Three weeks had gone by just like that. I was really stressed and tired. I wasn’t sure if any other person could see the holidays, but I was already in it for all I knew. To think after this paper, I’d be a semester closer to being in final year. I grinned at the thought and returned to reality. My reality at the moment was Womi and I sitting in a spare class and trying to revise for our last exam. It had been rough and tough for both of us. I had been staying at Womi’s house as both my parents were still out of town and though it was fun; I couldn’t wait to get done with exams to at least ‘enjoy’ time away from home.
‘Chai! This exam will be something else…’ Womi said, frustrated.
‘If it is my village people that sent you, I rebuke you oo! Shai, instead of you to read at night, you said it is to sit outside and watch stars with Navi. Don’t make noise now oo!’
‘I agree. Juliet!’
She started laughing and soon got hysterical.
‘Break time is over. Oya! Fluid mechanics is not a course to play this play with.’
She sulked and returned to her books. The exam was in 30minutes and I honestly hoped we were ready.
‘You see what? Did they ask you to write how many stars you saw in the sky yesterday?’
‘It is this bad belle that’ll kill you.’
‘Hehehe! Keep following that boy, next time they will so beat you eh..’
‘Ah! But I have you na.. You’ll just fight for me..’
‘I resemble Margaret Ekpo? Abegi!’
Womi and I were busy yabbing ourselves as we strolled out of our faculty and began our long walk towards the gate. The exam was not half as bad as we expected. Thank God for that. I got a call from Niyi which I picked amidst giggles.
“Why are you laughing?” he began
“My exam was good oo! So I’m happy”
“That’s nice. So, that means you can come and see me?”
“Finally, you miss me! When?”
“Anytime. I’m home all through.”
“Okay. We’ll be there shortly.”
“What is that?”
“Sorry, I forgot. Tell Womi to bring her big head quick. We have gist.”
“She’s to tell you about her astronomy abi astrology interest abi?”
“Zinaa oo!” He was laughing.
“You eh! Hurry over. Love you!”
“Love you too.”
Just as I hung up, I shot a big smile at Womi who immediately knew what that meant.
“We are going there, aren’t we?”
“Well, yesterday was his brother’s birthday. Pray there’s still cake.”
We finally reached the gate and found a cab towards Niyi’s house. I was quiet even as Womi kept indulging me with gist. My mind had soared to Ighodalo, my last kiss. I felt a pang of guilt and tried to suppress it. Should I tell Niyi? For as long as we had been dating, Niyi had been ‘my everything’. Now, there was Ighodalo. We hadn’t seen since our lunch date because he got tied with work and I had to start reading for exams. All we’d been doing was communicating via phone calls, skype and text messages. He checked on me as often as he could and to be honest, I loved the attention. Niyi, on the other hand, was undergoing some kind of evolution; he was becoming something else. He was distant, cold and it was getting harder for me to understand him. I shrugged off the thoughts just in time to hold my tears in.
‘What is it? Tell me now before you go and snap at Niyi.’ Womi asked as we alighted from the cab and strolled into Niyi’s street. I stared at her as if to assess if she’d understand, shrugged and muttered, “nothing.”
We met Yemi (Niyi’s elder brother) on his way out. ‘Happy birthday in arears.’ We said in unison.
‘Thanks dears. Thought you guys would come. Saw your gift though.’ He replied, beaming.
‘Exams. You had fun na..’ I continued.
‘Yeah sure. My friends made sure. I want to go to SLOT, my phone is having issues.’
‘Na wa oo.. sorry. See you.’
‘Thanks.. tell Niyi to give you guys cake oo..’
Yemi revved the cylinders of his Honda Accord and drove off just as Niyi came outside.
“Sweetie!!!” He ran and whisked me into the air. I had actually missed him.
“Dumper of life. For three weeks plus, Niyi, you’ve not looked for me.”
“I wanted you to concentrate naa… calm down jor! I missed you too…” He smirked and then kissed me.
“Porn!!!!” Typical enemy-of-progress Womi.
“Chai! What will I do with you?” Niyi laughed.
“Take me inside and give me cake.” She replied, giggling.
“But we are not tired of staying outside na..”
“I am” Womi and I said at the same time and ran inside the house.
I noticed female clothes lying in a sequence that led up to the bed and a mental picture of a sex scene came to mind.
“Niyi!!!” I screamed.
“What is it?” He asked as he came into the room?
“Whose clothes are these? And why are they arranged like they were taken off one after the other?”
He looked at me and tried to feign ignorance. “Before? How do you take off clothes normally?”
I sighed. “You know what I mean.”
“Darling, today’s own was the best!! Three times!! The power of su–” Kate-the cousin broke off her words as she saw me after she had emerged from the bathroom. She looked disappointed to see me, I looked confused and Niyi looked busted.
“Niyi, say something.” I implored, slowly.
“Sh..she needed to bath.” He grunted
“Why?” Hot tears lined my eyeballs waiting to burst out. I stood patiently still trying to get in everything. I reminded myself I was sure of nothing and no matter the obvious implications, I was NOT sure of anything. Just then, Bizzle called out, “Niyi, Zina and Womi dey around oo, una don finish?”
“Gbagbe Oshi! She dey inside room with me.” Niyi responded.
My heart began to throb and I stared deep and long at Niyi. He looked at me and said nothing. Meanwhile, Kate was busy humming and dressing up. When she was done, she walked and stepped in between Niyi and me, kissed him and left the room. I felt like my body had been taken away from me that instant.
“Zina, it’s not what you think it is… it isn’t what it looks like…”
I couldn’t hold the tears any longer and as soon as they started running down, I knew it was time to leave.
“Womi! Please, take me home!”