Bukky dropped the text-book on the chair and yawned. She was tired of studying. She wished the SSCE examination would come and go with the speed of light. She missed her fiancé. Assuming he was around, he would have revised with her. He didn’t come home for Easter, but he promised to make it up to her. She yawned again and stretched out her hands. She hoped to pass her examinations, even if she had six C’s in relevant subjects, she didn’t mind. She wasn’t aiming for A’s or B’s. She just wanted to pass so that she could start preparing for the JAMB examinations. If all worked out well for her, she might get admitted into the higher institution the following year. She leaned against the chair and smiled broadly. She was no longer an illiterate. She was now an educated young woman.
She had come a long way, spent so much money, but, it all paid out in the end. It was worth it after all. She thanked God for strengthening her, especially in moments she felt like giving up. She began to dream and imagine how it would be when she finally got admitted into the university.
Kike and her husband took several pictures with their one-year-old twin toddlers. It was the kids’ birthday party and they had invited family, friends and the people living in their area. The way guests turned up with their children that afternoon, the couple began to fear that the food and drinks might not be enough.
Bukky joined her family under the canopy. Her parents, brothers and elder sister were seated at the same table. She had just sent her fiancé pictures of the celebrant. He sent a text in response. He wished he was around.
“How is Chike?” her mother smiled at her.
“He is okay,” she smiled back at her.
“I heard he was posted to Plateau state,” her elder sister directed her curious gaze at her.
She nodded in affirmation, “Yes, he was. He has been posted to Glaxco oil company in Jos.”
Her parents exchanged glances.
“I have never heard of that company,” her father sipped at his drink.
Bukky smiled, “There are so many oil companies in this country dad. We are all used to the popular ones.”
“But, do they pay well, like Chevron, Shell and Texaco?” her mother’s inquisitive gaze stayed glued to her face.
She shrugged, “I don’t know. But, he is lucky to have been posted there. Most of the people he is serving with were posted to government schools.”
“Bad luck,” her elder sister cried out in disdain.
“But, hope they gave him where to stay.”
Bukky glanced at her mother, “Yes, they did.”
“Good. Hope, aside his regular NYSC allowance, the company will also give him something.”
She shrugged, “I don’t know. Maybe.”
Her parents exchanged glances.
“I am sure the company will pay him,” her elder sister interjected.
“When is he coming home?”
She looked at her mother, “I guess December.”
“Aww… you must be missing him.”
She sighed heavily, “Yes. I am. If it is up to me, I will be with him right now.”
Her elder sister laughed, “Aunty Kike will not allow you to abandon the shop and flee. She is rarely there and you two want to disappear.”
Bukky laughed lightly. She believed that her aunt would be able to cope without her, especially now that they had four sales girls. She began to imagine that if her fiancé was retained in the oil company in Jos, they would both need to relocate. She would be able to re-start her akara business in the new environment.
At half-past six in the evening, she heard knocks on her door. She reduced the volume of the T.V set and got to her feet. She re-tied the wrapper around her waist and adjusted her blouse. She walked to the door, unlocked and opened it.
She blinked, then frowned. “What are you doing here?”
Gbemiga smiled at her, “Today was my convocation. We just got back from my school.”
She placed both hands on her hips. “What do you want?”
He eyed her, “Can’t you even congratulate me?”
She hissed and eyed him, “Gbemiga, what do you want?”
“I brought some of the food and drinks we took to my school.”
She noticed the big black bagco bag on the ground. “Thanks, but, no thanks. I don’t want.”
He paled, “Celebrate with me now. Why are you behaving like this?”
She glared at him, “Behaving like how? I told you to stop bothering me. What is wrong with you? What part of leave me alone don’t you understand?”
He stared at her long and hard. What if she had completely gotten over him? What if her feelings for him had died? What if she doesn’t love him anymore? Was that even possible? He was her first love. There was a connection between them. That kind of thing doesn’t just evaporate. Or does it?
“Look, I am engaged. My fiancé won’t tolerate this nonsense. Please stop coming here,” she stepped back into the apartment and tried to close the door.
“Bukky! Wait…” he held unto the door.
“I will go, but, please, collect this food and drinks. My mother and sisters cooked it so that I could share it with my friends. Even if you don’t think so, I still consider you as a friend.”
She hissed, “There is no need. If I collect it, I will throw it away. Go and give someone else.”
He felt hurt at her attitude, “Why are doing this to me?”
She looked up and sighed, “God, God, what kind of wahala is this, this evening?”
“Have you forgotten how things were between us?”
“That was a very long time ago. You do not exist in my world anymore. It is over between us Gbemiga, deal with it,” she forced the door close and returned to the settee.
Gbemiga pressed his lips together and turned around. He had been trying to find a way to befriend her, but, it seemed that it wasn’t going to be an easy task. He needed to get her back, before Chike paid her bride price. He wasn’t ready to lose her, even if he wasn’t sure what the future would be like. Regardless, he was hopeful. He realized that he had made a terrible mistake. He shouldn’t have broken up with her. He should have just convinced her to keep their relationship a secret. That way, he would still get sponsorship for his education and she would still be by his side.
He picked up the bagco bag and headed home. He needed a better plan. How was he going to win his ex-girlfriend’s love again?