2 years and a few months back, somewhere in Abia state Nigeria.
I was in a restaurant with my two very good friends, Chichi and Chioma, we were out to just gist and have fun. I’m a 22 year old graduate of Bowen University but I live in Abia state, I had just returned back from school after my graduation. My whole family was there to celebrate with me at my graduation, but now I want to do it with my friends.
My friends and I don’t go to the same school, but that hasn’t stopped us from being real close. Chichi is closest to me, we’ve been friends for years; I tell her everything and anything.
“so Ada, how does it feel to be a graduate of mass communication?” asked chioma, she is the cutest amongst us, she has a perfect figure eight, average in height, dark skin, and a very dark hair, which is thick and natural, she normally leaves it into a short afro, which makes her look really beautiful, she’s a perfect example of an African queen.
“I took a sip of my coke, placed it back on the round table where we sat in the middle of the restaurant and looked at her, then I gave her a big wide smile and said,
“it feels awesome”, I felt giddy and excited and I expressed that by smiling like a moron and getting restless on my seat as I continued, “I can’t wait to start my service(Nysc), start work as a reporter and tell stories of every kind, whether good or bad, I just can’t wait”. I said
“nawa, na so you dey excited?, abeg make this strike vamoose so that I too go, go back to school make I graduate” said chioma, her university which is not a private university has been on strike for a few months now, lecturers have refused to teach ‘cos they haven’t been paid.
“Don’t worry it’ll soon be called off” stated chichi confidently.
She is light in complexion like me, same height as me and very beautiful too, her hair is brown in color, she’s slim like a model but has wide hips and a tiny waist and she knows how to dress.
“but that might be in four years time” she said, we both burst into laughter at this, while chioma just glared at us, she’s the only one that refused to go to a private university, said its boring as hell, that she wanted to have fun. Well she’s having fun now right?
“ehnn, continue to laugh oh, continue, I don’t blame you, mshww” she rolled her eyes, placed her drink back on her lips and took a huge gulp, we didn’t mind her, we just continued to laugh, it was then I felt my pocket vibrate, my laughter reduced to little chuckles, I dipped my hand into the right side of my jeans trouser pocket and pulled out my phone, saw it was a number without a name, wondered who it was but still answered it all the same. I said hi, the person asked if I was ada, I confirmed that I was, and that was how my world came to an end, with only that confirmation. My family, the whole of them, dead.
Two weeks after Fola’s wedding.
I was in Michael’s office working on my laptop, when Ada walked in. my eyes moved to look at her when she spoke.
“Gibson lunch is ready, do you want to eat here or in the dining room?” she asked, sounding like she wanted to be anywhere but here.
I looked at her and I did that for approximately 5 seconds without saying anything. She stood there patiently waiting, but I could see that she was getting ticked.
So I stared some more, just because I enjoy it when she gets ticked, she gets really cute when it happens. Finally she broke,
“Are you hungry or not, seriously I have work to do”
Now we’re talking, she was glaring at me, One side of my lip went up into a smirk which ticked her off the more, she whirled around and began to stomp out of Michael’s office in her cute fitted black skirt that went with a blue top and some flat shoes, looking amazing.
She was a few feet to the door when I stopped her by calling her name. She stopped and waited, her back facing me. I knew she wasn’t going to turn around for me to talk to her so I launched into what I wanted to say.
“Babe, since Michael and Fola went for their honeymoon, you’ve been avoiding me, whenever we manage to meet you avoid talking to me, how long will you keep doing this?”
But she didn’t say anything, she didn’t even move, she just stood there.
“Ada” I called
But she still stood there like a mannequin.
“Ada” I called again, still she didn’t move. So I got up and walked to her, once I was directly behind her, I placed my hand on her shoulder, she immediately jerked her shoulder and turned around to face me, still glaring, then she said.
“Look, we have broken up; you are now the friend of my boss, not my boyfriend, so please let’s keep it that way”
Then she turned back around and walked out, ok this has been going on for far too long, time to stake my claim, I was done with this , this has to end, I don’t mean us as a couple ‘cos as far as I’m concerned we never broke up, she’s just having a phase, she’ll come out of it soon, and that “soon” is today.
So I followed her, right up to the kitchen, occasionally she would turn her head to look at me walk behind, then she would quicken her steps, but I always caught up with her.
As she got to the kitchen, I held her by her wrist, then pulled her towards me making her turn around fully to face. Then I grabbed her by the side of her neck, got real close, and pecked her on her forehead. Once I was done I looked at her, and the look on her face made me chuckle, she had on a stupid, cute, funny look.
I looked to the kitchen to see the maids were there staring at us, one even had her mouth hanging agape. Well then, that should do it.
“Did you just do that?” this was said by my sweet Ada, in a whisper,
My head turned away from looking at the maids to look at her when she spoke, then I answered once she was done speaking, “yep, I just did; now the whole house will know we are back together”
“No we are not” she said in a whisper.
“Yes Ada we are” I replied her.
“But…but… we’ve broken up” she stammered
“No we haven’t,” I said.
My hand was still holding her by her neck when she bent it backwards to look at me, then she said, no longer whispering.
“Gibson, I remember vividly breaking up with you in the pool a few months ago, we are no longer together, we have broken up, so I don’t understand that stunt…”
She didn’t complete her sentence ‘cos I pecked her again on her forehead.
This made her to jerk back in surprise, I still don’t understand why she‘s still getting surprised by it, I do it all the time to her, well I haven’t been doing it ‘cos I’ve been giving her some space, but now I’m taking that space back.
“Will you stop doing that?” she bit out angrily, “I said we have broken up, you are now a friend to my boss, and friends to my boss don’t kiss me on the forehead, ok, so just stop it”
“Sorry babe, I can’t , and even if I could, I wouldn’t, and sorry again ‘cos I know you really love to talk to me right now but I can’t do that, we’ll talk once I’m done with the work I’m doing in Michael’s office”
Then I kissed her yet again on her forehead, this time I noticed her mouth was hanging open like how the maids’ mouth was, the only difference is hers is cuter than the maid.
Then I turned around, and walked back to Michael’s office, grinning as I did.
What in the world just happened?, I specifically said we have broken up, and yet he’s acting like we’ve been courting for four years now. Or is he deaf?
As I stood there thinking maybe Gibson is deaf or is just plain stupid and forgetful, I felt the eyes of my co workers looking at me. I turned my head to the side to look at them, and like I was some soap opera superstar, they stared at me.
“Don’t you girls have work to do?”
“yeah we do , but looking at what just happened is way better than working” said one of the maids, I rolled my eyes at her, ignoring her, all of them, then marched forward in search of Gibson. If I have to scream it into his ears in order for it to penetrate into his brains that we have broken, I will.
But when I got to Michael’s office, he wasn’t there, hmm…where is he, as I walked back thinking where he might have gone to, I saw Nancy walking to the door, looks like she wants to go to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for the pastries I want to teach her. But before she goes, let me ask her if she has seen Gibson.
He didn’t even tell me where he wanted to eat, guess he isn’t hungry.
I was walking to the main door of the house when I heard my name, I turned around to the sound of Ada’s voice, she was walking fast and briskly towards me like she was on a mission, I hope I haven’t done anything ‘cos she looks pissed.
She asked as she walked towards me, “where is Gibson, have you seen him?”
I sighed in relief and it was a big one, glad she wasn’t pissed at me, she squinted her eyes glaring at me, I saw the look, I know that look so I quickly said, “ I have no idea”
And really I don’t, I saw him 3 hours ago in Michael’s office, he’s the boss for now, because Fola and Michael are on their honeymoon in Dubai.
“You don’t know where he is?” she asked again, still glaring at me.
“No Ada, seriously I don’t” she kept giving me the glare, while I waited patiently for her to be done with it. She thinks the glare scares me but it actually makes her look cute. So it doesn’t hurt to take the glare full on whenever she gives it.
She gave up giving me the glare, sighing in the process, realizing it wasn’t working, then she turned around and walked to the kitchen yelling, “when you see him, tell him I don’t want to see him, he doesn’t exist, and that we are done, so done” (explanation: when you see him, tell him I desperately need to see him, pronto).
“Sure will” I said, grinning at her back.
I stood there grinning behind her, when suddenly I heard.
I jerked in surprise at the sound of Stephen’s voice, he was walking towards the stairs, he had a towel around his waist, barefoot, and I could see the droplets of water coming down his skin, exposing his six packs, flat tummy and from where I stand it looks hard, this is mainly because he works out, with the droplets of water on his skin it means his wet, which means he just got out from the pool.
“Yeah I am so?” I replied back, smirking at him
He shook his head, like I was a child in need of home training, “ Ada doesn’t need Gibson desperately”
My mouth dropped open in shock, how in the world did he know what I was thinking? He wasn’t in the room when I said it. Or was he?
He walked passed me, ignoring my reaction, I spluttered for about three seconds then demanded, “how did you know what I was thinking?” then I shut up, realizing my mistake, maybe he didn’t know it, maybe he just guessed it, and my stupid big mouth just said it out loud letting him know he was right about what I was thinking. Shoot! I’m so stupid.
I’m totally going to ignore him for the next two days, no speaking, no hanging out, nothing!.
“Nancy you can’t stay a minute without talking to me, so your plan of trying to ignore me for the next few days, won’t work”.
My eyes bugged out, he was at the stairs right now, he took the first step, turned slightly around to grin at me, then took the next step and kept on going up the stairs.
I heard him chuckle deeply ‘cos of the look on my face, I watched him go up the stairs until he got to the top, totally freaked out at his ability to read my mind. Then I watched him disappear from my sight. Slowly, oh so slowly, I turned around, walked to the door like a zombie, placed my palm on the door handle, and pressed it down. It made a click sound, then I pulled it open, and stepped into the hot afternoon sun.
Before Ada came to me, I was on my way to the supermarket to buy some ingredients for my baking lessons. I’ve been watching some really nice videos on how to bake some amazing pastries, so I’m going to try baking them ‘cos they look amazing, but I won’t be doing it alone, Ada will be supervising me.
But after experiencing Stephen’s ability to read minds, I’m not sure I can go to the supermarket any longer.
“Hi sugar plum, you ok?”
My eyeballs moved on its own to look at Becky standing slightly to my left facing me, looking at me like she thought maybe I needed medical attention, and she might be right.
I nodded my head woodenly at her meaning yes; she tilted her head to the side, trying to figure out if I was saying the truth.
“You look like you’ve been given a shot of the zombie venom, you sure you’re ok?” she asked again, and again, I nodded my head.
She still looked unconvinced so I decided to convince her by speaking and this is what I said slowly and quietly,
“Stephen… can…. Read…. minds”
“Huh?” was her reply cos she couldn’t hear me.
I shook my head to clear the fog that was clouding my brain and repeated more firmly saying, “Stephen can read minds, did you know that?”
She looked confused for a moment so I asked again, “did you know Stephen can read minds?”
“well…I don’t think…” she started, but I interrupted her by saying,
“Why didn’t you tell me he can read minds?” I said with an attitude.
“hold on sweetie” she said, raising her hand palm out in front of her trying to keep me quiet so she could answer but I spoke again.
“No, Becky why didn’t you tell me he can read minds, I’m sure he has read everything I’ve thought about him for the last…..” I stopped speaking, as I tried to think of how long I’ve been with the smiths’ family, but I couldn’t remember so I continued with my rant.
“I can’t remember how long, but you still should have told me?”
She decided not to speak, she just watched me instead, silently.
“I mean, I’m sure he has been laughing his head off at all my inappropriate thoughts, thinking how much of an idiot I am”
Then feeling totally stupid and embarrassed at the picture I had painted in my head, I ended with, “ God, this is awful”
“Inappropriate thoughts?, oh do tell” said Becky, and to my dismay, quite excitedly.
“I’m serious Becky you should have told me”. Then I kept quiet, she was quiet too, we stared at each other, then I prompted saying, “So?”
“Oh, are you done ranting?” she asked.
I rolled my eyes, then my eyes rolled back to look at her, then I gave her a look, a look that said I’m done ranting, now I want her to talk, so I won’t look foolish ranting for nothing. She understood my behavior so she spoke.
“Well firstly, Stephen cannot read minds”
I attempted to speak, to let her know that he actually can but she raised a finger stopping me, my mouth clamped shut, then I stood there listening, she continued.
“And what are the inappropriate thoughts?” she asked, I tried again to speak, but once again she stopped me.
“Hold that answer…, next, I’m sure whatever the thoughts are, he won’t mind, he’s a nice boy and an understanding one too, I mean have you met his brother?”
I kept quiet, having nothing to say, I mean what do I say?
The look she gave me said she wanted an answer to her question; but I kept quiet, so she said
“ok don’t answer me, but you do know he can’t read my minds right?”
“Of course he can, he told me exactly what I was thinking Becky” I said, sounding really convinced that he can read minds.
“No Nancy he can’t”
I was done with this; she won’t believe me, fine. I’ll just leave it the way it is. I walked forward heading for the car parked in front of me, but she stopped me by asking, “Where are you going?”
“To the supermarket” I replied still walking to the car, Bello was already in the driver’s seat, so I opened the back door of the car, bent, got in, closed the door, and then we drove off, Leaving Becky standing there, watching us leave.
Four days later.
I was in my room, standing bent forward in front of my bed and I was talking to myself; yes I said that, talking to myself.
“Ok, so I have everything I need, my handbag, which has my phone and purse in it, and also my bottle of water ‘cos I get thirsty all the time”
Like I said, I was speaking to myself, checking to see if I had everything I needed for my trip to the market. The house is in need of some essentials, I’m to get them, which leads to now. So right now, I’m about to leave to get these essentials. As I stood in front of my bed, I heard.
I rolled my eyes to the voice of Gibson calling me babe, again…I mean when will he get it, I’m not his babe, we are not together.
“Babe” he called again, so I turned around to glare at him.
“What” I replied heatedly.
But he wasn’t moved by my glare, nope not at all. He just walked casually into my room from where he stood by the door like the room was his, right to me and said.
“I’ve been waiting for you outside with the car for over 20 minutes, how long does it take for you to get your handbag and phone?”
As I looked at him, I imagined using my handbag to hit him hard on his head, but of course I didn’t, I’m not that kind of girl, instead I said, once again heatedly “I’m a girl Gibson, it’s what we do, we take our time to get our stuff. So get used to it”, then I grabbed my handbag and phone from my head, walked straight by him, and out of my door.
As I walked in the hallway, I felt him walking directly behind me; I was quite pissed ‘cos I hated the fact that he has to be the one to take me to the market. I’m big enough to go by myself, but he just won’t listen. My god, he’s so stubborn.
As I got to the stairs, he came to walk beside me; so I decided I should ask what’s currently bothering me.
Going down the flight of stairs, I said.
“Why are you taking me to the market sef?” Sounding nasty.
Gibson replied not bothered by my nasty attitude, “I’m taking you to the market ‘cos I want to Ada, and Bello isn’t home to take you”
We were now in the middle of the stairs when I stopped to look at him and ask, “But I’ve been going to the market myself for over a year now, why now, why do you have to go with me now?”
At my question, Gibson regarded me carefully, and then he said, “Remember what happened to Fola, for weeks? “
I nodded my head, he continued,
“She couldn’t sleep well, we were all scared about what could happen next concerning her, no one was safe, not one person… do you remember?”
I nodded my head again, getting scared at his behavior
“Do you?” he asked again, quietly but firmly, like it was a threat.
I nodded once more, my chest beating really fast, At my answer, he continued.
“Well, if you do, then you’ll know why I’m being careful, only God knows the problem you’re in right now, and now that people know we are together, I have to be extra careful protecting you”
Then he continued down the stairs after that weird last statement.
I stood there dumbfounded, confused about what he said, what did he mean by the problem I’m in, I’m not in any trouble….and what people?, we aren’t together, God this dude is frustrating.
Gibson had gotten to the end of the stairs when my brain started to work again, so I walked down the remaining stairs stumping my feet at the bottom for some added effect.
I had to do that so he wouldn’t think his scary statement scared the living daylights out of me.
Gibson just stood by the entrance door not minding my behavior, I glared at him as I walked, he just chuckled, yes he chuckled, I have no idea what’s funny or what I’m going to do, my glare doesn’t work on him, in fact it doesn’t work on anyone. I just have to look for another way to get him off me, and I have to do it fast.
Some place in Tejuosho Market, Lagos state.
I walked in front of Gibson, while he played bodyguard as I looked for the things I needed to buy, I got to a shop that sold provisions and seeing as we needed some milk, sugar and other necessities, I decided to patronize the shop. As I stood there prizing and talking, I felt someone looking at me, I quickly looked to my left to see a man staring at me, like practically staring at me, wearing a black hoodie with black track pants, even as I stared at him he didn’t stop, he just continued to stare, the look in his eyes caused me to shiver and not in a good way.
Lost in my own thoughts of why the man was staring at me, I jerked to the feel of Gibson’s hand on my waist, I bent my neck slightly to the back to look at him and saw that his eyes too was on the man.
“Are you done?” he asked eyes still on the man.
I nodded my head, I wasn’t done but still anyone in my situation will say yes.
“Let’s go” he said, his voice edgy.
I didn’t argue, didn’t give him any lip, I just obeyed and turned around, his hand was still on my waist, while the other was holding the bag containing the stuff I had bought earlier on.
Then he led me directly to his car, a black Mercedes Benz E-class that was parked outside the market, he opened the passenger door for me, I got in, he closed the door, his eyes still alert. I looked around, turning my head this way and that, but I could no longer see the creepy guy.
My head turned to the sound of the car door opening, and then I watched as Gibson bent and got in to sit behind the wheel. He closed the door immediately, started the car, and pressed his foot on the gas, and off we went.
None of us spoke; he just drove us straight to the house, his face a mask of stone.
We got home safe. We both walked into the house and I headed for the kitchen with Gibson behind me. Getting to it, Gibson took a hold of my hands, I looked at him ‘cos seriously I couldn’t think, my mind was just on the guy that was staring at me weirdly.
We stood by the kitchen, my hands in his when he spoke, “from now on Ada, you don’t go out alone, understand?” he said firmly, I was not to disagree with him with the way he sounded, and I wasn’t planning on doing so. So I nodded my head, he nodded back at me, and then he let go of my hands to pull out his phone from his pocket. He dialed a number, then placed the phone to his ear. A few seconds later, he said into the phone,
“Bello….yeah, we need to talk, something’s not right” I stood there looking at him as Bello spoke at the other end of the line, Gibson continued to speak.
“No not Nancy, it’s Ada” silence….
And then “yeah, it’s not good, get back as soon as you can….ok, later”. Then he placed the phone back into his pocket with his eyes still on me and repeated
“No going out alone”
Ok then, this is a serious matter, so I guess I should also be serious about it, so I agreed by nodding my head at him.
Once I did, he turned around and walked away, leaving me standing there with a jumbled up mind.
What in the world is going on?
Thanks for reading.
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Episodes 2, 3 ,4, 5 and 6 are out on my blog page: gracefiction.com.
Along with the final episode of Fola.
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