Nigeria: Nature’s Romance

 

TRAVEL WRITE PICI always wondered when Frank told me that the sun kissed the earth. He kept at it though, chiding me for not knowing such a simple thing. I asked him, Is it the same type of kiss that people kiss? He laughed till he ended up coughing and his eyes almost jumped out of his head. Today I saw them kiss.

Frank’s parents and my parents were close since both our moms worked at Champees, the fashion house at Mayfair, while both our dads were Chelsea fans. Frank and I attended the university high school and had become fast friends. He had been to my house a couple of times but I had never been to his because it was far, at Opa. We lived on the university quarters.

When Frank had succeeded in piquing my curiosity enough about the sun and the earth kissing, I desired to see it for myself. He told me he couldn’t show me except I came over to his house. I thought it was only a ploy to get me to visit. I told him, I can’t come on my own you know. And your place is far. He only nodded and walked away musing aloud about how I would never get to see it. Nature’s romance, he called it.

‘Frank’, I had called him that day in the hallway as he walked away. He turned only slightly
‘I’d come’, I said.
He turned to face me
‘How?’
‘The Easter break is close. I’d find a way.’
And I did find a way.
‘That can only happen if your father agrees’, my mother said after much prodding
My father was watching Chelsea’s game when I asked him. His team was winning. He said yes, I could go.

Today Dad drove me to Frank’s place. Frank’s house was located beyond hairpins that held much traffic. I stared outside the window and noticed the whistling pines, mud houses with raffia roofing and cairns just in front of them, cement houses with rusted roofs, mango trees, lazy clusters of elephant grasses and rings of hills in the distance. It was a beautiful scenery. The air was clean too and as it slapped against my face I fell asleep.
It was Frank’s voice that woke me up. He was calling my name.

I sat up and looked around. My dad had just parked the car in their compound. Frank urged me to come out so I did. Then I looked around. The compound was chic. Large and idyll, not like ours that was small and neatly arranged with interlocking stones all through the length of it. This compound was almost bare, with only the sprawling blue house at one end, a shed and scrawny chickens sauntering about.
We ambled towards the main house.

‘So are you ready to see nature’s romance?’
I laughed, ‘Have your parents ever heard you saying that?’
‘Romance?’ He laughed. ‘When you see it you will know what I mean.’
The parlor was spacious and artsy with gleaming hardwood furniture and angular paintings. We greeted all around and Frank pulled me to the backyard and holding my hands, ran for a while before I stopped abruptly, already out of breath.
‘Sorry’ he said. ‘I just can’t wait. It’s almost time.’
‘For what?’
‘The kiss. Let’s be quick.’

When we got there, we both sat. It was a small clearing not far from his house littered with overgrown trees, pretty flowers and shrubs that hung from either side to form a triangle-like shape from which one could see mountains and dense forest below. It was like standing on a hilltop. They were beautiful but there was nothing spectacular about them. I soon slept off.

The constant tapping, more like slapping, of Frank caused me to jerk. He pointed to the small triangle formed by the leaves and then I saw it. It was aesthetic. It was sunset. Not just sunset, but sunset that had everything in it. Nothing hidden. The sun had come down completely to touch the hills leaving in its wake streaks of red, blue and yellow in the sky. The reflection of the resplendent sky caressed the spruce flowers and leaves and changed their colours, not leaving them out of the camaraderie. It was like their pigment had been foisted into submission to the beauty that danced in the sky. I was awed, my mouth agape as I stared at this wonder. It was indeed as though the sun and the earth were kissing. I could stay here forever. We watched till the sun finally retreated. I lay back on the ground and promised I would come there every day that Easter.

That was my best Easter ever. I saw what Frank meant, it indeed was Nature’s Romance.

About the Author: Adebayo Caleb is a student of Law at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria where he writes from and heads a team of writers known as the Creative Writers’ Niche . He writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry. He also loves travel writing and freelances for a number of National dailies. Read more on his blog, or find him at twitter: @lordkeldicon711

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