You swear you have lost the ability to be ruffled or flustered by any guy. At least, any guy other than Obinna. Because Obinna has been and done so much the last few months, he has stolen your heart completely and there is nothing else that could possibly move you.
So you can’t understand what is going on now. There is no logical explanation for it. Or maybe there is and you’re just unwilling to accept it.
It started 8 months ago when you had to face off with this tall glass of dark chocolate goodness in a mock trial competition. You were good. But he was better and so he won. His arguments were convincing but even more so, the arrogant confidence he exuded as he rebutted all your submissions. It was frustrating but it was an important lesson for you in litigation. Get the work done, when in doubt, bullshit your way through.
When the competition ended that night, you went out for drinks with everyone on the team and he came over to introduce himself properly and make small talk. You were still smarting from the loss so you did not indulge him much.
You did not see or hear from him again for many months after that and you all but forgot about him. Because of course, Obinna came along and everything changed. The last 8 months of your life have pretty much been all about learning Obinna but it appears there is another lesson you are about to learn.
Six weeks after you returned from the summer, you and Obinna had your first big fight. He was back to Spain, running a really intense MBA, you were drowning in loads of school work and writing gigs and communication gradually waned between you two.
Tall Glass of Dark Chocolate Goodness resurfaced again in the build-up to yet another mock trial competition. Only this time, he was the coach and not the competition. He was extremely resourceful and helpful and at the end of the competition, you emerged victorious. You were so ecstatic, you offered to buy him drinks. He agreed but it had to be another night because he had some work to do.
You had spent a full week in his company, your evening meetings consistent like the rising and setting of the sun. You both shared a lot of random, slightly impersonal information when taking breaks during the training but it had meant nothing to you. So when you went to have drinks two nights later, you did not understand why you had been careful in picking out what to wear. Or why your heart fluttered when you spotted him seating in a corner with a smile as radiant as the sun.
You drank a lot and talked a lot more, laughing as though there was no war or hunger or poverty anywhere in the world and making silly faces at each other through the night. You talked about everything. You shared information about yourself only your best friends were privy to. In return, he told you everything about himself. He told you about fleeing his country of birth somewhere in Central Africa when the war broke out, the rigours of being a refugee as a kid and what it meant being a third culture kid having been raised in different continents before finally settling in Europe.
His personality gradually began to make sense. The cockiness was a shield, a defence from the idea that he did not belong or was unworthy of anything. He had worked really hard to build the person he was and he would not let anyone shake him down. Maybe that was the moment everything changed for you. Because you instantly became protective. You wanted to hug him and say you were sorry for the hard times he had dealt with. You wanted to assure him that no one would ever make him feel like he didn’t belong. You wanted to assure him that his identity was valid. That he could be anything he wanted. Black, British or a fine mix of both.
The night came to an end and he walked you home with you singing and skipping along the way. He called you a happy drunk but you swore you weren’t even tipsy. He hugged you at your doorstep and thanked you for listening. He said it was the first time he had ever spoken about himself in such detail with anyone. It made you feel special and even more responsible. You wanted to protect him fiercely. You smiled as he walked away after saying “I’ll see you around” and you walked up the stairs into your house and into your bedroom.
You took out your phone which had been silenced and unchecked in the last 4 hours and your heart did a double take when you saw the number of missed calls and texts from Obinna. He had called you everywhere; Whatsapp, Facetime, Skype and your mobile. Same thing with the messages. They were everywhere.
The problem with communication waning between Obinna and yourself was, he was no longer up to date with all your activities. So when you called him back, it was difficult explaining where you had been and with whom.
You started out by apologising because he had been worried when he didn’t hear from you. And because you have an honesty policy between you two, you told him you had been out drinking with a friend. He didn’t know this friend and it was hard convincing him that there was nothing out of the ordinary going on. You became defensive when he wouldn’t stop questioning and he got upset because by being defensive, you had convinced him that you were hiding something.
You went to bed angry at each other- a first for you two. The following day, you refused to text him first. You convinced yourself he had been in the wrong and should reach out first. How dare he make such accusations? Whose fault was it if he didn’t know all you had been up to and all the new friends you had made? If he didn’t trust you, then why was he with you in the first place?
He did not contact you all day either and you were miserable. On the morning of the next day, you swallowed your pride and called him. You would not apologise and neither would he. He just said he did not feel comfortable about your new friend and wanted you to not hang out with him anymore. He asked if you told him you were in a relationship and you said no because it never came up. He got upset again and reiterated that he did not want you around this person anymore. You insisted there was nothing going on and didn’t see why you could not be friends with a guy who had not done anything untoward. He said he had classes and got off the phone before you had a chance to protest.
It took you both a few days to work out your issues. Mercifully, you didn’t see Mr. Tall Dark Glass of Chocolate Goodness in that period so all was well. The fight with Obinna was resolved only when you both apologized and promised to communicate better and tell each other everything like had been the case before.
And tonight, two days after you settled your fight, you are having dinner with some classmates at a Pub when he walks in. You were just getting up from your seat to use the bathroom when you literally bumped into him. Your heart did a back flip and he smiled at you, his eyes darkening in an affectionate manner as his arms steadied you and kept you from falling.
“Hey you! You alright there?” He asks.
But you find that you are having trouble breathing and even speaking. You nod and he grins and lets you go.
“I was going to message you and ask if you’d like to see a movie and have dinner afterwards sometime this weekend.”
You nod again and try to construct a reasonable statement in your head but all you can come up with is “Sure.”
“Great! I’ll message you with details.”
He smiles and walks away. You walk to the bathroom and hold the sink firmly, trying to calm your racing heart. And as you look at the shaken image reflected in the mirror before you, you ask yourself what the hell is going on, and why his appearance has you all ruffled and flustered.
When you leave the bathroom a few minutes later, you are calmer on the outside but have no answers to your questions still. An hour later, on your way home, you suddenly find yourself repeatedly muttering “Obinna is enough” like one trying to cast a spell.
You really can’t understand what is going on now. The only logical explanation is that you feel an intense attraction to this man but admitting that to yourself is incredibly hard and feels really stupid. Regardless, you’ll be damned if you let it go further than it already has. So you make up your mind. No dinner. No movies. No further contact if you can help it.
But the question is whether or not to tell Obinna about it. Even more importantly, how do you stop your heart from doing a backflip anytime Tall Glass of Dark Chocolate Goodness walks by?