The Connection (short story) – Gbolahan Badmus

A beautifully written story, though the characters have no names but with just a handful of them, it’s easy to keep up. Our short story month has spoiled me somewhat because all the reads (except the first one) are from Afreada ( http://afreada.com ), who have a wonderful line of short stories that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

It takes a special sort of writer to be able to transport a reader in just 6 pages – giving the story a beginning, middle and end – something I hadn’t thought possible until I tucked into these treats of reads on Afreada.

‘She wraps her arms around his arm, and leans her head on his shoulder. He makes to drop a kiss on her forehead and her lips. But public displays of affection have never been his strong suit. So he kisses her in the privacy of his mind and imagines her receiving his lips on her lips. His tongue caressing the softness of her tongue. This has always been a fantasy of his, kissing at the airport. Maybe this came about by binging on Bollywood movies, like an airport is the only arena for the most sincere of kisses. But he can’t stand the crowd watching and, like the movies, applauding. Or since it is Nigeria, label her a whore for kissing a guy without a ring on her finger.’

Him and her are in a relationship. He is a Pastor’s son though he earns an income, he counts every penny. Her, from a wealthy family – driven, confident and makes her own money. They are not married and he clearly cares about how those around him perceive him. Them.

He is travelling and she has offered to drop him off at the airport. As he joins the long queue, he watches her every move, her interaction with those around them. Her coming from money makes him question her intentions – is it love or does she feel sorry for him?

She moves around carefree and confident, what seems to him like flaunting. She laughs heartily with a stranger she has approached to help him out – his jealousy gets the better of him.

Relationships are a complex thing – at times and with him and her coming from such different backgrounds, it makes the one who feels inferior question everything about their union, their connection.
This story explores the small moments shared by two people, moments and actions we often take for granted but may mean a lot to the next person.

-Phumzile Z

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