“It’s just going to be today. No more imaginations, I am no longer sending any more traffic signs. I am just going to use words today when Uchechi visits.” He swallowed some significant amount of saliva and rolled to the other end of the mattress, to the cream painted wall that stopped the three and half sized mattress from moving further beyond the confines of the room.
Uzochukwu laid on his back, there in the room, his eyes sparkled. At the thought of reaching for his pillow that laid bare far away at the other end of the room, he remembered he needed to find a pillow case for the almost flat object. He jumped off the bed towards his readymade wardrobe, which stood on the other end of the room. The wardrobe that was primarily made of metals cum plastic was covered in blue flowery fabric.
Once he found a barely clean pillow case, he searched for a tee shirt to pull on his white underwear which he had on his grey three quarter shorts.
Uchechi, the best female student in Uzohcukwu’s class was coming over as usual, for some tutorials.
Uzo enjoyed the competition they started since their second year in the Project Management department, in the university.
He enjoyed it more, because although Uchechi struggled hard enough, he still led the class with Uchechi directly behind him with few points away in their grade point average.
Maybe he would have lost the joy in the competition, if Uchechi had topped the class last semester, when she came closest to him, maybe not. Nonetheless, he had become fond of the dark skinned, slim lady.
“Please come in,” Uzo answered to the voice that seeped into his room from the door. His tone alive with joy and expectation. He liked her all the more, because although smart, she was humble enough to learn from anybody.
Uchechi stepped in to the room, she wore a Vee neck teal green lettered blouse. The white lettering said, “Yes or yes” boldly in front of the Tee shirt. To match, she wore a dark blue jean skirt.
“Thank you!” she spread her lips widely. Her hair neatly packed to the back and a pair of small pearls earrings were her regular facial outlook.
“Good afternoon Uzo,” she said briefly, her eyes still gleaming.
“Good afternoon Uchechi,” he replied with a wider grin, as he pulled the wooden chair out from under the table.
“Sit.” Uche did so, with crossed legs.
“So it’s PMT 402 o.” She started to bring books out of the sling bag that remained hung on her arm since she entered the room. “PMT 402 is the course that wouldn’t let Uche rest all night long,” she spoke on relaxed.
Uzo giggled, and looked into her bright face, oval like. ‘That blend of humour married with such height of intelligence, who would ignore?’ Uzo thought to himself.
Eventually, Uche flipped to the page she was gunning for; page fifty. “Uzo, maybe I am the one having difficulty grasping this topic, but I cannot remember Mr. Fasasi saying anything meaningful on this subject in class.” Her voice was bleak. She expected Uzo to reply by now. But she did not seem to hear anything, except the echoes of her last words. She raised her head, and noticed she seemed to have been speaking to herself all along.
“Young man!” she alerted him.
Uzo jerked, although bent over her, his mind was far away from PMT 402. He found his voice eventually, “I am sorry! You were saying?”
“My goodness! Uzo! Na here you dey, or na Nnewi you dey?” Uzo responded with a smile, and quickly marshalled every fibre of courage in him.
“Uchechi, “ he started to say softly, his voice silvery.
“What???” she answered with bugged eyes, her expression hardened.
“Uche, I like you. I don’t have the best of words to use, but I can sincerely tell you, that all of these years, having you around teaching each other, studying and relating together,I have come to like you. Lets become a full-fledged team?”
“Uhn?” her eyes widened. She coughed gently and shook her head, as though a short play had happened just right before her own eyes, with her in the script. She nibbled on her bottom lips. Uzo had successfully destabilised her thoughts for the day.
Nonetheless, she spoke in the middle of her doused thoughts, she was not sure if the words were right or insensitive, but she was determined to pull herself together, and show Uzo that she was not only brilliant but as well in charge of her emotions.
“Thank you Uzo. We will get back to that discourse later. Let’s discuss PMT 402, the more reason I came all the way to your hostel. You should come over to mine when you want to have that conversation.”
“I am sorry,” he responded. He was not sure, whether to take her response as an insult or a polite way of changing the subject. “That’s fine by me, so what’s up with Mr. Fasasi?”
Uchechi managed to gather herself together. “I don’t know how exactly to prepare for the forth coming examination for this course. Please help.” Uchechi said as though she gave a quick narration of the purpose of visit.
When Uchechi returned to her hostel she laid aside her PMT 402 hand out, to think about Uzo’s seemingly proposal. Although she said, they would discuss it when he visited, it already became a subject to ponder on for her. “Uzo is smart ,” she said to herself. “Just that he can too do oversabi,” she continued soliloquizing. She slept on the subject for few days, before Uzo eventually visited with the official proposal.
That day, Uche’s roommate off campus was not in the room. “I said I would be coming and here I am,”Uzo announced at the door.
Uche smiled, then answered, “Come in.”
Uzo repeated his proposal, “Let’s be a full fledged team?”
Uchechi wondered where he caught the sentence from. “I should take time to sleep on it,” she replied.
Uchechi entertained him and enjoyed the rests of his visit.
Weeks later, after thinking long and hard enough, she thought it an awesome combination. Two brilliants people coming together. She loved the imaginations that genius children would be the outcome of their union. Although she had made up her mind, she still did not relay the information to him. Rather she showed him especial interests by visiting and paying more attention when he visited.
After their last examination paper for the semester, Uzo lurked around the lecture theatre.
“How did your paper go?” He said immediately Uchechi stepped out of the wall, his eyes glistening with hope.
“It went well,” She replied laconically.
“I trust you.”
As they walked home, Uzo started a new line of conversation. “Uche, I know you like me already and you are in, give me an answer, let’s make it official.”
Uche smiled archly, “Alright then.”
“Whu!!!” Uzo screamed, he did not expect her to consent simply at his words. “That’s a yes?”
“Yes! Definitely!” Uchechi replied.
“Why didn’t I ask this way since weeks ago?”
“Is that question for me?” Uche looked sideways in a funny manner.
The duo stayed back in school for the semester holiday. Uzo who was still all over Uche did not give her a break. They spent everyday of the two weeks holiday in each other’s company. Chattering for long hours.
Sometimes in the middle of the new semester, Uchechi visited. Most times when she did, she brought along a departmental course material.
In the evening, when the atmoshpere seemed to be tender, Uzo moved closer to Uchechi. He leered at her. Uche understood the amorous glare immediately.
“I am waiting till marriage,” she said brusquely.
“I understand. I also want to marry a virgin.”
“Good then, go and wash your face in the bathroom, you will get over the feeling,” Uche suggested.
Uzo yielded. As he stepped into the bathroom directly linked to the room, his phone gave a message tone. The phone was placed face down on the mattress.
“You have a message,” Uche announced. She picked up the phone, and as she did, her finger pressed the read button.
“Why didn’t you come home to check on your children during the semester holiday. I am not supposed to bear your responsibility…”
Uchechi’s jaw tightened. Her delicate fingers quivering as her eyes ran through the remaining texts. The message was from his mother.
Uzo who noticed Uchechi went dead silent after anouncing he had a text rushed into the room after easing himself.
........To be continued........