Pleasure and Pain – A Short Story – Episode 1



8, May, 2006

It all started on this particular day, Nancy had left the premises of ‘1000 lecture theatre’ of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), after finishing a GST Class, she was a bit famished, then, she proceeded to a nearby canteen, where she intended to have breakfast.

On getting there, the place was a beehive of activities, as students had flooded the cafeteria, for their eating pleasure and relaxation. Sooner than later, she was able to locate an empty round table, whilst she made to make her orders, before proceeing back to sit; all by herself. About five minutes later. A stranger approached towards the table where she was seated, he was holding a plate of jollof rice on his hand, and a bottle of beverage. Nancy soon noticed his presence, and slowly she looked upwards before giving him an inquisitive stare; eventhough, he was quite a popular icon in the university environ.

“Do you mind if I join you?” He asked calmly.

“Definitely not! I mean, is this how you go about looking for some lady to sit with in every cafeteria!?” Only if she had said that… “Yes, you can.” She replied abruptly, albeit, in a reserved manner.

He adjusted the chair, and joined her shortly, while Nancy continued eating her fried rice garnished with sallad, as though she cared less about his presence. They both went silent for a while, before he finally broke the silence by starting a conversation.

“Hmmm.. I don’t mean to disturb your peace, but I’d like to know why a pretty lady like you would prefer to eat in a canteen all alone. I know it’s really none of my business, but I’m just curious, don’t you have any female friend?” He enquired obviously meaning the opposite of what he had said, as regard the ‘female’ friend part.

“Well, I felt like eating alone, last time I checked, it wasn’t a crime, innit?” She answered his question with a rhetorical question coated with a facial expression which suggest that she wasn’t offended.

“C’mon, you don’t need to sound rude. I’m only concerned, I actually figured out that you’d probably be – needing a bit of company, and so, my instinct brought me to you. My apologies if you’re offended in any way.

“No, I’m not. I’m not offended.” Nancy slowly blurted, as she practically feigned a fake but cute smile on her face.

“…so we’re good?” He chipped in, – whilst raising his right hand a little upward, for a high-five, hoping to ascertain whether she would reciprocate the gesture, or bluntly turn him down.

“Sure!” Nancy muttered stylishly, and then clunched her hand together with his, before they both retracted their hands from each other.

At that moment, alot was already going through her mind, ranging from his soft palm, to his cute white eyes, his dimples and pink lips put together. She couldn’t help but wonder how he wasn’t only handsome, but also a sweet gentleman. His behaviour apparently changed her previous perception about him being the only son of a wealthy politician who drives a Toyota convertible car, live in a well furnished 1-Bedroom flat at Ekosodin, and have every campus girl wishing to be on his bed.

Nancy was inwardly elated having had the privilege to have a personal conversation with such a talked-about personality, and it seemed as though her world would crumble before her if he doesn’t ask her out, she was definitely enjoying every moment that they were spending together, but there was need for caution as she needed to put her acts together, so as not to appear cheap and desperate.

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