She was a bit mortified because he noticed her yawn but he waived it off: She was glad that at least it earned her some rest. She soon drifted to sleep on the chair while Williams did all the work.
He allowed her sleep while he cleaned the pans and messy bowls and work table. By the time she woke up the whole work was done.
Oh Willy” she said with a wearied voice.
“Why didn’t you wake me up? I must have stressed you badly” she walked tiredly from the chair to pack the cakes into the refrigerator.
“It’s nothing at all” he replied half smiling as he removed his apron and cleaned his hands and clothes with a clean towel.
With the cakes well packed, she proceeded to pack her stuffs into the bag and watched Williams carry his backpack as well before they both stepped out and she locked the bakery.
Once outside, they strolled down to the gate side by side laughing and joking as they went with their shadows hurrying past them. Williams held her hands while they waited outside for a bike that would take them home but none was in sight.
“How far is your place?” Willy asked with worried concern.
“I doubt if we are going to get a bike anytime soon.”
“Not too far, just two streets ahead and voila we are at my place.
What about you?” she asked facing him.
“A street ahead, I’ll simply stroll in” he shrugged “I think we should walk” he suggested.
“I’m too tired to trek that far. Let’s hold on for a little while” this time she was already leaning on him yet conscious of the fact she doesn’t want to seem flirty.
“Come on” he said.
Willy collected her hand bag from her and allowed her lean on his well built body this time more closely on him. She had an arm wrapped around his waist while the other arm was free to wander as it pleased. This was the first time they shared bodily contact so close, so warm, and so comforting that neither could say no to it when it came.
They walked the sparsely filled street littered with bright bulbs laughing and telling stories: stories that came from nowhere, ones that came from the heart and ones that led to several stories as they passed by his street and started the journey towards getting to hers.
The long walk seemed so short when they approached Becca’s house. They stood outside and chatted for few more minutes before Becca dismissed him: grateful for the immense help he has been to her.
Becca heaved as soon as they exchanged pleasantries and parted ways.
He had deliberately decided to see her off to her house despite the fact that they had already passed his own street. Such acts of kindness used to win her effortlessly until recently.
She secured the lock carefully on the gate as soon she entered and walked briskly to her own flat which she shared with a friend who was a banker with an investment bank. She rang the door bell and waited till Chloe came to open the door. She entered and slumped into the sofa.
“What kept you so long? I expected that you’d be at home earlier today” Chloe queried as she locked the door and sat down on the floor where her laptop, books and some work sheets lay.
Becca ignored her and pulled off her blouse which she left on the sofa before going into the kitchen. She returned with a bottle of water which she drank half its contents and left the remaining on the table. Having drank the water and satisfied, she took time to notice the black satin night dress Chloe was putting on.
“Is that how you welcome someone who just had an hectic day into the house. This mouth of yours girl, better watch it” she scoffed and removed her sandals tossing them out of the way.
“I’m sorry but you got me worried. Just so you know I’m always the night crawler here” she admitted. “I was also disappointed when I came in expecting my stir-fried pasta instead I found a clean and empty pot in the kitchen”.
“Oge had an accident so I had to do my work all alone” Becca noticed Chloe’s raised brows and alarmed look when she mentioned the word ‘accident’. “It’s a minor thing, she’s getting better.” She quickly said to calm her down.
“Thank God” she said heaving a sigh of relief as she tossed the paper in her hand to the pile of papers that lay scattered across the room. “So how did you cope with the work all by yourself?” she asked.
“Someone assisted me” she said casually.
“Who helped you?”. “Someone in my complex did” she responded and made for the kitchen.
“I hope it’s not that sweet black guy with an Afro?” she asked curiously but got no answer to her question. She shrugged and continued with her work.
Becca returned minutes later with a tray containing Vegetable noodles and boiled eggs. She served it in a plate hoping they would eat together. The aroma greeted Chloe as she brought the tray into the living room. She quickly logged off her system and changed her position drawing nearer to the food on the tray.
“I never knew you were cooking something” she said with glee as she picked a fork from the tray. “You this babe ehn, your husband will enjoy oh” she confessed and lifted the noodles with her fork blowing air onto it before shoving the mouthful into her small mouth.
“That is if he decides to have sense. I love cooking good food for myself not for the sake of one husband.”
“Whatever, you didn’t answer me the other time: was it that black guy with an afro that helped you out today.” She persisted.
“Yes” she said emphatically and hissed when she noticed a silly grin on Chloe’s face immediately she responded.
“What is the matter?” she asked sternly.
“Nothing” she replied and continued eating.
Chloe continued punching away and sorting paper works before she retired to her room while Becca lay spiritlessly on the couch trying to concentrate on the exaggerations of an Indian film on zee cinema.
She and Chloe had met during their service year in Plateau. Their friendship blossomed throughout that year so they decided to stay together in Ibadan after their service year in plateau. They got a two-bedroom flat and spilt the costs and that was how they became official roommates.
They encountered lots of difficulties before they actually got a decent accommodation in Ibadan. Who will let out a whole flat, not even a room to two young ladies who were not married?
There are two things perceived to be involved, it is either those ladies are aristos living off rich boyfriends and sugar daddies or they are one of those so-called feminists who pose a lot of threat to the male folks. They had to beg and show proof that they were working class ladies who had better things to do than chasing men or being nasty to them.
This is the world where they have found themselves: a world where young ladies are not free to live and explore as they ought to. Well, maybe they are allowed to explore but only with some restraints and boundaries put in place.
However, this was not Becca’s concern: even when Mama Christopher raised her eyebrows and shook her head lamenting inaudibly how wasted her life is when she alighted from her brother’s car one morning.
She had just finished spending the weekend with his family and he decided to drop her off. She could see the worry in her heart, the scared look on realizing that this beautiful girl has just been used and dropped off. Her opinion about her was none of her business, she owe her no explanation.
And even when she was already packing her wares and locking her shop away, she owed her no explanation of who the young man, well built with an afro, whose strong arms held her waist as they laughed and walked past her shop was. She is just a lady who loves lipsticks, butter cream and good men if there were any close by.
Author: Akanni Desola (TheStoryTeller)