Diary Of A Shy College Kid – Episode 2
(Short-Lived Relationship with Debby)
Debby and I became pretty close after the book incidence- in fact, a little too close, too fast. I remember one incidence I had to write a letter concerning my accommodation processing, and she wouldn’t let me concentrate. I had to run off to an empty class to hide from her, but she found me. She was a very playful girl, and always happy and smiley. I remember her finding me, and almost falling off as she ran on the benches to get to me. I begged her to let me finish the letter, and she left reluctantly. I was with Ladi when she came over, and he asked what magic I had used to get the girl. I just smiled and continued with what I was writing.
Ladi was the one of coolest kids in our class when it came to dressing. At the time, Timberland boots were in vogue, and he had different colours of them- coffee colour, butters, paprika, ash, blue- I would say he had all the colours of the rainbow. He was another one of my friends, but he stayed for just a few weeks, before relocating to America.
After I completed the letter and submitted it, Ladi and I went off to a place called DLI, Distance Learning Institute. At the time, we had most of our elective courses there and we were meant to have a course there that afternoon. I remember walking into the place, and having to stop to tie my shoe laces. Ladi walked on, and when Debby saw him, she asked where I was. He lied to her that I was not coming, and she instantly became sad. He went on to ask her if she liked me, and she said yes. Then I popped up, and she looked away embarrassed.
The lecturer ended up not coming, so we spent the whole period by the lecture hall staircase talking. It was me, my posse of friends, and Debby with some of the girls in our department. Debby was close to all my other friends, so sometimes she would off talking to one of them. It was one of those times. I was by myself, leaning on the wall when I saw a girl moving toward me, backwards. She bumped into me, and I had to hold her to stop her from falling. If someone had taken a picture of us right there it would have looked like we were a couple. It was weird to me when she told me it wasn’t accidental, and that she knew I was there. Her name was Taiwo, and she was a light skinned beauty. She was more beautiful than Debby, but I was too in love with Debby to have even noticed her back then. What shocked me was why she was flirting with me right there with Debby just a few inches away. Maybe she didn’t know I was seeing Debby. Maybe everyone thought Debby and I were just friends, I thought to myself. Taiwo and I started a conversation. She was really nice to talk to; A very intelligent girl with an angelic smile.
After a while, we all decided to walk back to class, and while strolling, I started thinking of Taiwo. Of course I was in love with Debby, but when Taiwo bumped into me earlier, I felt something; something sexual. The dirty side of me had been awoken. I started having dirty thoughts. I was still lost in thought when I heard, “Hi.” It was Toyin, Debby’s best friend. We started talking about class work, and before long she asked me why I hadn’t asked Debby out. I was a novice to the whole dating game and didn’t know I was meant to ask Debby out. I thought we were just meant to let things flow as long as there was attraction between both of us. But Toyin said I had to ask her out. I looked at Debby up ahead laughing with my friends and my heart started beating fast. It was like I had been given a Jamb question to solve.
Before I could quiz Toyin on the best way to go about it, she had disappeared. A while later, Debby came to my side and asked where I had been. I just smiled. She kept asking what was wrong as we headed to class. She knew something was off with me, but I couldn’t tell her. I was going to be twenty a few months, but so immature when it came to the matters concerning the opposite sex.
My mind was racing. I wondered, did Debby ask her friend to come and talk to me? Or did Toyin act on her on volition? I couldn’t tell. I also didn’t know how to go about asking Debby out. I should have waited to talk to my friends first, but I just went ahead to make the dumbest move of my whole four-year school life.
So this was how the conversation went…
Debby- “Kunle, tell me what’s wrong.”
Me- “Nothing. Nothing is wrong.”
Debby- “Are you sure? You are too quiet.”
I was silent for a while, and then I said, “Umm. Toyin said I should tell you how I feel about you.” She looked at me, confused. I went on to say, “Toyin said I should ask you out. Sorry…I…umm. I want to ask you out. Sorry…I mean- will you be my girlfriend?”
The look on her face was that of disappointment mixed with disgust. It was like I had gone from being her Superman to being Clark Kent. She didn’t say anything, and I couldn’t think of anything else to say after the bollocks I had just blurted out, so we both stayed quiet the remainder of the walk back to class.
When I told my friends about the whole thing, they laughed their butts off. None of them could believe how immature I really was to have handled the situation the way I did. It was a Friday, and that weekend turned out to be one the most depressing weekends ever. I just kept thinking of how I could have handled the situation, and what I really should have said. It was 2002 and very few people had mobile phones so there was no way I could call to talk to her. I had to wait till Monday to see her.
When we saw on Monday, everything had changed. Debby who used to be very playful around me, was now acting stiff while with me. We sat down together for the first class, and my mind couldn’t comprehend anything the lecturer was saying. I just wanted to make things go back to how they used to be, and then I made my second biggest mistake. I told her I wanted her to forget what I said on Friday and that I would like us to go back to being just friends. She nudged me with her shoulder, trying to get me to stop talking but I had already let out another round of bollocks. The thing was, she had already accepted the fact that I messed up the process of asking her out and was ready to live with that because she really did want me to ask her out. But now, I was trying to backtrack, and make it seem like I didn’t like her enough to ask her out in the first place.
I was just too clumsy and immature at the time, and I started irritating everyone with my Debby matter. And then Debby herself got tired of my awkwardness. At some point, I knew there was nothing I could do to salvage the relationship, so I pulled back. I would just greet her, but never try to initiate conversation. I also stopped sitting on the second row in class, which was where Debby and I used to sit. I moved all the way to the last row. What made my matter worse was that Debby was still close to all my friends, and it would burn me deep down in my soul when I saw her talking and laughing with any of my friends. I would spend time talking to Taiwo, the light skin beauty to make Debby jealous, but it seemed she didn’t even notice me at all. After a while, Taiwo and my friend, Ladi became an item, and I was kicked out of that picture too.
I hardly sat with my friends during lectures because I didn’t want things to get awkward as Debby was always somewhere in the mix. I became a backbencher, and stopped paying attention in class. One day, a lecturer came in and asked every one to stand up for some reasons I can’t remember. After saying something to the class, he asked us to seat, and then asked us to stand again. When we finally sat for lectures, the slim girl beside me said something about this reminding her of her church. I asked her why, she said she attended an Anglican church, and that they stand up, and seat at short intervals for short prayers, and short sermons. I said that was what happened at my church too. When I asked for the name of her church, we found out we talking about the same church. It was a very big church, but I still marveled at how we didn’t know each other.
That’s how I met and became friends with Desola- a slim, pretty girl that one of my friends would end up falling head over heels in love with.
To be continued