Obianuju had a smile that soothed my soul. I could sit and stare all day. She had a quiet and soft assuring gaze that brought peace. There was something about her eyes when she looked at me. It was as if when she looks at me, she bore into my soul and deposits a bucketful of peace in there. She was an oasis to me – a place of refuge in the storms of life. Whenever we are together, all was well with the world and we wanted nothing more. In addition, her kind and thoughtful ways were priceless.
But Uju was more than a bundle of character. She was not just easily the smartest woman I knew, she was one of the smartest humans that I knew. We had conversation after conversation, like children skipping, we jumped from one topic to another effortlessly. Oh; she didn’t know everything and neither did I. But we knew enough to talk intelligently. And we respected one another enough to hold differing opinions without getting personal.
My darling Uju. I called her every day, and she so wore her heart on her sleeve that her delight was clear even over the phone line every time I called. She loved to hear from me. I couldn’t not call her. She was my heart, my world, my dream come true.
Last night, we spent some hours together at Jabi Park. It is perhaps the most romantic location in the state. We sat and talked. Then we walked and talked. We laughed a lot. We talked about everything about us. It was bliss. Last night seemed to be that moment in time in which our magic deepened. You know, it was like a magic potion which had been brewing finally boiled over. Our chemistry had never been this high.
Last night, I drove her home as I had done a few times before. Uju owned a car too, but for our dates, we took turns with the cars and with driving. I was on chauffeur duty last night. For the first time since we had been seeing, she invited me into her apartment. It was a nice little place in a cosy suburban end of the city. She lived alone, and so we were quite alone in the tastefully furnished living room. We made small talk. We were both warm and cosy. I wanted her. Maybe she felt the same way too about me. But all of a sudden, I felt very clumsy. This stupid thing that moments like this turned a full grown man into. What do I do? How do I make a move? What if I was wrong and she didn’t want me? But as a photographer, I knew that I missed all the shots I don’t take. I knew I had to take a shot no matter how clumsy.
We sat on the couch having a drink. There was a show being aired on her small TV, but I didn’t hear a word of what was said. The images didn’t register in my mind either. All I could hear in my head was the pounding thirst for Uju. It overrode everything else. Awkwardly, I leaned and kissed her on the cheek. She smiled at me with a glint in her eyes. Was that a green light? My heartbeat was breaking all known records. My pulse was probably dangerously high. I wanted her.
But those eyes. Oh; those eyes. So I leaned again towards her, my lips aimed for hers. They touched lightly. I pressed on and proceeded to deliver a full mouth kiss. Uju’s lips welcomed mine and as we locked up in that very slow dance of our lips, the heavens sang out loud to my hearing. I could have died of excitement. We kissed so tenderly and then we kissed oh so passionately.
My hands began a move to roam her dark, chocolate-colored skin, trailing a line down her arm. Her body clung to mine some more and our embrace deepened. Time stood still as we savoured the moment. Then I reached down towards her pelvic region. I felt her cringe and stiffen. Gently and quietly, she drew away. I stopped and looked into her eyes for answers. The glint was still there. She still wore that smile. But her body had said no. I wanted her like the scorched dessert wanted rain. She seemed to want me too. But that cringe spoke clearly. It spoke loud. It stung badly, but I would do the right thing. I detached and smiled back at her. “I understand, Uju,” I said quietly and sat up straight.
“Thanks,” Uju replied almost just as quietly. She still had that sweet smile on her face. We both struggled with the awkward silence that now wrapped itself around us. I finished my drink and announced that it was time for me to go.
At the door, she leaned in and gave me a kiss on the lips again. She took her time. It tasted just right. Again, I got the message. We hugged, and I said goodnight, then added, “This is not goodbye.” She broke into a grin and nodded. I walked towards my car with a smile on my face. I had done right by her and she was happy. Happy boo; happy me. She had said “No” to sex, but not to me. I would call Uju again the next day as I have done everyday in the last few months. And I would call her the day after, and the day after.