Morayo stepped to the podium to introduce the man of the night. Everyone that deemed it fit to attend the event came to hear him speak. It had taken Morayo months to convince him to honour the invitation. He wouldn’t just bulge. Jedidah media outfit, the company that Morayo worked for, had to send letters upon letters and several calls were made to him before he finally agreed to show up.

Bayonle Ajisafe was a renowned, but shy media personality. He was well known for the roles he played in films, and also his poems. He has authored three books on poetry and acted so many roles. But he was the opposite of what he acted and wrote about. He never attended events or awards ceremonies. If he was not on set, then he would be at home writing. He once told Morayo that writing relaxed him.

Morayo got to know Bayonle when he was about to publish his first poetry book. He needed a publisher and so, solicited the help of JMO (as the outfit was fondly called). Morayo happened to be the one that was assigned to work with him in order to get the book properly edited and fit for publishing. That ignited their friendship. The budding friendship and business relationship led her to believe it would be easy to secure his presence at their event. They couldn’t have been further away from the truth. Bayonle was a high context personality. He barely talked, but he knew so much about so many people. He also had connections with a lot of the crème-de-la-crème of the society, because he was good at his job. It took a while before Morayo could adjust to his mode of communication. He seemed to speak more with his eyes and gestures than with his mouth.

Each time Morayo went to his house to work on his poems, they had sat in the library. They worked, talked and sometimes, she slept off right there in the library. Because the building that housed the library was detached from the main house in the compound, she rarely saw him in the main house. The building where they worked had the library, a music room, where a piano, a guitar and a set of drums were kept neatly. The music room looked like a church except for the lack of pews. It was painted white and the instrument arranged neatly at the right side, with the piano at the centre. He kept a set of sofas there, where he relaxed whenever he was not writing. The sofas in the music room, three in number were convertible. They could be stretched and turned into beddings for whoever wanted to sleep. Then, there was an ante room at the entrance where pots of flowers were neatly arranged.

From the arrangement of the part of the building that Morayo could see, she could tell that he was a perfectionist. She almost asked him once if he had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) because of the way everything was neatly arranged and connected. The walls were painted white, while the sofas, flower pots and curtains were a mixture of cream and lemon green. The library shelves were also painted white, with the books arranged in an alphabetical order and sticky notes at the edge of a pile to indicate where they stopped and another began.

They were friends but Morayo was always sceptical about asking him questions. She didn’t want to get too familiar. She got to know the few things she knew about him because he said it. The first time they talked about something aside books, was when he asked what school she graduated from. She discovered that Bayonle attended the same school with her; Greenfields University. They talked about school life and how much of an introvert he was when he was in school and how his girlfriend had left him because she thought that he couldn’t “get it up.” That made Morayo laugh. They both laughed and mocked his misery. Then she told him of her ex who left her after three months because she “loved him too much.” They roared with laughter. He then said to her, “Good riddance,” with a look that was as soft as his nature. They had been friends for five years within which they had birth three books, and Morayo had never seen a woman with him. Not even one! He wouldn’t even pick from the actresses who flaunt themselves in front of him. At a time, Morayo began to think that there was a problem with him because even the person who cooked and cleaned for him was a man. When she confronted him with her fears, he just smiled and said to her, “you wouldn’t be around me if I didn’t like women. I adore women and I especially adore you. When the time comes, what you want for me would happen.”

What baffled Morayo most about Bayonle was that his second and third poetry book was about a woman; a particular woman that he couldn’t seem to do away with. He kept lamenting in his poems of how he couldn’t express himself when she was around and how he hoped that time would bring her again so that he could tell her. Those poems always made Morayo cry and happy at the same. She imagined that he had lost the love of his life before he had a chance to let her know how he felt. She wished someone could cherish her the way Bayonle cherished this woman. She had begged him to read one of those poems at the event and he had promised to.

As he got up from the crowd and approached her, Morayo took time to admire him in his fitted white striped shirt tucked into his blue Chinos trouser with his animal skin belt complimenting his brown shoes. His hair was neatly combed and curled with sporting waves. He had just shaved and he was looking all neat and sexy. “If I were not engaged, I would have prayed him for me,” she thought to herself as she hugged him and told him how long he had to speak.

When Bayonle started reading his poems, everywhere became silent. His poems did that to people; it spoke a lot that people could always reason with, so they listen to hear for their part in the poem. It was the same poem that he had promised her to read, but he had added more to it. As he read it, he looked very intensely at her; speaking every word to her as though he was addressing her. His eyes carried a fire that burned out and made his eyes glassy with passion. Morayo had never seen him like that before, but she knew that he was acting out the passion of what he was reading.

Before he was done reading, everyone in the room was up with tears in their eyes; the tears that his words had brought. When he finally finished reading, and bowed at the roar of applause, he left the podium and went straight for her. Right there, without saying anything, he held her and took her mouth in his, savouring it as though that was the food he needed to survive. His grasp on her was one she didn’t understand. It was so soft and hard at the same. It was as though he wouldn’t let her out of his sight, ever. When he finally let go of her and they parted lips, he didn’t stop to look at her or every other persons in the hall whose eyes were all on them now. He went straight for his car and drove off.

Morayo just stood there astonished. She didn’t understand what had just happened. She wouldn’t say that she didn’t wish for it. She had spent months dreaming of him when they first met, but had dismissed the thought because he seemed not to care. She was even more confused, because she was engaged and Bayonle had just kissed her in front of all her colleagues and Tunde, her fiance.

Written by: Moyinoluwa Okunloye…..For

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