Saturday, 2 August 2014

7th Call

       Some relationships don't end. They just drag on and pretty soon you start to wonder where did it all go wrong? What happened? It starts with that day he didn't call you and you just happened to be done with your exams for the semester. He calls the next day. You get angry and don't pick the call. You chuckle to yourself, you would punish him. He calls some more, five more times and you don't pick willing him to call once more to make it seven because well, there are seven days in a week. He doesn't. Your phone says 6 missed calls from Kachi.
      The next day he calls. You don't pick. You are still angry he didn't make the 7th call. You wait for him to call the third time before you pick. But he doesn't. That night before you go to bed, you contemplate calling him. He likes when you call him just before you go to bed. You twiddle your fingers, roll on your bed many times. You start to go through your contacts to get to his name even though you have it on speed-dial. You pause when you get to it. You want to call him, you want to stop listening to the red-headed monster called pride singing in your ears. But you don't. You say to yourself when he calls tomorrow, you will answer on the first ring. You are satisfied with the conclusion you have come to and so you sleep peacefully. You dream about spending the weekend at his place. It will be a long one, you smile in your sleep. You were done with your exams and would be going to your parents' home soon which meant you wouldn't be able to visit as much as you wanted or sleep over at his place.
      That morning, you woke up to a missed call and text from him. It read, "What did I do wrong?". You were indignant. Where was his apology? His long heartfelt text telling you how much he loved you and wanted to see you. He did this all the time. He didn't buy you flowers when he made you angry like the heroes in the romance novels you read. He didn't declare his love with beautiful words composed for you. You knew he loved you because he had said it once when you had broken up for a week. He had called everyday of that week and finally came to see you to beg you to take him back. You smile at the memory. That was over 3 months ago. You need to hear it again, to be sure your memories aren't lies. You are angry again. You aren't going to call him back. You would just wait for him to call again and tell him how you feel. It was over an hour since his call and he hadn't called back. You are getting angrier by the second. You decide to go to the cinema with three of your girlfriends to watch (insert Zac Efron movie). Before the movie starts, you lounge on the chairs in the hall eating ice cream, talking about how glad you all were that the exams were over and finally, swapping boyfriend drama. You show them Kachi's text. They are enraged on your behalf. You smile forlornly. They are quite theatrical, you think and you know they love you. You tell them what has happened. Their response is unequivocal. You don't call. You wait for him to call again. Adaura even suggests you wait until the next day to pick his calls. Adaura is bold, strong and super confident. You wish you were more like her. She is everyone's go-to for relationship advice even though she currently has no boyfriend. You link hands with her for mental and physical support. It will all turn out right, you assure your self. You take a huge chomp out of your ice cream. It calms you. You smile and continue talking with your friends. It's time for the movie, you check your watch. You all stand up and head to the movie hall. You watch the movie half-heartedly. You are hoping for a call from Kachi. Your phone is on silent mode and every couple of minutes you check it. He may call.

     You are on edge and don't want to hang out with your friends anymore. They all seem so happy, laughing like they have no care in the world while your stomach is tied up in knots. Occasionally, they look at you, tug you and urge you to smile. You consent and bare your teeth. You figure it counts as as a smile, and at worst a grimace. They get the message and leave you alone. You say goodbye and head to a nearby kiosk to buy airtime to renew your monthly internet subscription. You had cancelled it so you could focus on reading for your exams. When you get back to your apartment and start to load the recharge cards, you are hesitant. Kachi usually pays for your Internet subscription. You go through the motions of dialling the codes and numbers and you subscribe. When it's done, you quickly update your Facebook, BBM and Whatsapp profiles knowing he would take note. You are frustrated and want to send him a message over one of the social media platforms. You hate them but since they always seemed so impersonal, you figure it's your best bet. You send him a long message via WhatsApp. You feel like you've exorcised your ghosts. You quickly turn the screen of your phone to face the bed while you wait for his reply. It doesn't deliver. You think to yourself, what if he had blocked you? You know Kachi wouldn't be that immature. You wonder why he still hasn't called. Your evening is restless and you watch all kinds of sad movies. None seems gloomy enough. You know you should call him, but you can't seem to lift the phone to do so. You finish the half-empty tub of Nutella on your bedside table and watch more movies. You need one dreary enough to make you not to feel sorry for yourself. You need to pity someone else. You find the perfect movie and immerse yourself in it while obsessively searching your phone for another call, text, something, anything.
         Somehow, you fall asleep. You don't know how but it's a long horrible night. You toss and turn and imagine he's at your door. You go to open it and kiss him. Just before your lips make contact, he vanishes. Your imagination becomes more vivid but it always ends in the same way. You wake up sad, you are angry with yourself for caring too much, for caring too little. You aren't sure anymore. You know he will call today. You know you will answer it on the first ring. You hold on to your phone like it's your life-force. You can't let it go until he calls. He doesn't. There is no more Nutella for you to use to assuage your soul. You settle for butter. It just has to do. The minutes pass, the hours pass. You have made up your mind to not call. It is a battle of wills now, you reason. You cannot lose. He has to make the next move. Or. You shudder to think about what the alternative was if nobody called. You are so sure he would call, you smile. After all, you are devious. You go out to a party that night and have fun with your friends. If fun means sitting alone at the bar and growling at whoever offers to buy you drinks. Your friends tell you they understand you need to sort things through in your head before they fly in their heels to the dance floor when the latest pop song comes on. Adaura later comes to sit beside you. She drums it into your head that the stakes are higher now and so you can't call first. You find yourself agreeing even though in your reverie some minutes ago you had decided to call Kachi. You miss him. You have to be strong, you mentally chastise yourself. You put on a stoic smile and go to dance. You are in fiery red four-inch stilettos and a shimmery dress that stops some inches above your knee. You look sexy and you know it. You get swept up quickly in the sea of dancers once you are on the dance floor.  The night moves by quickly and you get home early in the morning of the next day. You sleep the morning away. When you wake up, you feel numb. You recall it's a Friday and you would have gone to Kachi's house. You blink away the thought. You can't think about that especially after the pep talk Adaura had given you yesterday. You clean your room, mop the floors of the toilet and kitchen. You can't let yourself think. You still check your phone every minute for any signal from him. You remember you had taken some pictures yesterday. You choose one to update on different social networks. You knew your legs looked fabulous in that short dress you had worn. You smile with delight as you upload the picture. Kachi had bought it on your birthday. You hope he remembers. You hope for many things. Hugging yourself, you continue your cleaning. You are sure he would contact you now. You forbid your heart from uttering the word 'Kachi' until he calls. You put the memories in a treasure chest and lock it. The key to open it would be a call. A place in your heart still tells you to call but you quickly put it to bed. That day, there was no sign from him.
      On Sunday, you give a generous offering and you pay your tithe, even more than your usual. Maybe you could ask God, no beg him to make Kachi call so everything would go back to normal. God loves a cheerful giver, this you were sure of since you couldn't bribe him. You ask for forgiveness from all your sins. You wait for a signal from God, maybe he would tell you in some way to call. You hear no voice and conclude you are in the right. You expect a sermon on how to forgive and forget, that's how it usually happens. The preacher magically talks about something that's related to what you're going through. Your case is different. The sermon is about standing your ground. You know the youth pastor is talking about sexual purity but you tune out the rest of what he's saying. Surely, this is a sign from God, you need to stand your ground and not call first. You smile. God works in mysterious ways. But then, a sad thought creeps in. What if God is punishing me for not being sexually pure? You had slept with Kachi. God couldn't be that vindictive, you know. It had to be the other. You are content for the rest of the service. You leave church feeling absolutely sure that God had given you a sign, he had talked to you.
        The days blur by. It's Wednesday already and you have to start packing to go home. Your parents have been calling non-stop to find out when you would come back. You will come home on Friday, you tell them. Later in the day, your friends call you. They want to take you out.  You make up a lie and tell them. You blanch at the lie you have just told. You have a newfound relationship with God and don't want to jeopardise it. You listen to some songs on your phone and start to cry when you listen to Say Something. Your heart is hollow. You shuffle to a christian song. You have to stop thinking about Kachi and focus on God, you say to yourself. A couple of songs later, when you have successfully held off your avalanche of tears, your phone skips to Need You Now. Damn, Lady Antebellum! ,you mutter aloud. You should stop playing the song. You don't want to cry anymore but you can't. Their voices are just so beautiful and soulful. You cry. You hate yourself. Why do you have to be so emotional? You want to call now, you are ready. But the red-headed beast rears its pretty head. No, you can't call. Why can't he call? You slam your hand on your bed and throw your head back towards the dashboard of the bed. There is a vibrating noise disturbing the music. Someone is calling you. You are angry at whoever it is that dares to disturb your pity-party. your heart quickens, it could be him. You glance at your phone on the bed beside your thighs. You peek. "No, no", you say aloud. You are the one calling him. You must have speed-dialled him when you slammed your hand on the bed. Damn touch-screen phones. You want to cut the call but you don't. You can't let it seem like you flashed him. You cry even more when he doesn't pick. You search for a christian song, it doesn't help. You move to rock. You find yourself comforted by the metallic sounds emanating from your earphones. You are disturbed once more by a call. It's from Adaura. You don't pick. The phone rings again twice. You can't be bothered to check the caller ID. You un plug your earphones and fume. She's also banging on your door. You want to scream at her to leave you the hell alone. You don't want comfort especially after you had lied that you were sick. It wasn't really a lie anyway, since you were emotionally sick. "Aaaaargh" you mutter. You want some peace. That girl is relentless. Sure, she cares about you but you just want to be left alone. No one is invited to your pity-party. You still wish you were as strong as her but you really could do about her advice right now. She's still knocking and calling. You don't spare a second glance to your phone as you stalk to the locked door to open it.
        It's Kachi. You look at the phone  and he's the one calling.
   You are shocked, no bewildered to see him at the door when you open it and for what seems like ages you stare at each other, not saying anything. You have a million things to say to him, but you can't remember.
     He finally breaks the silence. "Can I come in?". Hesitantly, you let him through. You hear him heave a sigh of relief. "So...", he begins. You smile despite wanting to drag out a sorry from him. It's all going to be ok.  He's with a plastic bag. You can't wait to see what dress he's bought you as an apology. It's always a dress. He brings out a bouquet of roses. You are floored, speechless. God does answer prayers.
     "I'm sorry", you mutter, half to yourself and half to him. As you inhale the drunkenly sweet scent of the roses again, you say once more,"I'm sorry". This time, loud enough.  He hugs you and tells you he's sorry as well. "I love you", he says deep in the middle of an embrace. You say the words back. They roll off smoothly from your tongue. Now, you're wondering what he has to be sorry for. You keep the roses on your bedside table. Your treasure chest bursts open. It just couldn't stay locked. There's a kiss, he doesn't vanish. There's no nightmare. It's real and he's with you. You want to cry, but you will yourself to be strong. You really shouldn't have waited for the seventh call or maybe you should have. You smile and sidle closer to him. You don't want to think.
    He stays at your place that night. There's a kiss and another and ..... It's a long night.


At 24 August 2014 at 17:12 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. This is really nice. I find both the story-telling and the point of view admirable.

At 2 September 2014 at 08:51 , Blogger Mofesola Babalola said... write so beautifully. Infact, some stories never end, they just drag on and on until.... Great Job!

At 12 September 2014 at 15:27 , Blogger Treasure Akelachi said...

Glad you liked it.

At 12 September 2014 at 15:32 , Blogger Treasure Akelachi said...

Thanks :)

At 18 December 2014 at 23:19 , Blogger Hubert Ovie Madise said...

This comment has been removed by the author.


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