Bukky got down from the motorcycle and paid the bike driver. She closed her hand bag and walked into the compound through the opened gate. It was three days to Christmas. Three was no sign of her fiancé and she wasn’t even sure if he would be coming to Lagos for the holidays. She missed him so much. It would be terrible if she ended up alone during the festive season. Maybe she might visit her aunt, play with the twins, spend a weekend with her parents in Ikorodu, then join her elder sister on the Island with her friends. Or maybe she might visit her in-laws in Owerri or fly down to Jos and surprise her fiancé. She fished for her keys in the bag and strode into the building.
Chike where are you?
She made her way to her doorstep and froze when she got close. There was someone standing by the door. He had on a pair of blue jeans and white body hugging short-sleeve tee-shirt. He looked exactly like Chike, but, the person had on a pair of dark fashionable glasses. She wasn’t sure if he was really her fiancé.
“Chike…” she narrowed her eyes.
The person smiled and removed the dark glasses.
“Chike!” it was her fiancé.
“My love…” he beamed.
She leapt towards him and flew into his arms.
“Hey… you have added weight again,” he staggered a bit.
She started to laugh.
“That doesn’t mean I can’t carry you,” he lifted her up in his arms.
She squealed in excitement, “Put me down, biko, Iron man, Captain America.”
“I am practicing for our wedding day.”
She giggled and held unto him.
“Babe, I have seriously missed you,” he let her down gently.
“I missed you more.”
“Open your door, let’s go inside.”
She hurried to the door and unlocked it. They both went in. The room was dark. She shut the door and reached out for the light switch behind the door. The bulb in the middle of the room came on.
“My sweet baby. Come to daddy,” Chike stretched out his hands.
Bukky ran into his arms and held him tight.
“Hey… don’t suffocate me.”
She laughed lightly and held unto him. It felt so good being in his arms.
“I have missed you so much. Many times I almost got on a bus heading to Lagos.”
She raised her head and looked into his passionate eyes.
“I actually went to the bus park one morning and I almost bought a ticket. Na so love dey shack person?”
She smiled and just stared at him.
“Assuming the oil company I work for came up with an excuse to keep us in Jos, I told myself that I will buy a ticket straight to Lagos and damn the consequences.”
She sighed, “Is it that bad?”
“Those people are workaholics. Be it a Corper or a full time staff, we were all given the same duties and deadline.”
She raised an eyebrow, “Hope they are paying you all the same salary.”
He chuckled, “Don’t mind them. No salaries for corpers, but, the kind of allowance we are getting is triple what the federal government is paying.”
“Nice,” she grinned with relief.
“We also have welfare packages. We were given a furnished one-bedroom apartment each, we don’t pay electrical, water or security bills. We eat free food at a restaurant, breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have unlimited access to the internet, weekly airtime vouchers, we are living like kings.”
“I am impressed, no wonder you don’t want to come home,” she eyed him.
“Hey, baby, not so. With all these freebies, they are using us like Jackals. We resume at six each day and close no later than ten.”
Eyes widened, “What?”
“Anyhow, here I am, home with my baby,” he drew her closer.
“I am so happy to see you.”
“I am thrilled to see you. Where did you go? I have been waiting out there for more than twenty minutes.”
“Why didn’t you call?”
He grinned, “I wanted to surprise you.”
“You did. When I saw you, I was like… oh my God!”
He laughed, leaned forward and planted a kiss on her lips. She responded, matching his intensity, fire for fire.
“Okay, okay,” he pulled away quickly, “That’s enough. Let’s don’t start what we can’t finish,” he led her to the settee, “So, tell me, what’s being going on?”
“I kind of passed my waec.”
He raised an eyebrow, “Kind of?”
“I have five ‘D’s and three ‘E’s.”
His dark brown eyes grew big.
“My tutors at the lecture center say that I will need to prepare for the GCE next year. They said I need to put in a lot of effort in order to pass the examinations. They said I need a total of six ‘C’s in relevant subjects in order to be able to take JAMB and get admitted into the University.”
He swallowed hard and nodded.
“Say something,” she looked into his eyes.
He reached out for her hands, “For someone who didn’t see the four walls of a Primary or Secondary school, you’ve done quite well. In less than three years, you have been able to acquire your First School Leaving Certificate and your Junior Secondary School Certificate. I am impressed.”
She sighed with relief. She had been terrified that he might see her as a failure.
“I believe that you will pass your GCE with flying colours next year. My baby is an intelligent girl.”
She blushed and dropped her gave.
He pecked her on the forehead, “Be at peace. Everything will work out for our good.”
“Thank you,” she raised her head, “Thank you for being by my side all through the years. You’ve been a very good friend.”
“Hmmm… friend abi? And I was dying in silence loving you, hoping that someday you will be mine, while you go about with Gbemiga claiming love.”
“This girl, you suffered me o.”
“Haba what? Do you know how many times I cried because of you?”
She blinked, “You? Cry?”
He eyed her, “Yes. Me, cried.”
“No way,” she observed his serious face.
She chuckled and stared at him long and hard.
“But, now that you are mine, nothing short of a nuclear warhead will take you away from me.”
She smiled broadly.
“I heard your ex-boyfriend graduated with a first class degree in Economics and Statistics.”
“You didn’t know.”
She shook her head.
“I was far away in Jos and I heard. You are here in Lagos and you didn’t hear,” he seized her up.
“I have deleted him from my life. News of him are like viruses in my system. I am immune to it.”
He clapped his hands in excitement, “Hey… this babe don finish me. See lyrics. See how you take ICT finish your ex. I hail o,” he bowed comically.
“Stop it jor,” she punched him on the shoulder.
“Wetin you get for this house sef?” he looked around.
She scratched her head, “I have not cooked.”
He eyed her, “As in?”
“I have not gone to the market.”
“So, what have you been eating?” he looked her up and down, “See flesh everywhere.”
She crossed her arms against her chest, “I am not fat.”
“Keep deceiving yourself. I know you are way past size 10 by now.”
“See chest, see backside, see hands, see thighs, see everywhere. Your body has expanded in weight and mass.”
“I am a big 10.”
He hissed, “Please, just don’t turn shapeless, I have warned you.”
“Don’t worry, we don’t lose shape in my family.”
He sighed, “It is true. I have seen your mum and your elder sister. They are not fat, but, big in all the right places.”
He eyed her.
“Don’t worry love. I will stay in shape for you, before and after childbirth, I promise.”
“I hear you. What am I going to eat now?” he rubbed his tummy.
She bit at her lower lip, “Let’s eat out.”
“See your mouth. Oya let’s go, I am hungry.”
“Eureka!” she jumped to her feet and started to dance