"This is unacceptable behavior."
I stepped aside to let him in. Black. He was wearing black dress shoes.
"Well, it bothered me how over the edge you were." He turned to look as me as I closed the door. "I was worried, Sue me!" As I locked the door again, he made his way to living room which was only a few steps away to the right.
"Mennnn, It's been a while." He looked around as though taking things in again. "I kinda missed this place."
Six months ago, Shafa was a free boarder here. It wasn't like we were living together, but he was always here. More often than not, he'd buy food, do his laundry here, work from here, go TO work from here...BUT we were not living together. It was just a matter of convenience. I mean if we were going to be sl-
"Er..Where's Puny?" He had walked by my now empty aquarium at the other end of the living room, near the entrance to the kitchen. The few weeks after Shafa left, I had neglected a lot of things, Puny, my little gold fish being one of them. He had died before I had come out from my depression. I feel so bad, because I had really liked Puny. He'd added life to the aquarium. Shafa had given me Puny for last birthday.
"He has gone to be with the Lord." I smiled a sheepish smile. I really should just sell that aquarium. It's not like I'm going to get another fish.
"I see..." He walked back to the sofa and flopped down. "Soooo...." I sat down on the opposite love seat. A pre-cautious move. He seemed to smile at that.
"So..what happened?" he was asking me about tonight I guess.
"You really didn't have to come, I just had a very rough day at work." I started looking for the remote for the TV. It was way too quiet in here, I could hear myself breathe!
"Yale, rough days " he used his hands to emphasize the quotes, " cannot make you stress like this, it's something else and you know it." The remote was on the stool beside him.
"It's nothing really Shafa, I just need rest, I'd be fine tomorrow. Could you please turn on the TV, the remote is beside you." I was NOT going to go near him to get that remote. Lai lai.
"I didn't come here to watch TV" He took the remote but did not turn the TV on. "I came here to find out whats wrong with you. I hate seeing you stressed like this." I almost believed him.
But thinking back on previous incidents, the statement just felt empty.
"Really Shafa." My sarcastic tone applied. "Anyways, I'm fine, no stress." I adjusted my Monalisa sitting position to a more relaxed one. If I kept showing I was tense he won't drop this subject. Engage him in small talk Yale. "So, how was your mini vacation in the land of hot bodies and heat?" I meant Miami.
He laughed "I was working o, don't get it twisted, and this shit was Hard! Those guys were brutal." he shook his head as if he was remembering the experience " But it was fun and it definitely makes my portfolio even sexier so I can't complain"
"A ya. So you're back for good?" Not that it mattered to me, but it just seemed like the next question to ask.
"Do you want me to be back for good?" Trust Shafa to start playing this game.
"Don't flatter yourself, I'm only wondering" I started picking at invisible flint on my still barely visible stained, but now crumpled from lying in bed, skirt.
"It's the plan, I already have a few contracts lined up. Them Miami guys gave me a good reference and links. So.. things are looking good. Men Yale, I understand there might be some animosity here, but at least offer me a drink!" Freak I forgot my manners.
"Sorry, forgot. What do you want? Coffee? Pop? Juice? Water?" I stood up. I had to walk by him to get to the Kitchen. So much for trying to avoid being remotely close to him.
"What kind of juice do you have?"
"Pineapple, Apple and Orange."
"Is the orange home made?" Why the hell was he asking so many questions?
"Yea..." Hmm, I guess he remembered that I had a thing for making my own orange juice.
"I like the juice you produce" he smiled and wiggled his eyebrows perversely.
Ewwwwww. Yes, Shafa could be gross like that. I should have known where he was going with that unnecessary Q&A!
"I'll just get you water, you nasty something!!!" I threw one of the couch puffs at him as I started to make my way to the kitchen. "I just remembered I ran out of juice!" I said that in my attempt to be smart. He laughed out loud. I decided to be specific so he can know I wasn't as filthy. "THE DRINKABLE ONEE!" He laughed even harder, Oh shoot. I should have just shut up! I slapped his head, painfully, when I walked past him.
I pause for a moment in the kitchen. Shafa is smooth. Very.
He's can be so manipulating, not in an evil way, but in a way that he can steer things to favor his desires. Shafa knows the effect he has on me and I'm sure when he was coming here, he knew I would not turn him away that's why he just showed up. No warning. He knows how frustrated I was, I am, and he knows how much I'd have loved to talk to him in my state. That's why he showed up. As frustrating as it was that I wanted to talk to someone, preferably him, I know I can't be setting myself up for disaster like that again. For all I know, we still wanted different things. It may seem like I was jumping the gun, from "tell me what's wrong with you" to "let's get back together", but the truth is, I know that talking to him will bring up things I'm still , apparently, trying to suppress. I CANNOT let him do me wayo again. He can take his fine ass self and go shove it ......I was looking for an appropriate abuse.... Shove it up Miss Stunna's -
"Na wa for this your water o? Did you run to a well??"
I quickly get the glass of water, grab a coaster and go back to the living room. Shafa had moved to the couch closer to mine, the one right in front of the TV. I stopped.
He looked at me then. "I just wanted to see the TV well" he said guiltily.
"Sure." I dropped the glass, beside his phone, on the center table in front of him.
"But my Jui-"
"If I kpot u ehn!" he laughed and shifted on the couch. I guess he was expecting me to sit beside him. Lead us not into temptation, Deliver us from evil...I walk around the coffee table to my former seat. Yes O! I shall not succumb.
"Ok o!" he takes a sip of his water as I settle back. " So yea what were we talking about sef..."
It took me a moment myself to recall...staying. Yes. It was about staying... before Shafa decided to fall into his foolery.
"You were mentioning how it's looking good that you're back in town for good."
"Oh Yea, so yea, the jobs are looking great. You know me. I'm where the money's at."
"Yea... well that's good to hear." I looked at the clock, it was 12 midnight.
He followed my eyes. "I know, you have work tomorrow morning. Me too..." Sharp guy. ",I really just wanted to make sure that you were OK, I felt really bad for fueling you frustration today" He licked his lips like he was preparing to say something serious. I guess he was serious. His eyebrows furrowed together. Perfect eyebrows by the way. That was Shafa's serious face. "I really wish you'd just talk to me, or something. Cause it's bothering you big time..."
Well, I know what you are up to Mr. Johnson. I'm two steps ahead hunny.
"Shafa, I'd be real with you, because quite frankly, I'm exhausted and not in the let's-start-playing stupid-games mood..."
"I don't get..."
Guess it's time to lay my cards on the table, No time for games.
"Of course you don't get. But me I get it. I get very well. From what I recall, as of the last time we had a full out conversation. I was of the understanding that, we were not on the same page when it came to us. You showed me quite clearly as a matter of fact. I mean it is good to see you again, doing well ad stuff, but do you seriously expect to walk here and kind of like kick if off like nothing ever happened? Do you REALLY think we are still close like that?" I didn't wait for him to answer... if he intended to. "Well, I don't think so. Yes, there IS something bothering me, but it is MY business. We are not cool like that for me to just share what's bothering me with you, like your my best friend. No Shafa, that's not how things work. You may be used to your good looks and swagga getting you most things, but this is me. It's Yale. You should know I refuse to roll like that. I might have been your play thing before but a lot has changed since then. A lot. "
I wasn't angry. I was just...I needed to nip this at the bud. Didn't want any misunderstandings.
"Wow..." He had been staring at me the whole time, now he just cocked his head, like he had just realized something, then sat back. It looked like he didn't expect this. I guess he didn't know me that well after all....
"Babe, I just want to know what wrong with you...it's bothering me. Of course I know we weren't just going to hit it off..." he ran his hand over his face. "I hoped??" Hoped what? He let out a loud sigh, "Yale, I just want us to go back to being friends at least. I really miss just hanging with you..." He sat forward and rested his hands on his knees. He had an intense look on his face. This would've been a good photo for a magazine.
"Well, it's not going to happen overnight Shafa"
I won't lie I was kind of happy that he still wanted me...in some way.
"So you would still kind of give us a chance? Not even for anything intimate, just...getting back to getting used to each other?" He raised one perfect eyebrow. Aww, the boy is cute.
"I like the sound of maybe...." he smiled a satisfied smile. Then all of a sudden, he stood up. Like his mission was accomplished. Er................?
"Er...what is it?"
"I'm going now, shebi you don't want to talk to me." Is this guy serious?
"Well..." I stood up too..
"Yes?" this joker was smiling again. I shall not give him the pleasure.
"Nah, nothing... I'll walk you to the door" he just shook his head.
"Before nko." he gulped down the remaining of his water before he turned to head to the door. Instead of turning left to go to the door, he turned right, in the direction of my room, like nothing was wrong.
"Where do you think you're going?" Small panic was in my voice.
"Washroom now, or I can't pee again?"
I just stood awkwardly at the door waiting for him, and marinating on this our very interesting, make-up? conversation. I don't know.
Femi Kuti's '97' song started playing. Sounded like it was coming from a phone.
Oh, Shafa's... he had forgotten it on the coffee table. I went into the living room to get it.
"Can you please get that Yale.." he yelled from the washroom.
Lailai... because of what? I picked up the ringing cell phone to carry to him.
"I'm not your secretary" I couldn't help but just look at the phone, habit I guess.
Caller ID read, Miss Wright. Who the..?
Shafa must have heard his ring tone coming close because he came out of the washroom at that point.
"Iono, it say's Miss Wright." I handed the phone to him.