Written for Ife Olujuyigbe.
She asked Segun to tell her the Yoruba translation of “Equity aids the vigilant.” She needed it for Dr. Coker’s test the next day but it seemed all he wanted was a kiss. She stopped him and he called her stiff, boring, uninteresting and some other “ing’s” that pricked her ears till they squeezed tears from her eyes. She did not even know she was crying till she felt the wetness on her notepad, he made it that easy with those lips of his, the same that lunged at hers just some minutes before.
Three years on, she still remembered his words. She wanted to be less stiff, flexible, even adventurous. She refused Uncle Tunji’s offer to fix NYSC posting because she wanted to explore. She smiled more often and found her voice, even her singing voice at Uyo Glory Assembly.
She met Kunle in her fourth week in Uyo, at a bank. Calm and sweet, he was much different from the type that attended to her in Ife. They met again during stewards vigil at the Glory Assembly, she obliged him with her number and they chatted endlessly for weeks.
Once, as they both left the midweek revival meeting, Kunle told her to pay him a visit on Friday night. She wanted to ask questions, wanted to think about the pastor’s sermon then she remembered she wanted some adventure.
When she arrived his home on Friday, he was tucked away in the kitchen, making her a special meal – food for the journey, as he called it. She wondered where they were going as she picked up his phone from the centre table. It was left on the music application and just a tap released the heavy beats of Reminisce rushing at her. “Wa fe ku laleyi,” the refrain went. She swiped left and found the browser application open. There was a search result listing “ten quick tips for sadomasochism”. Her heart skipped a beat and that momentary silence helped her realise Reminisce’s song was on repeat.
She was asking herself how much adventure she still wanted when Kunle walked in, crackling his knuckles. “Have you seen 50 Shades of Grey?” he asked. Her heart skipped two beats and slid into memory, memory of that night she walked away from Segun and went seeking a Yoruba translation from his friend who told her “Eni yara logun ngbe”.
Segun’s friend had told her he wasn’t sure but as Kunle licked the corner of his lips, waiting for an answer, that was all that memory offered her pulsating heart. Steadily, the words formed on her lips, her eyes on his strong arms and the door behind him. “There’s a vigil for the choir tonight, I’m going.”
As she walked away from Kunle’s flat that night, for the first time since Tile started seeking adventure, she decided she needed handbook on quick tips for safe adventure.