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    Walt Shakes

    Walter Ude (@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter. He blogs at mymindsnaps.wordpress.com.

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THE CALL OF THE SONGBIRD (Part 3)

February 14, 2012

“So much for a happy valentine,” Chinwe said with feeling as she sniffled and rubbed her moistened handkerchief against her eyes. She’d been crying; her cheeks showed traces of the tear tracks.

“It still is,” Adindu said soothingly and placed a hand gently on hers. “You’ve still got me. Valentine isn’t all about lovers. It’s about friendships too.”

“It’s not the same, Adi,” she said in a waspish tone. The eyes she turned to him were bright red and watery, and the pain and bitterness in their depths were unmistakable. “I gave four years of my life to that bastard. Four years!” As though he didn’t know the number, she held up four fingers of her right hand. “And then he suddenly decides we should take a break? And tells me today of all days?” She gave a small bark of laughter, one that was painfully lacking in joy. It ended in a despondent sigh and her eyes welled up. She pressed her hanky against each eye in turn.

“Raphael is a big jackass for doing this to you,” Adindu intoned.

“Or perhaps he finally found out something about me he couldn’t take, something that made him take to his heels.” The tears rose again. “Perhaps I was the reason he couldn’t stick around,” she said brokenly.

“Stop it,” Adindu interjected a bit harshly. “I won’t have you thinking such nonsense.” He leaned forward on the couch they were both sitting on and rested an urging stare on her. “Listen to me, Raphael obviously does not deserve you. He proved it when he decided to let go of you. And the fact that he broke up with you today of all days doesn’t matter. What matters is that he did and that you’re free of him. This breakup is his loss, not yours. And if anybody has anything wrong with him, it’s him, not you. You are simply too good, too true to have any fault in you.”

He took in a small breath and continued, “I watched you two date for all those four years. Because of my friendship with you, I was also a part of your relationship. Sort of. And I can tell you right now that you were very giving and loving and the best of you in that relationship. If he didn’t see all that, then he’s not just a jackass, but a blind fool.” He was panting a little by the time he was finished.

Chinwe was now staring at him. “Why, thank you, Adi. I appreciate the compliment.”

“I didn’t say all that for show,” he said with feeling. “I meant every word. If he could see what I see in you, he wouldn’t have left.”

There was now too much weight in her stare. “What do you see in me?”

He took a moment to look back at her, to take in the thickly-lashed eyes staring back at him from a face that had maturated in character and beauty in the years that had passed since they forged a firmer acquaintanceship during their year of NYSC. Now, six years later, a lot had changed; they had established their lives as career people, lived in well-appointed apartments in Wuse and had individual relationships; he was even currently flirting with the idea of asking out Chinwe’s flatmate, Amara. Through it all, one thing had however remained constant: their friendship and his feelings for her, which to him, he’d often admitted to himself, were as yet undefined. Unclear, but undoubtedly strong. He felt her pain when she cried, rejoiced with her when she laughed, and presently, felt like punching the lights out of Raphael for causing her this much agony. He just might, if ever the man had the misfortune of running into him sometime in the nearest future.

“I see a very beautiful woman,” he began, “not just outside, physically, but on the inside. In your heart. In your being. Inside you. You’re an amazing woman, sweet, kind, generous, with a great sense of humour–oh, how you make me laugh” – he smiled slightly in memory of an indeterminate detail, and she smiled with him – “and a good heart, too. What I see is a woman who deserves to be treated like the queen that she is, whose heart should only belong to the best man there is on earth. Even as your friend, I feel so much happiness being with you, let alone, being in the position of one who should love you in every conceivable way. I–” He suddenly caught himself, took a sharp inhalation and drew himself back from her.

“You’re what?” Chinwe asked. The bitterness had loosened its grip on her countenance and her eyes were alight with tentative gaiety that was reminiscent of the cheery girl he’d always known.

“Never mind. It’s nothing. ” He shook his head.

“Oh come on, tell me. It’s not nothing.”

“Really, Chinwe, forget about what I was going to say. Focus on what I’ve already said. You needn’t think any less of yourself just because of your breakup. You’re so much more than that.”

She rolled her eyes theatrically. “Yea, so much that I have no boyfriend and no date for the Valentine,” she said dryly. “Oh wait, and suddenly, my prospects for a future husband just dwindled down to nothing. It’s now back out to the dating world.” She effected a slight shudder to show just what she thought about her newly single status.

Adindu chuckled. “It’s not that bad.”

“Easy for you to say, you’re a guy. Good-looking and doing well for himself. You’re exactly what a million girls out there are searching for, claws bared. And now, I have to join those million girls to go hunting.” Her lips turned down. “Not very appealing, I must tell you.”

“Weeeellll…” He squinted at her and put his forefinger and thumb half an inch apart. “You’re forgetting one teensy-weensy thing,” he said. “One itsy-bitsy detail that exists between us for nearly all the years I’ve known you.”

She cocked a brow. “Which is?”

“That if we’re not married to anyone by the time we’re thirty, we’ll marry each other.”

At his words, she suddenly burst into an ingenious smile, one which crinkled the corners of her eyes as it brightened them. “Indeed. Well, that doesn’t give us much time, does it? We’ll both be thirty in January next year. Seems I have to find a man, fall in love with him, and get him to propose before January.” She laughed at her joke, but Adindu didn’t join in. He merely smiled wanly, as something cold and indescribable clenched a fist around his heart.

He however agreed with her verbally when he said softly, “Yes, Chinwe. Yes, you do.”couple-talking

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8 Comments

  1. nik

     /  February 15, 2013

    hmmmmmm. teensy-weensy detail indeed. God slap this girl to see whats in front of her

    Reply
  2. Bel Ami

     /  February 15, 2013

    Every girl has been there… Well every pretty girl *wink wink*…. Sometyms d person dat know every itsy bitsy detail abt u isn’t the best for u…. Now he loves her without resentments and judgements… If they get togeda things will certainly come up

    Reply
  3. Thank God I know how the story ends – but I still want to read your version.

    The story of my life really – been married to my own Ah-boy for 15yrs and loving every minute of it.
    Great writing as always Walter, i’ve been following your stories from RWOWA unless your not the same person – however a small word of caution Nna if you will permit me

    Reply
    • OK, first, the story hasn’t ended yet. It ends with the fourth and final episode in 2013.
      And secondly, RWOWA? What’s that? 😀
      Thirdly, by all means, extend that word of caution. I’m all ears.

      Reply
  4. Iniflamez

     /  February 16, 2013

    No be small Fin o

    Reply

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