There is this tension that has been going on between me and Ekene since the first day of April. It was all Ikenna’s fault, he played an expensive April Fool prank. I lost it and said a lot of hurtful things to Ekene. I asked him to stay on his own. I said a lot out of anger. When I relaxed and replayed all that happened in my head, adding to the discovery that it was an April Fool prank by Ikenna, I felt even worse than I felt. But the deed had been done. Ekene stopped talking to me. We now took different directions when we saw. I stopped spending nights at his place and he stopped visiting too. It all looked fun and easy at first, but with time I started feeling his absence.
At every beep, I will rush to see if he sent me a message on WhatsApp. I will gaze at my phone like a disciple instructed to watch and pray, I often scroll through our chats and all the pictures we had together. At night during off days was hell, because coincidentally, our off days usually fall same day and we always spent the night together either at my place or his.
Ikenna who was fond of calling us a couple tried to reconcile us to no avail, I believe he did this out of guilt, everything was a result of his prank.
However, last week Thursday, something happened that made me forget that Ekene ever existed, or that we were having a beef. There is this guest that came and lodged in room 305 that Thursday, he should be in his mid-twenties. We started bonding well from the moment he stepped into the reception. He was jovial and his sense of humor was top notch, I also loved the fact that he could speak English and Igbo fluently. He knew how to switch to any while he talked. He came alone, and he said he just wanted to give himself a two weeks hotel treaty. He will always come down to the reception. I have never seen anyone who loves to gist like him. He knows how to buy for two, don’t ask me if he is a “Yahoo Boy”, with the way he spends money, I doubt a guy of his age who does a decent job will be that extravagant. On Friday, he bought perfumes and a golden bracelet from the hotel mart, and surprisingly he bought for two. Even though Saturday was my off day, I had to come to work because of him. We took a stroll to the fast food restaurant close to the hotel, and he bought pizza and ice cream. That was my first time eating a full maxi-pack pizza. I left in the evening.
On Sunday, I was on the night shift. Usually, I slept in the reception since I and Ekene started observing the silent treatment, but that night after work, I went to room 305, Chris asked me to stay in his room that night. He ordered for two plates of noodles, the almighty currynated noodles by the almighty Chef Mississippi. While eating, I got a call. Surprisingly, it was Ekene.
I hurriedly ate the noodles and rushed down to the room where we always slept.
“How can you be so comfortable with a stranger?”, Ekene asked as he stood from the bed, he stood akimbo in front of me. I was speechless, I didn’t know what to say. I looked at him from head to toe, then back to his head. I looked at his slim body, he was wearing only a free short, its length stopped at his lap. I looked at him and the thought of him breaking into two almost made me laugh out loud but I tried hard to maintain a serious look.
“Are you happy the way we are?”, He asked again but I still didn’t say a word.
He now held my hands, staring at my eyeballs. We have been close for about two months now since he started working in the hotel and I’d never seen his eyes that red, he started breathing so fast as he held my hands and stared at me. I was confused about how to react.
“Are you that selfish? You don’t even care how I feel”, he said as he moved closer, I couldn’t tell if he was raging in anger or if he was enveloped with emotion. He kept on advancing towards me as I leaned my back against the wall, my heart beating the tunes of igbandieze.