“Like I said the other day,” Chukwudi told Damilola as he sat directly opposite her. “You are very pretty.” It was their second meeting, which they respectively couldn’t wait to embrace. It was scheduled via a phone call, and was taking place in one of the relaxation joints on the campus after their lecture period, precisely at 5:35pm. It was exactly two days after their first meeting.
“Thank you.” She replied, smiling. “One more thing,” the loverboy rode on. “I have noticed you have a good fashion taste.” His compliment wasn’t mistaken based on the two occasions he had come across her.
Damilola invariably appeared simple but classic, thus you could never find her wanting when it called for fashion. This time, she was clad in a sky-blue skirt, white shirt, white sandals coupled with bluish earrings; she was obviously looking cute and gorgeous to assert the least. “Serious..?” she said in false pretence. “Of course, you know what I am talking about.”
“I am flattered.” “Honestly, you are always on point.” quoth Chukwudi. “You will be a good media personnel in future.” He added, paused. “You made a suitable choice of course for yourself.” “Really?” “Yea.” he said. “Mass Communication is to match.” “Thank you.” “You are welcome.” quoth the apparent host. “Lest I forget, what do you care for?” He demanded immediately.
They just delved into discussion as soon as they entered the joint, forgetting to make any request. It was ostensibly a longawaited meeting in spite of the fact that the meeting came barely forty-eight hours after their first encounter. “Any soft would be okay.”
“What about meal?” quoth Chukwudi. “Or, are you not hungry?” It was almost 6:00pm, so one who left home in the morning ought to be hungry by that hour of the day. “No, snack would be better.” “Snack?” said Chukwudi.
“Would it be okay by you.” he added, paused. “Can it quench hunger?” “I can cope with it.” quoth Damilola. “I will eat when I got home.” “Alright.” He surrendered, called the waiter and ordered for all they needed. In few minutes time, the steward returned with stainless tray containing two bottles of malt alongside straws, a snack and a plate of stewed white rice. He served accordingly.
“So, tell me more about yourself.” Chukwudi urged as he devour the rice whose outlook was so appetising. “Myself, myself …” she stammered cheerily, placing her right hand on her chest as she sipped her drink. “Yes, yourself.” He reiterated pleasantly, sipped his malt. “Alright.” she exclaimed.
“I am from Ogun State; the last in a family of five children.” She took about fifteen minutes to narrate the needed short story. “And you?” she inquired. “From Anambra,” he began. “Third in a family of six children.” It took him more than thirty minutes to tender his, as he tried to employ uncalled suspense just to make the narration seem superb and entertaining. “So, you would be leaving the school soonest?” observed Damilola. “You can say that again.” he concurred.
“I can’t wait.” “When you leave, I would be all alone.” She confessed subconsciously even though the chap was yet to tender a friendship proposal as the tradition demanded.
It implied she had already accepted the awaited proposal prior to its disclosure. It was indeed a welcome development for the 25-year-old Chukwudi who had been thinking of the most apt words to use towards asking for an intimate relationship.
“Nooo…” he exclaimed on hearing the emotional statement, filled with goose pimples. “I would be coming around to see you.” he said, paused as he got his eyes fixed on hers.
“I will always be there for you, dear.” “Sure?” she enquired passionately. “Of course, I promise.” He strongly replied. That is how all men sound,” the 20-year-old Damilola argued. “But at the end, they would mess up with the deal.” “Baby, you just have to trust me.” he reaffirmed. “I am different.” “So tell me,” she continued. “Don’t you have any woman in your life?” “Woman..?”
He sounded as if he was yet to hear such a word. “Yes,” she clarified. “No lady in your life at the moment.” Not at all.” He answered eventually with alacrity. “I had never thought of keeping a woman until I met you.” He lied “And you want me to believe you?” she calmly queried, though was emotionally moved by his words. “So, you don’t believe me?” “Not that I don’t,” she said. “Or that, I am doubting you…” “So..?” he interrupted, looking into her eyes affectionately.
“I am only surprised that at your age and level, you don’t have any girl in your life.” “You better start believing me.” quoth the lover-boy. “Some men are different.”
he asserted, paused. “Or, don’t you believe it?” “I do.” She sceptically responded. “But …” “But what again?” he asked tenderly. “I am just afraid.” “Afraid of what?” The enclosed arena seemed so deserted, so they ostensibly had all the space and time to deliberate on personal cum sensitive issues.
“I don’t want to be heartbroken.” He quickly held her hands respectively with his. “Likewise me.” he said. “No reasonable person wishes to be heartbroken, especially if you don’t cheat on your partner.” The last statement seemingly calmed her emotions down, thus she abruptly became relaxed. “Alright, I am so sorry for expressing doubts.” she said. “I was only trying to be careful” “I understand.”
quoth Chukwudi. “You don’t need to be sorry because you did the right thing.” He added still holding her hands. She watched him with optimum amazement. “And I promise you once again,” he proceeded.
“I won’t let you down.” he said, paused. “Okay?” She nodded. This time, it was past six o’clock; hence, they hurriedly finished their drinks cum all consumables, and left for their various lodges. Before he went to his residence, he escorted her to hers.
The moment Damilola got home, she felt fulfilled not unlike one who just won a lottery. She couldn’t hide the feelings that her roommate, Chinwe saw everything for herself.
“Dami, what is the secret of this over joy?” she inquired. “Someone just made my day.” Damilola replied hesitantly. “Hmm..” Chinwe said. “A guy, I guess?” Damilola dished out a dazzling smile, and nodded in a jiffy.
“How did you know?” she supplemented. “This is my second year in this school.” Chinwe replied. “So, I have known how a year-one student feels when she is proposed by a man.”
she added, paused. “Especially if the guy is in a higher level.” “Meaning?” Damilola inquired anxiously, reacting to the last utterance. The intriguing story continues next week, so keep a date with us!
- Nwaozor – novelist, playwright and poet, is Chief Executive Director, Centre for Counselling, Research & Career Development – Owerri