When I returned, I was two minutes behind the kickoff, although; the scoreline was expectedly an “eyeglasses.” I settled into one of the couches and descended on a sleeve of crunchy Sour Cream and Onion flavored Pringles set on the side stool—this flavor is so far my favorite, followed by Cheesy Cheese, and then the Hot and Spicy one. Neither of the team was my favorite. My darling Barcelona had had a date with Lacrona the previous day and won.
“But I honestly liked what I saw, just that I forced myself into containing it within the realm of imagination.”
However, because I was fanatic and particularly passionate about the round leather game generally, I could view any team play when convenient. Fifteen minutes into the game, Sevilla had been a goal up. The build-up to scoring the goal was particularly heart-warming—a great team effort. I clapped so loudly along as the winning team celebrated.
After the resultant cacophony died down and the ball was back in play, I felt I heard a soft tap on the door, almost inaudible. I paused my chewing, tuned down the volume on the plasma TV on the wall to listen intently to be sure it wasn’t my mind.
In a moment, the knock came again, as soft as the first time. I waltzed to the door, opened it. Lo, an angel dressed in a Manchester Uniteds’ red jersey and a pair of white-loose three-quarters, stood by the doorstep. She hilariously contoured her face, feigning anger. I couldn’t help but let out a cameo of laughter which I followed up with an apology immediately.
The tail part of the “I am sorry” was still unvoiced when she shoved me away with her arm as she brushed through the passage and headed for a seat. “I have been knocking since daybreak,” she exaggerated.
I was at a loss about how I should respond to that. Although it wasn’t the hundredth time, I was facing such a situation where I had unexpected calls to action to handle the attention of a sweet-faced unfamiliar dotty lady. Just that the sacredness around this one didn’t allow my reactions to being spontaneous, she was a rich kid—she was my best friend’s younger and only sibling. Her dad, her mum—all these were weighty inhibitions, just in case, I dared to like what I saw in the end.
But I honestly liked what I saw, just that I forced myself into containing it within the realm of imagination. Consequently, it quickly gave way to a different kind of emotion—Fear! This is nothing but a mindset that needs to be unloaded from one’s system. The fear was not necessarily trepidation descended and overwhelmed me instantly.
I took unassured steps through the passage, back into the living room, and towards the spot where I sat earlier before I left to attend to the door. But she had usurped me. She was sitting right at the owner’s seat—the best spot for the best view. If she noticed that I walked in, she didn’t show it as she had glued her face to the screen.
She sat, folding two spotless legs applesauce. She placed an arm on her lap, then busied the other, transiting between my precious Pringles’ sleeve and her mouth. “What an impetus,” I fumed under my breath. I nervously turned right, took to another but lesser vantage corner, and collapsed my baffled self on a couch.
I knew she would come downstairs sometime; she promised to do so, and she very well did. What I didn’t expect was that it would be that soon and into my apartment, to say the very least. A thousand questions were on my mind, but an ounce of courage wasn’t there to voice the first of them all.
My head felt light, my legs heavy, and my mouth dry. Beads of sweat sprouted on my brow while my palms went sweaty. The three-horse power gigantic air conditioner erected at a corner of the living room did little to assuage my predicament. The room became very stuffy.
My confidence was getting compromised with time until it got eroded like never before or after. “Is this a part of me I never knew?” I have never felt a presence this intimidating. I never cracked before a lady, never! “Ikenna Obi Okonkwo, this is not you,” I scolded myself inaudibly. I tried to stay calm but could hardly breathe.
I could feel my heart colliding against the walls of my rib cage as it thumped loudly. It bothered me that she might hear the sound. I didn’t want to aid her in profiling me as either crude, servile, or intimidated. However, the more I tried to be calm, the more I slipped in. Now the thumping was interfering with my breathing. It had become irregular. I was choking.
I walked to the water dispenser across the living room for some cold water. “That should surely help.” I opened the compartment that held cups and brought out an enamel cup. Turned in water. I then returned to my spot as calmly as I could muster.
I reposed so much faith in the cup to mitigate my condition. So I tilted my head backward and emptied a half cup of boiled water right into my throat in the manner you would take a shot of dry gin then died! It felt as though a furnace had ignited to its full flame in my gullet. My body felt as if set ablaze. “Did I just ingest a cup of acid?” Perhaps it felt worse. My stomach was on fire as it churned and bubbled with a loud growling noise.
I couldn’t scream even though I needed it and attempted to do so. Erratically, I took off with what I believed was my top-most speed, as though a carnivore was on my trail. I headed for the bathroom two rooms away from the living room. I was not sure what exactly I had run in there to do. I tried to vomit, but the track was so much on fire for such, I gave up. The room opposite was the kitchen. I zoomed in, looking for nothing in particular.
I took a bottle of red oil, hurriedly opened, and halved it into myself. However, that didn’t do the magic I had hoped for to my utmost dismay. My hand groped over a container of salt held at the kitchen unit. I lifted it before I could think, made to open it. “For what?” A thought questioned as I abandoned it as hurriedly as I took it. My eyes caught a container of mayonnaise. Yes, that would do the trick, I thought. I dashed for it, uncorked, and dipped my entire five fingers into it. Whatever came out with them ended up in my stomach. That credited my instincts for its choice this time, momentarily though. I followed it up with a glass of water. This time, I was sure it was cold water.
In an instance, I felt an excruciating discomfort in my tummy—a flash of moments—I got an unpleasant result close to my pants. I dashed to the toilet—thank heavens, the door unlocked. If not, I would have been churning the dookie butter all over myself. The time it took me to unbutton my shorts felt like an eternity. I ripped off the zipper…viiiiiiam! Praarrrr prrrraaaaahhh! Was the blow-mud-noise that followed—the succession of a hot peppery shit that splattered on and around the WC. Today, I became the Picasso of the WC as I painted the bowl. The smell that followed would make hydrogen sulfide a relief you rather smell than what came out of me that day.
The Pringles, hot water, red palm oil, and mayonnaise led to the deadly explosive diarrhea and chemical reaction worth remembering. I was grateful she did not come after me. I would have cared less anyway, was I not dying after all? I grunted and whimpered the much the corroded larynx could permit; while I emptied the poison I fed my bowel into the pit with an explosive relish of diarrhea.
…to be continued.
Watch out for “Near and Dear – Episode VI” on Oaekpost.