More Than A Friend – Episode 5

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© Olasunkanmi Opeyemi Ajibola

Some metres to Mummy Deborah’s shop, I checked my wristwatch and it was 11:15am, with my sharp and clear eyes, I could see Deborah from afar, sitting alone and operating her visafone. She was putting on a blue Jeans-skirt and a white and blue stripe shirt which something was written on but I could not see it clearly from afar., I was getting closer yet she has not seen me, I was backing the bag I used to bring textbooks from my dad’s place, I got closer to their shop, I looked around the shop and she seemed to be the only one in the shop, “nice movement Henry!” I said to myself. When I was about 40metres to her shop, she looked at my direction smiled and clapped for like three seconds to show her gladness on seeing me, by then, I was able to read the label on her shirt around the chest, the label read “pretty? Or what do you think?” I read it silently and when I got to the entrance of the shop, the first thing I said was

“Yes, even more than pretty!” She was confused for a second before she looked at her chest and used two hands to cover it and started smiling,

“stay like that till I leave” I said, jokingly, I sat beside her on a bench and we had a side-to-side hug before the chat began;

I: See ehn, last night I didn’t eat anything before I slept, this morning again I took Andrew-Liver-Salt two sachets simply because am coming here to eat here, now am here to eat anything, even anybody self.

Deb: Hahahahaha… Andrew-Liver-Salt on empty stomach, (she continued laughing)

I: Where is my amala and ewedu soup? (she stood up and went inside the shop)

“What’s this girl up to? She should not tell me that she prepared that food o” I uttered silently as I sighted the customized name at the back on her shirt, which read “Portable”, she came back holding something that was inside black nylon, Kwat rst truth ever” I said, she responded with “what’s that” I used hand to demonstrate what was written on her shirt at the back as I was stretching the other hand to collect what she was holding;

Deb: You’re not serious, I can be portable to some people but not to you the real portable. (Smiles)

She gave the food to me and it was meat pie, she went to their other shop and brought out 2 sachets of chilled water.

I: For your mind now, you don entertain me finish ba?

Deb: Na you sabi, if you no like am, give me and dey watch as I go chop am without table manner. (Smiles)

I: Oya take, (I stretched forward the paper used to wrap the meat pie) and I was holding the meat pie with the other hand.

Deb: (laughs) Oniranu, it was only the paper I gave you abi? Anyway, where is my plantain (rolls eyes)

I: Plantain… plantain… plantain…? Is that a name of any person, animal, place or thing? (Smiles)

Deb: Think with brain and answer my question. (Jokingly)

I: Kwhat!!!!!! Am the one that’s not thinking with brain right? Am tired of all these abusive statements, (I stood up and packed the two sachets of water on the bench as if I wanted to leave)

Deb: Hahahahaha… you’re angry with me and still packed my water, still holding the meat pie, oya drop them (she continued laughing), wow! You’re angry indeed. (We both laughed)

I: Your plantain you said? But you told me that there is no female dog available for me to marry, (laughs)

Deb: (lol) see, don’t trouble me, I knew you could not not bring anything for me, (hissed, frowned for a while and started smiling again as I was busy doing final judgement to the meat pie) I finished the meat pie and drank one and half sachets of water, then I looked up to concentrate on what she was saying, she continued;

Deb: In fact, the day you’ll give anything to anybody free in my presence ehn, emmmmm… I will Peck you, (I smiled and asked “what if you’re the one I give something to nko?”

Deb: Hehehe! Impossican’t, you can’t!

I: “What if” I do?

Deb: Emmmmmmm… I will kiss your lips once. (She pronounced the “kiss” silently and rolled eyes)

I laughed out loud as we continued chatting, I chitchatted her on how a bus conductor was stirring at me as if I looked like ‘wanted’, we chatted more and more, the gist could not finish, I checked time and it was 12:45pm, I dropped the bag I was backing and brought out the two textbooks that my dad bought for me which I already had,

I: Have these.

Deb: You mean I should help you to copy note again? besides, where is your note?

I: No, they are for you, I have the textbooks already and my dad bought them again, so I give you.

Deb: She opened the hardcover and found out I have designed her name on it with black ballpoint pen, (I did that in the morning before I left home)

Deb: Wow! And I don’t have this MAN-Mathematics textbook and also this Essential Biology textbook, you just filled that space now, thanks so much, God will bless you and your dad.

I: Amen in dozens!!! Prayer warrior. (Laughs)

(She jumped up and hugged me on the bench I was sitting) the hug made me to feel like 1000A of current passed through my body, and my heart became healthier. She stood for a while and said

“hmmmmmmm… I remembered my statement that any day you give me something, I will kiss your lips once,” I was just looking and smiling as she was demonstrating everything, she began to move closer to me, my heartbeat increased the speed at which it was beating, she was looking straight into my eyeballs as smiles filled her face, I started thinking

“hmmmmmmm so, my first kiss ever is going to be with this my heart desire” she was bending slowly closer and our faces were like 5cm apart… my eyes were closed automatically…

“Mo fe ra Pepsi! (I want to buy Pepsi!)” A boy shouted from behind, I opened eyes and looked back, it was one mechanic boy, that distracted the already flowing,

“Oh! God! Why!” I exclaimed in my mind, she went to attend to the boy, I could hear her arguing with the boy about the bottle of soft-drink he bought before, the argument continued, I began to conversate in my mind,

“So it won’t happen today, God punish this mechanic boy on my behalf”, her younger sister (Sade) came back from where I don’t know, the mechanic boy later left, Deborah returned and we talked for like five minutes more, I then announced,

“I will be leaving now. My mom timed my coming here.”

“Hmmmmmmm… OK o, thanks for coming anyway” she responded with unhappy face,

“see you later” I said and waved bye. (We were both smiling).

Off to PS2 shop.

_____

I was really enjoying my holiday indeed, I would help my mom in her shop sometimes. Football was a must for me every evening. David and I went to lesson for like twelve days. I visited Deborah two more times. I would miss choir practice because of Chelsea match on some Saturdays and would be ready to face the punishment. I became sudden friend with Sulaimon (the son of the man that owned the PS2 shop), I would play free games and beat friends mercilessly while some would play draw with me and few were able to beat me. We were to resume the next Monday, my sister would be coming home in the next Saturday, I had been disturbing her for phone, she promised to give me when she comes, I could not wait for the next Saturday to have my own phone, most importantly my own number., the two phones I had used before (Nokia 3310 and Sagem MX2) had no SIM card, they were just for games. I bought new pair of school sandals from my friend who was a shoemaker, he was in art department. I was happy and sad to know that we were to resume the next Monday, I began to prepare for my next resumption.

On Saturday evening, my sister arrived as she said, I was so excited when I came back from choir practice and saw her in the sitting room, the first thing I asked was my phone.

I: Yes! Oya, where is my phone? (Grin)

Sister: You can’t even greet me first, ask how school was, at least. Anyway, I didn’t bring your phone. (Straight face)

I: Oh! No! OK, emmm… you’re welcome ma, how was school,? how was your journey? How were studies and where is my phone? (We both laughed)

Sister: Funny boy, Pastor Ope, my mom said you went to church, how was practice?

I: It was glorious, where is your bag self?

Sister: Your mind is not even here, all your mind is on that phone. Go to your room, you’ll see it on your bed.

I rushed in, I saw a Nokia 1200 on the bed,

“Yes!” I exclaimed, I took it, switched it on, rushed out again and thanked my sister, she started chitchatting me, all what she was saying were just stopping at the entrance of my ears as I had started playing game (soccer league). Our mom came back from where she went to, I showed my result to my sister and explained to her better about the English F9, she bought MTN card for me N100..******fast forward******

I was on the bed waiting for sleep and at the same time thinking of the coolest way to introduce my number to Deborah, I was thinking of calling her that night but my sister could be so vigilant, intelligent and tactical in nature, so I zeroed the idea of calling her yet. I began to think of how I would be smuggling my phone to school even though they didn’t allow handset in my school then, I continued thinking on different things and later slept off.

Monday morning, the resumption day, my sister was going back to school also, I left home by 7:00am, got to school by 7:17am because I went to David’s house to call him. School was cool, everybody was looking fresher and better, Deborah was a bit taller in school uniform but same stature, the term began and everything was going fine.

The 2nd Monday of the resumption, I lent my Chemistry note to Taiwo and forgot to write her name down, (I used to write the names of the friends that used to borrow my notes), she took the Chemistry, we didn’t do Chemistry on Tuesday and Wednesday, on Thursday morning, someone just entered our class and said the woman selling puff puff was calling me, (one of the food vendors), I went to meet her at the canteen,

“Are you Williams Henry Ope…” before she pronounced Opeyemi, I interrupted;

“Yes, I’m the one.”,

Vendor: Take, a lady forgot it here after using it to sit when she was eating.

I: Oh! I’v been looking for it, thanks so much ma.

I returned to class with anger and murmur. I kept my note, that was when I flashed back that I didn’t write her name down that day,

“Hian!” I stood up to meet her?

I: Taiwo, my note, abi e never serve punishment finish since Monday?

Taiwo: Henry, errrmmmm… you know what? Sit down first, (I sat)

Taiwo: I………… I………………

I: You what naw? You love me? That’s not a problem, thank God I love you too. (Normally she would smile to that, but she didn’t). Why is your face like this,? Hope no problem.

Taiwo: I unfortunately lost your note.

I: You’re jokingly right?

Taiwo: No. I can’t joke with that. Please I’m very sorry, (she was so scared and it showed on her face, she knew I don’t play with any of my properties), emmm… and I’v started writing another one, I will give you a complete note on Monday, please forgive me.

The way Taiwo was begging with full passion and soberness really touched me,

“Shay na me this girl fear like this? Omo! I get small mouth for this arena o” I said in my mind, I left her without saying a word, I went to my bag I brought out the note and went to meet her.

I: See, this is the note. (Smiling), you forgot it at the canteen and I was called to pick it up today.

Taiwo: (with joy and gladness) Oh! Oh! Oh!, I used it to sit when I was eating.

She went straight on her kneels, held my trousers “I’m very sorry dear, ma binu”

Just ordinary (I’m very sorry dear and her hands holding my trousers) has already cut almost six out of my veins, I had no option than to drag her up and told her I was not angry anymore.

I: To prove that, take the note again and copy what you wanted to copy, don’t misplace it again o.

Taiwo: Wow! Henry, thanks so much, God bless you, (big grin)

I returned to my seat, saying in my mind “Henry! The gentle guy!” I smiled. ***fast forward***

The next day (Friday), during the long break, I was on my seat missing my phone, the phone was with Deborah playing game (rapid roll), Taiwo just sat beside me with something inside nylon,

I: The note has finally got lost right?

Taiwo: (smiling) No joo… I brought something for you.

I: (very glad in my mind) hmmmmmmm a “TomDom” right? (I intentionally merged the spelling of TOMTOM and CONDOM together)

Taiwo: (laughs) what for? Naughty boy, (smiles) not condom sir! (Rolls eyes)

I: Ah! Who mentioned condom now? (laughs). OK What’s that?

Taiwo: Have it, and check it yourself.

(I collected the nylon, lo and behold, it was a plastic of yoghurt)

I: (smiles) thanks ma, I’m grateful.

We talked for a while, while the chilled yoghurt was chillaxing under my desk, Taiwo left, I waited til David came, we both drank the yoghurt (in case of unthinkable #winks), David later asked how I got the yoghurt after it has finished. Long break was over, Deborah brought my phone back, some classes held, closing hour and Adewale (Joel) went to jingle the bell, we closed. I was confused at what I saw on my phone when I got home, I wanted to dial Deborah’s number but I could not find it there again.

…to be continued

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