Do not fall in love with people like me. I will write your pain so good you’d forget where to hurt.
–Jean Claude Malanda–
BY: Teresa Aseka
We have been going out for two weeks now. By going out I mean several things, sharing meals, talking and mostly, as is expected, bumping bits, morning, noon and night. Two lost souls connected by an insane love for the beauty of the written word and the uncanny ability to seduce words. He, a successful writer and I, a struggling one. He sells words while I half-sell them or rather give them out in the hope of getting a shilling or two. His modesty is enduring in the face of all his success. The events, the trending on twitter, the awards, the endless features and what have you. He jokingly calls himself a pauper with nothing to his name other than his name.
Last night, he spent all twelve hours of darkness sulking and brooding. I let him be on such nights. The morning after, he gently turns me around and says he was willing his characters to live. Julia, the prostitute in his new book, found Jesus and became a prude. She is hollow, a shell of her former self, having lost her essence. His ex-girlfriend, the one with gorgeous tits and photographic bits, showed up in yet another article. She refuses to leave his thoughts and in consequential measure, his ink and paper.
I tell him a muffled ‘’I love you’’ on my way to the bathroom. It is muffled for the simple reason that two weeks is too soon. Such unprecedented declarations have the power to shock the strongest of writers to damning creative ruts. I myself are a victim. I have fallen victim to the gods of writers’ block. I have been humbled in the act of love and thus cannot form coherent thoughts worthy of writing. I am a sad writer. Happy thoughts take me from my beautiful world of creativity. My thoughts are punctuated with engagement rings, baby cradles and picket fences. It is too soon, I know. A girl can dream. He does not say ‘‘I love you’’ back. He is a seasoned writer and thus the three words are sounds too familiar to his ears, eyes and fingers.
We sit at the dining table in ominous silence. He drinks his milk from the carton. He likes taking things from the source and insists that it saves time, resources and energy. I ignore the sexual subtext. He gets up and walks towards his bookshelf. Titles like Chimamanda, Wole Soyinka and Elechi Amadi fill his shelf. He does not read white literature. He regards it as neo-colonialism and a lot of mills and boon hogwash. He lingers over the books. He tactfully hesitates over Purple Hibiscus and instead goes for The Concubine. He goes back to his seat and writes something down. I think he needs tips to rekindle the fire in Julia.
‘’Now that Julia has found Jesus, who takes over her customers? Who finishes off her men? Will they die of blue-balls?’’ I ask him. He first gives me the casual glance and then the double take. I am not helping, obviously. I suppress a giggle but it comes out as a snort. He looks up again and says, ’’Julia will pay for your dowry, woman. This book will rake in millions. But sure, by all means, onwards with the jokes!’’ I smile at that hint at a future. Things can only get better.
Tonight we have an event. Obviously, we will go late, having sated our sexual needs. We are still at the honeymoon stage, exploring each other’s bits as the days go by. He asks me to get on my knees so that he can take me from behind. I shy away, an indication and extension of my nascent virginity. I oblige after he says we are getting late. He cums in eleven minutes, after pounding and pounding. My back aches but we have to go. We cannot keep the bloggers and their pretentious bow-ties waiting. Not when they have Twitter and Instagram to go home to.
I catch a glimpse of his laptop screen on our way out. His blog template is on the screen. The heading of his new post is,’’ The woman with my fire’’. I smile. That can only be me. As we head to the event, fingers intertwined, I can’t help but wonder what he is going to write about me. I smile again.
Dating a writer is a guarantee of immortality. Generations to come will read about us. They may not remember our love story but they will definitely read about us and get to know our story. I hope I like what he writes. I hope it speaks hope for our future. A tweet by him blinks on my phone. It reads, I LOVE YOU TOO. His ‘’I LOVE YOU’’ is not muffled. He is overcompensating. It is loud and bold. It is in caps lock. I smile again. Loving a writer is a trip to the highest highs and lowest lows. It is fodder for conflict with oneself. It is a huge anxiety ball threatening to hit you in the head. It is a rollercoaster that comes down and goes up unexpectedly.