February 5th, 2013
” Tell me what you feel with me baby “, he whispered in that low sexy voice I had heard him use several times, but never with me. My eyes widened, my mouth went dry and I gulped several times. Shit!..BABY ke.
He never called me ‘baby’, no matter how silly we both got. I stared at him in confusion, the playful mood in the room suddenly evaporating, it was being replaced with an atmosphere so charged that I could feel my skin tingle. I had been ribbing him just some seconds before giving him blow by blow details of how I would whoop his backside in this round of chess (this was our fourth round and he had been winning so far). I looked away, laughing somewhat stupidly, I probably only imagined what he said or maybe he was joking…He was definitely teasing me, I concluded adjusting my glasses and clearing my throat. The atmosphere too was most likely also a product of that wild sense of imagination that my mom was always accusing me of. I shrugged mentally, staring at the ‘him’ lying on his belly across the bed. The ‘him’, all 6ft3inches of hard sinewy flesh, strong yet delicate with piercing eyes that melted my insides every time. The ‘him’ was the hero of all my daydreams, the subject of my love sick poetry, the victim of my obsessive thoughts..and trust me, I think a lot..it goes with the overactive sense of imagination, actually, my ‘him’ was my best friend, he had been for almost two years. As cliche as that sounds (rolling my eyes) and as much as I secretly wanted him, I’d never risk our friendship. I swiped his pawn on the board, steadily losing concentration.
“Okay! Nice try, you won’t distract me…you better make your move fast, Dotun,
my fingers are itching for your king already and make it a better move”, I said, as
nonchalantly as I could. Wait! Did he move a few inches closer or did I imagine that too. “But, I’m making my move, Tife, and its the best move ever. You are just being a chicken by avoiding my question”. Huh!What question? I shrieked. He moved his knight in an ‘L’ on the board and swiped my king, his eyes were resting on my half parted lips. “I win,Tife.” I had a sinking feeling he wasn’t talking about the game. Oh boy…my ears grew hot, I stuttered, trying to cover my shock with a shaky smile…staring at the chess board as if it were my salvation, if only it weren’t staring back at me, mockingly, evidence of my failure as a chess guru.
It didn’t look like I had succeeded much with the cover up from the knowing smile on his lips…oh my..those lips. I was sure I looked silly stupid with that confused look on my face, so I closed my mouth and blinked with an effort. I felt like I had cotton wool for brains, I couldn’t think. He ran one long finger along the side of my face…from my ear to the side of my lips, my eyes opened wider…I swallowed, mesmerized, I definitely looked more stupid, I decided.
So back to his question, what exactly was I feeling ?Where did all these feelings
come from? I stole a glance at Dotun…He was dark skinned and handsome as ever and he wasn’t even my boyfriend, I thought, no, he was my best friend…I snorted inwardly, best friend my foot, It would have been a big fat lie if we both claimed not to feel the sparks that flew every time we were within a mile of each other (ok, so maybe that’s stretching it a bit)…honestly, I had a crush the size of Ibadan on the dude since forever and it wasn’t even weakening. A year and a half was a long time to pretend you didn’t feel something
for someone or worse, ignore those feelings. I sighed, taking a deep breath for courage to reply him as honestly as I could, covering the back of his palm (which still rested against my cheek) with mine, I closed my eyes and whispered, barely hearing myself… “I feel I’m falling hopelessly in love with you, Dotun…and I’m tired of fighting it” I held my breathe, my heart was on overdrive….waiting to see his reaction.
“Oh My Gosh! Oh My Gosh! Tifeeee!”, I sighed as I sat up on my bed, waiting for
my ever exuberant big sister to burst into my room as she usually did whenever she was excited. I was the calm, shy one, the baby of the house, the geek, the one with no ‘fashion sense’ as mom would fondly say, while my elder sister Mimiee was the total opposite, she was a ‘lady’, prim, proper and always well dressed, so I was used to being in the shadows…her shadow.
She burst into my room, as expected, slamming the door in her wake, I
winced. “Ok ,Mims, what is it now?”, she was two years older than I was, but I always felt like the more matured sister, “Have you seen the new neighbors?! Tell me you’ve seen them…Oh my, so hot!…” I blinked, she was practically bouncing all over my just laid bed. “You are excited because our new neighbors are hot?” ,
I asked, skepticism lacing my words, she paused mid bounce, giving a long
suffering sigh.”No silly!”, her favorite nickname for me, “the boys are hot, dark,
tall and handsome!”, she gushed, her hands flying right in front of my face trying to gesticulate ‘tall, dark and handsome’. She dragged me to the window, I could see mom chatting away already with the couple who were both giving strained polite smiles. Trust mom, at least we all knew where my sister got her genes from.
“See!,look over there, that is the first boy and the last boy, aren’t they cute?!”, I squinted, adjusting my glasses and looked over at the guys…Not bad, I thought dryly…they were both huge and cute, bad ass boy kind of cute. I shrugged, glancing at Mims who was expecting my verdict,”They are not bad”, I said and flopped on the bed, picking up the Barbara Weiner book I had been reading.
“Ehn?!…not bad?!”, I could tell from Mims’s voice that she was pissed off, she shot me a searing look, “I swear Tife you can’t be my real sister, I don’t know where mom got you from.” She marched out and slammed the door a little harder than before. Those words hurt, but then, I was used to similar words from people. I sighed, walking to the window again, I had forgotten to ask her how she knew so much about people who were just moving in today, I shrugged, asking would have been pointless either way. I looked over at the new neighbor’s minivan, a guy was bent over the boot…shirtless, struggling with a piece of furniture…I stared, that had to be son one or son three, wait…maybe son two. I watched, almost indifferent as he pulled out the furniture which was a huge mahogany table, with sweat dripping all over his dark skin, muscles rippling,
he turned to stare directly at my window like he knew he was being watched all along. I nearly gasped, rooted there, he could see me alright, he had the most piercing set of eyes I’d ever seen, I gulped. He was cute too, definitely son two. I had my belly doing funny things and my heart was pounding, I almost didn’t see him fold his arms and give a huge grin, like a cat who had caught a mouse..like he had caught me ogling at him, which technically, I wasn’t. I gave a weak wave and bolted from the window…I had just met my new neighbor, my best friend and the boy I would crush on for the next two years…Dotun Adebayo.
He smiled shyly and kissed me. I sighed blissfully, there was nothing else to say, His lips and his eyes said it all. He loved me too… he always did.
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