Oghene and Tera got to the camp gathering quite late. Everyone was already seated around the little wood fuelled fire which emitted smoke intermittently. She sat next to Oghene on the only vacant spot that was left. Tera smiled briefly at Mark who was seated in between Yemi and Nicholas on the dry grass.
” What game can we play now? Any suggestions? ” Yemi asked his peers who were sitted around him.
” Uhmmm….I suggest we play Truth or Dare. ” Marilyn suggested with a bright smile,her painted red lips were parted to reveal her beautiful set of dentition.
” All in support say ‘Aye’ and against, say ‘Nay’ ” Yemi replied and at the end of the day,the ‘Aye’s’ exceeded the ‘Nays’.
” Who wants to go first? ” Marilyn asked the open question and Nicholas volunteered to spin first. He spun the malt bottle around and it faced Mark’s position. Tera opened her mouth in awe and fear gripped her lightly.
” Truth or Dare? ” Nick asked Mark with a devilish grin on his dark face.
” Truth..” He answered.
” Well..I actually have two questions for you..”
” Ah ah..two questions? That’s against the rules oh..it should be one and nothing more ” Yemi chipped in with a frown on his face.
” Its no problem, Yemi…ask away ” Mark responded to Nick with a weak smile.
” If your father’s a thief..doesn’t that make you one also? It means you were trained with stolen funds right?” Nick asked with a sarcastic expression on his face.
” I won’t tolerate such..how dare you speak to my best friend in such a disrespectful manner? ” Tera asked him with a furious look in her eyes. She rose up to catch up with Mark who was already walking away.
” What was that for now guy? Wetin dey do u sef….which kind mentorship u dey do for here? ” Trevor,the nerdiest guy amongst them spoke up and sighed thereafter. He rose up to leave the assembly,and several others followed suit. The only ones that remained were Marilyn and her friends who hailed Nick gladly.
She eventually caught up with him after running tirelessly for ten minutes.
” Mark….I need you to forgive me. I’m sincerely sorry for mistreating you..sorry for being a taker…for being conceited with my emotions” She cried out before him sadly.
He said not a word and hugged her tightly. She saw tears run down his beautiful eyes uncontrollably,this was the first time she had seen him break down in three years.
” Please stop crying… else, you’ll make me cry too.. ” Tera cried out and hugged him even tighter than before.
” You’re not a thief…your dad isn’t either…I’m sure there’s been a mix up of some sort. Don’t let it get to you…Nick is an ass and nothing more..I can’t believe he tried to kiss me.” She lamented .
Mark loosened his grip on her and asked her to repeat what she said.
” He tried to kiss me…. ”
” Really? Is that why you have a hickey? There’s a limit to that which I can take from this Nick of a guy..how dare he? ” Mark fumed angrily.
” Calm down….it was just on my neck and nothing more….now tell me what’s going on ” she urged him as they sat down side by side on bench which was around them.
After several speechless minutes,Mark responded to her question.
” He’s been accused of money laundering and oil theft..he told me he was having several problems at work but I didn’t know that it was this serious. I find it hard to believe that he stole over 130 million dollars, Terracotta..I just can’t believe what the press reports are saying, ” He affirmed with tears in his eyes.
” I don’t believe that either…I’m very positive that this whole mess would be sorted out very soon. Please cheer up!! ” She replied and caressed his shoulders tenderly.
” I’ll try to…I think the EFCC is suspicious because of how flamboyant Hannah’s wedding was.”
Hannah was Mark’s older sister. She got married to an ambassador’s son a few months ago and her wedding was certainly one of the most elegant weddings ever held in Dubai. I-pads were allegedly shared for each and every invited guest at the wedding. The adorable couple also received two brand new Range Rovers of the latest design as a birthday present from the bride’s mother. This flashy display raised the eyebrows of a few concerned citizens,and also the EFCC.
” Abi? Its very possible…lets pray about it as soon as we can. Meanwhile…I’m done with Nick…its not love I feel for him..its lust…I can’t love someone who’s so evil ” Tera responded with a straight face.
” No problem dearie….that’s great news….you don’t know how happy I am…are you feeling sleepy or should I tutor you tonight? ”
” Ehn? I’m quite sleepy sha….but I miss spending time with you so,I’m game ” She answered with a beautiful smile.
” Let’s go and get our stuffs so we can meet at the first class room on the Junior Secondary block then ” He suggested and she nodded in agreement.
They arrived at the classroom thirty minutes later. It was a beautiful classroom painted light blue with colourful chairs, tables,and several electronic teaching devices.
” My terracotta ninja…I’m afraid that’s not how to find the missing figures in the table of solutions for plotting the graph. Its like this…” He explained carefully to her and cancelled out her previous mistakes. She listened with utmost curiosity and seriousness.
” Ehn..I understand it better..please explain these factors to me.” Tera requested after itching her hair and adjusting her glasses. Mark smiled at her. She looked beautiful even without any form of make up.
” Permit me to use a more realistic example. There are constant,dependent,and independent factors in every table. What are we both to one another? ”
” We’re best friends for eternity.”
Mark smiled briefly and tugged at her cheeks before continuing.” Is that a variable or constant fact? ”
” Ehn…variable? Never! Its a constant…” She affirmed boldly.
” Okay. Moving onto the independent factor. What would you say if I were to kiss you right now? ” He quizzed her with a loud chuckle.
” I would punch you in the chest….quit making me laugh my ass off…you’re crazy, Mark ” She answered happily.
” And you’re crazier. Back to business.. If I were to kiss you..that would be an independent action because generally,platonic friends don’t kiss… So, because its an action that’s initiated on its own,its called an Independent Factor. Now your reaction to the kiss matters a lot..it can deepen or totally destroy our friendship. Hence,your reaction is dependent on the feelings that the kiss aroused in you,and your assessment of our friendship. In the mathematical aspect, the constant is the same number- Our Friendship,the independent is X-the unexpected kiss and the dependent,which is based on your calculation of the two known factors and your overall conclusion is regarded as Y.Did that sink in? ” He asked after giving her a thorough explanation.
” What would I be without you? You’re the best. I adore you.” Tera vociferated and pecked him after a brief hug.
” That was easy to understand right? What do you have in there? I’m hungry ” Mark complained and emptied the contents of Tera’s designer handbag. Therein he found more books and chocolate bars.
” Don’t even think of eating my chocolate bars ” She ordered with a loud laugh. It was too late,for he had taken a bite of it already.
” Is it plain chocolate? ” He asked in curiosity when he dug into the second bar on their way to their various hostels. It was 1:30 am. The environment was lit and serene,with electric bulbs in every nook and cranny of the hostel.
” I think so..who are those? ” Tera asked when they both sighted two of their peers making out passionately.
” I wonder what Nduks( Mr Nduka) would do if he catches them. That should be Nana and Yemi.” He added.
Alas! Mark fell to the ground and shook vehemently saying he couldn’t breathe. His fair skin turned pale that very instant and Tera was terrified and clueless.
” What’s wrong? Where are your drugs? ” She asked him with a scared look on her face.
” I forgot them…Terri.. I can’t breathe…I’m weak…sunflower oil..” He replied and blanked out.
” Help me! ” She beckoned on the two lovers she sighted earlier. Yemi ran towards her in no time.
” Wazz wrong? Sunflower oil again abi? ” He asked her after kneeling to check Mark’s pulse.
” Yes! Who puts sunflower oil in a chocolate bar? ” Tera complained angrily and ran into the staff quarters to inform their teachers.
He woke up at noon the next day. His surroundings were most unfamiliar to him and he felt like a needle was thrust into his back. He realised that he was in the hospital.
” What am I doing here? ” He asked himself and shuddered when he saw that a bag of drip was going into his veins.
” Hello! ” Tera announced after dropping the bag she came in with.
” Cotta..what happened? Can’t remember a thing.” He looked very handsome and weak in his hospital gown.
” Sunflower oil. My bad..who puts sunflower oil in chocolate bars? I have to sue those people,”
” Please do..didn’t know teddy bear ninjas could also become lawyers,” he teased with a loud laugh.
” I’ll punch you as soon as you’re discharged. Anyways,go in there and freshen up. I went to bring your clothes and breakfast. Everyone sends their regards. They couldn’t come because the school bus was faulty. ”
” Its always faulty..where did you sleep? ”
” Ehn? Here of course..I was holding your hand all through the night …it was quite mushy. I can’t permit you to perform tonight ..you need to rest. Tell that to your band members as soon as they visit you. They should be here already. ”
Tera was spoon feeding Mark when the members of Luminous walked in. They were three classy and handsome guys,but Mark was the cutest.
” Are we interrupting something? ” Yinka, the bass player and craziest amongst them asked with a wink.
” You’re not serious..Leave Mrs Luminous alone ” Tony,the band leader chipped in sarcastically and they all laughed.
” You guys want me to stand up and chase you right? When are you going to perform the song I asked you for? ” Tera enquired as they all hugged her tenderly.
” We’ve written it already. Its titled Ms Klutzy.” Chima, the short guitarist answered and yelled when she stoned him with a rolled ball of paper.
Mark mounted the stage when it was all set up. The crowd was one of the largest he had ever performed for. All he saw was a sea of heads with their phone cameras turned to face him,and neon lights. He turned back and saw Tera waving at him and cheering him on. She was eventually seated on the front row and all he could see was her pink gown and beautiful face.
” You’re ready to go! ” The sound director said to them from back stage. They fired up their guitars whilst Yinka played the piano beautifully.
” This is a new release written by Mark. ” Tony announced and the crowd full of teenage girls screamed out in anticipation.