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ATWIED – NARCISSISM

CHAPTER 2: SPARKS AND EMBERS

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The next few days were kind of awkward. Not for me though, but I was sort of avoiding Folake. Back then, I felt like I was violating some kind of bro code for making the moves and getting so close to somebody else’s girl. Not that I knew the guy or was even sure what he looked like. I had only seen him in the night, so I wasn’t exactly sure if I would recognize him again if I walked past him but I was damn sure that he knew me. Why and how? Let’s just say I’m a pretty recognizable somebody. I always stand out from the crowd somehow. My guys were playing this silly prank where they refused to tell me exactly who the boyfriend was and when I asked around, a few others also corroborated the story that she was indeed taken, but I was yet to identify who he was. Anyway, it was one of those days when we were in class for general lecturers, and Folake had me cornered. This time, she was demanding answers.

“Why have you been avoiding me?”

“I am not avoiding you.”

“You have been avoiding me,” she insisted, a slight frown marring the perfection that was her face. I have to say, Folake was gorgeous. Unassuming and beautiful.

“I greet you when I see you na,” I protested, like a guilty man trying to prove his innocence in the court of law.

“Look, stop beating about the bush. Tell me what is really going on.”

I looked at her for a moment and decided I was going to ask her the one question I was finding it so difficult to ask.

“Folake, do you have a boyfriend?”

She was taken aback by the question, and broke into a wry smile as she answered in the affirmative. I was a little disappointed. Somehow, I was hoping she would tell me that the rumor was a big lie manufactured from the deepest part of hell to drive a wedge between us. Alas, this wasn’t the case.

“So why didn’t you tell me that you have a boyfriend before?” I queried further.

“Wayward, the fact that I have a boyfriend doesn’t mean that the two of us cannot still be friends.”

“You’re right but, you know my history. I already dropped out of one school before. I don’t want someone to come and break my head biko. I don’t want any trouble.”

She burst out laughing hysterically as I said those words and I didn’t find her reaction amusing at all.

“Is something funny?” I asked. Now I was the one frowning.

“Nothing o… it’s just that Tunji is not that kind of guy. He won’t do anything so you don’t need to worry about him.”

“Is he here right now?” I asked.

“You mean, in this class with us?”

No oh… I meant on the moon.

“Yes, in this class.”

She turned around and did a quick scan of the area. There was no lecturer around or in the class so people were all clustered in groups, hanging out and gisting animatedly. After a while, she pointed at a guy at the far end of the big lecture hall, chilling with three other guys.

“That’s him,” she said, pointing discreetly. I followed the direction in which she was pointing with my gaze.

That’s him??

He was of average height, slim, dressed okay, and looked younger than my 20-year-old self. And at the age of 20, being a drop out as well, I felt like a veteran when it came to things of the world and life itself, especially when it came to dealing with all these ‘small-small’ boys. In summary, I hardly considered him a threat. On his best day, he was very basic. I could see why this girl seemed more interested in hanging out with some guy other than her boyfriend.

“So why are you not with him?” I asked.

“He’s the shy type. And like I said, Tunji is not the way you think he is. He won’t do anything, okay? We are good together.”

Her words gave me some relief because I didn’t want to make any enemies in this new place I’d found myself, but when she slid closer towards me and was staring so deeply into my eyes I couldn’t help but feel a sense of dread. Something magical was happening here, and I wasn’t sure if it was something I wanted to be a part of.

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