He stepped out of the Office of the PA to the Dean after thanking the man for the umpteenth time. This was the second time he was entering that office in almost 6 years. The first was when he had come to Ibadan to check if he had been admitted into the faculty. It seemed like eons ago. He had left that office then as excited as he was leaving it now too, albeit for different reasons. Then, his excitement had been because he had just confirmed his admission to the university. He had been happy because finally, for the first time in his life, he was going to be on his own, free to do as he pleased and free to chase all those hot university babes he had heard so much about.
However, now, his excitement stemmed from the letter he was holding in his hands. He held it firmly, as though someone was going to snatch it off him, and yet delicately, as if the words were going to fall off the envelope. He knew who the letter was from. He didn’t have to open it to figure that out. The writing on the envelope was distinctively Veronica’s; graceful and beautiful just like the writer. He had known her as a child and a tomboyish ‘tween’. When he went home during the last school break and saw her, he couldn’t believe how much she had changed. The last time he saw her before then, she was still the innocent looking,clumpsy teenager who didn’t quite care about how she looked. She had burst unannounced, in her pajamas, into a room where he was playing a game of chess with her brother, Femi. The angry look she got from her brother sent her running out of the room the same way she came in.
But the Veronica that he saw the last time around was a different one. She had grown from freckled faced, skinny and clumsy teenager to banging hot diva. Richard had to consciously force himself from thinking about her like that. Before then, she had always been the prime tease target for Femi and his friends. They teased her about everything; her looks, her scrawny legs and pimpled face. However, when he saw her, he knew he couldn’t tease her no more; instead he ogled, for what seemed like an eternity and ended up complimenting her looks. He noticed she blushed in embarrassment and quickly made her exit from where he was. He had always suspected that Veronica had a crush on him but he was almost certain she had outgrown it. He decided not to dwell too much on what he saw. She couldn’t still be all ‘crushed’ up on him, he told himself.
He made several visits to Femi’s house during the break, but his intention was not always to see Femi. He always looked for an excuse to chat with Veronica. He was even more pleased when he found out that she had given her life to Christ. The fact that they had something in common brought them closer and the relationship grew from mere mutual attraction to a discipler- disciple one, visible to all to see, although underneath that ran emotions which both of them struggled to keep in check and hide from each other and from people around them as well.
By the time he was leaving for school, they had grown so close to the point that Veronica started to share things about her with him she had never shared with anyone before- her first and only relationship, how it started, how it ended, how she lost her virginity, the pains, the heartbreak when it was over…everything. Gradually, their conversations moved from the spiritual and soulful to the sensual and erotic. She told him in details how she lost her virginity, the various ‘sexcapades’ she had with her ex and how despite the fact that she is now a Christian, she sometimes misses those times and wishes she could experience those times again. He knew he ought to have stopped her from talking like that but he found out, much to his dismay, that he was enjoying such talk. Most of the conversations left him putting his hands in his pocket, not to bring out anything but to hide the bulge in his pants and hold his member in check. He knew they were tottering on the brink of spiritual disaster but thankfully nothing happened and he managed to get back to school in one piece.
He looked at his watch and realized he had about 40mins before his next class, his Supervisor’s class. But he knew for him to get a seat in a place where the lecturer could easily spot him, he had to be in class at least 20mins early. Not that he was particularly interested in the course but like most final year students, he had learnt to manage his perception, especially where his supervisor was concerned. A positive perception could be the difference between a second class upper and a second class lower degree . But before then, he had to find a quiet place to read Veronica’s letter. He finally settled for the student’s cafeteria. At that time of the day, the café was always deserted as most students would have gone for their classes. He ordered a drink and settled in a corner of the café to devour the letter.
I am not going to tell you how many different openings I had tried for this letter and how none of them seemed right until I finally gave up and decided to start anyhow. How are you doing? Hope your project is coming up alright?
Hmmm, so what do I start with? OK! I passed my JAMB, finally! …did I hear you clap? Thank you. Yeah! I know you would be proud of me. I am proud of me too [laughs]. Thanks for all the encouragement. I was beginning to think maybe I wasn’t destined to go to the university but thank God, I made it, after 2 attempts. Phew!
But that’s not the only reason why you would be proud of me. I know you have been harassing me to join a unit in Church and get more involved in God’s work. Well, I did. I am now a bona fide member of choir. It’s a little hectic with all the rehearsals and all but I am beginning to get used to it and enjoy it.
Guess who came around last week? Lekan, my ex-boyfriend. Can you imagine? After all he did to me; he had the guts to ask me to give him another chance. I told him I had given my life to Christ and that there was someone else.
Richard’s heart skipped a beat! He hoped she wasn’t referring to him. He liked her but he knew what she needs is a more grounded faith walk and not any thing like a relationship that could distract her. Moreover, she is like a sister to him and he knew he couldn’t date her even if he wanted to. He didn’t want to date her…he tried to convince himself.
Anyways, I think he got the point as he hasn’t visited since that day.
So when are you coming home? I have missed you so much. I had a funny dream about both of us but I am too embarrassed to share it with you now. Maybe I will when next we see. Anyways, come home soon. My friends keep asking me to go partying with them all the time but I have resisted them although I am not sure how much longer I can hold them off. Please come home quickly. At least I know with you around, I will have someone to spend my time with and wouldn’t be tempted in any way to do anything bad. I can’t wait to see you again. I have many things to tell you.
Till we see, don’t do what I wouldn’t do and don’t do what you wouldn’t be able to tell me…isn’t that what you always tell me?
PS: I have been a good girl…there is nothing I have done that I can’t tell you. It’s been difficult though. But I will hold on and I trust God to help me out.
Richard read the letter again the second time, and then a third. He was happy, sad and confused at the same time. He was happy that she had passed her JAMB, at last, and that she had joined the choir but he felt depressed that she didn’t sound as strong as he would have wanted her to be. He didn’t like the fact that she needed him around to stay focused on her faith. He didn’t appreciate that at all.
He knew he had to correct that but he wasn’t so sure he could do it anymore. He was beginning to have feelings for this girl and he wasn’t quite sure if they were genuine or born out of lust, especially after she told him about her sexual experiences. Since the day she told him, he had seen images of both of them making hot passionate love together in his mind and it was becoming more difficult to keep those images out now.
He also thought about the dream she said she had about both of them. Was she having the same problems? He hoped not.
As he stood up to leave for his class, he saw Kemi, one of his classmates and it suddenly occurred to him that God had sent him help. Kemi, was one of the pastors of a major fellowship on campus and she lived in the same area back in Lagos as Richard and Veronica. He knew how passionate she was about young female converts and he was sure she wouldn’t say no if he asked her to disciple Veronica.
He would introduce Kemi to Veronica and he was sure they would hit it off straightaway.
Thank God! He said. He doesn’t have to see her as much again. He can now focus on getting his spiritual life back on track.
Kemi! Kemi!!, he called out.