‘’You want to hear the truth?’’
Lade winced inwardly as she stared at him, waiting for the lancing words. She couldn’t believe he would take it this far. She never knew that he could use the secrets she had confided in him against her, but that was what was going to happen next. She wondered which of them would be his first weapon.
He was standing stiffly, his breathing shallow and anger was emanating from every pore. His eyes were narrowed and blood shot and his lips broke out in a smile. He reeked of disdain.
She knew she had hurt him bad but she hadn’t meant to. How was she to know that something that minor would provoke such intense reaction from him? He had been looking for movies to copy from her laptop and had seen a folder marked ‘comedy’ and had wanted to copy it. She had told him it was foreign comedy and he wouldn’t get the humor in the Ariel Spiel’s jokes and had told him to copy the ‘nite of a thousand laffs’ instead. She had meant well, it was true that he wouldn’t get the humor in the jokes.
His reaction had been slow in coming. He had grown silent initially and had gone cold. When he had spoken, it was in a voice a decibel lower than his normal voice and each word had been clearly enunciated. He had asked what she meant. That was when she should have apologized, she thought despondently. Rather she had replied
‘‘You are not into stuffs like that’’
‘‘So you are indirectly calling me a bush boy abi?’’ he had replied, his voice rising a notch
‘’I am just stating a fact na and saving you from boredom’’
‘‘Oh I see. I am the local guy who cannot speak English and who is too dumb to understand foreign jokes’’
She had been dumbfounded. Where was this coming from? She had thought in bewilderment
‘‘Haba Laolu! I didn’t say that o. why are you talking like this na?’’
‘‘Oh, so all those times that you would repeat a word that I say just to show me that I didn’t pronounce it correctly, you thought I wasn’t noticing that that was what you were doing?’’
She had grown red in the face from embarrassment. She hadn’t known that he noticed. ‘’ So is it a crime for me to do that? ‘’ she had retorted
‘‘No. It just shows how you think of me. I am the local and unpolished guy and you never cease to make me know that at every chance you get’’
‘‘Oh for crying out loud! I don’t even know when I do those things Laolu. I am sorry ok?’’
That was when he had flared up. He had stood up and made for the door and then he had turned halfway, his eyes glaring.
‘‘You don’t even know when you do it, do you?’’
‘‘Do what?’’ her voice was rising now
‘‘Been condescending. You just said sorry because you thought that was what I wanted to hear and just to shut me up not because you meant it’’
She should have known. He was very perceptive and his deductions are usually spot on. That was one of the things that she liked about him. She didn’t need to pretend around him. He knew her and accepted her
‘’Ok, I agree because honestly I don’t see why you are angry. I just told you the truth’’
She had regretted those words immediately she said them. He had gone stiff immediately. If only she hadn’t been too stubborn to see how much of his ego she had bruised. But she hadn’t wanted to hide the truth from him. It was true that he was brilliant but his English is usually coloured by his yorubanized accent and it always irritated her.
She wished she had not said those words now as she looked at him as he smiled in a self-deprecating manner. She knew what was coming and she mentally prepared herself for the hurt.
‘‘You want to know the truth?’’ His eyes held hers. ‘’The truth is that you are more sophisticated and more refined than I am’’ his voice was calm and his face was blank ‘’and that is why I have been moving closer to you because I know that I can learn a lot from you and that associating with you will make me better’’ he took a deep breath and let it out slowly ‘’and it hurts when you rub it in’’
She blinked and stared unbelievingly at him.
‘’I love you Laolu” she was shocked she had said it loud. She hadn’t meant to but it was so true. She had realized it just at that moment. She had always liked him and trusted him enough to confide in him. He was a good listener and was ever the gentleman. But just now, she realized that she loved him. He was amazing. Even when he had the chance to hurt her, he hadn’t. Oh God, she really loved him and that knowledge excited her.
‘‘What did you say?’’ it was his turn to stare
She moved to him, standing toe to toe. ‘’I said I love you” and then she kissed him.