“Sena.” I saw the whatsapp message. My heart skipped a beat as I saw the familiar sequence of numbers. Deleted but not forgotten. I shook my head and blinked. I then put the phone away. I swiveled away to look at the laptop screen. The cursor blinked like a metronome at me. It was eerie. Eerie because one of the characters in the screenplay I had just written was loosely based on her. Her being Dziedzorm “Dzidzi” Mensa. She was a ghost. A ghost from a past I made for myself. i turned to look at Louise’s sleeping form. The light from the laptop screen illuminated her soft curves. Her prepubescent breasts heaved rhythmically. I suppressed the urge to just reach out and cup one in my hand. I got up and went to the toilet. Sitting back on the porcelain bowl I looked back into the past.
It had been seven months, two weeks and twenty two hours and forty seven minutes since I last heard from Dzidzi. Yeah I remember stupid stuff like that. Taking note of elapsed time was barely scratching the surface. Dzidzi was a longtime friend you see. About five foot five, caramel skin and those eyes which I call princess Jasmine eyes. My favorite part was her lips. They look like they were sculpted by some ancient Greek sculptor or a Renaissance artist. That was how striking they were. Busty and fiercely intelligent, Dzidzi was a one of a kind love. The kind of love which inflames you and consumes you and you don’t really care what happens next. We met through another longtime friend, Akpene. I have always been a little scared of Dzidzi. She gave me such a dressing down in our first conversation. I was slightly cowed by her. And her run down as given by Akpene was that of a fighter. An amazon.
The next time we spoke was a year after. I was getting over Akpene. It’s not what you think. I wasn’t wooing her. I did like her an awful lot but she didn’t feel the same way. Back to Dzidzi now. We became fast friends. I must admit I rather enjoyed chatting with Dzidzi. She was funny and intensely emotional. Her moods could be frightening but she was very cool. She’s that kind of person who you could just let your hair down around. We flirted sometimes too, just for the fun of it. Touch and go stuff really. I was growing on her. Then like a bolt out of the blue she travelled outside. She’d won a scholarship to go study in Russia. “Damn!” I told myself. At that moment I guess I had caught feelings for her. A couple of months passed. Occasionally she’d hit me up on Facebook. Then three months passed without a word from her.
“Sena.” I received that whatsapp message on a low battery. I was on a class trip then. We spoke till my battery gave out. When I got back we spoke some more. Dzidzi had bloomed even if she was struggling to settle into a new country. We were limited by her hostel wifi. It went off at eleven pm her time. A nuisance then. There was a lot to catch up on. There were a few weeks of silence. When I next heard from Dzidzi she had a boyfriend. I was elated. Happy for her even.
I’m talking too much about Dzidzi I know. But I warned you before. I like remembering silly stuff like that which wasn’t good for me. I moved over to the bed after washing my hands. I snuggled beside Lu-Lu on the narrow pallet and cuddled her close. She mumbled and backed into me. I could feel my manhood curling round her bottom. We lay there in a fetal position. That’s how we usually sleep. Louise. I prefer calling her “Lu-Lu”. Don’t ask why. What Lu-Lu and I have is complex in its simplicity. We have an open relationship. We are both free to do what we like and be with other people but I guess we enjoyed the security the other offers. There were no awkward questions or irrelevant fights and moral judgment. What there was, was a lot of lovemaking. Her cramped cubicle bore signs of it. Making art. Sweaty handprints long since converted into painted equivalents studded the walls. I love Lu-Lu in a different way. It’s one of those “we’ll know when we get there” kind of love. We are. If we had babies no p, but there was no talk of formal commitment. Louise just works for me. I guess I can go back to Dzidzi at this point.
“Sena.” Dzidzi whatsapped me. She added a teary faced image to it. Disaster had struck. Earlier on she had touched down, visiting for the summer holidays. We went on a movie date. It was the first time I met her face to face. I had a great time with her. But now trouble. Her boyfriend was being an ass. He had actually gone as far as breaking up with her. In the coming weeks I tried to be her friend. But you know how weird women can get. She went back to him as soon as she touched down. I was angry but it really wasn’t my place to say. I had issues of my own. I was struggling with a near miss. A love triangle gone wrong. Dzidzi and her boyfriend didn’t last though. They broke up soon after. I think she sort of closed up to everyone after. Sometimes shit happens which changes you markedly. I understood her intimately in a way she probably misunderstood.
Sometime after I had an epiphany. To my horror I discovered I was in love with Dzidzi. She was single then. I tried to woo her despite her reservations. Things got heated and after I asked for her stand she told me someone else had succeeded. I had failed and a carefully structured friendship fell apart. It was all my fault. I had deviated from my own preservation plan. Ironically Dzidzi drew it up for me. Things fell apart
“Sena.” The message was still on my screen, unwavering. The spiral downward was an ugly one. I drifted from woman to woman. I didn’t seek permanence. Just the warmth of a breast and the salty tang of sex. I was a regular with the neighbourhood blue kiosk. If you could down a bottle of bitters faster than I could then you were out of this world. Dzidzi inflamed me. I missed her. I’d see her name everywhere I went. She’d whisper into my ear in the depths of my stupor. I had lost a friend when I tried to make her my woman. I couldn’t take it anymore. I lost my job. Turning up to teach drunk isn’t exactly role model behavior. I cycled round friends’ apartments, perching for a few nights at a time. A few months after the incident I stepped in front of a truck. I wanted to die. “Oh Dzidzi.” I loved her, in a way I barely understood and her absence was torture. There was an almighty crash. I saw red and white and I blacked out. When I came to I was swathed in bandages. I wasn’t dead. Apparently the truck was slowing to a stop when I stepped out in front of it. No bones broken but a lot of bruises. I wept. I stayed in hospital for a while, undergoing psychological rehabilitation.
That’s when I saw Louise. For the first time in a new way. The hospital was close to her work place so she’d pass by to jibe me a little. Louise wasn’t new. She was another longtime friend. One of those free spirits who had gotten a little lost. I helped her find her way and we’ve been friends since. She wasn’t especially beautiful but she had this glow and confidence about her and these wild eyes. She could stir up your thoughts in a moment. Frankly I’d always thought of doing Louise. Having a relationship without boundaries with her. If I was comfortable with Dzidzi I was alive with Lu-Lu. She was normal, with either a wild afro or flyaway perm and the body of a budding teenager. Louise is no angel. She’s had her own escapades, none for the fainthearted. She was a screenwriter who had to claw her way through film school. She’s a survivor.
I moved in with her after I was discharged from the hospital. She had a cramped chamber and hall apartment in town. I loved the intimacy of the place. It was awkward at first. I wasn’t used to seeing a woman undress and dress up every day in front of me. We made out a couple of times, when we came back from town tipsy and giddy. I loved watching her go about her stuff in her apartment. She loved to go nude. I’d watch the teenage body moving up and down, waist beads chinking with every careless movement of her hips. I jumped her in the bathroom and we had sex for the first time. It stayed that way. We’d do it when we woke up, in the shower right before work, when she got back. We tried a couple of things. I started moonlighting as her for her screenplays when she was caught up between work and school. I loved it. I was a writer; poetry and prose were my forte but dipping my hand in screenwriting was a new haven. It was new to me but I learned fast. Lu-Lu knew about the whole incident. She wasn’t happy with how everything went down. She wasn’t one to talk for long. Not with her mouth anyway. To be honest a little bit of me was relieved the Dzidzi drama ended. I loved her, and I wasn’t having second thoughts. However I felt it was dragging on too long and I was beginning to wonder if there was ever going to be an ‘us’.
Back to Lu-Lu. She’s amazing. She has this raw energy she injects into everything she does. She’s one of those emotional people who are curiously deadpan about other people. Her passion for sex was only bettered by her passion for writing. She would be on her laptop typing away when I wasn’t thrusting into her. In that darkness she descended and slapped me on the cheek. She’s not so gentle with degenerate people. Perhaps it’s part of her pessimistic nature. We sort of walked into a relationship without a hard decision. I’ve been with other girls and she’s had a couple of other men, but Lu-Lu is “home” to Sena and vice versa. Lu-Lu woke up and walked to the bathroom to pee. There was an erotic pleasure about watching her pee. The nonchalant way she perched on the bowl half squatting and with a hand in her disheveled hair.
“Lu-Lu.” I called out to her. “What?” She groaned. ‘Guess who just texted me.” I babbled. “I dunno, the pope?” she replied. “No dummy. Guess again.” My voice had risen an octave higher. She turned to look at me. “That annoying tone you just took. Wait lemme think straight.” She frowned. “Right, it must be Russia.” “I know right?” I replied. Lu-Lu grimaced. “What are you gonna do about it?” I shrugged. “I dunno.” “See how excited you are. Look the fact that she’s texted you after all this while doesn’t mean anything. You are her go-to guy, the one who always has a solution. If you want to go fuck yourself up again be my guest. I told you. There’s a Brazilian waiting next in line.”
I looked at the dimmed screen again. The message was there, unwavering. “Sena”.
© Sena Kodjokuma, 2015