Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Bukky Alakara Episode 5

Bukky paid the carpenter living in the neighbourhood to
construct a wooden shed for her. She wanted it big enough
to occupy a few benches, so that people could sit and eat,
while others queue to buy her wares. She had already gotten
permission from the landlady. The woman collected a daily
portion of bean cake, bread and pap from her. The carpenter
promised to start work that day. On her way back to the
house, several thoughts ran through her mind. She saw her
period a few days ago. It was a relief that she didn’t get
pregnant. It had been torture while waiting for it to come.
She had been avoiding Gbemiga since that night and every
time he tried to speak with her, she played dumb. His actions
hurt her and he almost got them into trouble. What if she
had gotten pregnant? She wasn’t ready to sleep with him, yet
he took advantage of her. She wasn’t sure she would be able
to trust him ever again. He had been calling and texting her
too. She didn’t care. She was almost regretting agreeing to
date him. The sooner he returned to school, the better for
them.
“Bukky… Bukky!”
She heard her name. She recognized the voice and kept on
walking. She halted when someone grabbed her by the
elbow.
“Please wait…”
She turned around and saw him. Desperation in his eyes,
tired lines laced his forehead. She pulled her arm away from
his grip.
“Why are you treating me like this?” his saddened gaze
observed her.
She crossed her arms against her chest and looked him up
and down.
“I have not been able to sleep. I can’t eat. Your attitude is
driving me crazy.”
She hissed and turned her head.
“Is it because… because I, I … Okay I am sorry. I was taken
over by… by… try and understand, I love you. I just wanted
to…”
She began to shake her head, “I am no longer interested.”
He opened his mouth and closed it.
“I don’t think I can trust you anymore.”
“Bukky…” he whispered.
She looked up at him and noticed the way his eyes glittered
with unshed tears. She stilled her emotions. She didn’t want
to be dissuaded from her decision.
“Don’t do this. Don’t break my heart.”
“It is over,” she swirled and started to walk away.
“Oluwabukola!”
She ran the remaining way home, anxious to be as far away
as possible.
He placed both hands on his head, heart thudding against his
chest.
xxxxxx
Kike and her niece watched the carpenter as he worked on
the wooden shed. He assured them that he would be through
before the sunset. Bukky hoped that the shed would be ready
for use the next day. The number of people that patronized
her on a daily basis had greatly increased. She thanked God
for expanding her business. Lectures at the Adult Education
Centre was starting at the end of the month of January. She
had paid for the form and her fees. She was told that her
progress determined the books she would be asked to buy.
She was excited. Thoughts of Gbemiga clouded her mind.
She sighed heavily and tried to erase him from her mind. She
heard from one of the neighbours that he would be
returning to school that week. She felt sad and happy at the
same time. Their break-up had been painful. She still liked
him, but, she couldn’t get past what he did to her. It wasn’t
completely his fault, but, she was afraid. They were both too
young to raise children.
“Your mum is planning to come and see you this weekend.”
She turned to her aunt, excitement written all over her face.
“She will be very proud of you,” Kike smiled at her.
Bukky sighed with relief. The thought of seeing her mother
filled her with joy.
xxxxxx
Bukky came out of the toilet and strode towards the building.
It was dark, except for the light coming from the bulb
hanging above the kitchen entrance. Most people living in the
compound had retired for the night, but, some were still
hanging around the front of the house. She yawned loudly
and scratched her upper arm. She adjusted the wrapper tied
around her waist and scratched a spot on her neck. She
yawned again.
“Psst…”
What was that? Fear gripped her. She hastened her steps.
“Bukky…”
She halted and looked around. There was no one in sight.
“Over here…”
She noticed a tall dark figure standing behind the kitchen.
“Please, I will like to have a word with you.”
She recognized her ex-boyfriend and frowned.
“Please, I am leaving for school tomorrow.”
She hissed and folded her arms. She didn’t want to be
anywhere near him.
“Bukky please.”
“You can say whatever you want to say,” she stood where she
was.
He came out of his hiding place and swallowed hard, “I am
sorry for everything. Please forgive me. Please take me back.
I will do whatever you want. Please.”
She eyed him and bit at her lower lip.
“Please Bukky, I love you. I cannot live without you,” he went
on his knees.
She opened her mouth in shock.
“Please…” tears slid down his face.
Her heart melted. She took a few steps towards him, “You
hurt me,” her lips trembled.
“I will never, ever hurt you again. Your wish is my command,
henceforth.”
She stopped in front of him and pulled him up.
“Please take me back,” he held her hands.
She dropped her head and sighed. Should she forgive him?
Was he trustworthy? She was confused, but, her feelings for
him had not changed.
“Please give me another chance. I will not touch you again
until you are ready.”
She raised her head and met his pleading gaze, “I think we
can start over.”
“Thank you,” his face brightened.
“Are you really leaving tomorrow?”
“Yes,” he nodded and dropped her hands.
“So, till Easter?”
“Yes, but you can visit me at school.”
“I don’t know about that.”
Their gazes locked.
“I am going to miss you,” he brushed a hand over her face.
“I will miss you too.”
He took a step back. He tried to fight the urge to draw her
close and kiss her. He turned his head and looked at nothing
in particular.
“Call me.”
“I will,” he glanced at her, “Everyday.”
She smiled with satisfaction, “I have to go,” her eyes darted
left and right. There was no one around. She sighed with
relief.
“Sweet dreams.”
“You too,” she tore her gaze away and hurried into the
building.
Gbemiga placed both hands on his head. It would have been
devastating if she had not re-united with him. He really, really
loved her. It saddened him that she doesn’t want to be
physically intimate with him. He felt it would make them
closer. Maybe if he took things slowly, she might come
around.
Chike Nwosu joined the queue under the wooden shed. He
looked around him and saw some people seated on long
wooden benches eating a combination of bean cake and pap
or with bread. He caught a glimpse of Bukky. She was seated
on a stool, bent before a large basin of blended beans. She
turned the mixture with one hand and scooped the paste
into the hot oil with another hand. Beads of sweat gathered
on her forehead, dripped down her neckline and soaked her
red short-sleeve blouse. Her plaited hair in ‘police-cap’ style
made her look like an African beauty. When he went home
for the holidays, he missed her tasty akara. If he was truthful
to himself, he might have to admit that he missed her too.
They were not even close, just acquaintances and he was
already missing her. He cleared his thoughts and tried to
think of his courses at school.
“Happy New Year,” she looked up at him and grinned.
“Same to you,” he smiled back at her. It was almost his turn.
The person in front of him paid for his purchase and walked
away.
“When did you arrive?”
“Three days ago.”
“What did you bring for me?”
He scratched a spot on his head.
“Don’t tell me you went to Owerri for the holidays and you
returned empty handed?”
He started to laugh.
She turned to her neighbour’s daughter, who was helping her
to attend to the customers, “Please, whatever he buys, no
jara.”
The girl nodded with understanding and smiled.
“Bukky, don’t be a fair weather friend,” he teased her.
“Abeg, let me hear word,” she hissed and eyed him, “What
sort of friend travels and returns empty handed.”
He laughed louder and held his waist.
“You can laugh all you want, no jara for you today.”
“Eh… I don die ooo.”
“How much?” the girl looked up at him.
“Please give me two hundred naira own.”
The girl used a long fork to pick the bean cake and gather it
in a large paper. She wrapped it and placed it in a small black
polythene bag.
“I have packaged your Christmas and New Year gift,” he
turned to his friend.
She eyed him, “Where is it?”
“At home,” he grinned.
“You are not serious,” she hissed.
Chike collected the polythene bag from the girl and paid for
the bean cake, “Don’t worry, I will bring it when I return from
school today.”
“Not until I set my two eyes on your so called gift.”
He laughed and shook his head at her, “Oh ye of little faith.”
“Whatever.”
“See you later,” he waved at her and walked away.
She watched him leave and smiled.
xxxxxx
A nagging headache made her leave the market and return
home earlier than usual. She met her niece seated by the
doorway sieving corn pap.
“Good afternoon Aunt Kike,” she was surprised to see her at
home at that time.
Kike mumbled inaudibly and went in. Bukky returned her
attention to the blended corn in the basin in front of her. She
hoped it would be enough for that week. Several people
come to buy the corn pap from her, even if the bean cake
was exhausted. At times, they come to knock on her door as
late as nine in the night.
“Workaholic.”
She raised her head and saw Chike walking towards her. Her
heart missed a beat when she noticed the two heavy
polythene bags he was carrying.
“Don’t you rest at all,” he placed the bags beside the basin
and placed his hands on his hips.
“What is this?” she pointed at the bags.
He grinned, “Your Christmas slash New Year gift.”
Her pretty dark eyes widened in surprise. She opened the
bags one after the other and found tubers of yam, sweet
potatoes, onions, a bottle of palm oil, yellow garri, dried fish
and rice.
She looked up at him with gratitude, “These are for me?”
“What are friends for? I am expecting my gift tomorrow
morning seven sharp.”
She started to laugh.
“Inclusive the jara you deprived me of this morning.”
“No wahala. I am ready for you.”
“Good.”
Their gazes locked.
“Thank you. I am, am… blown away.”
His smile broadened, “I am glad.”
She washed her hands and got to her feet. She adjusted the
red and black coloured wrapper around her waist and
looked up at him.
“When is your lecture starting at the Adult education centre?”
he started off towards the exit.
“At the end of the month,” she walked beside him.
“I am here for you if you need any help,” he glanced at her.
“Okay, thanks,” she sighed with relief.
They strode out of the building and headed down the street.
“How long have you been living with your aunt?”
“A couple of months.”
“Really?”
“Yes.
“Nice, I am not the only one that is new in the area.”
She started to laugh.
He turned a corner and pointed at a green painted house, “I
live there.”
She followed his direction and saw the bungalow. It was one
of the nice houses in the area. She believed it had about
seven or eight self-contain apartments.
“Do you want to come in?” he glanced at her.
She gave a shake of head, “Maybe another day. I have to
finish sieving that pap before night fall. I don’t trust NEPA.”
“Okay. My flat is the third on your right. Brown door.”
“Okay,” she looked up at him, “Thanks for the foodstuff.”
“You are welcome.”
“See you later.”
“Yeah…”
She waved, turned around and walked back home.
Chike stood at the road side and watched her. How old was
she? Facially, she looked younger than twenty. Physically, she
had the body of a twenty-one year old. He couldn’t place her
real age. He needed to come up with a genuine excuse and
ask her.
.
To be Continued..

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