Fadeke and Chinedu became more attached to each other as the days went by. Fadeke had noticed that whenever she talked about Chinedu to Tochukwu, there was always an unexplained hostility, so she decided it was best to keep talks about Chinedu out of their chats. She had thought of telling Chinedu, but what difference would it make? Besides, she did not think he knew her, so she also kept mum over the issue.
Fadeke had tried inviting Chinedu to her hostel off-campus but he had declined saying there was no need for them to be in a hurry. They had a whole lot of time ahead of them to do that, he had explained. He also did not want her visiting him in his hostel. He did not see any reason why she should. Besides, he knew how rough hostels for men could get, so he wanted to save her any embarrassment. Besides, they both had mobile phones and with most telecommunication companies in the country running midnight call promos, they both made use of the opportunity and chatted till they fell asleep. As far as Chinedu was concerned, that was enough to make him have sweet dreams.
In three weeks, exams were over and students started going home for the holidays. Some, however, decided to hang around in school for a while. Fadeke, on her part was eager to go home. This was the first time she would be away from her parents for a long period of time. She had had her secondary education as a day student and the few occasions she was away from home; it was always on a trip abroad and she still had family around her. She could not wait to see her parents. She rang Chinedu and they both agreed to meet at their favourite spot.
“So you are taking a bus home or what?” Chinedu asked her as he sat cross legged on the bench resting under the tree.
“Nah….my dad would be sending his driver to come pick me up. I called him yesterday immediately after my last paper”. She said excitedly.
“Oh….so when are you leaving?
“Today? He asked alarmed.
“Do you have a problem with that?”
“Not exactly. I just thought we could spend some more time together now that most students are rushing home”.
“Aww…..I didn’t think about that. I’m going to miss you”.
“I know. Why do you think I wanted you alone to myself for a few days?”
“I’m sorry. I should have asked you before making the call”. She said remorsefully.
“So aren’t you going home?”
“I would but I’m not in a hurry. I would hang around with my friends for a while”.
With the earlier excitement gone, she was unsure of her decision to leave school. She had sincerely missed her parents but she also did not want Chinedu feeling lonely. Thinking it through, she decided she would go home but not without a promise from him.
She weaved her hands into his. “Would you still call me every night?”
“Of course baby, I would”. He said chuckling. “Out of sight isn’t out of mind for me. Even though we are miles apart, you would be right here”. He said putting his hands still locked in hers on his heart. She rested her head on his chest and he held her close. He struggled with the emotions that were building up in him and as she pulled closer to him. His heart beat increased and he wondered if she could hear it.
“You should go and get your luggage ready now”. He said, fighting his feelings with all the will power he could garner.
“I would do that later. I just want to stay here with you”. She said, still resting her head on his chest. She wanted to savour this moment and wasn’t in a hurry to leave. The driver could wait while she packed her luggage, she thought. She was not sure she would see him throughout the six weeks break they had been given. She therefore, wanted to make the best use of their time together. She wished she could stay in his embrace listening to his heartbeat all day. Suddenly, she realized.
She raised her head in alarm. “Are you okay?”
“I don’t understand what you mean?”
She put her hand on his chest to feel his heartbeat. “I mean this. You are beating so fast”.
“That’s what you do to me”. He said looking straight into her eyes. Her hand was still on his chest and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to take it away or not. She blushed and was about to put her head back on his chest when he held her by the chin. He kissed her slowly and gradually but the desire burning in them took over and they kissed as if they were going to tear themselves apart.
As they came apart, they panted as beads of sweat covered their foreheads. The evening became colder sending shivers down Fadeke’s spine.
“You are cold. You need to go back to your hostel and get your luggage ready”. Chinedu said pulling her into his arms again and trying to keep her warm. Deep down his heart, he did not want to let go of her but considering the way they just kissed, he knew it was best she left. He wanted to avoid doing anything that would bring regrets for them. They still had a long way to go, he thought.
She cuddled him. “Please, don’t make me go to the hostel now”.
“But you are cold. Besides, you said your luggage isn’t packed yet. It won’t be nice to keep your dad’s driver waiting, you know?” He said trying to look for every reason to make her leave. It wasn’t what he wanted as well but they had to do it this way.
“Are you sending me away?” She asked with a long face.
“Hmm….Fadeke”. He said sighing. “Do you think I don’t want to stay with you as much as you want it? But it is better you leave now. Please understand”.
Even though she knew he was right, she did not want to leave. Why had she called her dad without talking to him first? She thought. They could have had a few days alone like he had said. Now she felt miserable. She understood what he meant when he said she had to leave but could they really go that far? The place wasn’t right, so what was he scared of? She wanted to stay a few hours more but she knew there was no point flogging it. Chinedu’s mind was made up about her leaving now. A tear slid down her cheek and she looked away trying to hide it.
“Fadeke, do you understand me?” Chinedu asked turning her face to him. When she refused to lift up her head, he nudged her. Sensing that something was amiss, he lifted up her chin to look at her and saw tears streaming down her cheeks. “Don’t do this, please”. He pleaded.
She avoided his gaze. “I’m sorry. I understand what you have said”.
He pulled her close and caressed her, her head under his chin. Seeing her tears made his heart break. He loved her so much and wouldn’t dare hurt her. He closed his eyes and her Daisy fragrance by Marc Jacobs which had become a signature for her assaulted his senses. The weather got windier and she broke out in goose pimples and held him tighter. He rubbed her arms rigorously trying to will some heat into her body. He kissed the nape of her neck and felt her shiver. Her lips found his and she kissed him so passionately rekindling and reawakening emotions he had tried to suppress. He had to pull her back before he got to a point of no return. Using his knuckles to caress her face, he smiled. Words were not enough to express his feelings and she smiled back as if to acknowledge his thoughts.
He stood and pulled her up and as they walked out of the campus, they both had the same thing on their minds. The next six weeks was going to be a trying time for them.
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