“Duuuude, you just don’t get” Nkiru said as she sat on the kitchen slab. “You can’t tell me you have total control? It is not possible, we are human”.
I was in my house, playing perfect host once again to hmm … (I still don’t know what she is) … Nkiru my friend/soon-to-be-girlfriend (if I ever got the balls to ask her out that is). She had got me wrapped in one of those arguments I try to avoid. The only reason I was not ending was because she argued fairly. It was a bit difficult focusing on the argument with such a pretty face. I forced myself to turn back to the sausages I was dicing.
“See, I get but . . . . .” I started.
“But nothing” she quickly interjected. “you can’t tell me you can control how you feel? or choose who you fall in love with or are attracted to”.
I shook my head as I poured the diced sausages with the onions and pepper into the indomie. She was missing my point.
“I still don’t get when girls play that line. You can’t choose who you love” I said as I stirred the noodles. She might have just come to hangout but I had no plans of slacking. I took a sip of the cold water on the table.
“Oya now, did you choose to trip for me?” she said out of nowhere. I almost spat out the water. “Or better yet, despite everything why can’t I stop how I feel bout you”.
Okay, now i was just plain dizzy. What was aunty saying? Was she using me as a point of contact to some other guy? Dude get a grip.
“Say what now” I blurted out.
“Nice one Ikenna”, I could hear my friend, Gbodi’s voice in my head. It always came when I was making an ass of myself.
“Don’t act dumb Ik” she said getting off the slab and taking over from me. I then noticed the noodles were about to start burning as the water had dried. “don’t worry I’ve got it” she said as I tried to take over.
“We have been flirting for ages but have both been fighting back” She smiled as she spoke.
“Exactly, we held back” I said trying to stir it back to the argument eventhough what I just said didn’t make the slightest sense. “That was a choice”.
“And how is that going for you?” she asked as she turned off the gas. “it’s ready” she indicated to the meal.
“Thanks” I said and proceeded to serving both of us. It was quiet for a while as we took our plates into my room and sat down, each analyzing what had happened, what it meant and what would come next.
“So, how is your ‘choice’ going for you?” she broke the silence.
“Well, hard . . . .” I started.
“Exactly, all you are doing is fighting and you are calling it a choice” she said. she put down her food and got into her ‘I am ready fr this argument’ pose. “As much as I try, I can’t help feeling the way I do about you”.
“Erm sorry to side track, but why are you fighting it?” I asked. If we were going to go down this road, I better make good use and get as much information as I can.
“Gosh because I have so much baggage, and I know if we get serious I would just end up messing things up, hurting you and you are such a nice guy. You don’t deserve that . . . . .” she kept on talking but you know that thing that happens in movies where the girl said something and it touches the guy so much that every other thing is oblivious to him.
I just looked at her. An there in laid what I was trying to say.
“. . . . . I care about you deeply but my past relationship has made me make decisions. Decisions I know will affect my next relationship” she said. Her forehead was a wrinkled up, she looked frustrated. I couldn’t tell if it was because of how she felt pouring out her heart or if it was her confusion as to why I looked so calm.
“You talk about choice but I didn’t want to end up like this, different situations rubbed off me badly” she said. the look on her face begged for understanding. I just looked on.
“Say something damn it” she threw a pillow at me. Yep here was my cue.
“Normally I will be all sweet and nice and play it safe but what the hell” I said sitting up. “I totally disagree with almost everything you have said” she stared at me. I took that as permission to carry on.
“Let us say I agree with the ‘we don’t choose who we fall for’, let us say I agree that fighting the feelings we have had was also not a choice. But sweetheart I will not agree that you have been so damaged you cant love again or care as much, or give your heart as much” she opened her mouth to speak but i held my hand up.
“You had your say, it is my turn” I smiled. “you made that choice. when you gave your whole to your last relationship, you made the choice. when you decided to take the risk, you made the choice. when you decided it hurt too much and you were so scared of it happening again that you said no more giving my all, my dear you made that choice”.
I looked at her squarely in the eye, “Nobody has the right to make you happy or sad, or mad or make you cry unless you let them”.
She looked at me, I could see she was trying to understand.
“When you first met me, how many times did you laugh at my jokes?” I asked. “You decided to warm yourself to me and then you cared enough to laugh or to frown depending on what I did. Just because it is subconscious doesn’t mean it is not a choice” I smiled at her.
We had finished eating and were playing with the scraps on our plate. I stood up, picked my plate and hers to go to the kitchen. when I reached the door I turned back and came to her.
“I am going to be as real to you as i possibly can and I really hope you don’t take what I am about to say the wrong way” she nodded as if to say I could go on.
“You not letting me in, or feeling you will sabotage what we could possibly have is not on your ex, it is a choice you have made. I know this because I have had shitty relationships in the past. I choose not to change just because one girl couldn’t appreciate me. I chose not to punish the next girl I will be with just because I had a couple of bad experiences” I raised my eye brow as if that would make what I said sink in.
“So if you feel we being together can’t work, fine by me. But don’t kid yourself that it was ot of your hand” I smiled as I headed to the door.
“Oh, and by the way, since we are on the topic, I always wanted something special with you. If this doesn’t work out I ain’t settling for friends. Being your friend was suppose to be bonus, not the main deal” with that I left her to go wash the dishes.