My Eyes Only

By Ebere Nnadi

March 2024

Thumbnail illustration by Carole Maillard

Thumbnail illustration by Carole Maillard

Public transit was never the deal for me, but I had no choice as Mutiu, my mechanic, promised to bring my car by Thursday – it had a little scratch which I hated to see. Here I was, sitting on a wooden stool in a Sienna vehicle. As usual, I was too ‘slow’ to rush in and get a better seat. The bus had all wreck of odor – from morning sweat to the smell of market women from the popular Mile 12 market. I was already tired, but it was one of those three days I have to show up at work, in a week. Invigorated by the strength of everyone, I prepared my nerve for the day. My eyes fell on a corps member dressed in his khaki uniform, probably in his early twenties. I didn’t mind, it was a fellow guy like me. Unfortunately, something caught my fancy. I don’t think I have ever peeped into somebody’s privacy before, not even my only sibling and younger sister, Ayotola. But here I was, spying on a grown man’s phone.

Just as he opened his phone, I saw his index finger tap on the Snapchat app. Immediately, my eyes nearly fell off their sockets and I felt numb. That mobile phone application reminded me of a particular history I chose to put behind me, for my sanity. But I think I should tell you this story. Don’t be surprised at what you will hear, I think you should pay attention to what you can probably learn from my experience.

All my life, I had wanted a woman like my mother. And when Adunni walked into my life, I felt joy creep stealthily into my life. Adunni was the perfect description of joy, happiness, and light – a God sent to my life. We met at Kowope’s shop, a mechanic good at his nuts and bolts. Mind you, I switched mechanics because of her. Adunni was young and rich, highly influential, and career-oriented. The very first moment I heard her mention car parts and their exact models, I was intrigued. What lady talks about cars like that?

“Did you study engineering or something related to engineering?” I found myself uttering, to my astonishment. Even Kowope the mechanic was shocked at my utterance. I hated talking to the mechanics, those artisans lie a lot. I always pay attention and avoid talking, so I do not fall prey to their lies and promises.

“Oh no! Kowope is our family mechanic. So, I got used to everything and my dad usually sends me here from time to time,” Adunni replied, with a cheerful chuckle.

We had a little conversation about my Toyota Muscle, and she knew almost everything about cars. And to my surprise again, I asked for her number.

“I hope we do not talk about cars only, Dayo”, Adunni mumbled, as she saved her contact on my phone. I gave a nod, affirmative, of what she wished. Trust me, I made sure I worked on that. We graduated from little chit-chats on WhatsApp, to calls and then long calls at midnight. There was a kind of fire that Adunni ignited in my heart, in my mind, and in my body entirely. The kind of fire that calls on the phone could not quench. It was the kind of fire that needed a relationship. Yes, I wanted a relationship with Adunni – one that would bring three or four kids and a large family portrait, with me as Daddy.

Things got better between us, and we eventually left WhatsApp for a lovey-dovey lifestyle on Snapchat. You see this right here, this lovey-dovey lifestyle was all I craved. I got early morning streaks, flight streaks, food streaks, work streaks, and even a password to her ‘my eyes only’ which was actually for just my eyes. I know right? It was a thrilling experience. Guess what, we still haven’t met since our first encounter at Kowope’s shop. Adunni advertising company’s launch was close at hand, and the least she could offer me was her presence on social media platforms. I gladly accepted a feeling which arose from the consciousness of a heart in the seventh heaven.

I would say things got over the moon between Adunni and me, leading to our first date – very much anticipated. She picked a location, which I must admit was a very classy and expensive one. And as usual, I was the son of Chief Olayiwola, and I would rather not be put to shame. So, I braced up for everything – the laughs, smiles, and of course, luxury.

Adunni stood up to hug me tightly, her flawless fingers clasping on my white flannel shirt.

“I thought you had plans to change your car, Dee”, That was the first thing Adunni said to me. “Quite a shame you still go around with that car, kinda”.

Oh yes, the surprise was finding its way to me. I simply waved the subject and proceeded to order food for us, which she already did. We had a good time, and trust me, everyone needs an Adunni in their lives at some point. It was time to pay for our meal and head to the beach to get a glimpse of a fantastic view.

“I will settle the bills, Dayo. You should save more money to cater for yourself since you’re still dependent on your father,” Adunni blurted. That was the shock of my life. I knew she was a career woman, who had made money for herself from scratch. But that was heartbreaking for me. She canceled our second date to the beach, she had an online meeting to attend on Teams. On a Sunday? And her last words to me physically were that I had no hustling spirit, compared to hers. Tada! I received heartbreak when I already thought I shared the same world with her.

“Bro, is everything okay?” The voice of the corps member beside me jolted me back to reality.

You can find more of Ebere’s work here