Sissy woke up late the following morning, too late to meet up with her first lecture for the day. She decided to stab the class and be ready in time for the next class at 10 a.m. After her morning routine, she picked her phone and dialled Pally’s number. He answered on the third ring.
“Good morning, Pally” she responded. “I trust you had a great night.”
“I did. You sound like you’ve only just come awake. Have you?”
“Well, not exactly. But I woke up less than an hour ago.”
“No morning lecture?”
“There was one at 8 a.m. I woke up too late to meet up. I have another lecture at ten, though.”
“You should be getting ready for the class, then.”
“Yes, right. I called to say thank you for celebrating my birthday with me yesterday. I appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness. Thank you.”
“It’s my pleasure. You don’t have to thank me so much. Hold up a second, please.”
After a short pause, he spoke into the receiver, “Sissy, I have to go now. Can I call you later today – say 5 p.m.?”
“Ab-so-lutely!” She stuttered.
“Great! Talk later. Have a great day.”
The line went off.
She stared at her phone. Did she just give him the permission to call her? She thought she wanted to be careful about this relationship budding out of the blues. But you called him first today, she reminded herself. To say thank you, she fought back. And he requested to call you back because he couldn’t talk at that time; she heard her mind say again. Doesn’t mean I had to say ‘yes’, she hit back. Well, you don’t have to fight me; you said yes already. She was going to respond when she heard a knock on the door. The door handle had been turned several times before the knock but she was too lost in her thoughts to have noticed.
She peeped into the security hole and saw Tommie standing there. She saw two other ladies with unfamiliar faces standing there with her as well. Gently, she opened the door and stepped aside for the trio to come in. She was still in her nightdress.
“Ahnahn babe, wetin happen? You bin no wan open door before?”
“Sorry, I did not notice you were at the door.”
Tommie examined her and Sissy knew she had better wore a happy countenance if she was to escape Tommie’s interrogation that morning. So, she brightened up.
“How was the concert you went for?”
“Fine, babe. I had mad fun!” She, obviously, still had the excitement from the concert. “Meet my friends, Sally and Mina – friends from secondary school. I bumped into them at the concert last night. Coincidentally, they are students here too. Isn’t the world round?” She let out a short laughter.
“Sally and Mina, meet my roomie, Sissy.”
The ladies exchanged pleasantries with her and sat in the empty chairs.
“How far? You no go class today?”
“I woke up late jare.”
“Ah, that’s true o. How was your date last night?”
“Tommie, it was not a date. By the way, I have a lecture at ten.”
“Ehnehn, na him you never baf at ten minutes to ten?”
“What? Jeez! That lecturer is very strict. He doesn’t let anyone in once he steps on the podium.”
“Abeg sidon, make you enjoy yourself jo. We still dey do birthday.” She winked.
Sissy eyed and Tommie’s friends giggled.
“Babe, you know I’m not an unserious student either. I am only trying to teach you a code – don’t worry over what you cannot change.”
Sissy resigned. She knew Tommie was right. She wouldn’t forget the new lesson.
“So, we are listening.”
The ladies took their places and Sissy gave them a full recount of how her outing with Pally went. The ladies were filled with amazement and their ‘wows’ filled the air to buttress their bewilderment.
She went to the refrigerator and brought out the cake. Immediately, they took out cutleries and began to devour the cake. She made beverages for all four of them and that served as breakfast. At the last chunk of cake, she remembered she had said she would give Gina some cake so she pleaded with the ladies to leave the last chunk. They were displeased but let her have it after she promised to make it up to them.
She spent the rest of the day chatting and laughing with Tommie and her friends. She realised she needed the cool off. She had bottled too much in, that gloom was beginning to wear her out.
Later that evening, Pally called as he had promised and they had a very long phone conversation. She asked him how he got her phone number and knew which day her birthday had fallen.
He reminded her how they first met. It was at their parents’ church back at home; he was visiting and she was home for the holidays. He had attended the Sunday service that weekend and there, he exchanged pleasantries with her and requested for her phone number which she gave him. He added her up on Facebook and he got a notification that morning that it was her birthday.
She went on to ask him how she knew which was her favourite perfume and colour. He told her he had perceived the perfume’s scent on her on their first meeting, and since he was conversant with perfumes and colognes, he knew which it was that she had on. Regarding her favourite colour, he said he saw that on her Facebook profile as well.
To say the least, Sissy was impressed but she tried hard to not reveal it. She rather kept up with her questions to him.
“Yesterday, at Purple Ryde, you said you knew I like nature. Will you tell me how you came about that discovery?”
“Oh, that? Your Facebook profile gave me the leak as well.”
There was silence on her end.
“No, don’t get me wrong, I was not snitching on you. I wanted to do something you’d love for your birthday so I had to get the necessary information at any cost.”
“Uhm-uhm… Thank you, anyway. It was kind of you.”
“I’m sorry if you feel like I broke into your private affair. I really did not mean to.”
“Of course not. I am the one who put my life on Facebook so why should I be angry that you went to find it out? I am not angry a bit.”
“Are you sure about that?”
“I’m damn too sure. It’s okay.”
She had never realised how much influence the social media could wield. She was both astonished and pleased. She requested for his details and searched him out. Until that time, she did not know they were friends on Facebook. She knew now.
Interrupting her thoughts, he asked her a question.
“Why did you look downcast yesterday? I mean, in the afternoon when I came to invite you to the dinner?”
She had not seen it coming. This was a private affair. She was not sure she wanted to reveal that part of her life to him – yet.
“Feel free to talk to me about anything. I mean anything at all.” He said, stressing the ‘anything’.
“Well,” she started to say, unsure of this step she was about to take. She preferred to keep issues between her and her family private. He was the one who asked anyway. She damned the unsettlement she was feeling and poured it all out.
“I am having some issues with my parents.”
“Uhm, okay. I’m all ears.”
“My parents hardly believe in me and they don’t take my opinions seriously. Rather than commend my good works, my mum streams light on my flaws. She makes a jest of my bodily flaws as if I created myself. You would not believe the kinds of names she calls me if I told you.” She was close to tears.
“Do you care to share with me what she says to you?”
“No, there is no need for that. I will only break down the more.”
“Don’t get me wrong. I love my parents. I just wish they would let go of their cultural mindsets and pay more attention. I wish they would look beyond the physical and see how much I long to be close to them. I wish -” She was sobbing now.
He was quiet.
“You wouldn’t believe if I told you that I don’t have a close-knit relationship with my mum, would you? She is not a bad woman but maybe I have higher expectations. She wants me to be like her, my brother or anyone else but not myself. This, alone, keeps causing rifts between us. She won’t stop comparing me to everyone else.
I love my mum but I want her to understand me better. I want to have a real mother-daughter relationship with her – something beyond the surface. I want to be able to tell her anything and everything. I am always scared to tell her deep parts of my life for fear of what she would say. And whenever I must do that, I act a one-man drama to rehearse what form the conversation is likely to take.” She let out a sad giggle.
“Funny, right.” The question was rhetorical. “Well, that’s it. You now know why I was looking downcast. I’m not like that all the time, though. I guess it’s because it was my birthday and I usually take the day to reflect on my life.” She smiled although she knew he could not see her.
“Enough of me now. Change of topic, please.” She laughed.
“I’m sorry about what you are going through. I want you to know that you will be fine, okay?”
“Sure, I will.” She did not know whether she believed what she had just said.
He changed the topic and they took turns to talk about themselves – their interests, hobbies, philosophies, values, family setting. They talked about life at school, best and worst courses, level of involvement in various school activities, and several other related topics. Their friendship kicked off right from that night without an official announcement.
Hi there, My name is Faith Ijeoma Ezenwere. I am a Broadcast Journalist/OAP and a teen coach. I am passionate about building a community of impact driven Teens and young adults in all spheres of life. In simple terms, I help Teens/Young adults live their dreams. Welcome to my World!
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