I went over to Soso’s house in the evening. She had just bought the new BIOSHOCK Blu-Ray and I couldn’t wait to try it. I didn’t need to knock- I had my spare key from all those gameathons. I was sure Nonso and Ethel had theirs as well. When I let myself in, Soso was skipping frantically. Sweat dribbled down her arms and back as she counted. 435,436, 437, 438, 439…467, 468, 469.
I knelt in front of the console and popped the disc tray open. The cover wasn’t half as exciting as I’d Imagined- yet ANOTHER game based upon utopia-destroyed-by-the-discovery-of-a-super-power-that-turns-humans-into-genetically-altered-people. As if System Shock wasn’t bad enough!
599, 600, 601, 602 603
The opening sequence rolled by. Why can video games creators NOT avoid plane crashes? I was reading something on ohpeter’s blog when he was ranting about how he hates alien movies and he DID have a point- alien technology somehow always needs a human host and can automatically communicate in a human language and first destroys a significant building but at some point is willing to negotiate.
889, 890, 891, 892, 893, 894, 895
The opening sequence ended and the start screen came up. Sotonye’s phone rang with a clear soft male voice. It was Imagine Dragons’ “Demons”.
“Phone call” I called out.
She didn’t answer me. She kept counting.
942, 943, 944, 945, 946, 947, 948, 949.
I paused the game and picked the phone off the console stand. The call ended just as soon as I looked at the screen. I put it down and picked up the PS3 controller and the phone started ringing again. The callerID said “Chuks Clubsofit”.
987, 988, 989, 990, 991, 992, 993.
As I pondered in my heart what Chuks was calling Soso for, her phone vibrated in my hands. Text Message From Chuks Clubsofit.
999, 1000. Sotonye stopped the jogging and knotted the handles of the Skipping rope together. She went into her bathroom and I heard the sound of water splashing onto the sink. I was tempted to read the text. Curiousity burned like acid in the back of my brain. But if I opened the text, she would know I’d read it.
“soso you have a text” I yelled.
“Probably MTN asking me to download Mandela’s Last Breath. what does it say?” She yelled back.
“It was really awesome meeting you today. how would you like to have lunch with me tomorrow? You can pick the place”
Soso ran out of the bathroom, towel in hand. She stretched her hand expectantly for the phone. I hid it behind me as I tried to see if there were any other messages. I knew I had only a few seconds before she made the lunge. Soso the impatient. I saw there were no other messages from him so I handed it over to her.
Her eyes widened when she saw the sender. A slow smile started from the left corner of her mouth till it lit her face with that Soso-smile. I admit it, I was temporarily dazzled, so dazzled that I forgot what I was going to tease her with.
“Ekene…it’s Chuks!” she squealed
“Yeah I know” I smiled back.
“He just said it was awesome meeting me” she grinned even wider
“wait…when did he get your number?”
“when you were doing your lastman duties. He was just telling me that to lose weight I needed cardiovascular exercises rather than muscle-toning exercises. He said he would text me exercise tips. He told me to do 1000 jumps with the skipping ropes”
I had to wash everyone’s socks because I came last in the race back. All thanks to Soso’s ingenuity in pulling down my shorts just a few metres to the finish.
“perfect excuse to take your number”
“apparently” she laughed. She looked back at her phone and started typing.
“what are you doing, Soso?” I asked.
“I’m replying the message”
“and what are you going to say?”
“I’m going to say it was nice meeting him too and tell him I want to go to the Chinese Restaurant at Wuse 2”
“you will do no such thing”
“I said you’ll do no such thing.” I said with my best poker face. She had to get the seriousness of the matter. I snatched the phone from her.
“why, sir?” She asked, truly puzzled that I didn’t share in the moment.
“one, it’s too early. Make him wait for a few hours before you answer that text. and when you do, tell him you’re not free.
“but i AM free”
“let me explain this. You realise guys are hunters, right? They quickly lose interest in easy kills. Lions won’t hunt rats. They’ll chase deer for a while before killing them. NatGeoWild even says adrenaline makes the meat taste better”
“Nigga, you lost me there. What does Chuks have to do with Lions?”
“He likes you, Soso”
“No he doesn’t. He just wants to hang out”
“I’m a guy. I know he likes you. Call it manly intuition. But then YOU can know for sure if he really does.”
“Like I said, give him time. Place some obstacles in his path before he can get to you. If he comes after the inaccessible you, then we know he’s got some level of interest.”
“Mr. Professor…what if he loses that ‘interest’ before he gets to me?”
“THAT, my dear, is NOT the kind of guy you want in your life”.
Soso sighed and returned the towel to the bathroom. I picked up the controller again and pressed play. And soso’s phone started ringing again. It was still Chuks Clubsofit. She came back and asked for her phone. I paused the game and showed her the screen.
“why can’t I just pick the call? what if it’s something really important? or his life is in danger or something?”
“you can answer if you don’t want to be the hot, irresistible girl you asked me to make you”
“so what do I do now?“
“until I say the coast is clear“
“I hate you!”
“I love you too” I snickered.