Read the first two parts here:
Timi and I had gotten off really well. We talked almost every other day in between lunch, closing hours and rush hour traffic. Sunday evening, I was at his doorstep in a denim dress that stopped right above my knees. I had made sure to wear the red lace thongs and matching bra I had bought from Intimate Secrets. Timi came to the door wearing casual khaki shorts and a maroon shirt. He explained that he had just finished making us a nice starter and was about setting up his Netflix connection. I chuckled, making myself comfortable in his black leather seven sitter sofa. Looking around, I could tell he was really into digital. Virtual clocks, LED distillers, and digital lighting. I could also tell he had a small case of OCD from the way he kept adjusting and readjusting the effects in the room.
His voice was a raw drawl that made the hairs on my back stand up. We just had a chicken soup starter while watching the year’s Nollywood blockbuster movie “Retina”. I cuddled closer into his arms, enjoying the scent of his aftershave. It was when my eyes traveled down his shirt, I saw the dark veins stretched against his skin.
I gasped, peering to take a closer look but he noticed and takes his arm behind his head. My heart lurched forward and the knot in my belly tightened. Could it be?
“Timi. I need you to explain what I just saw”.
“I don’t want to spoil tonig…”
“Well, I need to know what that is? Is that…”
“I don’t want to talk about it!” his voice was hard; piercing my heart. I bit my tongue but something wouldn’t stay. I told him I was leaving and after an awkward silence, he led me to the door.
I stopped in my tracks. “If you’re not going to talk to me; to trust me then there’s no point wasting our time”.
He opened his mouth to speak, but somehow my legs wouldn’t stay rooted. They instead spurn me around and towards my car. My hands were shaking as I veered the vehicle out the drive way and punched in the google search bar on my net options “Nannine”. I selected the “read aloud tab”.
Nannine is a type 1 nano tech disease that affects molecules and cellular activity within the victim’s body associated with symptoms of unusual dark pigments in skin and cell decomposition. There is no known cure for Nannine but can be treated using Nanobio – a treatment that involves reintroducing system generated biotics into the hosts body. Proper care could result in a prolonged lifespan of the hos-
I cut off the function and parked my car in the underground garage of my apartment complex. During the collide, there was the introduction of nano technology to treat ailments when the war was full blown. Most of the treatments where just medical tests that either turned out successful or left their victims with advanced ailments like Nannine.
Sitting in my car, I felt a pang of regret and a heat that burned my ears.
Maybe I shouldn’t have walked out. Tears streaked down my cheeks, unlocking with it a chunk of myself I had buried so deep. I cried into the steering wheel as memories of my Father’s deteriorating body floated behind my eyes. I had promised not to remember him that way but oh was it not this same Nannine that had snatched him from my young arms.
“The collide! This damn collide!” I cried. There was no one I knew that wasn’t in some way affected by the Collide. The price we paid for a better Nigeria. There was blood everywhere. Blood and fire. I could still see the mangled lymph of a boy in the streets when we had to flee. We had lost so much and here it was 20 plus years later, threatening to rip me apart again. I managed to calm myself and wrote an e-note to Timi. Yes, I apologized for making our evening sour with my questions but I wanted him to understand that modern science had left me torn and now I am afraid it might rip me apart again and yes, I was coming back.
I reversed my car out the driveway and went back to Timi’s
“Hey Babe” There was a softness in his voice that made my heart light.
“Hey.” I didn’t wait for him to start. “I’m sorry Timi.”
He led me into his apartment for the second time that night. The LED lights were a soft sleeping orange. We stood at the lobby, inches apart our eyes searching, reaching to depths of our pain.
“I just wasn’t ready to start relieving…” he began, “when the collide started I was a 9 year old boy in Sesame School. A lot was happening all at once, I remember scraping my leg on the school fence we tried to escape the fire. And after a three day trip from Port Harcourt to Lagos I had developed a a severe scarring tissue on the leg. My Dad was dead, my mum so. When I and my sister reached Lagos, I thought I was going to die until we reached Camp Verde; you know the medical aid council that came?”
I nodded. My father had visited Camp Verde too for his tumor.
“I remember the face of the doctor that examined my leg. Like it was a chunk of rotten meat. After a hopeless nod, he suggested Nano tech treatment. I obviously had little choice. Medication was free so I gave them the go- ahead. It worked. I and my sister sought asylum and we fled the country.”
“Then just this past year I started having lapses. Disorientated vision, headaches, dark pigments on my skin. When I visited the hospital and they told me I had Nannine…fuck I didn’t even know what Nannine was. I was torn to pieces. And to think there’s no cure…Ronke. It took me a lot to put my mind back in the grind…”
“You fight” I said, fighting back the tears that threatened to spill.
“Don’t cry babe”. He whispered, as it came flowing down. I pushed myself into him and let my body soak his embrace. I couldn’t quite tell how but his lips found mine, his tongue working past my lips. I pressed into him as his hands straddled the small of my waist, my breasts.
“Oh!” I hissed as he lifted me off the ground, taking care to place me atop the sofa. I kissed him back, harder this time. A sweet feeling tingled between my thighs and in a flash, my red thongs were off. I shuddered as his breath caressed my lady luck and that sweet spasm burst through.
“Ronke, I want you.” He whispered. I leaned my head closer to his bare chest. My fingers twirling the dark small curls of hair. “Please, be mine”.
I searched his eyes. I had known it right? I had know it from the station. Nannine could go to hell.
“Now and always”