The birds chirped sweet melodies into Tunde’s ears as he sat under the mango tree beside Hall 5, waiting for Samantha. The weather was also perfect; the large orange ball of evening sun cast its soothing rays over everyone and everything on campus, creating a somewhat celestial picture. Today was the day Tunde was going to tell her how he really felt about her. But he was afraid of how she might react because she was not just any girl to him. Samantha was more than his friend. They had grown up together, and fate had a way of crossing their paths. They attended same primary and secondary schools, got admission into the same university, went to same church, were from the same village…
Time and circumstance had also made them bond. They knew each other’s secrets, felt each other’s pain and shared each other’s dreams. Tunde knew Samantha was going through a rough patch in her relationship. In fact, as far as he was concerned, her relationship with Bamidele was over. Who beats a girl as if she were a thief, and have such girl return back to him? This would not be the first time Bams would be assaulting Sam. It was a kind of recurring decimal in their relationship since day one. Tunde felt Sam had had enough; she was too good a girl to be treated like trash. She deserved a better man. She deserved a man like him.
Sam had told Tunde of her fight with Bams about a week ago. And between then and now, Tunde had provided the shoulders for her to cry on, eardrums for her to lament into, and heart for her to speak to. In that period, Tunde felt a rejuvenated responsibility to be more to her. He did not just want to be her occasional listening ears. He wanted to be more. He wanted to be her man – the one she talked to everyday. And he knew this was the perfect time to tell her.
“Hey there!” Sam appeared from behind him, giving him a strong friendly hug. Then she sat beside him, her hand resting across his shoulders.
“Hey Sam,” he greeted.
“How long have you been here?”
“Umm, roughly fifteen minutes..”
“Aww dearie, sorry for keeping you waiting.” Sam gave him a light peck. “That’s to say I’m really sorry.” She giggled.
There was something radically different about Sam this evening, and Tunde was glad. It was her glow. She cut a different figure from the Sam he had seen the day before. The gloomy Sam who wallowed in self-pity was gone. Tunde felt like asking her what the whole excitement was all about, but decided to bottle it up at least until after he had disclosed what he had in mind. Whatever it was that put her in such good mood could be instrumental in her response to his impending confession. Today was his lucky day, he thought.
“Sam, there’s something I have to tell you,” Tunde said, wanting to get over with his confession already. Sam gave him a curious look but with a smile sitting on her face.
“Hold that thought for a moment, Prince charming,” she teased, placing a finger over his lips. “I have something to tell you too.”
Tunde gave her a disturbing look. What did she want to tell him? Was she back with Bams? Really? Was she?
The thought was so strong and disturbing that he did not know when he asked, “Are you back with Bamidele?”
Sam looked surprised at the question.
“Tunde, what’s that one? What kind of question is that?” There was no anger in Samantha’s voice. Just concern.
“Oh, I thought… I thought,” Tunde stammered. “Never mind. So what do you want to tell me?”
Samantha smiled. “Something funny happened today,” she started. “You know my bunky, Seun right?”
Tunde nodded. “The soothsayer?”
Samantha guffawed. “Yea, more like the doomsayer. Anyways, she’s up to it again o. Remember she predicted the sack of Professor Adegbami? She also foretold the dissolution of the Oyebode-led SUG?…..”
“I remember everything. She also predicted the death of Anita, the collapse of the boys’ hostel, students riot of April 9th…. That girl is full of crap.”
Samantha exploded in another guffaw. “This time around she told me something closer to home o.”
“And you’re laughing? What did she say?”
Samantha paused, picked a tiny stone and threw it at a pigeon in the garden. “I told her about my breakup with Bams and how I have suffered in the hands of men o…”
“Taaaa,” Tunde cut in. “Which one is ‘men’? You have only dated one guy in your entire life – Bams.”
“Plus the useless ones that come around just to play na…. Anyway, after telling Seun about all that, guess what she said? She said the next guy that will ask me out will run mad after three days…”
“What?!” Tunde screamed. “She was kidding right?”
“At first I thought she was o, but then after some minutes of serious probing, she kept insisting that it would happen.”
“Did she tell you who the guy would be?”
“I guess they did not show her that one in her vision. I found the revelation hilarious sha.”
Samantha continued, “Me I’m not bothered about the revelation. Sometimes I think these men deserve the tragedies that meet them.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Some men are just heartless. Seun said the guy in question would be coming to ask me out, not because he truly loves me, but because he wants to take advantage of my emotional frailty. She said the guy would have been studying me for a while, then when he sees that I’m at my weakest, he’d come around to pop the question. Who does that?” she asked rhetorically. “Whoever this guy is, I can’t wait for him to show up. I’ll just tell him to his face ‘my love will make you run mad’. I know the idiot won’t decode.”
Tunde heaved a deep sigh. He did not know what to say or do.
“Ehen, you said you had something to tell me,” Sam jolted him out of his reverie.
“Oh that,” Tunde mumbled. “I just wanted to ask you if you don’t mind having dinner at KFC. You know this whole Bams drama was really getting to you and I thought it would be great to go somewhere outside campus.”
“Awwww, sweedy. I don’t mind. You’re such a doll,” Samantha teased. “That’s so thoughtful of you. Hang on let me go change this dress. I did not know we were going out.”
As Samantha sauntered to her hostel block, Tunde sat under the Mango tree cursing his luck, praying that this shadow cast by Seun’s prophecy – this eclipse, was just a joke. Would he try to test its potency?
“Not a chance in hell,” Tunde heard his mouth confess.