Kiss me if you can.
It’s the title of a Ghanaian movie, I know. Not quite original since there is Catch me if you can from the Hollywood studios. But what the heck, I liked the sound of it and it stayed with me. It came back to mind now that I can’t stop thinking what it feels like to be kissed.
I mean what does it feel like to have another’s lips glued to yours? What sensation does it bring to have that other lips part yours and then slide in their tongue? And then—what happens next?
I want to be kissed. But I hate kissing.
But don’t blame me. Haven’t you heard of the many risks there is in kissing? I mean, you are trading saliva here—hello? And if you don’t care about having someone else slug in their saliva into your mouth, what about the fact that the mouth is full of bacteria? When two people kiss they exchange ten million and one billion bacteria.
I read that somewhere, so don’t give me the side-eye. My point is kissing is dangerous. You can get herpes through kissing, you know that? Just giving you a heads-up if you are a kiss-fanatic, that’s all.
Hmm. But fact is dangerous or not; scared shitless of that many bacteria or not; I want to be kissed. I want to feel the lips of another on mine. I want to savour the taste of those lips. Suckle them in, nibble at them, take a bite or two and then…
Darn it! That is my mum. The snag about daydreaming when you still live at home with your parents is that you get interrupted a lot. Like I mean, a whole lot. An even worse snag is to have attained your majority and still not have been kissed.
Imagine that, I am twenty-one—just turned twenty-one last year. Hey, last year was just barely two days ago, remember? Well, the last day of that last year—31st December—is my birthday. So, I’m twenty-one. And I am still a virgin and I’ve never been kissed. That is the fact. The goal? Get kissed.
Mum has no chill whatsoever. I’d better go answer her or she’d shout down the roof.
Now, is that even possible? To shout down a roof? Who first said it? And did they see someone literally shout down a roof before they originated that statement? Or is it like most clichés, no proper history?
“EMMA, WILL YOU GET OUT OF THAT ROOM?”
I’d better, or I might earn myself a smack on the cheek. Embarrassing isn’t it, to still get smacked on the cheek when you are already an adult? But that is the story of my life. My mother fails to recognise I am now a full-fledged adult. A burden, really.
I heave off my bed, drag on my tank top and then stroll out of the room.
“Were you going deaf before?” Mum asks the second I step through the door.
“I was napping and didn’t hear you.”
That is not a lie, in-case you are wondering. When one is daydreaming, one is half-asleep. You can thank me for that little lesson.
“That is all you do, nap, nap, nap.” Mum switches to her favourite duty—nag.
“I also read, eat and do the doo-doo.” I brazenly quip.
A chuckle from the other end of the living room sent a shock wave through me as I whirl around. I wasn’t aware there is anyone else in the room. The apology that is forming inside my head for my negligence in manners freezes as I stare at her.
She is a vision in red. And no, I’m not talking about Chris De Burgh’s lyrics. She doesn’t have a red dress on. But her hair has spiky red strands shooting through her weave. It is a short hairstyle; one of those styles Rihanna wore in her sane days and it suited her narrow, long brown-skinned face.
My first thought? Will she be the one to kiss me?
What? Did someone just wonder if I am gay? Like seriously? I can’t believe you guys. I am dude, fellas. I am a man. A man-virgin. Never heard of that? I thought Emma was a giveaway. But I guess with Emmanuella now shortened to Emma and pronounced oddly, I guess y’all got confused. Don’t be. Receive sense. I am Emma. A man. Twenty-one years old. A graduate of Sociology from the University of— one of the Nigerian Universities. I am tall, dark and— I can’t say if I’m handsome or not. Mum thinks so on her sweet-mood days, which is rare. Dad? He’s hardly ever around and so, I don’t quite know his thoughts concerning my physical appearance. And people just don’t give me compliments. I mean, I can walk the long length of our street three-times over and no one ever stops me and say, ‘hey Emma, you’re looking good today’.
Traumatic, isn’t it?
Back to pretty girl with a short, old-Rihanna hairstyle with spikes of red.
“Hello.” I say—actually stutter as I clear my throat.
A sudden heat has crawled all over me. Again, I silently thank God that I am not White and not an albino. Imagine the embarrassment of being caught a blushing man… crazy!
“Hi.” She says, her top-dipped, lower full lip mouth curved into a friendly smile.
Pretty lips. How would it feel against mine?
“She is the daughter of Mrs Ufiofio. She is about your age. Well, older by one year, I think. But that is still age-mates.” Mum chuckles as if that last bit amused her. “She just returned from the UK and looking out for friends in the neighbourhood. Her mother sent her over since you were home.”
God bless Mrs Ufiofio. For once her nosiness paid off. UK, huh? That explains the accent.
“You’re welcome. I’m Emma.” I let out a soft laugh. “Well, I guess you may already know that from my mum’s loud calls.”
“I thought you were sleeping and didn’t hear my calls?” Mum gives me a you-will-answer-for-that-later as she stands up. “I’m going out. I need to pick up some stuff from the store. You two have a nice time and be good.”
There is a subtle emphasis on be good but I don’t think red-strands girl caught it.
“Em, would you like a drink?” I make a gesture towards the kitchen door as I say this. “By the way, what is your name?”
You will find that I am a direct speaker. I say what I think and think what I say. Hmm, did that phrase mean anything?
She pronounced the Naomi with the a sounding (ei) not (ah).
“Naomi.” I follow her pronunciation. It sounded pretentious to me—but that is girls for you these days, no? “Anything I can get you?”
“Your lips. I want your lips.”
My mouth drop open and I think a spittle or two may have spilled out.
Now, don’t nobody hassle me about this being short. This is my diary… well, it’s not really a diary. I mean I am a man and everything… Let’s call it a Journal. This is my journal and I will write it as I please. It will come every Thursday. Hey, I am a busy man here, fellas! Every Thursday, right before six am. If it isn’t here before six am, blame TM. Late entries are her fault. This is an introduction. See you, Thursday.
Watch how you kiss. Bacteria, you know.