Monday, 3 July 2017
Sunday, 2 July 2017
“Most times, lack of understanding could ruin a beautiful relationship. One can say something with a particular perception while another can bear a different conception of that same thing. Hard as it may be to accept, written messages often deviate the content it tries to convey in the mind of others…but for spoken words, the reverse somehow may be the case.” Quote by Ann
Just when Nabel thought she has found all she ever wanted in Danny, this particular issue always surfaced. At several times in their relationship, he had relied on his parents to makes most of the decisions that concerns them. She had tried to make him understand how much she detest that but it has remained the same. Hence, the time around, she could take it no more…let’s find out…
Six months has gone since Danny moved to the capital territory. Everything has been moving fine and our phone communication has definitely improved. Especially at night, we could stay on calls talking nonstop until anyone of us falls asleep. In his absence, I visited his family once which made it my second visit. Though I found it bit uncomfortable, I was able to summon the courage and not only that, I wouldn’t have dared if Danny had not requested. Mrs. Clinton was down with fever and was placed on bed rest by their family doctor who insisted that she required enough rest to be able to recover fast.
“Oh Nabel, how thoughtful of you to have come around. You are welcome my daughter.” She managed a wry smile as I greeted her. “How do you feel now mother?” I inquired and returned the smile while I drew closer to her bed. “Not too bad my dear. Come sit by me, your presence would make things a lot better.” She coughed. I sat beside, held her hand and watched her till she fell asleep. During my previous visit, Mrs. Clinton had told me to feel at home anytime I come around. So while she was asleep, I went in search of Tricia. I checked the sitting room but she was not there. I was contemplating on whether or not to try her room when I heard a sound. I jolted, took some step forward toward the direction of the sound and then pause.
“What’s that? Is everything ok?” I asked, unsure of the source of the sound. Hearing no response, I boldly moved closer and finally emerged into the kitchen. There she was staring so sad at the glass plate on the floor. “What’s the matter Tricia?” I inquired but she didn’t response. I guessed she was a bit angered. “Are you hurt?” I asked as I rushed towards her. “No, am fine. It’s just…just…” She pointed at the floor. She had wanted to collect a ceramic plate from the cupboard above her when a glass plate slipped. So she dropped the former in a bid to get hold of the glass one but she missed both and then came the sound. Luckily, there were no breakage.
I picked the two plates, replaced the glass one while I kept the other on the large table at the center of the kitchen. There were potatoes, cabbage, garlic, olive oil, onions and few others on the table. “What are you going to make?” I asked her, collecting a knife. “Cabbage. Mum doesn’t want anything but this.” She replied. “So, how did you learn to cook soup?” I was curious. “Mum taught me.” She replied. I knew she was too tender for that but I guess she must be very smart to have learn so fast. This time, she took a stool, climbed it and brought another knife. I was amused that she was acting like a grown up but I tried not to show it.
“Don’t worry, just watch on while I take care of the cooking.” I said and began peeling the potatoes. “Thanks, but let me handle the garlic.” She requested and I just shrugged. Meanwhile, I washed the potatoes, caught them and put them in a pot. Tricia added some water, and placed the pot on the gas cooker. I washed the cabbage too, sliced it and the rest followed. In less than fifteen minutes and with Tricia’s help, the soup was ready. As Tricia dished some and took to her mother’s room, I cleared the unattended plates in the sink. Tricia came back to the kitchen and helped me rinse the plates…they were really a whole lots.
“How long has mother been like this?” I asked her. “For almost a week. But she is better now than she was few days ago. I was scared.” She replied. “Oh poor you! Don’t worry, mother will soon be alright. She just needed sufficient rest and…that’s it.” I assured her, making sure to use the right wording so as not to pull tears from her. I later learnt from her that her elder sister, Joyce travelled out of the country on vacation with her husband while Oliver, her immediate elder brother had gone back to his new school where he was admitted to study Quantity Survey. “Oh it’s a pity.” I almost thought aloud sensing how hard it must have been for the poor girl since their father was yet to return from his business trip.
By the time I checked Mrs. Clinton room, she had already finished consuming her plate of soup. “Nabel, thank you very much for the soup.” She appreciated when I entered the room. “Welcome. It was actually Tricia and I that prepared it. She is learning very fast.” I complimented. As nightfall approached, I was deeply concerned on the right way to announce my departure to them but fortunately the doorbell rang and it was Mr. Clinton. I assumed he must have been informed of his wife ailment but then I was very much relieve for his arrival since I had no intention of spending the night there…I was least prepared. After exchanging pleasantries with Mr. Clinton, he offered to drive me home and though I tried to decline his wife insisted. I bade them good night as Tricia hugged me tightly. “Don’t hesitate to call me anytime you need my help.” I whispered to her ear and she nodded and I left.
Back to school, normal semester activities were taking place. We were in the middle of the semester and our practical courses had kept us in the laboratory for so long. In one of those cases, we had just finished our practical on networking and were waiting for our group leader to combine our individual report for collective submission, when all of a sudden my phone rang. “Are you busy?” came the unidentifiable caller. “Not exactly, but who is on the line?” I asked coldly. “You will soon find out. Where are you now? I would like to meet you.” The caller replied. “Well, not until you disclose your identity.” I insisted. “Nabel, it is me, Kaleb.” The voice from the other end replied but I noticed a change of voice. Kaleb was my high school classmate but I got admission earlier before him. At the beginning of the semester, I stumbled on him when he came for registration and scrutiny. He had informed me he just got admitted into engineering department. “Oh Kaleb! Why would you want to see me? Anyways, am in computer lab right now. You got to hurry up so you won’t miss me.” I said at last, directed him and then dropped the call.
We were not yet done with our group task when Kaleb called to let me he was outside the laboratory. I excused myself from our leader and went to meet him. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I came outside. It was Nathan, my high school crush. He was somehow my first love, a relationship that was so natural to have existed. He was the chaplain prefect back then while I was his assistant. We both knew that we felt something innocent for each other but our title in school gave us strong restriction – we tried to lead by example. However, after graduation, he had called to pour out his feeling, then bearing in mind he no more had obligation to protect. Soon after that declaration of love, he told me he was going to reside with a far distanced relation due to his parent demise in a ghastly accident. After that, I never got to hear from him again until now, here he was standing before me, looking more handsome and gently than ever.
“You have grown into a very charming lady Nable…more than ever.” He complimented and we hugged. “What about you? You are now a big man!” I laughed. “So Kaleb, this was your little secret eh?” I clowned at him and we all laughed. “So what are you doing in our school? Kaleb never told me you were admitted here.” I was inquisitive. “Well, I wasn’t. After a very long time, I retrieved Kaleb’ contacted him and was surprised when he told me you both are in same institution. So, you can figure the rest of the story yourself.” He concluded and we all laughed again. “So what’s your schedule for the rest of today? Are you free?” Kaleb inquired. “You guys must have planned it because I just finished all I have for today. Just wait a minute.” I said and hurried into the laboratory. I informed my group leader of my intention to leave since I have submitted my own report and he obliged. I picked my school bag and left with them.
On our way, Kaleb suggested the school cafeteria and asked if I wouldn’t mind and I affirmed. “Nathan, I don’t mean to draw you backward, but believe me, I’m really sorry for what happened…I mean your parents. I tried to get across to you with the contact you gave me to no avail.” I sympathized. “It’s okay. I have long moved on with my life.” He was positive. “Where have you been all these years? When did you arrived here and how long are you planning to stay?” I was very curious, asking him so many questions while Kaleb went to place our orders. All these he provided the answers cheerfully. We all talked at length until they were ready to go but not without Nathan calling me aside.
“Nabel, can I see you again and how?” He couldn’t take his gaze off me. He looked very attractive but I tried to be indifferent. “I…I don’t know. Aren’t you planning to travel soon? ” I asked. He had told me he will stay a day or two with Kaleb since it was weekend. “I am no longer with my uncle. I’m now independently living alone in this state and I work too.” He explained. “Really? That’s splendid!…But I was least expecting to see you.” I was short of words. “Don’t you care about me anymore? Look, my feelings for you has never changed. You know back then in high school, we were…” I couldn’t let him finish. I didn’t want to remember the feelings I suppressed because of the title we bore then. “I’m sorry to disappoint you Nath. Things are different now. I have someone now and moreover I never knew you are gonna come back…I couldn’t have waited for uncertainty.” I said calmly, trying not to sound rude. “I hope you understand Nath.” I was observing the change in his expression and felt pity for him but at the same time, I couldn’t help it.
“You are right but I couldn’t have forgot you so soon. He must be lucky…the new guy. Does he treat you right? Do you love him? Disappointment was written all over his face. Perhaps, he had expected to meet me still waiting for him. But we never had a deal after all, just like Danny and I had before he left to Capitol. “Yes he does and I love him.” I was very firm with my response. As they were leaving, Nathan was not as excited as he was few hours ago and by our looks, Kaleb could tell things didn’t work out fine between us. I bade them good bye and entered my hostel which was situated within the Campus premises.
That night, I thought about Nathan, about our high school and above all, about what he might be thinking that moment. Right within me, I knew I felt a slight attraction towards him but then Danny was the present. So immediately, I switched my thought towards Danny and wondered if he was alright. As though he too was thinking about me, my phone rang and it was Danny. After our usual greetings he said he has something to tell me. I thought perhaps, he wants to tell me that he would finally be visiting as he had been procrastinating but I was wrong.
“Nabel, you see after what you did when mother was sick, my whole family now acknowledged you and has given their full consent for us to take our relationship to the next level.” He started but I wasn’t surprised, the reason I don’t know myself. “So what are you insinuating?” I asked him without any slightest excitement. “Marry me Nabel. Mother said we should proceed with the wedding as soon as possible.” He said. “So why the rush. Are you ready to take care of a family now? Are you ready for a full commitment?” I interrogated him. “”I can come home soon for us to prepare for the ceremony.” He answered and that was it, I flared up. “You need not worry about that. My family stays closer to you and they will always take care of you while I’m away.” He replied. “I get it! It’s always about your family this and that. You want to marry me and abandon me here all by myself…at the mercy of your family uh? It doesn’t seem like you know what you want and the right time you want it. Like I said before, I ain’t ready yet but if you are so desperate, then I’m sorry I can’t be of help.” I retorted and immediately he angrily dropped the call. That was his second proposal or better still and it was all messed up.
For more than a month, we didn’t communicate. He failed to call and I was carefree. Gradually, the space he occupied in my heart began to close up. When he finally called, our discussion was very brief and from then henceforth we often quarrel over mere issues. When I couldn’t continue pretending, I informed him I wants to take a break and that was it…it was over!
End of Episode 4….Watch out for Episode 5…
Friday, 30 June 2017
“Out of the coincidences of life, much is envisaged in matters of the heart. Therefore, it is worthy of note that our lifetime better halves are not location bound. They can come from any place at all.” Quote by Ann
However difference their age may be, they were born and grew at the same neighborhood. They probably might have at least played together without realizing it. Fate brought them together! Through coincidence, their families relocated to the same state. But was it also coincidence that led them to meet. Perhaps it was more than that. It was…
Ever since my visit at the Clinton's residence, my communication with Danny became so slim until it finally diminished. I had returned to my studies with unreserved focus, and the thought of Danny or any of its kind was the least of my distraction. This was much easier since Danny had not proposed any love for me. Hence I decided to restrict my own emotion from moving farther than it ought. “Aren't we supposed to be just friends and nothing more?” I reassured myself, willing to suppress whatever feelings I might developed for him. Moreover, the study activities in school was pretty much to keep one very busy. My family, especially my father had so much expectations of me and that I cannot afford to disappoint.
How time flies! The semester examination came and gone and students were ready for another holiday. I was gathering my items together, getting ready to go home the next day when my phone rang. “Oh my goodness. Could this be real?” I exclaimed when I saw the caller’s identity. “Hel..he..ello!” I stammered as I brought the phone close to my ears. “Hi! Nabel. How have you been?” came the voice on the other end. “Am fine. Where have you been Danny? It’s been a while.” I was inquisitive but at the same time excited. To be honest, I did not totally forgot about Danny but since I had tried severally to contact him to no avail, I decided to get focused. Moreover, he was supposed to have contacted me.
“I can explain Nabel. Ever since you left, I couldn’t concentrate. Don’t get me wrong, I should have told you about it but I thought perhaps, em…staying away from you could help but it didn’t. Believe me” He heaved a deep sigh. I was silent, my heart began pounding. Could what he just said be the same interpretation in my mind? But I have to be sure before saying arriving at conclusion. “Are you there? Hello!” He spoke again. “Yes am here. What are you talking about, is everything alright with you?” I asked at last. “I will see you when you return. Whatever I have to tell you is very important to me. I got to go now.” He dropped the call. Notwithstanding, I held the phone to my ear for few more minutes as though he’s going to return to the call. Finally, I brought myself to sit on my mattress, trying to figure out what those statement meant. “Whatever I have to tell you is very important to me.” I repeated, still confused.
My family was so excited when I arrived for the holiday. I was happy too because I have missed them a lot, especially my youngest brother whom I was very fond of. I nicknamed him Bobo. I came from a family of eight, four ladies and two boys including my mother and father. Surprisingly, my elder sisters was around and my younger sister also returned from school for holidays. Though the holidays was a short one, I was going to spend it in a full house. Later in the evening after dinner, Bobo handed me an envelope which he said was for me. “Who could have sent this? I wasn’t expecting any mail.” I said and opened the envelope. “Wow! Wow! This is really good. But he could have brought it here instead of sending it via the post office.” I was suggestive, but on a second thought, I realized I was yet to introduce him to my family. I shrugged my shoulder and showed the photograph to everyone.
“Mum, it was the photograph we took during last Christmas date, remember?” I explained. “Oh yes, I remember. It looks great!” My mother complimented. “Thanks Mum.” I smiled.
“My Oh My! Isn’t this Daniel? Look at how much he has grown now. Very tall, just like his mother…hmmm.” Clara, my eldest sister exclaimed, she looked so stunned. Everyone drew closer to have a better look at the image she was pointing at. “Do you know Danny?” I inquired, my confusion written over my face. She didn’t respond, instead she turned to mother. “Mum, do you remember the Clinton?” Mother nodded. “That’s Daniel, the first son. They relocated before we followed suit. See how big a man he has become now!” She went on in exclamation. “Oh yes! Oh yes! You are right. The resemblance is not hidden at all.” Mother was affirmative. With mother’s further explanation, it became clear to me that I have heard that name “Clinton” before but that was at my tender age.
We used to reside at a neighboring state with the Clinton's residence few miles away from ours until we relocated soon after the Clintons. As for Danny, I never knew he existed then and vice versa. My family relocated when I was only eight and not only that, Danny and I might not have crossed path and whatever happened then could have skipped my memory. I am very sure Mrs. Clinton didn’t remember too, else she could have recognized that when I visited them. “Anyways, I am a grownup now and would definitely look difference.” I thought. “Nabel, I bet you and Daniel were born to stick together for life.” Clara joked. She has a way of making matters sound funny. “You can’t be too sure.” I laughed. We spent the rest of the time discussing about my family and the Clinton before we finally bade ourselves good night.
That night, I kept rolling from one end of my bed to another. Sleep was far-fetched as the thought of my new discovery overwhelmed me. I was imagining how Danny would react to this whole episode. Then something struck my mind, “Whatever I have to tell you is very important to me.” I recalled Danny’s statement the last time he called me. “Could it be he was already aware of this? Was that the important thing he would like to tell me or is there something else I need to know.” All these and many more stole my sleep that night. I was tempted to call him but by mere looking at the time, I felt discouraged. It was already pretty late in the midnight. It wasn’t until around 3:50 am that sleep finally took hold of me and I dozed off.
When I woke up the next day, the first thing that got my attention was the beeping from my phone. “Let’s meet in the evening, I will pick you up if you are less busy.” It was Danny in his usual straight forward manner. I immediately checked my schedules and thus it was not too tight. I had to get busy that morning, run errand for mother as quickly as I could and luckily, my sisters were around to assist me in some house chores. Soon I was set to meet Claire whom I had earlier had an appointment with. Claire was my high school best friend and soon after graduation, both of us got admission the same year but different institutions. We hadn’t seen each other in a while as we both normally had different period of holidays except for Christmas, but then she always had to go on vacation with her family. However, this time around, our holidays coincided.
I was so engrossed in discussion with Claire. There was really a whole lot to talk about, our schools, friends, newly acquired hobbies and lots more until I remembered him. I was careful not to slip my tongue to Claire about Danny since I wasn’t sure of the exact definition of our relationship at that moment. Later on, I left Claire earlier than I had wanted and headed home. As soon I entered our living room, I met the unexpected surprise. There he was sitting on the couch with Clara at the opposite one. They were chatting and laughing like an old time buddies. Mother was there and too while Bobo was busy with his video game.
“Uncle, next time you come around, I’d like us to play games together.” That was Bobo, he had always loved games since he was three. “Definitely, we will!” Danny affirmed.
“Danny! What a surprise! What are you doing here?” I was dumbfounded. I went over and sat beside mother. “Nabel, uncle has been waiting for you.” Bobo spoke again without looking up. His attention was fixed on the game he was playing. “But you told me earlier that you would be meeting him.” Clara inquired, more like a question than a statement. “Yeah but you know…” I paused a while, look around their faces then continued. “I never knew he would come around here. I hadn’t got opportunity to introduce him to the family.” I shrugged. “That’s no longer necessary, Daniel was a family before now.” Mother said at last, describing how closely she had got along with Mrs. Clinton. They were still on same topic while I went into my room, changed and left with Danny.
“So, where are we heading to?” I asked him a while after we had drove away from my residence. “To Gracia Park. I discovered a new place I would like to show you.” He replied. Gracia Park is one of the largest parks around. Although it is still new, it has gained a lot of popularity. I have never been there before and that made it more exciting. After being held by several traffic lights, Danny switched to the left side of the road and parked in front of Lawson store. “You stay here while I go inside there. Will be out in a minute.” He said while pointing at the entrance door of the store. I simply nodded as he dashed out of the car and proceeded towards the store. Within a short while, he came out carrying two shopping bags filled with some goodies, perhaps edibles. He dropped the bags at the passenger’s seat behind me and we drove off.
When we arrived at the park twenty minutes later, everywhere look just like any other parks. “So, what’s its popularity all about?” I wondered. “The unique feature about this park is its natural endowment as you will find out soon.” He explained as though he was reading my thoughts. We walked past several people who were taking photographs of themselves and the surrounding before we emerged at a large hectare of fields carpeted in green grasses. A number of tall trees could be seen here and there and there were few people sitting about the ground. The environment was very peaceful and calm and the singing birds displayed background songs as they flew and perched from one tree to the other. Between the slight sloppy parts of the fields is a green pond which explains why the surrounding air is lightly humid and chill. There were also few ducks floating on the pond and some leaves from the tree branches as well.
The appearances of the Green field won my admiration more than anything else. As we drew closer, I had a complete view of the entire field at a glance. Roughly by estimate, one would deduce that the field occupied a large space that could accommodate two or more houses. There were also few swings that welcomes many children to its playfulness. Some wooden benches were positioned to be occupied by anyone in particular, especially older folks. Surrounding the trimmed greenly field were hedges of growing beautiful flowers which attributed the park its lovely and eye-catching appearances. So, as we were about settling down close to the pond, I just realized how much I found it pleasurable to relax amidst some cool fresh air.
All the while I was carried away by the amazing environment, Danny and I never spoken a word. I thought perhaps he too was in wonderment of the lovely arena, little did I knew that there were something more to his silence than I could imagine. We unpacked the content of the bags he brought from the store. There were apple, lemon and cola drinks, snacks, chocolates, cakes, water and some banana. “That’s a whole lot!” I exclaimed. “Yeah, I didn’t know what you would like, so I had to bring varieties.” He shrugged. I went for the lemon drink while he preferred the cola. We ate the snacks and few others in silence while both focusing our gaze at the pond, I was enjoying the entertainment displayed by the swimming ducks.
“I hope you like this place.” It was more of a question. I looked up at him and smiled. “It’s amazing. Thanks for suggesting we come here.” I said. He smiled back, then held my hand. “Nabel, I’m planning to leave the state soon. I got a job at the capital territory and shall be gone by next week.” He said calmly. “That’s a good news! Congratulations!!” I complimented him. “You don’t seem excited about it. But you’ve always wanted to reside out of the state.” I continued, after which there were silence for a while. “I’m happy that I shall be leaving. I’m really happy that I shall henceforth be independent but you see…somehow, I ain’t happy that I won’t get to see you for a long while.” He paused, took a deep breath and continued. “Nabel, that’s why I wish to ask you to be my wife. Please let’s get married.” He was in his most calmness. He held my hand and eyes still for a while longer waiting for my response. By his looks, I knew he was deep searching my heart with those eyes to determine my stands…he was unsure.
“Sorry Danny, but I’m not ready yet. I don’t think I can handle such commitment now, coupled with my studies.” I firmly made my reasons known to him at last. “Nabel, even if you aren’t ready now, I can give us more time. All I want is for you to be there for me even while I’m away.” He swallowed hard. “Very well then, as long as you don’t get tired of waiting. You are already a graduate but for me, I still have a long way to go.” I obliged. We talked about a lot of things later on, about his new job, his expectations, the few challenges that he might encounter and his readiness to adapt. As late evening approached, we left the park hoping to continue conversing on phones…That was his first proposal!
End of Episode 3!
Watch out for Episode 4...
This story is undiluted and comprises of the author's imagination and experience. No part of this write-up should be duplicated elsewhere. Please, make use of the comment box for your opinion, contributions and corrections.
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