Nosa returned and was surprised to see Nicole.
“Are you not happy to see me. You got me worried, you busy my calls, I had to return because I was worried”.
“I am sorry” He said, yet he gave her no reason for not calling her. Nicole overlooked his response. She went to the kitchen and dished his food. They sat in the dinning room and chatted into the night.
On the bed, she began to prompt him to talk.
“I am sorry for showing up unexpectedly”
Nosa said nothing more. He left the bed to the sitting room and Nicole followed him.
“Why are you avoiding me. Did I do something wrong. Tell me and I will apologize”
He turned and looked at her.
“Believe me, you have not done anything wrong. I am glad you are here”
He kissed her so deeply and Nicole hugged him. She never wanted to let him go. He pushed her gently away from him.
“You are tempting me Nicole” He laughed softly.
“Alright! I understand that it’s till after marriage”
She left him in the sitting room. She showered and returned to the bed. She tried to redirect her thoughts to other things. She picked a novel and began to read until she fell asleep.
Nicole had not slept long before she noticed a hand roaming about her body. She enjoyed the touch but still played hard to get.
“I thought you said till marriage”
“Yes I did, but you are on my bed now”
Nicole smiled, took his hand and placed on her body, encouraging him to continue. That night Nosa deflowered her. She saw the disbelieve and fear in his eyes but didn’t know what to make of it.
“You are a virgin” He kept murmuring.
Forgive me” He said
He stood up and placed his two hands on his head.
“Relax Nosa you are scaring me, what is it?”
He helped her to the bathroom. Then replaced the bedsheet. That night, Nichole saw how fidgetty and confused Nosa became.
The bubble burst when saturday morning came. A knock sounded on the door and when Nicole opened the door, her friend Itohan stood at the entrance with a bulging stomach and a smile on her face. Itohan looked away but Nicole ushered her in.
“When did you get married without inviting me?” Nicole asked frowning.
“I am not married yet but will soon be” She said walking to the kitchen.
“Wait!, You can’t just come in and start walking to the kitchen.
Itohan laughed and shook her head in disbelief
“This is my house Nicole. The child i am carrying is for the owner of the house” “Nosa!, Nosa!, She called “I am here”
Nosa who had heard their discussion came out looking so remorseful. Nicole was expecting him to say something or deny Itohan’s claim.
“I am sorry Nicole” He said.
“What exactly are you sorry for?” She asked trying to control her tears. Her heart was beating so fast and hard.
“I am sorry, forgive” He repeated.
Nicole looked at him and then at Itohan.
“You knew we were dating and you stabbed me” She told Itohan “I thought you were my friend”
She passed them to the bedroom. She got her things and carried her bag. When she returned to the sitting room, Itohan was holding a plate of rice but Nicole ignored her.
“You went ahead to deflower me, when you had impregnated another. Good luck to both of you.
She left banging the door behind her. That was fifteen years ago. The pain of the betrayal still remained fresh in her memory.
She wiped the tears from her face and tried to go to sleep. It took a long while for sleep to envelope her.
On the bed, Nosa tried to shake off Uyi’s advise from his head. Life is not balanced, he reasoned. Nicole was a woman he was ready to marry but his parents stood against the marriage. On the day he introduced Nicole to his parents, his mother frowned.
“I know her parents, they are too poor. Can’t you see that apart from Nicole, others too are not educated. She would become a liability. Tell her parents to send her to school first”.
“But we are not rich mum”
“And we are not poor either” She interjected.
Nosa decided to send her to school. His parents got wind of it and confronted him.
“You are so foolish Nosa. Why are you so blinded by love. That girl is beautiful. You will end up working for another person to eat” She told him.
“I don’t understand”
“How many men send their girlfriends to school these days? Did you hear the story of how Osagie sent Eki to school. Eki graduated and refused to marry him. Eki went ahead to marry a wealthy man”
“Well Nicole is not like that papa”
“Will you shut up? Only time will tell”
Nosa was angry. Without voicing his thought, he drove to Uyi’s house. There he met Solomon another of his friend.
“Aah Nosa, you are so angry”
He took one of the plastic chairs inside and brought it out to sit.
“My father doesn’t like the idea that I am sponsoring Nicole’s education. They think what happened to Osagie would happen to me. They said I am not wise”
“I don’t see anything wrong in sending her to school. You want her to be a better person?” Solomon said.
“I stand with your parents my friend. Don’t be surprised that why you are killing yourself over Nicole, she is busy doing something else there.” Uyi interjected.
“I don’t believe you”
While he was with them, two young girls walked in and greeted them.
“Anh anh Itohan, what are you doing here?” Solomon asked.
“I escorted my friend to get some items from the supermarket.” Itohan said.
How is Nicole?” She asked Nosa.
“She’s fine. She will be around next month”
The girls sat for some times and left. They stare after the girls.
“Those girls are beautiful” Uyi said
“Very beautiful oo” Solomon said licking his lips.
“Well Itohan is prettiest” Solomon told them.
“Take her down before Nicole returns from school.
It’s no big deal” Uyi told him.
“Even though Mitchel is the woman I am getting married to, it doesn’t stop me from catching fun” Uyi further said.
“There is no guarantee that your Nicole is not catching fun over there. She may have a boyfriend over there. The problem with you Nosa is that you are too soft.” Said Solomon, raising his bottle of beer to his lips.
“Nicole is twenty two and she can’t be a virgin like she told you. Never! Waiting after marriage to confirm her virginity is error and that’s why you must learn from us to teach you things.” Uyi said laughing gently.
“Believe me Nosa, your Nicole is on a boy’s bed right now and you’re killing yourself.
Nosa, not wanting to hear more of the discussion, stood up and took his leave.
He got home perplexed by the conversation. The seed sown by his friends started to germinate. He told himself that he wouldn’t want to end up like Osagie. Putting one’s eggs in a basket is tantamount to suicide, he concluded in his heart.
On another thought, he decided to wait till Nicole returns from school to confirm her virginity. He wouldn’t wait until he marries her.
Meanwhile, pending on her returns, he will cool himself with Itohan.
Picking his phone from the table, he dialled Nicole’s phone number. The phone rang severally before she answered the call.
“My phone was on silence. I am sorry.”
“Don’t try this again. Are you with a guy there? Who are the people talking? He asked.
“My classmates are with me here and there…”
“I am sure they’re males.”
Before she could respond, he had dropped the call. She tried to reach him, his phone was switched off.
Nosa knew that Itohan and Nicole were neighbours. A fence separated their parents house.
The day he visited his parents, he asked his younger sister to go to itohan’s house and call her. The shy Itohan came after close to an hour. They met outside his father’s house. He told her he loves her and would want them to go into relationship.
The surprised Itohan looked at him frowning.
“I think sey you wan marry Nicole”
“I changed my mind. Na you be the woman of my dream.”
Itohan smiled shyly.
He invited her to his house. Before long she became a regular caller. She performs the wifely duties in his house.
“When you go see my parents? She asked one day
“Wetin I wan see your parents for? Nosa asked.
“You no go marry me?”
“Marry you? I can’t marry you Itohan. I love Nicole and she’s the one I will spend my life with.”
It was as if someone slapped Itohan.
“You sey wetin?
“I no fit marry you. You no go school and you no fit speak better English sef.”
She burst into a worrisome laughter.
“Oya send me to school because you must marry me oo”
“I can’t marry you”
“Make we see”
Itohan went into his room, picked her bag and marched out of the house in anger.
Few days later, Nosa was summoned by his parents.
Is Nosa right?
If you were Itohan, what would be your reaction?
To Be Continued… . . .
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