HIS SECRET 3
The days that followed that less than pleasing incident were uneventful for me. I repeated the same routine of sleeping, eating and watching movies everyday after my parents left for their workplaces and my brother went to school. Most of my close friends were not around so I had no one to visit for a change. My aunt was the only one close by who I could visit but she can send one on errands for Africa! Since I have come home to rest, my Aunt’s place is the least suitable place. Dad never mentioned anything about Mr. Isaac’s reaction and when I asked mom, she didn’t give me any understandable explanation either so I let it lie low.
When I saw Mr. Isaac four days later, he was spreading out his clothes on the line. I stood watching him for a while before saying a word of greeting to him. He turned to give me a measuring look, his face devoid of any smile. ”Good morning”, he said, off-handedly and returned to his work. That look did not stop me. I have seen worse looks especially from unwelcoming lecturers who would stare a hole into you when you go to their offices to complain about anything. I decided to give it another shot. I stepped outside to porch, pretending to inspect the flowers while trying to decide my method of approach. The cue I needed came when Mr. Isaac started singing Nel Oliver’s ‘Baby Girl’. I quickly opened a conversation on the song.
”That song is evergreen, you know.”, I said. I seemed to have his attention because he nodded his head in agreement with me. ”You know, I have that song on my list…for my wedding day, I mean. That song must surely be played on my wedding day. What about you?” I said again.
”Yeah?”, he said with a little laugh. ”Gosh! Girls and romance sha. Well, I like the song too but about playing it on my wedding day? I don’t know about that. I don’t even plan on getting married.” He said.
If someone had thrown a bucket of cold water on me, it would have been better than what Mr. Isaac said. I didn’t know I made a sound until he looked at me and said I would not understand. I desperately wanted to understand. I really wanted to make him tell me why he had no interest in getting married. Was he impotent? He sure doesn’t look it. Well..how would I even know? But even impotent men try their chances at marriage, don’t they? I tried another line of thoughts. Perhaps something happened to him to affect his thoughts on marriage. Before I could hold myself, I found myself asking him why he does not believe in marriage.
”No…sorry, what’s your name?” He asked.
”Tiwalola.. You can call me Lola or Tiwa. Whichever one you prefer.” I replied.
”Errmm… I’ll call you Lola. My dear, it’s not like I don’t believe in marriage. I believe in it. My parents had a very strong, beautiful marriage..one of the best. I see no reason why I can’t believe in it. But me, the person I am? It can’t happen. At least not in this country.” He finished, picking up his pail. ”Sorry dear, I’m going back inside. Maybe we will talk again.”
I watched as he retreated into his apartment, many questions flooding my mind. I had even forgotten to ask him about the other night’s event. I hope there will be time…
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