Midnight Marathon – A Gift To All-Story Lovers

“I saw my crush today, she was drop-dead gorgeous. The moment I walked into the chemistry lab I saw her chatting with a group of girls, but I tell you she’s the most adorable. I couldn’t have been any luckier, could I?”

*Oh my gush! This guy ain’t even listening*

“Mike!”

“Yes”

“I don’t want to think I’ve been talking to myself all the while”

“What? You? Emmm…I mean, I’ve been listening, but the moment I heard the word ‘crush’ I quickly stuffed my ears with an earpiece. Aarhh…Kenny, you’re too obsessed with this girl.” Mike says in a mockery.

“Oh really, now? I hoped you were a fan” I sadly asked.

“Not until I knew that girl has gotten the best of you, my friend. You’re nearly losing nuts over her, Ken” Mike says sternly without darting an eyelid.

“You are supposed to be my best friend, Mike” I fire back with a death glare.

“Oh please! It’s all for your good”

I ignore him and continue walking toward the lecture hall. Once we are inside, the lecturer enters and quickly begins her lecture. Mike keeps turning his head to look at my sad face but he wouldn’t even say sorry for speaking ill of my crush.

*I feel betrayed*

“Hey!”

I hear him say to me, but I refuse to answer. Now I focus my full attention on the lecturer, not like I can understand any of the boring theories she is stating anyway.

“Remember the party tonight?”

*Bingo! He thinks his tricks can work this time*

“There’ll be lots of girls attending. You know how topnotch Franks parties could be.”

I roll my eyes at him with smokes literarily coming out of my ears and nose.

“I’m not talking to you”

*Ewww…but you just did*
My mind tells me

“I am thinking of asking Jimmy to call your crush over. I heard she’s his cousin, or don’t you want to get an opportunity to profess to your CRUSH?”

Mike adds sharply stressing the word ‘crush’ and turns away.

“What? Dude! You gotta be kidding me right?”

I blurt out, warm smiles beginning to wrap their tickling fingers around me.

“Mike, are you serious?” I questioned silently, curiosity apparent in my face.

“Tell me, what are friends for?”

He says grinning from ear to ear.

“That’s so thoughtful of you…now you’re forgiven.”

I smile back happily. Then we turn to face the lecturer to pick up from where we left off.

Most times, the cosmos has a funny way of turning what would have been the best moments of our lives into our worst nightmares. I would most frankly say I’ve been pathetically impatient since today. I had gone to withdraw my last cash from the bank immediately after school for the party tonight. Specifically to give my crush a good impression. Thank goodness I’m not a nerd, so I won’t worry about giving her the good vibes because I heard girls don’t like nerds.

*You heard? From whom?*

*Mike of course…dorrrh!*

*no wonder you’re always clueless, you’ve got the wrong advisor*

*What? You shut up!*

I try to push my thoughts to the back of my mind. Such a disturbing busy body!

We have just one hour before the party and Mike has been busy trying to talk me out of wearing my new pair of black jeans trouser which we bought in preparation for the youth Sunday in church. But I wouldn’t listen because I’ve sworn to look my best for my crush.

Before we could leave the door and hit the street, it began to rain drastically.

“Oh, God! Why now?” I lament bitterly.

*this could be a sign*

My mind tells me but I try to ignore it.

“Let’s wait a little while for the rain to reduce its frequency, or better still stop” Mike suggests.

“Wait shall we then.”

How we finally made it to the party is a story for another day. Right now I’m at the party tirelessly searching for my crush.

*could it be that you were tricked by Mike?*

*Hell no!*

I secretly begin my search again for the one-hundredth time but still no show. Then I heard that tricker’s voice.

“Searching for her?” Mike asks in between laughs.

“Mmh…Who?” I pretend like I don’t know what he’s talking about.

“Well, you know I don’t go back on my words. There she is.” He says pointing at a corner in the room.

*this is a dream come through*

“Go shoot your shot, dude. This is your chance” Mike tries to cheer me up

“Yes yes!!” I get up and head to the corner.

*Don’t speak French to her, she only understands English and Igbo*

*wtf! Just let me do my thing, poke nose!*

Once I’m at the table I smile while standing over her face.

*idiot! Say something*

*shut up you stalker*

“Hi”
I say with a shaking voice.
“Hi”
She answers back.

*nice one champ*

I applaud myself in the back of my mind.

“Emmm…can I share your table?”

I ask praying seriously in my mind for her to say yes. And the word came out just in time.

“Sure, why not?”

“Okay, thanks”

I give myself a pat on the back of my mind.

*go man you’re doing well*

As much as I could I tried to initiate various topics to keep us busy while I fight within myself for a better way to make my confession. Occasionally, Mike would throw gazes at me, urging me to hit the nail on the head. And then I decided to give it a shot.

*hey Clara, your beauty is so mesmerizing. I think I’ve fallen in love with you*

*oh no! That’s too straightforward. Plus, you sound like a nerd*

*whatever!*

*try being more real*

*hmm! Okay…let’s do this*

“Hey, Clara”

“Yes”

“I..I……….I’ve been meaning to tell you something”

“Oh really? What could that been”

At that moment I became dumbstruck. I couldn’t put my words together anymore.

“I…I..I…I’m…I mean, I’m…….”

_oh boy! You’re a disgrace to manhood_

*kick me out of the men’s world, I wanna become a Lady*

*in your wildest dream, you rot here*

“C’mon Kenny, feel free to talk to me, I won’t eat you.”

*did she just give me the green light? Now I see the hope at the end of the tunnel*

“Clara, from the first time I saw you in GS101 class in our first year in school, I couldn’t take my eyes off you. Since then, I’ve been in love with you, Clara.

Bang!

bang!

bang!

“What was that?” I almost jump out of my skin. I ask in terror, forgetting the ongoing confession.

“They’re heading into the hall, run for your lives” someone screams from the front door.

*Jesus! Is this how I’m going to die?*

I get up and run towards the back door following a large number of people. And of course, leaving Clara behind struggling with her heels.

“Wait for me, Kenny. I haven’t even given you my response”

“Tell me after we survive this night”

Rushing out of the door, I could hear her shouting.

“Kenny, wait up”

*(OYO) on your own*

Once I was out of the door I furiously started searching for Mike my best friend but he was nowhere to be found so I took to my heels. At least I know my way around town.

*Jegede of areas!*

I ran through different shortcuts and occasionally my legs would sink into deep brown waters and ruin my canvas and new pair of jeans.

*seriously? Your life should be your priority right now, mister*

*exactly! This is one of the most real things you’ve ever said, dear mind*

Darting into the next street I heard a heavy gunshot behind me. It was so loud that I knew the shooter was close by. As I turned behind to see what had happened, I saw her. My crush…lying helplessly in a pool of blood. The streets lights were on so I could see the bloodstain on her yellow tank top. I stood transfixed, tears rolling down my cheeks. I didn’t even get to hear her answer.

*but you left her behind*

*yeah! I was a selfish fool*

*well, yeah…but if you didn’t you’d be both dead rights now*

*God save my soul, I can’t die now*

“I’m sorry, Clara. Someone has got to live and tell the story”

*RIP, dear crush*

I retraced my steps and surveyed the environment before continuing my escape.

It was a long night. The scariest I had ever witnessed. The image of Clara kept appearing in my mind as I ran.

*my Clara, my darling crush, would there ever be another?*

*if I end up dying, I will be glad to get another chance to ask you over again and if God is merciful, I’ll hear your answer*

*tomorrow is not assured, the night is tasty for blood*

*not my blood! Tomorrow awaits my return*

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