He was 5’3 short, with one leg shorter than the other, making him even shorter. This caused a visible limp to his walking. She saw him walking towards the counter . It was as if he dragged one leg behind him . She was amused by his smile at her. She smiled back politely and looked away. She had her back leaning on the library counter. She was angry at the librarian.
“Hi Miss Zipp. You look irked!” Her 6’0 height towered over him. She looked at him and wondered whether to tell him off or just ignore him but his riveting smile made her change her mind.
” It’s this darn librarian. She can’t let me borrow this book because I don’t have my school ID!” Zipporah hissed loudly for the librarian to hear. The librarian shot a look at her and continued to attend to other students.
“Let me have the book.” The short young man asked. She sized him up, head to toe then amused, handed him the book. She watched as he signalled the librarian to come and serve him. He showed her his school ID and she registered two books by his name. One was Zipporah’ s. He waited for the librarian to turn her eyes away then he gave it to Zipporah.
Zipporah grinned at her saviour and whispered many “thank yous” to him. He nodded his head and walked away. She was wondering whether to thank him more when a colleague student distracted her with a greeting. Ever since she became Miss University, she had to bear with “Hi Miss Zipp” or “Miss Zipp, whats up!” every so often.
As she left, she realised that she did not even know his name, which faculty in the university he studied or which hostel he was allocated. She shrugged her shoulders and went to her room. She had left her six friends in there and she still met them, two hours later, conversing and howling in laughter now and then at a prank performed by one of them of them.
They were three girls with their boyfriends. She was the only one without a boyfriend at that time. She was not a favoured one when it came to love. She had experienced her share of love umpteen times in her four years in university. Nothing had lasted long. Her last boyfriend had blackmailed her with a sex tape he had recorded without her knowledge. Her friends had saved her by deleting it from his computer while he slept. They crossed their fingers wishing that he had not stored back up.
She was now prudent in matters love especially because she had shared her body with an alarming number of men in search of true love. The next man would toil for her cookie, really toil, she vowed!
Two months after the library saga, she heard a knock on the door. It was 9:00 o’clock on a Saturday morning. Her head was groggy from the fun she and her friends had had at the local joint. She knew it was neither of them knocking her door that early morning. She would tell the intruder off and continue sleeping.
It was her library saviour. He was looking up at her smiling, the handsome gap in his lower teeth showing. She smiled back and welcomed him. He took a seat and looked around. She sat on the bed and apologised for the mess in her room.
“No, I should be the one apologising. I should have chosen the right time to come over. Actually, I wanted to inquire whether you are ready to return the book, now that the semester is almost over, so that they do not charge me for losing it.”
She recalled his kind action and jumped quickly from the bed to make a cup of coffee. She had to show some kindness too.
“Yes I am. I will hand it to you as you leave. But you have to take a cup of coffee first.” She said.
They took the coffee in easy chatter, telling each other about themselves. His name was Samson. He was a Bachelor of Commerce student in fourth year too. He did not reside in the hostels. He had rented a bedsitter nearby. She liked his sense of humour. She would severally burst out in genuine laughter as they engaged in the unplanned discourse.
“I must admit I had a very different perspective about you before this interaction.” He said.
“Why?” She quizzically asked.
” I mean, you are a celebrity here. Everyone in the university knows you. You are beautiful, the sun has nothing on you, and here you are bantering with a mere man like me!” He said. She was also surprised at herself. She never had time for the one-percenters. Yet she was really enjoying the company of a guy who had admitted that he had never watched any of Tyler Perry’s work. Samson did not even know whether Justin Bieber was an actor or singer. His taste of music was old school reggae!
After that day, they had more meeting times. She even got to visit his bedsitter where they would have endless conversations. She was however shocked that Samson had never broached the topic of sex. She wondered whether he had a girlfriend but doubted her existence. She would have known. He also treated her specially, like she was his girlfriend.
Her six friends had already noticed a change. She had not divulged to them that someone was melting her heart. She knew what their reaction would be. They would mock and ridicule her for her choice. So when they cornered her about her recent disappearances and weird excitements, she lied to them, she was seeing a lecturer.
He was married so he wanted the affair quiet. They were happy for her but demanded that he buy them one for the road to buy their silence. She said she would pass him the message. She was relieved she had passed a narrow escape. But this would not last for long.
Samson came unannounced. He thought something was wrong with Zipporah because she was not picking his calls neither was she replying her texts. When he came though the door, she sprung out of her bed and pulled him out quickly. Samson looked at her anxious face, perplexed at her actions.
“What? Are you embarrassed about me? All these months and you have never introduced me to your friends! Am I your little dirty secret?” Hurt was written all over his face. She was about to say something when one of her friends came out and joined them,
“What does the hobbling midget want from Miss Zipp?” Riana asked with a contemptous look on her face. Zipporah stammered, she could not bring herself to say a word. Samson searched Zipporah’s eyes. She quickly glanced at him and saw the hurt in his. He turned and walked away. Riana shrieked out in laughter as she went back to the room mimicking Samson’s walking style. Zipporah followed her friend as she painfully saw Samson’s back receding.
“People, I think the midget has fallen in love with Miss Zipp!” Riana announced to her friends. There was a guffaw of laughter for a minute or two. Zipporah forced a smile at them. Deep in her heart, she wished she was buried dead in a heap of cemented soil.
Zipporah became sick. She could not eat and she barely slept. The company of her friends did not make her feel better. She even hated it nowadays despite their insistence to be with her all the time. On the other hand, Samson had closed that chapter. He had even thought so highly of himself. Girls like Zipporah did not fall for guys like him, he thought.
But cupid was not done with them. Samson saw her first, he was in the campus cafeteria. Riana had forced Zipporah to accompany her and take a bite at the cafeteria. When Zipp saw him, her heart lept. He turned away quickly, heading to the other door.
“Sam!” She called out. He stopped. She ran to him.
“Sam, please.” She pleaded for his attention.
“Be quick, people are already staring. Unlike you, I hate attention!” He said between gritted teeth.
“Sam, the past few days were hell for me. I thought of you all the time. I could not imagine I had lost you. I want you back, please?” She said.
He looked up at her, his eyes half closed in controlled anger.
“Really Miss Zipp? Then tell me, why are you whispering? Are you afraid that people will know that you like this hobbling midget? Miss Zipp, I just can’t.” As he said this, Riana came closer.
“Miss Zipp, has this short baby bewitched you?” Zipp could not have it anymore. She glared at Riana menacingly and warned her.
” Riana…I swear Riana, insult him again and you will never speak using that dirty mouth again! I will personally make sure of that!” Riana was taken aback. Other students were curiously moving closer to watch the spectacle. Zipp took the opportunity. With her long legs, she swiftly climbed on top of a table.
“Listen here everybody. Miss Zipp has something to say. I am telling the world so spread this message please to all and sundry. I am in love with this gentleman. So deep in love that I almost got sick when he dumped me. If any of you cherishes love, please ask Samson to forgive me because if he doesn’t, I will die.” There were shocked stares from the crowd and a loud silence, then a sound from the one of them.
“Samson, forgive Miss Zipp! Samson, forgive Miss Zipp!” It started faintly but gained momentum, soon it was a loud chorus. Samson had been watching speechlessly, poker faced. When the chant was at it’s peak, he revealed the smile that Zipp had missed so much. She jumped from the table and bent to kiss him. He kissed back quickly and whispered to her.
” I can’t do this in public ,I am too shy. Let’s go to my house.” They left as the crowd dispersed to share with those who had missed the drama.
Sam closed the door behind him as Zipp pulled his t-shirt up. Then he held her hands to stop her.
“What’s wrong? Don’t you want this?” She asked breathing heavily in desire.
” I do. I really do. But I…I have never done this before!” She stopped and bent her head in shame. She had bedded more than thirty men in her life, yet the man she was so in love with was a virgin.
“Zipp, let’s not hurry. Let’s just eat and talk for now. I want to be the one to initiate our first time with you. I want to be the driver of our first ride to cloud ten. I want to drive my woman crazy with my novice skills. I don’t want you to break my virginity, I want to break my virginity through you. ” He said.
She marvelled at his machismo. She loved that side of him. She was yearning to have him inside of her but he was clear she would not be the one calling those shots. She went and sat on the bed, resigned. He stood besides her, same height now. He kissed her on her cheek.
“Ok. But don’t keep me waiting for too long!” She said.
“Point taken.” He said and they enjoyed a cold lunch of chips that Samson had bought at the cafeteria amidst.
“I love you Sam,” the words spilled before she knew it.
“I love you too Zipp.” He replied and for the second time that day, her heart leapt.