More Than A Friend – Episode 6

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© Olasunkanmi Opeyemi Ajibola

ELEVEN

“What can be going on? Did she delete her Number from my phone? But why should she do that? Can it be because Taiwo gave me yoghurt and I told her? It can’t be. Is it because Taiwo knelt for me and held my trousers? But the class was too busy, very few students noticed us, why should she be jealous self?” I was asking myself series of rhetorical questions with no response, I kept scrolling my contacts but nothing like “Portable” that I used to save her number, I wanted to go and check the back of my computer note when I noticed that I’ve been seeing a strange name among my contacts,

“Who owns this number self, when did I even save this?” I asked myself, the number was saved with “Mine” and a love symbol in front, I opened it and it was Deborah’s number.

“sighs… She must have done this, does this mean I’m hers and she’s mine?

“Hmmmmmm come to think of it, if I don’t want to lie to myself, I truly love this girl, should I let out my mind to her? What if she says no? Our friendship will never remain the same again and I’m not ready to lose her as a friend,

“Why should I date her self when we love eachother for just being friends? Hmmmmmmm but I’ve to date someone just to know how dating life use to be, Yes! I think she’ll be my first girlfriend” I thought of so many things in my mind and I decided to tell some friends to seek advices. I placed my thumb on the green key to call Deborah but I lost words, I dropped the phone and went to rest my brain, I was feeling sleepy that evening when my phone rang, I checked the screen and it was my sister, wow! Big sister remembered me;

I: Hello Sis

Sis: Ope, what’s up?

I: I’m fine, any card for your big bro?

Sis: Card koo, ATM ni. I forgot to remind you something when I came home.

I: What’s that ma?

Sis: Do you still remember your promise? DON’T HAVE A GIRLFRIEND in secondary school.

I: (silent for a while) But ma,…..

(she ended the call)

“Chai!!! What type of human is this for God’s sake! In fact, am scared of the people am surrounded with self, I thought something in my mind the other day too, and my mom responded without hearing me, today again, this one has done the same, na me and una for this house. To you my sister; you’re joking! Am going to have a girlfriend, if care is not taken, I’ll date two at a time! Watch out!” I concluded and dropped my phone, I took one of my Jerseys, off my phone,

“Mom, am going to field” I told my mom,

“Come home early o” she replied, her voice shows that she was sleeping,

“Alright ma” I responded too.

“See how she responded immediately, the person I thought she was sleeping, that means she has not slept deep, who knows if she has been hearing my mind since. Who cares anyway!” I concluded and off to field.

I got to field, I played a little and remembered I wanted to tell my friends something, most of them were there that evening, Joel came, Quazeem, David, Kayode, and Saheed. We all sat on tyres…

I: Em… em… guys, I’ve one issue to discuss with you all.

David: Mad boy! We can’t help you to beg anybody, you stole your mom’s money and now using style to call us for begging, no way! Abi no be wetin you wan talk be that?

I: Gosh! Guy, you dey craze? You smoke wet weed? You no dey serious at all? The thing no be ordinary again o, them swear for you to be unserious always? Chai! The winch wey dey do you dey use technology join juju. (Laughs) Oya Dave, let’s be serious.

David: Oya, tender your problem, gods are listening.

I: It is my case and Deborah, em…em… in short, the girl renamed her number on my phone to “Mine”

Kayode: Ehn, it means you’re hers, what’s so big there? Aren’t you guys dating already?

Saheed: I tire o!

I: Noooooo, we ain’t dating o, she’s just my friend o.

Kayode and Saheed: (laughs)

Kayode: And you’re that close? Guy, wake up, the babe loves you and you’re dulling her big time.

Joel, exactly, no dulling again, I don tell you before na, grab her or I do.

I: You won’t want to die na. (Laughs)

Quazeem: So, do the needful if you don’t want the timekeeper to assist the assistant, (laughs) I’ll call the girl for you on Monday.

David: Case closed. No time to waste time on timeless things like this.

I: Thanks all, but Quazeem, don’t bother calling her for me. I’ll see what to do.

We were already leaving when David carried the ball (health size 4), kicked a shot intentionally and it hit Quazeem, he pursued David while we left them and went home.

Deborah’s thoughts would come to my mind, I would ignore, ******fast forward******.

After Sunday service on Sunday, Michael called me that he wanted to ask me something, (Michael was a friend of mine, he was in SS3 in my school by then, we were both choristers in church (T.A.C), same height same stature). Later after service, I waited till he was done.

Mike: How far Tobi?

I: As far as the distance from Belgium to Jerusalem (laughs)

Mike: Pretend to be normal at least. (Lol)

I: Am partially fine as hunger dey fire me. How service today?

Mike: You dey ask me? No be me and you dey make noise on the choir seat throughout the service? (We both laughed)

Mike: Em… em… I wanna ask you something…

I: This one wey you dey do em em, see ehn, as I dey so, I no get money at all.

(He started laughing. Laughing was one of the best things he used to do)

Mike: I want to know if you’re dating Deborah.

I: This your question ehn, e dey suspicious o. Anyway, we’re not dating.

Mike: Are you sure?

I: Jesus!!! Ogbeni (Mr Man)! Leave me. Am not sure.

Mike: (lol) Confused human being. You better be sure now, wetin concern me self.

I: OK. OK. Am very sure, we’re not dating sir. Meet me at home or field.

I got home, ate and started thinking on my last evening discussion with my friends, their advice and the question Mike asked me in church today,

“I’m wooing Deborah officially on Monday (tomorrow)” I concluded and sealed my mind from any doubt.

______

On Monday morning, I kept rehearsing all I’ve prepared overnight to tell Deborah so that I won’t forget, I didn’t involve myself in any unnecessary conversation that may make me forget my lines, we had assembly, we entered class, 9:00am, 10:00am, 10:25am,

“Where is Deborah naw? Is she dodging my proposal? Does she even know that ‘the king’ (I) will be approaching her very soon?” I asked myself because I didn’t want anybody to know, when it was 10:30am and yet I have not set my eyes on her, I went to her seat to ask her seat-mates, I got there and saw her bag under the desk,

“This girl came to school naw, where is she now hiding?” I said to nobody in particular.

“Sitirat, please, do you know where Deborah is?” I asked Sitirat, one of her friends,

“Henry! Leave me alone and try

www.Google.com!” She responded and hissed. I ignored her, she reacted like that because I wrote her name among the noise makers on Friday which the man came to beat them that Monday morning. I turned to Mary,

“Human being, please, do you know Deborah’s whereabout?”,

“Deborah’s boyfriend, she’s with Mrs Falade, helping her to do something since she came in the morning” she responded jealously.

I: Won’t she attend classes today?

Mary: (hissed) We, that we’re in the class since morning, is it not noise that has been everywhere? No teacher has entered this class today except the one you invited to flog them, wicked soul. (Smiles) You better go and find something done or you start writing the noise makers you came to write on earth.

I: (lol) And I’ll make sure you carry first on the list, then it shall be times two. (Laughs)

Mary: If you can write my name, you should be able to write Deborah’s name too (winks)

(That brought back to my mind what I’ve been rehearsing)

I left their seat and placed my head on the desk, I started thinking again

“OK now, what if she comes and I tell her, she jumps up and says I’ve heard and agreed? What will happen next? We will start dating and I won’t be free with Taiwo, Bukola, Mary, Misturah, and others again, I will start limiting the rate at which I hold and rough-play with them so as to avoid jealousy,

“They will even stop all these their early good morning pecks. The Deborah am fainting for self has never pecked me like them, the day I supposed to realize my dream, the devil came to buy Pepsi, see, I’m not even telling her anything again, I’ll follow what my sister said, if my friends don’t like it, they should dive like Drogba on concrete floor”

I was lost in thought when a hand touched me from behind, I looked up and it was Deborah, I began to smile.

Deb: Don’t smile joo… you don’t even care, number one; you could not even flash me throughout yesterday, secondly, you have not seen me today which is unusual yet you didn’t ask of me.

I: (as a sharp guy, I didn’t even think of lies before four of them queued in my mouth already, I just chose the 1st on the list) Deborah mi, (smiling) don’t think like that, I can’t find your number on my phone again and I don’t know it offhand, I would have checked my mom’s phone but I had no access to it at all. Concerning the 2nd offence, I actually asked of you from Mary, she said you were with Alhaja Falade.

Deb: (face changed, smiling) I trust you. But why can’t you find my number? Is your phone with you now?

I: Yes, it’s. (I brought the phone out)

Deb: Now, go to contacts and type “M””i””n””e”

I: (I played along as if I’ve not known) Oh! It brought a name o, wow! It’s your number. (I was looking at her as she was smiling)

Deb: I renamed it on Friday, (she quickly changed topic) What about the practical they said we will be having today?

I: (silent for a while) Yea, that is 2nd to the last period. Lest I forget, what were you doing with Alhaja Falade?

Deb: I was just helping her to mark commercial class assignments while she was resting early this morning inside Mr Fash’s office, imagine!

I: I don’t want to say anything o, because anything I say here now may be used against me in court of law. (we both laughed)

Deborah went back to her seat. ******fast forward******

My friends would abuse me and call me names for not being a man enough, David (the short man devil) would even abuse me aloud in the class until I changed it for most of them and it reduced, Michael would ask me about Deborah which I was jealous but didn’t show it, Taiwo became more nice to me, nothing has changed about Deborah and I. Days to weeks to months, holidays came holidays went… here we were in SS2 third term.

On this awkward Monday afternoon after long break, we were to have Agricultural Science, the mistress was pregnant then she could not teach, the assistant class captain (Mary) went to collect mistress’ note to copy on the chalkboard for us so that the mistress would come for explanation later. I went to the school canteen to buy sweet (splash), before I came back, Mary has gone very far with the note, the girl was so fast then that we nicknamed her “Bajaj” (a name of a bike), when I came from the canteen, I went to meet her on the board that she should please wait a little bit for me to get to where she was or get near, she bluntly disagreed, I begged begged and it was not working, I was about to leave when she noticed the sweet I was licking, she called me back and said she would stop for me to copy only if I could give her one of the remaining two sachets of sweet in my chest pocket, as stingy as I was then, I denied the option without thinking twice, I later trapped her on a condition too,

“OK, only if you can collect the sweet with your mouth, from my mouth” she 1st said no and I was happy, she thought for a while and said “Oya come, I’ll take it like that” the whole class was watching our drama and waiting for my next action

I: You mean you will use your mouth to collect it from my mouth?

Mary: Yes! You’re too stingy! I will take it from your mouth. Stingy boy!

I: Thank you, am not even giving again, desperate girl. (Laughs)

(the front part of the class laughed)

The next thing I saw was David and others stood up;

David: Henry, you dull no be small! My neighbour wey I think say e mumu pass self just dey learn from you! I trust myself!

Kayode: This Henry just dey irritate me, OK, I go give you your sweet back, let her take it with her mouth.

Saheed: God punish devil! Shay na me go see opportunity like this and I no go execute am sharp sharp with speed of light? Taaah!

I was confused and still standing there thinking of what to do.

…to be continued 

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