Tales 'n' Trends
Non-fiction Stories

The Beads

Waist Beads

“I would come and see you once I am in Abuja. I have a wedding I have to…” Tinuke’s voice trailed as I listened to her promise of a visit. My mind flashed back to a few months ago when the same promise was made but unfortunately wasn’t kept. Tinuke was a nice girl I really liked. She was introduced to me by a mutual friend and I was quick to get things going. On several occasions however, it had seemed she wasn’t really feeling me and all my lady-wooing skills were proving futile.

I had tried to hang out with her on several occasions but was met with one excuse or another as to why the meet up couldn’t happen, this further pushed us apart as my mind kept creating scenarios on what was really wrong.

We would chat about a lot of things as I explored the most insignificant details about her in a bid to understand her personality. On one occasion, I had invited her over to my house. I lived at the other end of town with a friend and she had agreed to come. I had quickly gotten to the market, arranged a nice meal of affang soup and pounded yam. It looked good; it smelled good; it tasted good. I was going to wow her. This was probably my best work of culinary art yet.

I rung her up to confirm the date, and she sounded elated to come around. She was to spend the night with us, and it really seemed like a fool-proof plan. I waited, and waited, looking at the clock trudge slowly around seeming to mock me in my wait. She had not shown up.

Well, “we can’t let this good food go to waste” I said as I sat down to eat it with a mixture of sadness and indifference. I really looked forward to spending time with her, but I didn’t want the disappointment of the evening weigh me down. If I stayed sad for too long, chances are I might like her a little less. I really didn’t want that to happen. I quickly let it go, and decided to move on. This was Tinuke’s first broken promise to visit and here she was making another…

“… Abuja right? I would be there tomorrow, once I get to Abuja, I would give you a call.” Tinuke had added, bringing me back to present day reality. “Oh, Alright…” I managed to say with far less enthusiasm than I should have. After the visit and no-show incident, we had continued to be friends even finally exploring the topic of dating. I really liked her, but the problem was, I couldn’t be sure she really liked me too. I didn’t want to jump up at the idea of a girlfriend only to find out she existed only in my head and it was all just a painful expensive joke.

The day for her arrival into Abuja came and passed with no ado or fanfare. She hadn’t called, and there was this sinister grin on my face when I remembered. I really couldn’t say why. I went about my normal business like I didn’t care. I did care but I shoved the thought and tried to be ‘strong’. I even made weekend getaway plans, ready to jump on the next bus to Nassarawa to see my wonderful sister. She just had twins so it would be fun to visit. I had quickly forgotten that Tinuke was supposed to meet with me till I picked up my phone to see a couple of missed calls. It was Tinuke.

I returned the call, waiting for disappointment, and I was actually disappointed. Yes, but disappointment in the right way if there was anything like that. She had returned from her wedding and wanted to know when we would be meeting. I quickly scanned an imaginary calendar, and gave her an assumed time I would be back in town. I had already called big sis to tell her I would be coming so it would seem rude to abruptly cancel. I rushed down to Nassarawa, and for the most part of the trip, my mind stayed in Abuja, wondering if truly Tinuke would come through.

A couple of days later, I ran back to Abuja, already dialing her number as my feet touched the dry dessert-like sand in front of my house. “Hello, Tinuke, Tinuke, I’m back” I said as I called her to make sure we still had a date. We did! She would come visiting two days later, and we would actually get to spend time together for the first time.

On the morning of the scheduled day, I was all smiles. My happiness was so obvious that my friends began to make jest of me. They all knew someone was definitely on her way. One of my friends who was on his way out of town had actually called to find out if things were going according to plan. I couldn’t say just yet. All we could do was to wait. Wait, I did.

She was coming from one end of Abuja that seemed really far. It was almost a 2 hour journey and I was surprised she was willing to take such a journey. She had called to confirm the address and directions to my house but I wasn’t still buying it till I saw her with my actual eyes.

Have you ever heard the story of how time moves really slow when you are waiting for something great to happen? Well, time for me seemed to stand abruptly still. It looked like it wasn’t moving at all. I went out of the house for a walk, took a bottle of coke, and washed some clothes, all in an attempt to push time. It worked as I looked at my phone screen and a good two hours had passed. I called her again to know where she was. She was already on a bike in my town to my house. I was barely dressed. I pulled on a Jalamia and went right out the house to go wait for her.

She was finally here. We talked, we played, we laughed, and she was really fun to be with. She was prettier than the last time I saw her. The butterflies in my tummy was ready to take flight for the first time in a long while. Her smile was beautiful, I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. Well, time really seemed to have been on some special kind of energy diet because it was sure running like hell. Hours seemed like minutes and she said she had to go. I really didn’t want her to, first because I really enjoyed her company, and second because making another 2 hour journey back in the same day would seem really stressful for her. I decided to change her mind, she could always make the trip back the next day. After a while, she agreed, and I got her some food and we were back to my house.

She took a bath, and I found her one of my T-shirts to wear. I was really in another realm. I couldn’t really believe she was here, and she would be staying. The only unfortunate thing was, I would be going to Lagos in a few days, making this happen again would take a while. I just opted to enjoy her company while it lasted. I really hadn’t prepared for the visit, so there wasn’t really any fun activity planned. So we talked about several topics, listened to music from my music box, because Nepa, had chosen to be unfortunate that evening, they had restored power just when she was about to sleep so they weren’t totally useless.

I escorted her to the room, and picked up my laptop to go to work. I had some unfinished business to attend to, but looking at her just lay there, pushed me to drop the laptop and lie with her. She smelled nice, and I smiled. I had trouble sleeping. How can I sleep when such a goddess lay beside me? Several thoughts ran through my mind, starting from the thoughts of how we met, and some other random stuff as I tried to force myself to sleep. She rolled on her side, and I couldn’t resist the urge to hold her. So I reached in, and pulled her close.

Let’s pause her a while. Now in the Guy Code handbook, you are specifically forbidden to make any romantic moves on a lady’s first visit. It is rumoured to rarely end well. Only 1 in 347 do. I have no source for my stats, ‘lemme’(leave me). The only exception to this rule is when you are die-hard sure, she wants you too. This was where my problem lie. I wasn’t sure she wanted me too, and I wasn’t supposed to break this rule.

I threw all caution to the wind and felt her body. It was warm, it was inviting. My mind was bursting with emotion. I really liked this girl, I could swear I did. It was just that…there were so many things in the way of true love. I slowly explored her curves, tracing the magnificence of her body, I reached into her clothes and held her. I was sure she wasn’t sleeping, and she was doing a damn good job of not responding to my touches. I wore a pair of jeans to bed. I was one of those people that could sleep in anything, even a suit. I hadn’t really planned for there to be anything intimate, and there wasn’t a planned end game. It just wasn’t right yet, but I did want to feel her just a little bit more.

I slipped my hands down below and she suddenly caught it just as it touched a row of beads. It was the dreaded African Lingerie; waist beads. I had hated that thing with a passion, mostly because of its diabolical attachments. She whispered gently for me to hear, “No, the beads”.

I didn’t understand what she meant, and I was gunning for clarity, so I stretched and pushed her tolerance limit for romance to see if she would let the information about the mysterious beads slip and all she would said was, “…no. Please Stop. The beads. The beads. They are laced. Please stop”.

Laced with what? What was the purpose of this diabolical gateway to paradise? I pushed her further trying to know more. She didn’t spill any more. The best she said was “…It’s for your own good. Please don’t do anything”. I had heard tales of men who had died after sexual acts with charmed women, others had run mad. She wasn’t married, and somehow I knew she wasn’t ‘sealed’, so what was the purpose of these laced beads. I looked at it in confusion, as she moaned one more time “…the beads.”

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