The box contained a pale blue evening dress, a pair of gold strappy sandals, a gold clutch, two bottles of designer perfume, and a blue leather strap wristwatch. A note accompanied the items.
“Blue for my baby who calms me like a walk by the sea.
Perfume to remind her of the flowers she planted in my heart.
A purse because you carry my heart everywhere you go.
A pair of shoes hoping you’ll come to see me”
“PS: The burrberry is for Laura”.
Both girls squealed. They held hands and did a dance around the box. Still chatting excitedly, they ran to their room, where Uche tried on the dress and shoes. She preened before the mirror while they took selfies. Laura tried on her perfume and smiled.
“This guy knows what’s up!”, she murmured.
“I’m telling you!”, Uche agreed.
“Call him and say thanks”, Laura suggested.
“Hmm”, Uche sat down mournfully. “I have to return them”
“I am stuck between the two guys. How do I keep these gifts, leading him on?”
“But you accepted Dan’s gifts”, Laura accused.
“That’s true”, Uche remembered. “You can’t reject this one”
“I really need to decide”
“Okay, what do you want in a man? From there we can award points to both men. May the best man win”, Laura declared, rising to get a pen and paper.
“Well, I want a serious Christian”
“Both men are”
“But Dan is more mature spiritually”
“I agree”, Laura made a note.
“A man who is disciplined, hardworking, gentle,and gainfully employed”
“August scores higher here O! He has his father’s money plus a law degree”, Laura announced.
“Dan is an Engineer”
“How much are they paying him? And he is responsible for his family”
“A courteous guy, who loves me to pieces, and will be faithful”
“I think both men are almost at par here. We can’t read their minds”
“Someone helpful around the house, who loves music, and loves kids”
“Both men probably have these traits. About the kids part, I don’t know. You will have to ask”
“Both are handsome, tall, and they dress well”, Uche murmured.
“Do you have issues with tribe?”, asked Laura.
“Dan is from Delta state, August is from Rivers. I don’t mind. My dad married from Cross River, so I don’t think he will raise objections”
“I guess it boils down to who do you love?”
“I guess so”, Uche murmured in agreement as they lay back on the pillows thoughtfully.
Ikenna was chatting with Segun his friend, on phone.
“Guy, Laura broke my heart O!”
“What! I didn’t see this coming?”
“Hmm. I couldn’t sleep that night”
“Men! This is too sad! Why don’t girls see when someone truly loves them?”
“I dont know O!”
“What really happened?”
“We go chop for that my aunty place. She begin ping. I begged her to put it away. Na so kasala burst! The girl just dey rake like woman wey dem owe change for market. Next thing, na sey she nodo again!”, he explained what transpired that night in pidgin English.
“Just like that?”
“Just like that!”
“You beg am?”
“I nearly kneel down sef!”
“I’m telling you!”
Both were silent for a while. He could visualize Segun scratching his head
“I don’t know how you’ll take this”
“Yeah?”, Ikenna asked.
“You have to let her go!”
“No! Don’t say that! You know how long I’ve loved her. I even prayed about her….”
“Let her go. She’ll come to you, when she’s ready”
“Segun, I can’t”
“Think about it”
“I was thinking of posing with another girl on facebook to make her jealous”
“It might work but, what sort of foundation is that?”, Segun asked.
“You want her to come to you willingly. Not in order to keep other girls away from you”
“Guy, I can’t let her go”
“Give her 3 months. Plead as much as you like. If she remains adamant, that’s it”
“Better. What of the Facebook idea?”
“You can try it but, I think it’s a faulty foundation”
“Meen, desperate times call for desperate measures”
“Okay, we’ll chat later. I have to be somewhere. There’s this deal that’s brewing”
“Keep me in the loop”
It had been 3 months of fun in Lagos. Their NYSC postings had been released. Laura was posted to Ondo state, Ikenna to Nassarawa, and Uche to Abuja. August had influenced her posting so they could be together. During her stay in Lagos, he had flown in to visit twice a month. He brought gifts each time. Perfumes, jewellery, flowers, chocolates, cakes, and all sorts of clothing. She was hard put turning them down. They never discussed the future, beyond him wanting her to settle close to him in Abuja. He planned to get her a job in his father’s airline. She was excited about the possibilities, as she had never visited Abuja, though he had asked her to come severally.
On the other hand, Dan had done all he could to win her heart. He spent every moment she spared with her, introduced her to all his friends and to his family. They were taken with her and she became friends with his sisters. She visited his church and watched him play guitar during worship. He was so lost in the moment. She could see his genuine passion for Christ shining through. Her only visits to his house, were in Laura’s company. He cooked noodles for them in excitement and they laughed. He admitted that he could not cook and relied on take outs or occassional meals prepared by his sisters. They lived too far away in Ikorodu to visit more often.
His 2 sisters were in secondary school, while his only brother was in the university. Their mother was a petty trader while his father was a painter. They brought in a modest income that required heavy augmentation. After meeting his mom, Uche became quite friendly with her. She even did her books and helped her to identify the areas where she was losing money. For this, his mom loved her and plagued her son not to lose her.
Dan was aware of August’s presence in her life. He declined from asking her to end the relationship, since she met him 1st. His only hope was that she would give him her heart. He knew that if she confessed to loving him, August would cease to be an issue. That did not prevent him from feeling jealous. He prayed daily that things would work out for him. He really wanted to know where he stood. The knowledge that Uche was going to Abuja nearly gave him a fever.
He discussed with Bobby what it meant for their relationship. They were at a friend’s wedding, which Uche was supposed to attend but couldn’t as she was flying back home. She had to pack for her trip. Laura had left 2 weeks before to attend to a family matter. She stayed for his sake.
“Bobby, what do you think of this my babe going to Abuja?”, Dan asked as they sat at the wedding reception.
“Guy, it worries me. If she had told us, I would have influenced her posting to Lagos. Aunty Kike works there”
“The girl didn’t let me know. Is she in love with that guy?”, he worried.
(To be continued. Do leave comments by clicking on the title. Thanks)