by Tayo Fasuan
As I suddenly appeared behind the girl, having allowed them to move into the street properly, they expectedly started running, screaming wildly. I tried holding the one nearest to me, who had incidentally tripped when she wanted to take flight, and it turned out to be my crush.
Of course I was stunned, but the look of savagery that was obvious in my eyes forced her to mention my name in a way no one has been able to up till date. “Tayo…” It was a musical note, and it went straight into my brain. She was already on the dusty ground, looking up to me with those pretty eyes, and when I saw two large teardrops falling from the eyes again in quick succession, I knew she had gotten me good.
“Tayo, you know I didn’t join them to abuse you,” she said in that voice again, all of these happening in seconds. The combination of everything – her on the ground looking up at me, her eyes, the voice, those words, the tears and her helplessness – broke me down, and I said “Okay.” I left her sitting on the ground there and joined the hunt. Deji had, by then, appeared to them in the front, and had targeted the gang leader whom he had slapped in two quick successions. And if I was right, he had done taekwondo on her before even slapping her.
The next day of course, all hell broke loose. The leader of the gang had sent her mother to tell the centre’s proprietor that she was vomiting blood, which we knew was a lie. But the dramatic announcement and display of her mum sent the whole class into frenzy. Everyone was disturbed except us. We could have been hardened criminal with our stony faces. Even the threats of the proprietor that we would be arrested and jailed if anything happened to her didn’t even affect us. Yep. We were stone-hearted as well.
However, my day was made when my crush bounced into the class, headed straight for me and greeted me with a smile that was very rare to see on her face. My heart skipped several beats. There was brightness in her face that I couldn’t place, and I knew I was the cause of it when the centre owner asked her if she did see me – Deji had vanished into thin air by then – beat the other girl, and she said no.
Truthfully and technically though, I didn’t touch that other girl; it was Deji who did. When quizzed on whether I beat her, she looked at me with those beautiful eyes again, and with a smile said that I didn’t. By then, the butterfly in my stomach has nearly become an eagle. I was instantly in love and lover’s paradise.
And I went home that day planning our marriage in my head.