Thursday, 9 November 2017

Bukky Alakara Episode 13

Chike knocked on the door. he was eager to see the woman his heart yearned for. He wished she followed him to Owerri for the Christmas holiday. He missed her so much. He planned to take her out that evening and ask her out. He was beyond confident that she was going to say yes. He was excited that after waiting for a long time, she was finally going to be his.
The door opened. Kike smiled when she saw her niece’s friend, “Chike, is this your face? How are you?”
“I am fine ma,” he smiled back at her.
“When did you return?”
“Last night.”
“Welcome. It’s good to see you.”
“And you too ma.”
“Your friend has gone to the saloon to make her hair.”
“Oh… okay. Is it Iya ibeji’s place?”
She nodded in affirmation.
“I will go and meet her there,” he was familiar with the route that led to the local hair stylist wooden shop.
“All right,” she stepped back into the room.
He turned around and headed out of the building.
“Chike!” Bukky halted at the side of the road when she saw her friend coming out of the house.
“My pretty baby,” he beamed and walked up to her. The plaited hair made her look like an African Princess. He liked it.
“When did you arrive?” she was very happy to see him.
“Last night,” he seized her up. She seemed to have added a little weight. Her hips were curvier and her chest was fuller.
“Welcome back. Happy New Year in advance.”
“Same to you,” he smiled at her.
She smiled back at him, “Let’s go inside.”
“No, I want to take you out.”
She raised an eyebrow, “Where are we going?”
“It’s a surprise,” he beamed.
“Okay,” she looked at her toe-length blue chiffon gown.
“You look great. Let’s go,” he took her by the hand and led her down the street.
“How are your parents and siblings?”
“You should have followed me to Owerri,” he eyed her.
She rolled her eyes.
“Has your ex gone back to school?”
Her heart missed a beat. She hasn’t told him that she had given her ex another chance. Whenever he called while he was away, she always avoided talking about Gbemiga. She cleared her throat thrice and glanced at him.
“What?” he sensed her jittery composure.
“He has returned to school, but…”
“Now what?”
“He, we… em… he asked me to forgive him.”
He halted and stared at her with full concentration. She avoided his intense gaze and tried to still her racing heartbeat.
“I… I …em… I forgave him. We… we have started over.”
Chike let go of her hand. Pain seared his heart. The sudden news paralyzed his mobility and made his head dizzy.
“He… he has changed,” she looked up at him. The pain in his eyes gnawed at her. “Gbemiga is different and I think things might work out for us this time around.”
What did he expect? The guy was her first love. He was the one that deflowered her. Of course, he had a lot of influence over her emotions and self-will. She had definitely not gotten over him.
“What about us?”
She swallowed hard.
“I have been waiting for you to get over him, but, you went behind my back and… and gave him another chance,” he shook his head in disappointment, “Don’t come running to me when he hurts you again. This time around, leave me out of it.”
“He… he has changed,” she tried to convince him.
He eyed her. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe she didn’t like him as much as he thought. Maybe whatever she felt for him couldn’t withstand the enormous affection she had for her ex, now her boyfriend.
“It is your life. You can do whatever you want. After all, you are a big girl and you are not a baby.”
“Chike…”
“You have made your choice. I will not stand in your way,” his voice trembled with emotion.
“Chike…” she tried to hold his hand, but, he stepped away quickly.
“I planned to ask you out tonight.”
Her hand flew to her mouth. She would have said yes. She would have loved to date him. If Gbemiga had not asked for a second chance,
Chike was the man she would rather be with.
“There is no need for that anymore.”
“Chike, I am so sorry.”
“I wish both of you well.”
“Chike…”
“Have a lovely evening,” he started to walk away.
“Chike!” she wrapped her arms around her body. Her eyes brewed with unshed tears. She hoped she wasn’t going to lose him. She wasn’t sure
if he would remain her friend after that day, but, she hoped and prayed that he wouldn’t let her go.
He didn’t respond. He kept on walking. Hot tears streamed down his round brown face. His chest burned and he was finding it hard to breathe. It hurt that she had chosen her ex over him. it hurt that he had lost her, just when she almost became his. He hated the way he was feeling. He decided not to allow such circumstance to befell him ever again.
xxxxxx
Bukky paid a year rent for the self-contain apartment which was four houses away from their former accommodation. Her aunt had been ecstatic and overjoyed when she informed her that the money for their rent was complete. They moved in, in less than 72 hours. It was a relief that they wouldn’t be sharing kitchen, toilet and bathroom with dozens of people. They had been able to get permission from their new landlord to construct a shed outside the compound and sell their wares. Many of their customers liked the new place. Some say it was bigger and others liked the cleaner environment.
When she called Gbemiga to inform him, he rejoiced with her and thanked her for the money she paid into his account. He was happy that he wouldn’t need to disturb his parents for funds.
Her junior waec exam was around the corner. Although she was a bit scared, she believed that God would see her through. If Chike hadn’t made himself scarce, he would have helped her to revise and prepare, like the last time. He seldom came to their shed to buy akara and bread or fried yam with plantain. He rarely picked her calls or returned her text messages. Whenever she visited him, he was never home. She had a feeling that he was avoiding her. She missed him. She knew that her decision to go back to Gbemiga had hurt him badly. She felt she was doing the right thing. More so, she still loved Gbemiga and he had turned a new leaf.
She hoped Chike would find it in his heart to forgive her. She didn’t want to lose him as a friend.
Chike got a call from his uncle in the United Kingdom. The man wanted him to come over for his Industrial Training. His uncle believed that it would pave a way for him by the time he graduated and he would be able to apply to any University in the U.K for his masters. When he called and spoke with His parents, they informed him that his papers had already been processed and he would be joining his uncle as soon as he completed his first semester examination. He was over-joyed. He had always wanted to travel abroad. Many of his course-mates do not even know where they would be taking their Industrial Training. Some have started lobbing to get into oil companies. He would have been part of these ones, but, God had other fantastic plans for him.
He checked the time on his phone. It was past six. Bukky would have started frying akara and her aunt would have put yam and plantain in the hot oil. He was hungry, but, he wasn’t sure if he was ready to see her. He had been avoiding her since the last time they spoke. It hurt that she belonged to someone else. He thought of how close he had gotten to almost dating her.
His Industrial Training in the U.K would give him the time he needed to kill his feelings for her. Six months was a long time. He might be able to get over her completely, before returning home in September for the new session at school. He just couldn’t fathom how he had fallen in love with someone he wasn’t even going out with. God help him.
He decided to make oatmeal and boiled eggs for breakfast before heading for school. He would have preferred bread and fried eggs, but, he ate the last loaf of bread two days ago.
xxxxxx
Bukky stood at the gate of her new compound on the look-out for her boyfriend. He called some minutes ago that he had just returned home from school. It was a good thing that they were no longer living in the same house. It would have been hard to spend time with each other, especially with angry frowns from his family. The Phillips do not patronize them anymore and she and her aunt didn’t care. They had better customers. She broke into a smile when she saw a tall lanky dark figure in a red short-sleeve tee-shirt and brown khaki shorts, strolling towards her.
“Look at my pretty sweet heart.”
She blushed and her smile broadened.
“Na wa o, you have added weight again,” he seized her up.
He was right. She noticed some weeks ago that her clothes do not fit anymore. She had jumped from size 8 to 10.
“You look good,” desire welled up inside him.
“Thanks, but, you look thinner,” she looked him up and down.
“Don’t join my mother. She is also complaining.”
She took him by the hand and led him into the building, “Let’s go inside.”
“Is your aunt in?”
“No, she has gone to church.”
They went into the apartment. He looked around him and settled on the two settee.
“I hope to move my family into a place like this.”
She shook her head, “You need a better place.”
He grinned, “True.”
“What can I offer you?”
“Come and sit down first. I am not a visitor.”
“Okay,” she settled on the chair beside him, “We have soft drinks, Malt, melon soup, okro soup, meat and fish stew…”
“Okay, okay, I hear you. I will eat later,” he cupped her oval face in his palms, “I just want to look at you. I have really, really, really missed
you.”
She giggled, “Assuming you have a camera phone, I would have been able to send you pictures.”
He eyed her, “So, you bought yourself a camera phone and you didn’t get one for me.”
“It is not like that.”
He dropped his hands, “I hear you,” he leaned against the chair.
“This phone is a birthday gift,” she picked up the Nokia Express phone on the table.
He raised an eyebrow, “From whom?’
“Chike.”
His brows came together in a frown, “This is a very expensive phone. Are you sure he doesn’t have a sinister motive.”
She started to laugh.
“This is not funny,” he eyed the phone.
“Relax, Chike is just a friend.”
He folded his arms across his chest, “Is he around?”
She shrugged, “I am not sure. I have not seen him in a long while. Maybe he travelled home for the Easter holiday.”
He felt relieved, “Good, I want you all to myself, no distractions.”
She started to laugh.
Gbemiga leaned forward and kissed her lightly, “I love you. Much more than the whole wide world combined.”
“I love you too,” her pretty dark eyes twinkled.
“You are the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. Once I am in my fourth year, I want us to have our introduction ceremony and
get married as soon as I am done with my service year.”
His plans sounded good to her ears.
“I will like to meet your family very soon.”
She sighed loudly, “Meeting my family is not the problem. Your family…”
“Don’t worry about my family,” he cut in quickly,“I am the first son. I am their only son. They have no choice but to want what I want.”
“Okay, okay.”
He held her hands, “Don’t be afraid. God is on our side.”
Her face lit up with a happy smile.
“When is your next examination?”
“Immediately after Easter. My centre have been attached to a Secondary School in Yaba by the Ministry of Education. You know the owner of the center has connections. We will be able to take both the Junior and Senior waec with ease.”
He nodded with excitement, “That’s good. When you pass the Junior waec, you will be one step away from completing the secondary school education.”
She beamed, “True. I believe God will see me through.”
“Do you know that you can get a job with your certificate?”
She shook her head.
“That’s the beauty of getting educated. I am glad that you did not give up.”
“Me too.”
“You need to come to my school and see things for yourself,” he brushed a hand over her dark smooth face.
She laughed lightly.
“Have you thought of a course to study?”
“Yes. Business Administration.”
“Interesting, you like business,” he played with a strand of her braided hair.
“I am a business woman.”
“Of course, I know, cash madam.”
She started to laugh.
“Now, I am ready to eat.”
“What should I prepare?”
“Hmmm… Semolina with melon soup will be nice.”
“Fine choice.”
He grinned and looked deep into her eyes. Since they re-started their relationship, they have not gone beyond kissing. He was determined not to touch her again, in other not to ruin the whole thing.No matter how much he yearned for her, he would rather burn than lose her again.
“The food will be ready in a jiffy,” she jumped to her feet and hurried into the kitchen.
He breathed out loudly. It would take God and all the angels in heaven for him to be able to control himself and refrain from touching her intimately. He placed a hand on his head. With God, all things are possible.
.
To be continued..

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