There is no such thing as love at first sight. No, none. Maybe lust, attraction or even desire: but love, at first sight, I have never believed in that scam. I know it’s a scam, I’ve employed the machinery to some success.
Those success stories will not be shared here however, because I digress. Now back to the main story.
Two weeks passed without incident. Two agonisingly slow weeks. I was having all sorts of mental attacks daily that I had to overcome. See, when I saw Kemi that Saturday and ran out the restaurant, I didn’t know I was making a huge mistake. Yes o, mistake.
Now you’re also confused abi? Well here’s how it went. I left the place, went home and saw football games till late at night. I enjoyed the La Liga games as much as I did the English Premiership. So, I saw football games till 11pm, then I turned off the lights and made for bed. That was when it started.
Out of the blue, in the most benign manner, my brain replayed the scene in the restaurant. It froze her smile for me to ponder a little. I smiled, relocated to my bedroom then slept. It was a one off thing, and she really was pretty I surmised.
Then I woke up the next morning and whilst still contemplating whether or not to go to church, I saw her face again, I shook my head vigorously. Kilode, haba! Needless to say, I was early for a CAC service near my abode.
Unfortunately, the face kept ambushing me, it had started slowly, now I saw her everywhere I went. Kemi’s face replaced all the female faces and I couldn’t concentrate on my work.
Then the first week ended, and dreading a repeat the following week, I went to the restaurant and staked it from my car. I waited all day for her to show, nothing.
Eventually, at about 7pm I left the place and drove home. It would be a long week I decided. Fortunately for me, the plague reduced and I was able to focus on work. But after the whole seeing of Kemi’s face drama, I began to wonder about the girl.
I did not know it at first, but unlike the previous week when all I saw was her smile, the next week was filled with thoughts of her, who she was, what she did, where she stayed, did she have a boyfriend? And some other weird questions I cannot publish.
On thursday of the second week, alone in my house, I began to analyse what was wrong with me. Then I recalled an alarming fact. The last time I had thought of a girl that long was when I first met Imole… Imole, I cringed at the thought of her.
I tried putting up defensive mechanisms in my mind, but it was too late, Kemi had taken up residence in my mind whilst I slept and was deeply enmeshed, how to get her out?
Friday was cool, the few friends I had made wanted me to come out and have fun with them, a sort of boys night out. I was about saying yes when I remembered my crew in Lagos and how I had left them. A pang of guilt swept through me and I declined, promising to make the outing. They shrugged and left me alone.
I went home determined to exorcise myself of Kemi and her evil hold on me. Yes, evil. How can I see her once and have my life disrupted by her smile, it was not normal I kept telling myself. I fell asleep trying not to think of her.
Then I dreamt of her.
I was attending a wedding, the church was packed full, I was late as usual, I get to all these functions late, something to do with African timing in Naija. The minister was speaking, the bride was facing him but there was no groom. I kept walking slowly down the aisle curious and drawn to this weird wedding. As I walked down the aisle, heads turned my way, whispers rang through the congregation and the minister got distracted, he stopped talking and looked into the congregation. Then the bride turned, it was Kemi.
I staggered back and fell into the seated crowd, I was helped back to my feet, patted and then pushed forward towards my bride. I looked at the groom’s men closely and saw my boys lined up. The best man was Tolu. Apparently, I had arrived late to my wedding and they were all looking at me in a strange manner, not amused by my antics.
I jerked awake. Throwing feet and hands in the air, my duvee had been tossed aside, I was sweating profusely despite the fact that my air conditioning system was working. I checked the time, it was 2am. I did not sleep again that night, I could not.
All morning on saturday, I argued with myself that I would not go for a repeat performance at the restaurant. I would not stake it, no. It was then I fell asleep on my sofa having seen movies till daybreak.
At noon I woke up, hungry and famished, my fridge was bare, and there was no food in the house. So I went to the market to get supplies.
I am not a fan of serendipity. Nope, I do not entertain foolish notions, I’m too practical. But as I was about to get out of my car, it flashed that I would see her soon. I discarded the thought and went about my business. I was heading out of the market carrying two large bags in both hands when a lady in a front stall turned.
There she was, Kemi! We saw ourselves at the same instant. My mouth opened in a big O and involuntarily, my hands let go of the bags they were holding…