Home Writers Creative Essays Invincible by Chisom Arueze.

Invincible by Chisom Arueze.

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February 18th 2014

Somewhere in a Nigerian University.

I Slowly unwrapped the pint sized lunch in my hands; a ball of moi moi, like it was a bomb about to explode. Students were littered everywhere like leaves as they swayed in the direction of their lecture venues. I always looked forward to having lunch with my friends at the famous ‘love garden’ . When I had finished unwrapping my lunch , the aroma seduced my nasal openings, as my worms glared at me saying “what are waiting for?!”.   While some of them glared, others swore at me while eyeing my intestines; you and I know what that means.  This processed legume was the yin to yang in the ‘ foodlum’ matters, it was to me what Ojukwu was to Bianca but at that moment I wasn’t quite sure of that.

I looked thoughtful like a contestant in the hot seat of who wants to be a millionaire, not thinking of my final answer though but of how to start eating. On the outside I looked just like a normal girl having her lunch or trying to have one, but on the inside, it was quite the opposite because I was breathing without a heart. That was because my heart had just left the premises,  when I found out that he was right behind me, talking to some friends. On hearing his voice I froze.

Jace was his name.

With him here  indeed this place has truly become a love garden. My mouth suddenly became dry like a desert and  my throat parched. I tried to eat, but I was restless. When I finally ate, I didn’t taste anything. As far as crushes go, I have always had the biggest of them all for this young man with whom I have had tons of lectures with. Jace was a breathing Adonis. Sometimes I went green with envy as  I wondered, if we were made by the same God. From his well carved eye brows, long curly eye lashes, brown pupil, straight nose and slightly plump lips, you would know that God was definitely in high spirits while molding him. He had the skin of a baby, fresh and bubbly. He had the height of the Rwandian president but was leanly muscled.  He was fair complexioned, not so fair that a bite from a mosquito would be so obvious but like someone who hasn’t been to Africa where the sun  dictated which part of our skin it wanted fair, thereby making us look like zebras.  Don’t get me started on his dentition, because it was white and brighter than some of our classmates future. Whenever he smiled, it was such a pulchritude to behold and just like Bruno Mars would say, the whole world stood still for a while. All these had nothing to compare to what you hear him speak. When ever he opened his mouth, his voice was not just velvet soft and firm but you would know he had a good head in between his ears.

With all I have seen, I didn’t need the holy spirit to tell me I didn’t stand a chance. For crying out loud my name was Rose, but most times I stared into the mirror  I felt like it was thorn or weed.

I was born average, nothing extraordinary about my features and that hurt my esteem a whole lot. I wasn’t a recluse but  there was no difference when I was around. To feel much better, I  created my own world, fantasizing a lot. The day jace spared me a glance, there was a great celebration in my head just like Christ said in the bible, when a sinner repents. Only if jace knew  with that one glance, in my head I had already planned our wedding, and named our babies; mini super adorable versions of jace calling me mum.

 

January 15, 2021.

I strolled into the mall to pick the supplies I would need this weekend to bake all my gigs.  By passing the security with the protocols of hand sanitizing and temperature taking, I rushed to pick a basket  then I  slammed into something hard, I might have changed in my looks but my clumsiness was constant. I stumbled and everything I had in my hands came crashing down. Echoes of sorries filled the place but one baritone right in front of me made me look up.

I agreed to his apologies. Then we stood facing each other. He said a few more sorry , but as I stared on, into his eyes, something snapped. It was like déjà vu. Despite the face masks I knew I had seen that pair of eyes before. I smiled broadly at him and I started talking. He laughed a few times , then it clicked. I was talking to my long time crush Jace.

OMG! I screamed in my head. I flipped my hair and started talking like I had logorrhea.

He laughed at some and smiled but then it felt all forced. I ignored that and kept rambling.  As I was about to leave, I asked for his contact, to catch up on old times over lunch the next day.

“Old times” he asked with his eyebrows raised.

Then I asked “don’t you remember me?” he answered with his eyes. He begged me to jolt his memory.

So I went on a description spree, I spoke about myself. Gesticulating like a semi mad woman, he burst out in fits of laughter, but after everything he said he didn’t remember. My face fell.

I laughed to cover up my shame. I never know I was that invincible in school.

Suddenly he got a phone call and as he was busy with that I slipped out. As I walked towards the exit of the mall in a hurry, I heard someone shouting. I turned and was surprised to find Jace calling out to me.

When we met, he apologized again and said, that there was a first time for everything.

He brought out his hand for a handshake and said “ hi am Jace , can we be friends” with that smile that makes my heart do a backflip.

And that was the beginning of something good. I still marvel at how he went from I don’t remember you to where have you been all my life.

Arueze Chisom Precious, a passionate writer can be reached through sommytilly1402@gmail.com

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