It was August and we just moved into the neighborhood. I began making new friends in no time, my dad also registered me into a tutorial class in preparation for the next year’s WASSCE examination which I couldn’t register for as we needed a lot of money to enable us relocate to our new environment.
It was at the tutorial classes I met most of my friends, I clicked with many of them as soon as I started, some of them even live in the same street as I do and we easily saw each other outside the tutorials.
One of my new neighborhood friends was Evelyn, she was also closest, this was because we lived in the same compound, her flat was directly opposite to mine and we chatted quite often.
One Saturday afternoon, I was alone at home, my parents left for a function somewhere in town and I was so bored, so I decided to go to Evelyn’s flat just so I could find someone to talk to. On getting there, I met her with another friend. Goodness gracious! she was heavenly made; her beauty was so natural and excellent. I met them playing a game of ludo and I was offered to join in the game. I greeted Evelyn’s beautiful friend and she greeted me with a smile back. We quickly got into business of the game. After about 4 rounds in which I won two, Evelyn got a call from someone and she had to go meet with the person, so she left promising to return in time to continue the game. I used the opportunity of Evelyn’s absence to get to know her friend more. Her name was Zainab, and I didn’t easily believe that she also lived on my street. She pointed out her house from the balcony and then I believe, although she explained she doesn’t come out often and that could have being the reason why we haven’t met before now. She also was awaiting the next year’s WASSCE exam. I asked why she didn’t write the previous, ‘its a long story’ she said.
Evelyn didn’t stay long as she promised and then we continued the ludo game. After some while, Zainab had to start going home and there we ended the game, so we escorted her back to her place. On our way back to our house, that’s Evelyn and I, I told her friend was really beautiful. ‘You like her?’ She asked in response. I didn’t know what to answer at first but I just replied ‘somehow’ Evelyn just sigh. I asked why she did that and she refused to give me an honest answer.
I was surprised the week later to find out that Zainab had also registered into the same tutorial class as I was attending. ‘What are you doing here?’ I asked when I saw her.
‘Am here to learn of course’ she laughed and said.
Her response later made it clear to me that I had asked a somewhat stupid question as what other reason would a girl of her age be looking for in a tutorial class. We continued her conversation from where we stopped at Evelyn’s flat and I got to know her more.
‘Why do girls like to come around you a lot?’ Zainab suddenly asked one day, I was taken aback by her question, I didn’t realize that I had more female friends than male. I didn’t know how to answer that, although many times I had looked at many girls and they winked at me or they do things like coming so close to me in such that their different sized breast comes in contact with my body, some would like want to enter me and all this they do when they want me to explain something we both learnt but don’t understand the way the teachers explained it. I just kept ignoring all the advances they made as my mind was set on Zainab although I had received countless good remarks about my handsomeness and I was voted the most handsome guy at the tutorial centre during one of the play times.
‘Well, they just want more explanation on the topics they don’t seem to understand’ I replied her
‘Really?’ She asked with a grin on her face
‘Really’ I repeated with a smile. ‘Its not like am going to date anyone of them?’ I added and she laughed silently
‘Are you sure?’
‘You don’t believe me?’ I questioned back
‘OK let me use this opportunity to tell you my mind once and for all’
‘What’s on your mind’ she asked
‘I like you, as I really like you and I know there is possibility that you like me too’ I said with confidence. She didn’t reply me but kept staring at me.
‘No!’ I heard her sharp reply strike my eardrums which in turn struck my brain like a projectile rock with powerful force. I was surprised at her reply but before I could say any other word she stood up and left. I kept starring at her as she left. I was dumbstruck; I felt like sinking to the bottom of the sea, memories flashed through my mind with lighting speed.
‘But why did she turn me down?’ I questioned myself and couldn’t get an answer or have I misread the signs because am sure does have something for me as Evelyn had also stylishly said it, she didn’t say it directly but the meaning of “she should like you” was clear to me or was there a line I missed in my speech or was my timing wrong or was my…
‘Hey, cute brain let’s get going?’ Evelyn call brought me back to the real world from my self questioning lost state of mind.
I waited till we got home before telling Evelyn about my discussion with Zainab, it was at my flat and we were alone, she acted quite surprised but then she started saying things that sounded funny. ‘Don’t you think you should look elsewhere?’ She started
‘What do you mean?’ I asked, puzzled
‘I mean, I know you like her but why chase something you can’t get when there is a better replacement in front of you’
I looked at her trying to understand what she meant, didn’t take me so long to understand where she was heading, I just laughed.
‘Ha-ha, you don’t mean it, do you’ I said
‘See cutie brain, I love you’ she said readjusting her sitting position beside me, coming closer to me actually but I wasn’t moved by it. ‘And I want you so bad just as other girls at the tutorial center, why trying Zainab when I, Evelyn Samuel is openly here for you’
‘Please oo, don’t finish me before my time o’ I said interrupting her speech with laughter. Her words sounded really funny to me. Anyways, I told her point blank that there couldn’t be such relationship between us but we could still be friends, she left my place angrily when I said it all.
I couldn’t wait for the next morning to arrive, I couldn’t sleep actually, I had tried calling Zainab’s phone number earlier but it was switched off and I was worried.
By dawn I was fully set to leave for tutorials, something I rarely do, I am used of being dragged out of bed by my mother’s loud voice who with my father would have being set to leave for their working places.
‘It seems you are anxious about learning today’ my mother said
‘Why do you say so ma?’ I asked
‘Why wouldn’t I, this one that I didn’t have to shout before getting you out of bed, you definitely must be anxious about something’ she replied and I just laughed.
When I got to the tutorial center, Zainab was absent and I and Evelyn decided we would check her after tutorials. When we got there, the news about how her father had died after a long battle with stroke hit was like lightening. We couldn’t talk to her or see her as her family members didn’t allow us.
Not until January, before anyone could set eyed on Zainab around the neighborhood or at the tutorial center, all through the two previous months, no one heard or saw her, the need was that they had travelled to their home town for the final burial ceremony.
Everyone was happy to see her, I don’t know how much they all were but I believe I must have being the most happiest to see her. I really missed her so much.
I didn’t rush into our relationship talk immediately she resumed, I waited for about three weeks then I reopened the case I thought we left undecided.
Thinking she would have changed her decision, I was surprised to receive another ‘No’ as an answer for my proposal. She explained two reasons why she turned me down. The first was shocking but you wouldn’t believe Evelyn was also a catalyst to her turning my offer down, she explain how Evelyn had advised her to take her mind off me as she wouldn’t be able to cope with jealousy of other girls surrounding me. Then the second was that her father’s last instructions before his demise was that she should do nothing else but face her studies and make sure she did perfectly well to become greater than he had. She even advised me to do same and that maybe later in future we could rethink of it. …
THE END…BUT WATCHOUT THE STORY CONTINUES