I had been sitting down on the cement chair around the creative arts arena, in the FSS (Faculty of Social Sciences) department in Unilag, for more than an hour, if not close to two. I was hiding behind a book, acting like I was reading it with my legs crossed. But really, I was there for some other reason.
I didn't know her name, but I knew I hadn't been able to get her out of my mind since the first time I saw her. I had been coming for an elective class, when I had bumped into her. Painting, by the open arena close to the cement chairs. I was first struck by her beauty, everything else about her came next. I had shrugged it off, but seeing her more often became hard for me to ignore. Before I knew what I was doing, I had started coming often to her faulty to see her, hiding behind something so she didn't know I was watching her.
I peeped by my book, pulling it aside as I stared at her. She was so mesmerizing. I had never seen anyone like her. I blushed, pulling my book back and looking at it. She was a sight to behold.
I had never seen her with friends, or anyone. She was mostly, always alone. I didn't even see her say something as simple as 'hi' to anyone. She was simply usually alone, painting.
The sky had become dark, making it more easy to see her as the light became brighter. Her tan skin glowing like she used exotic products for it and did expensive skin care. She spread her legs wider, bending a bit as she used her small size round brush to detail something on her painting. Her full brown hair was packed in two puffs, making her look extremely adorable.
I had dropped the book I was holding, outrightly staring at her, not caring if anyone was finding it creepy. It was hard to look away from her. I was scared that, if I did, she was going to disappear like she used to and I wasn't going to know where she went.
I had been following and admiring her from afar, for exactly two months, three weeks - I checked my time - and five hours. I felt like a stalker, but I couldn't help it. I felt creepy, like I was some bad person, but I honestly couldn't bring myself to stop. I just wanted to either watch her or be close to her. Whenever I wasn't near her, I was thinking about her. So, what was the use? I had to be near her, watching her.
After watching her for some time, I began to feel the strong urge to talk to her. Not like I didn't feel like that every time I watched her, but that day felt different. I felt more confident, sort of, but my legs didn't agree to move. It was like they were stuck. My mind was set, the entire script of how I was going to introduce myself and talk to her was ready, but I still found myself still unable to move. "You can do it, she's human," I said to myself, trying to boost my ego. But, I still couldn't move. Like always, I began to doubt myself and find reasons to simply go back to my hostel and act like I wasn't a creep some minutes ago.
I stretch my legs, feeling some life come into it. I was about to stand up and leave, but before I could come to the realization of what I was doing, I was already walking towards her, approaching.
The arena was pretty deserted, most people had left to go to their hostels or do other things with their lives, but there I was, being a chicken.
The more I approached, the more weak my knees felt. It was like I should halt and turn back, making a run for it while I still could.
She sat up, sitting upright to examine the work she had been doing. I was close by, close enough to see. She had been painting a cherry blossom tree, with some falling on the floor, and some already on the floor. It was beautiful. I wasn't one to pay attention to flowers, but looking at the painting made my heart swell up in lot ways. I think I developed a spot for flowers.
She hadn't noticed my presence. Maybe she thought I had been talking to someone.
Standing by her side, staring at her painting, my mind went blank. I wanted to introduce myself and let her know my purpose of being there, but all I could produce was, "Paint me."
Her brows pulled towards each other as her face creased into a frown. She raised her head to look at me. I almost physically let out an 'awwn'. She had the usual coffee brown eyes, but staring at it, it felt like I was staring at the stars. "Huh?" she asked, pulling back a bit at how a little to close I had been to her.
My whole body weakened as tingles ran through my entire body. She sounded like an angel. "Paint me," I had managed to let out again, causing her frown to depend. I wanted to coil up, hide my face from her. I felt so... out of place, like I didn't need to be there at that point in time. She was staring at me strangely, like I was insane sort of.
"I don't do body art," she replied me, "I'm sorry."
I shook my head, finding my voice. "No, on paper."
She looked away from me, looking back to her work as she replied, "I don't do paid art." She paused, then quickly added, "But some of my classmates do. I could connect you to someone."
I shook my head at her suggestion. "It's you I want."
"Then I'm sorry, I don't do paid art." With that, she began to pack her things.
"How about you just do it?" I asked, feeling really confident and wanting to persist, hoping she gave in.
She shook her head as she grabbed her canvas. "I don't paint people," she said, still keeping her voice calm. "Thank you." With that, she walked out. Leaving me alone, to hate myself for mustering up the courage to talk to her.
I be mumu (fool).