Crushed - Nikhil Lagh
Cartoon Illustration By Pelumi Ponmile I felt like jelly. I didn't know if I was dreaming or ...
I felt like jelly. I didn't know if I was dreaming or just delusional, but I could have sworn that his smile carried a wisp of intended affection. He was Olamide, my longest lasting crush. I met him at our fresher's party where our eyes met and locked for several breathless seconds, and though we were several metres apart, I felt this connection between us.
Despite being a bag of smiles, I could not help but notice his peculiar features; fair skin, jet black hair and ruthlessly dark eyes which made him more attractive, and also that he moved with effortless finesse as one who was accustomed to silk and servants.
Lord help me, I found myself thinking long hours about him, writing his name at the corners of my books and having private conversations with him in my head. It was hard for me to not think about him. Each day, I would resolve to speak to him but after the usual hi's, I would be at loss for meaningful words, besides my girlfriends always reminded me of our society's unwritten 'law' which doesn't allow for the female expressing such things and I stayed that way for several weeks, hoping the feeling would grow cold.
Some days to the close of the session, Olamide and I shared a table in the cafeteria and after our meal, we sidelined taking bikes and opted for the long walk to the gate. It felt like a walk to paradise for I seemed to understand everything he said (and did not say). He told me he liked my dress sense and that I was decent and stuff. He didn't even ask for number like any other guy would, he just smiled and said he would see me tomorrow.
He flagged and boarded the next bike and I kept waving till he was out of my sight. I sang all evening and slept like a child that night. My beauty sleep (trust me, I was not dreaming of him) was cut short by a pounding on my door. Dreary eyed, I opened the door and there stood Lanike, a classmate, drenched in tears. She slumped into me and whispered the words that forever changed my life, 'Olamide is dead'. I was lost, she looked too serious to not be serious and last I checked, April was still very faraway.
I shook her off and sat on the floor, looking for an escape in my mind. She began talking about how the bike he boarded last evening was run over by a truck some minutes away from his hostel, and from there, all I heard was gibberish. I was ridden with self-guilt and bitterness for no just cause, my longest lasting crush had become my last.
(Nikhil Lagh is a Student of the Department of Political Science, OAU Ile-ife and a member of the OAU Peeps Team)