know and have no fish”.
How do I tell you of the fateful day? The day coincidence seemed like the language of angels or do I say the creator himself planned a reunion for a perfect ending. Fate, Angels, God, Telepathy, your choice, brought us together again at the banks of Transecular. Sometimes I feel it was the desire to be around nature to drown our sorrows. Don’t ask what sorrows, you should know. I felt hurt, he did too so we were compelled to crush our mountains of hurt.
“Don’t ever leave me like this again”, he said.
To make up for the breach in our tide, we took a little vacation. Hmmm…friends go on vacations too. How do I answer your unvoiced question? Why would I tell you where we stayed, or the number of rooms we used? How do I convince you that it was a friendly visit to the land of nature and love, the land couples on honeymoon nest? Don’t raise an eyebrow because even foreigners go there too. One of the most beautiful tourist centers in Nigeria, the Obudu Cattle Ranch. It was my first encounter with the splendor of the country’s renowned center of tourism. If you demand a tale of the beauty of the land, the feelings it illuminates, or possible activities there, improve the English language, take a trip down there or shut your eyes and wonder at the most fascinating place you’ve never been to.
How do I tell you that I got kidnapped or rather apprehended in the city of nature and beauty? I am not suggesting that the security was porous, how can I say that. We spent a few nights in a hotel almost at the boundary between the town and another. That memorable evening, we enjoyed our hide and seek game. Hey, hide and seek is not just the game of lovers but also of comfortable, trusted, and loyal great friends who hardly use the four-letter word that formed their bond. In my quest to be the heroine of the game, I discovered a lovely garden down the valley of my hiding place whether within boundaries or not, I couldn’t spare a thought. The love of nature overwhelmed me and whisked me away to the beauty that called. While I explored the garden, its beauty, and quiet, two scary-looking men found me and took me to their camp. Don’t quote me, but I think they were hoodlums that looted…(don’t know) and were traveling through bushes to escape with their loot. The garden was close to their camp and my chatter disrupted their peace. Yes, it was too early for my night pals to visit so I simply enjoyed the company of a butterfly. At least you won’t term me as crazy because I wasn’t speaking to myself! Moreover, these cool friends can listen without complaints.
How do I describe the fear that gripped me as dusk came, the staunch smell of the camp which was a combination of weed, urine, and alcohol, or the desperation I had, to make sense of their discussion? They discussed amongst themselves in a language strange to me. One thing was certain, they were dangerous. I thought of Phil. Would he find me soon? Would he think I could wander this far? How soon would he realize that I had gone from hiding to missing? I envisioned his face as he searched for me. He’d look seriously gorgeous. My faithful sky friends came out. They never abandon me. With my hands and feet bound, I chatted away with them. I told them of my love for my family. I told them the lies I told my parents to obtain the liberty for my journey with Phil. I told them of my love for Phil though I knew they knew. I talked about the possibility of loosing them all, everything and everyone. I talked about the pains they would feel. My mother will feel disappointed I lied to them but she will be swept away by the pains of my death to dwell on it. I talked about Phil, he will bear yet another guilt of loosing another person. How would he react should he recover my body lifeless? Muttering things helped me worry less. I muttered prayers too.
How do I narrate this ordeal to you? Which word will appropriate my feelings? I was dragged, further and further, through a bush path. My faithful friends stayed with me. We got to another thatched camp surrounded by bushes, a little bigger than the first. Fear drowned my chatter. My abductors left me outside the camp. I thought of snakes and all sought wild animals. The comfort my sky friends gave me waned. I cried and prayed. I was hungry. I surrendered to fate. I knew my plight will be death, or can it be any worse?
How do I tell you of my saving angel? The man whose name drowns sorrows in my heart and brings forth light. He should have been an investigator with the secret service force. When he realized I was missing, he alerted the necessary people and then went in search. He trailed my footsteps. In the middle of the night, while my abductors were asleep, he surfaced alone. He carried me away from the camp and then freed my hands and legs.
How do I tell you that we were caught halfway and a fight ensued? One of the abductors assigned to watch over me woke up and tracked us down. He had no gun on him just a knife. He stabbed my angel just before I hit him with a trunk.
How do I describe how I felt? Oh, how would you feel at the thought of loosing someone who truly loved you, who could go through challenges worse than a hurricane to give his life for you?
“I love you Grace, don’t ever forget that”. Those were the sweet words that came from the mouth of my saving angel. The first time he told me he loved me in words and more. I hugged him at my bosom and then helped him as we pushed through to the base. He didn’t die, the cut wasn’t deep enough. We made it back to the hotel, then to the hospital. He recovered and we became inseparable. Phil almost gave his life for me, that’s true love!
Oh, how do I tell you that Phil, Philip Johnson, my true love only exists in my head! That he lives only in the land of dreams. How do I tell you that the loneliness I felt brought the comforting illusions of Phil and his near-real accomplishments? My most fascinating Prince I never had. My legendary love story for generations that may never be told
I wish it was true. I leave the wish with my sky friends, the only real ones with me.