I always sat at our room waiting for him. This happened for years. I’ve to say for years because there were so many of them that I’ve lost count of how many they were. If I had to put out my fingers, sticks, bottle-tops or calculator itself, I’ll go weak in mind. I don’t have to make me sick to remember how tight he and I were. He and I hadn’t been seeing each other for eight years. It was not until this last Thursday that we bumped into each other. He entering the room, I about to leave because I had been knocking for quiet a long time and no reply came forth. He hadn’t been in town and I just heard he’d be around by rumours. I took my chance and there he was before I picking his lotto ticket up.
‘You’re still on it?’ I ask him.
‘Yes,’ he replies. I don’t know what I’ll do without it.
I thanked my lucky stars he was there with me in the moment of need. Since he disappeared my heart was sore to a point were I thought it would have been better had I not been born.
‘What brings you here?’ I asks him.
‘What brings you here?’ he asks me.
We ask the same question like we were programmed robots.
‘Um………,’ my mind fails me.
‘What are you doing here?’ he asks me.
‘I should be asking you that question,’ I reply. ‘This is my town and I haven’t been anywhere else besides here.’
‘I got tired of this place and decided to move late at night eight years ago when nobody including you could see me.’
‘Why did you do that for?’
‘I’ve hurt a lot of people and most accusations levelled against me were true.’
‘True. From this day forward, I’d like to be a good boy. The ladies from where I was at were marvellous and had understanding unlike here were I have to pay my way to a woman’s heart.’
‘Your shoes reminds me of another man, a dead man. Though I don’t know his name, I’m happy I attended his funeral.’
‘I’ve heard about his funeral from a friend and Styles was a very good man. He and I had a tiff but we were tight until death.’
‘Don’t worry, I won’t judge you. I know how hard it is when you had a misunderstanding with a man and all of a sudden his no longer there. So, since you and he were on speaking terms, I see no reason why you should panic.’
“Would you like to know what really brings me here?’
‘Huh? I thought you had no more secrets. Go on. Tell me what’s it.’
‘I came here to knock some sense into a head of a deadbeat man. A man who likes to tease me with phone messages but is scared of the opposite sex so much that he once promised his girlfriend he’d kill himself if she ever left him.’
‘I don’t understand.’
‘Have you ever seen him with a woman of late?’
‘No, I haven’t.’
‘Good. I was brought here by a spirit to make him right. His ways are crooked and the spirits aren’t happy at all. I have to first warn him what they’ve told me and warn him and if he doesn’t listen to I, there’ll be hell to pay.’
‘What are you talking about?’
‘It’ll be hard for you to understand what I say because you’re hard to teach.’
‘Do you mean……….’
‘Stop it right there buddy,’ he interrupts me. ‘I haven’t bought a ticket yet and the queue is getting longer. I have to go. If you aren’t in a hurry wait for me.’
I said no word and just shook my head while leaning against a meter-box.
For he to say tell me there’s a man who’s afraid of women so much that he was sent to shake him up a little bit shook me too but I couldn’t appear to be weak before his treacherous face. Though he professed to had changed, I knew it was a lie because people’s weaknesses is what he thrives on. I asked myself how was he going to solve a single man’s problems while he also struggle to woo women his way?
I waited for he and when he came back, my thoughts wandered all over the place. It took me to places where I’ve never been. He was too seemed to be deep in thoughts. Our eyes saw same pictures of people entering our waiting room and our lives like we had invited them into them. The turn of events started worrying me a lot and I began to fear nightmares who were to come my way at night while I lay in bed. I looked at he, he was least worried. His train of thoughts was on the grind though, like train’s steel-wheels, they were smashing all people who had different thought and ideas to his.
‘Are you still feeling for him?’ he asks me.
‘Of course I do,’ I reply.
‘Why are you feeling pity for him?’
‘He is a quiet soul who wouldn’t hurt a fly?’
‘Am I brutal, soulless that I’m going to destroy him for no reason at all?
‘No. I just don’t want you to expose him to a life he isn’t accustomed to.’
‘I was only joking.’
I keep quiet.
The train came and we rode without saying a word to each other. I couldn’t believe his thinking had improved so much in such a short space of time. He told me eight years was a very long time for a man not change his ways. I nodded but I still found it hard to believe any word he said. In the beginning, when we were young, he uttered those words to make his intentions lost to others, only to attack them when least expected him to. I’m so glad he has changed though.