” Here she is ! ” He exclaimed heartily as he courteously pulled out a chair for her at the table. Tera’s eyes darted back and forth at the people seated in the restaurant. She disliked Emerald’s countenance and appearance for subtle reasons which she couldn’t quite explain. The clinching of wine-glasses at the table next to them brought her mind back from memory lane.
” Why haven’t you been partaking in our discussion? Is something wrong? ” Emerald asked with a broad smile that accentuated the mole above the curvature of her full lips.
” I’m sorry…. ” She managed to utter before Mark chipped in a quick reply.
” She looks befuddled. Are you alright? ” He retorted with a look of concern and checked her temperature with the back of his palm.
” Of course, I am. Stop acting too nice. ” She lied with a mild smile.
” I need you to explain something to me,my dear. How can this guy be your best friend? You look like a saint and he’s… ” Emmie trailed off with a loud chortle.
” I can’t argue with you on that one. My Tera’s simply the best. ”
” Really? Have you ever been kissed? ” She asked emphatically and patted her lips with the napkin.
” Is that a real question? Of course,not. ” He answered defensively and held onto Tera’s icy palms. He could feel the chill surging through her veins.
” Emmie,I must confess.. Your sense of humour is enviable. We should be able to talk about this some other time. I’m afraid I have to take my leave. Mark? “.
They walked back to the car shortly after. Tera heaved a sigh of relief when she realised that the car was different from that of the previous. night. She settled down on the front seat,and tried to prevent herself from listening in on their conversation.
” This is my stop,bae. ” Emmy affirmed with a lazy tone in her voice as the driver halted in front of a cream-coloured bungalow situated just a few meters away from Tera’s home.
” See you tomorrow. ” Mark replied as he pulled her in for a tight hug. She held onto his lips tightly for a few seconds and whispered several sweet words into his ears before teasing Tera and alighting from the vehicle.
” My Love! ” He exclaimed shortly after with a loud shriek and wrapped his arms around Tera’s shoulders which were dropped back on the front seat.
” Mark! I really don’t feel good and you’re … ” She complained and tried to free herself from his strong arms which were stretched from the back seat.
” Why? You don’t like her? That’s the mystery
girl I told you about. What do you think? ”
” She’s beautiful. But I dislike her attitude,she’s not my kind of person. But if she makes you happy… ”
” I think I need to study her more carefully. I kissed a novice that night.. And Emerald is most definitely an expert in these matters. ”
She shut her eyes instantly and nodded her head intermittently without paying much attention to his words.
Tera was doing the dishes in the Kitchen when her phone’s led light turned red; she had just received a message from Emmie via bbm. She dropped her phone with a loud shriek and fell to the floor in tears.
” What? What is it? ” Debbie enquired as she lifted her up from the tiled floor where she fell to.
” Emerald knows. ” She added amidst her sniffling and passed the phone to her. Debbie’s mouth was torn wide open as she zoomed in on the image; it was a photo of Tera’s kiss with Mark. Above it was the caption, ” Bring me His signature ring,or this will go viral in minutes. “.
” What do I do? I can’t tell him, Debs. I can’t . ”
” I understand. Give her the ring,then. But you know,you’re going to have to tell him as soon as possible. I love the picture sha. You two look good together. ”
” Stop teasing me ! ” Tera added with a child like expression as she dried her face with the back of her hands.
The transfer was scheduled to take place at a supermarket which was quite far away from home. Tera waited for half an hour before Emmie showed up. After giving her the metallic ring, Emerald deleted the photo from her phone and. pecked Tera’s left cheek happily.
” Thanks, my dear. But..you should be ashamed of yourself. You took advantage of your best friend,you know? ” She enquired rhetorically and dashed off immediately.
The Tutorship awards was a red carpet event organised by the owner of the summer school Tera attended. It was a spectacular event which was attended by all past and present students of the Tutorship programme. Present at the event were Aminat and Nick,who were the hosts, Oghene, Marilyn,Yemi et al. Tera walked into the hall with Mark; they were amongst the last set of people to arrive. She had mixed feelings about attending the event,and he had to force her to get dressed so they could go together. Seated next to them was Trevor (the nerdiest guy in the programme ) and Oghene,one of Tera’s few friends.
” OMG! You look stunning ” She whispered into Tera’s ears after taking a second look at her fuchsia pink gown and Mark’s navy blue suit.
” Are you two now officially a couple? ” She seemed to have forgotten that her first comment was yet to receive a reply.
Tera felt uneasy. She smiled faintly as Mark’s palms reached for hers subliminally. The stage was lit up with an array of colourful spotlights as the Award winners were announced. Trevor received an Award for the Overall best student, Yemi for the best Governor, Marilyn for the best female student,and Mark for Mr Good-looks. The last category was being announced by Aminat when Tera bent her head downwards; she hadn’t even congratulated Mark and Trevor for their awards,she felt uneasy and tired. Her attention was attracted by the amplified sound she heard from the speakers. It was the award for the Best Behaved Student,and her name was mentioned. She reluctantly arose from her seat with Mark’s support. As she walked towards the stage,the projector screens were switched on and she heard a familiar voice moaning through the speakers. Aminat’s microphone fell from her hand. unconsciously,and the loud noise this generated was startling to say the very least. Whilst others opened their mouths in awe,Tera stood still; she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Blood rushed to her head as she sighted Aminat running towards her with a look.
of worry. Tera felt dizzy all of a sudden.
” Call the ambulance! She has fainted. ” Aminat cried out as she held Tera’s unconscious body after hitting Nick on the right side of his face. Tears dropped down Oghene’s eyes as she cradled Tera’s head with her two hands.