Hey, Chapter 2 (excerpt 1)

CHAPTER 2

I needed to do something. I needed to talk to someone, go somewhere, anywhere but here.

As I was thinking where to go, Fluffy tiptoed into the room, stared at me for a second and hopped onto the bed just beside me. That’s one thing I love about Fluffy, she always knows when something is wrong.

I grease her furs a little and she ducks, head flat on the bed. Suddenly I find myself talking to her.

“She’s gone,” I say, “She’s left us, buddy. She didn’t even think of you when she said This has to end. All those days she pretended to care, all the food she brought for you… I’m sorry, Fluff, that I let her into our lives, that I let a stranger into our lives.”

I have come to see Fluffy as more than just a pet, she’s a companion of sorts. Often I just talk to her for minutes on end, as though she could understand me. I really think she understands me most times, maybe the tone of my voice, she can always tell when I’m relaxed or edgy.

Fluffy didn’t nudge or hum when I talked to her. For some reason that consoled me a bit. At that moment she was good as a shrink. She’s a good listener like that.

I still wanted to step out despite the little respite Fluffy’s presence granted me. Most importantly, I wanted to talk to someone about everything, someone that understood me well enough, not for the person to be bias towards me, but for the truth. I needed to hear that I did something wrong, that it was all my fault, that I could still salvage the situation, turn things around.

I knew the right person to call for that kind of feedback, Abdul.

Abdul and I have been friends since university. I can’t remember exactly when our friendship thickened, but I know exactly how. A coursemate who also resided in the same dormitory as I wanted to borrow a textbook from a particular friend of his. Although this friend belonged to a different department, he was taking an elective course from his department. I accompanied my coursemate to his friend’s just to kill time (50% of school is killing time). When we got there, I was introduced to no other than Abdul.

We met Abdul in a rather hazy state, and he began to tell my coursemate what happened. There was this girl he approached by the supermarket, just to talk, and she blew him away in such a way that he couldn’t believe his eyes. We sat and began analysing the matter. Why did she tell him off? Did he say something wrong? Did he not put on the right clothes? Did he walk in an inappropriate manner?

Abdul and I talked interminably about his experience. We talked deep, about his body language, facial expressions, tone, game play, to the astonishment of my coursemate. That was how we clicked, and over time the bond grew stronger.

I picked my phone and dialed Abdul.

“Tobistic Tobi!” He exclaimed as he picked.

We often use such extolments when we talk.

“Mehn, Abdul…”

I could tell he quickly noticed something was wrong.

“My man, are you okay? You sound like something died.”

“Yes, Abdul, something died.”

“Tobi… what happened? Is Fluffy okay?”

“Fluffy is okay,” I replied.

“Then talk now, what’s happening?” He pressures.

“Mehn, Abdul…” I still couldn’t seem to mutter it out.

“Talk now, Tobs, is it Jenny? Is she messing up again?”

When it comes to Abdul, Jennifer is almost always causing trouble. Let’s be practical, he’s not that far off. He had come to know Jennifer, and her narcissistic nature.

“It’s Jennifer o.” I drawl.

“Tobi, I warned you now, I told you to get out before she hurt you, I told you.”

Yea, Tobi had warned me countless times to be wary of Jennifer and her vices, but I was in love. I’m still in love.

“What did she do this time?” He asks.

“Mehn, she broke up with me o.”

I just put it there like that, I didn’t want to drawl any longer before it began to look like I lost somebody.

“What?!”

“Yea.” I said briskly.

“Wow,” he sighed, as if taking it all in, as if feeling my pain.

I was happy that I was talking with Abdul about my breakup, because he’s one person that understands things in-depth. Before the recent development, Abdul and I would analyse my relationship in great extent; things I could do to make it better, things I should try to change about Jennifer, things I should beware of.

After a script-like silence, Abdul finally asked the much anticipated question, “How did it happen?” His voice devoid of life.

I told Abdul about Sunday evening. I told him how I went to Jennifer’s for dinner. I told him how I got hold of her phone. I told him about how I went to her Whatsapp. I told him about Patrick, about the kiss, about the three dreaded words, and about her message earlier in the day.

“…and what’s painful is that she tried to change the topic, Abdul. She tried to make it about how I snooped on her phone and not about how she cheated on me.”

“Of course now, she’s a girl, she would always have an angle on these kind of things. You did not expect her to just admit guilt, did you?”

“Common, Abdul, you know this girl, you know Jennifer, you know how she never takes blame for her own actions. I just needed her once in her f–,” I paused, “–once in her life to just take blame for this one thing, to just admit that she was wrong.”

“Easy, guy, I know how you feel. You know what happened with me and Aisha now, you know how she was. I’ve been in your shoes, bro, I’ve been there. The drama, the blame game, I’ve been there, bro.”

A little silence ensued.

“Damn,” he continued, “You mean she just ended it just like that? But wait o, This has to end isn’t exactly breaking up. She–”

I cut him short, “Common, man, this is Jennifer we’re talking about. I know her. This is her way out of an impossible situation. I caught her dead in her tracks, and this is the only way she gets out, by actually getting out.”

“You’re right, I think you’re right.”

Another brief silence ensued.

“So what are you going to do now?”

“Mehn, I don’t know, bro, I’m so confused right now. Maybe I’d just take a stroll or something.”

“I know you, Tobi, you’re going to go after her, you’re going to try to get her back.”

“Get who back, that narcissistic mistake for a girlfriend?” I reply, but in my heart I know he’s right, I know I’m going to go after her in a bid to make sense of her actions. She still has some explaining to do.

“No issues though,” he said, “Just take care of yourself. How’s Fluffy?”

“Fluffy is Fluffy, man, just doing her thing.”

“Aiit, we’d talk soon. Be safe, man.”

And the call ends.

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