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The long wait was slowly beginning to diminish the joy of finally owning a smartphone. Yes, I was finally taking that leap of faith, changing to the reigning thing in town. It had been my desire to stop using my ever portable Samsung and join the league of smartphone owners. Even bus conductors had joined this trend but me, with all my shakara, I was still using my mini Samsung, even though it is a rare and classic model. After diligently gathering money for a very cheap smartphone, I bounced to an outlet to get it; trust me, it seemed like the happiest day of my life, but after sitting for hours at the office, waiting to get my phone, anger and frustration started creeping in. For the first time, I chanced a look at the person attending to us, wanting to shoot him with my eyes if it would make him work faster….. but that was a mistake cos I couldn’t believe my eyes.
‘Wow’, I thought. I don’t swoon over guys or even gawk but woooow, here I was, just staring like a smitten fool. It was a guy, quite alright but not really what I expected. To describe him as handsome would not be sufficient enough to do him justice. He was definitely, carefully created. He had the perfect height for a guy; not too tall to make him tower over you like an iroko tree, but tall nevertheless. Because he was seated, I guessed, he would be about four to five inches taller than me, which would be almost 6 feet. He was exceptionally handsome with this ‘Omo butter’ look, yet with perfect muscles, which could be vividly seen even though he wore a button down shirt. I swallowed, ‘well, If he would attend to me, then it is worth the wait’, I thought. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t just fall at the feet of every handsome guy that comes my way but this seemed different. I became more conscious of the number of people ahead of me, not because of my time but because of a certain fair guy who was practically oblivious to my existence. He was not in a good mood though, an inconsiderate customer was obviously pissing him off, displaying a broken phone. Obviously, the guy had purchased the smartphone days before and came back when the phone got broken because of the one year warranty cover.
Unfortunately enough, my turn came when he was still obviously pissed off. I swallowed and sat opposite him, behind the desk. He asked of the model I wanted and I thought within me, ‘wow, a perfect voice to go with the package’.
I mentioned the model I wanted, asking if it was a good choice and he said I had made the best choice. All along, he never glanced at me, he only glanced at me when I had to fill something on the receipt, which I hastily did. I am not a stunning beauty but I expected more than a glance. I accepted my phone and receipt and left the office without a backward glance, little did I know that I would have to return to that office.
The phone I bought gave me a cause to return, due to its malfunctions but luck smiled on me when I got there. I did not have to go in, I saw him outside the outlet. I confronted him, explaining my predicament and he told me what to do about the phone, gave me his number to call in case I encountered any difficulty and I left with his name ringing in my head. ‘Kenny’
I had no problem with the phone since then, so I had no reason to call, until I found one. I needed a spare battery and it was not in supply anywhere around, so I told myself that it was a good enough reason to call.
That call formed the basis of a good friendship. I won’t forget the first time he actually sent me an unofficial message via whatsapp, at night, almost midnight. I hadn’t been able to get any sleep, so I decided to chat with friends who were awake. It was then I received a message from him, telling me to go to sleep. His number was saved as M. Ken on my phone and I left it as that, even when he became friendlier, even when he asked me out for lunch to ‘get to know me’, even when he told me numerous things that made my heart race, even when he told me numerous times that he had feelings for me.
All of these things happened on phone and also via texts, whatsapp to be precise, because I never gave in to seeing him, either for lunch or otherwise. You might ask why but trust me, it is a question I used to ask myself also. Even when he wanted to come over, to a place close to my home to see me, I found a way to escape.
Disbelief…. I found it hard to believe that he was being honest. How could I believe he had feelings for me when he could not remember my first name? How could I accept he cared about me when he was never curious enough to ask if I had siblings, or if I had a favourite color…
Hmmmmmm… Warning signals are always everywhere, giving you the red light, telling you to be careful lest you fall. There are boundaries you set for yourself where relationships are concerned, and as far as I was concerned, dating an unbeliever was the last thing I could ever do. Despite all the questions raging in my medula, finding out that Ken was not a christian was like a bomb shell, especially since he hid it perfectly. It was like a knife against my throat. Despite all the warning signals, I had allowed him too close for comfort, that erasing him from my thoughts is nigh impossible.
It is one year since i have met him and I write now, not because I have a good news, but because I have to say goodbye to him. I say goodbye to him now, not because I want to, but because I must. As i say my goodbyes,I choose not to remember the hurtful things. I choose not to remember the fact that after one year, he actually knows nothing about me; nor would I remember the fact that he did not remember my birthday; I won’t think of the fact that most of the things he had told me for the past one year are probably lies; and yes, I won’t imagine the possibility that he probably won’t miss me at all… I wish only to remember the good things he did and said to me; like the time he sent me numerous encouraging messages when I went job hunting; like the times we chat late at night, when we were cold and couldn’t get any sleep; like the time he volunteered to search for a job for me…
Those good things he did would always be in my mind and in my heart. I would miss and treasure the interesting chats we had on whatsapp and also the telephone conversations. I wish you a happy life because despite all, I know you have a good heart. You occupy a place in my heart which would not be replaced. Bye Ken.