Thursday, 9 November 2017

Bukky Alakara Episode 15

On her way home from the Adult Education Centre, while waiting for a bus, a car honked and stop by her side. She raised an eyebrow. If it was one of those jobless men that felt they could just honk and flash leering smiles, hoping that they had caught a big fish, then the person should think again. She made it a policy not to accept rides from strangers, especially men. She had heard enough stories that touched. She doesn’t want to end up robbed, raped or worse, cooking in an herbalist black pot.
She bent her head a bit to see who the driver was. Chike’s smiling dark brown eye stared back at her. Her hand flew to her mouth in shock.
“Are you going home?” he grinned from ear to ear.
She nodded in affirmative, unable to utter a word.
“Hop in, I am going home too.”
She opened the side door and climbed in, still dazed that it was Chike, her friend.
“It is me. I am not a ghost,” he sensed her state of mind.
She blinked and just stared at him.
He smiled and stirred the green Toyota Corrolla back to the busy road.
“Where have you been?” she found her voice.
His smiling eyes remained on the road.
“You just disappeared. I couldn’t reach you, your neighbours didn’t even know where you were, I was worried. What happened?” she noticed how
fresh he looked, like a baby who had just been bathed, creamed and powered up. His brown skin had a certain glow, his shoulder muscles were broader, and the blue short-sleeve tee-shirt on him made him look boyishly cute.
“I have been in the U.K.”
“What?!” her eyes grew big.
“My uncle arranged my Industrial Training in his place of work over there.”
She blinked, trying to comprehend everything he was saying.
“The company my uncle worked for had a policy of including foreign students and graduates in their employment scheme. Be it Industrial Training,
Part-time or Full time jobs. It is a yearly thing.”
She nodded, still trying to grasp what he was telling her.
“Although they have a fixed number they approve yearly. My uncle was able to speak with one of his bosses and my name was added to the list.”
“I see. You were lucky.”
“Benefits of being the child of God,” he winked at her, “I got back some days ago. I went to Owerri first, to give my parents and siblings the things I bought for them, then I came back to Lagos. Your things are in my apartment.”
She just stared at him.
“I went on a shopping spree and got you nice things.”
‘’Th-thank you.”
“You are welcome my friend,” he stressed the last word.
She sighed with relief. Her friend was back.
“How is your aunt?”
“She got married a few weekends ago.”
“Waow!”
“She lives in Yaba now with her husband.”
“Nice,” he glanced at her.
“We both share a shop, a sort of partnership thing. I sell my akara and bread, with corn pap and she sells her fried yam and plantain.”
“Wow! So while I was MIA, you guys went gaga with your business.”
She grinned from ear to ear.
“Congratulations.”
“Thanks.”
Their gazes locked.
“I have also been given my Junior WAEC certificate.”
He nodded with smiles and looked back at the road.
“I have my own apartment now, similar to yours.”
He kept on smiling, “All your customers for area go vex o.”
She chuckled, “Some of them come all the way to Yaba market.”
“See hunger!”
She started to laugh.
“How is your boyfriend?”
Her smiles faded instantly. “We… we broke up.”
Silence engulfed the vehicle.
“What happened this time around?” he felt a bit angry.
“His family pulled a Jack Bauer stunt on us. They came out openly, disapproving the relationship, called a family meeting and killed the
relationship.”
He glanced at her, “So, you mean he just allowed them to do all that? Is he a weakling? Why didn’t he face them squarely and fight for what he loves or loved or… does he even, really, I mean, does he love you?”
She looked away and sighed heavily.
He shook his head, fighting the urge not to say ‘I told you so’.
“Gbemiga and I are finally and completely over.”
He raised an eyebrow in doubt.
“He chose the sponsorship of his education over me, over us, over everything we stood for.”
“He did what?” he shot her a stunned stare and glanced back at the road.
“His aunt and uncles promised to sponsor him if he broke up with me.”
He cursed under his breath.
“It’s good to know I am worth nothing to him,” her eyes glistered with unshed tears.
The sadness in her voice made his heart to ache.
She looked out of the window.
“Please accept my sympathy,” he caught a glimpse of her. He saw her wet eyes.
“Thanks,” she glanced at him.
He returned his attention to the road.
“So, you are graduating this year, how do you feel?” she wiped her wet face with the back of her hand.
“Relieved.”
She started to laugh.
“What? Wait till you go through the system, you will understand.”
She smiled, “I am looking forward to it.”
“What are you planning to study?”
“Business Administration.”
Eyes widened, “Hmmm…”
“What?”
“You like money.”
“Who doesn’t?” she started to laugh.
Their gazes met and locked.
“I am so glad that you are back. I have really missed you.”
He turned away, “Me too.”
The car halted in front of her house.
“Thank you for the ride. I will come and get my gifts later.”
“Okay. Anytime you are free.”
She climbed out of the car and shut the door. He waved at her and drove off. She waved back and watched, till the car faded out of her line of sight.
Chike turned on his side and looked up at the wall clock. It was some minutes past twelve. It was a good thing that he didn’t need to go to school that day. It was a Saturday and he seldom went to the campus, except when he had an upcoming test, a pending assignment or a group reading. He needed to rest. It was his final year and his project was coming up fine. He prayed that he would be able to finish it before the end of the first semester and defend it before the end of his second semester, or else, he won’t be able to concentrate on his final examinations. His Industrial Training in the U.K had paid off well. Aside from the money he made, the firm he worked for created an opportunity for him to come back and work for them, when he goes back for his Master program. Initially, he never thought it was possible for a foreign student to work in such a place abroad, being a non-citizen at that. It would have been wonderful if several other companies also had the same policy.
He hoped to return to the U.K, before or after his NYSC program. He was excited at the turn of events in his life. His family were also happy for him, especially his parents. None of their children had travelled out of the country before. He was the first to go, but, definitely not the last.
Thoughts of Bukky flooded his mind. Despite the fact that he was out of the country for six months, the distance didn’t alienate his feelings for her. He thought of her constantly and the fact that she was with Gbemiga made his nights unbearable. Seeing her again, he felt like a man who had lived in the desert for so long and she represented an ocean. She was available again, free and single. He wasn’t sure if she was completely over her ex. He wasn’t willing to ask her out regardless of how much he loved her. The fear of rejection was greater than what he felt for her.
Maybe he should just move on. He tried going on a few dates with some of his colleagues at work in the U.K, but, he kept comparing them all to her in his frail mind. It was as if she had filled every vacuum in his heart. No space for anyone else. He turned on his belly. What was he going to do now?
He heard knocks on his door. He wasn’t expecting anyone. Maybe it was one of his neighbours. Now that he was back home, they had resumed borrowing cooking ingredients and utensils from him. He climbed down, took the tee-shirt on the leather chair and put it on. He strolled to the door and opened it.
“Hi.”
He blinked and looked her up and down, “Aren’t you supposed to be at your shop?” he noticed that she looked fuller in the white knee length
cap-sleeve A-shaped dress.
“The market officials imposed a sanitation day. They said the surroundings of the market is filthy.”
They both went in. He shut the door and returned to the bed. Bukky settled on the leather chair.
“The officials are right, that market is a pigsty,” he propped his head with two pillows.
“Many of my customers were angry. They were not happy when they found the shop locked this morning.”
He chuckled, “I can imagine.”
“So…” she looked around the room, “Where is my stuff?”
He pointed at a red and green coloured ‘Ghana must go’ bag outside the kitchen. She got up quickly, hurried to the big bag and opened it. Her jaw dropped in astonishment.
“Is everything for me?” she glanced at him.
“Yes,” he smiled at her.
“Thank you,” she searched the bag and found clothes, purses, sandals, perfumes, beverages, candies, assorted biscuits, body lotions, hair products and a black berry phone. “You bought me a phone!” she turned around to look at him.
“What are friends for?” he winked at her.
“It is one of the latest set they just brought out!”
“I know now.”
Her eyes glistered with happy tears. She felt special. “Thank you.”
He cleared his throat, “You are most welcome.”
She dropped the phone in the bag and zipped it.
“What have you been eating?”
She glanced at him, “Hmmm…”
“You look like a size 12 chick.”
She started to laugh quietly.
“See your body, front, back, stomach, hands, everywhere has expanded. Hope you won’t turn into one of those shapeless slay queens out there.”
She placed her hands on her hips, “I am a big 10.”
He eyed her, “What is that supposed to mean?”
“I am a size 10, a big 10.”
“That is in-between size 10 and 12 abi?”
She nodded, “Something like that.”
He began to shake his head.
“I am not slim and I am not fat.”
“Keep deceiving yourself.”
“Any man who marries me will like me for who and what I look like. BIko, free me.”
He started to laugh.
“What about you? You are turning into one of those Wrestle Mania wrestlers.”
He jumped down from the bed. “Check me out,” he turned around, “I am a bloke, a s--d, a Prince Charming,” he winked at her.
She hissed.
“I know you are one of those girls that like tall, broad shouldered, all muscled guys like me.”
She hissed again. “Ehn… whatever, I am okay too,” she turned around smiling.
The movement made her backside to swerve in several directions at once. His g---n tightened in rebellion. He looked away quickly and cleared his throat.
“Oya, come and start going to your house.”
“Ah-han… but, I just got here.”
“If they send you to me this afternoon, tell them that I am not at home.”
She stared at him, wondering what was wrong with him.
“Oluwabukola, come and start going to your house.”
“What’s doing you sef?” she eyed him.
“I am not Samson, neither are you Delilah,” he glanced back at her.
Confusion was written all over her face. He chuckled and walked up to her.
“This dress, it makes you look very tempting,” his dark brown eyes observed her surprised dark ones.
“Is… is it too tight?” she felt very self-conscious.
“Not really, but, it brings out all your curves and… and the sight of you right now is driving me crazy.”
Her jaw dropped.
“You know that I will never ever touch you except you were mine.”
She nodded her head.
“This is becoming very difficult.”
His confession made her tremble with emotion. It dawned on her that he was still attracted to her and his feelings for her were unwavering.
He closed the gap between them and wrapped his hands around her. She looked up at him and s----d in breath. The passion in his eyes mirrored the battle she fought within.
“Kiss me…” she whispered.
He blinked and stared at her in astonishment.
“I want you to kiss me,” her heart beat accelerated.
“Why?” he looked deep into her eyes.
“I don’t want to wait anymore,” she stared back at him.
“Wait for what?”
“I know you like me. I know you have feelings for me. I know that you are attracted to me. I know that you want to date me. I feel the same way too.”
He swallowed hard. Was he hearing her right?
“I want you too. I like you too. I am attracted to you too. I have feelings for you too. I want to go out with you too,” her soft convincing voice re-echoed in his ears.
“Are you sure?” his heart beat began to hammer against his chest.
She smiled and placed her hands around his neck. “Yes, yes, I am.”
He smiled back at her, leaned forward and kissed her deeply. She responded, matching his eagerness, fire for fire.
“I love you,” he tore his lips away.
Her eyes grew wide.
“This is the happiest day of my life and I don’t want to ruin it. We must leave, now. Let’s go outside, anywhere. If we stay in here, I am going to sleep with you and I doubt if you are emotionally strong enough to stop me.”
She nodded quickly. He was right.
“Let’s get your stuff into the car, drop it in your apartment and look for somewhere public to go to, okay?”
“Yes sir!” she saluted him comically.
“Trouble maker,” he eyed her.
She started to laugh.
He grabbed the Ghana must go bag and pulled it towards the door.
.
To be Continued..

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