It was Friday morning when I just finished my breakfast, I went to my bedroom and grabbed my laptop to proceed with my assignment. Before I could punch any key, my phone vibrated on the reader’s table four times. A WhatsApp text popped up. I spoke to myself without bothering to crosscheck. In a minute or less my phone was ringing so I picked up the call, “Hello Derrick how is your…” before I finished he had already started speaking with such a loud persuasive speech that I could pictorially see him kneeling down on his knees.
“Kelvin! I know you intend not to come again, but for my sake and God’s grace may you leave your assignments for a second and attend this tremendous day of mine please?” That was only what I got from his loud and long pleading phone call.
He was turning 20 and his family had arranged a birthday party. He initially invited me two weeks before the date but it completely slipped off my mind, but still that couldn’t be reasonable enough to be an excuse because even if I remembered I couldn’t dare to go. I couldn’t go, not because I wanted to hurt my friend Derrick but because I was not used to going to parties. The word ‘party’ was poisonous enough. I pushed my laptop away and took my phone to check my WhatsApp. There were four unread messages from Derrick:
Hi bro, u gud?
Finally, the day has come
can’t wait to c u here
please don’t mess it up again
The last message threw me in a pit of guilt because this was going to be fifth time I declined his invitations. I should go for the sake of showing up, nothing more, I said to myself. Derrick is my friend from childhood. We shared a lot of attributes but he is an extrovert and likes parties. The idea of going to a party felt a lot more like a sheep crawling to the alter for a sacrifice. The party was starting at 2pm, and I was already fully prepared at 12pm. I had put on my white leather Adidas shoe, dark blue skinny jeans, white long-sleeved shirt tacked in with cross band, and black sunglasses probably to disguise my nervousness.
The atmosphere at the party was electrifying and full of fashionably dressed young people. As I descended from the gate, I slowly walked past a heavenly gorgeous lady and I was glued to her in her thin purple tight dress that showed all the contours and valleys of her figure.
“Anything wrong?” she finally uttered. With embarrassment in my face I responded, “Oh-oh ah absolutely no!” I felt so shy as I continued walking down to the tables. I felt like everyone was looking at me even though everyone was busy minding their own business. To my left there was a table filled with six well-dressed men with felicitous faces. Nothing was heard from there but giggles all over. I felt lost and not welcome because no one looked familiar and Derrick was nowhere to be seen, I thought of leaving the place.
While still meditating, I heard a shout of my name which sounded very familiar, I turned my head around it was Derrick among those six men, “Man you look swag bro! Come join us buddy,” he shouted again with extreme enthusiasm and arms widened, ready for a hug. I felt welcome and happy now and all introductions went well and we kept laughing together. People from other tables were flocking to the dance floor and I was nervous about what if the men at my table wanted to dance too. As I was still thinking, a number of ladies were approaching our table and James shouted again, “Kelvin find yourself an angel to dance with!”
“Oh guys it seems I drank too much wine so dancing is not a good idea,” I said, ducking from the offer. They all left with the girls to the dance floor leaving me on the round table alone. The night was setting in now and I took my phone out to text at least. Before I opened it, a lovely feminine scent approached me and when I lifted my head up I saw was the girl I met earlier sitting next to me. My heart punched with fear and my whole being was tense, I felt cold like I was in a freezer. There was a moment of awkward silence so I gathered courage and greeted while shivering, “Hello”.
“Hello… ah… I’m Marissa, I’m sorry to ask you this ah-ah have you ever been in Blantyre? Or are you Kelvin who…?”
“Unbelievable!” I interjected screaming before she could finish. I couldn’t keep calm but shouted. I could now see beyond her make-up she put for it disguised her. Marissa was my best friend in Blantyre during my secondary school.
“Oh my gosh! Marie who got you here?”
“Derrick’s sister is my roommate at Bunda College so she did,” she answered. It was six years ago when we were schoolmates and I left her in Blantyre after she declined my love proposal saying she wasn’t ready. I was hurt.
“Kelvin, do you know how much I have longed to see you again?”
“Marissa after that incident I have always been avoiding to see you again, it still hurts me, Marie,” I almost cried.
“I want to tell you that I’m now absolutely ready for that.” My bones were melting as she finished speaking and an unknown force attracted our lips together. We finally stood and left to dance.
In my mind, I thought Derrick’s party was a predestination of my love and saying yes to the invitation was literally an accomplishment of my love. I whispered into her ear, “I could say no.”
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