Brenda looked away when she saw Sean coming towards her and the taxi-driver. The driver was still asking for his money. He was beginning to be nasty towards Brenda. She had not expected it of him. He seemed nice when she took his cab but the man in front of her wasn’t anywhere near nice. They had agreed on a different fare and Brenda was angry and frustrated when he asked for something higher than what they had agreed on just because he took her into the campus and not at the gate.
Her eyes were on fire and her voice was shaking. It was obvious that the effort of being angry was putting a strain on her. She didn’t want to get angry but it was tough. The driver saw through the countenance and seemed ready for a show down. Brenda was also conscious of the approaching guy. She wished he would walk away instead of walking towards them.
If she had the money, she would have given it to the man but she didn’t and that was what was frustrating her. The approaching guy stepped in just in time even though Brenda didn’t want him to interfere but she was grateful all the same.
The guy happened to be Sean. He had persuaded the guy to reduce the price and he’d paid. Brenda smiled shyly and turned to look at Sean.
“Jesus, that was stressful,” Brenda said. “Thank you. I am Brenda.”
“Hello. I am Sean Oluwole Bryn.”
“Oh, you are Nigerian. How interesting,” she replied.
“Why is my being a Nigerian interesting to you?” Sean asked as they walked towards the cafeteria.
Brenda shrugged and said she loved Abuja because she had spent a few years with her brother there, then she walked faster. Sean called on her a few times but she didn’t look back.
“Sean!” Derek called.
For a moment Sean looked away from Brenda and waved at Derek but by the time he looked back, Brenda had gone farther away from him. He couldn’t bring himself to yell or run after her.
“You just bleeped up,” Sean complained as Derek came to where he was standing. Derek looked questioningly at him then at Brenda’s retreating back.
“Oh, I am so sorry. How did it go with the girl I asked you to call?” Derek asked and pulled Sean to face him.
“I dropped the call when she was acting up. Can we talk about this later?” Sean said still staring at Brenda’s retreating back. Derek really followed his stare then.
“Who is she? Is that not that nerdy science girl?” Derek asked.
“I think she is my reason for waking up in a good mood,” Sean replied, smiling from ear to ear.
“Are you for real? The reason was the call you made. I have been hooking you up with cute girls and you opt to go for this nerd. You are a disappointment,” Derek replied with disapproval. Sean shook his head and walked away from Derek.
The lady he had called earlier that morning had rubbed off on him the wrong way and he didn’t want to talk about her. The best way to avoid the conversation was to walk away from Derek at that moment and he did. He looked back when he was sure he had walked far enough. Derek was already chatting up a skinny white girl, Sean smiled.
Sean didn’t see Brenda again until almost two weeks after the incident when he saw her with her friends studying for the semester exams. Sean had suddenly developed cold feet but for the sudden call of his name which brought Brenda to look up, he would have walked away.
Sean waved when he was through with the person that called him. Brenda nodded before turning back to look at her friends. Sean was not sure of his next move. He was still thinking of what to do when Brenda looked up again and waved him over. The other ladies said something and giggled. They got up to leave as Sean came nearer. They said hello and goodbye as he sat down beside Brenda.
“I thought it was someone else,” Brenda said as she packed her books. “I had to look the second time to make sure and it seem as if you were about to run away.”
“Was I that obvious?” Sean asked still unsure of how to handle the conversation.
“You are Sean right? We have a class together once in a while. That’d be chemistry 104 class,” Brenda said again and crossed her legs.
“Yes but I have never seen you before the cab incident.”
“Well, I have. I have seen you several times in fact. I was there when you argued with Professor Duncan on…”
“Oh God! That was an ugly incident. I must have made a bad impression on you then,” Sean replied with awe.
“No, of course not. I almost stood up myself so you saved me the cause to do so. The man obviously was confused and needed to be put straight,” Brenda commented.
They started talking about chemistry and their professors and what life in Abuja was like for her and how she would love to live there one day.