Hey, Chapter 2 (excerpt 2)

. . .

I take a look at Fluffy.

“Time to go for a walk, girl.” I uttered, without even thinking it.

I got her leash and fixed it round her neck. She’s not wild or anything, but so that she doesn’t wander too far and get hit by a car or something. Lagos can be rough like that.

Quickly, she hopped up and began wagging her tail. She knew it was time to take a walk.

When we got outside I discovered that it was raining, drizzling, hardly perceptible from my room. I only get to know it’s raining when it’s really pouring.

“Oga Tobi, long time o,” I hear from some distance. I turn to look, and it’s Mama Junior, owner of the restaurant I usually frequent.

“Yes o. How market now?” I ask.

“Fine o. We thank God. Fluffy fluffy,” she says with a smile as we continue.

As I walk down the street, my mind saunters into a series of flashbacks. I start to think of Jennifer, of the times we spent together. But it’s still all hazy, what I’m actually feeling is despair and confusion and anger.

It was drizzling and I didn’t even feel it. I was a bit happy though, that neighbours didn’t call out to me after Mama Junior. It was only perfect that they left me to my grief.

Usually, shop and restaurant owners would hail at me. That’s the world I’ve come to build.

The rain was beginning to fall in sheets, and Fluffy and I had to hurry back home. My melancholic time under the rain had come to an end.

By the time we get upstairs, we are already wet and dripping. I pick my towel that was hanging on the shower door and towel dry myself and Fluffy. I don’t mind that strands of fur are going to stubbornly cling to the towel. I shake the towel to remove some of the fur and hang it back on the shower door.

I’m still feeling a bit cold from the rain. I put on the TV in the sitting room. Fluffy loves to just lie on the couch and watch TV until she’s tired. I don’t watch with her, I need to be warm, so I go to the room and bury myself under the duvet.

I don’t want to press my phone or anything, I just want to be to myself and process things, but as I lay on the bed thoughts start flooding back, thoughts of Jennifer. I can’t deal with this now, I can’t lay on the bed while these thoughts drown me.

I get up and head for the kitchen. I open the fridge. There are spices and drinks in the fridge, but I don’t need to cook, I’ve never been great at it either. I need to drink. I know it sounds like a bad idea, but anything to take my mind off Jennifer. I pick up an Heineken bottle and close back the fridge. In the uppermost drawer under the kitchen slab there’s a corkscrew which I use in opening the bottle. I take a slug as I head back to the room. Yummy.

I’m drinking and I don’t know what to do with myself. Should I watch a movie on my laptop? I don’t feel like watching a movie. Should I just drink in silence broken by whatever the TV is yapping? That’s even worse than drinking sad. So I decide to play some music.

I get on my chair, turn on my Hp laptop and lunch window’s media player. I play any random song in the playlist because I’m in no mood to start selecting. Music plays as I drink and it actually helps make me feel better until a particular song plays and I am back to me again.

Passenger’s Let Her Go is playing, and I’m stuck at Only know you love her when you let her go. I suddenly become angry when I hear that line.

I get up, take another slug of beer and begin pacing, out the room to the sitting room and back and out again.

“Let her go?” I say to Fluffy as I pace within the sitting room, “Do you think we can let her go?”

Fluffy darts her eyes toward me for a second and fixates on the TV once more. She’s used to me talking to her.

I’m getting bored of this process. I wake my phone and check the time, it’s half past eight. I want to take a bath, but I don’t feel like, what am I bathing for? The water won’t wash my worries away, would it?

I think I need another bottle. I go to the fridge again and get one.

By the time I finish the second bottle, I get a bit tipsy. You might say two bottles is just a start, but a bottle plus confusion is enough to bring an elephant down.

I feel sleepy now. I look over at the sitting room where Fluffy is still watching TV amid all my chaos and get the feeling that she’s not done. I put off the light in the room, bury myself in the blanket and will myself to sleep. The day has run its course, and the last thing I want to think about is Jennifer.

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