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Hey dear, how’s your day going? Someone seems to have forgotten a certain someone so the certain someone who was forgotten decided to bring himself into remembrance 😀
Aisha read Bode’s ping and smiled.
-LOL. I’m sorry. I’ve just been a little busy lately. How are ya?
-Hehe. Interesting that you suddenly became “a little busy” after we kissed two days ago. Told you we’d both be in trouble 😛
Aisha almost dropped her phone. Embarrassment crawled up her cheeks and stung. She had ignored Bode for two days straight and it was easy because Khalid was in town. They had dinner together on Tuesday after work like he had promised and on Wednesday, they had gone to see a movie. She wanted to explain things to Bode but she felt it would be best to avoid him for a bit so there were no pings, calls or texts from her. She wondered why he did not try to reach out to her and had to admit to herself she was grateful when his ping came in.
-LOL. About that. We need to talk.
-Haha. Ya think? Nah, I’m cool with you burying it under the carpet. Ignore the chemistry we share, I’ll do same. 😀
Whoa! Chemistry?! La ila! I’m in trouble. I’m really in trouble.
She dropped her phone on the table, covered her face with both palms and gently rubbed her fingers over her eyes.
Chemistry? What sorta chemistry? She was tipsy!
She let out a deep sigh and picked up the phone again. How was she to tell Bode about Khalid without making things awkward between them?
-Uh, Chemistry? How about we discuss the Further maths?
-Loooool. You’re something else. Further maths ke? No o. I love just the chemistry. Further maths is a pain.
Aisha was getting nervous.
-Uh, ok. It’s just… You know how you said we would both be in trouble yeah?
-Lool. Relax babe. I’m messing with you. Chemistry nothing. You were high that night. I told ya. 😛
Aisha felt relief wash over her. Thank God. So he was teasing after all. All would be well
-Lol. Mumu boy. You’re just a monkey. I wasn’t high, I was only tipsy.
-Mhmmmmn. What’s the difference? Oh well. That’s by the way. I miss you o. When are we seeing?
Aisha swallowed. An instant knot formed in her tummy. Did she miss him? Not really. Khalid had taken up all her spare time. But thinking about it now, maybe she did. And they needed to talk.
-I miss you too. What are you doing after work today? I actually want us to talk. I’m travelling on Sunday.
-Really? Where to?
-Accra. I’m attending a summit there. I’ll tell you all about it this evening.
-Ok. Sounds interesting. Sure we could meet up after work. But I’m not taking you to any garden. Before you drink again and get us into further trouble. LOL. 😛
Aisha winced. He would probably not let this rest for a long time.
-Ouch. Nice going. Let’s meet at Drumstix in Wuse 2 at 5:30
The place had no romantic ambience, it was quiet and they could talk.
-Ok. Sounds good. I’ll free you now. Take care.
-Thanks, you too.
Khalid spent the whole of Thursday doing research. He had gotten a call the previous evening inviting him to speak at some meeting of undergraduate students of economics. The meeting was going to take place three weeks after his return from Accra but he decided to start preparing. His life was a busy one; something was always happening. Meetings, summits, speaking engagements… he was his own person and he loved the freedom his independence brought him.
At about 4:00pm he got up to stretch and exercise his legs. It had been a long day. He walked to his kitchen hoping for a snack but found nothing. And then he remembered Aisha.
Uh-oh. Not even a text all day.
He walked tiredly back to the dining table where his laptop was set up alongside a host of papers and journals. His phone was buried somewhere underneath the pile and it took him a few minutes to find it. He was not surprised to find 15 missed calls, 3 text messages, 6 unread pings and 3 whatsapp messages. The phone had been silenced all day. He scratched his head and absent mindedly scrolled through the calls. A few from his mum, others from random people and the last two from a friend he was helping with a proposal. Khalid sighed. He had completely forgotten about the proposal and it was due today. He decided to get to it immediately. He read the texts. One from MTN; he hissed and deleted without even reading, the other from his mum; asking about his welfare and the third from the guy with the proposal. He checked the pings next. He ignored the other 5 but opened Aisha’s to read.
-Baby, ya ka ke?
That came in at noon and another had followed an hour later
-Busy much? I was just checking you up. I miss you
He looked at the screen where he was not even half done with the paper he was to present and decided to take a few minutes and call her. He would not see her tonight. He could not. He needed to finish the proposal and do other things. So much to take care of before their trip. He massaged his temples and then scratched his head while he waited for her to pick up.
“Hi darling, I’m so sorry, I’m just seeing your pings. I’ve been lost in my laptop all day. Too much to do-“
“It’s okay, I understand. Are you done now?”
“No love. Not even halfway. I won’t even be able to see you tonight. I really want to get done as much work as I can before we travel. I’m sorry”
“Okay love. Just do your thing, it’s fine. I’ve got a few things to take care of myself.”
“Thanks babe. I love you. I’ll call you much later tonight and you can tell me all about your day yeah?”
“Okay boo. I love you too.”
Aisha hung up and smiled. She really loved Khalid. Then a certain thought darkened the smile. Why didn’t she say she was seeing Bode?
Because he doesn’t know Bode and it’ll be too much of a long explanation to give in detail now. It has to be when we see.
She sighed and promised herself that she would sort things out with Bode and then tell Khalid about him later. And the kiss? Well, that might remain her own little secret forever.
Seye walked away from the hall with the dazzling disco lights and loud music. She could not bring herself to enjoy the party. And she had tried. She really had. But it was impossible. It was dark and a little chilly outside but she wasn’t scared. She just needed a bit of fresh air. There were several cars parked 200 metres away and so she walked; slowly but purposefully towards one of them. She checked the time on her wristwatch and it read 8:30pm. They would have to leave soon. Her father had insisted they return home before 10:00pm.
She looked up and saw the stars. Only a few of them; and they did not shine brightly enough. She looked at the hall in the distance wishing silently that he would notice her absence and come seeking her outside; then like an answered prayer, the door opened and a young man walked out through it. He was far away, it was dark and she could not make out his face but she knew that silhouette all too well. It was him. The floodlights shone graciously on the field and it did not take him long to notice her and walk up to her.
“Why are you out here by yourself?”
Concern. That was all that was in his voice. Not even a gentle rebuke for being out alone in the cold dressed in a sleeveless pink dress.
“I couldn’t stand being in there, watching everyone have so much fun when my heart is being broken into a thousand pieces.”
She shivered slightly and he hugged her and held her close.
“Seye, don’t do this please, not tonight.”
She looked into his eyes and saw the plea for understanding but ignored it.
“I’m tired Kay. I’m tired of being strong. I really can’t do this anymore.”
She trembled a little and the tears came down like light raindrops, they rolled down her cheeks and they would not stop.
His eyes grew misty too but he would not let them display their weakness. Certainly not in front of his lady. He held her and let her cry for a little bit and when he felt the tears subside, he braved another look into her eyes.
“Remember how we started dating?”
Seye laughed. Of course! How could she forget?
“Yes, I do…”
“And everyone thought we were crazy. Even I thought I was crazy. A J.S 1 girl coming to ask me, an SS 1 guy out? That was hilarious.”
Seye lowered her gaze and dropped her chin but he raised it up.
“But we made it through to this point. We will be fine”
Seye laughed again but it wasn’t as rich this time.
“Kay, it’s different now. You’re going away to study in Malaysia in 2 months. You’ll be gone for 3 years. We don’t stand a chance.”
He looked at her and was awed by her candidness. Seye was just 14. In fact she had only turned 14 two weeks ago but she was smarter and way more matured than most girls he knew. His “official age” was 18, which made him only 4 years older, but in reality, he was 20 and only Seye knew that. She had a purity and innocence about her that was utterly refreshing. His friends could not understand it but he did and he was not willing to trade in for anything else.
“But I’m willing to try…”
Seye shook her head.
“Don’t do that please. We should just break up already.”
He was sure he hadn’t heard right.
“What did you say?”
“Better sooner than later.”
“So you’re going to ruin my graduation party for me?”
“Please, it’s not like that…”
She was crazy but that craze would have to stay in its lane tonight. He wasn’t going to face the impending hurt tonight. No way.
“We have two months left. Let’s make the best of it yeah?”
She looked at him but he was determined not to back down. And then the baby in her returned.
“Okay, two months. Let’s make it count.”
They hugged tightly for a few minutes and then he escorted her back into the hall.
Bode was angry. But that anger was only hurt converted. The meeting with Aisha had been a little awkward but he had gone out of his way to ease the tension and make things easy for her. She explained that she was engaged to this really amazing guy and went on and on to list all of Khalid’s Knightly qualities. He didn’t want to hear them. He did not need to hear them but he played the role of nice and understanding friend and let her yap all the way.
So she was sorry about the kiss, she was going to Accra with “his royal awesomeness”; he was sure she was blushed when he said that. In other words, all was fine and dandy in Lovetown so he was being relegated to the background. Oh well. That would not be for long. It was time to carry out his ultimate plan. He would just wait for them to return from Accra. Besides, his office was looking to transfer him to Kaduna and there was a 50% chance it would come through. Time was running out
by Ogechi Nwobia
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