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Following Chris : Premiere

He sat there, in the front seat of the same bus he had been boarding for the past three days, pondering on the decision he had had to make recently. He kept wondering if it was the right one or maybe he had made a colossal error he would regret for the rest of his later life.

He looked out the window, and then looked back in towards the rear of the bus and wondered why the bus wasn’t filling up as quickly today like it had in the past few days.

“Where are all the regular passengers?”, he thought to himself.

Feeling his stomach starting to make rumbling noises, he figured no harm in getting a snack for the road. He called out to the woman hawking beef rolls and ‘minerals’

“Madam, abeg give me two Gala and one bottle of Sprite.” The woman handed over the goods, and then he paid, and the woman handed him his change.

“Thank you, Oga”, she said.

Starting to wonder why the bus still hadn’t filled up, he heard the whistle sound that was the alert of his S3, thinking it was one random WhatsApp or ChatOn message, he ignored it for the mean time. Breaking chunks of the Gala in his hand and stuffing his mouth with it, he poured some of that cold Sprite down his throat and almost instantly, the rumbling stomach seemed to have been appeased. Who could blame the stomach anyway? He hadn’t fed the stomach all day.

As soon as he was about finishing the Sprite, the driver came into the bus and he heard the sliding door of the rear of the bus close. That signified they were about to leave the park and start on the journey heading home.

He fished his phone out of his pocket, to plug in his earphones to drown out the sounds – the two excited girls behind him talking about the hunk that was just employed at their office, the women at the girls’ back debating whether Pampers or Huggies was better for their respective toddlers, a man telling the woman beside him to shift – around him, and that’s when he saw the envelope icon at the top of the screen signifying that he had an unread text message.

He swiped down from the top of the screen, so he could view the notification, and therefore read the text. It was from Toyin, or TY, like she likes to be called. He hadn’t seen or heard from her since she said she wanted, no, needed an adventure.

The text read, “Hey Chris, I know you’d be pissed, but I still remember where you keep your spare, so I’m letting myself in. See you when you get home. We’ve got a lot to talk about. TY xx”

As soon as he was done reading, he breathed in sharply. He was so upset. Why did she come to him? Didn’t she have anywhere else to go? What happened to the “adventure”?

She had broken his heart to smithereens. What did she want from him now? To make sure the small remaining pieces were ground into powder?

With that stream of thought and consciousness, he remembered the day when he first saw her . . .

She was a party girl, he was a party-sometimes-read-sometimes kind of guy. Naturally, academically, he was slightly better. They never would have met if not for the fact that his stupid course of study did not ask its students to borrow courses not just from another department but from another college entirely. What was his business with accounting? In what ways would that better his life?

The classes were boring to say the least. The first two were unbearable. The third one, he purposely absented himself from the class, in other words, he ‘stabbed’ the class. And so did he the fourth, the fifth, and the sixth. On the day of the sixth class, the lecturer had said there was going to be a test in the next class. The students that were present did their due diligence and informed the ‘stabbers’ that there was going to be a test in the next class.

On the eve of the day of the test, he got his materials and started studying and asking for help where he did not understand. When the time for the test came, he went into the hall mildly prepared and kept his fingers crossed. As the test was about to start, the lecturer wasn’t having the ‘formations’ the students had set, so he decided to have the class rearranged.

Naturally, students from his college didn’t necessarily socialize from the students from her college. So it was a safe bet sitting the students by college. A student from the College of Science. A student from the College of Business.

As fate would have it, they were both seated on the same long class chair. The lecture began distributing the questions and the people that received the questions at the front of the class, just put their hands on their heads and by the looks of it, the questions were really hard.

By the time the questions eventually got to their table, he couldn’t see what the fuss was about. The questions weren’t all that difficult, and he just buried his head and started attempting the ones he could.

There were six questions, they were to answer four. By the time he was done with the third question, and he was trying to figure out which he one he was going to attempt last based on his level of knowledge on each of them , he looked up to notice that the girl sitting beside him was not writing anything.

“What’s the problem?”, he said in a very low voice.

“I don’t know what to write”, she responded, whispering back.

“How come?”, he asked.

“I don’t know what to write”, she said, rolling her eyes at him.

“Wait”, he murmured.

He finally picked a question and started solving. After he was done, he picked another one and solved. He had answered 5 out of 6. He made sure he did an extra question so that they didn’t end up solving the exact same questions and when they were done he was going to cancel out the last one he solved.

“Psst”, he called out to her, and then moved his answer sheet in such a way that she could see it.

She looked towards him and she saw what he was doing. Not being a slacker herself, she started copying. She was very fast with her writing and within moments she was done copying.

As soon as she was done, he turned the answer sheet back towards him and cancelled out the last question he had solved. He then made his way to submit. Looking behind him, she wasn’t far away as she too had stood up and wanted to submit as well. He submitted, and then went out of the room. She was right behind him and he kept walking towards the stairs to make his way back to his hostel room. He felt someone tap him. He turned, and that’s when he really saw her.

Her hair was very shiny and black. It flowed in waves to adorn her glowing, light-brown skin. Her eyes, framed by long lashes, were a sparkling, aquamarine and seemed to brighten the world. The color in her eyes were from contact lenses, but it seemed so natural. A straight nose, full red lips. She had all the right curves in all the right places – she seemed the picture of perfection. You didn’t need to be Kodak to get the picture.

“Aren’t you gonna let me say, ‘thank you’”, she said smiling, revealing a perfect set of white teeth.

“It’s nothing”, he replied.

“Don’t be modest. You did me one solid. I owe you one”, she replied.

“OK then. Why don’t you give me your number and I’d think of a way you could thank me”, he said.

“Give me your phone”

He handed over his phone and she programmed her number in it.

“Call me”, she said.

With that, she turned and walked away swaying her hips from side to side.

He just stood there, watching her leave. As she rounded a corner, he proceeded down the stairs and was on his way back to the hostel trying to figure out where he was going to take his girlfriend for her birthday. All thoughts of the pretty girl somewhat forgotten.

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