If you miss episode 8 Click here Sorry I didn’t post. On time guyz.Nw I will drop 5 episodes 2day. 4 all to read nd continue my usual routine. By
Sorry I didn’t post. On time guyz.
Nw I will drop 5 episodes 2day. 4 all to read nd continue my usual routine. By postin evri 2 days.
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
She heard her name. She recognized the voice and kept on
walking. She halted when someone grabbed her by the
She turned around and saw him. Desperation in his eyes,
tired lines laced his forehead. She pulled her arm away from
“Why are you treating me like this?” his saddened gaze
She crossed her arms against her chest and looked him up
“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
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.
She ran the remaining way home, anxious to be as far away
He placed both hands on his head, heart thudding against his
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.
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
What was that? Fear gripped her. She hastened her steps.
She halted and looked around. There was no one in sight.
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.
“You can say whatever you want to say,” she stood where she
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,
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
“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
“You too,” she tore her gaze away and hurried into the
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
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
“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
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
“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
“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.”
“See you later,” he waved at her and walked away.
She watched him leave and smiled.
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.
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
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.”
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.”
“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
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.”
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
Bukky stood at the bus-stop, awaiting a vehicle heading her
way. She was clad in a pink cap-sleeve blouse and a matching
black A-shaped knee-length skirt with pink poker dots. Her
shoulder length braids was swept behind her neck in a pony-
tail and she had on a white gladiator sandals with a matching
white hand bag. She hoped that she would get home before
the rain began that evening. She was hungry and tired.
She turned in the direction of the voice and found Chike
standing a few feet away, in a white tee shirt and blue jeans.
A black knapsack bag hung over his shoulder.
“Hey you,” she broke into a smile.
“Did you just close from your lecture centre?” he stood
She nodded her head in response.
“How was it?” he stood beside her.
She shrugged, “So, So.”
He raised an eyebrow, “Are you having problems with your
She looked up at the dark sky, “Not really?”
He adjusted his knapsack, “I am here whenever you need my
“Okay,” she dropped her head.
It began to drizzle.
“Wow…” he signaled to one of the bike riders on the other
side of the road.
“I can’t believe it,” she held her bag against her chest.
“Come, let’s take a bike home.”
She directed her uncertain gaze at him, then at the bike man.
“Do you want to get wet?”
She shook her head slowly.
The moment they got on the bike, the rain came down in
torrents. Chike gave the bike man directions to his place.
Twenty minutes later, the bike man drove into their wet and
muddy street. They got down, he paid and they ran into the
building. He unlocked the door and let her into his self-
“Are you wet?”
She looked up at him and nodded.
He flung his knapsack on the bed, marched to the wardrobe
and brought out a long sleeve sweat shirt, “You can put on
this. I will dry your clothes under the fan.”
She bobbed her head, collected the sweat shirt and followed
his direction to the bathroom. She yanked off her clothes
and sandals and got into the brown sweat shirt. It was over-
size and it reached her knees. She packed the wet clothes and
“I made tea,” he pointed at the mug of steaming tea on the
table in front of the two settee.
He hurried into the bathroom and got out of his wet clothes
and changed into a red sweat shirt and a pair of white shorts.
He stepped out and arranged all the wet clothes on a plastic
chair under the ceiling- fan. He sat beside her and drank
from his mug of tea.
“Do you need more sugar?”
She shook her head.
“What about milk?”
She shook her head again. The hot sweet milky liquid
warmed her up. She looked around her. The room was
almost the same size with the one she lived in, but the
ventilation was far better. The two big windows at opposite
sides of the room enhanced the inflow of fresh air. The
cream curtains completed the brown leather chair they were
sitting on. The blue and white coloured carpet felt smooth
under her feet. She noticed that the bed took more than half
of the space in the room. She hoped to get something similar
at the end of the month. The mattress in her aunt’s room
needed to be thrown out. It had over-stayed its welcome. A
small size refrigerator stood at a corner and above it was a
twenty inch LG flat screen television with a DVD player
“Should I switch on the television?” he glanced at her. She
looked funny in the brown sweat shirt. It was a size bigger for
him, but, she looked like she was dropped into a big water
“Okay,” she sipped at the tea.
He picked up the remote on the table and switched on the
television, “Should I get you something to eat?”
She looked at him, “Yes, I am hungry.”
“Me too,” he placed the mug and the remote on the table and
got up. He hurried into the kitchen and returned with a loaf
of bread and a plate of fried eggs.
They ate together in silence. When they were through, she
carried the empty plate and mugs to the kitchen. She saw the
camp gas cooker on a small wooden stool, the electric kettle
on the table beside the microwave. There was a toaster
beside a set of pots and plates. The cutleries were hung on a
small plastic stand. A small cupboard was above the sink. She
dropped the mugs and plate in the sink and opened the
cupboard. She found a carton of indomie noodles, a big tin
of milk, a carton of tea bag, a jar of sugar, bottles of palm oil
and vegetable oil, transparent containers filled with rice,
beans, yellow garri, melon seeds, ogbonna, crayfish and
maggi. She closed it and looked around. Tubers of yam lay
beside a bunch of plantain and a small basket of onions. She
smiled to herself, impressed.
Bukky walked out of the kitchen and joined him on the chair,
“Your place is nice.”
He met her pleased gaze, “Thanks.”
“I hope to get a place like this soon. My aunt and I are due for
a change of accommodation.”
He chuckled and grinned.
“You are in your third year, and you will be graduating in the
next two years. What level is your girl friend?”
Her question caught him off guard, his eyes widened in
surprise, “My girl friend?”
“Yes, don’t you have one?” she stared back at him.
He scratched a spot on his scalp and turned away, “I am not
in any relationship.”
She looked him up and down, “Why?”
He started to laugh.
“Don’t you have plans?”
He returned her gaze, “Yes, I do.”
“So, why don’t you have a girl friend? Or do you want to wait
until you graduate?”
He blinked and stared back at her, “My last relationship didn’t
“So?” curiousity got the better of her.
“I am on the look out for a special someone.”
“Okay, good. I am glad you didn’t give up because of a glitch
in your past,” she smiled at him.
“I think I have found her,” he looked straight at her.
“Really? Who is she? I love, love stories,” her eyes went
He dropped his gaze and faced the television, “We met
recently. I like her. I don’t know if she likes me.”
“Ask her, what if she likes you too?” she eyed him.
He turned his head and stared at her, “I don’t even know how
old she is. She looks very young.”
Bukky started to laugh, “How old are you sef? You think
because you have started growing beards, you are now old
He bursted out in laughter.
“Ask her and stop wasting time. You guys sef.”
He cleared his throat and swallowed hard.
“So, who is she? Is she a course mate, school mate, or does
she live in this area?”
“Tell me now,” she held him by the hand.
“She is right here in my apartment,” his serious gaze
remained on her face, which changed from amusement to
Bukky stared back at him. Was he pulling her legs? She let go
of his hand and moved away, creating space between them.
“How old are you Bukola?”
She blinked and just stared at him, tongue-tied.
“I like you a lot. It will be my greatest pleasure if you will go
out with me.”
Her lips parted. No words came out. Since she had known
him, he had been good to her. If she could turn back the
hand of time, she would have loved to date him. She liked
him too, but, she was already in a relationship.
“I… I…em…” she dropped her gaze.
He drew closer and reached out for her hands, “I really do
She raised her head to meet his intense stare, “I am in a
He pressed his lips together and released her hands. He felt a
tightening in his chest.
“I am sorry.”
He turned away, “It is okay.”
“We can still be friends,” she suggested.
He sighed sadly, “It is not the same thing.”
She stared at him long and hard. She didn’t want to lose him.
He had been a good friend to her.
“How old are you?” he glanced back at her, his facial
expression was emotionless.
“I will be nineteen in August.”
“I see, that’s six months away,” he observed her.
“Yes,” the sad glint in his eyes gnawed at her.
“I will be twenty-five in August.”
Her eyes widedned, “You were born in August too?”
She blinked and sighed heavily. He was six years older than
her. The age-gap wasn’t that wide, but, it didn’t matter
“So, you are a small girl,” he eyed her.
“Oh please, and you think you are old abi?”
He started to laugh. She hissed and faced the television.
“All right. We can still be friends. Maybe in the near future, an
opportunity might create itself.”
She glanced at him. She didn’t know he liked her that much,
“In your dreams.”
He chuckled and got up. He strode to the window and drew
the curtain. Cold air swept past his face. The rain had
“Is it still raining?”
“No,” he watched a group of children playing a game of
soccer on the wet road.
She glanced at the wall clock. It was past seven. Her aunt
should be back from the market. She hoped she didn’t get
caught up in the rain too. She got up and checked the clothes
on the plastic chair. They were still wet.
“You can go home with my sweater. Please return it as soon
She glanced at him, “I am not retuning it.”
He eyed her, “You better return it or else, I will come to your
house and seize all your clothes.”
She chuckled, “I need a polythene bag,” she gathered her
clothes in a heap.
Chike went into the kitchen and returned with a black
polythene bag. She collected it and placed her clothes and
sandals in it.
“Can I borrow your Dunlop slipper too?”
She eyed him, “Do you expect me to walk home bare footed?’
“Not my problem, oya come and go to your house,” he went
to the front door and unlocked it.
She started to laugh, “Are you driving me away?”
“Oya, oya, oya, you are wasting time.”
She hissed, slipped into one of the Dunlop slippers under the
chair and headed to the door.
He blocked her way, “Your boyfriend is a very lucky
She met his gaze.
“I am not giving up on you that easily. He has a competition,
She blinked and opened her mouth but could hardly say a
“See you later,” he leaned forward and pecked her on the
She gasped and looked into his eyes. They shone with desire.
She swallowed hard and took a step back.
“Good night,” he stepped away from the door.
She held the polythene bag against her chest and hurried
out. Her heart hammered against her chest. She trembled
slightly as she quickened her steps and walked home. His
face flashed through her mind’s eye. She blinked and cleared
Bukky sat on the new mattress she bought a few weeks ago
and perused her notebook. She was preparing for the
general test at the Lecture Centre. The results of the test
would reveal if the students were ready to take the Common
entrance examination. If she passed, she would receive her
First School Leaving Certificate. Her eyes went dreamy. She
would surely feel fulfilled by the time that happened. The
other students ahead of them were preparing for the Junior
Waec examination and a few others the G.C.E. she envied
them. Soonest, they would be admitted into the higher
institution. She had a long way to go. Many of the students at
the Adult Education Centre were older than her. Some were
in their twenties, and most were in their thirties and forties.
She was encouraged by their never-give-up attitude. The
music playing from the twenty-inch flat screen television
drifted to her ears. She groaned inwardly. Since she bought
the T.V set, her aunt came home early every day and sat in
front of it. The ringtone of her cell phone got her attention.
She turned her head, saw the Nokia 3310 phone on the
pillow and reached out for it.
She recognized her boyfriend’s voice, “Gbemiga…” she
dropped the book on the bed and got up immediately, “Are
you through with your first semester examination?”
She headed for the door, “Are you coming home for the
“Yes. The holiday is just four weeks.”
She broke into a smile, “I can’t wait to see you,” she let herself
out of the room.
“I miss you so much.”
“I miss you more,” she leaned against the closed door.
“Come to the back of the house.”
She raised an eyebrow, “Why?”
Her heart missed a beat. Why did he want her to go to their
hideout spot? She looked towards the back of the house. It
was dark, except for the light coming from the bulb hanging
above the kitchen entrance. She walked briskly, looked
around, and went behind the kitchen.
“I am here.”
Unexpectedly, Gbemiga came up behind her and wrapped
his arms around her slim frame. She almost jumped out of
her skin in fear.
She wriggled out of his embrace, turned around and
punched him on the chest.
“Don’t ever scare me like that again!” her dark pretty eyes
blazed with annoyance.
He started to laugh, “I didn’t mean to spook you.”
“Indeed,” she eyed him.
“I intended to surprise you,” he grinned at her.
“That was no surprise, that was an intentional act to scare the
daylight out of my…”
He drew her close in a firm hug, “I have missed you so
She leaned into him and basked in the warmth of his
embrace, “I am glad that you are home.”
“Can I kiss you?”
She panicked and pulled away immediately.
“Just one small kiss…” he met her skeptic gaze.
“I don’t know,” she turned away and started thinking of an
“How is your lectures?” he felt bad that she didn’t want to get
intimate with him.
She glanced at him, “Okay. We had a general test. I didn’t do
“It’s okay. It takes time. Put your trust in God, okay?”
She nodded in agreement, “How is school?”
He smiled, “It’s fun. Crazy lecturers, weird students, my first
semester results were very good.”
She grinned with pride.
“I believe I am going to be one of the best students in my
class,” he said with confidence.
“I am proud of you,” she reached out for his hand.
“Thanks,” he met her pleased gaze, “What’s being happening
in this neighbourhood?”
“Same old routine. My akara business is booming though.”
“I saw the wooden shed and long benches. Business woman.”
She chuckled, “God has really been faithful. I have two girls
helping me now.”
“Wow!” his face brightened.
She beamed with joy, “By the end of the year, I will be able to
make a bigger shed and expand. I am thinking of adding puff
puff and buns to the menu.”
His head bobbed, “I am impressed, thanks for the money you
sent to my account. It helped.”
She blushed, “Don’t mention. When you graduate, it will be
your turn to take care of me.”
He started to laugh, “I know my responsibilities.”
She raised her head and observed the stars. They seemed to
“Can I kiss you now?”
She blinked, swallowed hard and dropped her head.
“Please, I miss you. Just one kiss. Nothing more.”
She stared at her feet. The Dunlop slippers belonged to Chike.
She didn’t return it. The brown over-size sweat shirt was still
with her. He stopped asking for it when he realized that she
wasn’t giving them back. She had to compensate him with a
daily portion of akara and bread for three days.
“Bukky, don’t you love me anymore?”
She raised her head to meet his sad face, “I do, but, each
time we kiss, we… you… things gets out of hand.”
He drew her close, “I promise you, I will exercise self-
“No, let’s just…”
“Bukky now, don’t do this to me. You don’t know how hard it
is for me in school to avoid other girls.”
Her heart missed a beat.
“There are several girls in my class that flock around me, I
have a good number at home and in church that wants me,
but, I told them all that I am in a relationship.”
She smiled with relief.
“Memories of our kisses helps me to get through school and
She sighed heavily. Maybe she should allow him. After all, he
was asking for one kiss. She wanted him to kiss her, but, was
afraid of what it might lead to.
“Just one kiss,” she stared at him.
He brightened, “Yes, one kiss,” he felt elated by her
“Okay. Kiss me,” she looked into his eyes.
He made her lean against the kitchen wall, wrapped his arms
around her and claimed her lips. She placed her arms
around his neck and responded. His hands slid down her
back till it settled on her buttocks. The kiss intensified. He felt
like touching every part of her, but, he was afraid, she might
pull away and distrust him again.
She felt the hardening of his g—n as it rubbed against her.
Fear gripped her, what if he lost control again? The night he
deflowered her was still fresh on her mind. She tried to block
the negative thoughts and enjoy the pleasure initiated by his
Desire built up inside him, when he couldn’t take it anymore,
he dropped his hands and stepped back, “I think we should
call it a night.”
She looked up at him. He was sweating and seemed a bit
dissatisfied. “Okay,” she adjusted her wrapper and started
towards the entrance.
He placed both hands on the head and gritted his teeth. He
wasn’t sure how possible it was going to be to spend the next
four weeks with his girlfriend without sleeping with her. It
was against their faith and belief, but, he was consumed by
the desire to be physically intimate with her without
Bukky bumped into one of Gbemiga’s sisters at the back of
the house. It was her fault. She was lost in thoughts, instead
of watching where she was going.
“Are you blind? Don’t you have eyes? Can’t you see?” Kemi
snarled at her.
“I am sorry,” she apologized quickly.
“Sorry for yourself. Look at this short devil! Do you want to
injure me?” she checked her elbow and knee.
Bukky frowned in annoyance. She wasn’t short. She was
average height. The girl was just a little bit taller than she was
and she didn’t appreciate been insulted by someone who
wasn’t her age mate.
“All these church rats,” she hissed in disdain, “You better go
to the eye specialist and get yourself a pair of glasses.”
“I said I was sorry,” Bukky eyed her and walked away.
Kemi clapped her hands together, “Look at this thing, come
back here,” she hurried after her and grabbed her by the
“Get your hands off me!” Bukky slapped her hand off.
“Look here, I am not in your level at all. When you see people
like me, you should address us with ‘yes sir’ ‘yes ma’.”
Bukky bursted out in laughter, “You must be high on
“You are the one who is drunk. You are the blind bat who
bumped into me.”
“Watch your tongue, I am not your mate,” her dark eyes
flashed with anger.
Kemi started to laugh, “Mate ko, mate ni. The Phillips family is
above everyone in this compound. None of you is in our
level, please, show some respect.”
“You are definitely high on something. You think because
your elder brother is in the university, we must all run
around your family. Is he the only one in school? Several
guys and girls in this neighbourhood are also in school.”
“How many? How many of them?” she clapped in her face.
Bukky backed away, infuriated.
“You! Did you even go to school at all? At least I have my First
School Leaving Certificate.”
“And so what? Abeg park well.”
“Come bean cake seller. Alakara!”
Bukky smiled, “At least I have a bubbling business. What are
you? A common cleaner at a local factory. I am my own
madam and I have two girls like you working for me.”
“God punish you!” she poked her forehead with her finger.
Bukky slapped the finger away, “Back to sender!”
Gbemiga came out of his hiding place, “That is enough you
Kemi turned to him, then glanced back at her neighbour in
anger, “The day is coming, if I don’t beat you up, call me a
Bukky started to laugh, “Beat who? Ten of you cannot handle
“I said it’s enough!” he came inbetween them.
Kemi hissed and headed to the toilet.
“Your sister is…”
“Just go to your room,” he cut in, voice firm, face
She eyed him and went back into the building.
Gbemiga placed both hands on his hips and muttered in
frustration, “Girls! Hian!”
Bukky breathed out heavily. The two big heavy Bagco bags
she was carrying made it difficult for her to walk. She wished
she had taken a bike at the junction. The distance between
her house and the bus-stop was short, but, the load she was
burdened with made it seem long and far. Her tired eyes
darted left, right and around. She hoped a bike would pass
by. She left the house very early in the morning to the
market. There was no foodstuff in the house. Their cupboard
was empty. Not even a grain of rice was in sight. She had
been very busy during the week and thought that her aunt
would shop for what they needed, but, the woman
postponed it until she returned home on Friday evening
claiming ill health. She left her two assistants in charge of
sales of the bean cake that morning. It was weekend and
patronage from people was usually on the increase. The girls
had been with her for a while; she trusted them to handle
things effectively. They were daughters of her neighbours.
They all lived in the same house. If they stole from her, she
could always report to their parents.
“Let me help you with that,” someone came up behind her
and collected both bags from her.
She turned around and saw Chike in a pair of blue shorts and
white short-sleeve Jersey, “My knight in shining armour,” she
beamed in relief.
“Shut up there. Why didn’t you board a bike home?” he
started down the street.
“I thought I could handle it,” she walked beside him.
He glanced at her, “When did you become Ironman?”
She chuckled, “If you ask me, na who I go ask?”
He started to laugh, “You are an unwell somebody.”
She started to laugh too.
“What are your plans for Easter?”
She shrugged, “We have a programme in church on Good
Friday. Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, I don’t know. My
boyfriend might have plans.”
He looked at her quickly, “Is he around?”
“Yes,” she glanced at him.
“You said he attends LASU.”
“What level, what course?” beads of sweat gathered on his
forehead. The bags were incredibly heavy.
“He is studying Economics and Statistic. He is in his first year.”
“I see. How old is he?”
“He will be twenty-one in August.”
Frowned, “Is he born in August too?”
“Yes,” she noticed the dissatisfied look on his face.
“Wherever he is taking you, I also have plans for us.”
She eyed him, “What is that supposed to mean?”
He eyed her back, “Why do you think I didn’t travel home for
“How am I supposed to know?” she blinked.
“I wanted us to spend time together.”
“Eh! Look at this trouble maker,” she placed her hands on her
hips and looked him up and down.
He laughed lightly, “Your boyfriend should be ready to share
you this holiday.”
“Please o! Abeg, I don’t want wahala.”
“You need to pay for all this work I am doing. You have to
She hissed and sighed with relief as her house came into
view, “I will give you extra akara tomorrow morning.”
“I don’t want akara, biko. I want your time and attention.”
“Chike na beg, I dey beg you, no come put sand, sand for my
garri this holiday.”
He started to laugh, “So, because your boyfriend is around,
you want to abandon me abi?”
“Who is abandoning who? We are just friends.”
“Friendship ko, fishery ni.”
“You know you are a hopeless somebody.”
“Same to you.”
They started to laugh out loud. Bukky saw her boyfriend
standing in front of the house, clad in a pair of black and red
stripped boxers and a white singlet.
“That is my boyfriend.”
Chike followed the direction of her gaze and saw a dark,
slender, good looking young man standing in front of her
house. The guy looked familiar.
“kai he is a bit taller than I am, but, I have muscles, and he
She ignored him.
Gbemiga saw them. His curious gaze flew to the tall brown
skin thick looking guy beside his girlfriend.
“Morning,” she slowed her steps.
“Morning, where are you coming from?” his gaze settled on
her smiling face.
“I had to dash to the market this morning.”
He turned to look at the guy that stood behind his girlfriend,
obviously carrying her loads.
“This is my friend Chike, he moved into the area some time
Both guys eyed themselves.
“Chike, meet my boyfriend, Oluwagbemiga.”
“Nice meeting you,” Chike seized him up.
“Let me have those bags,” Gbemiga stepped forward.
“Don’t worry. I can handle it,” Chike started towards the
Gbemiga watched him till he went in; he turned to look at
her, “A friend?”
“Yes,” she noticed the displeased look in his dark eyes.
“Don’t you know that guys in this area have only one agenda?
They don’t want to be your friend; they just want to get into
She began to shake her head, “Chike is not like that. He is
different. He isn’t even from around here. He is a student of
Unilag, he is a good Christian and he is also responsible.”
“If he is a student, that makes it worse,” he stared at her
“How so?” she didn’t understand her boyfriend’s annoyance.
“University students don’t do friendship, except benefits is
She raised an eyebrow, “He is not like that…”
“What do you know?” he eyed her.
She stared back at him. Why was he talking to her like that?
“You are not even a student. You lack basic education and
cannot decipher the intention of guys.”
His statement hurt her. She couldn’t believe he just used her
illiteracy to determine her intelligence and perception.
“I am your first love and first boyfriend. Your naivety is going
to cost us our relationship.”
Her eyes smarted with tears. If it was someone else, she
would have been able to overlook it, but, coming from her
own boyfriend, it hurt badly.
“I want you to stay away from him. Stay away from guys in
this area, please.”
She sniffled, “You cannot choose my friends.”
He glared at her, “I have every right…”
“Are you my father?!” she shot him a disdainful look.
“No, but, I am your…”
“Have you paid my bride price?”
“No, but, I have plans to…”
“Then you have no right to determine who my friends should
He stared back at her. His annoyance grew.
“I don’t need basic education to discern who people are or
what they are not. I have my instinct and I also have the
spirit of God.”
Suddenly, he realized how hurt she must have felt by his
“Now, I really know how you feel about me,” she started to
“Bukky, no… I was just trying to explain…”
She halted and turned around, “Explain what? The fact thatH
you are dating an illiterate doesn’t sit well with you. I am glad
I know now.”
“Maybe we shouldn’t really be dating. We are definitely two
worlds apart,” she walked away.
She didn’t respond. She went straight into the house.
Gbemiga cursed under his breath. How was he going to clear
up their misunderstanding? He loved her and didn’t care if
she was educated or not.