“Why do you think yourself so special?”
“Weyinmi, what are you talking about?”
“Don’t pretend like you don’t understand. Everyone knows what I’m talking about, it is not you who will now not know.”
“The problem is that I am not everybody….”
She didn’t even let me finish.
“You see! You see what I’m saying!”
I deliberately sucked in air through my nostrils like oxygen was about to become a scarce resource. Each deep breath made my nostrils flare and my broad chest swell. Trying so desperately to utilize this anger management technique, I had completely forgotten the effect it had on Weyinmi. It scared the hell out of her. She said the flaring nostrils and heaving chest gave me the appearance of some savage beast priming itself to pounce upon prey.
I was drawing in my fourth deep breath when it hit me that she had not continued her ranting. I didn’t have to look too closely at her face to see her fright. Large almond eyes were spread so wide it would have scared me had I not known the why of it.
I couldn’t help the outburst of mirth which suddenly replaced my annoyance. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t see clearly through the accompanying tears, but I noticed Weyinmi stomp off in what could only have been exasperation. I kept laughing, until it forced me to sit in the armchair closest to me. And then the laughter lifted with an abruptness that left me so clear-headed, it was like one of those drugged states. It lasted long enough for me to thoroughly consider the thought which had brought it about.
Fisayo always told me to never permit a woman’s moment of frustration to pass unattended to. It’s either your window of opportunity or your stamped visa to hell. It’s always one or the other, it’s never neutral. That’s how she’d described it. And I’d just had my first with Weyinmi.
I bolted out of the armchair and raced up the staircase, all as one motion. I remembered to pause at the door to her room and knock softly with three distinct taps. There was no reply. The door opened when I turned the knob. She was sitting by her window almost opposite the door, the dark skin of her shoulder shimmering in the sunlight which poured through the window in a golden stream. And there were lil streams running down her cheeks. I saw these as I approached her.
Even as I knelt beside her, she ignored me. Her eyes were intent on some non-existent object out there, beyond her window.
I could not find words. So I sent forth my hands to do the talking. My right hand went to her neck in what she often described as my signature touch of affection. While that hand spoke its language, the fingers of the other dammed the streams gushing from hers eyes; sweeping the torrents away until it slowed to the trickle of a tear drop every now and then. She was looking at me now, our eyes studying each other’s faces; our lips sealed for fear of speaking the wrong words. My fingers, now restless, roamed the smooth fields of her neck; strayed into the lobes of her ears; and then sought refuge in the tingly kinky mass of her hair.
Slowly, she closed her eyes and mine fed on beauty so serene that words cannot begin to capture the essence of it.
“Weyinmi, I don’t know what I did to get you in such a state, but I don’t care to know. I just want you to know that I’m sorry.
I really do hate to see you cry.”
She responded with a painful smile. Like when one is about to burst into a merry laugh but is checked by an unpleasant reality. I knew the cause of the mirth. Her sisters often called her a crybaby when they teased her. It hurt that I was the creator of the reality which had choked the mirth.
“Like you aren’t trying to make me cry when you call me crybaby?”
I smiled at this statement while her luxuriant eyelids still fluttered at me. Her smile now had much less pain in it. And then suddenly, tears burst forth from her eyes again. She slid off the low stool into my arms; burying her face in my chest; both hands balled into fists standing guard on both sides of her face. Something about the intensity of that moment made me wonder why she didn’t pummel me with those fists.
I remembered something her dad told me. On one of my visits to his home some weeks after our engagement, he had taken me aside and among other things, he had said “never permit the day when my daughter cannot openly cry in your presence. It would mean that you have lost her”.
Now, I was getting scared. What was really behind her fretting earlier? This emotional outburst was way out of proportion to everything which could have counted as its cause.
And then she whimpered more than whispered, “it’s not you, it’s me”.
And that scared me completely out of my wits. She must have felt my heart beat kick into a race. I could feel a fresh wave of perspiration breaking out in every single pore. The last time I heard those words they were the opening line for a break up. I was sixteen, the girl who had spoken them was my very first girlfriend. Weyinmi had effectively torn open a scar of which she was aware. I had once shared with her how much pain that experience had caused me.
“What are you talking about?”
The calm in my own voice didn’t help me. She pulled away from me to look into my face. I guess my fear was plain to see, because I saw her eyes widen and stretch at the same time before the laughter erupted. It was such a fit that in its spasms she sent us both tumbling onto the ground. Me flat on my back, and she on top of me; laughing through her tears.
I was in limbo the whole time. When her laughing fit had subsided, she moved her body along mine until she was face to face with me. There was this witchy look in her eyes. She took my lower lip in both of hers and then bit into it lightly.
“I’m not leaving you. I’m never going to leave you.”
For a fraction of a second, I experienced rapture. The witchy look was now replaced with something more solemn.
“It’s just that you remind me of my dad when you do that whole beast thing.”
“How? What about your dad exactly?”
She looked away from me as if seeking the window.
“There was just one time when my dad hit my mum. And just before he slapped her, he had that same savage look on his face. I screamed when he hit her. They didn’t know I was there until I screamed. I didn’t even know I screamed, but I’ve always felt that he would have really beat her if I hadn’t done something.
My mum says he never hit her again; instead he would walk out of the house whenever she got him upset.”
She looked back at me, her teary eyes soft with a pain I couldn’t quite grasp.
“My mum says that’s the only time he ever hit her. I would like to believe that.”
Her fingers were now weaving a pattern on my scalp, amidst my hair. She closed her eyes and sighed.
“I know you’ll never hit me; I just can’t help getting scared when you get like that.”
I smiled, my hands were reciprocating hers.
“If I ever get like that again, you hit me first.”
We were both laughing as I added, “just keep my face out of it”.
She unfolded her forearms from across my chest; she’d braced her upper body’s weight on them. She now rested on her elbows and cupped both hands under her chin. Pouring upon me a look of longing mixed with wonder.
“Weyinmi.” I dragged out her name. “There are quite a number of anger management techniques, and psychology has given me every single one of them. I can always keep myself in check without doing the savage beast tingy.”
My voice was tinged with laughter as her elbows dug into my chest.
“Hey! Babe, that really does hurt.”
To wonder and longing, mischief was added; and I could no longer resist the woman whose body now burned mine.
What followed was an argument in the various tongues of seduction. The issue was simply who got to ride first. Can’t remember who won.
- Kanye West’s Baby Photo Is Pretty Adorable (huffingtonpost.com)