F B -5&6

FIVE
‘…. my darling baby, chilling with Mummy
aye? …How’re you doing? …I’m okay …’
Agatha entered the room and stood
akimbo.
Hester laughed still lying belly down on
the bed with her ear piece in place. ‘Orrrhr Sweetheart! There is no telling to
how much have missed you like you will
miss pancakes the way your Mum makes
them …I can’t come now but when
you’re a little older, you can come and
see me… I love you too. Give the phone
back to Mummy.’ Hester continued
gisting with her formal colleague like
Agatha wasn’t there.
‘We have missed you terribly, when
patients and clients come around, they
keep asking of you. ‘
‘It has been difficult for me settling. I
missed everyone. ‘ Hester sighed.
‘Gabe misses you like crazy, sometimes
he says to me-Fine, she never accepted
me but her presence consoled me
greatly. El I feel so empty. He would
wailed.’
Hester chuckled. ‘My cute surgeon. I’ll
call him later.’
‘Lovely Hess, he would be ecstatic! ‘
‘Please don’t stop praying for me like I
won’t stop praying for you all.’
‘Yea. All the best dear.
‘You too. Take care of Deb and Matt.’
The call eventually ended. Hester sat up.
‘It about time you ended that call.’
Agatha almost hissed. ‘I am very
disappointed you put up that show for
the favor of spending the rest of your life
with of the sexiest guy in Africa, a shaker
and a mover. ‘ Her eyes gleamed. ‘He’s
got the doe, talk of class, he is president
son. Do you know how many of my
girlfriends are dying to take this dude out
for a treat or having him in their arms.
That has also been my desire. ‘ She
couldn’t help but add.’ Do you know how
much, the worth of shopping treat his ex
enjoyed?’ Her voice rose emphatically.
Hester listened with rapt attention.
‘They practically toured the world while
they were dating. And to think that you
have the privilege of Oladimeji love and
attention yet you’re trampling on it.’ She
raised a hand and dropped it. ‘Hester you
must be crazy. You’re acting in the
strangest way girl! I wonder what kind of
blood is flowing through your vein? I have
a good mind of drugging you, taking you
to a psychiatric hospital so they could
ensure your mind is intact. ‘
Hester was offended. ‘Are you through? ‘
‘What do you mean? ‘
‘Leave my room. ‘
Agatha laughed. ‘For sure girl, you’ve
gone bananas! ‘
Hester stood and covered the distance
between them. ‘One of your problem is
that you never learn.’
Agatha raised a hand to slap her but
Hester saw it coming and suspended it
midway.

‘You better be more concerned with your
life than mine, ain’t you twenty seven,
three years older than I am, is it not your
mate that are getting married. You keep
running from pillar to post in the name of
parties, clubs etc. ‘Hester held her gaze.
Agatha tried to free her arm but the hold
was firm.
‘You and Oladimeji fit each other, you too
are ill mannered and proud. I have
respected you as an elder sister and
swallowed your insult but the next time,
you barge into my room, I will slap you. ‘
With that,Hester grabbed her arm and
pulled out stunned Agatha out of her
room and shut the door.
++++

****

‘I wouldn’t have believed this could occur as my worst night mare.’

‘This is absurd, unbelievable! I can’t believe my brother with all his education and exposure could be doing this.’ Chris drummed his fingers visibly irritated.

Hester raised her right hand towards heaven. ‘God in heaven know I cannot and will not marry him, not after I have remained chaste for this long. ‘ Her eyes were clouded. ‘I can never, ever go into a forced marriage. I can never marry Oladimeji! ‘

‘Calm down Hess.’ Chris lowered his eyes thoughtfully.

‘There is no time to calm down, no, not anymore. ‘ She began pacing the room. ‘The invitation cards have been distributed, it’s on the newspapers and what have you. The wedding gown, shoes and all accessories are set, they are all ready. The wedding is only a  month and a couple of weeks away.’

Chris shook his head. ‘They can’t do this to you. That promiscuous boy, an embodiment of irresponsibility! No … they can’t do this to you.’ He fought back his tears.

‘I told myself that so many times but it didn’t work, the wedding presents have began arriving.’ She backed him,’ I … I agreed to my father request. ‘ A tear dropped.

‘You did what! ‘ He was on his feet.

‘I did.’ She swallowed as her  tears came down freely. ‘I have been made to understand it’s Oladimeji whether I liked it or not. I have been made to realise no escapism. I resolved to brain storming and I realised there is only one way to make myself clear to my family,  the presidential family and the world.’

He made her to face him. ‘What are talking about? Do you have a solution? ‘ He was anxious.

+++++

****
She knelt before him with tears flowing
down her cheek. ‘Please help me. Uncle
Chris please … please. ‘
‘I can’t my sweetness, I can’t do
something that will be detrimental to
you.’ His countenance was sad.
‘Please …please, ‘ Hester let out a shaky
breath, if you don’t help, no one else
will.’
‘Hester, I’m sure you don’t understand
the consequence of that action. The
people attending the wedding will be
creme de la creme of Nigeria and beyond,
you can imagine the security. ‘ Chris
paused momentarily. ‘it may cost your
life.’
‘Let it be on me then. It would be more
disastrous if I don’t try at all.’
‘Ha Hester …’ He heaved and shook his
head, I can’t do this, I can’t stand it.’
‘Please you’re my only hope, it is that
part you’re doing, I will handle the rest.
Please help me …’ Her palms were
opened before her.
His heart was hurting, it was tearing
apart, he could not take her display of
emotions anymore, ‘Hester I …I have to
leave, I will call your later.’He jolted out
of the sofa and left for the door.
If only she could muster strength, she
would have jumped and threw herself
down. She lifted her cold hands to her
face and wept. Her hope was dashed.
++++
****
Few minutes later, he rested on the warm
car roof. ‘No …no …it is too dangerous …
she mean so much to me and I can’t risk
it, I hope you understand someday. ‘
Chris wiped his teary eyes with his index
finger, he reached in his pocket for his car
keys. ‘Oh no …’ He muttered dismayed.
‘Sir are you leaving already? ‘ Mary the
youngest cleaner asked. She was passing
by.
‘Yes Mary.’ He smiled, ‘I forget my car
keys. can you please help me with it? ‘
‘I will.’ She began to leave .
‘Mary? ‘ He called at an afterthought. ‘I’ll
get it myself. Thank you.’
‘Okay Sir.’ She smiled before leaving.
He began pacing and jammed his fist at
interval. He eventually went back into the
house.
He met her lying on the ground, eyes
shut, face stained with tears and her
breath dragged.
‘I’m sorry Hester …I didn’t mean to do
this to you.’
She didn’t stir.
‘I am here because I have changed my
mind, please forgive me.’ Chris lifted her
off the ground ‘I am sorry.’
+++++

****

She flipped through a pictorial story book.

The door swing opened and she looked towards the door.

‘Agbekemi, Sweetheart, I have missed you.’ He grinned. ‘I have been longing to see you. why do you keep rejecting those invitations? ‘

Hester blinked severally to ensure she was not seeing things.

‘Are you just going to sit there? ‘ Oladimeji opened his arms, ‘Come here let me feel the warmth of your body and the softness of your lips.’ His voice was alluring.

‘So you can’t wait to see me naked ehen? Common courtesy you don’t even possess, how dare you barge into my privacy? ‘

‘This day is too pleasant to waste on that note.’ He beckoned. ‘Come to me love. ‘

Hester stood on the bed, ‘what are you doing here? ‘

‘Hey, your dress is beautiful and it …’ He dropped his hands and laughed. ‘Why am here is obvious. ‘

‘I prefer specifics Oladimeji. ‘ Her expression was blank.

He turned around like he was on a runaway. ‘Sweetheart I am here to see and talk to you.’

‘We will talk outside.’ She stated simply.

‘Blow off  the principle dear, I am comfortable here.’ He move about the room leisurely, at the same time glancing around.

‘I don’t care about your comfort President son.’ She tilted her head to a side. ‘Leave my room!’

‘What if I don’t?  He stopped to look up at her with a charming smile.

She gave a short laugh. ‘ Very, very funny. ‘ She drawled as both palms descended on her waist. ‘If you were smart, you will make maximum use of the little time you have to see my face. Soon, I will be busy.’

He left the room with his pride wounded, he was disappointed. He hit a clenched fist on the wall.

Hester came out to the corridor shortly after. She maintained distance.

‘You have to respect me Sweetheart, I am your fiance. ‘ He was sad.

‘Huh? Seriously? ‘ She raised her left palm over her head to give Oladimeji a better view. She swinged the palm from side to side, looking up to inspect it too. ‘I don’t know if I need glasses but I was wondering where you got that idea from? ‘ She dropped her hand and peered at him.

In a flash, he covered the distance between them and shook her. ‘How do you expect me to propose when you won’t come out! Stop making things difficult for me, stop hurting me! ‘

‘Hurrah! Hester you rock! So I could actually make the president son hurt.’ She giggled.

His hands slipped down her arms, knowing he had exposed his weakness wrongly. ‘Damn it Hester,you are stubborn! ‘

‘Being who I am, I have seen lot of things, there is nothing that irritates me  compared to how you do, I see you, I develop nausea. ‘

Stunned, his mouth dropped. ‘Are you crazy? Do you realise you are going to be my wife?’

….

‘I do, who would forget when it is a week away? You know what Ola, you should get a horse whip, so when the deed is done, you can thrash me thoroughly for all have said and done that hurt you.’ She smiled.

He looked at her and analysed his feelings, he analysed her courage which he hadn’t gotten from any woman. Instead of her attitude to appal him, he felt more attracted. He shrugged, nothing good comes easy, he consoled himself with those words.

‘I don’t need to get a horse whip for you to swallow your words. ‘ He chuckled, ‘Sweetheart, you’re leaving with me. It is you and I for the rest of the day.’

‘I am going no where.’

‘Why are you so much of an extremist Hester? His anger surfaced. ‘Why do you keep denying me? ‘

‘It is only a week away Oladimeji, be patient, you will get tired of me.’

He beamed. ‘Only a fool will get tired of you Sweetie. You are mine and am never going to get tired of you. Never! ‘

‘Thanks for the compliment. ‘

‘Some of my family members abroad are already home, they will love to meet you.’

‘I don’t have that time. ‘

‘What! ‘ His voice rose like he had been stung. ‘Do you realise the enormity of the offense you just committed? ‘ He glared at her. ‘Do you realise the class, calibre and social status of the people am talking about ? In fact, you should be down on your knees apologizing! ‘

With pursed lips and a grimace, she listened. ‘The major reason you keep going over that is that you don’t know the littlest things about me. It is only with a few Oladimeji Adeniyi Gbolahan, that I find my class.’

He advanced towards her and Hester knew he had intention to slap her.

‘You better think straight Oladimeji, remember the last time. ‘ Hester said calmly.

‘What stopped me from beating you into reality was because we are in public.’ He informed her.

‘This is my house fighter. ‘ She tilted her head to a side.

‘This is private Hester and a lot of things are obtainable,like me slapping you for a start, you crying, me petting you and you melting in my  embrace and then me kissing away the tears and …’ His smile was mischievous.

‘Keep dreaming dreamer.’ She turned and made to leave.

‘Don’t walk out on me again, never ever! ‘

She turned to look at him, ‘I do have something to say to you but I want to be sweetheart now, I don’t want you to be hurt , I want your heart to be in perfect condition on your wedding day. Right now, you have maximised your time, See you at the wedding. ‘ She winked, entered her room and locked the door.

Oladimeji stood rooted in shock like a statue in the middle of an ever flowing river.

+++++

****

‘Mary in my room today! Hey, this is breaking the world news o! ‘ Hester expressed all in smiles.

Ha, Auntie Hester please don’t talk like that. ‘ Mary beamed.

She arranged the books in her library, ‘Why won’t I, it’s be three years. ‘ She laughed at her own exaggeration.

‘Ha-han! ‘ Mary burst into laughter. ‘I have been busy Auntie. ‘

‘I understand, nobody has my time anymore. ‘ Hester returned jokingly.

‘I cherish moment with you …what will I have done without. I’m sorry …’ She loved her, one wouldn’t believe she was sister with Agatha since they had opposite attitude.

Hester had encouraged her to go back to school and when she got admission, she opened an account for her and paid in money monthly. Hence she was able to start a per time course on computer science.

‘Don’t mind me Mary,’ Hester cut her short. ‘I know Mummy has been breathing down your neck in preparation for the wedding. ‘ Hester touched her cheek.

‘Thank you. ‘ She exclaimed happily.

‘Won’t you sit? ‘ Hester sat on a sofa.

‘No, emmm …Auntie Hester, your Daddy is calling you.’ She became sad. ‘I think you’re in trouble.

Hester stood and placed an arm around her shoulder. ‘These days, I have been in and out of trouble, it is like a normal procedure. Worry less about me, just pray, Pray that my name doesn’t change to trouble. ‘

Mary burst into laughter.

‘I’m serious o.’ They walked out together.

‘I like you Auntie. ‘ She looked up at her. ‘When am free in the evening, I will come and stay with you.’

‘Looking forward dear. I have more principles based on the topic we treated last time. ‘

‘Wow! Be expecting me. ‘

‘See ya! ‘ They parted ways and she braced herself.
****

‘We don’t need an usher, since we are all seated, why don’t you seat.’ Douglas said.

‘I’m comfortable Dad, you sent for me.’

Her mother, sister and Oladimeji were present.

‘Honey, Oladimeji will be your husband in a week. You should treat him with respect, talk to him in a proper manner, he deserves all that and more. ‘ Empress advised.

‘I’ve heard you Mum. ‘ She said calmly.

‘Do more than hearing me Hester, Oladimeji is upset  about something you said to him.’

‘I am sorry. ‘ She said and went down on  her knees surprising them all.’ Oladimeji, I am sorry.

‘It is okay Sweetheart. ‘ He felt fulfilled. ‘Please stand.’

She obeyed. ‘Thank you.’

‘I am proud of you.’ Empress was happy.

‘Now that you have settled things between you and your husband. He wants you to meet his family. ‘

‘He told me that already and I told him I can’t come with him.’

‘How could you say that Hester, you should jump at the opportunity of meeting your new family. ‘ His expression was serious. ‘Since I can’t  see what you’re doing at home, you’re going with him.’

‘My decision remains. ‘

‘Your decision does not hold water, whether you like it or not, you will go with him!’ His voice rose.

Empress nodded her head in agreement .

‘If that is the case, you have to do more than talking. You have to convert me to a robot, get a remote control and take charge till I get back home. ‘

‘Honey! You shouldn’t gone to that extent.’ Empress chided.

‘I didn’t want to but that explains my stand better.’ She pursed.

‘Let her be.’ Oladimeji said preferring to leave with the memory of her apology than something else.

6
.. *..

Hester stood on a heel and swinged the fur ball, it went beyond her target and she smiled.

When extraordinary things are used to practice in imperfect conditions or challenging situations, the result becomes peculiar but in ordinary condition, precision or extraordinary result.

Hopefully, her life is saved. Better she died trying she resolved, than live a life less than life.

++++
*-*

Nothing seemed new to her as she took few observations that were crucial. She walked down the aisle, side by side her father. She had gotten a video recording of the church venue.

As the organ played and the congregation were  all on their feet sang. Hester didn’t feel anything near special.

There he was dashingly handsome, almost bursting with happiness. She was going to be his to cherish and love and be his and his alone for life. She was indeed beautiful, glowing like a star. He glanced at some of his friends and saw their jealousy and their -men you’re lucky expression,  Pride welled in him, the woman of this dreams was becoming his finaling .

She saw him and almost changed her mind, he was so Fine and fly, he was brimming with happiness and didn’t bother to hide it. ‘You look exquisite. ‘ He had whispered to her.

She smiled genuinely.

Just because she was  good enough for him doesn’t mean he was good enough for her. The waters has to be tested.

Oladimeji waters didn’t taste good.

She wanted a man that had prepared himself for marriage and not the wedding, She wanted a man who knew his onions, she wanted a man who shared value system with her, she wanted a man she could trust, she wanted a man that feared God, who will above all ensure she and her children get to heaven.

As she faced the priest, she said a prayer in her mind and confidence surged through her

+++++

It began, the priest pronouncements.

Empress was saturated with happiness.

Agatha was jealous but was proud her sister gets to marry the president son. She was the envy of her friends.

Douglas mind was blank. He was caught between emotions, more of guilt.

They were all represented, all the tops from home and abroad, friends, enemies, well wishers, busy bodies and members of the press.

The wedding band was presented.

‘Oladimeji Adeniyi, do you take Hester whose hand you now hold, to be your lawfully wedded wife and solemnly promise, God helping you to be a true and devoted husband to her, to love, cherish, protect and care for her for the rest of your life in all kinds of all conditions. And you  will keep yourself to her and her alone until God by death, shall do you part?’

‘I do.’

Hester watched his expression, he hadn’t digest all that was said. He was quick to say I do.’

‘This band is a symbol of your commitment to her. Your statement is sealed in the name of the father, in the name son and in the name of the holy… ‘

Midway into her finger, she seized the ring with her other finger, off it came and up in the way in a swift motion, then the flower seconded. At first, the congregation thought they were watching something that was the product of the figment of their imagination. Then, they were mesmerized. They watched as the ring and bouquet of flower rose until it descended. By the time they were brought to a confuse and surprising reality, their bride was no where to be found.

The chaos began.

*-*
‘Oh God, thank you, Thank you so much. ‘ She rubbed off  the last of the make up breathlessly. She pulled out the clips off her hair and allowed it fall freely.

She adjusted her gown at each sides before looking at her reflection. Satisfied with what she saw, she picked her mini travelling box and head for the international airport for her booked flight.

++++
****

He closed the door of his car and smiled, ‘This parking lot is dynamic. ‘ He glanced around and head for the stairs leading to the corridor of the shopping mall.
As he head up, he looked at the stairs in pure admiration. When he got up eventually, he turned and continued admiring the pattern of elevation. He continued his strides with his back.

She had a feeling, a feeling she had to confirm instantly or regret later. She dipped her hand into the shopping bag and began to search through yet continuing her strides slowly.

‘Ouch! ‘ She exclaimed in pain.

‘My goodness! ‘ He turned to look at her. ‘I am so sorry ma’am.’ He fetched a handkerchief from his trouser pocket and bent to wipe her shoe.

She stepped back taken aback by his gesture.’Don’t exaggerate Mister, I suppose it wasn’t your intention to step on me.’

His act had astonished he himself. ‘I am very sorry, hope your feet doesn’t much.’

‘It is Okay.’ She managed a smile as she glance at her feet. ‘Am I glad that humans are not made up of cement, gravel, stones and sand.’

Despite her joke, he was sober. ‘I should have watched where I was going to.’ He said rebukingly.

‘If I had watched where I was going to, I could have kept moving back as you approached or better still step aside. ‘ She took responsibility. ‘So why did you decide to walk with your back this afternoon?’ She questioned at an afterthought.

‘Emmmm …’ He scratched his head and glanced backward. ‘I was taken aback by the mall building structure, its designs, the elevation, the landscape and the …’ He caught himself. ‘Oh forgive me! ‘ He smiled at her. ‘I usually don’t talk much.’

‘Why? I was enjoying the talk because when I came in, I said to myself- the external of the mall was splendid but listening to you made me realised some of the things I hardly took notice of. Are you a construction engineer? ‘

‘Yes I am.’ He gave a low bow and a charming smile.

‘Hmmm… I see.’
‘Yeah right ‘ He laughed.
‘That excuse is not good enough to bump
into people. ‘
‘I know that is why I am grateful for your
understanding. ‘
‘You are Welcome. ‘ She began to look
through the content of the bag once
more and stopped moments later with a
satisfactory smile.
He watched her keenly. ‘You kind of look
different from most sisters in the country,
it appears you’re a Nigerian. ‘
She tilted her head. ‘You kind of look
different from most brothers in this
country. ‘
‘You are my sister aye? ‘ He beamed.
‘Think so.’
‘Osaz. ‘ He extend his hand.
‘Hester.’ They shook hands. ‘Great
meeting a guy whose head is filled with
constructive idea even while on his way
to shop.
‘Pleasure. ‘ He laughed. ‘A beautiful name
with a beautiful face, you’re given me an
incomplete version of your name. You
should have said Queen Hester.’
‘Tell me more. ‘ Hester raised a brow.
‘I suppose you have heard all there is to
hear. You don’t sound interested. ‘ His
expression became serious. ‘Can you give
me the pleasure of being your lunch
partner? ‘
Hester gave him a wary look. ‘I thought
you wanted to shop.’
‘I did. Honour is given according to
priority. ‘ Osaz stated simply.
‘Well said. ‘ Her sun glasses was fixed. ‘I
don’t have time.’ She continued her
strides.
‘I am really sorry, I understand, an
impromptu occasion could be annoying
but please, I know you can also make
time. ‘ He walked with her side by side.
Hester stopped to regard him for a
moment before looking at the flower
adjoining where they were standing. ‘If
you want to do lunch with me, you have
to win it for yourself.’
He nodded expectantly.
‘I was so mesmerized by the pattern of
the flower lawn that I used my feet to
take measurement of the space in
between. As an expert, how many feet
will you estimate that space in between
the flower lawn to be? ‘
‘Woah! ‘ He couldn’t help but give her a
lingering gaze before settling them in
between the lawn. He rarely got a lady
who challenged him and for that he
respected her. ‘It should be about ten …
eleven, ‘ He moved closer. ‘or twelve
feet. ‘
Hester became blank.
He faced her, his heart beat quickened.
‘My heart is about to fail me.’ He laughed
easily. ‘I don’t know …I don’t want to
believe …tell me I didn’t kinda screw up.’
He hugged himself and shivered
dramatically.
‘That is actually litotes.’ She exhaled
feigning sadness.
‘I’m hiking to panic button.’
‘Read in between the line Mr Perfect
engineer. I was hoping the schedule
remained, you going for your shopping, I
heading to my destination. It was actually
eleven feet. Hmmm …great guy! ‘ Hester
hailed.
‘Oh. ‘ He heaved and cooed like an under
5 year old child.
Hester couldn’t help but rolled her eyes
before chuckling.
‘Shall we? ‘ Osaz extended a hand.
+++++

***

She stared into space.

‘Hello …’ He waved a palm in front of her face. ‘Do I start a stop watch? ‘

She blinked severally, sighed and her fingers rested briefly on her forehead.

‘Oh dear.’ He said having watched her every movement. ‘I’m sorry am sort of pressurizing you, it’s just that …’

‘I cannot believe this Osagie. ‘ Hester interrupted him calmly and glared at him. ‘Don’t tell me you’ve not run of words to convince me with. ‘

‘I am a stand up guy.’ Osagie Osahon could have smiled at his self compliment except that he knew his companion was bothered. 

‘I am actually convinced against my wish and will.’ She told him calmly.

‘I understand Hess but it’s logical and based on the points you have brought forward, you could have stayed unconvinced. Right in there, your wish and will knows that area is not a security guaranteed one.’

Hester nodded slowly.

‘The major problem is with me right? ‘ He watched her keenly.

She met his gaze. ‘Are you going to misbehave? Are you going to ruin the mind set I have of you?’

‘I cross my heart and hope to lose it all, if the answer to those questions becomes positive. ‘

‘I’ll will personally see to that, I will aim at your mouth, it is a promise. ‘ She did not bath an eyelid.

‘All right. ‘ He believed her. ‘Are you hungry now? ‘

‘I won’t eat Osagie, stop worrying about me.’ She picked her tumbler of strawberry flavored milk shake and took a sip.

‘Since you are footing my bill, if you eat, I can foot yours. ‘ Osagie hoped she will change her mind.

‘Osagie …’ Hester took her time. ‘You are insulting me indirectly using a smart but expensive manner. ‘

‘How do you mean? ‘ Did he dare? He admired her calmness and she way she observed the littlest things.

‘I will explain if that is what you want.’ She looked across him to notice a couple that just entered the restaurant. ‘I told you the condition on which we will do lunch today is me footing the bill, since I decided not to eat, you’re thinking am considering my pocket. ‘

‘You are actually hitting the hammer on the nail too hard. I want you to eat. This food is delicious. ‘ He took a scoop into his mouth and munched.

‘A good food could also be judged by its presentation. Stop worrying about me. ‘ She beamed.

‘Since you are saying that for the third time today, I will stop. Can I give a toast? ‘

‘Sure, after you, I will like to too.’ She raised her tumbler.

He raised his tumbler and then cleared his voice.

It was three weeks after their first lunch. Hester had agreed to go live in his bungalow.

+++++
****

Osagie sharpened his pencil whistling in tune with the music playing from the sound system.

Hester looked at the layout before her, closely studying every part.

He began to put his tools away and he glanced at her.

‘Hess, that smile can lighten a dark tunnel. ‘

Hester beamed, eyes not leaving the layout. She began to trace through with a well manicured finger.

‘That, as a matter of fact can lighten Kenya.’

‘I don’t.want to laugh. ‘ Hester chuckled.

‘Should we bet with your dinner turkey that I can’t make you laugh. ‘ He closed the lid of his instruments set.

‘Yeah right! ‘ Hester muttered. ‘I understand you are a stand up comedian. Who am I to dare you? ‘

‘Ehen -hen.’ He closed her eyes , while tapping his chest, he swing his head to the rhythm. ‘Lalala …hey! ‘

‘When you’re through around there, can you please come over? ‘

‘In two minutes darling. ‘ He stood and tidied his study desk.

15 days had passed and still counting. So far, Osagie had been true to his words.

To her, he had been an answered prayer to her unchecked solitude that sent her thinking and making her feel betrayed.

‘This reminds me of so much.’ Her gaze swept through the layout. Her eyes glittered.

‘Reminds you of milk, cheese and chocolates. ‘ Osaz joked before he went to seat opposite her. ‘What does my layout remind you of? ‘

….

It takes me back in time, ‘She lifted her head to look at her.’It reminds me of mathematical set, T square, set square, French curves and the likes. ‘

‘Don’t tell me that Hester had something to do with construction once upon a time. ‘Osaz smiled.

‘I did.’ She grinned, ‘Back in high school, I was good in technical drawing. ‘

‘Really? ‘

‘Yes, very good.’

‘Osagie narrowed his brows thoughtfully. ‘Hey Hester, that is not possible! ‘

‘Dummy.’ She gave a short laugh because she understood. ‘Engineering, medicine and some others in high school are grouped into the umbrella -science. ‘

‘Oh! Oh! ‘ He said in remembrance. ‘I’m sorry, could you check if am having grey head?’ He bent his head.

Hester pushed his head to position. ‘Lot of them o, little  wonder you forgot! ‘

Osaz chuckled. ‘I was also good with technical drawing, in fact, it was my best. I school in South Africa, Pretoria specifically. I was so good that I bested even in an inter school competition and then competed with other students in SA. After which, there was a competition involving major manufacturing countries in Africa. I won,’ He wiped an imaginary sweat.’It wasn’t easy though and because of that, I took my first trip to Japan for two months all expenses paid trip, alongside training. ‘

‘That is huge! Can you speak Japanese? ‘ She was inquisitive.

‘I can.’ He beamed. ‘During my stay, I met a Japanese girl and she made me develop interest in the language, she taught me and encouraged me with other learning aides. Hence, the knowledge. ‘

‘Interesting! I can say ten English words in Japanese and I can write four words. That is because one of my professors was a Japanese and I was close to him, so close that I took my only visit to Japan with him to meet his family. ‘

‘Wow! ‘

‘Will you teach me? ‘

‘Get your cheque ready.’

‘No problem.’ Hester sat back. ‘I was second best in my grade, second to a guy, best female. I don’t think I can be compared to you.’ Hester touched his arm. ‘ I was generally hope with diagrams especially when it is biology. ‘

‘Oh no.’ He groaned knowing he was weak in the  subject.

‘Biology is my passionate subject. Even if I was rivalled by my best friend, I couldn’t be conquered and we were unbeatable. I so represented my school and won so many awards that I popularly became H.B for short and HBD in full, Head of Biology or Head of Biology Don. It was Hester Biology Douglas at first before someone came up with a better meaning for the abbreviation. ‘ Hester smiled.

Osagie laughed. ‘You must be good then. She is Hospitable Beautiful and a Darling. ‘

Hester blushed outrightly. ‘Ah-ha! Here we go again. ‘ She burst into a hearty laughter.

‘She is Hearty Brainy and Daring.’ He warmed up. ‘She is Hot …’

‘Thank you very much. I am also aware you are a stand up guy in creativity. You can stop now, thank you.’ Hester said swiftly.

Osagie burst into laughter.

‘Can I have the opportunity of seeing this bridge in reality? ‘ She referred to the layout.

His face lighted up. ‘You want to come to the site? ‘ He was happy, she was interested in his profession.

‘Sure. I will like to know how much more you worth. ‘She lifted and hung it on the wall.

‘I’ll be much obliged, saturday is the day.’

Hester head for the door. ‘You wouldn’t mind some snacks, would you? ‘

‘Definitely not.’ A phone rang in the study and he stood to pick it. ‘Osagie Osahon, who am I on to? ‘

‘Aren’t you giving me a wrong version of your name? Isn’t it Osahon Osagie? ‘

‘Hey! What’s up Don?’ Osagie burst into laughter at the familiarity.

+++++

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