We should be dancing under the glow of the yellow bulb. My thick afro hair glistening in the bright light. A gramophone on the big brown cupboard in front of the table. A radio on the ottoman, its antenna stuck out like antlers. I should be dressed in a polka dot red gown with bulb like earrings on my ears, clipped tight that they don’t fall off. Red stilettos on my legs. We should be waltzing to the fine drag of Chris d’burgh’s Lady in Red. We would sway lightly to the gentle rhythm of the music. I would look up into your eyes and smile shyly. My dainty lean cheeks puffing for a moment. We would hold hands, making light hues on the flowered curtain fluttering against the opaque rectangular louvers.
We should dance breathlessly, locking our hands and in that short moment feel our hearts shut down its duty. We are not dying but only living the moment.
Strayed particles of fine sand will find its way to your bristle carpet, bearing our weight patiently. And when James Last’s Sweet City Woman plays, we will morph into swirls of tap dances, waltz, and pangolo. I will laugh lightly at the konga rumbles of the bon c’est bon bon bon- the chorus.
You should smile too; your eyes a twinkle of the milky way. You will make a million stars look like they are not shining. I should bring my lips closer to yours and just when they are about to be entwined, I will back away.
As the night wears on we should stop dancing. And in a haze fling our clothes around your bachelor sitting room. We should lie on the floor spent after bouts of spasms and climaxes. I should smile lightly and trail the outline of your lips with my slender fingers. You should purr and pin my hands down. And with your husky baritone voice call my name. I should marvel at your lush hair parted at the sides and gaze admiringly at your full beards- my eyes teary and light. I should bury my head in the crook of your shoulder. And after droning minutes, ask you about the other day; the other day when you chased me with your Raleigh bicycle at Barracks road. We should talk about the future; talk about how crazy the world will be at the dawn of the 21st century.
And the next morning, I should leave, clutching my black potty handbag with me. We should exchange post office addresses and promise to write to each other. You should escort me to the sea side at Oron and watch me board the M.V Obudu steam boat to Calabar. I should be at the Teachers Training College, Calabar, perched on a creaky wooden seat, smiling at those short memorable moments. I should bring out your black and white picture. Your almond shaped eyes and flannel trousers catching my fancy as you smile at the box camera, manned by a wiry lizard like photographer. Your face well sculpted into the two dimensional paper.
And my friend Affiong would tap me to come get my latest letter from the postmaster. I would skip out, running in my calico pleated gown to the administration block. My face lines of breaking laughter…But it never happened. We were born too late. Skipping stages in the portal of time to find ourselves in this ludicrous 21st century. I don’t know you either. I don’t know which part of the earth you could be. And me, I am now a lonely bachelorette, drowning in the cool seas of Sia’s splashy voice, splattering from my laptop speakers. I am lying on my sofa, my hands a pillow to my head. Thinking about my epiphanies. Ima mmi aba mo?
I think of you and I have not been able to get Last’s song out of my head. It still rings, the chorus an anthem when I shower. You know, bachelorette is still a spicy word. But there is still somethings I want to say. Somethings like the other day when…