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The Pink Clouds (Part I)

Chapter 1

It was a lovely morning. The university compound was filled with many students as it was the first day of the semester.

Everybody was walking in a hurry heading to his or her faculty. Then came Richard, a boy with an average height. He was wearing a white T-shirt and black jeans. On his feet were sneakers that seemed to have matched his shirt. He got admitted into the institution 5 months ago with the help of his elder sister.

She worked tirelessly to see that he got admitted into the university he desired. For that reason, Richard put in all his best into his studies, making him the student with the best result in his faculty the previous semester.

He walked in a hurry as though he was running because he was seriously late. He usually leaves his dormitory by 7 am in the morning which is very close to his faculty. But because he moved to a different hostel, he miscalculated the time it would take him to reach his faculty.

His new dormitory was located at the extreme of the university, far away from his faculty. Most students living there take a taxi to their faculties.

As for Richard, he thought it would be a waste of money if he took a taxi without realizing the distance.

He walked on a pavement that was built of red bricks. It was also roofed with brown asbestos sheets, and that protects the people beneath it from the rain. Some few meters beside the pavement was a highway with vehicles moving with steady speed because it was prohibited to drive with high speed within the university.

He walked for more than 30 minutes before arriving at the faculty of engineering. The faculty was a ten storey building painted yellow and brown. The frontage of the building was completely made up of dazzling glass. It was surrounded by a short fence that was not more than one metre. There were a lot of trees within the fence of the faculty with many benches under them.

There was a huge theater located opposite to the faculty building, it is where Richard was supposed to have his lesson. The pavement Richard was walking on leads straight to the entrance of the faculty building, and it also branched to the theatre. He headed to the theatre still in a hurry. By the time he got there, the lecturer had already gone far with her lecture.

Richard’s heartbeat increased as walked towards the door of the theatre because of the lecturer’s personality.

She had failed 3 students the previous semester for coming to her lecture late. She was a young professor in her early 30s. It was then that he started regretting why he hadn’t taken a taxi to come for the lecture.

“Excuse me, Ma’am,” Richard said in fear.

“What are you here for?” She demanded with an angered face.

“I am sorry to bother you, but I was here earlier. I’ve got an upset stomach that’s why I went out,” Richard lied.

The whole students started laughing after he made that statement.

“Next time, you should be careful with what you eat,” the professor smiled.

Richard was so relieved when he was asked to come in. He walked into the theatre gently trying not to make his footsteps audible because it was extremely quiet.

Suddenly, he spotted his friend, Paul waving at him at the centre of the lecture theatre. They became friends the first day Richard came to the university.

They met at the point of registration where Richard was looking for assistance on how he could fill some of the courses online.

Richard marched to where Paul was sitting and found out that he had kept some books on the seat next to him indicating that he preserved the seat for him. He quickly sat beside him with a smile on his face.

He took down the backpack he was carrying on his back.

“What got into you today?” Paul whispered.

“We will talk about it later,” Richard whispered back, not wanting to talk much knowing the strictness of the professor.

“How was your Holiday?” Paul demanded.

“Please Paul, we’ll talk after the lectures,” Richard quickly intercepted.

They listened to the lecture for an hour and a half before the professor finally concluded. Everyone started exiting the hall as soon as the lecturer left the theatre.

Paul and Richard were also on their way out when they heard the voice of a girl calling for their attention. “Hey!” Richard replied without a complete assurance when he noticed who she was.

She is the most beautiful girl in the department, and much taller than he is. Many boys like to hang around her because of her beauty and Richard could not blame them. She has a slim body and a perfect pair of eyes. She wore a red shirt and tight skinny jeans. As she got closer to them, Richard could smell the nice perfume coming from her body.

“I don’t really believe this,” Paul murmured to Richard.

“Can you give me a moment of your time please?” she politely asked as she sauntered towards them.

“Yes of-of course,” Richard stuttered.

“My name is Janet,” the girl announced.

“Yes I know who you are,” Richard smiled, hiding his nervousness.

“Well, I was wondering if you could be my project partner because the instruction says a male and a female student should peer up” Janet requested.

“Really? But of all the boys in our department, why would you choose me?” Richard asked with disbelief.

“Because you got the best result last semester; and they said the more smart friends you have, the more likely you are to be smart.”

“And how do you know I’ve got the best result in the department?”

“Well, after seeing your identification number on the notice board, I did a little research on you,” she smirked.

“Oh,” Richard uttered, not knowing what to say.

“Where do you usually study at night?” Janet continued.

” I settled in a new dormitory now. I have to look for a convenient place close to me,” Richard answered.

“Which dormitory is that?” Janet asked. “Block D,” he replied.

“Wow! No wonder you came late today,” she replied.

“Yes, it is far from here as you can see,” Richard said.

“Alright, give me your phone number, I will call you tomorrow to hear if you’ve found a convenient place.”

“Is okay,” Richard said without hesitation.

After she had his phone number, she left the lecture theatre leaving Richard and Paul standing on the same spot.

“I think she is trying to use you,” Paul said, doubting Janet ‘s intention.

“Why do you say that?” Richard asked.

“Most of the girls in this school take advantage of their beauty to cling themselves to intelligent boys, they only look for them when their need for their academic problems arises. They even call them academic donkeys,” Paul explained.

“Is that so?” Richard asked with his eyes widely opened.

“Yes, of course, the reason why you don’t see them around you is that you have never shown yourself to be smart.

You should be ready to accept more of them now that they find out what you’re capable of,” Paul laughed.

“How come I never know any of these?” Richard asked.

“You are always busy with your studies and barely have time for yourself; you will barely know of things like this.”

“I know how to handle her now that I know what she’s up to,” Richard claimed.

“Don’t you do anything stupid. Just let her use you,” Paul mocked.

“You must be out of your mind. You see, I am not that kind of a guy that a girl can manipulate, ” Richard responded.

“Well, we shall see about that,” Paul replied.

They walked out of the hall and headed towards a small cafeteria located beside the lecture theatre.

It was where the students with less money in the faculty usually buy food when they’re on a break. The cafeteria is owned by a woman in her late 50s called Mama Toyin. It is a medium sized building made up of metal roofing sheets. There were tiny ceiling fans running in slow motion on the ceiling. On the floor were titles that seemed to have lost their colours. There were plastic tables with four chairs arranged per table.

And on each table, there was a bowl with spoons in it. Richard and Paul entered the cafeteria. They sat on one of the tables and a young boy working as a waiter approached them.

“What should I get you?” the boy smiled.

“The usual one,” Richard smiled.

“Okay give me a minute,” the boy smiled back as he walked out to the kitchen.

“And please, make it two,” Paul added.

“What do you usually eat here?” Paul asked as if it was the first time he was there. “You will know by the time he brings it.”

About 5 minutes later, the boy came holding two plates.

“So this is what you usually eat here,” Paul laughed when he noticed that it was moimoi (a food prepared from cooked beans paste).

“Yes of course,” Richard laughed also. “Well, it is the cheapest thing I can get myself here,” Richard giggled.

“Why are you always very thrifty?” Paul asked.

“This is what I can afford,” Richard responded.

“I will surely surprise you any day you buy something expensive” Paul teased.

“I will, when I get rich in the future,” Richard responded.

They ate the food after it cooled down. They left for their next lecture immediately after they were done.

In the afternoon around 2 pm, Richard was done with his lectures for that day. He walked out of the faculty and headed towards his dormitory. He walked slowly because he was so tired.

He walked for some minutes before coming across a small secondary school located in the university. It was a school made for the children of the staff working in the university. It has a very short fence made up of red bricks surrounding it.

At that time, the students are walking out of the school wearing their uniforms. They boys wore black trousers and a white shirt. The girls wore black skirts instead of trousers. For the Christian girls, they had a black beret on their heads, while for the Muslim girls is a white hijab.

When he was a few meters close to his dormitory, he heard some of the secondary students arguing ahead of him. They were two boys and two girls. They were arguing about the topic if a nuclear bomb powerful enough to destroy the whole of Nigeria.

“This is very silly. Nigeria is much bigger than you think. The nuclear bomb that was used during the Second World War destroyed only two cities.” One of the girls claimed.

How on earth do you expect a single bomb to destroy a whole country?” She proceeded.

She has an average height, and fair in complexion. She had her well plaited hair sticking out of her beret and lying on her forehead beside her right eye. When Richard heard their argument, he got interested and decided to interfere.

“Actually, it is possible if you know the physics behind it,” Richard interfered. The four of them turned and looked at him.

“Well Mr Physics, no one asks for your opinion,” the girl said with a frown face and looked away immediately.

“Those who don’t listen to other’s opinions are likely to lose a great deal of knowledge,” Richard responded, grinning.

“Oh really, Mr Philosopher?” the girl said as she stopped walking.

She turned and folded her arms while waiting for Richard to cover up the space between them.

“Yes dear, and as a matter of fact, I am in a position to teach you,” Richard smiled as he approached her.

“Do you know who I am? Do you know what I am capable of?” the girl asked.

“I don’t know you nor what you are capable of. All I know is that you are in secondary school, and I am in the position to teach any secondary school student, especially a young kid like you,” Richard responded.

“What?” She exclaimed with her eyes widened more than before.

“Just listen to what this kid is saying; they are the type that graduates from secondary school at a very young age and start behaving like Adults,”

the girl said as she turned looking at her colleagues.

By that time, Richard had gotten to where she was.

“Well, it seems like I made a very big mistake. I shouldn’t have interfered in your conversation in the first place,” Richard said and tried to walk past her.

“You tell us, what is the physics behind it,” the other girl inquired.

She was the shortest in the group and dark in complexion.

“There is no need for that, you are all kids and won’t understand the explanation,” Richard replied.

“Just stop arguing with him Alice, he was just looking for an excuse to talk to us; he doesn’t know anything by the looks of it,” the first girl said.

Richard looked around and noticed that some of the university students were looking at the scene they created. He decided to quickly dash away from the place in order to prevent further embarrassment.

Chapter 2

Richard entered his room in the dormitory. He met 3 other students which he was supposed to occupy the room with. The room was of medium size with a wardrobe located opposite to the entrance. There were two metal bunk arranged at the right side of the room, and the third one is placed on the left side.

There was a ceiling fan moving at a very fast speed. Two of his roommates seemed to have just arrived from their home with their luggage.

“You are all welcome,” Richard said to them and proceeded to shake hands with each and every one of them.

“Are you also in this room?” one of the boys asked.

“Yes I am, there is my stuff,” Richard pointed to a table with some items on it.

“You must be rich. How can you leave the door open with your stuff left unprotected?” one of the boys asked surprisingly.

“I don’t think I own anything worth stealing in my bag,” Richard grinned. “You never know the importance of what you have until you lose it,” one of his roommates replied.

He was very tall and dark in complexion.

“I can say you are right about that,” Richard smiled.

“So, what level are you?” the tall man asked. “I am currently in my first year,” Richard replied. “No wonder you look very young, how old are you?” the man asked.

“I am 18 years old,” Richard responded.

“I thought you would be the youngest in this room, but it seems not,” the man revealed.

“Of course I am the youngest,” Richard said considering the fact that he looked to be the smallest of them all in the room.

“You older than Gabriel, the boy behind you,” the man said, pointing at the boy behind Richard.

Richard was totally amazed when he noticed the height of the boy. He was the tallest in the room and fair in complexion. He had a very grown afro hair that was two times as the one on Richard’s head.

“You must be kidding, right?” Richard asked unbelievably.

“Do I look like someone who will Kid around with you?” the man asked with a serious face.

“How old are you Gabriel?” Richard asked.

“I am 16,” Gabriel responded.

“Wow!” Richard exclaimed speechlessly.

“I don’t know what your name is,” the man said.

“Oh, I am Richard,” he answered.

“Alright Richard, you can call me RG,” the man said.

“What does RG mean,” Richard asked curiously.

“I am sorry that’s classified,” the man laughed.

Richard proceeded to his luggage and unloaded everything into his wardrobe. After he was done, he put his laptop in his backpack and went out of the room.

He walked to a garden at the extreme end of his dormitory. It was at a border between the student campus and the staff quarters.

The garden was the quietest place in the whole campus, and Richard thought he had found the perfect place for his studies. He sat on a bench in the garden and brought down his backpack.

He took out his laptop and some A4 papers out of his bag. He turned on his computer and went through all the courses he will be taking in that semester.

As he took his pen trying to schedule how he is going to study for the semester, he saw a girl dressed in a white dress approaching. She was holding the hand of a little boy as she walked majestically on high heels.

For a moment, Richard halted trying to see who the girl was. But as the girl got closer, he noticed that it was the girl he had an argument with earlier.

He became surprised by how she had changed in her personal dress unlike when she was in her uniform.

Suddenly, the girl caught him staring and he quickly looked away. “Oh my God!” he said as he came back to his senses.

He was usually the type that wasn’t into girls that are younger than him. According to him, any girl younger than him will just be very childish and especially secondary school students like her.

The girl walked past the garden and headed towards the staff quarters. It was then that he realized that she must be the daughter of one of the lecturers in the university, and that gave him an explanation to her behaviour earlier.

He focused back on his paper and continued writing when his phone started ringing. When he took it, he noticed that it was an unknown number. He quickly answered it, wondering who it was.

Richard: Hello, can I know who’s talking, please?

Janet: Is Janet, the girl you met earlier today.

Richard: Oh sorry about that, I didn’t know that it was you.

Janet: Oh no no, you don’t need to apologize

Richard: so, how are you doing?

Janet: Doing okay. Where are you right now? Because I am close to Block D.

Richard: Tell me where you are, I will come and meet you

Janet: No, you tell me.

Richard: Okay, I’m in the garden close to the staff quarters.

Janet: Alright, I’ll be there.

After the call ended, Richard saw her approaching with her friend. She wore a blue dress that looked extremely beautiful on her. Richard tried his very best to stop himself from staring at her.

He pretended as if he was focused on what he was writing. “Mr. First class,” she said with a smile as she walked into the garden.

“So you are here,” Richard said as he turned.

“Yes, I am. Look who is serious, we just started the semester today, and he has already started studying,” Janet said looking at her friend.

“Well, that’s one of the secrets of maintaining a good result,” Richard grinned.

“Oh, I really? Then I guess you have a lot to teach me,” Janet smiled.

“I don’t think a lazy girl like you can cope with something like that,” her friend laughed.

“Is easy once you have the determination,” Richard explained.

“Well, I think you will teach me about determination too,” Janet said and her friend laughed again.

“By the way, this is my friend Farida; she is a student of radiography,” Janet introduced.

“It is a pleasure meeting you Farida,” Richard smiled.

“The pleasure is all mine,” Farida smiled back.

Janet moved closer to Richard to give herself a better look at what he was writing.

“Is that a timetable you are writing?” Janet asked.

“Sort of, but it is more like my routine for a day,” Richard answered.

“Wow, do you mean all that you have to do in a day will be written on this sheet of paper?” she asked.

“I think so,” Richard smiled.

“I’ve never met a person like you. You are so dedicated, I won’t be surprised from now on if you will have a result more than the first-class degree,” Janet said, completely amazed.

“Come on Janet, stop exaggerating,” Richard said, even though he was impressed.

They talked for about 15 minutes before Janet decided that they would be going. “Alright Janet, we will meet during lectures tomorrow,” Richard said.

“Yes Richard, I will see you tomorrow,” Janet responded.

Thirty minutes after they were gone, the place became dark. The garden got more beautiful with the street lights shining in it. It was then that Richard chose to go and have something to eat. As soon as he got out of the garden, he saw Paul calling him.

Paul: Where are you? I am standing by the door of your room.

Richard: Give me a few minutes, I will be there.

After the call ended, Richard rushed to his room and found Paul trying to leave. “Come on, you just called me; where are you going again?” Richard asked with a frowned face.

“Relax. I was called by a girl I met earlier today,” Paul said smiling as he walked away.

“You don’t ever get tired of meeting new girls,” Richard said as he shook his head watching Paul as he walked away from the dormitory area.

“Well, I can die tomorrow. Let me enjoy my life before I die,” Paul responded.

“Alright then, enjoy yourself,” Richard said.

“I will,” Paul laughed.

“By the way, I just met with Janet some few minutes ago,” Richard announced.

“Oh really?” Paul asked as he walked back to Richard eager to hear more.

“Yes, of course, we talked for a couple of minutes,” Richard explained.

“I think this is your chance of getting a girl in this school. You will hardly get a girl like her, you can still win her heart while she is trying to use you,” Paul said after he got to where Richard was standing.

“But I don’t think she is trying to use me, her intentions look real,” Richard replied.

“If her intentions were real, why didn’t she approach you last semester? Just see how beautiful she is and tell me her intention is real. Girls like her are usually arrogant,” Paul explained.

Richard became speechless after that. As far as he could recall, Janet hadn’t shown any interest in using him. Besides, being with her will make him have more confidence and experience with girls in the future.

“When next you are with her, call me. I know you will not do anything reasonable,” Paul laughed.

“I will show you what I am capable of,” Richard laughed.

After Paul left, Richard went to his room to prepare something to eat for the night. He cooked some spaghetti with stew and sat by his bed and ate.

He invited the rest of the members of his room to join him, but they all claimed to be filled. After he was done eating, he took his computer and walked out of the campus to the closest faculty where he got his computer to a Wi‐Fi network. He used his computer to watch a movie throughout the night, for it was the first day of the semester.

Chapter 3

The next day was a very wet day. Richard got caught in the rain on his way to his faculty as soon as he got out of his dormitory.

He quickly ran to the building close by because the running water could ruin the new shoes he was wearing. He folded his arms and watched as the rain fell heavily. About 30 minutes later, a girl in her school uniform approached from afar.

She was holding an umbrella with her right hand, while her left hand was in the pocket of the blue sweater she was wearing. She wore a white sweat hat that covered her ears with black gloves in her hands.

The combination looked so beautiful on her that Richard kept staring, wanting to figure out who the girl was. When she got close, he noticed that it was the same girl he had an argument with the other day. They both looked away.

Albeit Richard is not interested in secondary school girls, something about the girl seemed fascinating.

The girl walked until she got to her school.

About 15 minutes later, the rain stopped falling making it possible for Richard to walk to his faculty.

Upon arriving at his lecture venue, he noticed his lecturer was already there. There were very few students in the hall because of the rain that fell. “Good morning Ma’am” Richard greeted the lecturer.

She was a woman in her late 30s. She is fair in complexion and very short in height. She taught Richard in the previous semester and was very fond of him.

Since the first time she saw Richard, she trusted that he is a boy full of potential. She was dressed in a long sewn gown that was almost touching the ground.

“Good morning Richard, How are you?” the lecturer questioned.

“I am doing well,” Richard responded as he walked to go and sit.

“Meet me in my office later, there is something I would like to discuss with you,” the lecturer announced.

“Alright Ma’am, I will be there,” Richard answered, and he proceeded to sit in the middle.

“I didn’t know you were a good friend of Professor Grace,” said a voice behind him. When he turned, he noticed Janet sitting behind him. She was dressed in a complete pink outfit that made Richard conclude that she is the prettiest in the hall.

“She taught us last semester, remember? Besides, she is a very simple and understanding woman,” Richard praised.

“I don’t think so since her course is the only thing I failed last semester,” Janet complained.

“Really? Maybe you didn’t give her what she needed,” Richard replied.

About ten minutes later, the hall became filled with students. The lecture continued for more than hours before it finally came to an end. After the Professor left the hall, all the students started leaving the hall including Richard and Janet.

They talked as they walked out of the hall. Immediately they got out of the hall, they were approached by a boy who seemed to be very rich. Immediately Janet saw him approaching, she left Richard and quickly walked to him.

Richard remained behind them with his arm folded waiting for her to finish talking to the boy.

But as soon as they were done talking, she walked with the boy to an expensive car that was parked at the parking space and drove away.

Richard became extremely furious. It became obvious to him that what Paul told him is true. He decided to address her whenever she approaches him again.

Just then, he heard Richard laughing behind.

“This girl has really nailed you,” Paul said after he had gotten to where Richard was standing.

“Have you seen what she did to me?” Richard asked.

“Yes I have,” Paul replied.

“She doesn’t really know who I am, I don’t care if she is beautiful; I will make her regret it,” Richard vowed.

“Don’t worry bro, I am with you this time,”

Paul supported.

“I will be on my way to professor Grace’s office; can you please walk me there?” Richard requested.

“I am sorry, I have something to do,” Paul complained.

“Alright, let me go and see her,” Richard replied.

After they parted, Richard headed to the professor’s office. He knocked on the door and she asked him to come in. “Good afternoon Ma’am,” Richard greeted her.

“Good afternoon, how are you?” Prof. Grace asked.

“I am doing fine,” Richard responded. “How is your family?” she inquired.

“They are all okay.”

“So, how are you managing your life?”

“Well, thanks to the Lord Ma’am, everything is okay,” Richard responded.

“I heard you did very well in your exams,” Prof. Grace said.

“Yes,” Richard replied.

“That’s wonderful, I want you to study harder and maintain the same result throughout your stay here,” she advised.

“I will try my best,” Richard smiled.

“I have a job for you if you are interested,” Professor Grace offered. “What is the job ma’am?” Richard questioned.

“I have a daughter in secondary school who is very terrible at calculations. I want you to take the job of teaching her,” Professor Grace amplified.

Richard became quiet wondering how he could tell her he doesn’t have the time to do that.

“I know you are very busy students, but considering the fact that you are an orphan, it will help you.

Besides, it will reduce the pressure you put on your sister; and I promise I will pay you well,” Mrs Grace explained.

“How many times am I going to a teacher in a week?” Richard asked.

“3 times should be enough, just create the convenient time you think is okay for you,” Prof. Grace said.

“Alright Ma’am, I will think about it,” Richard responded.

“Okay, Richard, I will be waiting for your reply,” Prof. Grace responded.

Richard walked out of her office and met Paul where they were supposed to have their next lectures. It was a practical course in a hall filled with computers.

There were few students in the hall because the lecture was to take place in 30 minutes. He met Paul sitting with a girl beside him who happened to be studying software engineering.

“Hey, Paul,” Richard said after he had gotten to where Paul was.

“Hello, Richard, how was your meeting with the Prof? Paul asked.

“It went well, she wants me to teach her daughter,” Richard explained.

“Did you agree to teach her?” Paul asked. “I told her I will think about it,” Richard explained.

“This is perfect, you should accept her offer,” Paul advised.

“Really? I will consider it, though I’m a very busy person,” Richard replied.

They talked for a couple of minutes before the lecturer that will be delivering the lectures arrived. The lectures lasted for about three hours before it finally ended.

After the lectures, Richard walked back to his room looking very exhausted. Immediately he entered the room, he fell on his bed trying to fall asleep.

“Oh man, looks like engineering is hitting someone,” Gabriel said.

“Is not easy bro, I’m just pretty exhausted,” Richard replied.

“At least, you should eat before going to sleep,” Gabriel suggested.

“I don’t think I have time to cook,” Richard responded.

“I have some food left, I think you can take it,” Gabriel offered.

“Oh thank you so much, Gabriel,” Richard appreciated.

Gabriel stood up from his bed and went to his locker and took the food. Richard quickly collected the food from Gabriel and ate it ravenously.

He laid on his bed and immediately he was done eating. He slept for about 2 hours before his ringing phone woke him. Reluctantly, Richard opened his eyes to see who was calling.

He ended the call immediately when he saw that it was Janet calling. When she tried to call again, he ended the call and switched off his phone. He continued sleeping until it was late in the evening.

He woke up and started preparing for his night studies. He took some books and put them in his backpack along with his laptop. He switched on his phone as he was heading out of the dormitory. Suddenly, he received a message from Paul.

I tried calling you but your phone was switched off. There is going to be a lecture in Hall 2E by 7:00 pm. You shouldn’t be late.

He placed the phone back into his pocket immediately he was done reading the text message. He proceeded to the garden close to his campus and brought down his backpack. He read for about 2 hours until the place started getting dark.

He put all his books and laptop into his backpack and headed towards his faculty. He then took a taxi in order to get there on time.

Immediately he walked down from the taxi, he turned and noticed Janet by the entrance of the faculty. He quickly looked away after their eyes met. He paid the taxi driver and turned towards the entrance of the faculty.

When he got to Janet, she stood up from the small bench she was sitting on and approached him.

“I called you and the call was rejected,” Janet complained.

Richard ignored her as if he hadn’t heard her and continued walking into the faculty.

“Hey, I am talking to you,” she shouted.

And still, he ignored her and continued walking. Everybody’s attention diverted to them wondering what was happening.

Richard entered the hall and sat on a seat at the front of the hall. Most of the students were there because there was just 15 minutes left for the commencement of the lecture.

Immediately Richard sat down, he turned and saw Janet approaching looking very upset.

“Who do you think you are?” she shouted.

At this point, the hall became silent watching them. Richard removed one of his books from his bag and wrote and ignored her.

“I have never seen a jerk like you,” she angrily insulted and left where he was sitting.

After she left, everyone kept asking Richard what happened between them, but he insisted that it was nothing serious. Soon the lecturer arrived and started delivering his lectures. He lectured for about 2 hours until the lecture finally come to an end.

Chapter 4

By 3 O’clock the next day, Richard met Prof. Grace in her office.

“Good afternoon, Ma’am,” Richard greeted as he entered the office.

“Good afternoon, how are you doing,” she asked.

“I am doing okay,” Richard responded.

“How are your studies?” She asked again.

“Excellent, ma’am.”

“Good, that’s what I love to hear,” Prof. Grace said. “So, have you decided yet?”

“Yes I have, but only if it will be three times in a week,” Richard said.

“Three times is quite enough,” the Professor agreed.

“Please sit there and let me finish some of my work before I will take you to my house and introduce you to my daughter,” she added and Richard sat on a cushion opposite to her. She worked for about 30 minutes before she finally finished.

“Sorry I’ve kept you waiting. We can go now,” Prof. Grace said as she stood up.

She walked out of the office with Richard behind her and headed towards the faculty car park. They entered her car which was a white Range Rover sport and drove out of the faculty.

She drove the car for about 10 minutes before arriving at her house in the staff quarters. It was fenced with yellow flowers with a small space left for the entrance. It is painted white and has sliding windows. The doors were black, and the veranda was completely covered in white tiles.

All the houses in the area were similar in structure and were arranged in queues. Prof. Grace parked her car in front of her house and walked towards the entrance of the house with Richard walking behind her.

When they entered the living room of the house, Richard was so impressed by its beauty. All the cushions in it were white and the painting of the walls was blue. “Rebecca!” Prof. Grace shouted as she sat on one of the cushions.

“Yes mum,” answered a thin voice from one of the rooms.

“Please sit down,” she gestured to Richard with her hand.

About 5 minutes later, the girl walked into the living room. She was wearing a zebra T‐shirt with black skinny jeans. Her hair was all loose falling on her back with a headband.

The moment Richard made eye contact with her, his heartbeat increased. Even though it was the fourth time he was seeing her, he felt as if it was the first because of how beautiful she looked. She looked so much different from when they argued when she was wearing a school uniform.

“Welcome back mum,” the girl said standing before her mother.

“Thank you, what are you doing in the room?” Prof. Grace asked.

“Nothing mum,” she answered.

“Alright, meet Richard; he is going to be your Mathematics and Physics teacher,” Prof. Grace introduced.

“What? Are you a serious mum?” Rebecca asked, looking completely shocked as she turned to look at Richard.

“Do I look like I’m joking?” Prof. Grace retorted with a serious face.

“But mum he can’t be my teacher, just take a look at how young he is. What do you people say if they see him as my teacher?” Rebecca asked with a tear about to fall from her eyes.

“I have made my decision and that’s final. If you don’t want him as your mathematics teacher, then your grades should improve,” Prof. Grace said.

“But mum, I am in SS2, how can someone like him teach me?” Rebecca questioned, and this time, tears started falling from her eyes.

Seeing her reaction, Richard felt he shouldn’t accept the role of being her teacher. He was about to speak when Prof. Grace continued talking.

“For your information, this boy had the best result in the whole faculty of engineering. You should be honoured to have him as your teacher,” Prof. Grace said and Rebecca ran to her room crying.

“She is spoiled, she doesn’t like studying at all,” Prof. Grace complained after Rebecca left.

“But I think it will be better to find a better teacher for her since she doesn’t seem to like me,” Richard suggested.

“No Richard, you will be the one to teach her. Let her improve her grades if she really doesn’t want you to be her teacher,” Prof. Grace insisted.

“Please, report her to me if she shows any sign of disrespect towards you,” Prof. Grace added.

“Alright, ma’am,” Richard agreed.

“Rebecca!” she called but there was no answer.

“Don’t let me call you again,” the Professor warned.

About a minute later, Rebecca walked out with tears all over her face.

“Go and get him something to eat,” Her mother ordered and she turned with a frown face and walked to the kitchen.

“Please no need for that, I ate before we came here,” Richard said as he stood in order to avoid more awkwardness.

“Oh please Richard, do eat something. Was it not after you had 2-hour lectures that I brought you here? Just sit and wait for her to bring something for you to eat,” Prof. Grace insisted.

Richard sat back on the cushion waiting for Rebecca to return. About 5 minutes later, she returned with some food on a plate.

It was cooked spaghetti and beans with stew. She was facing the ground as she walked to him. She dropped the food on the ground in front of him and turned to leave when her mother called her.

“Don’t you have manners? Go to the dining room and get him a stool, “her mother commanded and the girl walked angrily towards the dining room.

Richard was very uncomfortable with the way Prof. Grace was ordering her daughter around because of him. He was pretty sure that he had to pay the price for everything later. She returned with the stool and kept it close to him and turned to leave the living room.

When she got to exist in the living room, she turned and glared at Richard with a very unfriendly look and continued walking. At that moment, he knew a very serious war was going to happen between them.

He started eating the food she brought and found it very delicious; he wanted to make some compliments on the food, but he wouldn’t dare say things to Prof. Grace about her daughter.

After he was done eating, he stood up to leave.

“Thank you, ma’am, I am so grateful,” Richard appreciated.

“Don’t mention it dear,” Prof. Grace replied.

“So when are you going to start tutoring her?” Prof. Grace asked.

“By tomorrow in the evening,” Richard said.

“Alright, I will be expecting you,” Prof. Grace replied.

Richard walked out of her house and headed towards his dormitory. It was then that he came to appreciate him being at the extreme of the school close to the staff quarters. He walked by the side of the road as he headed to his dormitory.

Despite spending months in school, it was the first time he had been to the staff quarters. He looked around and wondered how fun it will be living in a place like that with all the houses looking similar.

As he was walking his way back to his dormitory, he met Janet going to the staff quarters. She was walking with three girls who happened to be her friends.

Immediately she saw him, she quickly looked away. They walked past each other as if they had never met.

It was after they walked a certain distance that one of the girls called out Richard’s name.

“Can we have a word with you?” the girl questioned.

“Please Carol, what’s the meaning of this? Have a word with him? Who does he think he is? I know of many boys who are more intelligent and are not arrogant, so please let him continue being arrogant,” Janet said angrily.

Immediately Richard heard that he furiously walked towards Janet. He stood close to her and they looked at each other angrily.

“There’s nothing special about you. You’re the dumbest, most pathetic and arrogant bitch I’ve ever seen. Just because you are beautiful, don’t think you can use anyone the way you like,” Richard insulted.

Upon hearing that, Janet swiftly slapped Richard. The sound of the slap echoed the whole environment. Richard placed his right hand on his right cheek where she slapped him with his face turned away from her.

The whole place was quiet watching what was happening. Richard slowly turned and saw Janet in tears. Before he could do anything, Janet collapsed on the spot, and her friends quickly ran to her.

Richard instantly became confused about why she collapsed.

“Please, we need help,” one of Janet’s friends shouted.

Richard did not take them seriously because he didn’t see any reason why she should collapse. If there is anyone to collapse, it should be him, he thought.

Soon, people gathered around them and she was taken into a car with her friends. The car headed towards the University clinic which was located somewhere in the centre of the university.

About 15 minutes later, Richard went to the clinic and was told that she was taken to the university teaching hospital.

It was then that he realized that the problem was more serious than he expected. He asked the nurse for an explanation on why she collapsed, and she explained to him that she had a heart problem that makes her react like that whenever she is angry. At that moment, Richard regretted fighting with her and wished he hadn’t said those things he said.

Chapter 5

The next day, Richard went to his lectures early in the morning as usual. He was the first person to be in the lecture hall. So, he sat in the first seat and watched as everyone walked in.

He was expecting to see Janet, but she didn’t come even after their lecturer arrived. As the lecturer was about to walk into the lecture hall, Paul quickly walked in before him because the lecturer does not allow anyone to walk in after he has.

Paul looked around and noticed an empty seat beside Richard and he knew it was reserved for him. He quickly walked to Richard and sat on the seat beside him.

“I wonder what you always do in the morning that makes you come late for lectures,” Richard nagged.

“I have been asking myself that too, but I couldn’t come up with an answer,” Paul laughed.

“Well, you better get yourself together or you regret it later,” Richard advised.

“Alright dad, I will take note of that,” Paul responded jokingly.

The lecturer walked to the stage of the hall, and soon he started his lecture.

About 15 minutes later, Paul leaned on Richard and whispered in his ear.

“Tell me what happened between you and Janet yesterday. I heard you two had a fight,” Paul said.

“Let’s talk about this after the lectures,” Richard replied.

“Alright, if you insist.”

Immediately after the lecture was over, many of Richard’s colleague’s began asking for what happened between him and Janet. Most of them thought he was unfair towards her and he was being arrogant.

“It was never my fault, besides, I wouldn’t have argued with her if I had known she was sick,” Richard responded.

“How could it not be your fault? We have all seen how you ignored her other day as if she wasn’t talking to you,” one of the boys said.

“Hey, why are you all blaming me for what happened to her? If you have seen how she ignored me the other day, you won’t blame.”

We talked in front of Hall 3S, but immediately after seeing another boy, she left me with no goodbye. And what provoked me most was the fact that she ignored me while I was calling, pretending I wasn’t existing,” Richard explained.

“So that means you were jealous,” one of the girls surrounding him said.

“No I wasn’t, I was provoked. Had it been she sent me off in a nice way, I wouldn’t have been pissed off. “

Despite all his explanations, most of his colleagues still thought he was at fault and he didn’t blame them because he was told that she was seriously ill because of him. Around 2 O’clock, Richard walked back to his room in the dormitory.

He cooked rice and beans and ate it as his lunch. By the time he was done eating, it was already some minutes after 3 O’clock. Immediately he was done eating, he took off to the staff quarters. He arrived at Prof. Grace House’s about 10 minutes later. He rang the doorbell and he was very surprised to see a very little boy opening the door.

“How may I help you?” the little boy questioned.

“Is the Professor around?” Richard asked.

“If you are referring to my mother, then no,” the little boy responded.

“Do you live here?”Richard asked the little boy.

“Yes, of course, I’m her son,” the boy replied.

“Oh I’m sorry; I never knew she had a little boy like you. So where is your sister?” Richard asked.

“She is here,” the boy said as he opened the door for Richard.

When he entered the living room, he found Rebecca lying on a three seater cushion with a headphone in her ears while going through her phone.

She was wearing a black shirt and blue trousers. Richard couldn’t resist noticing how glamorous she looked. At that time, he forgot about his position and couldn’t stop himself from staring at her.

When Rebecca looked up, Richard quickly looked away with his heart beating faster. As far as he could remember, he had never felt like around any other girl. He tried and controlled himself as he walked to her, and she quickly sat up when she saw him approaching.

She removed the headphone from and stared at him angrily. At that moment, Richard somehow started feeling scared to talk to her. He pulled out his phone from his pocket and pretended to be going.

“Where should we have the lesson,” Richard finally asked after about a minute.

“I don’t know,” Rebecca responded.

Richard stopped operating and looked up into her eyes. She was still glaring at him angrily as if he had murdered her entire family.

“Look, Rebecca, I don’t like this lesson too but my respect for your mother is above my personal interest.

If someone should respect your mother that much, why shouldn’t you?” Richard asked.

“And who told you I don’t respect my mother.”

“Your attitude towards me says so,” Richard responded.

“If at all you do respect your mother, you will cooperate with me to teach you. I want you to know that I don’t have an interest in you,” Richard bragged.

“I’m tired of listening to all this nonsense,” she said and stood up and left for her room.

At that moment, Richard tried to call Prof. Grace and inform her of what happened. He hesitated for a moment knowing that it will create more scenes if he does that. He walked to her door and tried talking to her.

“I know you do hate me, but if you don’t come out, I will be left with no option but to call your mother,” Richard informed. “Then why don’t you just call her?” she replied from her room.

“Because I know it won’t end well if I do that,” Richard responded.

“So please come out and let’s do this,” Richard pleaded. He waited for about 5 minutes, but she didn’t come out or say a thing.

He then made up his mind and dialled the Professor’s number. It rang for a moment before she finally picked the call.

“Give me a minute Richard, I will be there,” Prof. Grace said when Richard informed her.

About fifteen minutes later, he heard the Professor’s car parking at the front of the house. She walked into the house angrier than Richard had ever seen her. “Rebecca!” she shouted upon entering the living room. “Get your ass out here,” she declared angrily.

About a minute later, Rebecca walked out of her room. The instance she got to where her mother was, she received a slap on the face. There was total silence in the living room. Richard became totally surprised at Prof. Grace and regretted calling her.

He never thought she could touch her daughter because of him. Suddenly, Rebecca placed her two hands on her face and started crying out loud.

“Let me tell you something. If you don’t behave yourself, be ready to receive the worst from me,” Prof. Grace cautioned.

“You will never leave this house, watch TV or operate your phone ever again if I don’t see an improvement in your grades at the end of this term,” she said.

“Go and sit at the dining table and wait for her to come out with her books,” Prof. Grace instructed.

Richard did as instructed, and about five minutes later, Rebecca walked out of her room with her school bag. She was still crying as she walked towards the dining table.

She sat beside him and brought out her Mathematics textbook.

“I will be going out again, don’t let me hear anything about you again,” Prof. Grace warned and left the house.

Rebecca laid her head on the table and kept crying. Richard became speechless and out of words to say. Somehow, he blamed himself for what happened to her.

She cried for more than 20 minutes before she finally looked up.

“You know my mother has never laid a finger until today. She even slapped me because of you,” Rebecca said with her face all wet with tears.

“I know something like this would happen, that’s why I tried to make you understand, but you left me with no option but to tell her.”

“I wish you die soon because I really hate you,” Rebecca said out of anger.

“It’s okay if you hate me, but please let’s just do what your mother wants to avoid making things more complicated,” Richard replied.

He took one of her textbooks and tried teaching her, but she folded and watched him angrily as he was teaching her.

When Richard noticed how angry she was, he decided to end the lesson.

“I will be leaving now, I come back the

day after tomorrow,” Richard announced as he stood up, but Rebecca did not say a word nor look at him.

He walked out of the house and headed towards his hostel. He arrived at his room looking very exhausted.

“Are you coming from a lecture?” asked the elderly man in his room.

“Yes I am,” Richard replied as he lay on his bed.

“But you need to eat first before you will rest,” the man advised.

“Alright, I will do that,” Richard answered.

The elderly man handed Richard a plate filled with food.

“Thank you” Richard smiled as he received the plate.

By the time he finished eating, it was already 4:30 pm, and he thought he had no time to rest because he had some assignments to do. He took his laptop with some of his books and left.

Chapter 6

Two days later, Richard was having a practical lesson in one of the computer labs in their department. The lab was big enough to be occupied by three hundred students. The practicals had been taking place for about 2 hours, and there is still an hour more. As the practical was going on, someone took an excuse from the lecturer delivering the lectures from the back door. Everyone turned to see whom the person was and noticed that it was Janet.

“How may I help you?” the lecturer queried.

“I have been unwell, sir, I have just been released from the hospital,” Janet explained.

“Do you expect me to believe this?” The lecturer doubted, but before he could say more words, the rest of the students in the hall confirmed that she was telling the truth.

“Alright, you can come in and have a seat,” the lecturer instructed and Janet walked into the lab. As she was walking, Richard who was sitting in the front kept looking at her.

As she got to the centre of the hall, he quickly stopped looking at her after she had caught him looking at her. She got a seat beside one of her friends and sat.

About an hour later, the students started leaving the lab after the lecturer signified that the practical was over. Janet remained in her seat position while some of the students, her friends and some people that know her walked to her to ask how she was feeling.

Richard remained behind watching as everyone talked to her asking her about her health. He waited until after everyone had left, leaving her with her friends before he approached them.

“Hey Janet, I hope you are okay now?” Richard said when he got to where they were sitting.

Immediately Janet turned and noticed that it was Richard, she quickly stood and headed out of the hall.

“I am sorry Janet, I didn’t know what I said would hurt you that much,” Richard apologized, but she didn’t even look back. Her friend ran after her and left the lab.

Richard walked out of the lab and met Paul sitting with some of their colleagues on a bench under a tree at the entrance of their department.

As soon as Paul saw him, he stood up and walked to him.

“Hey, where are you heading to?” Paul asked. “I am going to the cafeteria, I want to eat before our next lecture,” Richard announced.

“Then we should go together because I am seriously hungry,” Paul said.

“Don’t even think about it, I only have the money to feed me,” Richard responded.

“Come on, don’t be like that bro,” Paul said as he laughed.

“I am serious Paul, you are not going to eat my food,” Richard said, pretending to be serious. They walked together to the cafeteria.

“Good afternoon mama,” Richard greeted the elderly woman sitting at the entrance of the cafeteria.

“Good afternoon my boys, how are you doing?” Mama Toyin asked.

“We are doing okay ma’am,” Richard and Paul answered as they walked into the cafeteria.

They sat at the first table which they found to be empty. As soon as they sat down, the waiter walked to them and asked what they wanted.

“Two plates of pounded yam please,” Paul quickly ordered before Richard could utter a word.

“Give me a moment please,” the waiter smiled and headed towards the kitchen of the cafeteria.

“Have you seen Janet? She returned when we were having our practicals,” Paul announced.

“Yes, I even tried to talk to her, but she refused to talk to me,” Richard answered.

“I am not surprised at all, I doubt if she will ever talk to you again,” Paul said.

“Well, I don’t blame her, it’s like I have been cursed lately when it comes to a relationship with girls,” Richard responded.

“Why do you say that? Girls talk about you when they come here to eat,” replied the waiter as he brought their food on the plates.

“Perhaps, you heard them insulting me,” Richard replied.

“Why on the earth would they ever do that?” The waiter asked.

Before Richard could answer, another customer asked for the waiter’s attention from the table next to them.

“I forgot to ask how your lesson went with Prof. Grace’s daughter,” Paul asked as they started eating.

“It was a mess,” Richard replied, and he continued to tell Paul about what happened.

“It looks like you have been cursed when it comes to girls,” Paul said.

“It seems so.”

After they were done eating, they stood up and walked out of the cafeteria.

They walked to a small tree at the entrance of their faculty and sat on a small bench waiting for the time of their next lecture to arrive. About 15 minutes later, they stood up to go to their next lectures. The lecture was to take place in a theatre outside their faculty. When they entered the theatre, they found Janet with her friends talking to some boys at the front seats.

As soon as their eyes met, they both quickly looked away. Richard and Paul walked to the row behind them and sat down. After they had sat down, Janet ’s friends turned and looked at them and started laughing.

“Looks like they are talking about you,” Paul said to Richard.

“Yes it looks so,” Richard responded.

“I think you should go and apologize to her if not, they will continue to hate you,” Paul said.

“I don’t care if they hate me, I have already done my part, but she ignored me instead,” Richard responded.

“If you continue with this behaviour, you will never get a girlfriend,” Paul advised.

“Let it be that way,” Richard responded.

They were in the middle of talking when they saw the rest of the students rushing into the theatre which indicated the arrival of the lecturer. After all the students had sat down, the lecturer walked into the theatre. He walked to the stage of the theatre and stood watching the students.

Without saying a word, the theatre became silent. It was the first time the lecturer was going to lecture them, and they have heard about his strictness from their predecessors.

“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,” the lecturer greeted.

“Good afternoon, sir,” the theatre echoed.

“I suppose most of you here know me, but for the sake of those who don’t, I will introduce myself.”

“I am Prof. L.A Mark, and I will be taking your algorithm and model of computing for this semester. I believe I am dealing with adults, so I expect everyone to be on his or her best behaviour.

I don’t give a make-up test for my continuous assessments, and if you don’t have up to 70 per cent attendance of my lectures at the end of the semester, don’t even think of writing my exams,” Prof. Mark cautioned.

He started his lectures immediately and finished giving the student the outline of the course. In the middle of his lectures, a student’s phone started ringing.

“I forgot to warn you, I seriously don’t tolerate phones ringing in my lectures. If any student’s phone rings again, I swear to God you will never see me until your exams. Even the Vice-Chancellor cannot force me to teach you if that happens. If you think I don’t mean my words, let the phone ring again,” he warned.

He continued with his lecture and lectured for about 30 minutes more. Suddenly, another phone started ringing. And this time, it was Janet’s phone that was ringing. The whole theatre glared at her, and the lecturer quietly packed his books and walked out of the theatre. Some of the students quickly stood up and went after him, but it was of no use. He went to his car that was parked close to the theatre and drove away. Everyone became extremely angry at Janet.

“I’m very sorry, I didn’t know how that happened. I thought I put the phone on silent,” Janet tried to apologize.

“You are a completely wicked fellow. If you are not serious about your life, you should at least bear it alone without dragging us into your mess,” one of the students who happened to be an elderly man said furiously to Janet.

“Please forgive me, I made a very big mistake,” Janet pleaded as she started crying. The students stopped talking to her as soon as they noticed her crying.

Richard remained on his seat in the theatre after everyone had left, leaving only him and Janet. He was busy with his book and didn’t notice it when everyone was leaving. After he was done writing, he stood up and was about to leave when saw Janet sitting alone.

He decided to leave without talking to her, but when he got to the door of the theatre, he turned and saw her looking at him angrily. He walked out of the theatre and suddenly had a change of mind. He turned and walked back into the theatre to Janet. The moment she saw him coming into the theatre, she quickly took a book and pretended to be reading it. He walked straight to her and stood before her.

“Janet,” He called her name.

She kept her eyes on the book without looking up or saying a word.

“Please talk to me,” Richard pleaded. But she still refused to talk to him or looked at him.

“I am really sorry about the mean things I said to you the other day, I was so angry and couldn’t control the words that came out of me,” Richard explained.

He walked out of the theatre when he noticed that she didn’t want to talk to him. As soon as he got out, he saw Paul approaching one of the halls in their department. Richard called out his name and turned immediately and headed toward him.

“Where have you been?” Paul asked.

“I was still in the theatre, I never left,” Richard responded.

“That’s great, I want you to accompany me somewhere,” Paul requested.

“I hope we are not meeting a new girl again,” Richard asked.

“Absolutely not,” Paul laughed.

“Okay, where do you want me to accompany you to?” Richard asked.

“You will know when we get there,” Paul responded.

They walked out of their faculty, and Paul headed towards a car parked in the parking space.

“Wait, whose car is this?” Richard asked. “One of my friend’s,” Paul responded.

The only thing Richard hates about Paul is the fact that he is ostentatious. He wished he could tell him how much he hated that.

“Where do you intend on going with an expensive car like that?” Richard asked. “Come on, stop asking silly questions and let’s go have some fun,” Paul said when he opened the door of the car.

“Come on in,” he added.

Richard entered the car reluctantly, and Paul drove out of the school. They drove for about 20 minutes before arriving at the most dangerous clubs in the city. Paul drove the car to a parking space made for the guests of the club and parked the car there.

“What are we doing here?” Richard asked, somehow terrified.

“To have some fun. Since the day I first met you, I have never seen you doing anything other than studying. I thought coming here will entertain you,” Paul replied.

“What exactly are we going to do here?” Richard questioned again. Paul walked out of the car without replying to Richard’s question.

They walked to the gate of the club and were allowed in after Paul showed the security guard his pass. In the club, a loud noise of music was coming from a big hall. When they got closer to the hall, Richard noticed that it was a party taking place in the hall. Immediately he noticed that he stopped walking.

“Why do you stop walking?” Paul asked.

“You know I don’t come to places like this, right?” Richard responded.

“Come on Richard, you will never get a girl if you keep behaving like this,” Paul said.

“I will have one when the time comes,” Richard answered.

“Please take me back to the campus,” Richard requested.

“I will take you back, but first let me go in and look for someone,” Paul said.

“Alright, I’ll be waiting for you,” Richard replied.

Paul walked into the hall while Richard sat on a chair at the entrance of the hotel waiting for Paul to come out. About 30 minutes later, Richard noticed Janet coming into the club. He became totally surprised upon seeing her. She was wearing a black shirt with blue jeans, and her hair was packed behind her back. The way she dressed disclosed that she had really prepared for the party. The fact that she looked beautiful, Richard could not stop staring at her.

As she turned to talk to one of her friends, she caught Richard staring at her. He immediately looked away pretending to be looking at something else. Janet and her friends walked into the club.

Richard remained seated in position going through his phone waiting for Paul to come out. About ten minutes later, he couldn’t help but be curious about what was happening in the party and the fact that Janet had gone in. He decided to satisfy his curiosity by going into the club. His heart was beating faster because it was the first time he was attending a party of that nature. The hall was filled with music with boys and girls dancing all over. Some of them were smoking and taking drugs, while some were drinking beers. It was indeed the type of party Richard feared. But what surprised me was why Paul brought him to a place like that. He looked around the hall searching for Paul but noticed Janet instead. She was standing at the extreme end of the hall with her arms folded watching as everyone was dancing.

Immediately his eyes met hers, they both quickly looked away. Richard brought out his phone and started going through it. And when he looked in the direction of Janet again, he caught her staring at him. She immediately looked away and Marched to an empty seat and sat down. She looked up and saw Richard looking at her. And this time, they both refused to look away. About 7 seconds later, Janet smiled and looked down.

At that moment, Richard felt like he was hallucinating. It was something he never expected from Janet. And the more he stared at her, the prettier she got. About a minute later, she looked up again and Richard was still staring at her.

Richard suddenly felt like she was yelling out his name through her eyes.

As far as he could remember, no girl had ever looked at him that way in his entire life. He instantly became overwhelmed by the desire to talk to her. He started making his way to her, and when she noticed that he was walking to her; she quickly took her phone and pretended to be going through it.

But before Richard could get to where she was, she was approached by someone else. When Richard noticed that, he decided to go back to where he was standing. As he was going, he turned and noticed that the man was pulling Janet ’s hand trying to force her to stand up. Without hesitation, Richard quickly ran to them.

“ I said I am not going to dance with you” Janet shouted. At this point, those around them stopped dancing and started looking at them.

The man was huge and bigger than almost anyone present at the party. He wore a white armless shirt with Shorts that barely exceeded his knees. By his appearance, it was oblivious to everyone that he was a thug.

For that reason, nobody could speak to him. He kept trying to pull her up until Richard finally spoke to him.

“She said she doesn’t want to dance, why don’t you leave her alone?” Richard asked, trying to defend her.

“Do you know who I am?” the man asked after letting go of Janet’s hand.

“I don’t know who you are, but I won’t let you abuse her in my watch.”

The man moved closer to Richard with a smile on his face. Unexpectedly, he brought out a gun and pointed it at Richard. Suddenly, Richard’s heart started beating faster. It was something he used to see in the movies and could not believe it was actually happening to him.

“Let me tell you something boy, it seems like you are new here. I can kill you right here and nothing is going to happen,” the man said. At that time, everyone was watching what was happening.

Richard began to tremble, wondering what would happen if he got shot. He was clearly warned by his sister not to get himself in any trouble. Richard wanted to plead, but before he could say something, a boy ran in shouting.

“Run everyone, the police are here,” the boy yelled.

Chapter 7

Instantly, the party became disoriented and everyone started running for their safety. Although Richard was full of regret for why he was there in the first place, he still managed to hold Janet ‘s hand and ran with her. With no hesitation, she followed him as he dragged her along. As they headed out of the hall, they noticed that the police were capturing those that were outside.

They quickly ran back not knowing what to do. Janet started crying because she was completely scared. Richard began to imagine what he would tell his sister if he got arrested. Luckily, he saw a door located at the extreme of the hall. He held Janet ‘s hand and ran with her alongside him.

He kicked the door with leg and they both entered. He locked the door soon after that. The room was all dark with a very low light. There were some bags of corn that were leaning against the wall of the room.

Richard jumped and sat on one of the bags while Janet squatted by the door with her hands covering her face as she cried.

“Please stop crying, they will know we are here if they hear your voice,” Richard said, trying to calm her.

When he heard some footsteps approaching the door, Richard quickly jumped down and squatted beside Janet and covered her mouth with his hand.

At that moment, they looked into each other’s eyes like they were involved in a staring contest. Suddenly, Richard’s beat faster than ever. Even though they were close to trouble, he was lost in another world.

“You can let go of me now, it’s like they are gone,” Janet said for about 3 minutes.

“Yes I think so,”Richard responded as he stood up. He walked back to where he was sitting before and sat down. They remained there until after about an hour when the whole place became quiet.

“We should get going, I think they have all left the club now,” Richard said as he jumped down from the bag.

“Are you sure?”Janet asked.

“Yes, I think so,”Richard responded. Janet stood up, and together, they walked out the room to the hall.

They headed out of the club when Janet noticed that her purse was missing. She ran back to the room and looked for it but still couldn’t find it.

“You must have dropped it while we were running,”Richard said after going into the room.

“I think so,” she responded as she turned to walk out.

“Will you please help look for it?” she courteously said after she had walked out the room.

“Alright, that won’t be a problem,”Richard answered.

He helped her to search for the purse in the room but they couldn’t find it, and they concluded at the end that it was taken by someone. By the time they walked off the place, it was already dark.

“Could you please lend me some money? I will use it to pay for my transportation back to the campus; I promise I will pay you back tomorrow,” Janet requested.

“Actually, I didn’t come here with any money. I was brought here unwillingly by my stupid friend,” Richard responded.

“I really am in trouble,” Janet answered.

“I guess we have to walk our way back since none of us is capable of paying,” Richard said as he started walking.

“What? Are you crazy? Do you know how far the campus is from here?” Janet exclaimed.

“Come on, don’t be such a lazy kid. We have no choice but to walk,” Richard said and started walking.

“Well, if I break my legs, you are going to be held responsible,” Janet announced and started walking behind Richard.

“Really? I thought giant girls have stronger bones than that of the men,” Richard teased.

“What? Are you calling me a giant right now?” Janet asked as she walked to face him.

“Well, any girl bigger than me is supposed to be a giant,” Richard responded sarcastically.

“You are just a thin little dwarf Richard, so me being taller than you just makes me a perfect human being. Besides, no one has ever said I am giant apart from you, ” Janet said.

“You are just like Mount Everest. It wasn’t the tallest mountain before it was discovered,” Richard said.

“I don’t even know what if that’s supposed to make sense,”Janet responded.

” Of course it does, I mean I am the first person to discover that you’re a giant” Richard laughed.

“You are not serious,” she answered.

By that time, they had gotten close to the highway. The road was filled with vehicles and there were street lights shining above them.

“If only I hadn’t lost my purse, we would have taken a taxi to the campus,”Janet said.

“I have a question that has been running through my mind,” Richard announced.

“What is it?” Janet asked.

“What is a girl like you doing at a party like that?” Richard asked.

“Actually, I have no idea that it was that kind of a party. I only accompanied my friend, she said she was going to meet someone there,”Janet explained.

“Okay,” Richard uttered after he smiled. “Don’t you believe me?” Janet asked, noticing how Richard smiled.

“I do believe you,” Richard responded.

“What about you? What brings you here?” Janet wanted to know.

“I was brought here by my stupid friend, this is the first time I have been to a party,” Richard mentioned.

“Really? And you expecting me to believe that?” Janet denied.

“Of course you are supposed to. He said I suck with girls, so he wanted me to socialize and have a girlfriend,” Richard explained.

After Richard made that statement, Janet started laughing.

“Actually, your friend is right I think,”Janet finally said after she had stopped laughing.

“What? I can’t believe you have said that,” Richard said.

“Do you think I will let you go free despite how you treated me? By the way, why will you ever treat a girl like that?”Janet queried.

“What do you mean?”

“Why did you ignore me those times I was talking to you?”Janet asked and stopped walking.

“We were talking when you left me and went to another boy without even bothering to say goodbye. That’s the biggest insult that could ever happen to a boy, ” Richard replied as he turned to face her.

“Oh did I really do that?” Janet asked.

“You certainly did, “Richard answered.

“I am really sorry I didn’t know that will anger you, “Janet apologized.

“It’s okay, “Richard smiled.

“By the way, thanks for defending me today, “Janet appreciated.

She continued walking and Richard turned and also walked beside her.

“I was wondering what you would do to that man with the gun if the police hadn’t come,”Janet teased.

“I would tell him I was kidding, he should do whatever he pleases with you, ” Richard said.

“What? I thought you were going to be my superman, “Janet laughed.

“Had it been you are not a giant, I can risk my life for you, “Richard laughed.

“Oh damn it, why do you keep saying that I’m a giant?” Janet asked, pretending to be angry.

“Well, the fact that you have a cute face, boys will be blinded by it and won’t notice how huge you are,”Richard said.

“Thanks for calling me beautiful,”Janet smiled.

“When did I call you beautiful?” Richard asked.

“Technically, you just did,”Janet laughed.

“You must be very bad at grammar, there is a difference between cute, pretty and beautiful,”Richard replied.

“Oh really Mr. Grammar? Tell me their differences,”Janet requested.

Before Richard could reply, he noticed the lighting in the cloudy sky.

“Oh my God, we are in trouble,”Richard said.

“What is it?”Janet asked worriedly.

“I think it is going to rain,”Richard responded.

“Oh my goodness, you scared the hell out of me Richard, I thought it was something serious,”Janet answered.

“Have you got caught up in a heavy rain before?” Richard asked.

“No I haven’t, why do you ask?” She questioned.

“Well, it is similar to being whipped with a whipper. And if you haven’t been whipped before, get ready to feel the pain today,”Richard said.

“I know you are just trying to scare me, and I won’t be bothered by that,”Janet smiled and kept on walking.

They talked and laughed as they walked as if they had been friends for years. At some point, Richard felt like everything happening was in a dream and that he could wake up at any moment. They walked for an hour before it started raining heavily.

Richard suggested that they should find a place and stay until the rain stops, but Janet insisted that they Keep walking. It rained heavily on them as they walked but Janet didn’t mind.

“You said it will hurt, but I pretty much like it,”Janet yelled due to the loud sound of the rain.

“I am out of words to say,” Richard smiled.

“Can I tell you something?” Janet asked.

“Yes sure,” Richard assured.

“I used to think you were some kind of a jerk before, but not anymore,”Janet revealed.

“Really?” Richard laughed.

“Yes of course,” she responded.

“Good to hear,” Richard answered.

Suddenly, a car stopped and stopped close to the road beside them.

“Hey Richard, where are you coming from?” Asked the person driving.

When they got closer, they noticed that it was one of their course mates at the campus.

“Thank God,”Richard said and they both quickly ran and entered the car.

Their course mate was so surprised to see them together in that condition.

“Where are you guys coming from?” He asked as he started driving.

“Is a long story really,” Richard responded.

“Well, we’ve got plenty of time,” he answered.

“We visited someone and got caught in the rain,”Janet quickly interfered.

“Oh I see,” he answered, suspecting that they were hiding something. He drove into campus and headed towards the female dormitory. She walked down from the car after it came to a halt close to the gate of her dormitory.

“Good night Richard,” she said as she smiled.

“Goodnight Janet ,”Richard smiled back.

The car drove away and Richard was dropped close to his hostel too.

“Thank you so much, I really appreciate it,”Richard said to his course mate as he drove away.

As he was heading to his room, he suddenly remembered that he was supposed to have a lesson with Rebecca. He then decided he would make up for it the next day.

When he entered their room, he found all of his roommates sleeping because the weather had become so cold due to the rain. He went to the bathroom and changed the wet cloth he was wearing. He went to his bed and lied down because he was very tired. He kept thinking about what happened between him and Janet until he finally fell asleep.

Chapter 8

The next day, Richard woke up feeling so happy. Before he could do anything, he discovered that he was late for lectures. He quickly got dressed and ran out of the room. He took a taxi to his faculty. He arrived there five minutes after the lecture had started.

Luckily for him, the lecturer doesn’t mind if students come to his class late. He entered the lecture hall and went to the last seat and sat down. Richard looked around the lecture hall but couldn’t see Janet. It then brought him to the conclusion that she was still sleeping. As the lecture was taking place, Richard could not stop himself from thinking about Janet and the incidents that happened between them the previous night.

After the lecture, Richard remained behind in the hall trying to cover up for the time he missed the previous night.

“How did it go for you yesterday?” Someone asked.

When Richard turned, he noticed that it was Paul.

“Don’t take me to places like that ever again, “Richard said angrily as he stood.

“Oh come on, calm down. I was just trying to entertain you,” Paul responded.

“Entertain? Just hear how ridiculous you sound. If I want to entertain myself, I would have done so right here at the campus. Do you have an idea of what trouble I would have been into if I got arrested?” Richard asked.

“Okay I am a sorry man, I should have told you,” Paul said as he hit Richard on the shoulder.

Richard shook his head and continued with what he was doing. He studied for about 1 hour before the next lecture started. During the next lecture, he looked around to see if he could see Janet. But he didn’t see her even after the lectures. He then began to suspect that something had happened to her. He brought out his phone to call her, he then suddenly remembered that he had deleted her number when they had a fight. At that moment, he regretted deleting her number.

He later went to the cafeteria to have some food. He sat at a table waiting for the waiter. He saw their course representative sitting at the table behind him with his friends. He knew he was a good friend of Janet, so he then decided to ask him about her. He stood up and approached their table and was about to speak when he heard his friends teasing him about Janet.

“I don’t really know what her problem is, she keeps telling me that she is not ready for a serious relationship right now,” the class representative said.

“Just keep on trying, she wouldn’t be talking to you if she was interested in you at all,” replied one of his friends.

The moment Richard heard that he felt as if he ran out of the air to breathe.

The pain in his chest was as if he swallowed a molten rock only that it was much worse. He turned to go back to his table when he was called by his course representative.

“Hey Richard, I thought you were coming here,” he said.

“Oh yes I am, I forgot something at that table, let me go and get it first,” Richard responded. “Alright then,” the course representative answered.

Richard went to his table and pretended to have taken something and then returned to where his course representative was.

“So how are you Richard?” his course representative asked.

“I’m doing well, and yourself?” Richard asked as he sat down.

“I am good too. Where is your friend?” the class representative asked.

“I don’t know where he is,” Richard responded.

“Maybe he is with girls,” the class representative suspected.

“I won’t be surprised anymore. He really annoyed me yesterday,” Richard complained.

“What did he do?” His class representative asked,

“He took me to a club saying that I need to socialize with girls. I nearly got arrested yesterday,” Richard narrated.

“You see, you really need to advise your friend. Have you seen his result for the previous semester?”

“No I haven’t, but he told me that he had one F in his result,” Richard responded.

His class representative started laughing after Richard said that.

“And do you really believe what he told you? Are you really his friend?”

“Is there anything I’m missing about his result?”

“You are missing everything Richard, to be honest with you, you really need to know more about your friend, where he goes to, the type of people he hangs out with and what he does in the night,” the class representative said.

“Really? But tell me about his result right now,” Richard requested.

“I won’t say much, just go to our result and check for the poorest result,” the class representative directed.

“Alright, I will do that,” Richard replied.

He went to the office of their head of the department and asked for the overall list of the names of students in their department. There, he found Paul’s identification number and headed to their bulletin board where their results were placed. He went through all the results and found Paul’s result. He was completely disappointed by the result and finally realized why he had been hiding his identification number all along. He decided to talk to him about it privately when they met alone.

Later in the day, he couldn’t forget about what he heard his class representative said about Janet. He felt so jealous whenever he remembered and wished he could stop thinking about her. In the evening around 4 o’clock, he decided to go Prof. Grace’s house to have his lesson with Rebecca. When he went to the house, he found Rebecca sitting on the bonnet of her mother’s car with her friend who happened to be her neighbour.

She wore black jeans with a white sweater. She wore white socks on her legs with no shoes. They were talking and laughing at the top of their voices. As Richard approached them, Rebecca was touched by her friend. The moment she turned and saw Richard, she frowned immediately. He went and stood by the entrance of the house waiting for her to come. He spent about five minutes waiting for her, but she didn’t come. “Rebecca!” Richard called.

She jumped down and met him.

“What do you want from me?” she asked with a frown face looking at the ground.

“I’m surprised you are even asking me this question, don’t you know the purpose of my coming here?” Richard asked.

“I would have known if you came yesterday as you scheduled,” she replied.

“Sorry I got caught up in something that’s why I couldn’t come,” Richard appealed.

“Do you think I’m some useless kid that doesn’t have anything to do? Let me tell you something, you are not going to treat me the way you want. I am busy today, you can come another day,” Rebecca said she looked up and looked into his eyes angrily.

“Look here young lady; I don’t want to complicate things. Just let me do what I came here to do and I’ll be on my way. I didn’t like how it ended the other day, so I don’t want anything of that nature to happen again,” Richard stated.

“I just want you to know that you can’t do whatever you like,” Rebecca answered.

They entered the house and found Professor Grace sitting in the living room watching television.

“Good evening, Ma’am,” Richard greeted her.

“Good evening Richard, How are you doing?” Prof. Grace asked.

“I am doing fine, ” Richard answered.

“How are your studies?” she asked again.

“Everything is fine,” Richard responded.

“Did you come for your lesson with Rebecca?” she asked.

“Yes,” Richard answered.

“That’s good; I don’t want you to be easy on her. If she doesn’t cooperate, just report her to me,” Prof. Grace instructed.

“Okay, I will,” Richard replied. He went to the dining table and waited for Rebecca to come out with her books. About five minutes later, she came out with her Mathematics and Physics textbooks. She kept the books close to Richard and sat on the chair next to him. The perfume on her body was so sweet that he wished he could ask her which one she was using.

“So with which subject are we going to start?” Richard asked.

“Anyone you wish,” she responded with her face still frowned.

“Alright, let’s start with Physics. Tell me the areas you don’t understand well,” Richard requested.

She kept quiet for about a minute without saying a word. Richard decided to give her some tests to gauge her performance. He wrote down some of the simplest problems from the textbook and gave her to solve them.

About 20 minutes later, he asked for her answers and found out that she couldn’t solve any of them.

“Well, that means we have to start with the basics,” Richard said as he closed the textbook.

He instructed her to bring the Mathematics textbooks of her junior years. After she brought them, he started teaching her the simplest topics. He tried his best to make her understand, but he couldn’t help it.

About an hour later, he decided to end the lesson by giving her some work as homework despite knowing she wouldn’t be able to solve them.

“Try your best to do them before our next lesson,” Richard said but she didn’t say a word.

“I will see you next time,” Richard said as he stood up to leave.

“Are you leaving?” Prof. Grace asked when Richard got to her position.

“Yes I am,” Richard replied.

“So, how is her performance,” she asked.

“Well, let’s hope she will improve,” Richard answered.

“Rebecca!” she called out.

“Yes, mummy,” Rebecca answered.

“I heard that you are not doing so well,” the Professor complained.

Rebecca glared at Richard angrily, and he pretended not to have noticed her.

“Well, if you don’t improve by the end of this session, I will make you repeat SS 2 even if your school allows you to be promoted to the final year,” Prof. Grace cautioned.

Rebecca was silent and couldn’t say a word.

“I will take my leave ma’am,” Richard said after a moment of silence.

“Alright Richard, see you next time,” the Professor responded.

When he walked out of the Professor’s house, he discovered that the place had gotten dark. He decided to go to his room and eat something. Suddenly, his phone started ringing and he noticed that it was Paul calling.

Paul: Where are you?

Richard: I’m on my way to Block D, where are you?

Paul: I’m sitting on your bed right now.

Richard: Wait for me; I will be there as soon.

Paul: Alright, until you come

“Hey, where have you been all day?” Paul asked as Richard entered the room.

“I have been busy with Professor Grace’s daughter. What about you? Where have you been?” Richard asked.

“You know, hanging out, as usual,” Paul responded.

“Oh, I see,” Richard replied.

He proceeded to his locker and brought the remaining food he cooked before going to Professor Grace’s house. He sat by the edge of his bed and he ate it together with Paul.

After they were done eating, Richard proceeded to take his books and laptop for his night studies. When Paul saw him leaving the room, he ran after him.

“Where will you study today?” Paul asked.

“In one of the theatres over there,” he pointed in the direction of some lecture theatres that were a little bit further from them.

“You go first, let me go and take care of something,” Paul said as he tried to change direction.

“You lied to me about your result,” Richard said when Paul was about to leave.

“Who was the hypocrite that told you?” Paul asked angrily.

“It doesn’t matter who told me, what matters right now is that I was completely disheartened when I saw your actual result. Where do you think you can go with a result of 0.5 G.P.A? Imagine even Lydia having a better result than yours,” Richard said referring to the girl everyone thought was the weakest in the department.

Paul kept quiet without mentioning a word.

“You better sit up since this is just the beginning of the second semester. I won’t force you to take my advise, but as your friend, I must tell you the truth,” Richard advised.

“Thanks for the advice, I will try and change,” Paul answered.

“I’m glad you appreciate it,” Richard replied.

Chapter 9

The next day, Richard was sitting in a lecture theatre waiting for his lecturer to come. He had been sitting there for the past hour going through his book. At about 10 am, the rest of the students started rushing into the lecture theatre indicating the arrival of the lecturer. He gathered all the books he was reading and put them in his backpack that was beside him. When he looked up, he unexpectedly saw Janet .

The moment he saw her, he felt so warm in his heart like never before. He kept staring at her and couldn’t take his eyes off her. More than ever, he wanted to speak to her. When she got close to him, she smiled at him and waved. Richard was so happy and didn’t know how he could respond to her. She passed him and proceeded to sit at the extreme of the hall.

All that Richard wished for was for the lecture to finish so he could talk to her. Throughout the lecture, he kept turning back to look at her to the extent that the lecturer noticed him.

“Is there anything at the back that we should know of?” The lecturer asked as he walked to Richard who was sitting in the front row.

“No, sir,” Richard smiled.

“Pleased concentrate, this is unlike you,” the lecturer said and turned and walked back to the stage and continued his lecture.

After the lecture was over, all the students started leaving the lecture theatre. Richard was sitting in the front waiting for Janet . She was united with her friends and they talked and laughed as they walked to leave the hall. When they got to where Richard was, he stood up and approached them.

“Hey Janet ,” Richard said.

“Hey Richard, give me a minute,” she replied and they proceeded to their course representative who was standing by the entrance of the lecture theatre. Janet and her friends laughed as he talked to them. Even though Richard was dying to talk to her, he instantly felt that she needed to be left alone. He proceeded to his backpack and took it and headed out of the lecture theatre. As he was walking, his head was filled with words he couldn’t say. Even though he tried to act normal, he was deeply hurt inside him. He thought the night they shared meant something to her, but the way she acted made him think otherwise.

As he was about to leave their faculty, he heard someone calling him. He turned and noticed that it was Janet . He stopped walking and waited for her and her friends to get where he was.

“You guys should go ahead first,” Janet said to her friends.

“Alright, you should meet us in the Auditorium when you are done,” one of the girls said.

“So, how are you doing?” she asked Richard.

“I am doing well I guess,” Richard responded.

“What’s with the long face? Is something wrong?” she asked when she noticed no sign of smile on his face.

“Nothing is wrong, I was told that I’m more handsome like that,” Richard replied.

“Whoever the hell told you that is a terrible liar,” Janet laughed.

When Richard saw her laughing, it made him forget about the short moment of heartbreak he had.

“Oh really? I bet you don’t want to admit to the fact that I am handsome like that,” Richard smiled.

“Alright make that face again let me take your photo. You will be a better judge to yourself more than anyone,” Janet said as she brought out her phone.

“That won’t be necessary,” Richard responded.

“By the way, why didn’t I see you yesterday?” Richard continued by asking.

“I caught a terrible cold from the previous rain,” Janet responded.

“Oh that’s bad, I hope you are feeling better now?” Richard asked.

“Much better, I can say I’m healthier than you,” Janet winked.

“I hope what you said is true,” Richard smiled back.

“The last time I fell sick was almost 4 years ago,” Richard answered.

“Really? As far as I could remember, there has never been a day when I am completely healthy. I have been sick since my birth,” Janet revealed as she stopped smiling.

“What has been bothering you?” Richard asked.

“When I was a baby, I took an overdose of drugs that was meant for adults. I miraculously survived as it affected my liver, heart and kidneys,” Janet divulged.

When Richard heard that, he became terribly shocked.

“I hope you are all better now?” He asked curiously.

“Actually not,” Janet responded.

“If I were you, I would be very serious with my life. I will avoid anything that will make me fall sick, including not being caught in the rain like the day before yesterday,” Richard said.

“Do you mean I shouldn’t have fun just because I am sick? Everybody dies eventually. So why shouldn’t I enjoy it while I’m still alive? I know of many people who are healthier than I and they die at a very young age. One should not live a sad life because of fear of death; one should live happily because life is precious. It doesn’t matter how long you live your life, what matters is how happy you live your life,” Janet stated.

Richard became speechless and couldn’t say a word. He just kept staring at her like he was seeing her for the first time.

“Are you feeling sorry for me because I’m sick? You better not be, because I hate those who feel sorry for me,” Janet said as she frowned her face.

“I am not feeling sorry for you, I just wish I could be as confident and optimistic as you are,” Richard smiled.

“Please don’t say that,” Janet said as she started walking.

“Walk me to the auditorium, I will meet my friends there,” Janet continued.

“Alright then” Richard said as he started walking beside her.

“I love your clock by the way,” he said referring to the wrist watch she wore. “Clock?” she asked confusingly.

“Yes, that thing on your hand that you use for timing,” Richard laughed.

“Oh, do you mean my watch?” she asked after looking at her hand.

“No, that’s too big to be considered a wrist watch ” Richard teased.

“What? In case you don’t know, this is the latest wrist watch that ladies wear. But you will never know because you don’t have a girlfriend,” Janet laughed as well.

“If I have a girlfriend, she won’t wear clocks like this on her hand. Isn’t it heavy for you? I wonder how you even manage to lift your arm with such a heavy object attached to it”.

“Enough with the sarcasm Richard,” Janet said after she stopped laughing.

They got where her friends were at the auditorium which was located at the extreme of the faculty.

“Alright Richard, we will talk later,” Janet said as she walked to the auditorium.

“Hey, Janet !” Richard called her.

“Yes!” she answered after she stopped walking and looking back.

“Your clock looks beautiful on you,” Richard smiled.

“Thank you,” she smiled back and continued walking. She entered the auditorium while Richard turned and walked back to their faculty. When he arrived at their faculty, he met Prof. Grace heading to her car.

“Good afternoon Ma’am,” he greeted her.

“Good afternoon, how are you?” She requested.

“I am doing well,” Richard replied.

“Can you do me a favour?” She asked. “Yes I can,” Richard replied confidently.

“I want you to take my car and go to Rebecca’s school and pay her school fees. I’ve been caught up with work and I don’t have free time,” she requested.

“That won’t be a problem,” Richard answered. He received the money from her and her car’s key. He walked happily to the car because he had long wished to drive in cars like that, it was the most expensive car in the whole faculty.

He entered the car and drove to Rebecca’s school. On his way to the school, people kept looking at him as he drove in the , that made wish he owned a car like that. He parked the car in the parking space that made guests at Rebecca’s school. He met an old man who happened to be the security guard of the school at the entrance of the school.

“Good afternoon, sir,” he greeted him. “Good afternoon,” the old man replied.

“Please sir, I come to pay the school fees of one of your students,” Richard revealed.

“Alright, go to that office over there, they will attend to you,” the old man pointed out.

“Thank you sir,” Richard appreciated and walked to the office.

“Good afternoon, Sir,” Richard greeted the man he met in the office.

“Good afternoon, how are you?” he replied.

“I am doing quite well,” Richard responded.

“How may I help you?” The man asked.

“I come to pay the school fees of one of your students,” Richard responded.

“Who is the student?” the man asked. “Her name is Rebecca; she is the daughter of Prof. Grace ,” Richard answered.

“Oh I know her, let me have the money,” the man requested. Richard handed him the money after which he was given a receipt for the payment.

He walked out of the office in an attempt to find Rebecca’s class and give her the receipt. He met a girl and asked her for Rebecca’s which she showed him close to the fence by the right side of the school gate. As he walked to the class, he was reminded of his secondary school.

The building was very similar to his previous school. Two classes per building with doors and windows made up of rolling glasses. The classes were fenced with yellow flowers with a little space provided for entrance. He entered through the flowers and climbed on to the veranda of the class. He suddenly saw Rebecca crying while her teacher was shouting at her.

“This is a very simple thing that you can’t understand. I don’t even know what kind of brain you have. Even a primary school kid can solve this problem. You are the dumpiest girl I have ever seen, I don’t care who your mother is, what I say is really the fact,” the teacher yelled.

When Richard heard that, he felt an anger he never felt before. He felt as if the blood in his heart was boiling.

“With all due respect sir, you don’t deserve to be a teacher,” Richard said and all the students in the class turned and looked at him.

“And who the hell are you?” The teacher asked.

“I’m supposed to be her guardian,” Richard responded.

“Honestly sir, a good teacher is one who is compassionate, supportive and patient to his students. And from the way I see it, you have lost hope in her and are no longer patient with her.” Richard stated. “Good teachers aren’t supposed to be like that. I have gone through all my junior years receiving insults from my teachers. But when I came to ss2, I met an amazing teacher that changed my life entirely. I was able to win an award as the best Mathematics student in the whole country because of her,” he continued.

“From that moment, I realized that is not only how the teacher teaches you that matters, their behavior towards you also matters. So please sir, don’t lose hope in her, try and change her,” Richard stated.

The teacher remained silent and couldn’t say a word. Rebecca was completely surprised by what Richard did and couldn’t stop looking at him.

“Come on Rebecca, let’s go home. I believe it is almost closing time,” Richard said.

Rebecca slowly walked out of the class to where he was standing. He held her and walked with her alongside him. They walked a few steps away from the class when the school bell indicating the time for closure rang. All students started walking out of their classes. When they saw Richard holding Rebecca’s hand, they started shouting.

Richard didn’t care what the rest of the students would say. He walked out of the school to where he parked the car. They entered the car and he started the engine of the car. Even after they entered, the rest of her schoolmates did not stop looking at them. They kept looking until they drove away.

He dropped her home and she turned to leave without saying a word. “Rebecca!” Richard called. She stopped walking and turned to look at him.

“Please allow me to teach you well. I really do believe in you. If I could make it in the condition I was before, I believe everybody can,” Richard encouraged.

“Give it everything you have. Your soul, your heart, your passion and whatever it takes. I’m positive that you will make it,” Richard encouraged.

“Thank you for today,” she said and she turned and walked home.

Chapter 10

In the evening, Richard went to the Agric garden close to the dormitory and sat there. He brought out his laptop and put on his headphones. He laughed as he watched some funny videos online. He was happily enjoying alone. When he looked up, he unexpectedly caught Rebecca staring at him.

She quickly looked away nervously. She was walking with her little brother with his little hand in hers. She wore a red shirt and a pair of black jeans. Richard wanted to stand up and meet her, but something stopped him. After she walked to a certain point further away, she still turned and looked at him. She looked extremely beautiful but Richard tried to put all thoughts away other than her being a secondary school girl.

He continued watching his videos until the place became completely dark. He stood up and went to his room and took some biscuits before leaving for his night studies. He went to one of the theatres and sat there alone. He brought out his books and his laptop. He turned it on and started downloading some items before he would start going through his book.

***

Meanwhile, Janet was with her childhood friend who was in her third year studying mechanical engineering. Janet had been with her for the past 3 hours talking and laughing in her room.

“I have to go to our department, we have a tutorial organized by the students of our department,” said Janet ‘s friend as she stood.

“Oh come on Riskat, why can’t you just relax for today?” Janet said, trying to persuade her friend from going.

“I have to go, we are having a test tomorrow. And the lecturer is completely crazy,” Riskat said.

She was a tall girl with an age of about 22 years old and dark in complexion.

“Really? Do you mean you are going to leave me here alone?” Janet asked, pretending to be sad.

“Okay, you can come with me,” Riskat assured.

“Alright, but I hope the boys in your faculty are not stupid because boys in this school can act crazy,” Janet said.

“Well, I can assure you that they are not as crazy as the boys in your department,” Riskat laughed.

“What? Let me tell you something. There have been two boys that have been stalking me since the first day I came to this school, and they are from your department. Even my friends are complaining about them” Janet stated.

“Are you going to follow me or are you going to sit there and keep talking?” Riskat asked as she walked out of her room. Janet stood up and ran after her.

They walked for about fifteen minutes before arriving at the department of mechanical engineering. When they arrived, Riskat discovered that the tutorial had already started in a small lecture theatre. They quickly entered and sat in the middle because the front sits were already occupied. The tutorial was carried out by three of the best students of the department.

“Are they lecturers of this department?” Janet whispered in Riskat’s ear.

“No, they are final year students,” Riskat whispered back.

Riskat brought out her book and wrote down what was written on the board, while Janet only watched what was going on. One of the boys was looking at her and that started to make her feel uncomfortable.

At some point, she wanted to get up and leave the hall.

But remembering the fact that she came with her friend made her change her mind.

About an hour later, the tutor came across a problem he couldn’t solve. He invited the rest of mates to give it a try, but they were all unable to solve it.

“I know of someone who can solve this,” Janet said jokingly, and the whole students turned and looked at her.

“Oh really? And who is that person?” asked one of the tutors.

“She is not even from our department? Why is she even here?” a girl from the students asked.

“Oh please, we are all here to learn. There is nothing wrong even if she is not from this faculty,” the tutor said.

“Who is this person you said can solve this problem?” the other tutor asked Janet.

Janet started feeling nervous seeing the seriousness on their faces. She was only kidding when she said it and didn’t really mean it. And if she reveals to them that she didn’t mean it, they will think she is childish and it will ruin her image. She began to regret why she even followed Riskat in the first place. Suddenly, the thought of Richard came to her. She somehow knew that she would be relieved if she mentioned Richard because he had the best result in the faculty.

“Is Richard, the guy from the computer engineering department,” Janet finally said. The moment she said that all the students there started laughing.

“Isn’t he a 100 level student?” asked one of the students.

“Yes, he is,” Janet responded.

“This is a 300 level problem. Besides, it is easy to get good grades in the first year. Once he gets higher, he will know what it means to be in engineering,” one of the tutors said.

“Well, you don’t know what he is capable of,” Janet replied.

“Please Janet, stop embarrassing me,” Riskat whispered to Janet.

“Oh, will you please get him to come here? We would love to see what he’s capable of. ”

Janet ‘s heartbeat increased. She started regretting why she dragged the conversation up to this point.

“Can you please call him for us?” one of the final year students said again. Even though Janet was nervous, she acted confidently as if she had it all under control. She brought out her phone and called Richard.

***

Richard was busy with a book when he received a call from Janet. He didn’t know she was the one calling because had deleted her number. He picked the call thinking it was one of the regular friends.

Richard: Hello who is this?

Janet: don’t tell me you don’t have my number

Richard: Come on, I was just kidding.

Janet: Will you please come to hall 104 in the department of mechanical engineering?

Richard: I hope it is not something serious?

Janet: No is not, but I urgently need you

Richard: Alright, I will be on my way.

Richard took a taxi and went to the faculty of engineering. He entered the faculty and headed to the department of mechanical engineering.

He looked around and noticed the lecture theatre Janet described to him. He walked to the lecture theatre and was surprised when he saw a lot of people in it. The hall went silent when Richard entered.

At that moment, Janet ‘s heart was beating faster than ever, thinking that she would encounter the worst embarrassment she ever had.

“Is this boy you are telling us about?” one of the tutors asked.

“Yes, he is,” Janet replied nervously.

“Alright Mr. Richard, your friend said you can solve this problem, will you please take a look at it,” the tutor continued.

“Alright,” Richard said as he climbed onto the stage of the lecture theatre.

He walked to the board and peered at the board for a minute before he asked the tutor to hand him a marker. Janet was so relieved when Richard collected the marker from the tutor.

Everyone was surprised when Richard started solving it. As for Janet, she didn’t care if he was solving it wrong or right. The fact that he made an attempt has saved her from the embarrassment she feared. About five minutes later, Richard was done solving it. The final year students were left completely flabbergasted.

It was from his solution that they were able to notice the mistakes they have been making.

“But did you attend a diploma or college before coming here?” the tutor asked startlingly.

“No, I didn’t,” Richard replied.

“You are really a genius as they described you,” the tutor said.

“Come on, let’s go, Richard,” Janet said. When Richard turned, he noticed her smiling at him at the entrance of the lecture theatre.

All the students were silent watching them as they walked out of the lecture theatre.

When they got out, Janet started laughing.

“What really happened?” Richard asked.

“You are my hero today, I don’t know what trouble I could have gotten into if you hadn’t come,” Janet said.

“Really? I’m glad I’ve made your day then,” Richard responded.

“You were really amazing, how come you are so good at calculations like this?” Janet asked.

“I don’t know, I just find it fun,” Richard responded.

“I wish I could start to see calculations from your perspective,” Janet revealed.

“But you are supposed to love it since you are an engineering student,” Richard urged.

“Well, I have never expected that I will end up studying an engineering course in the university, that’s why I never took Mathematics seriously in my secondary school,” Janet narrated.

“I used to fear mathematics too, but I met a teacher that changed that. I will never forget her for the rest of my life,” Richard said.

“Oh, is she even a woman?” Janet asked.

“Yes she is,” Richard replied.

“She taught me how to see mathematics as an interesting game of finding solutions to problems. Since then, I began loving calculations. I look for problems on my own and solve them,” Richard continued.

“That’s wonderful. When I was in secondary school, I wanted to be a medical doctor, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen,” Janet revealed.

“Do you still wish to be a doctor?” Richard asked.

“I don’t think so, it was later that I realized that being a doctor means taking a lot of responsibilities,” Janet revealed.

“What about you? Was being a computer engineer your original dream?” She continued by asking.

“Actually, I didn’t know what to study. I just love anything that has to do with calculation, that’s why one of my friends suggested that I study computer engineering,” Richard revealed.

“Wow! I can see that you trust people easily, to the extent that you allow them to choose a career for,” Janet said surprisingly.

“Oh yes, I love calculations, that’s why I don’t think he made the wrong choice for me,” Richard replied.

They got to the gate of their faculty and sat on a rest bench. They talked for more than an hour before Janet said that she was hungry.

“Hungry? Didn’t you eat before coming out?” Richard asked.

“No I didn’t,” She replied.

“You could have eaten something before coming out,” Richard responded.

“Yes, so would you please accompany me to go and eat?” Janet requested.

The moment Richard heard that he became shocked because he had no money at that time.

He became confused and couldn’t think of what to say.

“Well I can go alone if it will cause you trouble,” Janet said, noticing Richard’s silence.

“No I will accompany you,” Richard replied and they stood up and made their way to one of the most expensive restaurants in the school.

Richard had only been to such restaurants once. After noticing how expensive their foods were, he decided they were no place for him. Suddenly, an idea came to him. He brought out his phone and texted Paul requesting for help.

They arrived at the restaurant and Janet ordered two plates of fried rice. He looked around in the restaurant and noticed that all students present were on sort of a date. The tables were all occupied by a male and a female student. Seeing himself sitting like that with Janet made him feel like they were also on a date.

The waiter brought the two plates of rice as Janet ordered.

“I would like to have 2 cups of ice cream,” Janet ordered just when the waiter turned to leave.

At that time, Richard wished he could stop her from ordering, but he made himself look as if it wasn’t a big deal. About 5 minutes later, the waiter brought their ice creams. They talked and laughed as they to the extent that Richard felt like he was dreaming. About 10 minutes later, Paul arrived at the restaurant. When he saw Richard and Janet, he became totally amazed.

“Hey, Janet,” Paul said as he approached their table.

“Hey!” She said back with a smile on her face.

“Why don’t you join us here?” Richard said and Paul drew an empty chair and sat next to Richard.

“Was she…” before Paul could finish his statement, Richard kicked him on the leg. “Was what?” Janet curiously asked.

Before any of them could reply, the waiter came with their bill.

“Here, I will pay it,” Paul said as he brought out his wallet.

“What? Who do you think you are to pay for our food?” Janet asked angrily. “Please calm down; don’t you know that I’m Richard’s best friend?” Paul answered.

“Well, I was the one that brought Richard, so I will handle the bill,” Janet said and she took out her credit card and handed it to the waiter.

After they were done, the three of them stood up and walked out of the restaurant.

Richard and Paul accompanied Janet to Riskat’s dormitory where she will be staying for a while before going to her room.

“Thanks, Richard, I really am grateful for today,” Janet smiled.

“The pleasure is all mine,” Richard smiled back.

“Alright then, I will see you in the morning,” Janet said as walked into the gate of the dormitory.

“See you too,” Richard replied. Richard and Paul remained still and watched as Janet walked into the hostel.

“Oh my God Richard, when did it happen?” Paul asked astonishingly.

“The day you left me at that stupid party,” Richard replied.

“Why didn’t you tell me about it?” Paul asked.

“Well, I don’t think that is that important,” Richard replied.

“What? What do you mean by that?” Paul asked.

“I think you are misunderstanding our relationship,” Richard replied.

“What’s there to misunderstand? You guys went to Love palace. What other proof do I need other than that?” Paul asked.

“We went there because she is hungry,” Richard replied.

“If she is really hungry, why didn’t you go to Mama Toyin’s restaurant?” Paul asked.

“Come on, stop interpreting this with a different meaning,” Richard insisted.

“Alright, if you say so,” Paul replied.

***

Janet was sitting by the bed of Riskat going through her phone when Riskat returned.

“Hey, when did you get here?” Riskat asked as she walked to Janet.

“A couple of minutes ago,” Janet responded.

“That’s cool, you guys really created a scene at our tutorial today. What was his name again?” Riskat asked.

“Richard,” Janet smiled.

“He is actually good. Of all the guys you ever had, he is the best,” Janet replied.

“Really?” Janet asked.

“Yes, of course, you guys look cute together,” Riskat winked.

“Oh we are just friends,” Janet replied.

“I’ve never seen you going to the love palace with any of your male friends,” Riskat laughed.

“Who told you we went there?” Janet asked.

“I saw you with my own eyes,” Riskat replied.

“Well, the thing is, we just went there without considering it to be some kind of romantic relationship,” Janet replied.

“That’s good for you then,” Riskat smiled.

She sat beside Janet. They had a lengthy talk before Janet announced that she was sleepy.

Chapter 11

The next day, Rebecca woke up around 5 am like she usually does. She stretched her arm to turn off the alarm of her phone that was ringing aloud. She proceeded to her bathroom that was attached to her room and brushed her teeth. After she was done, she walked out and went to the backyard to get her uniforms that she washed the previous night.

The uniforms were hung on a rope made for spreading of washed clothes.

She took them and walked back to her room with them. She opened her drawer and took out an iron and had her uniforms ironed on a table she kept in her room for ironing her clothes. After she was done ironing, she walked to the kitchen to start preparing breakfast.

The kitchen was of medium size with a very bright fluorescent light shining above it. It’s entire wall was covered with smooth tiles, while the floor was covered with rough ones. She walked to the storage room and took some potatoes in a basket. She then walked to the cutlery section in the kitchen and got her favourite knife that she uses for peeling yams and potatoes.

She sat down on a small chair and started peeling the potatoes. About 20 minutes later, she was done peeling the potatoes.

She sliced them into smaller pieces and then went to the fridge in the dining room and took some eggs. Went back to the kitchen and started frying the potatoes with the eggs on a gas cooker. At about 6: 30 am, she had finished frying everything.

She walked to the room of her little brother Emmanuel and woke him up.

“Hurry up and take a bath before mum Wakes up,” Janet said to him. He stood up with his eyes half closed and walked into their mother’s bathroom.

While he was taking his bath, Rebecca opened his wardrobe and took his uniforms which she ironed the previous night and kept them on his bed. She then proceeded to her bathroom and started taking her bath. After she was done bathing, she went to her room and did all sorts of makeup before putting on her uniform. At about 7 am, she walked into the dining room and found Emmanuel waiting for her.

She served him his breakfast and soon, he started eating it. When he was about to finish, their mother walked out of her room.

“Good morning mum,” they both greeted her.

“Good morning, how are you doing?” Prof. Grace asked.

“We are fine mum,” they both responded.

“Are you taking the taxi or will you wait for me?” Prof. Grace asked Rebecca.

“I will be going with Amira,” Rebecca replied, referring to their neighbour.

“Alright then, I will see you after school,” Prof. Grace said as she walked back to the room to get ready.

Rebecca ate her breakfast and took her backpack and left the house. She went to their neighbour’s house and called her friend’s name.

“Give me a minute, I will be out soon,” Amirah replied.

About five minutes later, Amira walked out of the house.

“I thought you said I should give you a minute,” Rebecca smiled.

“Do you want me to go to school with an empty stomach?” Amira asked.

“Not really, so how are you?” Rebecca asked and they started walking to school.

“I am okay, how about you?” Amira questioned.

“I am okay too,” Rebecca replied.

“Where is Emmanuel? I heard he is attending a new school now,” Amira stated.

“Yes, he is attending St. John’s primary school. And my mum is taking him there,” Rebecca explained.

“That’s great. So how is your Mathematics tutor?” Amira smiled.

“I don’t know, he didn’t come yesterday,” Rebecca replied.

“I bet you don’t hate him anymore, right?” Amira asked.

“Maybe,” Rebecca replied.

“What do you mean by maybe? You know he created the best scene in school ever yesterday to save. What can possibly be wrong with him?” Amira asked.

“Have you forgotten that my mum slapped me because of him?” Rebecca recalled.

“Come on, you can’t possibly hate him forever because of that. You don’t know how he impressed everyone at school yesterday to save you,” Amira revealed.

“Really?” Rebecca asked.

“Yes of course, everyone in class kept talking about him after you were gone,” Amira revealed.

“They asked me if I knew who he was and I told that he is and I told them that he is the best student in this university,” Amira told.

“Who told you that?” Rebecca asked, looking shocked.

“You did, of course. You said it was the very reason your mother hired him to teach you,” Amira said.

“I never said he is the best student in this university,” Rebecca replied.

They got to the main road where they boarded a taxi to school.

***

Around 10 am, Richard walked into a lecture theatre where they were supposed to have a lecture by 11 o’clock. He sat on one of the front seats and brought out his books and started going through them. He was alone in the lecture theatre, so the lecture theatre was totally quiet.

About 30 minutes later, students started arriving into the lecture hall. Students usually come early into the lecture hall so that they can sit in the front. About fifteen minutes later, a quarter of the theatre was filled with students.

“Excuse Me, you are sitting on my seat,” came a voice.

When Richard looked up, it was Janet talking to the person sitting next to him.

“And how is this supposed to be your seat?” The man sitting next Richard asked.

At this point, all the attention in the hall was on them.

“Well, I was here earlier, I just went out to get something,” Janet replied.

“That’s untrue, I was the second person to come to this place after Richard,” the man replied.

“Well, you should ask Richard yourself. We have been sitting here together, I only went out to get something and it took me so long,” Janet answered.

“Is that right Richard?” The man asked as he turned to Richard.

Before Richard could say a word, Janet winked at him.

“Yes, she was here with me. I just forgot to tell you,” Richard said.

“Why didn’t you tell me then?” The man asked angrily.

“Sorry, it must have slipped my mind,” Richard apologized.

The man angrily stood up and left the seat while Janet sat there confidently.

Richard was totally amazed at the way she spoke to the man with confidence even pretending to be angry as if she was innocent.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” Janet asked when she noticed how Richard was staring at her.

“Nothing,” Richard smiled and looked away.

“If you have something in your mind that you want to say, say it,” Janet said, giving Richard rolling her eyes.

“I just pity that man,” Richard replied.

“So you don’t pity me?” Janet asked, pretending to be angry.

“As a matter of fact, yes, why should I pity you?” Richard asked.

“If that’s the case, then I have to find another seat,” she said as she tried to stand up.

“The man is still over there watching us angrily. If you don’t want to get both in very big trouble, then you should get seated,” Richard said.

When she looked in the direction Richard was looking, indeed the man was glaring at them angrily. Janet quietly sat back without saying a word.

“Are you scared of him?” she asked.

“Of course I am, just look at his size, he can eat both of us alive,” Richard giggled. Suddenly, Janet started laughing out loud that people close to them looked at them. They were all surprised to see Janet talking to Richard like that.

About 10 minutes later, the lecturer came in and the hall went silent. He started his lecture and lectured for about two hours. After he declared that the lecture was over, all the students started leaving but Richard remained seated.

“Hey, aren’t you leaving?” Janet asked. “Actually not, I still have some places I have to cover,” Richard revealed.

“Come on, today is a free day for us, you need to relax and enjoy yourself,” Janet suggested.

“Have you forgotten that we have an assignment to do?” Richard asked.

“We’ve got plenty of time before the date line of the submission, do you mean you want to do it now?” Janet asked.

“Yes of course, I won’t have a calm mind if I don’t do it now,” Richard replied.

“Thank God you are my friend, and I will use our friendship to my advantage,” Janet announced.

“Really?” Richard asked.

“Yes, there are things I don’t really understand. I would like you to teach me,” Janet said.

“Janet , we are going,” said a voice behind them. When Richard and Janet turned, they noticed that it was Janet ‘s friends try to leave the lecture theatre.

“You guys should go ahead, Richard is going to teach me something,” Janet revealed.

“Okay, you know where to find us if you are done,” one of her friends replied and they turned and left.

Richard brought out one of his books from his bag and started teaching Janet with it.

He taught her for about 30 minutes until she disclosed that she was tired.

“Come on, we just started,” Richard teased.

“Started? Have you forgotten that we had a two hour lecture?” Janet reminded me.

“No I haven’t,” Richard laughed.

“You see, even a machine needs a rest, so do I,” Janet said.

“Alright then,” Richard responded.

“Tell me more about you Richard,” Janet uttered as she laid her head on the desk of her seat.

“My life is boring, there is nothing much to say,” Richard replied.

“That’s untrue. You are one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met, I only realized that after I have come to know you,” Janet revealed.

“Really?” Richard asked surprisingly.

“Yes of course, so tell me about your family,” Janet requested.

“Well, there are three of us in my family. My elder sister, younger sister and I. Our parents died 10 years ago in a car accident,” Richard revealed.

“Oh I’m so sorry to hear about your loss,” Janet said as she lifted her head off the desk.

“No problem, my elder sister had gotten married 5 years ago, so she gave up everything to see that I study, that is why I give it my best,” Richard revealed.

“She must be the bravest woman of the century,” Janet complimented.

“I think she is,” Richard smiled.

“What about your younger sister? How old is she?” Janet asked.

“She is 15 years old, currently in SS1,” Richard explained.

“That’s wonderful, I wish I could meet her in person,” Janet said.

“Don’t worry, I do have a picture of her in my phone,” Richard revealed.

“Can I take a look?” She requested.

“Yes of course,” Richard said, and he took out his phone and showed Janet the picture.

“You guys look pretty much alike, what is her name?” Janet asked.

“Her name is Susan, but we call her Mimi,” Richard answered.

“So, Mimi is her nickname,” Janet replied.

“Yes it is,” Richard responded.

“What about you? What’s your nickname?” Janet asked.

“Is so embarrassing, I can’t tell you,” Richard laughed.

“Is that so?” Janet laughed as well.

“Yes of course, it was given to me by my grandmother when I was a kid,” Richard revealed.

“What about your younger sister, who gave her the nickname she has?” Janet asked.

“When she was very little, it was something she liked saying when she was hungry. That’s why my family named her with it,” Richard explained.

“That’s so funny,” Janet laughed.

Before they knew it, the whole crowd became silent because it was Friday. They stood up and walked out of the hall and noticed that the whole faculty was quiet with only a few students around.

“Looks like everyone has gone,” Janet said as they headed out of the faculty.

“Yes, I’m surprised that time has moved very fast like that,” Richard replied.

“Time moves faster when you’re enjoying it, ” Janet responded.

“Do you mean you had a good time with me?” Richard asked.

“I will be a liar if I say I didn’t,” Janet replied with a smile on her face.

Richard smiled back and could not say anything.

“Tell me about your girlfriend,” Janet asked.

“Actually I don’t have a girlfriend,” Richard replied.

“Wow! You must be kidding, right?” Janet asked, pretending to be surprised.

“I’m really serious Janet , I think I told you that the other day,” Richard replied.

“I can’t recall you telling me that,” Janet responded.

“Well, now you do,” Richard answered.

“But why don’t you have a girlfriend?” She asked.

“I don’t know, maybe I am not handsome,” Richard replied and Janet laughed.

“Of course you are. You are indeed very handsome,” Janet said with a smile.

“And you are indeed very beautiful,” Richard said after he had stopped with all seriousness in his eyes.

“Really?” Janet asked as she stopped walking too, and the smile on her face faded.

At that moment, Richard’s heart beat like it never had. It was the bravest thing he ever said to a girl in person. At that moment, it was like his desire for her had increased a million times. He couldn’t believe he had actually said those words to her.

“In fact, you are the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen,” Richard continued.

“This is the lie that every boy tells a girl,” Janet replied.

“Believe me, this is the first time I am saying words like this to a girl,” Richard replied.

“Really?” Janet asked.

“Yes Janet , I really mean it,” Richard continued.

“Okay, thanks for the compliment,” she said and continued walking.

“I am going to be late, my friends are waiting for me,” she said as she looked back with a smile on her face. Richard walked to her and they continued walking together.

“How old are you?” She asked him.

“I’m 18 years old,” Richard replied.

“Wow! Are you serious?” Janet asked astoundingly.

“Yes of course. Why do you look surprised?” Richard asked.

“Well, that’s because I’m very much older than you,” Janet replied.

“How old are you?” Richard asked.

“I’m 23 years old,” Janet revealed. Richard started laughing instantly.

“Do you think I’m a kid to believe that?” Richard asked.

“Yes of course, let me show you something,” Janet said as she took out her phone from her purse. She showed him a scanned picture of her birth certificate, and Richard could not believe it.

“So I have been hanging out with a granny all along, and I have no clue,” Richard teased.

“Who are you calling granny?” Janet asked, pretending to be angry.

“You of course, it never came to me that you will be older than me,” Richard revealed.

“No wonder you do act childish sometimes,” Janet smiled.

“When did I ever act childish?” Richard asked.

“Well, you were even scared to say I’m that beautiful, isn’t that childish enough?” Janet smiled.

“How did you know?” Richard asked confusingly.

“Well, it’s because I’m older than you,” Janet laughed. They got the road that will lead to the dormitory, and Richard boarded a taxi.

Chapter 12

In the evening, Richard went to Prof. Grace’s house. When he got there, he found Rebecca sitting with her friend on a rest bench on the opposite side of their house. They were both going through their phones and laughing at the same time.

Richard stood still and couldn’t take his eyes off Rebecca. Her hair was beautifully plaited falling on her forehead. She wore a black dress that was completely the opposite of her skin. And when she smiled, dimples appeared on her cheeks. She looked up and their eyes met.

Richard quickly looked away with his beating fast. She stood up from the bench and approached him.

“Good evening,” she greeted him.

“Good evening, how are you?” Richard answered somewhat surprised.

“I’m okay, you can come in,” she said as she proceeded to the door of the house.

She opened the door and entered while Richard followed her.

When they got into the house, she proceeded to her room, while Richard walked to the dining table. He waited for her for a couple of minutes before she finally appeared with her books.

She brought the books and placed them on the table next to Richard.

She drew back one of the dining chairs and sat down on it.

“What did your Mathematics teacher said to you today at school?” Richard asked.

“He didn’t say anything,” Rebecca replied.

“I expected he wouldn’t,” Richard replied.

“I know you do hate me, and you will never learn from a teacher you hate. So please, if it is possible, you should stop hating me temporarily.

You can continue to hate me after I have taught you,” Richard continued. “Okay,” Rebecca replied.

“If you want to be very good at calculation, you have to give it all that you’ve got,” Richard advised.

“Alright, I will try,” Rebecca responded.

“You spare at least 3 hours out of your 24 hours to practise, that way, you will be perfect,” Richard continued.

“Alright, I will try doing that,” Rebecca agreed.

Richard started teaching her some simple problems. Unlike before, she gave her maximum attention. Richard was very glad that Rebecca was paying attention. After 30 minutes of the lesson, Richard decided to test her by giving her some exercise.

Surprisingly, she solved all of them.

“Wow! You are more intelligent than I expected you to be,” Richard smiled.

“Really?” She asked with a doubt.

“And believe me, If you practise harder, I can make you the best student in mathematics in your school,” Richard promised.

“There are many intelligent kids in my school, I don’t think that is possible,” Rebecca doubted.

“Any is possible if you believe in yourself. Haven’t you heard the story I told yesterday? These were the very words I said to my teacher when she said she will make me the best student in Mathematics in my secondary school. I gave her the same reply and she encouraged me to believe I could do it. And at the end, I was not only the best student in Mathematics, but in order subjects too,” Richard revealed.

“I will be graduating next year, don’t you think it is too late for me?” Rebecca asked.

“It is only too late after you have graduated. Besides, you have just started your SS 2, there is still time for you,” Richard emphasized.

“Well, I can try my best to be good. But being the best is something that can never happen. There are two students in my class called Hassan and Migrate. Those kids are like the devil, they can solve any problem given to them during our junior years,” Rebecca said.

“That’s because they have given it their very best, have you ever given it your best? Studied like you will die tomorrow?” Richard asked and Rebecca shook her head.

“From the way I see it, you have potential. If you maximize your efforts, you will definitely succeed,” Richard insisted.

“Okay master Richard, I will give it my best,” Rebecca said as she put her hands and bowed like a Chinese and Richard started laughing at her.

“Should we continue with the lesson, or is it okay for today?” Richard asked.

“I like it, we should continue,” Rebecca smiled.

He taught for another 30 minutes before he finally concluded the lesson by giving her some assignments to do. As he stood up to leave, Rebecca asked him to wait for her and she ran to the kitchen.

About five minutes later, she came back holding a yam porridge on a plate in one hand and a bottle of coke in the other hand. She placed it on the dining table and removed all the books from the table.

“Thank you so much,” Richard appreciated.

“You are welcome,” she smiled.

“Wow! It tastes delicious, did you cook it yourself?” Richard commented after taking his spoon.

“It tastes horrible, I wasn’t even paying attention while I was cooking it,” Rebecca bragged.

“Wow! Then that means I can forget my name if I taste your best dish,” Richard joked.

“I think so,” Rebecca giggled.

“Let me go to the kitchen first, I will be back before you finish eating,” Rebecca said.

“Alright,” Richard replied.

About five minutes later, Rebecca came back just when Richard had finished eating.

“Are you done eating?” she asked.

“Yes I am, thank you for the meal” Richard replied.

“Don’t mention it,” Rebecca replied.

Richard walked out of the house with Rebecca behind him.

It was already dark when they got out. Richard was relieved that he had eaten and he didn’t have to go back to the dormitory to eat before going for his night studies.

“Alright, I will be coming tomorrow around 10 am, since tomorrow is a weekend,” Richard announced.

“Alright, I will be waiting,” Rebecca replied.

After he walked out of the house, he decided to go to one of the halls close to him and study.

As he started making his way, his phone started ringing. When he took out the phone, he noticed that it was Paul calling him. But when he answered the call, it was a different voice he heard.

Richard: Can I know who’s on the line?

Caller: I want to know if you know the owner of this phone.

Richard: he is my friend

Caller: Okay, come to Tamuwa ward

Before Richard could ask for what was wrong, the caller ended the call. He began totally scared thinking what might have happened to Richard. Because the area that the caller mentioned was faraway, Richard had to get some money before he could get there. He quickly ran back to his campus and took his credit card. He returned to one of the ATM machines in the school and withdrew some money. He boarded a taxi that took him to the gate of the school.

After he was dropped at the gate of the school, he boarded another taxi that would take him to where Paul was. When he arrived at the area, he called Paul’s phone again and the same person that called answered the call. The person instructed Richard to go to a building that seemed to be very old with no light in it.

As soon as he entered the building, he started to smell marijuana at every corner of the building. His heart beating as he was overwhelmed with fear. He wanted to leave, but he worried about what might have happened to Paul. He then walked into the inner part of the building where red fired of cigarette all over.

Richard dialed Paul’s number, and he heard the phone ringing in the corner of the building. He walked to the corner and found Paul lying on the ground in the mist of some boys. Before one of the boys could answer the call, Richard ended it.

“I’m here,” Richard said.

“Oh are you his friend?” the boy asked.

“Yes I am,” Richard replied.

“Well, your friend took something more that his brain could contain,” the boy laughed.

Richard was altogether taken aback in the condition he found Paul. It was as if he was the person he knew.

“Paul!” Richard called out.

“Don’t waste your energy, he can’t hear you in the next three days,” the boys laughed. Richard asked one of the boys for help, and they helped to carry Paul outside the building. Richard stopped a taxi and he entered along with Paul. The taxi took them back to school to Richard’s dormitory.

Richard called one of his roommates and he helped him in taking Paul in and laid him on his bed. After Richard had laid him down, he walked out of the room and sat on a bench in front of the room. He placed his hands on his head and couldn’t believe what was happening. It was then that Richard realised why Paul missed so many lectures the previous semester and why he is rarely seen at night. Richard felt like he didn’t know him anymore.

He began to think of a way he would approach him if he woke up. About 30 minutes later, Richard stood up and walked out of their hostel in order to get some fresh air. He then decided to visit the school north club.

It was where the students in the north campus used to entertain themselves. Some students usually go there to play snooker, while others go there to play table tennis.

When Richard walked into the club, he was really shocked to notice Janet playing snooker in the mist of 4 boys.

Their class representative was among the boys standing beside her. Richard felt an anger he had never felt before. He watched her angrily as she laughed and play among them.

When she looked up, she saw Richard staring at her and she quickly looked away pretending not to have seen him. He quickly walked out of the club and decided to go back to his room on campus.

He went a little distance when he heard Janet shouting out his name.

“Where are you going in such a hurry?” she asked after she had finally got to where he was.

“Somewhere you don’t need to know,” Richard replied with an angered face.

“Why are you like this?” Janet asked confusingly.

“What is wrong with you?” Richard asked furiously.

“I don’t know, you tell me,” Janet responded. “How can you mingle yourself in the mist of those boys as if you are not a girl?” Richard asked.

“Are you jealous?” Janet asked.

“No I’m not, it just makes you look less classy and cheap,” Richard replied.

“Stop being childish Richard, they are just my friends like you are. If you are not okay with that, then I guess we can’t be friends,” Janet responded.

“I guess so,” Richard replied and he turned and left.

***

Around 12 am, Prof. Grace woke up from sleeping and went to the dining room to take some water. She was so surprised to find Rebecca still studying. She had been studying for the past 3 hours. Prof. Grace had never seen Rebecca studying, for that reason, it seemed like a miracle to her.

She walked to her daughter and found her battling with mathematical problems. Prof. Grace smiled and watched her daughter with excitement. Rebecca had never impressed her like she did that day.

“Good work dear,” Prof. Grace complimented.

“Thank you mum,” Rebecca turned with a smile.

“Were you given some assignments at school?” Prof. Grace asked.

“Actually not, I’m practicing what Richard taught me,” Rebecca responded.

“I see. If you study really hard, I promise I will give you a surprise you have never expected,” Prof. Grace mentioned.

“I will try my very best mum,” Rebecca assured her mother.

“Alright, see you in the morning,” Pro. Grace said.

“Goodnight mum,” Rebecca replied. After her mum was gone, she stood up and went to the kitchen and had some fried chips of plantain before going back to study. About 10 minutes later, she started feeling sleepy. She packed her books and went to her room with them.

Chapter 13

In the morning, Janet visited her friend Riskat while was cooking breakfast.

“Hello, baby girl,” Janet said as she entered the room.

“How are you doing dear?” Riskat answered.

“I’m well,” Janet replied as she sat on Riskat’s bed.

Riskat was cooking her breakfast on a kerosene stove at the extreme end of the room. The aroma of the food filled the entire room.

“What are you cooking for us today?” Janet asked.

“It’s just spaghetti, and I’m tired of eating it,” Riskat replied.

“You could have come to me, I would have given you something to cook,” Janet replied.

“Maybe I will come tomorrow,” Riskat said.

“I will be waiting for you,” Janet replied.

“It seems to me like you don’t really cook,” Riskat noticed.

“I do cook, but not that much. Sometimes, I spend 3 days without cooking,” Janet said.

“Well, that’s because you are rich,” Riskat replied.

“Rich? I am just a daughter of a poor man like you. I just feel lazy to cook,” Janet laughed.

“So how is your cute Engineer?” Riskat asked.

“Do you mean Richard?” Janet asked.

“Yes him,” Riskat replied.

“He is a total jerk. I had a fight with him last night,” Janet revealed.

“Really? What happened?” Riskat asked surprisingly.

“He is too childish. He saw me playing a game at the club with Daniel and claimed that he was mad about it,” Janet explained.

“What did you say to him?” Riskat asked.

“I told him that if he can’t stand my male friends, then we won’t be friends,” Janet replied.

“It seems like he is jealous,” Riskat replied.

“That’s what I thought, but he declared that he is not,” Janet responded.

“You behave as if you are new to boys,” Riskat replied.

“Well, he’s quite different. He is so unpredictable,” Janet replied.

“It is obvious that he is interested in you,” Riskat stated.

“I don’t think so, besides, I don’t want to be in a serious relationship with him,” Janet responded.

“I am your best friend, you can’t lie to me,” Riskat laughed.

After about 10 minutes, Riskat finished cooking her breakfast. She put some of the food on a plate and handed it to Janet .

“Oh my God, this food is too spicy,” Janet shouted after she took the first spoon.

“Maybe your mouth is injured, because I don’t see anything wrong with this food,” Riskat laughed.

“Whoever marries you will have a hard time coping with your food. It tastes like fire and yet you don’t feel it?” Janet asked.

“Well, I’m used to my foods like this. Before a man marries me, I will inform him about my taste in food, ” Riskat said.

“You are not serious,” Janet replied.

Riskat asked Janet to wait for her while she went to the bathroom to take a bath. About 20 minutes later, Riskat returned from the bathroom. She was in the middle of dressing herself when Janet asked her.

“Are you going somewhere?”

“Yes I am. Do you remember when I told you that one of my cousins is getting married?” Riskat asked.

“Yes, I recall you telling me that,” Janet responded.

“She had gotten married, and it turns out that her husband works here, so she will be living here as well,” Riskat explained.

“That’s wonderful, you don’t have to worry about paying for your accommodation anymore,” Janet said.

“I think so,” Riskat replied.

“Well, they moved here 3 days ago and I’m planning to visit them. I am hoping that you will accompany me there,” Riskat requested.

“I would love to,” Janet agreed.

After Riskat was done dressing, they walked out together and went to the main road where they boarded a cab that will take them to Riskat’s cousin. The cab drove for about 30 minutes before it finally got to the place that Riskat’s cousin demonstrated to her.

They got down from the car and Riskat used her phone to call her cousin. About 5 minutes later, her cousin’s younger sister came to take them to the house.

“Hey, Hadiza, so you followed the newly wed couples here,” Riskat smiled.

“I had no choice, mum insisted that I must come along with Maryam here,” Hadiza replied.

She was a short girl with perfect round eyes.

“It’s good to see you,” Riskat smiled at her.

“It’s good to see you too,” Hadiza smiled back.

“The house is this way, follow me please,” Hadiza instructed and Janet and Riskat walked behind her.

They walked a certain distance before arriving at the house. It was a small 2 storey building painted in white. Hadiza proceeded to the gate of the house and opened it. After they had all entered, she locked the gate of the house.

She then guided them to the living room of the house where they found Riskat’s cousin sitting with her husband. The moment her cousin saw her, she ran to her and hugged her.

“Just look at how you’ve become Maryam, it is so saddening that I didn’t see you on your wedding day,” Riskat said.

“No problem, I was told that you were busy with school,” Maryam replied.

“Yes I was, but thank God you are here,” Riskat replied.

“Please sit down,” Maryam said pointing at the sofas.

***

At around 9 am, Paul woke up and found himself in Richard’s room. He was suddenly overcome by fear knowing that Richard had known his secret. Richard was sitting on a small table going through his books. He pretended not to have seen Paul waking up.

“Hey Richard,” Paul said.

“You are finally awake,” Richard replied.

“Yes, how did I get here?” Paul asked.

“Well, that’s our special topic of discussion today. How did you get here?” Richard asked him.

“To be honest, I don’t recall anything,” Paul replied.

“Why don’t you recall anything?” Richard asked.

“Well, I don’t really know,” Paul replied.

“Because you were drugged, that’s why you couldn’t recall anything,” Richard responded.

“Really?” Paul asked.

“Stop pretending you don’t know anything. I have been thinking all night about what to say to you in the morning, but it turns out that I have nothing to say to you,” Richard said.

“It is your life. You know the difference between wrong and right, whatever you do, you live with the consequences not anyone,” Richard continued when Paul could not say anything.

“Yes that’s correct,” Paul responded.

“I’m glad you know. But you really surprised me last night, I never you are willing to throw away your life like that,” Richard said.

“Come on Richard, this is the modern world, almost everybody does that,” Paul replied.

“Is that so? Then look around you and tell me. Are all those people doing drugs successful till the end of their life?” Richard asked.

“I know of some who are successful,” Paul replied.

“If you think you will succeed, then you can go on with your life like that,” Richard said.

***

Around 9:30 am, Rebecca woke up from her long unending sleep. She stretched her arm to pick up her phone that was kept on a white stool beside her bed. She quickly stood up when she noticed what the time was. She was very surprised why her mother didn’t wake her to cook breakfast.

She quickly walked out of her room and then noticed her mother sitting in the living room watching the morning news.

“Good morning mum,” Rebecca greeted.

“Good morning Rebecca, how was your night?” Prof. Grace asked.

“It was okay,” Rebecca replied.

“Why didn’t you wake me early mum?” she continued.

“I have already prepared breakfast, I know you slept very late last night,” her mother smiled.

“Thank you so much mum,” Rebecca smiled back.

“I hope you will keep working hard like that,” Her mother said.

“I will mum. Let me go and get ready, Richard will be coming in the next thirty minutes,” Rebecca announced.

“Is that so? Okay go and get ready,” her mother allowed her.

She went to her bathroom and brushed her teeth before taking her bath. After she finished bathing, she went to the big dressing mirror beside her bed and started putting on some makeup.

She was in the middle of dressing up when Emmanuel walked into her room and announced to her that Richard had arrived.

“Tell him I will be out in five minutes,” Rebecca told her little brother.

About 15 minutes later, Rebecca walked out of her room. The moment Richard saw, his heart started beating faster than ever. For a moment, he had forgotten who she was. She wore a red shirt that looked like it matched the colour of her skin and blue jeans.

She looked so gorgeous that Richard couldn’t take his eyes off her. She walked to him sitting in the dining room with her books in her hands.

“I heard that you woke up late today,” Richard smiled.

“Did she tell you?” Rebecca asked, looking in the direction of her mother sitting in the living room.

“Oh yes she did,” Richard replied.

“This woman knows how to embarrass me more than anyone. The other time, she told everyone during our family gathering what I did during my childhood. Only God knows how embarrassed I was,” Rebecca said as she sat down beside Richard.

“Well, we all did ridiculous things during our childhood,” Richard replied.

As Richard looked into her eyes while she was talking, he felt as if she was consuming his soul.

The way her lips moved and the sound of voice couldn’t seize to amaze him.

“So how was your night?” She asked.

“It was horrible,” Richard replied.

“What happened?” She asked.

“Well, there is this friend that I have. I trusted him so much, and it turns out that he had been doing drugs,” Richard replied.

“That’s very bad. You know most kids nowadays are spoiled, this problem is also rampant in my school. Just recently, a group of 10 boys were reported to be doing drugs,” Rebecca informed.

“Really?” Richard asked surprisingly.

“Yes, but it is a good thing that you are not like other kids,” Rebecca said.

“Kids?” Richard retorted.

“So you mean I’m also a kid?” Richard asked.

“Well, according to my classification, you are. Since you are not up to 20,” Rebecca said after she had stopped laughing.

“And how sure are you that I’m not up to 20?” Richard asked.

“You look very young of course,” Rebecca replied.

“For your information, I’m 22 years old,” Richard lied.

“Really? Rebecca asked, really surprised.

Before Richard could say something, Rebecca noticed that her mother was looking at them.

“Let’s start our lesson, mum is looking at us,” Rebecca whispered.

“Okay, let me see the work I gave you yesterday,” Richard requested.

Rebecca opened through the pages of her book and showed it to him.

“Wow! You got everything correct,” Richard said with astonishment.

“Yes I did,” Rebecca smiled.

“You see what I told you? Becoming the best student in your class is not impossible,” Richard said.

“I’m beginning to believe you,” was Rebecca’s answer.

“Alright, let’s continue from where we stopped yesterday,” Richard said and they began their lesson.

Rebecca paid her maximum attention while Richard was teaching her. She asked him questions of where she didn’t understand, and Richard gladly explained it to her. He taught her about 40 minutes before giving her some problems to solve. While she was solving the problems, Richard could not take his eyes off her.

Her hairstyle, the makeup she applied on her face and the perfume coming from her body were all endearing. When she rolled her eyes up, she caught him staring at her and he quickly looked away. She continued solving her problems as if nothing had happened.

Richard took out his phone and started going through it. About 30 minutes later, she informed him that she was done. He collected the book from her and went through the exercises he gave her.

After going through everything, he corrected her in three places which were just minor errors.

“You did well, I’m sure you will get better in the next few days,” Richard encouraged.

“I hope so,” Rebecca replied.

“How old are you?” Richard asked.

“Why do you want to know my age?” Rebecca asked.

“I want to know that’s all,” Richard replied.

“I don’t plan on disclosing that to you right now,” Rebecca replied.

“Well, there is an exercise that I want to give you that involves me knowing your age. So knowing your age right now is really necessary,” Richard said.

“Wow! How clever of you. You want to use your teaching authority to trick me, aren’t you?” she asked.

“Yes of course. And if you don’t tell me, I will go to your mum and ask her to tell me embarrassing stories of your childhood,” Richard smiled.

“Is that supposed to scare me?” she laughed.

“Yes it is. And if it’s not, I’m on my way to go and ask her,” Richard replied.

“You absolutely are free to do that, I’m not stopping you,” Rebecca laughed.

Richard stood up and headed towards the direction of Rebecca’s mother.

“Aren’t you stopping me,” Richard whispered. Rebecca smiled and shook her head signalling him to go ahead.

“Are you done with the lesson?” Prof. Grace asked when she saw Richard approaching her.

“Yes we are,” Richard smiled.

“How is she coping with the lesson?” She inquired again.

“She is really good, She will improve in no time,” Richard assured.

“Thank you, Richard, seeing her like this seems like a miracle,” Prof. Grace said.

When Rebecca saw how Richard was talking to her mother, she was surprised and curious of what they were talking about.

She quickly stood up and went to them.

“What did he ask you mum?” Rebecca curiously asked and Richard started laughing at her.

“Goodbye, I’m going ma’am,” Richard said as he walked out.

“Alright Richard, see you next time” Prof. Grace responded.

“What did he ask you?” Rebecca inquired.

“Why are you curious about what he asked?” Prof. Grace asked Rebecca.

“I was just curious,” Rebecca replied as she walked after Richard.

“I know you couldn’t ask her,” Rebecca said after they’d both gotten out of the house.

“Well, I just don’t want to embarrass you,” Richard said as he turned with a smile on his face.

“Thank you for teaching me today,” she smiled as she turned to go back.

“Do you know what?” Richard asked. “What is it?” Rebecca asked as she curiously walked back to Richard.

“Before I get to know you, I thought you were just an arrogant kid,” Richard revealed.

“Oh my God, I’m hurt,” Rebecca said and placed her two hands on her chest.

“Allow me to finish before you judge my statement,” Richard laughed.

“Alright, I’m listening,” she said as she folded her arms.

“But now that I know you, it turns out that you are a cute intelligent little girl,” Richard said. “Thank you,” Rebecca smiled.

“Alright, I will see you on Monday,” Richard concluded.

“You too,” Rebecca smiled.

Chapter 14

Richard walked a little further away from Prof. Grace’s house when heard Rebecca shouting and calling for him. He turned and watched her as she walked to him.

“I was sent by my mum to ask you for a favour,” Rebecca disclosed after she stopped walking.

“What is it?” Richard asked.

“Well, it even makes me uncomfortable to say it,” Rebecca replied.

“Come on, just tell me,” Richard said.

“Okay, my mum wanted to know if you can help me do some shopping at the market,” Rebecca requested.

Richard kept quiet for a while without saying.

“I knew it, it was ridiculous of me to say that,” Rebecca said as she turned to go back.

“Is okay, I can accompany you,” Richard assured.

“Really?” she asked.

“Yes I will,” Richard responded.

They walked back to the house where Richard found Prof. Grace still sitting in the living room.

“Sorry for calling you back, I want you to accompany Rebecca to the market. She is doing the monthly shopping for us this time,” Prof. Grace announced.

“That’s okay with me ma’am,” Richard assured.

Prof. Grace gave him the key to her and her credit card to Rebecca.

Rebecca and Richard walked out to the car that was parked at the front of the house. They both entered the car and Richard started the engine.

“I’m surprised that you don’t know to drive,” Richard said to Rebecca as he started driving.

“Well, in the next two years, I will start driving,” Rebecca responded.

“That means you are sixteen years old,” Richard laughed.

“Oh my God, I can’t believe I disclosed my age to you,” Rebecca cried out.

“It would have been better if you had told me earlier,” Richard replied.

“So you brought this topic on purpose to make me confess, right?” Rebecca asked.

“Actually not, I was just asking. And I used my common sense to know your age from your answer,” Richard replied.

“From now on, I will be careful when I answer your question,” Rebecca smiled.

“So, who taught you how to drive?” Rebecca asked.

“I was taught by friends about 3 years ago,” Richard replied.

“I thought you were going to say it was your father,” Rebecca said.

“I wish it was really him too,” Richard replied.

“What happened to him?” Rebecca asked.

“Actually, both of my parents died 10 years ago,” Richard replied.

“Oh that’s terrible, I really am so sorry to hear about that,” Rebecca apologized.

“Is okay,” Richard replied.

“I also lost my father 3 years ago,” Rebecca announced.

“I’m sorry to hear about his death too,” Richard replied.

“Well, it looks like we have something in common,” Rebecca said.

“Yes I think so,” Richard smiled.

“So, where are you from?” Rebecca asked.

“I’m from a town called Okene, located in Kogi state,” Richard responded.

“I know it is a nice place,” Rebecca complimented.

“Yes it is,” Richard replied.

They drove out of the university and headed to the town’s central market that was 10 kilometres away.

While they were driving, they were overtaken by a lady in a little Toyota. Richard turned and looked at Rebecca.

“Will you please focus on your driving?” Rebecca said.

“I was wondering if I could teach you how to drive,” Richard offered.

“That will be illegal, I’m sixteen, remember?” Rebecca asked.

“Who cares about the law anyway? I started driving when I was 15 years old,” Richard revealed.

“Wait a minute; you said you started driving 3 years ago earlier. And now you said you were 15 when you started driving. This literally means that you are 18 years old,” Rebecca noticed.

“Nope I just wanted the level of your Mathematics,” Richard said trying to outsmart her.

“For your information Mr. Mathematician, I am not a dumb kid,” Rebecca laughed.

“Of course you are. And the good thing is that you are a fast learning kid,” Richard said.

“Stop pretending Richard, you have already busted yourself just like I did,” Rebecca said.

“Really?” Richard asked.

“Yes of course, I Know your real age now, you don’t need to act bossy around me anymore,” Rebecca said.

“Don’t forget, I still have authority over you since I’m your teacher,” Richard hinted.

“You are just two years older than I, we can be categorized as age mates,” Rebecca laughed.

“Is that what you think?” Richard asked.

“Yes, that’s what I think,” she replied.

They drove for some minutes before arriving at a shopping mall close to the central market. They got down from the car after Richard had parked it in the parking space.

“I like your handbag,” Richard said as they were walking to an ATM machine located next to the shopping mall.

“Thank you,” Rebecca smiled.

“Did mum buy it for you?” Richard asked.

“Not really, I bought it last Christmas,” Rebecca replied.

“Is red your favourite colour?” Richard asked.

“Why do you ask?” Rebecca responded.

“I’m just asking,” Richard replied.

“Pink is my favourite colour, what about you?” she asked.

“I love black,” Richard replied.

“That’s cool,” Rebecca commented.

“I would love to see you wearing pink,” Richard said.

“Really? Can I ask you why?” Rebecca said.

“I just want to see if you choose the right colour to favour. Because if it doesn’t look pretty on you, it is not the right colour for you,” Richard said.

“Don’t worry, you will see me in pink one day,” Rebecca said smiling.

“Do you know what?” Richard said.

“No I don’t,” she replied.

“I think you should choose red to be your favourite colour,” Richard suggested.

“And why should I do that?” she asked.

“Because it looks pretty on you,” Richard answered.

“Really?” Rebecca asked as she stopped.

It was then that Richard realized the magnitude of what he had said. His heart started beating faster as Rebecca stopped walking.

“Why do you stop walking?” Richard asked.

“Never mind, let’s keep walking,” She said and they continued to walk.

They arrived at the ATM machine and Rebecca used her mother’s credit card to withdraw some cash from the machine. After that, they headed towards the mall. As they were about to enter the mall, they come across Janet and Riskat going out of the same mall.

Richard quickly looked away after making eye contact with Janet . He pretended like he hadn’t seen her and started talking to Rebecca. They walked past each other without saying hi.

After they entered the mall, Janet turned and looked at them.

Somehow, Richard did not feel anything. Rather, he was happy Janet had seen him with Rebecca.

“If she thinks she is beautiful, Rebecca is also pretty,” Richard thought with a smile on his face.

“What happened?” Rebecca asked when she noticed the smile on Richard’s face.

“Is nothing,” Richard replied. They met one of the employees at the mall and gave her the list of items they wanted. The employee went around and gathered everything on the list.

After she was done, she asked one of the workers to take the items to their car. The worker took the items and put them in a cart. He then pulled the cart to their car that was parked outside the mall. Richard opened the trunk for him and he put everything in it. Richard and Rebecca entered the car and drove to the central market where they bought some vegetables.

“Will you please take me to one of my friend’s place? It’s been long since I last visited her,” Rebecca requested.

“No problem, anything for my student,” Richard smiled.

They entered the car and headed to her friend’s house. It was a small bungalow with a low fence close to the main road. Richard parked the car beside the house and Rebecca got out of the car before Richard even stopped the engine.

She headed toward the entrance of the house and knocked at the door. Her friend walked to the door and opened it.

“What a surprise, you didn’t tell me you are coming,” Her friend said.

“We came to shop and I used that opportunity to come and pay you a visit,” Rebecca said.

“Oh that’s very nice of you,” her friend appreciated.

“Why don’t you come in?” Her friend continued.

“Actually, I’m with a friend,” Rebecca responded.

“Where is she then?” Her friend requested.

“He is a boy, and he is in the car,” Rebecca replied.

“Did you come with a car? I never knew you had a male friend that drives a car,” her friend said as she walked out of the house.

“Now you do,” Rebecca smiled.

“Isn’t that your mother’s car?” her friend asked.

“Yes it is,” Rebecca replied.

“So who is this friend of yours?” her friend curiously asked.

“He is the one I told you about who teaches me mathematics,” Rebecca explained.

“Ohh, you mean your hero?” her friend sighted.

“Oh yes,” Rebecca laughed.

“I would like to meet him,” her friend insisted.

“Okay,” Rebecca replied.

They walked to the car and Richard opened the door when he saw them getting close to the car.

“Hey Richard, I would like you to meet my friend Alice,” Rebecca introduced.

“Hey Alice, how are you doing?” Richard asked.

“I’m doing well, how about you?” she asked.

“I’m doing great, Alice,” Richard replied.

“When she said she came with a friend, I thought she got herself a boyfriend,” Alice teased.

“Did she say I was her friend? I’m her teacher, not friend,” Richard said.

“Don’t mind him, he is just two years older than I,” Rebecca interfered.

“Is that so? I certainly know that before you were born, I knew how to talk properly. So it means I have a lot of experience before you were born,” Richard replied.

“I have never seen a two year old kid that can talk properly. Kids at this age hardly know they exist,” Rebecca argued.

“Well, I’m quite different when I was a kid. My mum started sending me on errands when I was a year old,” Richard said.

“Oh my God, what a lie,” Rebecca laughed.

Alice folded her arms and watched as Richard and Rebecca and Richard argued.

As far as she could recall, she had never seen her friend talking to any boy like that.

“Why are you looking at us like that?” Rebecca asked. When she noticed how Alice was looking at them with a smile on her face.

“I was wondering if you guys would come into the house,” Alice offered.

“Actually, her mum will complain if we stay long,” Richard answered.

“I think he is right,” Rebecca replied.

They talked for a few more minutes before the decided to go home.

They headed back home at about 2 O’clock pm. When Richard parked the car, Emmanuel ran out of the house and welcomed them. He also helped them in taking the items they bought into the house.

“Did something happen? It took you longer than I expected,” Prof. Grace said.

“Actually, I visited Alice. It’s been long since I last visited her,” Rebecca replied.

“That’s very nice,” Prof. Grace replied. Richard helped Rebecca to take the items they bought to their store.

After they were done, Richard announced that he will be going.

“Why don’t you have lunch before you go?” Rebecca offered.

“I’m okay actually,” Richard replied.

“Don’t be like that Richard, wait and eat before you,” Prof. Grace interfered.

Rebecca asked Richard to wait for her at the dining table.

Rebecca went to the kitchen and got him the food that her mother cooked not long ago. It was a pounded yam with fried vegetables. She brought the food on a plate with cold bottled water on the other hand.

“Here you go,” she said with a smile on her face as she kept the food on the table in front of Richard.

“Thank you,” Richard smiled back.

Richard started eating the food, while Rebecca went back to the kitchen and came back with another plate of food for herself. She sat down opposite him and started eating.

Chapter 15

In the evening, Janet returned with Riskat from her cousin’s house. All day long, Janet thought about the incident of seeing Richard with Rebecca. She felt so sad when she saw him with her. The fact that he didn’t show any sign of nervousness scared her more. She tried all her best to hide her feelings from Riskat.

Whenever Riskat tried to bring the topic up, she quickly changed the topic. Even after they went back to Maryam’s house from the mall, she became less active and couldn’t talk much. She never knew she had feelings for Richard until after she saw him with Rebecca.

“It seems like something is bothering you,” Riskat said as they walked into her room.

“Actually not,” Janet responded.

“You can’t hide anything from me, I’m your best friend,” Riskat said.

“I’m just feeling sick and bored,” Janet replied.

“Is that so? Then you need to have some rest,” Riskat responded.

“Yes, I think I’ll go back to my room,” Janet said.

“Alright, we will talk later,” Riskat responded.

***

Rebecca walked out of their house and met Amira who was sitting on a bench under a tree. The tree was close to the main road that leads to the inner section of the staff quarters.

“Hey,” Rebecca said as she sat beside Amira, who was busy with her phone.

“Hi,” she responded as she looked up.

“We haven’t talked today since morning,” Rebecca said as she sat down beside Amira.

“Yes, I went to your house and was told that you have gone out,” Amira replied.

“Oh yes we did,” Rebecca replied.

“You went out with Richard, didn’t you?” Amira asked.

“How did you know?” Rebecca asked.

“I saw you guys when you were returning,” Amira replied.

“We went to the market, and even proceeded to visit Alice,” Rebecca announced.

“Oh really? Did she give you my book?” Amira asked.

“No she didn’t, we didn’t even talk about it,” Rebecca replied.

“I will never give her my things again. I gave it to her almost three months ago and each day we meet at school, she always tells me that she has forgotten it at home,” Amira complained.

“I think she has lost it,” Rebecca laughed.

“She won’t dare, she knows how much I love the book,” Amira said. “So did Richard take you to Alice?” she added.

“Yes he did,” Rebecca smiled.

“It looks like you guys are getting close lately,” Amira said.

“Well, it turns out he is not that bad,” Rebecca replied.

“Am I missing something?” Amira asked.

“Actually not,” Rebecca replied as she hit Amira on the shoulder.

***

In the night, Richard was called by Paul when he was watching a movie on his computer in one of the lecture theatres close to his dormitory.

Paul: Where are you right now?

Richard: I’m in L.T 3 in Agric department

Paul: Alright, I will be coming.

Richard: Okay, until you come.

About five minutes later, Paul arrived at the lecture theatre and found him sitting alone all by himself.

“Hey, you like doing everything alone; wouldn’t it be better if you sit among other people?” Paul asked as he walked to him.

“Well, I prefer to do everything alone in a quiet place,” Richard responded.

“That’s very odd,” Paul responded.

“How has your day been?” Richard asked.

“It was okay. I looked for you in your room in the afternoon but couldn’t find you,” Paul announced.

“Why didn’t you call me then?” Richard asked.

“I didn’t have airtime in my phone at that time,” Paul replied.

“Well, I was in Prof. Grace’s house at that time,” Richard replied.

“That’s good,” Paul said.

“I just wanted to talk to you about yesterday’s incident,” Paul said.

“Oh don’t worry about it,” Richard replied.

“I’m glad that I have a friend who will tell me the truth,” Paul continued.

“Well, I just hope you will make use of it,” Richard responded.

“But to be honest with you, I have tried many times to stop myself, I just end up failing in the end,” Paul complained.

“Have your parents known about this?” Richard asked.

“No they don’t,” Paul replied.

“The best way to stop yourself is cut‐off all contact with all those friends of yours,” Richard advised.

“I will try doing that,” Paul relied.

Paul sat down beside Richard, they talked for about an hour before he walked out of the theatre and left Richard.

***

Around 11 am, Rebecca gathered all her books and walked to her room. She had been studying at the dining table for the past three hours.

She dropped the books in her bookshelf as she got into the room. She changed into pyjamas before she sat by her bed and went through her phone. She chatted with a few of her friends on Facebook before she finally decided to sleep.

But as soon as she lied down, she kept remembering the things that happened between her and Richard during the day. It was the first time a boy had ever thought about a boy like that. She tried to sleep, but she couldn’t sleep. She stood up and went to the living room and turned on the TV. She took out her phone and looked for her friends who were online. Luckily for her, she found Alice online. She quickly started a conversation by sending her a message.

Rebecca: Hey so you are still awake

Alice: Yes I am. What about you? I have never seen you staying up this late.

Rebecca: Yes, it’s strange. I couldn’t sleep today.

Alice: Perhaps you are thinking about some ;).

Rebecca: Not really

Alice: So how is Richard?

Rebecca: Okay, I guess

She dropped her phone on the sofa and went to the kitchen and opened one of the drawers. She took the chips she kept hidden and walked back to the living room. When she unlocked her phone, she found out Alice had already gone off.

She continued watching her movie as she ate the chips. About an hour later, she fell asleep in the living room.

***

Janet tried her best to sleep but she couldn’t sleep. She lost control of herself and quickly stood up and walked to her phone that was charging some feet away from her. She unplugged the phone and dial Richard’s number. It rang for a while before Richard answered the call.

Richard: Hello

Janet : Who was the girl I saw you with earlier?

Richard: Did you just call to ask me that?

Janet : Oh, I’m sorry to bother you

She ended the call and went back to her bed and sat down. She started regretting why she had even asked him that in the first place. About five minutes later, Richard called her back.

Richard: Why are you still up? Are you missing me that badly?

Janet : Not really. I was just worried that you, my friend , will get spoiled by a bad girl, that’s why I just called to warn you.

Richard: Is that so?

Janet : Yes of course. So don’t misunderstand my intentions.

Richard: Is okay my lady.

Janet : Where are you right now?

Richard: I’m in the Agric department.

Without hesitation, Janet quickly stood up and changed into the clothes she wore earlier and walked out the room. She walked to the main road and couldn’t find a taxi because it was very late. She started walking towards where Richard told her he was when she saw a vehicle approaching.

She quickly stopped it and asked for a lift.

“Where are you going this very late night?” The man who was driving asked.

“I want to go and see someone,” she replied.

“Your boyfriend, right?” He asked.

“Yes,” Janet replied.

“He must be such a lucky man to have a girl such as yourself out of her bed by this time,” The man said.

“I think he is,” Janet replied.

They drove for ten minutes before arriving at the place at about 1 am.

“Thank you for the ride,” Janet said after she had walked down from the car.

“You are welcome,” the boy replied.

When she arrived at the place, she found Richard trying to leave.

“Oh my God, what brings you here at this very time?” Richard asked, looking very surprised.

“Don’t you dare judge me when I say it. I just wanted to see you,” Janet replied.

Richard was about to say when Janet interrupted him.

“I say don’t judge me,” She said.

“Hey, I am not trying to judge you, I just want to commend you on your bravery,” Richard smiled.

“Do you care to sit?” She pointed at the bench under a tree next to him.

“No I don’t,” Richard replied.

They both sat down on the bench facing each other.

“So how was your day?” she asked.

“It was great,” Richard replied.

“Of course it will be great, you got yourself a very cute girl,” Janet said.

“Come on, she is Prof. Grace’s daughter.

Her mother hired me to be teaching her Mathematics and Physics,” Richard replied.

“Really? Of all the teachers in the world, why would she hire someone as young as you to teach her daughter?” Janet asked.

“So you think I am too young to teach her?” Richard asked.

“Of course you are,” Janet replied.

“Okay, so you are suggesting that I stop teaching her?” Richard asked.

“Yes of course,” Janet replied.

“If that is the case, you will be paying me 50 thousand Naira monthly. Because that’s what I earn for teaching her,” Richard replied.

“Wow! That’s quite lovely,” Janet replied.

“Oh yes it is,” Richard replied.

“It’s already late, I don’t think we should be sitting here,” Richard suggested.

“Yes you are right,” Janet said and stood up.

They walked out of the Agric department waiting for a vehicle to come.

“Aren’t you scared of the night that you came out alone?” Richard asked.

“Why should I be scared? We are not living in a jungle to maybe think I will be attacked by a lion,” Janet replied.

“Don’t you know that there are humans more dangerous than lions?” Richard asked.

“Well, this is the first time I’m hearing it,” Janet replied.

“I wonder what kind of world you live in. Or perhaps you are pretending not to be aware on purpose, right?” Richard asked.

“Why would I do that?” Janet asked.

“Well, if you have not forgotten, there have an attempt to rape a girl last semester in the night when she walked out alone,” Richard narrated.

“Oh yes I do remember,” Janet replied.

“So tell, aren’t these kinds of people more dangerous than the lion?” Richard asked.

“Of course they are,” Janet replied.

“That’s why you should avoid coming out very late in the night like this,” Richard advised.

“Thank you for your concern,” Richard replied.

“You are welcome,” Richard replied.

“But you know, I was dying to see you that I couldn’t resist it,” Janet replied.

“Really?” Richard asked.

“Yes of course, and you should be glad I care that much about you,” Janet replied.

“If there is a word that would describe how I’m feeling, I would use it,” Richard replied.

“I’m glad you appreciate it,” Janet replied.

They waited for more than 30 minutes but there was a vehicle. Instead, the place had gotten very quiet as if it wasn’t the noisy university it used to be.

“I don’t think we can get a taxi,” Richard said.

“What do you think we should do now?” Janet asked.

“You know we only have one option left for us, don’t you?” Richard smiled.

“Do you mean I should sleep at your place?” Janet asked confusingly.

“You are such a naughty girl. You must have a dirty mind to think that’s what I have in mind,” Richard replied.

“Well, the way you said it made it sound dirty,” Janet laughed back.

“Don’t worry, I can walk you back,” Richard assured.

“That will be very nice of you,” Janet said.

They started walking and headed towards Janet ’s dormitory.

“You know, if one sees how quiet this place is right now, one will think that this place will never be noisy during the day,” Janet said.

“Yes, everyone must have gone to sleep,” Richard replied.

“Do you know what?” Janet asked.

“Walking like this reminds me of the day we nearly got into trouble,” Janet said.

“Oh yes it does, I can recall how you cried that day,” Richard laughed.

“You are such a liar,” Janet argued.

“Are you trying to deny the fact that you cried that day?” Richard asked.

“Yes of course, as far as I can recall, I didn’t cry,” Janet replied.

“Well, I can recall placing my hand on your mouth to stop you from crying. That is something I can never forget for the rest of my life,” Richard revealed.

“Really?” Janet asked.

“Yes Janet . It was the first time I cared for someone other than myself despite the fact that I was in trouble,” Richard said.

“I have never been scared in my life like I was on that day,” Janet replied.

“I still can’t understand why you have to go to such parties in the first place,” Richard said.

“I have told you, I was taken there by a friend and that will never happen again,” Janet replied.

“What about playing games with boys?” Richard asked.

“Are you jealous?” Janet asked.

“No, I’m just curious,” Richard replied.

“If I say I will stop talking to them, what will I get in return?” Janet asked.

“Anything you wish ,” Richard replied.

About 30 minutes later, they arrived at Janet’s dormitory.

“It’s really strange that I don’t feel sleepy or tired at all,” Janet announced.

“Me too,” Richard replied.

“I have never been so happy in my whole like when I’m with you,” Janet announced.

“Really?” Richard asked, looking very surprised.

“Yes, I wish you would also feel the same,” Janet continued.

“Of course I do feel the same,” Richard replied.

“You don’t really understand what I mean, do you?” Janet asked.

“Of course I do,” Richard smiled.

“It’s a good thing, you know. I think I will go from here,” Janet replied.

“Alright then, I will see you in the morning,” Richard announced.

“Okay, good night Richard,” she said and turned to walk to her dormitory. Richard folded his arms and watched her as she walked to her dormitory.

When she got to the gate of the dormitory, she turned and ran back to Richard.

“What happened?” Richard asked.

“Don’t you have anything you wish to tell me?” she asked as looked into his eyes. Richard became speechless and couldn’t come up with a word to tell her.

“Good night,” she sadly said and turned to go back.

“Do you love me?” Richard asked her. She turned and looked at him for a moment without saying a word.

“I think I will be lying if I say I don’t love you,” Janet replied.

“Really?” Richard asked happily.

“But promise you are not going to hurt me,” Janet replied.

“I Promise I won’t,” Richard assured.

“Alright Richard, good night,” She said and ran happily to her dormitory.

Chapter 16

About a month later, Rebecca had a test in mathematics and physics. When the result came out, she was among the best in her class. Everyone was so surprised including her teachers.

“I wish Richard could teach me too,” Alice said to Rebecca when they were out for break.

“Well, I think he is the best teacher in the world,” Rebecca commented.

“Really?” Amira asked.

“I have never once thought in my whole life that I will be very good in mathematics like this,” Rebecca explained.

The three of them were sitting on the veranda of one of their laboratories.

“Well, I think you are lucky your mom has hired him to teach you,” Alice said.

“Yes, that’s why I am so desperate to show her my test,” Rebecca replied.

“Your mum is going to be very happy with you,” Amira commented.

“Of course,” Rebecca smiled.

About 10 minutes later, their break ended and they went back to their class.

Some few minutes later, their Mathematics teacher came and all the students stood up and greeted him.

“Sit down please,” the teacher ordered.

“Can someone clean the board please?” the teacher said when he noticed that the board was all written on.

“I was very displeased by all of your performance in my test. You will be writing an external exam by next year, do you think you can achieve something at this rate?” the teacher asked and the whole class could not reply.

“I highly recommend that you sit up and study harder,” the continued.

“And Rebecca, you did incredible. I have never expected such a performance from you. I believe you can be the source of motivation to every student in this class,” the teacher commended.

“Actually, I wouldn’t have done it without the help of my private tutor,” Rebecca replied.

“Do you mean the boy that came here the other time?” the teacher asked.

“Yes, ” Rebecca answered.

“Not bad, he is actually better than I expected,” the teacher said.

“No, he is actually the best,” Rebecca uttered without realizing and all the class glared at her with surprise.

“In mathematics I mean,” She continued and the teacher laughed at her.

“Well, then I suggested you guys should all hire him to teach you, maybe he can transform you like he transformed her,” the teacher said.

“Actually, he is very busy. My mum hardly convinced him to teach me,” Rebecca responded.

“Well, then I think you should count yourself lucky,” the teacher said. He started his lesson after that. And each time he asked a question, he pointed it directly at Rebecca first and she will confidently answer it. It went on like that until the lesson was over.

After school was over, Rebecca couldn’t wait to get home. All that she kept thinking about was showing Richard her scripts. She took a taxi together with her friend Amira to home.

“I have never seen you this excited before,” Amira noticed.

“Yes, because I have never gotten such an incredible result in my entire life,” Rebecca responded.

“You should be happy, because your mum will be very proud of you,” Amira said.

“Yes you are right,” Rebecca smiled. “And Richard will also be proud of you,” Amira continued.

Rebecca did not say a word; she only looked at her and smiled.

“Alright, I will meet you after I have eaten,” Amira announced after they got down from the taxi.

“Alright dear, I will be waiting for you,” Rebecca replied and they both walked to their houses.

When Rebecca walked in, she found her brother sitting in the living room with his uniform and books thrown on the floor.

“How many times do I have to tell you, always keep your things in your room, not in the living room,” Rebecca nagged.

“I don’t really know what kind of dirty human being you are,” Rebecca said as she bent down angrily to pick his clothes from the floor.

She took everything she picked to her brother’s room. From there, she went to her room and lied to her. She was feeling lazy to even get up and change the uniform she was wearing.

Even on her bed, she kept thinking about how happy Richard will be if she shows him her result.

About 30 thirty minutes later, she finally gathered the courage to stand up. She stood up and went to the wardrobe. She changed into a black skirt and a white shirt before going to the kitchen to get her lunch. It was the rice and beans that she cooked in the morning before she went to school. She somehow lost her appetite as she started eating.

She took the food back to the kitchen and covered it. She went back to her room and lied to her. She was expecting Richard to come around 4 o’clock. All that she wished for at that time was to see him. Around 3 o’clock, her mother arrived back from work. She quickly ran to the living room and met her.

“Mum, you won’t believe what happened,” Rebecca cried out as she ran to her mother.

“Tell me what happened,” her mother asked.

“You will see it for yourself,” Rebecca replied as she ran to her school bag that was kept on the dining table.

She opened the zip of the side pocket of the bag and brought out two papers and ran to her mother with them.

“Here, take a look,” she said as she gave.

“Oh my God is this really yours?” her mother asked.

“Of course it is,” Rebecca smiled.

“This certainly is the best thing you ever did,” her mother complimented.

“It is mum,” she smiled back at her mother.

“You should keep it up, I promise I will surprise you at the end of the term,” her mother said.

***

Around 3:30 pm, Richard was called by their course representative. He was told that there will be an important gathering of students from their department by exactly 4 O’clock. He tried to explain to him that he will be busy, but the class representative insisted that this is way too important than what he will do.

At last, Richard finally gave in and agreed he would go. Around 4 O’clock, Richard took a taxi and went to his department. He was surprised to find out that all his colleagues were present at the hall he was directed to go.

“At last, you have come,” the course representative announced.

“Yes I have, did something bad happen?” Richard worriedly asked.

“Not really. Do you remember that lecturer that said he will never teach us again when your girlfriend’s phone rang in his class?” The class representative asked.

“Well, we have finally convinced him to come back and continue teaching us. But he said as our punishment, he will give us a test on the quarter of the content of the course. We tried looking for some to come and assist, but everyone seemed to be busy. But your girlfriend said you can help us,” the class representative said.

Richard looked around and noticed Janet sitting far behind them. She smiled at him after their eyes met.

“I am not that good actually, but I will give it a try,” Richard responded.

He received the marker from the class representative and proceeded to the board of the lecture theatre holding the course content on the other hand.

***

Rebecca had been waiting for Richard for almost 2 hours but he hadn’t shown up. As every minute passed, the urge to see him kept consuming her. She had never been so desperate in her whole life like she was at that time.

Everything became boring to her. She kept going round the house from her bed to the living, from the living to the dining room, and back to her room from the dining room.

She wished she had someone whom she could tell how she felt at that time. A few minutes after 5 o’clock, she walked out the house and saw Amira sitting in the place they usually sit. She walked to her and sat beside her.

“Hey, are you not supposed to have a lesson today?” Amira asked.

“I am, but Richard hasn’t showed up,” Rebecca responded.

“Oh, I hope he is okay,” Amira replied.

“I hope so,” Rebecca replied.

“Don’t worry, maybe he got caught up in work today,” Amira said.

“Yes, can we do something fun? Because I’m so bored today,” Rebecca announced.

“Alright, let’s go to the orchard and get some fruits,” Amira suggested.

“That’s a pretty idea,” Rebecca responded.

They stood up and headed towards the orchard that was located at the extreme of the staff Quarters.

On their way, they met with David who also happened to be their classmate and a childhood friend living also in the staff quarters.

“Hey, where are you girls going?”

When they turned, they saw him sitting at the frontage of their house.

“We are going to the orchard,” Amira replied.

“Can I come?” He requested.

“Of course you can,” Amira replied.

“Thank you,” he said as he stood up.

“So how are you girls doing?” David asked after he had caught up with them.

“We are doing well,” Amira replied.

“What about you Rebecca? Why aren’t you talking?” David asked.

“Well, that’s the essence of us going to the orchard.

She said she is bored today,” Amira replied.

“Wow, you ought to be happy. You impressed everyone at school today,” David said.

“Well, there is one person she couldn’t impress,” Amira teased.

“Don’t you start it,” Rebecca interrupted her and Amira started laughing.

“Who could that person be?” David asked.

“Don’t mind her, she likes fooling around,” Rebecca replied.

They arrived at the orchard about 10 minutes later. They plucked some oranges and guava and headed their way back.

“What do you think of this year’s inter-house sport?” David asked.

“I don’t think I will be participating in any event,” Rebecca revealed.

“Why not? You are the best runner in your house, why don’t you want to run?” David asked.

“Well, it’s just boring,” Rebecca replied.

“Then what about march pass parade?” Amira asked.

“I am not participating in anything,” Rebecca answered.

“What got into you today?” Amira asked. “Nothing, I just don’t want to participate,” Rebecca asked.

“Let her be, there is still time before the inter house sport, she might change her mind,” David said.

“Alright, I will see you guys tomorrow,” David said after they had gotten to his house.

“Okay, bye,” Rebecca said and they continued to walk home.

They arrived at their homes at about 6 o’clock pm.

“Where have you been?” Her mother asked.

She was sitting with Emmanuel watching TV.

“I went to the orchard,” Rebecca revealed.

Emmanuel quickly stood up and ran to her.

“Did you bring something for me?” Emmanuel asked as he ran to his sister.

“Yes,” she said as she handed him an orange and a guava.

***

Richard has been teaching his mates for the past two hours. They listened attentively as he was teaching them.

It was then that some of them realized why he was recognized as the best student in their faculty.

As soon as he ended the lesson, Janet walked up to him at the stage of the lecture theatre.

“You know, this is the best lecture I have ever received in my life,” Janet complimented.

“Come on Janet , stop exaggerating things,” Richard said to her.

“I’m really serious Richard. I have been with many people in my life, but none of them can be compared to you. You are so sweet and full of amazements. “

“You know what’s really amazing?” Richard asked her.

“Until you tell me,” She replied.

“It is really surprising that a beautiful girl will say things like this to me. I always feel like I am dreaming each time I remember that you are my girlfriend,” Richard said.

Just then, they came across Janet ’s friend.

“Hey” she said to them.

“Hello dear, how are you doing?” Janet asked.

“I am doing well,” She replied.

“Richard, this is my friend Fa…,” before Janet could finish saying the name, Richard interrupted her.

“Farida, right?” Richard asked.

“Yes of course, I’m surprised you remember my name,” Farida said.

“Didn’t I tell you before? he is very intelligent,” Janet smirked.

“Oh come on sweetheart, stop embarrassing me in front of other people,” Richard said.

“That’s really the truth,” Rebecca laughed.

“Alright, I think I will leave you guys from here, I have somewhere to go,” Richard revealed.

“Alright darling, we’ll talk later,” Janet replied.

Janet and Farida went to Riskat’s room and found her cooking dinner.

“We came at the right time,” Janet said. “Don’t you even think about eating my food, how do you expect yourself to feed Richard with such a lazy attitude after you have gotten married?” Riskat asked.

“Oh I have even forgotten to ask, when did you guys start date?” Farida asked.

“About a month,” Janet replied.

“That’s good. I sense something strange about you too since the first time I saw you guys talking to each other,” Farida replied. “Really?”Janet asked.

“Yes of course, and it seems like you have made the right choice this time. He is the best boyfriend you ever had,” Farida said.

“That’s what I have been telling her,” Riskat interrupted.

“I already know that, you guys don’t need to remind me,” Janet said.

“Come on Farida, Come and sit down on the bed,” Janet said when she noticed her standing.

***

Rebecca had just finished eating her dinner. She walked to her room and brought her books to the dining table.

Her mother and her brother left the dining table and went to the living room where they sat and watched TV.

Rebecca opened through the pages of her books and tried to study. About 20 minutes later, she gave up and went to the living room. She failed to understand why Richard was the only thing on her mind all along.

She sat next to her mother and took one of the small pillows on the cushions and placed it on her lap.

“Are you done studying already?” her mother asked.

“Not really, I feel like I’m having head pain. That’s why I decided to give it a break for a while,” Rebecca replied.

“You don’t need to stress yourself. You have studied enough, you should rest whenever you are tired,” Her mother advised.

“I will do that mum,” Rebecca responded. After about an hour, the cartoon they were watching ended. Prof. Grace and Emmanuel decided that they will be going to sleep.

“Good night mum,” Rebecca said to her mother as she walked to her room.

“Don’t forget to sleep early,” he mother urged.

“I won’t mum,” Rebecca responded. She continued watching movies until she finally falls asleep unconsciously.

Chapter 17

The next day, Rebecca woke up and did her chores like she usually does in the morning. She got dressed in her uniform and waited for her mother to come out. Around 7:30 am, her mother had gotten ready and she came out for her breakfast.

“Good morning, mum,” she greeted her mother.

“How was your night?” Prof. Grace asked.

“It was okay mum,” Rebecca answered. “Good, aren’t you leaving for school with your friend today?” her mother questioned.

“I am, I just want you to call Richard. He didn’t show up yesterday,” Rebecca complained.

“Maybe he had a tight schedule. You know it has not been easily for him to teach you and at the same time study,” her mother explained.

“You are right,” Rebecca responded.

“You should be patient with him,” her mother urged her.

“Okay mum, I’m off to school,” Rebecca said as she proceeded to her way out of the house.

“I will see you after school then,” her mother responded.

Rebecca went to Amira’s home and found her still getting ready.

“You know it is already 7:30, right?” Rebecca alerted.

“Oh my God, I woke up so late today, I think I have to go to school with my breakfast,” Amira replied.

There is still time, you can eat before we go,” Rebecca assured.

“Alright then please give me a minute,” Amira requested.

“I have given you ten minutes,” Rebecca laughed.

About 15 minutes later, Amira walked out. They quickly boarded a taxi and headed to school.

The taxi dropped them at the gate of their school about five minutes later. They entered the school and went to their class.

Soon, the bell for the beginning of the lessons was rung and Alice came in immediately.

“Where have you guys been?” she asked. “I’m almost late because of this girl,” Rebecca replied, pointing at Amira.

“Well, you should be happy you came just right on time,” Alice said.

Before they knew it, their biology teacher walked into the class.

They all stood up and greeted him after which he started his lesson.

About 80 minutes later, he ended his lesson. Throughout the lesson, she thought about nothing but Richard.

She desperately wished for school to be over so that she would go back home.

“What are you thinking about?” Alice asked when noticed that Rebecca’s mind was lost somewhere else.

“Nothing actually,” Rebecca responded.

“You have been acting really weird lately, is anything wrong?” Alice asked.

“Not really, I am okay,” she responded.

“I hope you are telling the truth,” Alice answered.

Their school closed at about 2 pm. Rebecca and Amira took a taxi to go back home.

“You know I have been your friend since we were very young, right?” Amira asked.

“Yes of course,” Rebecca answered.

“But I have never seen you acting this way before,” Amira said.

“How am I acting?” Rebecca asked.

“Well, it seems like something is bothering you,” Amira said.

“There is nothing bothering me Amira, I’m really okay,” Rebecca assured.

“I know you’re hiding something,” Amira replied.

“I’m hiding nothing.”

They got down from the taxi after it had come to a stop close to their houses.

“Alright, I will see you later,” Rebecca said to Amira.

“You too, I hope Richard will come today,” Amira replied.

Rebecca did not say a word; she only smiled and shook her head.

She walked into the house and headed to her room. Her brother was calling her, but she pretended she hadn’t heard him and kept on walking. She walked to her room and lay on her bed.

She held her pillow tight and before she knew it, she unconsciously fell asleep. About an hour later, she heard her mother calling her by the door of her mum.

“Yes mum,” she replied as she woke up.

“You even slept with your uniform on, are you sick?” her mother asked.

“Not really, I was just very exhausted,” Rebecca answered.

“Okay, I will be going to my room,” her mother announced.

“Okay mum,” Rebecca answered.

She stood up and went to the bathroom and had a shower before coming back to her room.

She wore a green shirt and black skirt and walked out of the room to the dining room. She went through her phone as she eat the spaghetti that was cooked for lunch.

After she was done eating, she laid her head on the table because she couldn’t think of what to do.

About 30 minutes later, her mother walked out of her room and told her that she will be going back to the office.

“Don’t you think we should call Richard today?” Rebecca asked.

“Be patient dear, he will come when he is free,” her mother announced.

“Okay,” Rebecca replied.

She went to the living room and started watching TV after her mother left.

“I want to watch cartoons,” Emmanuel said as he pulled her clothes.

“If you don’t take your hands off me, I’m going to slap you,” she warned.

Her brother released her clothes and went to the sofa next to her and sat down.

About 30 minutes later, she heard Richard’s voice by the door of their house.

Suddenly, her heart started to beat faster than ever.

It was like every atom of her body was attracted towards the door where Richard was.

Despite the fact that she was dying to see him, she remained sitting and pretended she hadn’t heard him. Her little brother ran to the door and opened it for Richard.

Richard walked into the house and saw her sitting with her eyes focused on the TV. At that moment, Rebecca felt like turning to look at him.

It was a desire she had never felt before. Even his voice sounded sweeter as he spoke to Emmanuel.

But despite all that, she still pretended not to notice his presence.

“Rebecca,” Richard called.

Even though the sound of her name was ringing in her heart, she still refused to turn and look at him.

“Rebecca,” Richard called again. She turned and glared at him angrily and continued watching her TV.

“What have I done wrong?” Richard asked.

“I don’t know,” she replied without looking at where he was.

“Please tell me, what did I do wrong?” Richard asked as he walked to her.

“Leave me alone,” she said as she stood up to go to her room.

Richard ran to her and held her hand and pulled her back.

When she looked into his eyes, her heart beat faster than she felt like it would jump out of ribs.

“What did I do wrong?” Richard asked her again.

She quickly removed her hand from his hand and turned her back towards him. He then folded his arms and watched her.

“Why didn’t you come yesterday?” she finally asked.

“I was about to come when my mates called me that there is an important thing we need to discuss,” Richard replied.

“So, I’m not important to you right?” She asked.

“Come on Rebecca, you know I will never leave our lesson for something not very important,” Richard replied.

“Okay what was it that you needed to discuss?” Rebecca asked.

“We are expected to have a test today, and the lecturer had only taught us once because we pissed him off. So, my mates called me to teach them about the course,” Richard explained.

“Enough of this long story, aren’t you going to apologize?” She asked.

“Okay, I’m sorry,” Richard smiled.

She turned and looked at him with a smile on her face.

“You are lucky that I easily calm down,” she said.

“Let me show you something,” she said as she ran to her room.

Richard became curious of what she was going to show him.

She came holding her two scripts with a smile on her face.

“Take a look at my papers,” Rebecca said as she handed him the papers.

“Oh my God, are these really your scripts?” Richard asked astonishingly.

“Whose name do you see written on it?” Rebecca asked.

“You know, for a second, I never doubted that you would be this great,” Richard said.

“Really?” she asked.

“Yes of course. You are intelligent Rebecca, is all written all over pretty face,” Richard complimented

.

Rebecca felt like her heart was melting when Richard said that.

She looked him in the eye and couldn’t say a word.

“You should keep it up, I know you will surprise more in the future,” Richard continued.

“Thank you,” she smiled.

“Let me get you something to eat,” she said as she ran to the kitchen.

“Come on Rebecca, I have just eaten,” Richard said, trying to stop her.

“Don’t even think about it,” She said as she kept walking to the kitchen.

About five minutes later, she returned with the spaghetti she ate for lunch with some fried eggs.

“Wow! I can’t believe you did this,” Richard said.

She brought the food and kept it on the dining table in front of him.

“I told you I’m not hungry,” Richard complained.

“Just say you are not going to eat my food and I will take it back,” Rebecca replied.

“Why would I say that when you are one of the most amazing cooks in the world,” Richard replied.

“Come on, just eat,” she said as she hit him on the shoulder.

“You know, I will be having an inter‐house sport competition in school in the next two weeks,” Rebecca revealed.

“Is that so? I hope you will be participating?” Richard asked.

“Not really, I plan on not participating in any event,” Rebecca replied.

“Why not?” Richard asked.

“I just don’t feel like participating,” she replied.

“You know this is something that you are going to miss so much after you graduate,” Richard said.

“I don’t think I will miss anything from high school after I graduate,” Rebecca announced.

“Well, you are saying this because you didn’t experience it,” Richard replied.

“Is that Mr. experience? Okay tell me the things you missed from your high school,” Rebecca asked.

“I miss everything from my high school,” Richard said.

“Come on, you don’t mean it, right?” Rebecca asked.

“Of course I mean it,” Richard assured.

“I missed my friends and the crazy things we used to do. I missed sports, my teachers and the school surrounding,” Richard revealed.

“That’s cute, I’m beginning to imagine how your school looks like,” Rebecca said.

“It doesn’t have pretty buildings, but lots of memories have been created there,” Richard explained.

“Really? What is your favourite memory then?” Rebecca asked.

“Well, there are many favourite memories, I don’t know where to begin from,” Richard replied.

“Okay, tell me about the best five memories,” Rebecca smiled.

“Okay, the first one was the day we set up our friend.

There was a girl I had a crush on called Naomi. We usually have practical classes in the evening. One evening before we went for the practical class, we took the shirt he was to wear that evening and wrote I love you Naomi on the back. Because it was a white shirt, the writings appeared very well. He wore the shirt and went to class with it

. During the class, the teacher called him to come and write on the board. When he walked to the front of the class, everyone saw what was written on the back of his shirt,” Richard narrated.

“Oh my God, what happened next?” Rebecca asked curiously.

“The whole class started laughing, and he vowed to pay back,” Richard replied.

“And what did he do to pay back?” Rebecca asked.

“Well, he wrote a letter to a girl with my name written in it as the writer,” Richard responded.

“Really?” Rebecca asked.

“Oh yes, and it turns out that the girl had a crush on me,” Richard laughed.

“Oh that’s so funny,” Rebecca laughed too.

“So what is your second favourite memory?” she asked.

“Well, it was the day our school won a match pass parade during children’s day in the whole state,” Richard announced.

“Wow! Were you among the participants?” Rebecca asked.

“Not only did I participate, but I was also the leader,” Richard announced.

“Wow that’s great, maybe you will teach me some new moves for our upcoming inter-house sport,” Rebecca said.

“Oh that won’t be a problem,” Richard assured.

When he looked at the time on the phone, he noticed that an hour had already passed and they hadn’t started their lesson.

“Hey, look at the time,” Richard announced.

“Yes, the time moved faster than expected,” Rebecca replied.

“Alright, go and get your book. Let’s do the lesson even if it’s for 30 minutes,” Richard instructed.

Rebecca went to her room and came back with her books. She kept staring at him as he was teaching her.

She felt something which she has never felt before in her entire life. Staring at him made her feel so at ease that she wished that feeling would never fade away.

“Is anything wrong?” Richard asked when he noticed how she was staring at him.

“Not at all, what were you saying?” she smiled.

“So all along, your mind is not here,” Richard said.

“Yes I am sorry,” she replied.

“As young as you are, what were you thinking about?” Richard asked.

“I wasn’t thinking about anything,” She responded.

At about 6 O’clock, their lesson ended and Rebecca walked Richard to the door.

“Will you come tomorrow?” she asked Richard.

“I don’t think so,” Richard replied.

“Why not?” she asked, pretending to be sad.

“I am very busier than I look,” Richard replied.

“Please come tomorrow if you have the chance,” Rebecca pleaded.

“Alright Rebecca, I will try my best. But if you don’t see me, it means I’m very busy,” Richard explained.

“I Know you won’t be busy,” Rebecca smiled.

“Let’s hope so,” Richard replied.

“Okay, I will go now,” Richard announced. “Where will you go from here?” She asked.

“To my dormitory, of course,” Richard answered.

“Do you want to follow me there?” Richard teased.

“Oh yes, I do,” she smiled.

“You have no idea what you are saying,” Richard smiled.

“Of course I do, I heard that boys always leave their surroundings dirty unlike girls,” Rebecca said.

“Whoever told you that is the biggest lair of the century,” Richard laughed.

“Let me get going, it’s really getting late,” Richard announced.

“Okay Richard, see you tomorrow,” she smiled.

Chapter 18

The next day, Richard came in the evening around 3 O’clock. Rebecca was sitting with Amira on the bench where they usually sit. Amira was helping Rebecca to lose her plaited hair. When they saw Richard approaching them, they both quickly stood up.

“Hey, you are here already,” Rebecca said.

“Oh yes I am,” Richard smiled.

“Good evening Richard,” Amira greeted him.

“Good evening, how are you doing?” Richard asked.

“I’m doing okay, you left my friend very worried for not coming the day before yesterday,” Amira revealed.

“Stop it Amira,” Rebecca said to her angrily, and Amira started to laugh out seriously.

“Come on Richard, let’s leave this girl, she has gone crazy,” Rebecca said as she headed to the house.

“She has every reason to be worried, her favourite Mathematics teacher didn’t come,” Richard replied.

“Yes, I wish you could transform me like you transformed her. You know everyone is surprised at school, even our principal,” Amira explained.

“Hey, I said we should get going, didn’t I?” Rebecca asked while she was some distance away from them.

“Don’t worry, we have plenty of time, I will come when I’m done talking to her,” Richard smiled and continued talking to Amira.

Before he knew it, Rebecca came and held his hand and started pulling him along.

She dragged him all the way to the entrance of her home.

“Why don’t you want me to talk to your friend?” Richard laughed.

“You know she is crazy, she can say all sorts of ridiculous things to you,” Rebecca replied.

“I think she is so sweet,” Richard replied. “Well, you can go and continue talking to her if you wish,” Rebecca said and walked into the house pretending to be angry.

Richard went after her and found her sitting on one of the sofas in the living room.

“You’ve got really long hair,” Richard said.

“Oh yes I know,” she replied without looking up.

“Why do you seem to be angry at me lately for no reason?” Richard asked.

“Who told you I am angry at you?” Rebecca asked.

“Well, your face says so,” Richard replied. “Don’t you want me to talk to your friend?” Richard asked and she shook her head.

“Can I know why?” Richard asked.

She suddenly started laughing.

“I can’t believe you fell for it,” she said after she stopped laughing.

“I’m relieved that you are not really angry,” Richard said.

“My mum has travelled, are you aware of that?” she asked.

“No I’m not. Do you mean she travelled and left you alone in this house?” Richard asked.

“Yes of course,” Rebecca responded.

“And you mean you will sleep alone in this house alone with no one to protect you?” Richard asked.

“Actually not, I am sleeping at Amira’s place,” Rebecca laughed.

“But do you think I can’t sleep alone in this house?” Rebecca asked.

“Yes of course, it is very risky. People nowadays are evil, anything can happen,” Richard replied.

“There are a lot of security men around here at night, we are really safer than you think,” Rebecca smiled.

“Will you please sit down?” She offered.

Richard went to the sofa opposite to her and sat down.

“Where is Emmanuel?” Richard asked.

“He had gone out to play,” she informed. “That’s cool, he always reminds me of my niece,” Richard said.

“Oh really? How old is your niece?” Rebecca asked.

“She is 6 years old,” Richard answered.

“I Know she must be very cute,” Rebecca commented.

“Very cute indeed, let me show you a picture of her,” Richard said and brought out his phone from his pocket.

He opened the picture and walked to her and handed her the phone.

“Wow! She looks so beautiful,” Rebecca complimented.

“Thank you,” Richard replied.

“She is Emmanuel’s age mate, but she looks much older than him,” Rebecca commented.

“Maybe he is not someone who grows fast,” Richard replied.

“I love her hairstyle,” Rebecca said as she gave Richard back his phone.

“I plaited it for her actually,” Richard announced.

“You don’t even know how to lie,” Rebecca doubted.

“I am serious; I learnt how to plait on my younger sister. I have been plaiting her hair since when we were kids,” Richard revealed.

“Do you really mean what you are saying?” Rebecca asked.

“Of course I mean it,” he replied.

“The good thing is that my hair is loose, you can prove what you are saying by plaiting my hair,” Rebecca said.

“No I can’t actually do that, I can only plait my siblings’ hair,” Richard replied.

“You made that up because you aren’t telling the truth from the beginning,” Rebecca said.

“Okay I will show you,” Richard said.

“Good,” Rebecca smiled.

Rebecca ran to her room and came back with a comb and everything he would need for plaiting.

“Here,” she said as she handed him the items.

“Sit here,” she pointed at the smallest sofa in the living room.

He sat on the sofa and Rebecca went and sat on the carpet in front him facing the same direction as he.

She lowered her head towards him in such a way that he could easily access it.

Hair was very long and very dark. Suddenly, Richard’s heart started beating faster. He began to think of what Prof. Grace will think of him when she comes in and finds him with her daughter like that.

What scared him more was the fact that he had never touched any girl’s hair other than that of his siblings.

“What are you waiting for?” Rebecca asked when she noticed that he was hesitating.

“Nothing actually,” he answered.

He stretched his arms slowly to her hair.

It was softer than he had imagined. He started plaiting her with anxiousness. He felt like any moment her mother would come in and see them. But after a while, his mind was set at ease.

“You plait like an expert,” Rebecca said.

“How do you know that? I’m not even through yet,” Richard answered.

“The way you laid your hand makes you seem like an expert,” Rebecca said.

“Don’t be fast at complimenting me, wait until I’m done,” Richard replied.

After about an hour, Richard was done plaiting her hair. She stood up and ran to her room to look at herself in the mirror. “Oh my God Richard,” Rebecca shouted from her room.

“It looks terrible, right?” Richard asked.

“No, it looks beautiful. I can’t believe you made this,” Rebecca praised.

“Come and look at it,” Rebecca called.

“Do you mean I should come to your room?” Richard asked.

“Yes of course,” Rebecca replied.

“No I can’t do that,” Richard replied.

“Why can’t you?” she asked Richard.

“I’m not supposed to go to your room,” Richard answered.

“Okay, that’s what you think,” Rebecca said and walked out.

“You really plait good, you know I wouldn’t have believed you if you didn’t prove it to me,” Rebecca said.

“I have never plaited any girl’s hair outside my family,” Richard revealed.

“No boy has ever touched my hair, you are the first,” Rebecca smiled.

“Really?” Richard asked.

“Yes Richard, although I will get punished for not plaiting the weekly hairstyle given by our teacher, I really like it,” Rebecca responded.

“Were you given a hairstyle? Why didn’t you tell me?” Richard asked.

“I thought you couldn’t do it, but I love this style,” Rebecca announced.

“I am happy you like it, why don’t you go and get your books so that we will start our lesson?” Richard suggested.

“That will be a good idea,” she replied and walked back to her room.

She went to her room and got her books. As soon as they started the lesson, Amira walked into the house.

“Hey guys,” she said as she walked to them.

“Hey Amira,” Rebecca replied.

“I thought we’d loosen your hair some moments ago,” Amira said when she noticed that Rebecca’s hair was plaited.

“Guess who plaited it for me,” Rebecca smiled.

“You don’t mean Richard, do you?” Amira asked in surprise.

“He plaited my hair,” Rebecca smiled. “Wow! It looks so beautiful. No one will ever believe that this was plaited by a boy,” Amira commented.

“You know, in some places, boys do plait hair, and that’s what they do to earn a living,” Richard said.

“We are talking about our place right now, no boy can ever do what you did,” Amira explained.

“Do you want something?” Rebecca asked Amira.

“I got bored sitting alone outside, that’s why I came in,” Amira replied.

“Okay, why don’t you join us in our lesson?” Richard asked.

“Oh that will be great,” Amira responded and sat next to Rebecca.

“You guys have really gone far,” Amira said when she noticed what Richard was teaching Rebecca.

“Yes we have,” Rebecca smiled at Amira.

“I wish I could have a teacher like this too,” Amira responded.

“Will you please keep quiet? We are busy here,” Rebecca said to Amira.

“Alright, I will be quiet,” Amira assured.

After about an hour, Richard ended the lesson and gave Rebecca some exercises to solve in the night.

“I hope you do study other subjects too,” Richard asked.

“Of course I do,” Rebecca explained.

“It’s already late, I think I will be going,” Richard announced.

“Why don’t you stay and eat before you leave?” Rebecca asked.

“I will eat when I go back to my room,” Richard replied.

“I can’t believe you rejected my food,” Rebecca said.

“No I’m just in a hurry,” Richard responded.

“Okay you can go,” she said angrily and tried to go to her room.

“Okay I will eat,” Richard smiled.

“That’s good,” she said and went to the kitchen.

“I don’t know why your friend gets angry easily, is she always like this?” Richard asked Amira.

“No she is only like this around you,” Amira smiled.

“Then why is always behaving like this around me?” Richard asked.

“I don’t know either,” Amira smiled.

“Are you in the same class with her?” Richard asked.

“Yes I am,” Amira announced.

“I hope she is performing better now?” Richard asked.

“Didn’t she show you the test? She was the best in the class, everyone was surprised at how she transformed,” Amira answered.

About five minutes later, Rebecca returned with some pounded yam on a plate.

“Did you cook it yourself?” Richard asked.

“Of course, do you think I can’t cook?” She asked.

“No that’s not what I mean, you know pounded yam is so tiring to prepare. I just wanted to know if you prepared it alone,” Richard asked.

“Yes of course, it is my favourite food, so I don’t get tired when cooking it,” Rebecca announced.

“I will go and check on something, I will be back,” Amira said and stood up and walked out.

Richard started eating while Rebecca sat down opposite him and watched him.

“You know, you are full of amazements,” Richard said.

“Really? She asked.

“Yes of course, I wish I could marry a wife that can cook like you,” Richard answered.

“You may get someone better than me,” Rebecca smiled.

“I don’t think so. I have never met a girl that can cook like you,” Richard complimented.

“If that’s the case, then I will be cooking for you every day,” Rebecca smiled.

“I wish,” Richard smiled.

“So, what’s your favourite food?” Rebecca asked.

“Anything yummy,” Richard replied.

“That means you can eat anything,” Rebecca said.

“Of course, as far as it pleases my mind,” Richard replied.

“That’s great, let me allow you to eat,” Rebecca replied.

After Richard was done eating, she walked him to the door of the house. When they got out, they noticed that the place was already dark.

“Wow! Look how time has really moved fast,” Richard said.

“Well, I heard that time moves faster when you are spending it with the people you love,” Rebecca smiled.

“Oh really? Where did you hear that?” Richard asked.

“At school,” Rebecca answered.

“Do you enjoy being with me?” Richard asked. She became quiet at that very moment and could say a word.

“I am sorry for asking such a stupid question, good night Rebecca,” Richard said and started to walk away.

“I enjoy every second with you Richard,” Rebecca said.

The instant Richard heard that, he turned and looked at her.

Her face was so pretty with her long hair packed at the side of her head close to her right eye.

She was so pretty that Richard felt like no boy could resist her beauty. But when he remembered about her and Janet, he quickly changed his mind.

“Good night Rebecca,” he said and started walking back to the dormitory.

Rebecca was so confused at how Richard acted. She couldn’t tell whether he was interested in her; he was just being nice to her. She went to Amira’s home and sat beside Amira on the sofa.

***

Richard went back to his room to get his book to study for the night. More than ever, he thought about Rebecca. For the first time, he started to think of her in a different way.

Her beauty, her smile and her hair are things that could go off his mind. Somehow, he feels happier when he is around her than when he is with Janet .

But the fact that Prof. Grace had trusted enough to allow him to teach her daughter won’t allow him to think of her as anything more than his student. He took his books and went out of his room to the usual place where he usually studied at night. Five minutes after he had started studying, Janet called him.

Richard: Hello

Janet : How was your lesson?

Richard: Okay I guess

Janet : Good to hear that. Where are you right now?

Richard: my usual place of the night of course, what about you?

Janet : I’m in my room, why don’t you come and pick me up?

Richard: You mean right now?

Janet : Yes of course.

Richard became quiet after that, and couldn’t think of what to reply with.

He had been telling her that he is busy and definitely knew how she would react if he told her he was busy again.

Janet : You have been studying very hard lately, why don’t we have some fun just for today?

Richard: Okay, I will be coming to pick you.

After the phone call, Richard reluctantly stood up and walked out of the hall he was in. He took a taxi that dropped him close to Janet ‘s dorm.

When he got there, he found her sitting on a bench under a canopy in front of her dormitory.

“My dear Richard, always busy like a bee,” Janet said when she saw Richard approaching her.

“My dear Janet , always relaxing like a princess,” Richard smiled.

“I’m not like a princess, I’m a princess. Don’t you know?” she asked.

“I know that more than anyone,” Richard smiled as he sat beside her.

“So, how has been your day?” Janet asked.

“It’s pretty hectic as usual,” Richard replied.

“You know, it’s been said that all work with no play makes Jack…” Before Janet could complete her statement, Richard interrupted her.

“Yes I know, that’s why I’m here,” Richard responded.

“No, you need to have fun in your life,” Janet replied.

“I don’t think there will be anything that will be more fun than being with you,” Richard replied.

“Thank you,” Janet smiled.

“Let me take you somewhere so that you will have real fun,” Janet said.

“Okay, that sounds like a good idea,” Richard answered.

“Do you care for a walk?” Janet asked as she stood up.

“I would love to, it’s been long since I last walked,” Richard answered.

They took the main road which led to the gate of the university.

There were tall flowers planted on the two sides of the road. There were blue street lights placed in the flowers that make the place look so unique and beautiful. As they were walking, Janet stretched her arm and held Richard’s arm.

“You look so beautiful,” Richard complimented.

“Thank you,” she smiled.

“I got my hair done today; do you want to see it?” Janet asked.

“Definitely,” Richard replied and Janet removed the sweat hat from her to reveal her beautifully plaited hair.

Instead of Richard being impressed by its beauty, Rebecca suddenly came to his mind.

“What do you think?” she asked when she noticed that Richard was lost in thoughts.

“It looks wonderful,” Richard complimented.

“What were you thinking about?” Richard asked.

“Nothing, I was reminded of my sister seeing how beautiful your hair is,” Richard answered.

“We all miss our family,” Janet replied.

“It’s quite strange, I’ve never asked you about your family,” Richard replied.

“Wow! Really?” Janet asked.

“Yes of course, so tell me about them,” Richard continued.

“Okay, we are 7 in my family including my mum and dad,” Janet announced.

“I have two elder brothers, a younger brother and two younger sisters,” Janet continued.

“Wow! How old is your eldest brother?” Richard asked.

“He is 32 years old, he is a doctor in Abuja,” Janet explained.

Chapter 19

It was Saturday, Richard had just finished cooking his breakfast. It was some noodles, and it barely took him five minutes to finish. He put the noodle on a plate and sat by the edge of his bed. It took him about 10 minutes to finish eating the noodles. After he was done eating, he went to the bathroom and took a bath before returning to the room. “Today is Saturday and yet you dressed early, are you meeting your girlfriend?” Gabriel asked.

“Not really, I just have something to take care of,” Richard responded.

“I heard that you’ve got a beautiful girlfriend,” Gabriel said.

“I guess,” Richard laughed.

“No wonder we hardly see you in the room, perhaps you are always with her,” Gabriel guessed.

“Not really, you know very well that I’m a busy man,” Richard said.

“Busy with your girl? I supposed you are going to her now,” Gabriel said.

“You kept mentioning that I am going to meet her while I’m not,” Richard answered.

“I would like to meet her,” Gabriel announced.

“That won’t be a problem,” Richard responded.

Around 10 am, Richard walked out of his dormitory and headed to Prof. Grace’s house. He knocked at the door and was asked to come in. When he entered, he found Prof. Grace sitting on the sofa with her son beside her.

“Good morning, ma’am,” Richard greeted her. “Good morning, how are you doing?” she asked.

“I’m well, is Rebecca awake yet?” Richard asked.

“She always wakes up early. I hope you don’t have a lesson with her today?”

“Oh yes we didn’t plan on doing it today, I am less busy today and I thought I could seize the opportunity,” Richard explained.

“Actually, they will be having an inter-house sport next week. Her friends came by and took her to school to practice some few minutes ago,” Prof. Grace answered.

“Oh so she finally changed her mind,” Richard said.

“Change her mind on what?” Prof. Grace asked.

“She said she wasn’t hoping to participate in any event in the inter house sport,” Richard revealed.

“Well, then I think you did a pretty good job in convincing her,” Prof. Grace said.

“I don’t think so,” he smiled.

“I’m sorry you have come all this way for nothing.”

“No problem,” Richard assured.

“Why don’t you go to the dining room and have some breakfast?” Prof. Grace offered.

“I have just finished eating,” Richard replied.

“You should feel free to eat here, you know you are now like a family to us,” Prof. Grace said.

“Thank you ma’am but I really am okay,” Richard responded.

He walked out of the house and headed his way back to the dorm. He was really sad that Rebecca wasn’t home. Suddenly, an idea of visiting her at school came to his mind. He quickly stopped a taxi by the road and boarded it.

The taxi took him to the school and dropped him by the gate of Rebecca’s school. From a distance, he hears the sound of the drum and it brings him to the conclusion that they are practicing marching past parades in the school. As he walked to the gate of the school, his heart beat increased. He felt as if he won’t be welcomed if he goes into the school.

But to his surprise, the security guard at the gate didn’t ask him anything and allowed him to go in.

When he got in, he saw the students arranged according to their houses and that reminded him of his days in high school. He smiled and went to a bench under one of the trees in the school and sat down.

He watched as the students practiced their march pass and wished he could be part of it. He was lost in his thoughts when heard someone talking to him.

When he looked to his right, he noticed that it was Amira talking to him.

“Are you looking for Rebecca?” she smiled.

“Oh yes I am,” Richard smiled.

“She is among the members of her house over there,” Amira enthusiastically pointed out.

“My pleasure,” Richard responded and stood and headed towards the direction Amira pointed.

Richard went to the extreme of the school close to the fence where Amira instructed him. When he got there, he noticed some group of students parading. He looked among them but thought Rebecca wasn’t among them.

“Richard!” Someone shouted. When he looked in the direction he was being called, he noticed that it was Alice.

Suddenly, all the students parading turned to look at him.

It was then that he noticed Rebecca. The moment their eyes met, he felt like his heart was freezing. She wore a white shirt, a black skinny jeans and a white pair sneakers that made her look extremely pretty. They smiled at each other for a while before Rebecca ran out of her mates and met him.

“Good morning,” Richard greeted her. “Good morning, how was your night?” she asked.

“It was nice I guess, I am glad you finally changed your mind,” Richard said.

“Oh yes I did, can we please sit there?” she pointed at the edge of the veranda of one of the last classes.

“Okay,” Richard responded. At that moment, he didn’t care what her mates would think of their relationship. All that he cared for was to be with her.

“Who is that boy?” one of the boys among the students asked.

“He was the one that challenged Mr. Salim,” One of the boys replied, referring to their mathematics teacher.

“Oh, yes I do remember him now,” the first boy replied.

“So, why are you here?” Rebecca asked Richard after they had sat down.

“I just came to see you,” Richard smiled.

“Really?” Rebecca questioned.

“Yes of course, is that just…” Richard said and hesitated.

“Just that…” Rebecca wanted to hear more.

“Never mind, it is not that important,” Richard said.

“Oh Richard, please do tell me what you have in mind,” Rebecca asked.

“I missed you, that’s why I came to see you,” Richard said.

They both became silent and stared at each other at that moment. It was the first time Richard has said something without thinking of the consequences of what he is saying. At that time, he felt like he was talking to her with his heart, not with his lips.

As for Rebecca, she could believe those words were coming out of Richard’s mouth. Her heart was beating faster than ever not because she’s scared, but because she felt something she has never felt before.

“Do you realize what you are saying?” Rebecca asked.

“Of course I do, isn’t it normal for teachers to miss their students?” Richard responded after coming back to his senses.

“You are talking as if you are an adult,” Rebecca laughed, concealing nervousness.

“For your information, I am already an adult,” Richard said.

“You are not yet an adult to me, I only consider people to be adults when they are 20,” Rebecca responded.

“Maybe you will change your opinion when you reach 18,” Richard replied.

“No I won’t, I have been like this since I was ten,” Rebecca informed.

“Look, most of the students’ attention is on us,” Richard said when he noticed how they were being looked at.

“Let them be, they are just jealous I have a sweet handsome teacher like you,” Rebecca smiled.

Everything sounded perfect in Rebecca’s sentence, but the fact that she mentioned “teacher” at the end, makes Richard think of it as ordinary.

“I am glad you changed your mind to participate,’ Richard said.

“You convinced me actually,” Rebecca responded.

“Good to hear that. So how many events are you participating in?” Richard asked.

“I’m participating in the march pass parade as you can see and the 100 meter race,” Rebecca replied.

“That’s wonderful. Are you in the same house with Alice?” Richard asked.

“Yes I am,” Rebecca answered.

“When is the inter-house sport going to take place?” Richard asked.

“Next week on Saturday, I hope you will come and see me” Rebecca requested.

“I must come and see you,” Richard replied.

“It’s good to hear that from you,” Rebecca smiled.

They kept quiet for a while and watched as her house members were parading. “What do you think of our style of match pass?” Rebecca asked.

“It looks great, but…” Richard stopped.

“But what?” Rebecca asked.

“The way they move their arms, the way they turn, and the way they arrange themselves are all wrong,” Richard opined.

“Really? Then you should teach us,” Rebecca said excitedly.

“No that won’t be necessary,” Richard replied.

“Why not? Weren’t you the one that told me you once led your school during the children’s day?” Rebecca reminded me.

“Oh yes, but doing that here will make me seem so pretentious,” Richard explained.

“No, they won’t say that,” Rebecca answered.

Rebecca stood up and went to her house captain who happened to be in his final year.

“Hey Ali,” Rebecca called her house captain.

“What is it?” Her house captain asked excitedly as he walked out of the students parading.

“That boy over there said he is going to teach us better, he noticed some mistakes in our moves,” Rebecca said.

“Is that so?” He asked.

“Yes, let me go and tell him to come,” Rebecca said and walked back to Richard.

“Come on Richard, let’s go there and tell them how to do it,” Rebecca smiled.

“What did she tell you?” one of the students asked the house captain.

“She said the boy over there is going to teach us better,” the house captain said.

“Is she trying to tell us that we don’t know how to do it?” a girl asked.

“Who does she think she is to say such things?” one of the girls asked.

“Oh why didn’t you say that while she was here?” Alice asked.

“Do you think I can’t say it in front of her?” the girl asked.

“Of course you can’t,” Alice replied.

At that time, Rebecca and Richard got to where the students were.

“Thank God she is here, now, say what you said again,” Alice said.

“What did she say?” Rebecca asked angrily.

“She said who do you think you are to bring someone here to teach us,” Alice replied.

“What? You dare to say that? I will show you who I think I am you stupid girl,” Rebecca said.

“Don’t say that, this is exactly what I was afraid of in the first place,” Richard said.

“I don’t mean to cause any trouble; I just wanted to offer some new things to you that might help you. Is okay, if you don’t like it,” Richard said and turned to leave.

“Is okay, you can show us what you have,” their house captain said.

Richard wanted to leave, but seeing the look in Rebecca’s eye made him remain behind.

“Alright, what do we start with?” The house captain asked.

“Let’s start with arranging you guys,” Richard replied.

After had arranged them, he showed them how to do the parade properly.

They were all impressed by Richard’s method and accepted that it was better than theirs. He trained them for more than an hour until some of them announced that they were tired.

Richard suggested that they should rest for the day.

“I really like your style, where do you come from?” the house captain asked Richard.

“I come from Kogi state,” Richard responded.

“That’s quite far from here,” the house captain answered.

“Yes it is,” Richard replied.

“I heard that you are the best student in this university,” the house captain.

“I think it has been exaggerated,” Richard replied in surprise.

“Not really, I want to come to this university after I graduate, which course do you think I should apply for,” the house captain.

“That is a very sensitive case. It is a decision that will follow you for your entire life,” Richard replied.

“You are absolutely right,” the house captain responded.

Richard talked to the house captain with some other boys for a while. At the end, they invited him to the birthday of one of their house members which will take place in the town after their inter house in the evening.

“Come on, it will be fun. Rebecca will also be coming,” the house said.

“Actually, I am a very busy person. But I will try to see through my schedule,” Richard replied. They talked for minutes before Rebecca approached them.

“Hey Rebecca, I told Richard that you will be coming to my birthday, can you try to convince him to come?” The house said to Rebecca.

“He is the busiest boy on the planet, but I will try my best,” Rebecca smiled.

“You see, it will be fun,” the house captain said.

“I will be going home now, I’m so exhausted,” Rebecca revealed.

“Alright, then we should get going,” Richard replied.

“Goodbye Mister…” Richard said and stopped.

“You can call me Ali,” the house captain completed.

“Okay Ali, I will see you next time,” Richard concluded.

Richard, Rebecca and Alice headed towards the gate of the school.

“You were great today Richard,” Alice said to Richard.

“Of course he is,” Rebecca responded.

“Who is that boy to you?” Richard asked Rebecca.

“He is a friend of course,” Rebecca responded.

“Really?” Richard asked.

“Yes of course, you will like him. His father is the richest man in this town, and yet he doesn’t show any sign of being wealthy unlike the rest of the kids in the school,” Rebecca explained.

“Wow! I love people like that,” Richard commented.

“Do you know that he was even offered the chance to study abroad but rejected it because he wants to be with his friends here?” Rebecca asked.

“He is a good person indeed, no wonder you have a good relationship with him,” Richard replied.

“So, will you be going to his birthday party?” Rebecca asked.

“I don’t know, the last time I went to a party, it didn’t turn out well,” Richard explained.

“Really?” Rebecca asked.

Before Richard could reply, they were approached by Amira.

“How was the march pass parade?” Richard asked her.

“I didn’t participate,” Amira responded. “Why not?” Richard asked.

“My housemates made me angry,” she replied.

“That’s very bad of them, should I go and scold them for you?” Richard teased.

“I have scolded them already,” she laughed.

They walked out of the school and stood by the road. Alice took a taxi home, while Richard, Rebecca and Amira remained behind.

“Are you going to take a taxi home?” Richard asked.

“Of course we will, do you expect me to walk home all the way from here despite how tired I am?” Rebecca asked.

“Didn’t you say you will participate in a race?” Richard asked.

“I did, but I didn’t say I will be participating in a long distance race,” Rebecca responded.

“Okay you should walk me to that building over there before you take a taxi,” Richard requested.

“Okay, let’s do that,” Rebecca agreed even though she was so tired.

“So, you were telling us about one of the parties you attended earlier,” Rebecca reminded.

“Oh yes,” Richard replied.

“Why did it turn out bad?” Rebecca asked.

“It happened to be in a club. While we were there, police broke in and started arresting people. We hardly escaped,” Richard explained.

“With whom did you escape?” Rebecca asked. That moment, Richard felt like Rebecca should not talk about Janet .

“With my friend,” Richard lied.

“Why did you attend parties like that in the first place?” Rebecca asked.

“I was taken there unknowingly by a friend. I have never been so angry with him like that day,” Richard explained.

“Hey, why have you been quiet all along?” Richard asked Amira.

“I noticed that you guys are enjoying your talks, so I don’t want to interrupt you,” Amira laughed.

Chapter 20

A week later, the day which Rebecca will be having the inter-house sports arrived. She woke up at 5 am feeling so excited and nervous at the same time. She went to her bathroom and brushed her teeth before coming back to her room. She sat by her bed imagining what she would expect.

She thought about Richard and how he will be impressed if she wins the 100 meter race. She had been the best racer so far, but she still doubted herself until then. About an hour later, she stood up and went to the kitchen to start preparing breakfast. She suddenly remembered that her mother had bought some bread the previous night. She put some water for tea on the stove and walked to the living room.

She turned on the TV and started watching it to kill some time. 10 minutes later, she went back to the kitchen and found the water already boiling. She prepared some tea and put it in a red flask. She then fried some eggs and had them covered with a plate.

After she was done, she went to her bathroom and took a bath. She dressed in her sportswear which was a yellow shirt, a white skirt that was slightly above her knees and a white sneakers. She went to the dining room and had breakfast. By the time she was done, it was already 7 am. She went to her mother’s room and woke her.

“Good morning mum,” Rebecca greeted her mother.

“Good morning, how are you?” her mother asked.

“I’m fine,” Rebecca replied.

“I can see that you are ready for your inter house sport,” her mother observed.

“Yes I am,” Rebecca smiled.

“What’s the time now?” Her mother asked.

“It is 7 o’clock,” Rebecca responded.

“By what time are you starting the inter house sports? Isn’t it too early for you to go by this time?” her mother asked.

“Actually, we are going to practice more for our march pass parade before the inter house starts by 9 O’clock,” Rebecca explained.

“I wish you good luck then,” Her mother replied.

“Will you be attending the program?” Rebecca asked.

“Actually, I have organised a lecture with some of my students,” Her mother replied.

“Please mum, you have never seen me participating in any inter-house sport,” Rebecca begged.

“I also wish I could attend it, but I have already made a promise to the students. They will think of me as an irresponsible person if I don’t go,” Prof. Grace explained.

“Please do understand my situation,” Prof. Grace continued.

Rebecca angrily walked out of her mother’s room and went to the living room. She felt like crying at that time, but she tried and controlled herself.

She had a feeling that Richard will also not attend the inter-house sport. She quickly ran back to her mother’s room and asked her for his number.

“What are you going to do with his number?” her mother asked.

“I want to remind him about attending my inter house sport,” Rebecca responded.

“You better not waste your time; I will also be having a lecture with his department. And we will be having a test at the end of the lecture,” her mother explained.

“What? Rebecca exclaimed.

“Yes, you heard me,” her mother replied. Rebecca angrily left her room. At that moment, she regretted not having Richard’s phone number. She would have called him to find out if what her mother was telling is true. But somehow, she had confidence that he would come.

About 20 minutes later, Rebecca heard Amira calling her name from their living room. She stood up from her bed and went to the living room and found Amira also dressed in her sportswear.

She wore a red polo shirt, a white skirt and a pair of white sneakers.

“Hey,” Amira said as Rebecca approached her.

“Have you gotten ready?” Rebecca asked.

“Oh yes I have, what about you? It seems like you are upset,” Amira said.

“Like always, my mum said she will not be attending the inter house sport,” Rebecca replied.

“Maybe she will be very occupied, that’s why she can’t go,” Amira said, trying to calm her.

“She doesn’t have an excuse, why can’t she spare just a day out of her busy days to be there for me?” Rebecca asked angrily.

“Please lower your voice, don’t let her hear you,” Amira said.

“What if she hears me? I am just telling the truth, I’m not scared of anything,” Rebecca responded.

“Please don’t say such things about your mum, I beg you,” Amira said.

“She is my mum, not yours,” Rebecca responded.

“Alright, I understand,” Amira responded. “Come on, let’s get going,” Rebecca said and they walked out of the house.

***

Richard woke up having a battle on his mind. He had planned on attending Rebecca’s inter house sport, but he was also called and told that they will be having a test that morning. He finally stood up after 10 minutes of thinking.

As he was heading out of his room, his phone started ringing. He walked back to his phone which he plugged charging close to Gabriel’s bed. When he unplugged the phone, he noticed that it was Janet calling him.

Richard: Hello

Janet : Good morning sweetheart

Richard: How are you darling?

Janet : I’m well

Richard: So, what’s up?

Janet : Everything is up

Richard: What do you mean by that?

Janet : You have recently changed Richard, don’t you love me anymore?

Richard: Why would you ever say that? Of course I do love you

Janet : I don’t think so. You don’t call me like you used, we don’t hang out like before.

Richard: You know I am always busy, how could you think like that?

Janet : You used to have time for me no matter how busy you were.

Richard: Please do not misunderstand it, I just have some stuff going on.

Janet : Is okay, let’s meet today in the evening and discuss it

After the call, Richard brushed his teeth and started preparing his breakfast. As he was about to finish the breakfast, Paul walked into the room.

“Where have you been for the past 2 days?” Paul asked as he walked into the room.

“I am the one to ask you this question,” Richard replied

.

“So what are you cooking?” Paul asked.

“I’m cooking the usual of course,” Richard responded.

“And what’s that?” Paul asked.

“Rice you stupid, what do I usually cook other than that?” Richard asked and Paul started laughing at him.

“You know, Janet called me yesterday,” Paul announced.

“What did she tell you?” Richard asked.

“She said she thinks you don’t love her anymore,” Paul explained.

Richard kept quiet, wondering to tell Paul. “Why are you doing this to her? You know a girl like her is the type that every boy is after,” Paul urged.

“The thing is, I don’t feel happy when I’m around her like I used to,” Richard responded.

“Are you in love with another girl?” Paul asked.

“I think so,” Richard replied.

“Don’t make this mistake Richard, you are about to leave one of the prettiest girls in this school,” Paul cautioned.

“If you are speaking of beauty, Janet is no match to this girl,” Richard replied.

“Really? I wonder who this person could be,” Paul smiled.

“She hated me before, but it turns out that she is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met,” Richard explained.

“By any chance, are you talking about Prof. Grace’s daughter?” Paul asked.

“How did you know?” Richard asked.

“Come on, she is just a high school kid. Pray her mum never finds out because she will be very disappointed,” Paul explained.

“Yes I know, that’s why I have been controlling myself,” Richard replied.

“This seriously is not something you should be saying, you should get her off your mind right away,” Paul replied.

“I will,” Richard replied.

“Are you aware that we will be having a test later?” Paul asked.

“Yes I am aware,” Richard replied.

“I haven’t read much, I need your assistance please,” Paul begged.

“Alright, don’t you worry,” Paul assured.

After they were done eating the food Richard cooked, they walked out and went to their department waiting for Prof. Grace to come and conduct her lecture and her test.

It was some few minutes to 9 O’clock, and Richard knew that Rebecca’s inter house sport could start any moment from that time. At that moment, he wished to see Rebecca more than ever.

He began to remember how desperate she wanted him to be there and the reason why she agreed to participate. Suddenly, he had a feeling that she is the most important thing in the world to him. He quickly stood up and started heading out of the hall.

“Where are you going?” Paul asked Richard. “Somewhere,” Richard replied. “Prof. Grace will be here any moment, why don’t you wait until after her lecture?” Paul asked.

“I will be back soon,” Richard replied and walked out the hall.

As soon as he got out, he met Janet trying to get in.

“Hey Richard, where are you going?” she asked.

“Somewhere,” Richard responded and kept walking. Janet remained silent and watched him as he walked away.

***

Rebecca had been impatiently waiting to see if Richard could show up despite knowing he would be having a test. She started blaming her mother for everything that got her really sad and provoked.

She wished Richard could be there to see her participating.

By 9 O’clock, the school was filled with many guests, most of which were the families of the students and invited students from other schools. The inter house was about to start, and the first event was the march pass parade competition.

The students that will participate in the march pass parade arranged themselves according to the houses wearing the same outfit. The school band played and the students were ready to start. Rebecca kept looking at the crowd to see if she could spot Richard.

She at last gave up after the march pass started.

“Besides, he has a stupid test organised by my mother, why would he come anyway?” Rebecca thought. As they were parading, Rebecca suddenly turned and noticed Richard in the crowd. She instantly felt like ice was placed on her heart. The smile on her face was so radiant and enchanting. They paraded around the path made for the parade and they were judged as they went along.

After the parade, Rebecca ran to Richard excitedly.

“I thought you were not coming, I was told that you have a test,” Rebecca said.

“I do have a test, they are currently writing it right now,” Richard responded.

“Then why did you abandon your test to come here? You shouldn’t have come,” Rebecca said.

“Nothing is more important to me in this world right now than seeing you, especially on a wonderful day like this,” Richard replied.

Rebecca felt her heart would melt at that moment.

His words are getting sweeter in her ears every single day.

“I owe you my life Richard,” Rebecca smiled. She wanted to hug him but was scared.

“You look beautiful,” Richard complimented.

“And you look handsome,” Rebecca smiled back.

Suddenly Alice appeared before them. “Hey Richard,” Alice said.

“How are you Alice?” Richard asked.

“I’m okay, have you seen our parade?” Alice asked.

“Oh yes I have, you did wonderful,” Richard replied.

“Thanks to you, I have no doubt that our house will be in the first place,” Alice replied.

“Take a photo of us,” Rebecca interrupted and handed Alice her phone.

“Okay,” Alice replied.

Rebecca moved closer to Richard and put her hand around his shoulder. Alice started taking the pictures.

They took many pictures until it was time for Rebecca to race. She was suddenly overcome by fear as their names were called.

“I know you can do it,” Richard encouraged her.

“I wish I could,” Rebecca responded. She walked into the school field with her body trembling like never before.

She had run many races before, but she had never felt scared like this one. The racers arranged themselves at the starting point of the race. They took off as soon as the gun was fired. Richard suddenly started trembling as they started racing.

He wished she could come in the first place. But after the race ended, she took second place. She became very disappointed in herself and felt like exploding from the inside.

She had been racing for more than 4 four years and she had never come anything but first. She ran out of the field and headed out of the school. Richard ran after her and held her hand.

When she turned, he noticed that her face was already in tears.

“This is why I said I am not participating in the first place, but you made me run,” Rebecca cried.

“I am really surprised that you are crying because of this, if there is a champion here today, that should be you,” Richard said. “Why should that be me when I have lost?” she asked.

“Because you have won my heart,” Richard replied.

The moment Rebecca heard him, the tears in eyes stopped. She felt as if her breath had been taken away by the words he said. That moment, she felt like telling everything she felt for him. But somehow, her lips became glued and couldn’t utter a word.

“You are the champion here today, so you should be happy,” Richard continued. “Richard,” she called out finally.

“Why are you so nice to me?” She asked. “Because…” Richard started.

“Don’t you dare say it’s because I am your student,” Rebecca interrupted.

“How do you know what I wanted to say?” Richard asked.

“Because it has been your only answer,” Rebecca replied.

“But please tell me something more,” Rebecca requested.

Richard suddenly realized where she was going, but he then remembered about her mother.

“I can’t,” Richard replied.

“Why can’t you?” she asked. Richard became quiet and couldn’t talk.

“Goodbye,” she said and ran out of the school compound.

Chapter 21

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in All Stories, Fiction, Happy Read, Romance, Young Adult (YA)

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