By Dr Ogonna Okeke



A couple of months went by . Amoge learnt how to balance her business with school work. She promised herself that she would get the highest educational qualification no matter the obstacles.

She was studying at home in the evening when she heard her phone ring. It was a strange number. Amoge picked the call and heard a familiar voice.

“It’s me Arinze ,I am calling to invite you for dad’s retirement party coming up in two weeks time”. “Unfortunately,I don’t think I will be able to attend, she said . “It’s not a date Amoge. I know that we are not best of friends but it would be nice to have you around plus my mum always asks of you.”Ehmm okay I’ll see if I can squeeze it into my tight schedule” , Amoge replied . They exchanged pleasantries and ended the conversation.

Almost immediately the call ended,another call came in . It was another unknown number. Amoge picked the call and said hello .The caller said” hi Amoge,it’s me William. Can you come to your door? “.

She walked angrily to her door and opened it . William stood before her with a bouquet of fresh flowers and a gift bag. “What’s all this for William?” She asked. “I had to come and see you .You have refused to pick my calls for months now ” .”I am sure you know why” Amoge replied. “Yes I do ,my love but can I at least come in so that we can talk.
     
Amoge allowed him into her house. William went down on his knees and said ” I am so sorry for how I treated you.Please can we start all over. You know that it’s you that I have always loved . “So what about your precious Lola? “she blurted out in anger,” I decided to date her some weeks after you and I broke up but it ended barely a month after. It was a disaster. We are not compatible in any way “he replied with a soft voice .

” I know that you have no reason to believe that I love you deeply but I am prepared to spend the rest of my life proving to you how much I feel about you. I have not been myself since you left me .Please take me back! Amoge “.

Amoge told him that she wasn’t ready to become his rebound girl. He kept on pleading with her to forgive him.”You can go home now, I will think about it.I forgave you a long time ago William”.

_____

The weeks went by so fast .On the morning of Mr Okafor’s retirement party, Arinze called Amoge to remind her of the event and the time.”If you don’t mind dear,I’llcome and pick you up for the party,if that’s okay by you”,Arinze said .”That is fine by me.See you by 4pm then ” Amoge replied.

The door bell rang at exactly 4pm as earlier planned. Amoge went to the door to confirm who it was. Arinze smiled when he saw her at the door. They walked to where he packed his car and drove off.

His words broke the unusual silence in the car.”You look so beautiful “he said. “You aren’t looking bad either”,Amoge replied . They discussed about school and other general topics till they got to their destination.

Arinze ushered her into the house. The guests hadn’t yet arrived so Amoge stayed in the living room with Arinze . Madame Grace came into the room and saw her.”My daughter how are you? I am so happy to see you. Arinze told me that you are both in the same MBA class. Please make yourself at home okay”she said .

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Some minutes later , Arinze’s sisters and brother came into the living room to greet her as well. Arinze’s younger sisters ;Ifeoma and Nicole were particularly more excited to see her again. “What did this Arinze guy tell them about me”, Amoge wondered in her heart.

Guests started arriving. Amoge assisted madame Grace and her daughters with last minute preparations. Amoge was standing beside madame Grace when Arinze joined them.”Please mum I have to steal her away from you for some time”. “No problem” she replied.

Arinze took Amoge to where the other guests were and gave her a seat.”I don’t want you to wear yourself out” he said . “I am not complaining” she replied. “Okay !but you’re my guest.Let me get you some drinks and food “.He returned with both food and drinks servers .”You can place your order with them dear”he said to her.

The party went on well.Mr Okafor gave a heart warming speech along the line . Arinze sat beside her during the party. He introduced her to some of his close friends that attended the party as well. It was getting late. Amoge said to him, “I need to start heading home now”.”Okay!” he replied, “let me go and get the car key”.”I will tell your mum that I am leaving while you get your key” Amoge said .

They left the noise of the party and walked towards Arinze’s car.”Your coming here made my day.Thanks a lot ” he said . “You were a great host , I enjoyed myself “she replied. They got to into the car and Arinze turned to face her. He looked at her with admiration. Why are you staring at me like that? Amoge said.” You are beautiful , not just outwardly but within ” he said to her.

Amoge moved her gaze away from him in a shy manner. She couldn’t deny the fact that she was attracted to him but she didn’t to make another mistake.

“Why do you hate me so much Amoge?”

Don’t say that”. She said while looking into his eyes. “I just don’t know you well enough to trust you” she said with a soft voice. “Then give me a chance “Arinze said. Amoge remembered William’s proposal which seemed so genuine. She quickly shrugged off the thought “I will never be a rebound girl to a man who never appreciated me in the first place” , she said to herself.

“I accept ! I will give our friendship a chance,just friends for now!” Amoge said .Arinze excitedly gave her a tight hug and took her home.

It was 12 months after Amoge and Arinze after Mr Okafor’s retirement party. William relocated back to the UK according to what Obinna told Amoge. Arinze had now fully taken over the operations of Marigold estates on account of his dad’s retirement.

Amoge enjoyed a beautiful friendship with Arinze even though she failed to acknowledge before him that they were dating. She was scared that the word ‘dating’ ,came with undue pressure and unrealistic expectations. They however knew that they both loved each other very much and enjoyed each other’s company.

It was a cool Saturday evening. Amoge and Arinze were having a picnic by the beach. It was one of the most exclusive beaches in Lagos. They were watching the waves and hoping they could catch a glimpse of the sun set.

For the first time in so many years, Amoge could say that she was truly happy. “Let us go for a horse ride” Arinze said to her . Amoge remembered when he told her that he played polo very well.

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He hired one of the horses at the beach and rode the horse with Amoge sitted in front of him on the horse’s back.He took her to a house on the beach made of wood.

They both went inside .It was a tastefully furnished room with a small dining area. The only source of light was from the lit candles. The candles were up to 20 and they gave off a beautiful fragrance together with that of the fresh rose petals scattered around the room.

The small dining table had 2 long red candles.Amoge could not see any sound system but she could hear soft music playing in the background. He pulled out a seat for her to sit on at the dining table.

Amoge looked at his handsome face and hazel eyes.His physical features were to die for .They had dinner and sat in front of the house.It was dark and cold outside so Arinze went inside to bring a jacket for her.”Put your hands in the pocket of the jacket” he said.

Amoge felt something soft .It was like a big ball of cotton wool. She brought it out and said “take it and keep,you might need it later”.Arinze replied her ” look at it well ,do you think it’s worth keeping?” .

Amoge looked at it critically and started breaking it up into smaller pieces until she saw a beautiful diamond ring.

Arinze went down on his knees and said “thank you Amoge for showing me the reality of true love .I cherish our friendship so much. You know me probably better than I know myself. Please allow me spend my life time loving you” .

Amoge could not believe the words she was hearing.

“I love you too” ,she said excitedly and” yes I would love to be your wife”.He took her in his arms and gave her a kiss on her lips.

_____

It was 4 months after their engagement. Amoge and Arinze decided that they would have a big traditional wedding in the village and a very private wedding in Venice.

It was the night before Amoge was supposed to travel to village to prepare the traditional wedding ceremony . She had packed all the things she needed in her suitcase and decided to sleep early in order to catch the first flight to Enugu the following morning. Amoge must have slept for only about 10 minutes when she heard a loud bang on her door.

Her room was dark because she switched off the lights so she searched for her phone.”Who would be banging on my door by this time of the night” , she asked herself? .She managed to use the light of her phone to find the light switch.”Who is that? “she said with a loud voice without opening her door. It is me! ,a male voice replied. “What’s your name?” Amoge replied .”It’s William” ,he replied . Which William?, William who?.It’s Amoge’s William , he replied.

  Amoge reluctantly opened her door and said what are you doing in Lagos? .Obinna told me that you are getting married traditionally this weekend.” You didn’t even tell me Amoge. We used to be best friends, now your getting married without telling me. Who is this guy taking you away from me forever?” .”You don’t know him William and frankly speaking I have moved on.I think you should too”,Amoge replied with a frown.

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” Amoge I love you deeply. I relocated to the UK to start all over again. I felt horrible because I lost you.I loved you right from when we were kids.Do you remember when we shared our school lunch and did assignments together?.Do you remember when we talked for hours over the phone? People make mistakes Amoge and I have changed. You don’t know this new guy as much as you know me” ,William said.

You know what! , I don’t really have time for all this long story. I have a flight to catch by 7am. Good bye”.She walked out on him ,closed the door behind her and went under her duvet to continue sleeping.

Amoge’s alarm clock woke her up by 4am. She had a shower and dressed up .Arinze offered to take her to the airport but she declined because she didn’t want to stress him unnecessarily since he lived far from her. Amoge called her taxi driver’s number to tell him that she was ready to leave for the airport.

The taxi driver called 15 minutes later to announce his arrival at her house. Amoge carried all her luggage to the front of her house and called the driver to assist her put them into the car.As she walked towards the taxi, she saw William walking towards her . “Don’t tell me you slept outside” Amoge said. “Well I slept inside the car , I didn’t want to miss the chance of seeing you before you travel” with a boyish smile on his face. He grabbed her into his arms.

Amoge struggled to free herself from his grip but before she knew what was happening, William planted a kiss on her cheeks. “What was that for ?”,she screamed. “You think that you can just come back after several months and waltz your way back into my life ” she said . “Okay fine ! ,since we are not enemies, just give me a hug.Even if that’s all I get from you, I will try to live with that”.”Alright! ” Amoge said with a smile and gave him a hug.”I will miss you “he said. “I have to go now” Amoge replied .

Amoge hurriedly entered the cab and the taxi driver drove off. She saw a car that was identical to Arinze’s, in front of the cab she was in.Amoge remembered that she forgot to inform Arinze that she was on her way to the airport and quickly called his line but he refused to pick. “I guess he is still sleeping” she said to herself.

Amoge got to the airport, checked in ,passed through security and sat down in the departure lounge.” I am surprised Arinze hasn’t replied my call “she thought to herself. She called his line several times but he didn’t pick up.

It was time for boarding. Amoge went into the plane and sat down. She was sad and worried at the same time.She decided to send Arinze a text message saying that the plane was about to take off.A minute later she got a reply.

“I hope that guy that kissed you is on the same flight with you” , the text read . Amoge was speechless, she wished that she could get off the plane and clear the misunderstanding but the plane started taxing on the run way in preparation for take off.She quickly replied “you got it all wrong babe , it’s not what you think “. Amoge switched off her phone to comply with airline regulations.

…To be continued

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