Bukky and her aunt sat on a long bench outside the two-bedroom flat picking beans. The twins ran in circles playing a game of ‘tag’, locally known as ‘Catch-you’. Out of boredom, she decided to spend some time with her aunt. She would have gone to Ikorodu to visit her parents, but, they were always asking after Chike. She didn’t want anyone to remind her how much she missed him.
“You two better go inside, if you come near me again, I will spank your bum-bum!”
The twins stopped running, glanced at their mother and started to run again, in a zig-zag pattern.
“I am warning you,” Kike threatened them.
Her niece laughed quietly.
She eyed the younger woman, “Wait till you give birth to yours.”
Bukky smiled and held her tongue. She knew her little cousins were trouble with a capital ‘T’. The last time they came to the shop, they turned the whole place upside down. Her aunt swore never to bring them to the shop again.
Her phone began to ring. She picked it up and grinned when she saw the caller ID. It was her fiancé. She had not spoken to him in a while. He had been so busy that their Skype nightly hook-up had been suspended for a while. His chats on BBM were also short. His calls always made up for the inconsistent communication.
She placed the tray of beans on the bench and picked the call, “My love.”
The sound of his voice felt like a soothing balm on her lonely heart, “How are you?”
Kike glanced at her niece and smiled. She hoped the girl’s fiancé would come home soonest and marry her. How long does it take to complete the Masters programme? She heard it was eighteen months, but, it depended on the curriculum of some tertiary institutions.
“I am lonely. I can’t wait to return home to my love.”
She sighed heavily, got up and strode towards the side of the building, “How many months more?”
“Come December this year, I will be home.”
“Plus or minus, nine, ten months, you will be home.”
She leaned against the wall. “I have seen my JAMB result.”
“How was it?” he sounded excited.
She scratched her scalp, “My score was below two hundred.”
“I see. Will you be able to use it?”
She shook her head, “No, it is below 150.”
“Bukky! How low is your score?”
“Very low,” she sounded sad.
“No, I feel ashamed.”
“Come on love. It is your first JAMB.”
“I thought I studied hard.”
“Have you heard of people who wrote the examination ten times?”
She frowned, “I do not want that to be my story.”
“It wouldn’t, but, the point is that they never gave up until they passed.”
She sighed, “I won’t give up.”
“Good. Don’t worry. We will study together when I get home.”
“I can’t wait.”
“Me neither. Send me your recent pictures.”
She blinked, “I sent one this morning.”
“Send more. I want you in different attires, postures, environment…”
“What are you using my pictures for?”
“It keeps me sane and away from the likes of Beyonce, Shakira and who else now?”
She started to laugh. “Okay, I will send you more pictures.”
“I miss your sweet kisses.”
“I wish I can fly to you right now.”
“Nine months more love.”
“And we will be together.”
“I like the sound of that.”
“Same here. I got to go.”
“Come me later.”
“Okay love. Maybe we can Skype tonight.”
“I will love that.”
The line went off. She closed her eyes and pressed her lips together. A tear drop rolled down her dark smooth face. She sniffled, opened her eyes and cleaned her face with the back of her hand.
She heard her aunt’s husband’s voice.
“Sir…” she hurried into the flat. She found him seated in the sitting room, watching the television.
“Please, help me to buy MTN and GLO credit at the kiosk down the street.”
“Okay sir,” she collected the money from him and counted it. It was three thousand five hundred naira.
“MTN one-five, GLO one-five. Use the change to buy yourself credit too.”
She beamed, “Thank you sir,” she walked out of the flat and met her aunt scolding and spanking the twins. She shook her head and walked towards the gate.
The kiosk was four houses away. The lady that owned the place sold provisions, drinks and snacks. She would use the change to buy a set of cupcakes. There were six in a pack, small, but, totally delicious. One bite and it would melt in your mouth.
She heard her name and looked around. She saw a tall, dark young man walking towards her. It was her ex-boyfriend.
“Gbemiga?” she stared at him in surprise.
“How now?” he smiled at her.
“What are you doing in this area?” he seized her up. He liked the way the blue short-sleeve knee length fish-tail chiffon dress cradled her curvy frame.
“My aunt lives on this street.”
“How is aunt Kike and the twins?” he observed her smooth dark face.
“They are fine.”
“A friend of mine lives on this street. We served together in Abuja.”
“Oh…” she looked towards the Kiosk. There were a group of girls seated under the big umbrella outside the store.
“We are done with our service year.”
“Oh really…” her eyes flew back to his happy face.
“Yes o. Thank God for us.”
“I was retained at USAID.”
“My parents, siblings, the whole family have been jubilating since I got back.”
She nodded with understanding, “I can imagine. I am happy for you.”
He looked straight into her eyes, “Thank you,” he noticed how pretty she looked. Her relaxed black hair was in a pony-tail behind her neck. Her chest seemed fuller and her backside was bigger than the last time he saw her.
“I am running an errand for my brother in-law,” the way he was looking at her made her uneasy.
“Oh…” his gaze flew back to her face, “Okay. Em… I am relocating to Abuja next month, after my introduction.”
“I am dating a wonderful girl and we will be getting married in August.”
She remembered the lady his sisters brought to her place. “Congrats.”
“It would have been you,” he eyed her.
She shook her head, “You and I know that, that is impossible. Your family won’t allow it.”
He dipped both hands into his pockets, “You don’t know that.”
She looked towards the Kiosk again, “I wish you all the best. Take care,” she brushed past him and hurried towards the store.
He watched her till she went into the kiosk. He turned around and walked on. He was getting married to a prettier girl. She was a born-again Christian, an educated and responsible girl from a good family who was head over heels in love with him. He had been able to love again and move on. Everything was working out for his good. What more could he ask for?
Nevertheless, a part of him would have wanted it to be Bukky Folorunsho. If only wishes were horses.