Something About Benny

It was 1am, windows shut amidst the thick darkness and relentless May rains. There she lay next to him, his naturally sleepy eyes making out her features on this moonless night where PHCN had not been so kind. He reached for her and, gently touching her cheek with his lips, decided to hold her close. It was all he wanted to do. He didn’t know when he whispered the words, ”I could stay here forever”. Few things could be more divine, he said to himself, as he felt her heartbeat……

The daily 5am alarm from his phone jolted him back to reality. There he was, lying bare-chested on one of two beds in a lonely room. That wonderful moment had been nothing more than a dream. Another night, another dream, same lady. And this had been the pattern for the previous five nights leading up to this last one. The same effect yet again, leaving him with more intense yearning for this lady, as well as a feeling of deprivation.

He wondered why he was at the mercy of all these visitations that left him deflated upon her departure. But he didn’t have to think further; he rose up with thoughts of her each morning before saying his graces, and drifted to Dreamland with thoughts of her after the night’s shower. Benny (short form of the name Bernice) had been the subject of his thoughts lately. He could not quite place a tab on where this was all coming from, but then he didn’t exactly want to dispense with the thoughts either.

For a huge chunk of his university days, he had always harboured strong feelings for Benny. He had graduated nine months ago and she was presently in her final year, but the distance had done nothing to quell those emotions. In all his emotional attachments to other females, flirtations and erotic fantasies, she had occupied one indelible corner in his thoughts. He was mad about her, but somehow he could never bring himself to express how he felt.

There was something about the way her eyes darted around the place, about the way her cheeks danced on her face, about the way she laughed at the silliest things, about the way her skin glowed. Even a little weight issue two years earlier had failed to take the shine off the beauty that was Benny. Somehow he had maintained some sort of connection with her, which had strengthened over the years, though (sadly) in a platonic way. Her roommate had been his colleague in his first year, and in his third year the same scenario had played out, albeit with a different colleague of his. They were also of the same denomination, and he was equally familiar with her elder sister.

He remembered how he had been forced to travel home on the day he had summoned the courage to ask her out, sometime in the earlier part of his third year. And that courage was never again found after that day. It was not a case of shyness. True, he had struggled with that in the previous decade of his life, but presently he was not the type to get stuck on words, spoken or written. So what was it about Benny that made his tongue so heavy? Maybe it was the fear of rejection. Yea, there were other fish in the sea, but being turned down by Benny could cause him a nervous breakdown, he would have to leave that city, if he wouldn’t have lost his mind already. Or maybe it was the fear of that grim reality that she may have long been taken already. But then, who wouldn’t? A lady like Benny was almost impossible to find, a lady you wouldn’t want to drift away as little as six inches from you.

It was a question of what she couldn’t do rather than what she could. Her hands defined the word ‘bakery’, and he was born with a weakness for cakes. If that was all they lived on, he wouldn’t mind. He had not forgotten the fact that she could really move her body. She had been part of a dance group earlier in her university days before academic challenges forced her to re-prioritise, and since dancing was not one of his strongest points, he could use a private instructor. Baking was not all her hands were good for. He had taken a few peeps at some comics she created in her younger years, and he couldn’t help but smile. He was reminded of the way he attempted to use drawing in recreating Bible stories and Hollywood movies. Caricatures they were, but he tried to improve, until a mean Fine Art teacher back in secondary school put all his passion for drawing to the sword. She could re-awaken that, he mused each time she came to mind. Then again, she could write, a similar trait they shared, only that she wrote about herself. It mattered little, she could tell all her stories to him, his ears could be her heart’s publishing house.

He never passed up an opportunity to imagine what he would do if he and Benny had each other’s hearts. He would probably lay beside her among blades of grass on moonless nights, while they used both their eyes and fingers to separate the stars from the comets. He would prove to her how their love could be likened to yeast, making him swell and bringing out the best in him, rather than crayons, which shortened and faded thin after a while. He would scream about what they shared, from Benin City to Port Harcourt. He would go as far as writing her name in the skies…..

And yet all these right now seemed like wishful thinking. In one of their chats via Blackberry Messenger sometimes two months earlier, she had subtly hinted that she was ‘encumbered’. Only one male in the world was entitled to that 2am text message laced with the words ”I love you.” And while he didn’t fancy the idea of stealing love from any man, it was also true that all is fair in love and war. Whenever he dreamt of a lady for once, thoughts of that person had a habit of sticking for weeks. How much more six consecutive dreams, all emotionally charged? Maybe it was time to finally lighten his tongue, express how he felt, unburden his heart, say what he needed to say…….or maybe not. Maybe he was not meant to go beyond that level of familiarity. Maybe trying to start something special could lead to the ugliest and gloomiest of futures. Afterall, some things were best admired and adored from a distance.

His Blackberry phone beeped. A ping! Lo, it was her! Talk of the devil! He remembered sending her a goodnight message before dozing off, submerged in thoughts of her. Well she was responding, tendering an apology for seeing it late and dropping good morning pleasantries at the same time. He picked his phone. Taking a deep breath, he pondered on the shape their discussion that morning would take. Was this the moment of truth? To be, or not to be? Several thoughts flooded his mind as he began to type away.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.


14 responses to “Something About Benny

  1. U write as a man devilishly in love. Question is, who’s the senorita that wouldn’t permit u to dream of Bar 2 at diz critical times

  2. Mehn bar JC, your writing is beyond magnifying. Keep up the good work. someday your writing will be used to instill public morality in our leaders

  3. Jerry…so you knew Bernice….all ye’nfcs people. She was my roommate in 400level. A very good friend. Most of the things you wrote about her character are true….hehehehhehehe…My Bernice!!! turning heads since 2003….

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