You don’t think of love on February 14, when the chair opposite you sits idly and leans against the table, casting its shadows against the sunshine-yellow table cloth. You don’t think of love as the bournvita-skinned man wheels his flat buttocks away and fades into the darkness with your order. You breathe deeply. Your hands firmly pressed against your temples. You do not notice the hard scowls that are etched on it like the ones on Queen Idia’s mask. Smoke, that only your eyes see, seeps through your black-laced blouse. You feel your skin shrink into a crisp dry layer of carbon and fall off your body as ashes. You are burning within. You know why.
“You are the prostitute!”
You wipe your face like you can still feel Salami’s saliva, although you had wiped it over fifty times. It was only three hours ago that he had held your arms and shouted those words down your throat. You remember how his lips parted as you flung your arms and caught him on the cheek.
“You slapped me”. He said, his two hands supporting his cheek like they had suddenly become very heavy. You watched as he walked towards his bike, masked himself with his helmet and rode away without looking back. You remember how your body crashed against the door of your BMW as you wiped your eye. You wished you didn’t say what you had said.
Your fingers find warmth in your hair as you listened to the sound of his power bike disappear into the falling dusk.
The number you’re calling is not available at the moment. You had dialed his number over a hundred times. You raised your head every time someone walked into the restaurant but it fell as fast as it was raised. You were afraid someone that knew you might walk in to ask if you had visited your daughter that had just put to bed in the USA or if you were here to celebrate your award as the latest grand-mother in town.
You were upset that Salami still didn’t understand that you were just helping each-other. You didn’t see the furrows your brows had formed but you felt like putting a revolver to his head for forgetting that you were his mother’s age-mate. For allowing you to waste your money on a Valentines date that he knew he wouldn’t turn up for. He didn’t tell you he felt weird going on a date with you when he crushed his body against yours on your late-husband’s bed, and pounded you like he was kneading dough. You remember the many times his mouth formed the letter “o” while he emptied himself into you looking like he had been beaten by rain.
“Your mother is a prostitute”. You remember how you had yelled angrily when he gave one thousand and one reasons he couldn’t go to the restaurant on that day.
You are here waiting, alone, refusing to watch the two silhouette at the other end of the room, mouthing and necking each other as many times as your eyes have caught them.
“Excuse me ma!” your food is here. A smile breaks free from your plastic face as the waiter melts into your thoughts. Your eye catches a familiar swell just below his belt. He returns the smile, his eyes aglow like mosquito coil.
Keep the change. You flutter your eyelids slowly as you slip your complimentary card into a bunch of notes you pass to him.
“Happy Vals day ma” He bows. His casual strut away from your dimly-lit table ferries you into a new, dark, damp side of lust.
Photo Credit: keepingitrealwithangelaharris.blogspot.com
Segun Adekoye is a writer of poems, short stories and feature stories. A digital marketing strategist, lifestyle and technology enthusiast, his write-ups have been featured on BBC UK, CP Africa, YNaija, 360nobs, naijaPOSE just to mention a few sites. An old boy of King’s College, a microbiologist by profession, an advertisement and brands personnel in practice, Segun could be mistaken for a jack-of-all-trades. He blogs at NaijaPose.