By Nathaniel Okolo
For Christ’s sake Max, will you hurry up, you’ve been in there for almost an hour.
Maxwell could not help but smile broadly as soon as he heard those words, not that the words were particularly funny, but when he thought of the lips that formed those words, the mouth to which those lips belonged, and the face which held that mouth, he could do nothing but smile.
Every time he had tried to come up with a phrase that would describe that face, he always failed, maybe I’ll succeed today, he mused to himself.
He quickly stepped out of the room, and was greeted by a smirk on Maxine’s face, finally, he comes out, she muttered, and as always, max began his usually groping around for words to stir up the conversion as they moved in unison towards the block of classrooms spread out before them.
Maxine and Maxwell. Or the “m duet” as their friends called them, were both students of molecular biology at the University of Shanghai.
They had met during their first year at the school, and it is now, as it was then, Maxine did all the talking, while he did all the blushing. Now in their third year, if getting any closer without being involved romantically were possible, well, they had achieved it.
Perhaps too close, as max sometimes thought to himself, and as close friends are likely to do, more especially if they are students, they often studied together.
As soon as they stepped into the class, they set right to work, poring over their notes, and textbooks.
As the day wore on, Maxine seemed preoccupied with other things, as max often caught her staring out of the window into the receding sunset, seemingly lost in thought. What could be the problem, he wondered.
At long last, they there remained just the two of them in the class, and seemingly, this was the signal Maxine was waiting for, as she promptly closed her notes, and yawned, muttering that she was tired of studying.
Let’s talk she suggested, and that, it seems was also the signal max’s sweat glands needed to start pouring out their secretions. As beads of perspiration immediately began forming on his forehead, and saliva fled from his mouth.
He never knew how to handle this aspect of their friendship, as expertly as he wished he could.
For the past few weeks, max had begun to notice slight changes in Maxine, she seemed to want to talk more, as was apparent by her current desire for conversation.
She was also displaying a new found fondness for holding his hands at odd times, most especially when they were amongst other friends, which always almost made him go red.
Since he was not one to deny a woman her wish, they thus began to converse, he had to admit though, he was a bit tired from studying, and as they talked longed into the night, he felt stress which he seemed unaware of begin to dissipate.
But he seemed to exchange this stress for nervousness, as he noticed that Maxine was staring right at him throughout their entire conversation, it seemed those eyes were urging him to say something, to carry the conversion to another dimension, what dimension this was, he could not fathom, and as a result, he started to blabber away, on unimportant issues.
Maxine began to lose interest in the conversation, and fearing the worst, max groped around for a topic of discussion that would reignite her interest, finding none he blurted out a question, a quite unexpected question.
Will you be going to church this Sunday? Struck by the oddness of the question, Maxine hesitated before answering, err! yes, of course, I always go to church on Sundays.
Her response left him scratching his head, and smiling sheepishly. Noticing the effect her response had on him, Maxine smiled knowingly, nodding her head, she had the
Answer to the question that had been plaguing her for a while, or at least she hoped she did.
Smiling once more, she started packing up her books, let’s go home she said.
To be continued…