“I am glad you remember. I tried thanking you in the bus this morning, but you moved back to your seat quickly that I couldn’t get the chance. I really appreciate what you did for me in the bus this morning. The way you came through for me to save me from such an embarrassment. Thank you very much!” Said the lady. “You are welcome, but have money in your bag next time,” Jesse said sharply and again buried his face in his palms.
“Anyway, I am Sandra. What is your name?” Sandra asked. “I am Jesse,” he replied with his face still buried in his palms. “Nice meeting you, Jesse!” Sandra said.
Sandra was expecting Jesse to respond to that, but he didn’t. He behaved as if he didn’t hear what she said. With that, she sat on the other end of the bench and waited for the bus.
When the bus came, Jesse got up and entered it without a word to Sandra. Sandra followed among others to enter the bus. She sat on a different seat. Jesse took out his magazine and started reading. He put his earphones on and started listening to music. He was so much into his world. When it was time to pay for the fare, he paid for himself and Sandra. He got back to what he was doing immediately after that.
Sandra couldn’t understand this strange attitude from Jesse. Why does he always help her, but doesn’t want to get into a conversation with her? He doesn’t even stick around for her to even show her appreciation. “This gentleman is weird! Why does he behave like he owns the world. He is so mercurial. Anyway, let me mind my business. I will never make such a mistake again by forgetting my money in the house. On a second thought, I think he thinks of me as a puppet! That explains his behavior towards me. If he is thinking of that, he should better change his thinking because I am no puppet!!” Sandra thought about all these while she sat in the bus. In no time, the bus pulled over and all of them were supposed to alight.
As usual, Jesse hurriedly got off the bus and headed straight for his house. Indeed, Sandra wanted to express her thankfulness for him helping her for the second time. But, there was no room to do that since Jesse was gone before she alighted from the bus. She also went home.
Now, Jesse got to the house weary. He quickly took his shower and came to find something to eat. While going to the kitchen, he saw the portrait he didn’t want to see, but yet couldn’t resist seeing. The portrait of Theodora hanged on his wall. He immediately lost appetite when he saw it. He was filled with sadness. He couldn’t hold back his tears. Jesse took the portrait from the wall and held it passionately. He wanted to shatter it into pieces, but found himself caressing it.
“Oh, Theodora! What is this you have done to me? Why did you have to leave me this way? I showered you with love and affection. I gave you access to my soul and what did you do with it?” he said and paused for a moment as if waiting for an answer. “You deceived me and made me believe the feeling was mutual. I had my hopes high. I was always thinking about our future together and how happy we will be. You severed these strings of wonderful thoughts when you surprised me with you wedding invitation card. How could you!!?” Jesse said crying as he held the portrait firmly and pressed it against his chest .”How couldn’t I see this coming? Why was I so blind to be led deceptively like a sheep? I followed your sweet words and gestures and that blind spotted me to your treacherous tendencies,” said Jesse this time with his eyes fixated on the portrait as if looking into the eyes of Theodora.
“You are an ingrate!! A pathetic liar!! A daughter of Eve!! You have indeed led me to my downfall!! Now, I can’t love again. I don’t even know how to start all over. You have ruined my life and happiness. You didn’t even have sympathy on me. You sent your pictures with your husband to me. As if that wasn’t enough. You pierced my soul with the pictures of your baby. Why do you do all these, Theodora? Tell me!! I am here waiting! Tell me why you constantly want to hurt me this way!! Eh!? Speak !! Speak!!! Speak!!!!” Jesse exclaimed and threw the portrait on their floor and stood there crying.
In less than thirty seconds, he hurriedly took the portrait from the floor and wiped it with his shirt. “I am sorry, baby. I didn’t mean to hurt you like that. Please forgive me. I won’t do that again. I am sorry Dor ! I am sorry, “ he said amidst crying. He laid on the floor with the portrait in his bosom.
In Sandra’s house, she had been thinking of the weird guy he met on the bus earlier in the day. While she was thinking, her phone rung. She took the phone to look at the caller ID and it displayed Desmond. She ended the call abruptly and turned off her phone. She continued with her thoughts about Jesse.
Apparently, Desmond had had a crush on Sandra since their school days. He had tried everything in his power to win her heart, but all to no avail. There was nothing Desmond wouldn’t want to do for Sandra. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to impress her. He had proposed several times to Sandra, but she declined all his advances.
Desmond was determined not to lose hope. He believed that he will win the heart of Sandra one day. And until Sandra walks down the aisle with another man as her husband, he still got a shot. He called Sandra in the morning, afternoon and evening. It was because of him Sandra forgot her money in the house.
It isn’t that Sandra was heartless to see the plight of this sweet young man who waits to sweep her off her feet. The issue was that, she had tried severally to reciprocate his affection on different occasions, but she just couldn’t bring herself to do it. Although Desmond was sweet and all that, Sandra felt there was no connection. In short, she didn’t have any affection for him. She liked him as a friend, but not a lover. She had tried on several occasions to explain things Desmond which of course fell on deaf ears. His behavior began to irritate her and she begun to feel his advances as a sort of harassment.
Now Desmond was thinking what could cause Sandra’s phone to go off abruptly. He tried calling her severally, but the line wasn’t going through. “Could it be that her battery is so low that her phone has gone off? Or it is the network? These network companies and their ‘wahala’. They always disappoint when their services are most needed. I can’t sleep without talking to Sandra. I have been thinking about her the whole of today. I can’t wait for the day she will finally accept my proposal. I can’t wait either to take her to the altar to make her my wife. How wonderful that day will be!! The day that Sandra will be by my side forever! I won’t give up! I will continue to chase my dream and I believe my perseverance will yield fruits one day,” Desmond continued to daydream about Sandra.
He dipped his hands in his pocket and brought out his wallet. He opened it and brought a passport size picture of Sandra. He looked at it for some time and smiled. “I will never regret stealing this picture from your collection.
Because, this picture reminds me of the first time I set eyes on an angel like you. I will never forget that photographer’s shop where we all went to take our passport size pictures as freshmen. You were so wonderful that the pureness of your heart could be seen radiating from your cute face. You still look the same as to this day. How I wish your heart could be knit together with mine. How I wish you will understand my feelings and realize I mean no harm. All I want is your happiness which I will go to any extent to provide. I won’t let you down my beautiful Sandra. I have stalled many relationships all because of you. To proof how much you mean to me. To proof you mean the world to me. Why are all these going unnoticed? Is it that your are still putting my loyalty to test? I know within that, you are doing exactly that. I will wait for you, my sweetheart. I will prove my loyalty to you, “ Desmond said fantasizing about the picture. He placed the picture back into his wallet, smiled at it for the last time and went to his room.
…to be continued