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.
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?’
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.”
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.”
“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.”
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.