There was a cold demeanor about him. You could feel it in the quiet and stuffy sitting room we were in. He sat a safe distance from me, as did I from him, an invisible wall between us. The conversation came out flat and was awkward. They were long pauses and moments just short of me whistling.
We had been chatting for quite a while and had built up a frenzy towards us meeting. And here we were on our first meet and it felt like a funeral. I thought he was good looking, I found him sexually attractive, but I could tell the feeling wasn’t mutual.
There wasn’t the usual smile I received from guys when they gazed me at first sight. There wasn’t a shred of interest in his eyes at all, or the familiar glint of lust. It was just a blank stare, an indifference worse than hate.
“So do you want to go into the room?” he asked, as though out of obligation, like it seemed the proper thing to do. There wasn’t any keenness there or excitement over the prospects of what lay when we were alone in the bedroom.
I feigned excitement and uttered a high-pitched, “Yay.”
He found that amusing. Was the ice breaking?
The sex was bland; it really felt like one was having sex with a dead body at rigor mortis. He was stiff, and there was such disinterest in his eyes. They never met mine, and my kiss met clamped lips and was never reciprocated. The rimming was spectacular though, even though it seemed more based on routine than an actual act itself.
He came too early, and quickly dressed. We were back to the hot, stuffy parlour. An awkward silence descended.
“I have to go now,” I said.
He seemed unfazed. He offered to give me transportation fare, but I declined, something I always do.
I stopped over at the mall on my way home and watched The Hobbit movie. He was far away from my mind, and I thought nothing of him.
I was slightly surprised to see he had messaged me when I got home. He’d asked to know if I was home safely and I replied in the affirmative.
Then I dropped ever-so casually the fact that the sex we had was very frigid and lackluster. He replied with a curt sorry.
I felt patronized, which is the worst feeling one can experience. I saw him as a wonder and a mystery. He clearly didn’t find me attractive, and I wondered why. Most men do and quite a few women. I was just fresh from having the most passionate and amazing sex with someone a few days back, and had barely survived a date rape the previous week from a man, who was so keen on bedding me, he actually threatened me. And just that afternoon, I’d gotten a few dead-on looks while sauntering through the mall. So clearly, it wasn’t my aesthetic.
What was it then? I had to know.
I told him that it was so obvious that the type of sex we had was one you have with someone you don’t fancy.
“Kinda,” he wrote back.
“So you clearly didn’t like me but chose to have sex with me regardless? I’d rather you didn’t, you do not have to patronize me, especially in such an obvious way,” I wrote stoically.
“The problem isn’t you…” he replied.
“Then what was it?” I asked
“Sparks didn’t fly.”
I stared at his reply, trying to decipher what they implied.
“It’s not like you are ugly or anything,” he went on. “Actually you are really cute. But I just didn’t feel anything. Sparks didn’t fly…” he concluded.
I took a deep breath. There was a genuineness in that one sentence, an honesty that felt like a breath of fresh air, like a splash of ice cold water on a hot and humid day.
“Thanks for being really honest, I really appreciate it,” I wrote back. I deleted him from my BBM after he had read that. It seemed fitting and appropriate.
It was the last day of the year and I was faced with my most profound epiphany yet. Sometimes sparks don’t just fly, I guess.
It was the proverbial ‘One man’s meet is another man’s poison’ come to life. I rationalized that we would always be one man’s poison, regardless of how palatable a feast others see us.
I wasn’t hurt or shamed. I was a bit amused. It felt like nearing the end of an intriguing novel, only to discover there was a part you’d missed. It felt oddly refreshing seeing things from a whole new perspective.
I have other dates to attend to and guys to meet in the coming days. I’ve decided to follow my arrow where ever it lands, whether sparks fly or not.
The bae is just a penis away, I like to think.
I woke up the next morning to find Obinna’s message on my phone.
“HAPPY NU YEAR!” [sic] it read.
I rolled my eyes and sent a quick and brief ‘Same to you’.
I wasn’t too keen on getting to know Obinna, certainly not after seeing his pictures. There was such an Igbotic quality about them. He looked very bottom, pouted in his pics and was light-skinned. Light-skinned guys never did it for me, especially not ones that looked bleached, as is Obinna’s case.
“What are you doing today?” he asked.
It dawned on me then that I wasn’t doing anything that day, nor had I any plans. It was New Year’s Day, and I was faced with the prospect of spending it indoors, watching old episodes of The Walking Dead.
“Nothing,” I wrote.
“We could hang out, at the mall…maybe catch a movie.”
I read Obinna’s message and figured anything was better than staying indoors all day.
“Okay,” I replied. And we agreed to meet in an hour’s time.
I took my time while getting dressed; there wasn’t the usual excitement or nervousness that one would expect while going on a blind date, mostly because I wasn’t expecting much, especially if he looked anything like his pictures. I dressed in all black, I woke up that morning feeling really fat and opted for a loose black Tee and black jeans, because black after all is slimming.
I got to the mall and he called, as if on cue, to say he was at the Shoprite district of the mall and briefly described what he was wearing.
“I’m the guy with the gray T-shirt and the face cap,” he said.
The mall was a crowded mess, it felt like I was in Balogun market. Excited children zoomed all around, trampling on me in the process. I was mentally going on about how I probably should have just stayed home, when I saw him…
The guy with the gray T-shirt and the face cap.
He stood out from the crowd. In the midst of the chaos, I was drawn to him. He exuded such gravitas, and I couldn’t believe this was him. Where was the bleached Top-wannabe I was expecting? He had a tall and imposing figure, wide shoulders and caramel complexion that shone. Whatever cream he was using was good. Safe to say he was also handsome.
He spotted me, waved and walked over. I suddenly felt sheepish and self conscious. Maybe I should have done a double check at the mirror before I left home?
I looked up to him and we both smiled. His lips were dry and chapped from the Harmattan; I thought they added to his imposing yet handsome disposition. His smile put me at ease. He seemed happy to see me.
We connected almost instantaneously. He found everything I said funny, and always had a question to ask. Even with the calamity that was the mall, in my mind, it was just the two of us, no one else existed. Each time our eyes met, I longed to kiss him. I wanted to lay my hand on his chest.
Over ice cream, he asked if I had a boyfriend. There was a genuine interest in how it was asked, like a curiosity that could not be contained. It was also a question I was dying to ask him but didn’t want to come across as too forward.
“No,” I said.
I couldn’t tell if that was surprise or caution in his voice. “I just don’t,” I said, ending the words with a laugh.
He said he was single too. I asked if it was by choice or by circumstance, and he said the former.
We had walked around the mall for what seemed like a million times and I told him I had to be leaving. He looked genuinely surprised. He told me to stay a bit as I didn’t have anything else doing, and he was here keeping me company.
And then just like that, he held my hand.
My heart raced. It was a unique feeling, something completely alien to me. Walking hand in hand with another man in public. I was terrified. I felt like a vampire exposed to the rays of the sun. I wanted to let go, but I couldn’t. We passed a large mirror as we strolled hand in hand, and I caught an image of us. It was a beautiful sight; it almost brought tears to my eyes. I knew moments like these were few and far between. It was an image I never envisioned in my life time, certainly not in Nigeria.
I didn’t want that moment to end. It felt like a scene from a cheesy romance movie. Charlie XCX’s Boom Clap resonated in my mind, and everything else was in slow motion except the two of us.
In that moment, sparks didn’t just fly. We made fireworks. I never wanted to let go
I got home later that afternoon, excited and twirling about the place like a Disney princess. He’d called twice while I was jumping buses on my way home; my phone was on silent and I had missed his calls.
I put on my data and his Whatsapp massaged popped up.
“I can’t wait to see you again,” it read.
“Me tooooooo!!!!” I wrote and attached a lame WhatsApp emoji of me blushing.
And just like that 2015 was off to a fantastic start!
Written by Chizzie