She is to meet you under the cherry tree. The tree from which you fell and broke an arm when you were eleven.
“Andrew, come and help me pluck Cherry” you see Pemisire’s pouted lips and hear her pleas again like it was just yesterday. But it was, in fact, five years ago that you had climbed that tree for her. You nurse the memory as you cross the lawn between your hostel and the jungle.
You know that the jungle is out of bound. But you are not going there for the first time. It was in the jungle, under the cherry tree that you stole your first kiss. It was where you and Omolayo went to lay with each other before you lost her. One morning, after a night you had both spent caressing your intimate parts and moaning softly in the heated gaze of the moon, Omolayo’s body was found hanging naked from this cherry at the edge of the woods.
You take out your blackberry and ping Pemisire. She should be here. She replies your ping with a string of messages .
<Am almst dr>
<ran in2 my haus prefect>
<I tink she z seeing Dan>
You smile. Dan is your bff, and he has had eyes on Sade, a female house prefect, for a while.
You sit at the foot of the cherry tree and watch the moon get brighter. You like to watch the moon weave in and out of the clouds. Beneath the motherly gaze of the moon is where you can truly be you.
“Hey you,” you hear Pemisire’s voice before you see her. You think her voice is sweet. Like a Siren’s. She extracts herself out of the darkness and sits beside you with her side hugging your side. She smells of lilies and other sweet things that you can’t place
“Do you do this everyday?” she asks.
“Just when the moon is full” you reply, and she stares at you like ‘seriously?’
She mutters something about weird boys, and you smile inwardly.
“I remember you climbing this tree five years ago,” she says. You want to tell her that you will climb that tree for her again, but your eyesight has become blurry, and you say nothing.
“I never got to say thank you” she continues, her eyes roaming the edges of your lips.
“I couldn’t get your cherry before I fell. So you owe me nothing” you say.
Your pulse has quickened, and your tooth has become sore. You look at your legs outstretched and realize that your toenails have become claws and have torn through the leather of your Nike shoes. You don’t know what is happening, but you know something isn’t the same. You are not the same. You move deeper into the shade of the tree and hope Pemisire decides to leave because staring at the moon is not exactly her thing. She won’t look at you because she’s acting shy.
So you sit there together and watch the moon get brighter. You like to watch the moon weave in and out of the clouds. But tonight, the full moon stares at you instead.
“What is the time?” Pemisire asks, and you tell her it’s twelve-oh-one”
“She’s beautiful,” she says, her head tilted toward the sky, and you realize she’s talking about the moon.
You want to tell her that the moon may be beautiful, but she is more beautiful. But you are distracted by your ears that have chosen the moment to itch. You reach up to scratch and discover that your fingers have decided to grow claws too. You are not prepared for what happens next; you fall to the ground and start to howl.
“Andrew, are you okay? Andrew. Andrew.”
Pemisire’s shouts echo in your ears like it’s coming from miles away. Her voice is sweet; like potatoes. Your stomach rumbles, sings an anthem of raw desire. Flesh. And blood. You love Pemisire. You want her.
You raise your face that has become a mass of hair and fangs from the dirt, bare your fangs and howl again, this time with gusto. Pemisire screams. She takes five steps back before she starts running. Foods are all the same. They like to believe they can outrun the mouth. None has yet succeeded. You lift yourself off the ground and run after her.
You love Pemisire. You want her.
“Andrew. Andrew,” Dan taps you fiercely, as he struggles to rouse you out of sleep. You sit up and squint at him from your top bunk. Your body aches. You feel like an echelon of the Nigerian army has paraded on you with their fisherman’s boots. You notice the malfunction in the world when you realize that it is you two alone in the dormitory.
“Where are the others?” you ask.
“Pemisire is dead. She is hanging naked from the cherry tree at the edge of the forest. Everyone is there,” Dan replies. His words suspending you in the limbo of emotions. You don’t know what to feel.
“They say she was killed by a wolf” he continues, “maybe a werewolf.” Your mouth is sore. There is the metallic taste of blood on your tongue, and remnants of flesh between your tooth.
You are confused. You thought werewolves were fiction.
Post image by Martin Beek via Flickr
About the Author:
Adeosun Adams Abayomi is a lover of literature and all things literary. He is a student of architecture at LAUTECH. He spends the times during which he is not hunched over a drawing table developing stories and poems. He has published on The Naked Convos, Naijastories, West Colony, Qualitypoets and other platforms. He believes in free expression through the art of the pen and dreams of travelling across the continent of Africa.