“Ashtrays and Heartbreaks” – Episode 5

I’d tried calling her, always not reachable so I figured she’d gone on an international trip. maybe one of the transit really long ones where she’d also be an interpreter. I know I could have emailed but I wanted to hear the voice, so I’d envision the smile behind the teasing. I’ll admit it, I miss her a lot. I’ve known her for as long as I remember, why wouldn’t I?
“Let me come beat you hands down on your own game jare”
I had to do something to stop thinking about her like this, she’s probably with the men and not thinking of me at all.
I got my keys and headed for Seun’s! Yes. we made up…!
For 8 days plus, Ezoke was my only distraction. Yes. Distraction. Nobody that was so in love; tested and true, would be in denial. You won’t lie that you were over it when in essence it would take a lifetime to let go. I know I sound like a broken hearted girl in the company of empty and other half-empty bottles of Hennessy or Jack Daniel’s, a girl that was under the influence of several get-away drugs, a very sad girl; but I’m not. I knew that somewhere deep down, Nkanu was still my man. It was only a matter of time.
His missed calls and email notifications had reduced to just a little over 25 a day. I had not once, not mistakenly returned or replied any. I needed to forget about the hurt. I just needed more time.
“what are you daydreaming about???”
“My France trip in a couple of weeks”
“you travel alot.”
“is that jealousy and envy in your voice? what? you don’t like me travelling?”
“Well, you’re always talking about travelling or when you travelled or how you will soon travel. it pinches a bit. you never for once say you had a great time the previous time we saw or you’re looking forward to-”
“Stop bickering and biting”
We were going for lunch at some fancy Chinese restaurant in town that I’d never heard about. I wasn’t looking forward to it but work had been slow. with Mary out of town, it’d just been very lonely and depressing. Ezoke was fun but occasionally annoying. He was tall and well-built with fine teeth and soft palms. He was quite a sight.
“what will you eat?”
“at a Chinese restaurant? The only thing I’m sure of- rice.”
“just rice?”
“what again? sauce. sweet and sour sauce”
Because he had complained, I decided to indulge him in a conversation about ‘us’.
“What about another movie? ”
“is it you that took me to the first one? see this one oo.”
“But we have seen a movie together.”
“But you didn’t take me”
“but we saw it together.”
“But… fine.  another movie.”
“Yes. I’ll check what’s showing after work hours tomorrow.”
We ate in silence and decided to take a walk round the block before heading home.
“I’ve had only about three romantic walks in my life.” he began as we sauntered
“I’ve had several. ”
“This is my fourth”
“This isn’t a romantic walk.”
“Why are so against love? Lesbian? Nun?”
“Lesbian really? Nun?? Ezoke!!”
“I’m just in a bubble right now. I’m not ready to come out. Just exploring options”
“Like me?”
“I don’t know. maybe.”
“You like playing safe.”
“That would make me a condom?”
“Durex precisely”
“it was you that shot yourself in the leg.”
“Get away”
We sat on a log that gave us a good view of a well-lit estate and just watched the evening go by. I was beginning to warm up to Ezoke.

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