Every Weight

“What is about amusement parks that make you laugh and scream?” Sheldon’s text said. Nana looked at his phone and picked it up. Her question was random but nonetheless, he was enjoying the conversation.

He began to reply, “Well for one, it’s the thrill of the speed and for some the height.”

She responded with a simple “yeah”.

So he went on texting, “Some rides give you the pleasure of what it would be like to fly.”

Sheldon lol’ed and sent him a smirking emoji. And then a sarcastic, “Imagine that!”

Though her response was in jest, Nana couldn’t help but at that moment envision himself as the newest two-winged wonder shooting up into a baby blue sky. Childish he knew it was but the mere thought made him feel a bit of superheroish. He beat his chest and laughed. Now what was this girl getting at?

Her next text message felt awfully suggestive, it read: “Speaking of amusement parks, Nana. When are we gonna get to go to one together?” How old was she, for heaven’s sake? Who did she think he was? Her father? Nana was rolling his eyes in amusement. He had no plans of taking any girl to any park. He couldn’t tell if Shelly was being flirtatious or just childish.

“Shelly, whenever you want.” He did not mean the answer he sent one bit but what did it matter? He wanted to prevent the situation from looking awkward. The conversation went on and Nana made sure to reply her messages as soon as he saw them till he took a bathroom break.

On returning to his room, he picked up his phone to see what Shelly was saying now. “I gotta come over tonight so you can help me with my paper.” Nana did a double-take. No she did not say that! His heartbeat rate sped up immediately. He had been sitting at his desk trying to write a paper himself. It was due the next day at noon and he was almost done. He just needed to edit it and make sure it was in perfect shape to get an A.

Nana Brandful was a talented student. He was naturally good at almost any subject he tried. His friends knew this. So they studied around him, when they had the opportunity. But Shelly? He didn’t have a single class with her. He had only met her two weeks ago at a career event when they sort of bumped into each other. He had dropped his resume and she had politely picked it up for him. She introduced herself and they exchanged numbers. He would have completely forgotten about meeting her but she had called two days later and two weeks later, this was them texting back and forth all day like neither had lives to live.

“You got it. At your service :)” Nana’s conscience screamed at him for sending an affirmative response to this woman he barely knew. But his blood was already warming to the idea of having a woman around in his room, even if it was only to give her academic help. Shelly was a stunner. She was funny and lighthearted and down-to-earth. God knew he needed the company. He was tired and sort of bored. He had a room to himself and it was a Tuesday night. All his friends were busy with their own studies. He had a sermon by Bishop D playing from his computer. He turned it off, pushed away from his desk and sank down to sit on the hard wood floor of his room. “What time can you come?” He lay down, letting his back touch the ground and his thoughts drift to Shelly, her smile, her laugh, her eyes. The back of his head could feel the cold surface. He couldn’t wait to see her. Wait, what? He shook his head. Where was his mind going? Her body? Naw, he needed to think clearly, cleanly, purely. “Fight, Nana, fight.” But his little self pep-talk did not do much to redeem him, a fleet of lustful thoughts had landed in his mind and it was offloading its baggage. It was a lot of baggage and most of it, overweight.

 ***

The next morning, trickles of sunlight forced round the blinds to make their way into Nana Brandful’s eyes so he could wake up. At least that was the way he saw it, since it was only 7am and the unfortunate positioning of his bed made it impossible for him to stay in bed past sunrise. He moved and tried to push his legs under his sheets. He felt, what could only be another leg. Shaking his head and rubbing long strands of dark hair (which clearly could not have come from his head) from off his eyes, he squinted and tried to make out his surroundings. His vision was blurred. His glasses were not close by. Ugh. There was a body next to him. It was breathing softly, heaving slowly, and as he stared at it, he remembered the events that took place the night before. He sank back in bed and snuggled closer to the woman in his sheets. She breathily mentioned his name, her eyes still closed. “Go back to sleep,” he replied with his mouth half-shut, fearing his morning breath. He needed a shower, the stubble under his chin needed a trim and so much else. But it could happen later. He couldn’t tell when “this chick” (what was her name again? he couldn’t recall right then) would want to leave his room, he wanted to maximize his time with her.

“Nana! Get up!” His door was being banged on. Where from this racket? He shoved his head under his sheets and clamped his hands on his ears. No. He was not going to be woken up. He hated being woken. Shelly woke up right then.

“Nana,” her New York accent offended his ears that morning. “Nana, someone’s at the door.” Telling him the obvious only irked him further.

“Ugh!” he flung the sheets off and stomped to see who it was.

He pulled on a shirt over his boxers while grabbing the door and stepping behind it. Behind the door was his good friend, Andre. His Caucasian friend was dressed in sweats and looked like he had just woken up himself. Andre lived two doors down and usually came over to hang, study and borrow stuff. Rubbing his eye, he began to shove Nana out of the way and into his room. Nana quickly shoved back.

“What took you so long?” Andre was not in the mood for an explanation even though he was asking. Nana gave him a look that Andre knew pretty well.

“You’re kidding me?” His friend began to laugh and cough at the same time so it seemed like he was choking. “Alright I’ll lay off. I need your Psychology homework and later in the day details.”

“Yes sir, later.” Nana replied somewhat forlornly with a form of fake submission. He hung his head as Andre stood looking at him.

“But what’s wrong with you? Why would you? Didn’t you just get back from whatever-you-call-it your conference thing man? Who is this woman?” Nana tried to hush him up in case Shelly had woken up and could hear him.

“Later.” Nana’s tone clearly meant the conversation was over. Andre shrugged his shoulders and lifted his arms in a way that said “oh well”. With that, he walked sleepily to his room.

Nana’s room swam before him when he stepped back. Sleep was still luring him. The woman in his bed barely stirred. His single dorm room was such that his bed faced the door and was the first thing one saw when one entered. His desk was on the left side of the room, perpendicular to his bed and on the other end was his closet. Nana headed for his bed and slipped in. He needed to fall asleep before his conscience kick-started and began to bug him. And besides his eyelids, they were heavy.

 

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