I started NOSTALGIA a couple of weeks ago. I hope you stick around to read it to the end. In case you missed the first part, read it here. https://praiseajewole.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/nostalgia/
I hailed a cab and sank into the seat. I still couldn’t believe what had just happened.
I called my family to let them know I had arrived safely. I called my teacher, Mr. Hall, and informed him of my arrival. I would spend the day with my best friend who was in Australia for a business trip. I checked into the hotel and took a much needed nap. The past one hour might as well have been a dream.
I was awakened by a call on my phone. It was my friend Matthew. “Timmy, how you doin’? When did you arrive?” He asked
I glanced at my wristwatch. “About five hours ago. I should have called. I thought I did. I’m good. How are your meetings going?”
“Good. Well, wake up sleepyhead and let’s meet at Mariel’s Place. Its two streets down from the hotel. I should be there in half an hour.”
I freshened up and checked my email. Nothing new. Matthew and I had been friends since Junior High in Nigeria. Our school was a Federal Government School. On this day, our whole class was punished because the Class Captain’s money had been stolen. No one owned up to the crime so our teacher gave us three strokes of cane each. I wasn’t feeling too well that day. Matthew offered to take my strokes for me. Who does that? It’s rare, right? That’s the kind of person Matthew is. The teacher didn’t beat him the extra strokes. I guess he was surprised that Matthew would do that. But since then, Matthew became my best friend. He was different and confident at such a young age.
After High School, we went to different Universities. Matthew studied in London and basically settled there afterward. I studied in South West Nigeria. Distance didn’t mean a thing. Matthew is my friend turned brother. He would be returning in a couple of days so this was a good time to catch up.
The waitress has just placed a cup of water on my table and handed me the menu when Matthew came through the door.
“Timmy!” He exclaimed as I stood up and hugged him. “Man, it’s so good to see you.” We sat and the waitress returned to take our order.
“Yeah, been a couple of years right? We didn’t see last Christmas.” I said
“True. How your book coming along?” He asked
“Well, I should finish it as soon as I return back. I want to give this conference my full attention while I’m here. We started an online magazine last year and I’m the editor. We plan partnering with a couple of NGO’s. Maybe we could offer writing workshops to youths and be part of their publications.” I replied.
“Wow. That’s great. But I want to help push your book sales. I’m positive your book will make the best seller’s list.” He said with a grin.
I laughed. “Thanks bro. So how are you? How are your niece and nephew?”
“They are doing great. Kids in this generation are smart beyond their years.” He told a couple of hilarious stories about them which got us in fits of laughter.
“I met an old friend at the airport.” I told him. He raised a questioning brow.
“You remember Jumoke? I’ve mentioned her a couple of times”.
Matthew’s jaw dropped and he was silent for a while. “Tim, are you serious?”
“You think you mentioned her a couple of times? Timmy, you talked about her every single day for I can’t-remember-how-long. You said your families were cordial and you attended the same church. She had big black eyes and shiny black hair which was always in cornrows. She had an elder brother. Her laughter was infectious. Your family and hers had dinner on several occasions. She teased you about the way you couldn’t pronounce the letter ‘r’ and you called her brother ‘Wichard’ instead of ‘Richard’. You told me how she loves singing and…”
“Stop! I get the point.” I said. Matthew burst into laughter. “You don’t forget things, do you? It’s been over 15 years!” I exclaimed “Did I talk about her that much?”
“You tell me.” He replied with a sarcastic look. “So what was she doing at the airport?”
“She literally bumped into me. She was in a hurry to meet a client. She recognized me.”
Matthew stared at me. “What?” I asked.
“Go on. That’s it? You didn’t talk?”
“Not really. It was so sudden.” I explained how it went to Matthew. “Ok.” He said.
“Ok? What is ok?” I asked
“Tim, what are you expecting me to say? You ran into an old friend. What’s the big deal?”
To be continued…