Gbemiga returned home for the long holiday. His family were very happy that he would be in his second year by the next session. When he was able to get away from them, he searched for his girlfriend. He was eager to see her. He missed her greatly. He saw her when he came out of the building. She was in the company of her aunt and her sales girls. He tried to signal and gain her attention, but, she intentionally disregarded him.
“Why is Gbemiga moving around us like a pendulum bob?” Kike eyed the young man.
The girls giggled.
“He is trying to get my attention,” Bukky informed her aunt.
Kike stared at her niece, “Why?”
She met her aunt’s curious gaze, “We are friends.”
“Friends?” she raised an eyebrow, then glanced at Gbemiga who was standing at the entrance of the building, looking their way. “What kind of friends?”
Bukky returned her inquisitive stare, then glanced at the girls.
Kike could discern what the girl wasn’t saying. “Since when?”
Her eyes widened in surprise, “Under my nose?”
Bukky dropped her head and continued to sieve the corn pap.
“You are a big girl,” she cleared her throat, “But, you must be very careful and wise. Boys of nowadays are not trustworthy. Don’t disappoint your parents, don’t disobey God and don’t come home pregnant.”
She lifted her eyes and met her aunt’s warning ones.
“You can go. I don’t like the way he is parading us like a jelly fish.”
The girls bursted out laughing.
“Laughing gas!” she glared at them, “Both of you should better sieve all this corn pap fast,” she eyed them.
The girls kept quiet, but, giggled.
Bukky got to her feet, washed her hands in a bowl of clean water and strode to the entrance of the building.
Gbemiga beamed, “Hi.”
“Hi… welcome back.”
“Thanks. Can we talk?”
“Let’s go to the back of the kitchen.”
Her brows came together in a frown. “No, we can talk here.”
He looked around him, “Out here?”
“Yes. I will get a bench.”
“No! Wait…” he thought of his parents and siblings. What would they say if they say him talking to her outside the house?
“Look, I have already told my aunt about us.”
“You did what?!” he threw a glance at Kike. Her stern stare was directed his way. He glanced back at his girlfriend.
She crossed her arms against her chest and looked up at him, “I don’t want a secret relationship. You better make up your mind. It is either everyone knows about us or we end it, now!”
Her ultimatum didn’t go down well with him, but, he wasn’t prepared to lose her, “Let’s talk, okay? I have really missed you.”
She hissed, “When you are ready to talk, you know where to find me,” she turned around.
“Wait…” he said through gritted teeth.
She faced him.
“Wait here. I will get a bench.”
He hurried into the house. Bukky heaved a sigh of relief and leaned against the wall. He returned in a moment and placed a long wooden bench against the wall. They both sat down. She noticed a set of children under twelve playing a game of soccer under the scorching sun.
“How was your examination?” she glanced at him.
“Fine, but, you didn’t even call me to wish me success,” a sad glint appeared in his eyes.
“I am sorry.”
“Did you block my number on your phone?”
She looked away.
“Do you even love me at all? Do you even know the meaning of love?”
She turned her head and saw how hurt he looked. “What I did is called tough love?”
“Tough love?! What sort of relationship are we having if we cannot even communicate especially when we are apart?”
She swallowed hard.
“Three months. Three months Bukky and I didn’t hear from you. I couldn’t even reach you.”
He was right. Maybe she took the whole thing too far.
“What exactly do you want Bukky?”
“You are right. We do not talk. We just touch each other when…when…when we are supposed to be building this relationship.”
He frowned, “But, physical intimacy is important and necessary in every relationship. I am not a Priest; neither are you a Nun.”
She looked him up and down, “We are not married. We shouldn’t be…”
“Come on now. You are not a baby.”
She stared at him as if she was seeing him for the first time, “Sex before marriage is totally wrong.”
“I know, I know, but, even God himself will understand.”
She dropped her jaw in shock.
“Let’s go to the back of the kitchen. I want to feel you. I have really, really missed you,” he winked at her.
She suddenly felt repulsed by him. It dawned on her that they were not going to agree on that particular issue.
“I will go first,” he got up, “Join me in the next five, then minutes.”
She gave a shake of head, “I am not coming.”
He eyed her, “Why are you making things difficult for us?”
“How many minutes have we spoken? You talk of lack of communication, but, here you are, you are already thinking of touching me.”
He hissed, “Stop behaving like a child and come and meet me at the back of the kitchen.”
“God gave us self-control for a lot of reasons.”
He eyed her, “I have self-control.”
“Then use it.”
“I will be waiting for you,” he turned to leave.
“Why can’t we just sit here and talk? I have so many things to tell you. I want to hear all about your experiences at school. Let’s talk.”
“I am waiting,” he strode off.
She watched him leave. What has she gotten herself into?
She pressed her lips together and sighed loudly. She realized that they might not be able to move forward with their disagreement hanging over their heads. It would be better if they broke up and get on with their lives.