Kiss me, for I am dying to be kissed.

No, that’s not another movie title. At least none that I know. It’s just a statement of fact.

And that fact buzzed through my veins like an Irish-mug filled with Vodka as I gape at Naomi.

“What?” I croak. I am certain it’s a croak because I could barely hear myself.

“Yoghurt on the Short. It’s a refreshing cream coloured drink made from natural yoghurt and served with ice in a rock glass. It’s a fave for me. But I guess you won’t have it here.” Her smile seems to twinkle. Like with mischief.

“Oh.” I swallow and try to pick up my drooling tongue. Thank God, I am not literally drooling as I had feared. Had what she’d said earlier been that long? I shake my head to clear off the confusion-webs weaving through it. “No, we don’t have… em, that. But we do have soft drinks—sodas. And I think mum has a bowl of ice-cream too.”

“Soda will do. Orange sort, please.”

“Fanta, it will be then.” I incline my head as I withdraw.

In the kitchen, I blow out a long deep breath and stand immobile a second as I ponder on what just happened. Had I projected? Some of you think I did—too many unspeakables on my mind. But just so we’re clear, there’s only one thing on my mind. I mean, I have only one goal for 2016—lose my kiss-virginity. Sex is not on the agenda—not for now.

“Hey, if there’s no Fanta or any other orange drink, any soda you have will do.”

I sigh and roll my eyes at her call out. Girls, always impatient!

I walk to the counter, grab the cake dish, cut out a slice, toss it on a saucer and then pull out a bottle of Fanta from the refrigerator. Saucer, drink and glass neatly set on tray, I walk back into the living room.

“I’m sorry if I took so long, had a moment in my head, so got distracted.” Like I told you guys, I always say what I think— most of the time, at least.

“I’m a thinker too. I think the world sees us as day-dreamers.” She laughs. It is a soft, humming sound and it showed off her dimples. “Thanks for the cake. A bit much for me though. I’m on a permanent diet, you see.”

I don’t see why. I look her over. She is slim. Almost skinny. Her face is narrow, oblong-like. Her complexion is mahogany-brown—you know, sun-tanned fairness. Her mouth, top-dipped and fuller on the bottom. Nose, small and pointy at the tip. And her eyes, darkish, full-browed and full-lashed. She isn’t wearing much makeup; just a dash of brown gloss on the lips and her eyes lightly shadowed. She has a pixie look. I don’t mean elf-like with long ears and such, but she had this flighty, delicate look. She is pretty. More than pretty, if you don’t mind the skinny, long-faced sort.

I don’t. At least, I don’t think I do. I’m only looking for a girl to kiss me.

“Are you an artist?”

I stumble out of my perusal. “Ah… an artist? No. I’m not an artist. Why?”

“I thought that must be the excuse for your staring.” She lets out that soft laugh again. “No one ever told you it’s rude to stare?”

I smile at the teasing. “My mother must have done so but the lesson failed. I’m an unrepentant gawker.”

“You should be charged. And I am charging you. Sit and share this cake with me.”

Since it was red-velvet cake and a huge favourite of mine, I sit and take the cake she passes me. “So, which university did you attend in the UK?”

“University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow. Management science. And I am actually twenty-three—August 8. My mum said you just had your twenty-first birthday two days ago.”

Cougar. Did I want my first kisser to be older? I haven’t thought about that. I mean, I just set my 2016-goal two days ago. I may have to revisit that goal and set up a rule-book for it. But two years shouldn’t matter. It could mean experience. Experience counts, doesn’t it?

“Zonked-out on me?”

“What?” I blink and find she is grinning. I allow myself a grin, albeit half-embarrassed. “Sorry. I just have too much on my mind. Management Science sounds interesting. Business moguls and company executives. I was aiming for Political Science, but ended up with Sociology. Now, I’m a little caught with either going a step further for a Masters in Public Relations or picking up a Human Resources professional qualification.”

“I’d say Human Resources. But maybe Public Relations has more opportunities.” She pauses and takes a sip of her drink.

I wonder if her lips will cup over mine as they do the glass. I nudge aside the momentary thought and focus. Distraction is bad manners. Bad manners won’t earn me kisses.

“But you can work as an international aid worker or stuff like that. Sociology can be broad, you know. Study your chances before you take your next step.”

“Thank you.” How did we get into career counselling again? This is not the route to get kissed—if she is to be my kisser. “Ah, would you like to look around?” Not brilliant idea. Especially as all the houses on the Estate kind of look like. But it’s a change of subject and mood… and I want both changed.

“Yeah, I’d like that.” She wipes off her hands and stands up. “You know a lot of people don’t offer a house tour over here. I noticed while I was in Abuja with my cousins.”

“It’s not really a Nigerian culture thing, that’s why.” I lead her through the hallway door and make room-by-room introduction as we tour the three-bedroom flat.

Not much to see, so soon we are at my bedroom. “This is mine.” I gesture to the open door and wait. Ladies first, that’s the saying, no?

She gives me a smile and walks in. “Nice. Boringly mannish, but nice.”

I survey my full-carpeted, dark-hued furnished room and mildly wonder if it is the dark-brown drapes and sheets, plus dark oak shelf and black leather armchair that gives it its mannish look. Possibly. But I like it that way… so.

“You forgot to mention—watch TV.”

“Hmm?” I am puzzled. Have I missed something?

“Your list—read, eat and do the doo-doo. You forgot to add watch TV.” She points to the 21″ television pegged on the wall. “It’s obviously part of your daily to-do list.”

“Oh. Yes, my sassing-mum list. Biggest embarrassing moment of 2016, thus far.” I respond to her grin despite my secret flush of self-consciousness. “Didn’t know I had a girl in audience.”

“Lady.”

“Oh, sorry—lady.” Girls, they’re forever seeking fanciful names!

“So, this is your man-cave, huh?” She is standing beside my bed and eyeing the rumpled sheets with an amused expression.

“It is my world as I know it for now.” I debate between joining her or giving her room. Giving her room won, so I move to the armchair and lower my bum to its arm. “I resumed full-time habitation in November after my final exams in school. But all that will change again when I leave for NYSC.”

“That’s why I’m here.” She sits on the bed. Just on the edge of it. “I mean, here in Nigeria. Returned for my national service year. Thereafter, I’ll go back for my Masters.”

“Lucky you.”

“I don’t believe in luck. I believe in hard work and God’s blessings.”

I briefly consider that statement. Yes, luck is the mantra of lazy men. Hard work, on the other hand, is the principle of great achievers. Did I believe in luck? Will luck cause her to develop an interest in me and a desire to kiss me? And how do they even kiss again? It strikes me that I have not really practiced. Does one pucker their lips and just tilt forward their head? It should be tilted to the side though… I read it somewhere. Right side or the left?

“Are you pouting?”

“Hmm?” I blink.

“You have you lips pushed outward.” She is eyeing me curiously.

Seriously? I’d pushed out my lips? Dang! Dang! Dang!

“I don’t know what I was doing.” I confess. It is all I could think to say.

She laughs. “You’re funny.”

That is what girls say when they are starting to like a guy, right? You’re funny—it’s in the same league as I like you and possibly will like to kiss you, not so?

“Have you ever kissed anyone in here?”

The out-of-the-blue question knocks me out of my musing and once more, I find myself gawking. Did she just say the K-word? Or am I projecting again?

“Or have you done more than kiss here?” There is a wicked gleam in her eyes. “Is this where you sneak in unsuspecting females and have your way with them?”

“No, I am still waiting to be kissed.”

She gawks at me for a second and then roars out a rocking laughter.

I am embarrassed, gigantically so. Why do I always say everything that comes into my head for Holy Christ’s sake? Why do I keep forgetting that people laughed at man-virgins and made fun of them? Why do I never remember that no one believes I’ve never been kissed or have kissed anyone?

She laughed a full minute before reducing her mirth to soft chuckles. “Is that a line you use on the ladies—play the innocent?”

I stare into her dancing, wicked eyes and find myself nodding. If she is a member of the I-don’t-believe-you clan, why should I attempt an effort in futility to convince her otherwise? “You caught me. I should have known better than to try it on an older girl—lady.”

“You can’t blame a guy for trying.” She philosophize, still amused. “Does it work, though—charming the ladies by a claim of innocence?”

“Success rate—zero.” I rise to my feet. I don’t think I’ll be getting cougar-kissed. Not today, at least. “Let’s finish the tour?”

“Of course.” She rises and leads the way out of the room. But the wicked gleam remains in her eyes. I suppose she thinks I wanted to have my way with her. Females think like that. And most times, they’re right. Most dudes think with their—yonder-man.

I don’t. Just so you know.

Sex isn’t my goal and I am still confounded on how to meet my get-kissed goal.

She soon leaves, after getting my number and giving me hers. I return to my room and pull out my 2016-Emma-Journal—Cougars allowed—I scribble in. Then add a double-space—must still be in their twenties. A dude has got to have limits.

The week speeds by and though I got calls from Naomi, nothing significant happened.

So, I entered my journal week evaluation entry as—Nothing yet. First week of the year practically gone and I still haven’t been kissed.

I am not pleased but it is still just the first week, right, fellas? Many days ahead of me, so I can chill and…

My phone beeps, cutting off my rationalisation. I pick it up and tap open the BBM alert.

I have a girl for you.

Message is from my best buddy, Rodney. And if you know the meaning of Casanova and don’t know Rodney, then you don’t know the true meaning of Casanova.

 

P.S.

Kiss with caution. Herpes is real.

 

P.S. (from TM)

hey, you guys should try to be a part of other posts of this blog. Fancy stories are not the only ways to learn in life, ya know. Let’s be a family here, please. Thanks.

*New eBook: *OPERATION STOP THE WEDDING!*