Tochukwu had been heartbroken after Chinedu’s refusal to date her. Even though Kunle had tried to talk Chinedu into taking advantage of the situation, he had been adamant. There was no use dating her if he did not love her; Chinedu had said. When Chinedu gave him the liberty to take his place, he had been so elated. To him, Tochukwu was going to be another of his conquests. He had stalked her for two days in a bid to find out where she stayed outside campus. With that accomplished, he decided to pay her a visit.
That fateful Saturday morning, he had left his hostel very early and was knocking at her door at 7.45am. Tochukwu, who was still in bed had risen up to open the door after a couple of knocks.
“What are you doing here?” She asked surprise clearly written on her face. She was still in her baby doll negligee but was not in the least bothered that it was a see-through. Kunle was seeing her without make-up for the first time and he wondered why she bothered to use one. She was very pretty with deep set eyes which were accentuated by high cheek bones. She was truly a beauty to behold. “Damn, what was Chinedu thinking about refusing this damsel?” He thought as he looked from her face to her see-through negligee.
“Excuse me? I asked what you are doing here at this time of the day.” She asked again seeing that he was obviously carried away.
“I came to say hi. Can I come in?”
“Okay”. She replied stepping aside while stifling a yawn. “Did you have to come say hi this early? It’s a quarter to 8.” She continued as she looked up at the clock on the wall.
“I’m sorry if I woke you up. I just felt you would need company, being a weekend. So, I decided to make myself available”. He smiled as she tried to stifle another yawn.
“Why are you smiling?”
“I guess you are still sleepy”.
“Anyway, how is Chinedu?” She asked taking her bath robe from her wardrobe.
“He’s okay. He’s still himself”. He shrugged sitting down on her bed and taking a good look round her room.
“Just okay? Does he talk about me? I mean, do I stand a chance with him?” She asked. “I’m sorry to bombard you with questions about Chinedu but you are his best friend; can you put in a word for me? She pleaded as she sat with her legs crossed on the bed and propped herself up with pillows.
“Tochukwu, I sincerely think you should give up your dream of being with Chinedu”.
“Why? I won’t give up on him”.
“He is my best friend and I can tell you categorically that he is not interested in dating anyone for now. You are a very pretty lady. Why waste your time on someone who won’t appreciate you and what you’ve got?” He cajoled.
“Thanks. I’m flattered but do you know how hurting it is to be rejected by someone you love so much. I haven’t even been given an opportunity to prove myself”. She said as her eyes filled with tears.
“Hey baby, leave Chinedu alone and let him go. You shouldn’t do this to yourself”. He said moving closer to console her. “The fact that Chinedu doesn’t want you has not stopped other men from desiring you”. He continued as he wiped her tears which were now spilling down her cheeks.
She desired Chinedu so much that she felt heartbroken by his rejection. If only he could give her just one opportunity. She would shower him with so much love that none could compare. “Can’t you convince him?” She asked breaking into uncontrollable sobs.
“I won’t deceive you, Tochukwu. No amount of convincing would change his mind. He is as stubborn as a mule”. He said as he pulled her closer to himself. He wondered why she was breaking apart over his best friend who cared no less about her feelings. As she rested her head on his shoulders crying, he felt pity for her. He pulled back her hair which had dropped to cover her face and kissed her tear-stained cheeks. He noticed that she did not resist and went further to kiss the nape of her neck. She seemed to be lost in her world of grief and he decided to plant a full kiss on her mouth. At first, she tried to push him away, preferring to remain in anguish but his insistence took the better part and right there; she gave herself entirely to him.
As they both lay in her bed savouring the moment they just had together, she raised her head a little to look at him. “Kunle, we shouldn’t have done this”.
“I know but you were grieving so much that it just happened”.
“But it was wrong of you to have taken advantage of the situation. I love Chinedu and I intend to get him at all costs”.
“Hmm…..” He said as he rose up to get dressed. “I’m sorry if you think I took advantage of you. It wasn’t intentional. As for Chinedu, I think you should give up the fight. I really like you a lot and I think we could roll together”.
“You can’t be serious. You think this one-time together would give you leeway. I would advise you erase what just happened from your memory and never mention it to Chinedu”. She hissed.
“Cool. I won’t mention it to him but I think you should sincerely consider my offer. You are only going to remain hurt trying to win him over. He won’t budge. I know him more than you do. Besides, I have got a lot to offer. You are too pretty to keep on hurting over someone who doesn’t care about you”.
“Thanks for the offer but I would rather keep on trying. Please close the door after you and remember what happened in here must not be heard by a third party”. She said as she pulled up her bed cover, dismissing him.
The knock on the door brought Kunle out of his reverie. He looked at his wristwatch. It was a quarter after 3.00pm already. The knock grew persistent, irritating him. He flung the magazine on his bed and stood up to open the door. Tochukwu was carrying a travel bag slung across her chest, still chewing her gum. Without a word, he stepped aside for her to come in.
“Don’t you think you should have gotten back to me before now?” She asked in disgust.
“I guess I was the only one writing exams, right?”
“Very good excuse. Exams have been over for close to a week now. Anyway, I did not come here to trade words with you. I came for results”. She replied as she pulled her bag over her head to drop it on the bed.
“The result is as it has always been. He does not want you”.
“And you couldn’t convince him? I hope you are not thinking you would get out of this so soon and very easy. You can’t be free until Chinedu is mine”. She spat.
“Look Tochukwu, I have tried my best. You knew before we dated that he never wanted anything to do with you so why would you put me under undue pressure now? If you think you have got information that can ruin my friendship with him, please go ahead; I don’t care. You can’t continue to threaten me over nothing”. He replied angrily.
“What’s that supposed to mean? Don’t dare me. You don’t wanna know what I’m capable of doing”.
“What are you capable of? Tell me. What exactly can you do? You are just a miserable bitch”. He said raising his voice. “I don’t even know why I am wasting my time talking to you when I should be on my way home”. He continued as he lifted up his travel bag from the bed.
“Kunle, you called me a miserable bitch? You will know what a miserable bitch is capable of doing by the time I am through with you. I would so ruin you that there would be nothing left to salvage”.
“Get out of my room”.
“I would be back. I promise you”.
As Tochukwu sat behind the driver who had been assigned to pick her up from school, she reminisced on what had just taken place in Kunle’s room. He had dared her and she was going to ruin him. She always got whatever she wanted but her desire for Chinedu was proving to be beyond her reach.
Her parents, Chief and Chief (Mrs.) Abanum had been married for twelve years without a child. Every form of medical test was carried out but doctors continually confirmed that they were both medically fit to have kids. When Mrs. Abanum had gotten pregnant for the first time after twelve years, her husband had flown her abroad; away from the prying eyes of relatives. It had been a battle to keep his marriage as his relatives had continually advised him to get a fertile virgin from the village to bear him kids. All sorts had been insinuated about his wife; she had eaten up all her kids, she had handed them over to the queen of the river, she had sold them to ritual killers for wealth and so on.
After Tochukwu was born, her parents tried having more kids but were unsuccessful. Therefore, it did not come as a surprise to all who knew them that they pampered their daughter to no end. Everything she wanted, she got. Every school vacation was an opportunity for her to travel abroad and travel round, she did. She was the typical spoilt child who never cared whose ox was gored as long as she got whatever she wanted. She therefore, grew up to become self-centered and spared no one her tantrums; her parents inclusive.
As she bit her lips in anger, she thought about what she could do to teach Kunle a lesson he would never forget. She could call Chinedu and tell him that his best friend was scheming to date his girlfriend. She could even say she saw them together in a compromising position. That way, she could also get back at Fadeke. She also needs to be dealt with. As she considered what her next line of action would be, a thought filtered through her mind. Would Chinedu believe me? There was a high possibility that he wouldn’t. She knew he loved Fadeke too much to believe any cock and bull story cooked up about her. Kunle, on the other hand, had come a long way with Chinedu. All the odds are against me and I’m going to end up the loser. It won’t be a big deal if I lost Fadeke’s friendship, but I am definitely not ready to lose my prospects with Chinedu.
She thought about what she could do. Chinedu was slipping off her hands; a fact that stared her in the face. The threat she issued to Kunle was also going awry. She had assumed she could wrap him around her fingers for a while and make him do as she wished. But her plan wasn’t working as expected any longer. She chewed on her fingers and soliloquized, “Tochi, think, think!”
“Sorry small madam, were you talking to me?” The driver asked looking back.
She suddenly realized that she was still in the car. “Talking to you?” She hissed. “Abeg, face front. Who is talking to you?”
She looked at her wristwatch. It was a quarter to 7.00pm. She rubbed her temples trying to ease the headache that was setting in. What she needed now was good food and a bed to lay her head. The troubles of the day had taken a toll on her. Tomorrow was another day.