Chapter 4 – TO SPEAK OR NOT TO SPEAK
After a blissful week of talking with my newly found friend, Obioma, I started getting apprehensive about actually meeting him in school again. Speaking on the phone with him was one thing, but seeing him face to face would be another thing all together. I wondered if he had been pretending the whole week to break my walls and then find a way to humiliate me once we got back to school. I decided to tread carefully so that I wouldn’t find myself in another hot mess.
I took a local flight from Lagos to Abuja with one of our hired guards. He then picked up the Jeep that was rented at the airport to drive me to the school premises. I arrived at the girls’ hostel in that cool Saturday afternoon. There was a flurry of activities as returning students tried to unpack while catching up on the latest gist. I quietly carried my load to the room I shared with three other girls. My roommates were not back yet and that was just fine by me because I really didn’t feel like talking to anyone at that time.
I was still unpacking when Crystal arrived. We embraced and started chatting as usual and laughing loudly. She told me about some cute boy she met in the library over the break and how he was actually in the university.
“Anyway it was just a fling, I didn’t tell him I’m just in JSS1 oh. Well I’ve been talking too much; it’s your turn now. Did anything special happen to you this last week?”
I froze as if that would stop Crystal from being able to read my mind even though I knew there was no way for her to know anything that had happened.
“No, just normal everyday stuff you know,” I finally chocked out after another brief second.
“Ok oh,” she replied, “I can’t wait for classes to start; I want to see how much trouble you and Obi would manage to stir up this term.”
I wondered how Crystal could actually voice things going on in my head, but even then I didn’t tell her about me and Obioma’s reconciliation.
As usual, I was in class early on Monday morning sitting at my usual spot in front of the class. I did not dare to look anyone walking through the door directly in their face for fear that it might be Obioma. This didn’t stop me from noticing when he walked into class with his crisp and clean white shirt, his trousers well starched and ironed, and his fresh hair cut which made him look very handsome. I kept my nose behind a book I was pretending to read and he walked past me leaving behind the scent of his cologne; he didn’t even stop to say hello.
My apprehension grew as the day went on; he didn’t talk to me, and I didn’t talk to him either. I resigned to thinking we were back to square one as I packed my books into my school bag, ready to head back to hostel at the end of the school day when someone suddenly sat on my desk. I looked into the brown eyes staring at me.
“Hello stranger,” Obioma said as he flashed a dazzling smile at me.
“Hi back at you stranger.”
“You look really nice today, did you do something to your eyebrows?”
I almost laughed at myself. I was actually pleased that he noticed something as minuscule as my newly shaped eyebrows.
“Yea, I had them shaped on Friday.”
“You didn’t happen to think I would ignore you today did you?”
I was going to lie but then I decided against it.
“I actually did, I was not sure if you were being sincere or if last week was just like a onetime thing.”
“I was scared myself; after what happened between us I was not sure if you would actually want to be my friend or if maybe you just had another plot to pay me back in mind.”
I felt guilty, but it also assured me of the character of this young man. It was surprising to discover he was actually very gentle and sweet; who knew how many other nice sides he had? We were similar in the sense that we did not have many friends but we had a lot of people who disliked us. We were both strong willed I must also add.
We talked for a while in class and then Obi walked me all the way back to the hostel. I did not pay any mind to the surprised looks we got as we walked down the road that led to the hostel; we just talked and laughed all the way. Obi promised to call me that night on my contraband cell phone which I had smuggled into the hostel. We said goodbye and he gave me a hug before he turned to walk back to school. He was a day student so he had to go to the school square where his driver would be waiting to take him home.
I had barely gotten my foot through the door when Crystal and Ezinne ran towards me.
“Ehn madam Nkemjika since when did you and Obioma start doing Love-in-Tokyo and you did not inform your best friends?”
It was Ezinne who asked that question and I just laughed in reply.
“But I thought you said nothing special happened during midterm break,” Crystal added, “Oya you have to give us all the juicy details oh.”
“Can I please put my school bag down and maybe even change out of these hot clothes?” I asked so that I could stall for a while.
“Ehn, do what you want but you have to gist us everything over lunch,” Ezinne said.
Ezinne and Crystal then went ahead to tease me about Obioma. We changed into our day wear and headed to the dining hall for lunch where they continued to brutally tease me. It was all in good fun though; I just laughed because it all sounded funny. Maybe if I had taken it more seriously, I would have planned things out better. This was just the beginning of so many things to come.
(To be continued)
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Property of Pretty of Pot Of Africa.