From Nkechi, With Love
By JESSE MASAI
Ihuoma sat down and thought hard. Three months without word from the man she loved and her heart was almost bursting at the seams with anxiety.
“Give him time,” her friend Nkechi said as they now talked about John. “He will come around. He loves you. He told me as much.”
“But don’t you think he isn’t that into me anymore?”
“No, he wouldn’t she-tox you like that if he had any misgivings about you. I know him. He talks his heart out.”
“Is he seeing another girl?”
“No, he isn’t. But we would know if he did. No African city is so big as to hide a secret from Gossip Anonymous. There is always someone who knows something about someone and who is willing to talk about it without asking to be paid.”
“I hate gossip.”
“What you call gossip never harmed a fly, my dear. You think of it a little too strongly. Let’s not call it gossip. Between us, it is simply a sharing of prayer requests.”
Ihuoma laughed uneasily at Nkechi’s last statement, as she adjusted her bra nervously.
“You make your top,” Nkechi said, as if reading her friend’s mind.
“Thank you. But I’m ageing, you know. I know John and I had issues, but it wasn’t meant to drag this long. I’m hitting the big O pretty soon. The clock, Nkechi, the clock!”
“Relax. You will have your sex-on-the-tap pretty soon. You will have your little angels all over you pretty soon. John will make a decent woman of you pretty soon. Give it time, relax.”
“But I’m not getting any younger. You don’t seem to realize how important this is to me. John and I agreed to give ourselves another shot at this. We want it to work. He agreed to work on it with me, to burry our differences, to forgive me for all the beef we have had. Three months on and I haven’t heard anything from him.”
Nkechi knew Ihuoma was now hitting a raw end.
“Everything will be alright. I’ll talk to him again tonight. I’m sure you guys will be into each other again pretty soon. I’ll be your best lady, remember?”
“You realize, don’t you, that by setting yourself up as a go-between here you are also committing yourself to be a life-long friend of both John and myself?”
“That much I know and am prepared for. Nothing could please me more than see stuff work out between you two. You deserve each other, you really do and God knows it. I’m happy for you.”
“Thanks Nkechi. But you know sometimes I can’t help thinking that Sharon Stone has been right all along in saying that while women can fake an orgasm, men can fake an entire relationship. Perhaps I should wake up and smell the coffee. ”
“Ihuoma, I’m going to sew your beak up. Cheer up girl! Keep your eyes up, the sun is still shining! Tell me now; what would drive John into any other woman’s embrace? The boy is smitten by you. I’ll be talking to him again tonight on your behalf. Drop him another e-mail today and just give him some little time to get back to you.”
Alone in her apartment after Nkechi had left, Ihuoma wondered if her buddy had not been right much of the time they had talked: She was too anxious for life.
She gnawed at some chocolate as she thought over John.
And Nkechi’s role in restoring things between them too.
She loved John – she always had ever since they bumped into each other at college.
She had played too hard to get along the way – that, distance, gossip, and other cares of this world had eroded her feelings for the man somewhat, but there had always been something or someone pulling them together time and again.
“God’s case, no appeal,” she had told herself the day she sought Nkechi’s help in resolving the John question.
Nkechi was a home-girl with whom Ihuoma had seen the best and worst of life, including those tearful heart-breaks from some boys who considered themselves God’s rare gift to lovelorn girls.
Like the proverbial Caesar’s wife, Nkechi was – in Ihuoma’s estimation – going to be always above reproach; she had bared her soul to her, Nkechi knew her as intimately as no man ever would.
She trusted Nkechi.
It was that trust that made her e-mail just one more time.
“I’ll not respond to romantic overtures from other men till I hear from John,” she told herself as she signed off her latest of e-mails of concern to John.
A week later and she still hadn’t heard from John.
In her inbox, however, was a terse e-mail from Nkechi inquiring how things were shaping up between her wishful boo and herself.
It was a Sunday evening, just before the day’s prime-time news. Ihuoma reclined in a seat behind her computer desk, composed herself and hit a reply to Nkechi:
Thank you for requesting a report on the matter concerning John and I.
With regard to the status of the matter, I’m yet to hear from John, principally on the issues you had said he had agreed to communicate to me about as well as a response(s) to some of my e-mails.
As you may or may not know, I have not desired to effectively dominate the discussions between us and it has taken considerable effort to ensure parity with him and to have an outcome that would reflect our shared position.
I have had some feedback from friends praying with me who are concerned with the fact that communications between John and myself on this matter have, thus far, been via proxy (yourself).
Furthermore, there appears to be a one-sided monologue from my end, the reality being that a dialogue of the deaf-and-dumb is taking shape.
If John wishes to continue with this matter, then I would suggest he communicates and that such communication should reflect his genuine desires.
If he would wish for me to let him be, I would recommend that communication be made to this effect too.
But I leave it in your good hands to let me know what he would wish.
It may be that you may wish to have me still be patient with him.
If you would like me to continue, then please let me know. I am happy either way.
With our Lord’s blessings,
As she clicked send , she turned on the tube for the day’s headlines, just in time for her to hear the signature tune end and the smiling anchor come on and say: “…and don’t you forget, we also have news of the biggest society wedding in town for you, John Kuffuor and Linet Nkechi, a little later on in this live bulletin.”
“You witch!” Ihuoma wailed as she passed out.
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