My sister, it is as if I waited my whole life for this one man. He is tall, he is handsome and he is sweet. Not that I have never dated a handsome man before and don’t go asking me how I know that he is sweet. The answer is that I have tasted him time and again and I can tell you again that he is sweet, sweeter than sugar and honey mixed together. The smell of him is another story entirely. I am not just dwelling on his exquisite choice of cologne, I am reminiscing on that pungent deliciousness that oozes from his being between the time when the perfumes fade and he is yet to have a bath.
This is how I met him. One morning two and half years ago, actually 29 months, three weeks and three days to be precise, I took my plate in hand and went in search of breakfast in my area in Gbagada, Lagos. Who does not know that it is better to take your plate with you than to eat at the mamaput near your house since you always get a bigger portion if you bring yours and take the food with you.
I was buying my rice, beans and dodo with ponmo and roundabout, my favourite when I felt his eyes on my back and a tingling up my spine. Yes, I had not yet looked at him but I was already dangerously hooked. Talk about love at first sight and I was not even the one doing the sighting.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” the words came out before I could help myself. I don’t like people staring at me even if they have a good excuse of being both tall and handsome.
“I want to tell you that I and all the people here can see your ass jutting out where your jeans meets with your t-shirt,” he said. “But you leave me speechless wondering how you knew I was looking at you if you were not doing the same,” he added. I was both taking aback and ready to break something. No one had ever been so blunt. Except you count my mum of course, who always felt that my clothes were too skimpy to be decent.
But as mad as I was feeling inside, I kind of liked his confidence and I was already feeling like writing him a love song if he did the very next thing right. You see, I was a self-made woman who worked from home, drove an almost new car, made my own hours and earned a decent wage. My professor mum told me everything except that men would be intimidated by the list that I just reeled out. Did I add that I was living in a three-bedroom flat in an exclusive estate in Gbagada all by myself. And how up to that point I had intimidated a long list of men. Some of them only interested in my money and the fastest route to the space between my legs. I didn’t have time for such people. Then there is the fact that I was exactly six feet and three inches tall. A few men really like talk women, not to talk of falling in love with one that towers over them. That is the story of my life, which basically sums up why I have been mouthing the cliché about him being tall.
“My name is Nicholas,” he said. “You can call me Nick”.
“I’m Justina,” I said. I didn’t want to give him any ideas. I didn’t won’t to lead him on. He had come too close already. I just wanted to get my food and get out. Apart from the fact that even at this early stage, he came across like someone who would come over unannounced. Break down the door to get in if care was not taken. He was definitely someone who got what he wanted. I wasn’t sure but half of me wanted to peel off his clothes one after the other and lick him all over like ice cream with the rarest flavour. The other half could not forget how he had more or less just molested me with his eyes.
It was a difficult task I swear but I soon put him out of my mind and went back to work just the way only someone with purpose would. I had no idea that fate had something else in stuck for me. Two weeks after our encounter I had a harrowing one with two Rottweilers one evening in my estate. The estate had rules and one of the ones that was my favourite was the fact that owners should never leave their dogs roaming the streets. This one resident didn’t read the rule book and his dogs attacked me. Like I mentioned before, it was a terrible experience and I ended up in hospital. Before I could settle down to the powerful anti dog bite injection I got to stop me from getting rabies, the face I saw peeping into the corner where I was recuperating was Nick’s and he was wearing a full military camouflage.
“How did you know I was here?” Was all I could manage when I recognised who he was.
“Calm down, there is no war out there. I am just here to make sure you are all right,” he said.
“I hope you are not stalking me,” I said.
“Not a chance. I confess I have been looking for you since our encounter at the food place to apologise for what I said and it was as if you disappeared into thin air. This morning, however, my brother, who I was staying with during my leave when we met the other day asked the food woman what had become of you and she told us you had been hospitalised. What happened to you?” he said.
“Dogs attacked me last night. The doctor says he is going to send me home in a bit. Perhaps you should hang around and accompany me seeing as there is no one else here,” I said in that tone of voice that says I was begging him to never let go now that we had reconnected. It is true that I had tried to blot him out of my mind but seeing him here in his full military regalia brought back my dreams of marrying a military officer.
“Please, take me home,” I said and he stood to attention in the fashion of the military that I have come to love so much since we started going out. Nick is precision itself, like a well-oiled machine. Is it the many ways he dreams up for us to make love? For instance, that first time when he took me home he took me as soon as we entered the front door and we did it standing. I don’t know if it is because he is a military officer, a lieutenant who left the NDA not so long ago, but he is so daring in his ways that he always leaves my heart pumping with adrenaline. In the space of just two and half years, Nick and I have tried all the daring things on my bucket list including making love on a plane. We just can’t get enough of each other and the icing on the cake is that he had proposed and I didn’t hesitate. I said yes. It is going to be a great life.