ELEVEN YEARS AGO…
It was just one of those sweet, perfect and interesting Saturdays of December. It was in the evening, the breeze blowing slowly and the air on their cheeks felt like silk which made the two wish to stay out there forever.
He was just dressed in a turquoise blue shirt with a loose-fitting brown trouser. He had his sunshade on, his afro hair well combed and his beard, neatly shaved and made him look more handsome beside her. He was just taller than her with five inches which he had always used that to make jest of her. He would always tell her he wished his first son wouldn’t be as short as the beautiful lady beside him was.
He knew she was also tall, but it was an opportunity for him to always make her feel she was shorter than she really looked. He enjoyed troubling her like she always did to him also. She had never given him a breathing space, never had she. She had some facts that she did use to make him feel jealous too.
She felt she was better at making jest of him that himself. Yes, she was really good and she knew it. She did tell him that she wouldn’t like her first son to look at him too because he was hairy.
He didn’t really like that. He felt he inherited the hairy nature from his father who also inherited it from his own father. He had shaved severally and rubbed himself up with methylated spirit, hoping the hair wouldn’t spring up again but he was wrong.
Though she really liked him the way he was. She liked the fact that he was hairy, tall, smart, bright and handsome. She had always racked her brain if any other adjective would come up for her to describe him. She would just surmise that he was perfect.
On his own path, no other lady on earth was as beautiful as she was. He liked no other lady despite the fact that many liked him because of his good looks.
It was just some weeks left for the two to leave the Kingdom for their Youth Service Corps. Though, both had been in the serious relationship for more than a year, none of them knew the family members of the other, not even the house where either of them stayed. They were just from two different Kingdoms and destiny brought them together when they were in school.
As resolved by the two, they had thought they would visit each other’s families immediately after the Youth Service Corps so that he preparations for wedding would start immediately.
All thanks to goodness, they were posted in the same Kingdom to serve the Country.
“I just wish I can fly, I just wish I can fly to where every good thing is to bring you everything you need.” Nicholas said as he stroke his beard.
Vivian chuckled. “Honestly, I’m tired of you, Nicholas! Why do you like teasing me?”
“You’re tired of me? You know I’ve got friends, I can go back to Stella in school, if not for the course she took, I think we should be serving the Country together so that I can flow with her well.” He pulled out his tounge.
“You mean if she wasn’t studying… what did you even call her course? Medicine, right?”
“Me I don’t know oh.” He laughed.
Vivian smacked him. “Naughty boy.”
“How many times on earth have I told you that you should not call me a boy again? You know I’m a grown up man that will leave the bachelorhood soon.” He chortled.
Vivian laughed. “See the guy! I know what’s making you happy, Nicholas. I know it’s because we were posted to the same Kingdom.”
“Look at her, a black girl blushing! As if she’s not excited too. I can feel your great ecstasy as I’m seated.”
The two laughed again. “You this boy!”
“You will never work on it!”
“That’s your slang- you will never work on it! But you will never change your ways too.” She pulled out her tounge.
“I repeat, you will never work on it! I just hope my first son won’t look like you.”
“But wait, what’s usually wrong with you and this mentality of a son? What if God looks at you and gives you a girl as the first child?”
Nicholas laughed. “You will never work on it! I know who I’m serving and whatever I ask shall be given to me, you understand?”
“Ooh.. Pastor Nicholas.” She chuckled.
“You better start begging me because I can decide that all my four children should be boys.”
Vivian laughed. “You shouldn’t make yourself happy, Nicholas! We have 2:2 on ground.”
He looked at he and smiled. “Why do you like coming to the beach?” He asked her.
“Because you are around me, because you do come here, because you’re mine.”
“That’s the exact reason why I like coming here! When I feel I have to make someone special smile or make her feel too excited, I bring her here. I come here because of you too, in other words.”
“Mmn… maybe that’s true.”
“It’s the truth and nothing but it, Vivy.”
“Anyhow. That’s why I hate… sorry love you.” She grinned.
Nicholas laughed. “I have always known it! You never loved me once, why? You hate me, right?”
Vivian just kept laughing. She did it intentionally. “I love you now.” She grinned.
Nick shook his head and laughed. He drew her closer and rubbed her hair. “I love you more.”
** ** **
The memories went on as she sat down with Anthony. She looked even sadder than ever as she sat there, remembering all that always happened whenever she came to the beach with Nicholas. She really missed him that her mouth couldn’t tell how much.
She quickly wiped her tear because Anthony who had been looking around could turn to her side and see her crying. She hated bothering the young boy. “You like this place?” She asked.
Anthony looked at her. “Are you crying?” Even though she had wiped her tears, he smartly decoded that Vivian was crying.
Vivian didn’t know when tears rolled down her cheeks again. “I just miss your father, Anthony.” She said.
“I guess you and Dad do come here when he was alive, right?”
“Yes. That’s exactly why I have brought you here.”
“Okay, I have seen this place. Let’s go home.” He sprung to his feet.
Vivian hurtled a gaze at him. “Hope there’s no problem?”
“I don’t want you to start bringing past memories. If I knew this would happen from the start, I would have disagreed to our coming here.”
Vivian smiled faintly. “Alright, let’s just enjoy for some more minutes. I feel refreshed whenever I come here to take fresh air.”
“Enough of fresh or even fresher air that Binatone fan would blow at you when we get home.”
Vivian chuckled. “Just sit for a while, I promise not to cry again.” She said with a smile.
Anthony smiled faintly and sat down. “Mum, let’s take a walk.” He said.
“You’d like to take a tour round here?”
“Yes Mum and I’d love to swim too.”
“No! You can’t swim here. It is very dangerous for anyone to come here and swim. I hope you don’t want mummy to cry.”
“Sure, I won’t swim.” Anthony grinned and both stood up and started walking.
** ** **
The walk continued till they got to another seat and just passed on without looking at the two men on seat.
Nicholas rushed up. No! He didn’t see well! He had thought as he saw the figure with a kid that she was holding. “Vivian?” He muttered as he looked more closely. “No!” He shouted silently.
“What’s it?” Henry quickly asked.
“No… I’m not seeing the right person! I am not seeing…. No.” He said as he looked at her without blinking the eye. He started moving his feet too as he was becoming sure.
He was getting ecstatic and wished to control himself. He felt he had turned to a bomb that could explode that time. “She’s the one!” He exclaimed. This time Vivian had gone further with Anthony.
“No! That’s Vivi!” He faced Henry quickly.
“You don’t mean it, Nick.”
“Honestly, Henry!” He said walking on with him too. “She’s the one.” He couldn’t control his enthusiasm again, but he didn’t want her to see him likewise.
“Why are you now acting like this? Let’s rush and meet her, Nick!”
“No! She’s… the… she’s the one!” He stuttered with tears running down his cheeks. “No! Vivian..!” He exclaimed but Vivian had gone far with Anthony.
“Are you sure she’s the one?” Henry asked again.
“I repeat, Henry! That’s Vivian!” He began to cry. “Please go after her and start tracing her moves, Henry.”
“Why can’t you let’s go? It’s over ten years, Nicholas! You’ve seen who you have been looking for, why are you acting like… I don’t even know.”
“Just rush after her… just go.. follow her! Trail her.. Please Henry..” he begged as he just sat down on the fine sand and Henry rushed on to start following Vivian.
“I can’t let her see me now..” he kept saying as he cried and kept rolling in sand. His enthusiasm hadn’t gone down. He wished to see her and hold her. “Is this even a dream? No! Vivian? Vivy? Is that.. wait.. wait! Vivian now.. that was Vivian… wait..” he kept talking to himself as he whisked up. “No! You must see me oh!” He said and started running but he felt a force pulled him down again.
“No! Why! I can’t let her see me now..! No! Viv! I can’t let her see me because I’m The Unknown! I can die anytime! I can’t leave you with a shattered heart for the second time, Vivian. I really wish to see you! But, if I die, I’ll leave you in another season of unhappiness! Vivian! You’re holding a boy, is that your child? Are you married now? You have even given birth to him? No! Viv! Please… no!” He kept on crying.
He kept rolling in the floor, on the same spot. He cried his eyes out because he couldn’t approach what he had been looking for for ten years now. He felt his world was crashing now. He wasn’t sure if he would live to the end of this game as The Unknown.
He had thought of possibilities. What if she was still single and the little boy was just a friend’s child or even a brother or a cousin? Then, she never fell in love with any other guy and she still loved him deeply. If he showed himself and eventually was killed as The Unknown, caught by the evil men?
He didn’t like the fact that he lost contact with her for ten years and would meet her within some months if she was still single and would die soon again. That would be more painful! He had surmised as he kept on crying. He didn’t even know how he’d control himself. He wanted to show himself but he was afraid of death because he loved her so much.
“Vivian!” He bawled.
** ** **
Nicholas walked to his car slowly. He felt helpless and completely void. Henry had just called him to come over to his vehicle so they could both follow Vivian as she was about to take a cab home.
The two hopped inside the car. Nicholas never paid attention, he just knelt on the seat and kept looking outside via the back windscreen. He couldn’t stop his tears. He was very sure that was Vivian. He couldn’t stop asking himself questions if she was married already.
“Nicholas, sit down.” Henry tapped him.
“Henry, leave me!” He shouted at him.
Henry just left him and placed his hands on the steering.
“It’s over fifteen minutes she’s been there in need of a taxi that’d take her home. This looks like a taxi too, though. I’ll get down then you are going to act like a driver that will take them home. Know the house well because we will stilll go there together tonight.”
“Nicholas, why don’t you want to see her now? You are crying and you really need to see her!”
“I’m The Unknown. What if I die whie running around to get the evil men? Will I now leave her for the second time with a new wound that can never get dried up? Henry, please don’t tell her about me!”
“Alright, I have heard. But, how much do I collect from her as a taxi driver?”
“Are you sick? You will collect what?!” He got down from the car and fast-tracked away to a place where he could see her well but she wouldn’t sight him.
He found one and kept staring until Henry came around as planned, the new taxi driver.
Vivian and Anthony hopped inside the vehicle. Immediately she entered, she noticed something.
** ** **