Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 4
When Meska slept off, I couldn’t sleep. So many thoughts ran through my head, saying this and that. At some point, I felt remorseful. Yes, I did feel bad for myself. It wasn’t what I planned. I just wanted him to come have fun with me and go back before Grandma’s arrival. Sleeping over was never part of the plans, but life happens. I returned to the bathroom and had a cool shower without soap. While water dripped on my body, I reminisced over my sensual romance with Meska minutes ago. It seemed to occupy my head—and that was what filled my mind. We never did that before. It had always been casual sex and nothing more.
I came out of the bathroom. My eyes fixed on Meska. He was fast asleep. He was just on his boxers. I felt differently. He had never slept over in our house before. It was his first time and there he lay tiredly. He still looked cute even while he was asleep. I changed into my pajamas and lowered the rechargeable lamp before joining him on the bed.
I lay on my back, my eyes staring absent-mindedly at the faded Jesus Christ poster on the wall. So, how will he leave here tomorrow? Came a thought that rushed through my head. I picked up my phone and quickly set an alarm. I reached for the second pillow and made myself comfortable; my left hand rested on his back. I slept off not long after I shut my eyes.
4:30 am I was woken by the beep from my phone. The last time I set an alarm was while I was preparing for WAEC, and that was many months ago. I searched for my phone—and tiredly, I pressed the power button. It stopped at once. My eyes were still heavy and I felt some pains below my waist. I turned to see if Meska was awake but he was still asleep. He had been rolling from one end of the bed to another.
I dropped the phone and went back to sleep but I couldn’t seem to sleep again. My eyes were shut but I was awake. 4:40, 4:50, the alarm came aloud again. This time, I reached for the phone, unlocked it, and finally turned off the alarm.
Some minutes after 5:00 am, I overheard noise from grandma’s room. She was preparing for morning mass. She never missed it for anything—unless she was ill. So, I tapped Meska gently but he didn’t respond. I did the second time, the same result. I did it aggressively the third time, and his eyes opened. “Wake up,” I whispered. He yawned and stretched his arms tiredly. I sat on the bed in my pajamas and watched him act sluggishly. When he finally looked at my face, he smiled. He had this contagious smile that always gets me smiling back for no just cause. He still had wrinkles on his face and dull eyes from sleep.
“Get up and wear your clothes,” I signaled.
“What’s time now?” he asked inaudibly.
“5:16,” I responded.
“Wow.” He stuttered. Meska stood quietly as I watched him wear his vintage shirt and trouser.
“Once grandma leaves for church, you leave immediately,” I whispered into his right ear.
“Okay.” He nodded his head. He then picked up his phone and searched through his gallery. He scrolled through some pictures of his artworks.
At intervals, I went to the door to see if there was still light from grandma’s room. I needed to know exactly when she leaves the house. “How about your uncle and his friend?” Meska asked when I rejoined him in the bed. “They are upstairs and not likely to come out until….”
I overheard the whining of the door from grandma’s room. So, I paused. We both looked at each other at once. Silent stood between us for some seconds. “koi koi koi..” grandma’s footsteps a she made way to the entrance door from her room. Quietly, I tiptoed to the door and peeped through the doorknob. She was already out of sight.
I returned and quietly opened the window, she was already at the gate dressed in a blue top and blouse. There was a red rechargeable lamp in his right hand, the other hand held a small empty bucket. It was their Zone’s turn to wash and mob the Church. I heaved a big sigh of relief when she closed the gate.
It was 5:32 am and she would surely get to church before 6:00 am which was the time for mass. I turned to Meska.
“Guy, get up.”
“She don go?”
“Yes. But wait let me be sure my uncle nor his friend slept in the sitting room.” I quickly opened the door while he waited back in my room.
Long story short, Meska finally left our house that morning without being caught. I was so excited while I lay back on the bed. I had long pondered how my guy would eventually leave our house. That was one of the biggest risks I ever took because of Meska and I promised myself such would never happen again.
The August meeting was finally over. My uncle and his friend had also gone back to the city after a successful burial of his friend’s father. The house was once again left with grandma and I. When Meska was about to resume a new session, he reached out to me for support. It was no new thing that I usually give out foodstuffs to him each time he was resuming school.
I did as usual and smuggled out some of these things to him. He was grateful that he kept thanking me over the phone. He promised he would never have any reason to break my heart which he knew I dreaded so much. Yes, Meska knew I was so skeptical about him—and mostly whenever he was about returning to campus.
I had always felt there were girls he probably flirt with on campus, and each time I talked about it, he always frowned at it. He said it has always been three people; me, myself, and nobody else. I laughed at his silly humor. And that was one of the things he was good at. I liked his sense of humor. You can never be with him and not have any reason to be happy. I was really scared of losing him to campus girls.
Aside from the normal foodstuff I gave to him, I equally gave him part of my pocket money for upkeep. I did everything possible to make sure he didn’t lack in school. As of then, I wasn’t really using my money for anything serious. I could keep my hair unkempt for months, shoes, clothes and other basic kinds of stuff were provided by my uncles and my parents. I stayed indoors for hours. So, I wasn’t spending my money on anything.
Do you think Meska was using me? No! I doubted if he was. I remember he gifted me a very lovely portrait, a bracelet and a nice wristwatch on my birthday. I adored the wristwatch that I stopped using the rest in my possession. It was always on my wrist whenever I was outside.
Days later, Meska returned to Unizik for a new session. It was grandma and I in the boring house again, and I was gradually getting tired of staying idle at home. I wasn’t an introvert. I loved going out and meeting new people but I had no single place to visit. My movement then was triangular; I was either at the home, market, or Church. I missed having Meska around. He surely knew how to take me around with his father’s motorcycle.
In Meska’s absence, I became addicted to my phone. It became my friend and companion. Then I’d invariably disturb Meska with a video call. Yes, I knew I was disturbing him because I did that regularly. And most times when I called, he would be busy with his drawing and artwork. He once told me his course required so much attention and I couldn’t agree less. But that still didn’t stop me from calling him. I always sent him pictures of myself even when he didn’t ask for them.
One fateful Saturday morning, Meska had time to chat with me. We had a very long conversation on WhatsApp. We talked about the night he spent in my room and the naughty things we did together. Amidst our discussion, Meska asked me for the unexpected. You wouldn’t believe what my guy asked for.