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The Case Of An Ex

…. and when the phone rang and I saw the number, I thought it was one of those cranks who call me after getting my number off the newspaper. I was putting little Anabel to bed as I answered, expecting my caller to either hang up or say, ‘baby how now? I see ur advert for magazine and I wanna know you. Baby how can I see u?’

“Who is this?” I asked again, getting ready to tell him never to call again.
“Wetin dey do you? U no dey hear? It’s Pius.”
I paused and checked the number again. “Pius?”
“Are u in Nigeria?”
“Came in yesterday?”
“Welcome back,” I said, hoping that I sounded nonchalant. “So you still have my number.”
“Always had your number.”
“How come you never call?”
“We don’t have anything to talk about?”
{Can u believe the shit!}
“Where are u?” he asked.
“Are u serious? I’m in Opebi too.”
I smiled. “Really? Where in Opebi?”
“Cottage. What are you doing in Opebi from Satellite Town?”
I told him.
“Come and see me now. Cottage is in…”
“I know where Cottage is. I have chiken pox?”
“Abeg no come. No come give me disease. Anyway, I came for my grandmother’s burial.”
“When is it?” I asked.
“On Saturday, I’m going back on Monday. Come and see me now?
“With my chicken pox? When are you leaving for Delta?”
“Ok. Will try and see you tomorrow then.”

Ok. We said goodbye and I picked up my book to read and repeated one sentence a thousand times. What the hell am I thinking of? Not him! After four fucking miserable years?
So I was asking myself what he looks like now. Finer, bigger? I shall know tomorrow. I refused to think of the good old days, because really, that relationship was a classified fling as far as I was concerned. Told him so then. A fling that lasted six months till he jetted out of good old Naija. And communication once or twice, after that, out of sight out of mind. Move on, life goes on.

Tomorrow came and I changed tops like ten times. I wasn’t dressing for him, I just wanted to cover some chicken pox spots not yet healed on my arms and majority of what I wear are sleeveless. So I settled for one with a countess Dracula sleeve and went to see him.
Thankfully, he had company. A mutual friend. Then they had to smoke and I politely asked them to do it in the loo.
“Since when Uzezi?” Pius asked. “Can u imagine. You used to light up for me in those days.”
Anyway, I was spared the smoke till another friend joined us. We were all talking but all I wanted was to jet cos I don’t trust him.
Can’t remember what I did that made him almost choke me to death because I refused to say ‘mingwo’ to him. His Urhobo greeting.
And they are like, say it now. I was screaming cos he was hurting me, but I wouldn’t say it.
“I am older than you,” he reminded me as if I didn’t know that. “So you can’t greet me in Urhobo.”
“How many years you take senior me? I don’t greet my elder brother that way,”
“Okay, we shall see.”
Eventually my stubbornness prevailed.
But I was reminded how much weight I have lost. Really! And I thought I was adding. “Did you miss me?” he asked when we were all leaving.
I smiled. “Just a little.”

And trust me later on my way to wherever and later in the day, thinking thoughts I shouldn’t. Just can’t wait for Monday to come so that he can return to his obodo oyibo and I can quench those wandering thoughts.

And later at night, on the phone, I asked him on the other side of the phone, “Guess which of my ex just got into town yesterday?”
“His name starts with P. is it Peter, no Pius.”
I smiled. “You can’t forget.
“So he’s back?”
“Just for a burial. He’s going back on Monday.”
“Okay. He came and couldn’t wait to call you …..”

All this going in circles, Uzezi. I need to wake up.