Perception – Episode 7

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By Dr Ogonna Okeke

He  looked at her and smiled. “My name is Jason, that seat you just sat on belongs to someone” he said to Olivia. “There are other seats available, I am sure that person wouldn’t mind getting another chair, except of course it belongs to your wife or girl friend” she replied him.

Jason looked at her with a mischievous smile,”hmm! I see that you’re the persistent type “.Well !I like what I see and I go for what I like “,Olivia replied .

“Do you always get what you want? ” he asked. “Always! Olivia gets what she wants” she said seductively.

Jason’s food came in no distant time. Olivia placed her order as well. Jidenna saw Jason engrossed in a discussion with a lady and felt it would be rude to interrupt and so he changed tables.

Jason and Olivia talked for a while until they saw people dancing. Olivia said to him;”I hope you dance as well as you make good conversations?”.”I don’t really feel like dancing “he said to her. “Are you going to turn down a lady’s request?Olivia asked with a charming smile on her beautiful face.

Jason reluctantly went with her to the dance floor where Arinze,Amoge and other guests were dancing and having a swell time.

Jason danced like someone who was unleashing all the stored pain and anger in his heart.At a point,Olivia whispered into his ears “Let’s get out of here”.He went with her to the car park. Do you want us to hang out in your house or mine?.

She must have repeated herself twice when Jason came back to reality.” Why are you so absent minded?” Olivia asked.

“I am sorry dear , I have to leave now. Can I have your number ? “,Jason asked. They exchanged numbers and he left.

Jason got home, took a cold shower and laid on his bed watching his favourite soccer team play a match.He remembered that he didn’t tell Arinze that he was leaving so he picked up his phone to call him. As he was dialling his number, Olivia’s call came in.

“Hey dear just wanted to know if you got home safely?.” I did ,thank you”, he replied. They talked for some minutes and endedthe conversation.

Jason wondered in his heart what Olivia was up to .He missed and loved Lola but he didn’t want his marriage to be like his parent’s.He wanted a happy home.The famous words “love is not everything ” ,kept on ringing in his mind until eventually drifted off to sleep.

It was a successful birthday party. Arinze and Amoge got home tired .They were glad that they didn’t have to do any clean up at home. They had a shower and laid on the bed.

Amoge said to her husband; I haven’t given you your birthday gift. Arinze’s eyes lit up with surprise as Amoge gave him a gift bag. The bag contained a card and his favourite fragrance.

Arinze opened the card .On the left side of the card was a thin plastic container. He detached it from the card and looked keenly at it . “What’s this ?” he asked Amoge.” Look at it well “she replied .

Arinze took a closer look at it. He saw two red strips showing through a transparent glass .” Don’t tell me this is what I think it is” he said to her. Amoge giggled and handed him another gift bag. He hurriedly opened it and saw a tshirt. He saw the words on the shirt which read ” little munchkin loading “.

Arinze was so excited about the fact that he was going to be a dad soon.” So baby, we are going to be parents in some months time?”.”Yes we are” , Amoge replied . “You have to take things easy”,he said to her.

Lola gazed at the ceiling of her room.Her eyes became misty.She wondered what Jason was doing at that time of the night. “Should I go over to his house? “, she thought to herself.” Maybe if I have sex with him,I will win him over again” she said to herself.

Lola felt the tears running downher cheeks. She was supposed to return to the UK because her leave was ending in a few days. She spent all her leave in Lagos so that they could know each other better before wedding plans commenced.

Jason met Lola when he travelled to the UK for a 3 month course. They met at a mutual friend’s wedding. They clicked instantly and were very close while he was in London. During the 3 months that he was away, they were in constant communication.

Lola was surprised when he asked her to marry him 6 months after dating .Though Lola felt that he was being impulsive, she was happy because she had also fallen head over heels in love with him.

Lola thought of the present situation. He was right to say that they should rethink their engagement but “what’s going to happen when I return to London? What if I never find some one like him?” , she asked herself.

A couple of days later .Jason came over to Lola’s house to take her to the airport. The ride to the international airport was quiet and tense.They both had issues to deal with and questions to ask each other. Neither of them knew what the future really held for their relationship.

Jason helped her with the weighing of her bags and she checked in without any hassles. Just before she left him to pass through immigration /security, she said to him what’s going to happen to us?

  Jason replied “I will do my best to keep in touch with you. We have to rebuild our friendship again and hope for the best”.

Lola said okay,” I can live with that and told him goodbye “.She knew deep down that it would take a miracle to revive their love life and an even bigger miracle for him to trust her again.

Amoge eventually started the make up school. The number of students who enrolled for the training was more than she expected so she asked Olivia to take some sessions in order to reduce the number of students to teacher ratio.

   Amoge and Olivia had a good working relationship in the past .Olivia assisted Amoge whenever school work clashed with a job or any other emergency arose.

It was busy Sunday night, Amoge was engrossed with planning the week’s work and school   activities when her phone rang.” Hello ! , how are you doing?it’s me Olivia .” “I am fine dear” Amoge replied .”I am calling to confirm the days and time that I am supposed to come and  teach your students”.

      Amoge reconfirmed the schedule for her and they exchanged pleasantries.

“Ehmm! before I forget, do you know anything about Jason” Olivia asked  “Which Jason” Amoge asked. “Jason Okonkwo,I met him at your ‘hubby’s ‘ birthday party” Olivia replied .

     “Why are you asking about him” Amoge asked with curiosity ,”no big deal, I think I like him a lot ” Olivia replied . “How many boyfriends do you want to have Olivia. He has a girlfriend madam lover girl ” Amoge said to her.

  ” Well he hasn’t said anything about dating someone else” Olivia  said in a  nonchalant manner . Gotta go now. See you at work dear , she said to Amoge.” Ok bye”,Amoge replied .

Arinze came into the bedroom some minutes later.” Welcome sweetie” Amoge said to her husband with a tight hug around his shoulder. “I wish I went with you to see Nicole off to the airport ” she said to him . “It was not necessary dear , after all we had a family dinner two days ago” he replied.

” I hope she keeps in touch with us when she gets to Aberdeen especially when school starts” , Amoge said to him.

“I hope so too but we all know Nicole hardly calls people except it’s necessary” , Arinze said to her with a smile on his face.

Months went by ,Amoge blossomed as her pregnancy advanced . She was at home one day preparing dinner when she got a call from Obinna.” Wow Obinna! you finally remember me, how are you doing?”she asked him.

They discussed for a while and he said that he hung out with William last month in Aberdeen. “Oh that’s good” , Amoge said to him .He told her that William was recently promoted at work and that things were generally great for him.

It was a rainy Friday night.Jason came back late from work that evening so he decided to relax in front of the television watching his favourite TV show while enjoying the delicious meal he bought on his way back.

He got a text alert on his phone.”What are you doing?” the text read. The text was from Olivia. He smiled when he read it and replied “eating dinner “.”I am bored can I come over” she replied .

“If you want to” he replied. Olivia arrived at his door 30 minutes later. She rang the door bell and Jason went to open the door. She stood before him staring into his eyes. Jason looked at her with admiration. Olivia’s smooth and light skinned body dazzled under the light of the front porch of his house.

  She wore a peach coulored fitted top on a pair of cobalt blue denim crop pants. Though she wore flat black stylish sandals, she still looked elegant. She gave out a radiant smile which revealed her one sided dimples. “You really look good,come right in” she said to him.

Jason offered her a seat and some drinks.” I don’t have any other food in the house “he said to her. “I am okay with the drinks “she replied.

   Jason put a movie for them to watch. They basically laughed and criticised the low budget movie all through to the end . When the movie ended, they chatted for a while and she announced her intention to go home.

” Wow! I enjoyed your company. There’s never a dull moment with you” , he  said to her.”I had fun too” she replied and drew close to him. Jason wondered in his mind what she wanted to do .

Olivia placed her arms around his shoulder and looked into his eyes. Jason gave her a smile and said I had a great time.We should hang out more often and released himself from her grip in a subtle manner.

Jason ignored the disappointment written all over her face . He saw her off to where she packed her car , hugged her and told her goodnight.

Olivia got home, freshened up and laid on her bed.She thought of Jason .She had a long list of guys who wanted to be with her and perhaps marry her eventually but she considered herself a free bird.

She never felt it was necessary to be in a committed relationship .Her parents and friends often reprimanded her for her overly free spirited nature.

She must have erased the text message half a dozen times before finally settling for these words “thanks for a wonderful night. Thinking of you”.What is it about this guy that is making me break my rules, she thought to herself .She waited anxiously like a teenager for a reply.

Five minutes later, she got a text alert .”I had a nice time too dear,enjoy your sleep ” ,the text read.Olivia smiled and went to bed peacefully.

It was a rainy Saturday afternoon in Aberdeen. William had just finished picking the items he wanted from the shelves of the African food store. He carried them to the checkout counter in order to pay for them.

The items were put in three plastic bags after purchase. On his way to the door of the store,two of the bags tore from bottom and the items which included yams,garri,palm oil , to mention but a few, fell to the ground.

The person standing behind him quickly went to help him pick the items up.”Here you go” the female voice said to him as she got up to hand them over to him.He looked up and saw a beautiful lady wearing a warm smile.

“Thanks a lot” he said and repacked the items in new bags .She paid for her items as well and went out of the store.

William got to the front of the store and stood under the shade.There was a heavy down pour of rain and because he wasn’t with an umbrella, he decided to wait for the rain to stop a bit.

” Don’t tell me you are going to cook all these tonight “a voice said. He turned to his left side and saw the good samaritan who assisted him earlier. He smiled and said “well not tonight but tomorrow “.

“Thanks again for helping me earlier. I am William, what’s your name please” , he said to her . “My name is Nicky”, she replied and walked away swiftly under the rain with her grocery bag.

The following day, Nicky got dressed after lunch for the planned visit with her classmate . Nicky went to Aberdeen for a master’s degree in Software engineering. She had a close friend whose name is Adanna.

     Adanna had over the months,become not just a classmate but a study partner and sister. She lived with Daniel; her elder brother who was working in a reputable oil company.

  Nicky got a phone call from Ada “I am almost at your house dear” she said.” I am ready dear” she replied .Ada arrived at Nicky’s hostel in a few minutes and they drove off.

     “Please who exactly did you say that we are visiting?” She asked Ada  excitedly. “Daniel’s friend just bought a beautiful house so he invited some close  friends for a small house warming party” she replied.

  ” I hope there will be Naija jollof rice?” Nicky asked in a playful manner .”This my friend, you like food too much. I hope so anyway “she replied with a smile.

They arrived at their destination in no distant time. When they went inside, Ada met her brother with his girlfriend and some other familiar faces.

Nicky mingled briefly with the guests and went to help herself with the variety of food displayed on the beautiful dining table. She sat on the chair beside the fireplace and watched television .

“What kind of boring get together is this?” she said to herself and continued enjoying her meal.Ada was discussing a private matter with her brother and so Nicky sat alone .

” I hope you like the food” a male voice said to her. Nicky looked up to see who was talking to her and saw a man standing in front of her.

She smiled at him and said “aren’t you the guy I met at the shop yesterday? “.”Yes I am, if I can remember correctly, you’re Nicky”. “You have a good memory,are you friends of the host as well? .I actually haven’t met the host funny enough “.”Who invited you then?he asked. I came with my bestie; Ada.Her brother invited us”, she replied.

He smiled mischievously at her and said “this is my house”.My name is William Nwankwo. Nicky felt a little embarrassed. “I guess you know my name already. My name is Nicky”. “Nicky who?”he asked. “Nicky Okafor “she replied and put the last spoon of rice in her mouth in a shy manner.

” So did you cook this rice ?”she asked. “No! Jollof rice isn’t my specialty but you should try the fried rice and the pepper soup. My pepper soup can win a food contest” he said. “Really! I will definitely give it a try before l leave” she replied .

“I see that you have met Daniel’s friend; William,”Ada said to Nicky as she sat down beside Nicky .”Yes I have” she replied.

They all spent the evening discussing trending news headlines as well as other interesting topics until guests began to depart.

Nicky and Ada walked up to William to say that they had to leave. Ada excused herself briefly to tell her brother that they were leaving as well. Can I have your cell phone number? William asked.

Nicky called out her number and he saved it on his phone. Ada came back almost immediately. They thanked him for a wonderful day and said their good byes.

It was Monday morning in Lagos. Jason dressed hurriedly for. He woke up late and had a 9 o’clock appointment he didn’t want to miss .His phone rang and he picked it hastily.

“Hi darling !” Lola said to him.”How are you doing ? “he replied. “I am fine” she said. “Can I call you later ,I am actually in a hurry to leave the house” he said to her.

“What is happening to us Jason? .We don’t talk as long as we used to. You know that I am not close to you and I call you when I miss you. For some weeks now,you have been cutting our discussions short for one reason or the other. I am getting fed up” she said to him with bitterness in her voice.

…To be continued

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