A STORY WRITTEN BY SERAH IYARE
Bukky sat on the new mattress she bought a few weeks ago and perused her notebook. She was preparing for the general test at the Lecture Centre. The results of the test would reveal if the students were ready to take the Common entrance examination. If she passed, she would receive her First School Leaving Certificate. Her eyes went dreamy. She would surely feel fulfilled by the time that happened. The other students ahead of them were preparing for the Junior Waec examination and a few others the G.C.E. she envied them. Soonest, they would be admitted into the higher institution. She had a long way to go. Many of the students at the Adult Education Centre were older than her. Some were in their twenties, and most were in their thirties and forties. She was encouraged by their never-give-up attitude. The music playing from the twenty-inch flat screen television drifted to her ears. She groaned inwardly. Since she bought the T.V set, her aunt came home early every day and sat in front of it. The ringtone of her cell phone got her attention. She turned her head, saw the Nokia 3310 phone on the pillow and reached out for it.
She recognized her boyfriend’s voice, “Gbemiga…” she dropped the book on the bed and got up immediately, “Are you through with your first semester examination?”
She headed for the door, “Are you coming home for the Easter break?”
“Yes. The holiday is just four weeks.”
She broke into a smile, “I can’t wait to see you,” she let herself out of the room.
“I miss you so much.”
“I miss you more,” she leaned against the closed door.
“Come to the back of the house.”
She raised an eyebrow, “Why?”
Her heart missed a beat. Why did he want her to go to their hideout spot? She looked towards the back of the house. It was dark, except for the light coming from the bulb hanging above the kitchen entrance. She walked briskly, looked around, and went behind the kitchen.
“I am here.”
Unexpectedly, Gbemiga came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her slim frame. She almost jumped out of her skin in fear.
She wriggled out of his embrace, turned around and punched him on the chest.
“Don’t ever scare me like that again!” her dark pretty eyes blazed with annoyance.
He started to laugh, “I didn’t mean to spook you.”
“Indeed,” she eyed him.
“I intended to surprise you,” he grinned at her.
“That was no surprise, that was an intentional act to scare the daylight out of my…”
He drew her close in a firm hug, “I have missed you so much.”
She leaned into him and basked in the warmth of his embrace,
“I am glad that you are home.”
“Can I kiss you?”
She panicked and pulled away immediately.
“Just one small kiss…” he met her skeptic gaze.
“I don’t know,” she turned away and started thinking of an escape plan.
“How is your lectures?” he felt bad that she didn’t want to get intimate with him.
She glanced at him, “Okay. We had a general test. I didn’t do so well.”
“It’s okay. It takes time. Put your trust in God, okay?”
She nodded in agreement, “How is school?”
He smiled, “It’s fun. Crazy lecturers, weird students, my first semester results were very good.”
She grinned with pride.
“I believe I am going to be one of the best students in my class,” he said with confidence.
“I am proud of you,” she reached out for his hand.
“Thanks,” he met her pleased gaze, “What’s being happening in this neighbourhood?”
“Same old routine. My akara business is booming though.”
“I saw the wooden shed and long benches. Business woman.”
She chuckled, “God has really been faithful. I have two girls helping me now.”
“Wow!” his face brightened.
She beamed with joy, “By the end of the year, I will be able to make a bigger shed and expand. I am thinking of adding puff puff and buns to the menu.”
His head bobbed, “I am impressed, thanks for the money you sent to my account. It helped.”
She blushed, “Don’t mention. When you graduate, it will be your turn to take care of me.”
He started to laugh, “I know my responsibilities.”
She raised her head and observed the stars. They seemed to shine brighter.
“Can I kiss you now?”
She blinked, swallowed hard and dropped her head.
“Please, I miss you. Just one kiss. Nothing more.”
She stared at her feet. The Dunlop slippers belonged to Chike. She didn’t return it. The brown over-size sweat shirt was still with her. He stopped asking for it when he realized that she wasn’t giving them back. She had to compensate him with a daily portion of akara and bread for three days.
“Bukky, don’t you love me anymore?”
She raised her head to meet his sad face, “I do, but, each time we kiss, we… you… things gets out of hand.”
He drew her close, “I promise you, I will exercise self-control.”
“No, let’s just…”
“Bukky now, don’t do this to me. You don’t know how hard it is for me in school to avoid other girls.”
Her heart missed a beat.
“There are several girls in my class that flock around me, I have a good number at home and in church that wants me, but, I told them all that I am in a relationship.”
She smiled with relief.
“Memories of our kisses helps me to get through school and avoid temptation.”
She sighed heavily. Maybe she should allow him. After all, he was asking for one kiss. She wanted him to kiss her, but, was afraid of what it might lead to.
“Just one kiss,” she stared at him.
He brightened, “Yes, one kiss,” he felt elated by her agreement.
“Okay. Kiss me,” she looked into his eyes.
He made her lean against the kitchen wall, wrapped his arms around her and claimed her lips. She placed her arms around his neck and responded. His hands slid down her back till it settled on her buttocks. The kiss intensified. He felt like touching every part of her, but, he was afraid, she might pull away and distrust him again.
She felt the hardening of his groin as it rubbed against her. Fear gripped her, what if he lost control again? The night he deflowered her was still fresh on her mind. She tried to block the negative thoughts and enjoy the pleasure initiated by his kisses.
Desire built up inside him, when he couldn’t take it anymore, he dropped his hands and stepped back, “I think we should call it a night.”
She looked up at him. He was sweating and seemed a bit dissatisfied. “Okay,” she adjusted her wrapper and started towards the entrance.
He placed both hands on the head and gritted his teeth. He wasn’t sure how possible it was going to be to spend the next four weeks with his girlfriend without sleeping with her. It was against their faith and belief, but, he was consumed by the desire to be physically intimate with her without restraint.
Bukky bumped into one of Gbemiga’s sisters at the back of the house. It was her fault. She was lost in thoughts, instead of watching where she was going.
“Are you blind? Don’t you have eyes? Can’t you see?” Kemi snarled at her.
“I am sorry,” she apologized quickly.
“Sorry for yourself. Look at this short devil! Do you want to injure me?” she checked her elbow and knee.
Bukky frowned in annoyance. She wasn’t short. She was average height. The girl was just a little bit taller than she was and she didn’t appreciate been insulted by someone who wasn’t her age mate.
“All these church rats,” she hissed in disdain, “You better go to the eye specialist and get yourself a pair of glasses.”
“I said I was sorry,” Bukky eyed her and walked away.
Kemi clapped her hands together, “Look at this thing, come back here,” she hurried after her and grabbed her by the elbow.
“Get your hands off me!” Bukky slapped her hand off.
“Look here, I am not in your level at all. When you see people like me, you should address us with ‘yes sir’ ‘yes ma’.”
Bukky bursted out in laughter, “You must be high on something.”
“You are the one who is drunk. You are the blind bat who bumped into me.”
“Watch your tongue, I am not your mate,” her dark eyes flashed with anger.
Kemi started to laugh, “Mate ko, mate ni. The Phillips family is above everyone in this compound. None of you is in our level, please, show some respect.”
“You are definitely high on something. You think because your elder brother is in the university, we must all run around your family. Is he the only one in school? Several guys and girls in this neighbourhood are also in school.”
“How many? How many of them?” she clapped in her face.
Bukky backed away, infuriated.
“You! Did you even go to school at all? At least I have my First School Leaving Certificate.”
“And so what? Abeg park well.”
“Come bean cake seller. Alakara!”
Bukky smiled, “At least I have a bubbling business. What are you? A common cleaner at a local factory. I am my own madam and I have two girls like you working for me.”
“God punish you!” she poked her forehead with her finger.
Bukky slapped the finger away, “Back to sender!”
Gbemiga came out of his hiding place, “That is enough you two!”
Kemi turned to him, then glanced back at her neighbour in anger, “The day is coming, if I don’t beat you up, call me a bastard.”
Bukky started to laugh, “Beat who? Ten of you cannot handle me.”
“I said it’s enough!” he came inbetween them.
Kemi hissed and headed to the toilet.
“Your sister is…”
“Just go to your room,” he cut in, voice firm, face emotionless.
She eyed him and went back into the building.
Gbemiga placed both hands on his hips and muttered in frustration, “Girls! Hian!”
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