My lips are dark. Pitch-dark. Black-charcoal dark. Moonless-night dark. Raven-bird dark. Gothic-stories dark. Broken-light-bulb dark. Death-dark. Nigeria-power-supply dark. I mean very dark lips as you would expect of a smoker. An ardent smoker.
Nevertheless I am unperturbed, for I never would have been more fortunate with better lips than these. These lips are blessings from the Maker Himself. Natural as the bloom of flowers in May. Pristine like newly brewed wine. Unmixed, undiluted, unblemished.
These dark lips you see have done wonders. Reason why I never would trade them for any other shade — pink, yellow, blue, indigo… They are like trophies. Awards. Accolades. Stars. Something you dote on. You keep doting on. Forever will dote on.
These lips, I remember, saved my friends and me in my secondary school days. We were then, out of curiosity, hoping to find a path in an uncleared bush that would hastily lead home. It was during one of these escapades we came across a group of louts, smoking. They beckoned to us, to which we complied, and enquired what we went there for, with eyes daring sunrays. We told them we were trying to locate a friend’s address. We lied. Apparently necessary.
It, however, was bought. Thanks to these dark lips. While we were being probed by their assumed leader, one of them was actually scanning our faces, reading our reactions. It was in this course of action that our eyes met. He pursed. His rough face softened. And then he exclaimed in a long merry chant, asking if I smoked. I replied positively. Lies are brothers too; they cover themselves. He intended passing me a cigarette which I humbly declined. He didn’t pursue that anyway.
He asked a few questions which I answered in a husky voice, self-made to complement how he sounded. He later would convince his leader to let us go. We hailed them and left. It was on our way home I gave this a thorough thought. It wasn’t our eyes that met. It was our lips. Black-for-black. Nudity-for-nudity. A brother-met-a-fellow-brother.
Feeling elated already, I brushed both lips with my tongue, the upper and the lower, drenching them in spittle reserved for the best, as if to say;
‘Thank you guys for saving our lives today. I, perhaps my friends too, am so blessed to have you’.
Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash (modified)