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Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms - Literature - Nairaland

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Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 8:33am On Jul 24, 2014
Good morning my fellow nairalanders. Please I crave your indulgence. I am new in the art of making my stories public. I have a story I want you all to check out for me. Please constructive criticisms; make una no destroy my writing career with harsh words abeg. Thanks.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 10:47am On Jul 24, 2014
Slow and steady is the name of the game. Please follow the story calmly and it will eventually catch fire like the hunger games.

DISCLAIMER
For all those who enjoy preying on the hard work and sweat of people,

1. I've got copyright 4 dis story and others I've written. Wen u get brother 4 dre, na small tin 2 get.

2. I get agent/manager wey sabi para wella.

3. I've got a lawyer whose favorite words are, "Let's sue them to court!"

So beware! Permission can be sought for to be placed on blogs and other sites but definitely not in YOUR name.

Thanks.

CHAPTER ONE.
“Your sweetheart is coming.” Edward Chianumba announced to his friend, Eric Conrad.
Eric looked up from the game he was playing on his phone and smiled. Indeed, his sweetheart was coming. His sunshine; his best friend.
He didn’t quite know when or how but he knew he had fallen irresistibly in love with her. Anyway, who wouldn’t fall in love with such a wonderful person like Oleng?
He continued watching her intently as she approached them along with her friend, Ezinne Uzoma. She looked good as usual in their unique uniform of burberry skirt, white shirt and black tie. He felt his heart beat faster than normal as it usually did when she was around him.
“As I was saying, Kemi is my latest target. Men! If I don’t get that girl, I might die….Eric…Eric…Here we go again!” Edward complained when he realized his friend was no longer listening to him but looking steadily at his approaching childhood sweetheart with a stupid smile on his face.
He wondered at the kind of love between these two and also wondered if he would ever love like this. As he stared at his friend, he was surprised to see Eric suddenly frowning. He followed the direction of his gaze and smiled mischievously. Uche, their classmate had stopped Oleng for a chat.
Eric tried to control himself because he felt like going over there to warn Uche to stay away from his girl. He shook his head. Oleng was not his girl. After all, he had not made his feelings known to her or asked her to be his girlfriend. Everyone knew they were the best of friends and have been friends since he was six and she, five and now they were sixteen and fifteen years old respectively. They had come a long way together.
He couldn’t pinpoint exactly when he had started developing feelings of love towards her. At his study time, when he was supposed to be reading, thoughts of her always infiltrated his mind. He would stare at her photograph over and over again. He dare not tell her of his feelings lest he ruin their friendship. He didn’t know if she felt the same way towards him. Looking at the way she was smiling at Uche made him think his love wasn’t reciprocated. It made him sad.

Ezinne who had been looking at Uche disdainfully left them and walked towards where he and Edward were sitting on the bench. Ezinne, Oleng’s closest female friend was a very slim black beauty with a sharp wit. She usually didn’t mince words when it came to saying her mind but she was a very loyal person.
“Hi Eric, hi Eddy.” she hailed when she got to them.
“Hi, Zinny.” Eddy hailed also.
“Hi to you too, Zinny.” Eric greeted as she sat down beside him on the bench to look at Oleng and Uche still chatting.

“Eric, you should tell Oleng to stop pretending and start showing her true feelings.” Ezinne said angrily.
Eric was surprised. “What do you mean?”.
“She isn’t enjoying that conversation. She’s just too polite to tell him she’s tired. She’s like that with every guy who approaches her. Sometimes, she is so nice, I feel like killing her.” she complained bitterly.
“Come on, Ezinne. Oleng is a very beautiful girl. She should enjoy the advances made towards her.” Eric countered.
“Not when she’s got you. You’re the guy in her life so others should just get the message.” Zinny replied impatiently.
“Zinny, are you saying this out of jealousy, since they all approach her and none spare you even a glance?” Edward quipped with a smile.
Ezinne glared at him. “Eddy, if you weren’t my senior in class, I would have bitten you right now for that nonsense you just said.”.
Edward smiled in a charming manner. “You can bite me anytime, Ezi mummy,” he chuckled. “But you know where.”.
“God! You’re incorrigible!” she exclaimed in disgust, making the boys laugh. Edward was a notable flirt. He was tall, dark, handsome and charming. At just sixteen, he used his good looks and honey coated tongue to win girls and sleep with them. He saw himself as God’s gift to women.
Just then Oleng came to meet them. She stood before Eric.
“Hi Ricky. Hi Eddy.” she hailed smiling shyly as she did lately whenever she was close to Eric.
Eric smiled. She was the only one who called him Ricky and he loved it.
“Hi Oleng.” Eddy hailed also, gazing intently at her beautiful face.
“Hi Sunshine.” Eric greeted, calling her his pet name for her. “I can see your admirers are increasing by the day. Tell them they have to pay homage to me first before they attempt to speak to you.”.
Oleng laughed and Eric and Edward were captivated by her musical laugh and beautiful face for the umpteenth time.
“Don’t tell me it’s the green eye monster talking in you. Uche is just a friend.” she told him smiling.
“And pigs fly.” retorted Ezinne.
“Zinny, you know it’s not like that. He just wants us to be friends. Nothing special.”.
“Akwuko.” Ezinne chipped in Igbo language meaning ‘Story.’.
Oleng hit her playfully. “You know vernacular isn’t allowed in school.”.
Eric shrugged. “Whatever you say. Just know I’ll kill anyone who tries to play with your heart.” he solemnly said, making her to look at him intently. Their eyes met and held.
Oleng was the first to look away shyly. She couldn’t describe her feelings for Eric these days. She was always breathless around him. She couldn’t look into his eyes again like she used to. She just couldn’t understand what was happening to her concerning him. He was no longer just her best friend. She fantasized sometimes about being his wife. Her feelings for him now were that deep. She hoped he would never find out because she would die of embarrassment since it looked as if her feelings were not reciprocated because girls were always around him especially Senior Oge. She shrugged it off.
“Where’s Dave?” she asked with concern.
“I don’t know.” Eric replied immediately.
“I think he’s doing runs.” Edward supplied smiling.
“That’s all you know Eddy.” Ezinne complained.
Edward shrugged nonchalantly. “But it’s the truth. Where’s he now? He knows we normally come here to wait for you girls at break time before we go to the canteen but he left the class before us without informing us of his whereabouts. By the way, where’s Marvy? Is she missing too? Maybe they went to do runs together. We better go and search the toilets and hidden spots in this school…I really can’t imagine Dave and Marvy getting down.” he said laughing.
Both Ezinne and Oleng hit him playfully while Eric laughed.
“Marvy went to deliver a message to her aunt in the staff room. She’ll meet us in the canteen.” Oleng informed them.
“Alright! Alright! Let’s go to the canteen then.” he said after fending off their hands and stood up.
Eric and Ezinne got up also. They walked quietly to the large canteen.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 11:19am On Jul 24, 2014
The canteen was jam packed and noisy as usual with students. While the girls went to the table reserved for the Senior Prefect, the boys ordered for snacks and drinks.

The students on the queue gave way for Eric because he was the Senior Prefect. Eric thanked them in turn. They took the goodies to the table and sat down to eat. It was while they where eating that Marvelous Ogaranya came to meet them with her own snacks. She was Oleng’s second closest friend. She was chubby in a cute way and an introvert except when with her friends.

“Hi everybody.” she greeted and sat down.
They greeted her in return except for the naughty Edward who asked, “Where’s Dave?”
Marvelous shrugged. “I don’t know. Was he looking for me?”
“Don’t mind this silly boy. Just ignore him.” Ezinne told her stamping his foot with hers as he was seated directly in front of her. He yelled and she laughed.

They continued eating; talking about this and that until towards the end of their meal, Ezinne said,
“Oh no! Here comes the bitch.”
Oge Dialu walked majestically to where they were sitting. She was a fair and beautiful girl of average height, though quite busty.
“Hi Eric.” She batted her eyes at him seductively, ignoring everyone else at the table. “Can I have a word with you?”
“Oh no!” Eric groaned inwardly. “Sure.” he said smiling and got up, “Please excuse me.” he told the others but looked at
Oleng who shrugged nonchalantly.

Oge held his hand and they both went outside the canteen to where she made sure they could see them. She stood close to Eric touching his shirt buttons and talking in a seductive manner.

Oleng was mad but she controlled herself. Oge was her senior in class even if it was only a year and the school took seniority seriously. Oleng really couldn’t do anything because she had already been a victim of Oge’s wickedness; punishing her unnecessarily just because of Eric. Oge had told her face to face that she was going to deal with her because Eric refused to love her. She didn’t tell Eric because she knew it would only make matters worse.

“That Oge is a harlot. Just look at the way she’s talking to Eric.” Ezinne asserted angrily.
“Zinny, please be careful. You know we’re in a public place.” Oleng calmly warned her friend.
“Whoever wants to report me to her should go ahead, I don’t care!” Ezinne retorted sharply. “Afterall, its not today she started punishing us for nothing. At least now her punishment will be justified.”
“Does she punish you girls?” Edward questioned in surprise.
“Yes, especially Oleng.” Ezinne replied tautly.
“Why? You girls are just one year her junior. I don’t punish SS2 students. Only SS1 and below.” Edward said with surprise.
“It’s because of Eric. She’s jealous of Eric and Oleng.” Marvelous spelt out bluntly.
Edward smiled. “I see. Does Eric know about it?”
“No. Oleng refused to tell him. She’s scared that Oge’s punishment will become worse.” Marvelous responded drily.
“Why Oleng?” Edward queried cooly.
“You know Ricky na. He’ll blow the whole thing over proportion and that will only make Oge more furious. I don’t want any trouble. She’ll soon graduate with him. I’m prepared to continue suffering in silence till then.” Oleng remarked clamly.
“Don’t worry. I’ll handle her.” Edward promised smiling.
“No Eddy. I don’t want any trouble.” Oleng pleaded.
“It’s no trouble at all. There’re many ways to kill a rat. It’s just to tell her that if she does not back off, I’ll tell everyone what happened between us at the back of the hall on Valentine’s day.” he said smiling mischievously, making the others dumb founded.

Just then the bell to announce break over was rung. Oge gave Eric a peck and left, shaking her buttocks. He walked up to the others as they got up from their seats. He noticed that Oleng wasn’t looking at him. He went to stand before her. She still wouldn’t look at him. She walked away amidst the students trooping out of the canteen.

“I’ll meet you in class, Eddy.” he told Eddy who smiled and left.
Eric hurried up to meet Oleng, Marvy and Ezinne. He held Oleng’s hand making her to stop walking. She still wouldn’t look at him.
“Marvy and Zinny, please excuse us.” He requested of her friends who shrugged and walked away.
“What’s wrong, sunshine?” he asked softly after studying her steadily.
“Nothing. Why do you ask?”
“Why were you ignoring me?” he prompted.
“I wasn’t ignoring you. Its break over.” she replied still not looking at him.
“Sunshine, look at me.” Eric coaxed gently.
She raised her head slowly to look at him.
“Is that the green eye monster I see there?” he threw her own words back at her.

Oleng couldn’t help smiling. Eric noticed again her charming smile and savoured it.
She hit him playfully. “And you accuse me of having many admirers?”
“Oge is just a friend.” he asserted cooly.
“Uche is just a friend.” she replied smiling.

He laughed and she did too. He held her hand and they began walking towards their classrooms ignoring the students who were looking at them and smiling. Though there were a few jealous ones frowning.
“So long as they don’t come in between us.” he stressed with emphasis.
“Never.” she firmly declared.
“Ditto.” he concurred. “See you at closing time.” Eric told her when they got to her classroom.
“See you then” she responded and went into the classroom just as two of her classmates who entered with her giggled and said, “Lovy wan tin tin!”
The embarrassed Oleng went quietly to her seat.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by LarrySun(m): 1:41pm On Jul 24, 2014
Space your paragraphs.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 4:57pm On Jul 24, 2014
LarrySun: Space your paragraphs.
. Okay. Thanks. I'm actually using ma fone 2 post. I spaced it bt wen I posted it, it turned out dis way. Dnt no wat 2 do. Tinkin of usin a laptop 2 post.
Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 6:17pm On Jul 24, 2014
At closing time, she went to where she normally sat to wait for the boys at break time; the benches at the recreational area.

After a short while, she saw Eric coming. She noticed how both juniors and seniors alike hailed him as they passed him. Her best friend was indeed drop dead gorgeous.

He was tall and had skin like a half caste. Most people thought he was a half caste but only a few knew that he was in fact like a quarter caste or something.

His dad was the half caste. Eric’s paternal grandmother was an American while his paternal grandfather was a Nigerian. So his dad was half American and Eric took after him in coloring while Damian, his elder brother took after their mum who is chocolate skinned.

Eric had white features and spoke with a slight accent since he had been given birth to in America and came to Nigeria when he was five years old and still went there for holidays.

She thought all these, coupled with his intelligence made him a favorite amongst girls and boys alike, teachers and the school authorities. She was indeed fortunate to have him as her best friend. Despite these wonderful qualities, Eric was very humble. His beauty, brilliance and wealth never got into his head.

Everyone was equal to him. No wonder Senior Oge and the girls in his class wanted him for keeps. It was very unfortunate for them that he refused to date anyone.
They all blamed her and were jealous of her. She shrugged. It wasn’t as if Eric had asked her out or anything so she wondered what they wanted to kill her for. Losers!

Eric sighted Oleng at their usual place and smiled. She seemed lost in thought. For the umpteenth time, he thanked God for bringing her into his life. Oleng was a rare gem.

It wasn’t just her beauty that captivated him because she was a very beautiful girl though she acted as if she wasn’t aware of it. Her chocolate skin shone at all times, so much so that he had continuously asked her what cream she was using and she had always replied Vaseline. He had to conclude that her complexion just came with her beauty.

She was petite. That was the best way to describe her making her more endearing to him. The part of her that captivated him the most was her pointed nose which he loved touching a lot. He loved her eyes also which were a rare shade of brown. He couldn’t contain this thing he felt for her. Someday he knew he would have to voice it out, he didn’t know how she would take it being a very shy and reticent person.
“Hi, sunshine. Have you been waiting here for long?” he enquired when he got to her.
“Not really.” she informed him as she got up. They both walked hand in hand out of the school with their school bags at their backs.

Ever since he got to SS1, he had pleaded with his parents to allow him to start walking to school since it was just three streets away and was tired of waiting for the driver to drive him to school and pick him up at closing time.

Besides, it was a safe place in Portharcourt and he was grown now. His parents had obliged with the help of Damian, his elder brother. He had always instructed their driver to pick Oleng since her house was on the way to school but now they walked to school together and went home together.
They talked about this and that until they got to her house oblivious of their school mates walking around them.
“Will you come in?” she asked when they got to her gate.
“Nope. Not today. My mum is at home and I don’t want to explain my whereabouts to her.” he answered grinning.
“Mummy’s boy.” she teased.
He touched her nose playfully and smiled again.
“Well, see you tomorrow then. Don’t come late like you did today or I’ll leave you and walk to school alone.” she threatened jokingly, stabbing a finger in the air at him.
“You wouldn’t.” he dared.
“Try me.” she countered laughing.
He laughed and shook his head.
“See you tomorrow, sunshine.”
“Bye Ricky.” She went inside.
Just as Eric was getting to the end of the street, Edward and Dave caught up with him. Due to the fact that they all lived in the same street was one of the reasons why they were friends.

Dave was Eric’s close friend too. He wasn’t as good looking as Eddy or Eric but handsome nevertheless. He was also an introvert like Marvelous.
As usual, Edward was talking about girls.
“Eric, please stay clear of Oge. I’ve already seen the color of her panties” he declared with pride.

Eric and Dave shook their heads.

“Whose panties haven’t you seen in that class?” Dave questioned in bewilderment.

“None. I’ve gotten down with all of them. All you have to do is use the right words on them and before you say ‘bed’, they are down!” he boasted laughing.

The others laughed and shook their heads.

“Frankly, there’s one girl I really would like to see her panties but I know it would be impossible because she belongs to another.”

“That has never stopped you before. Who is she?” asked Eric.

“Forget it.”

“Tell us so that we will make a bet if you can get her or not.” Dave challenged.

Edward looked at Eric wearily before saying, “Oleng.”

Before anyone could say ‘What?’ Eric had punched Edward.

“Jesus!” Edward exclaimed holding his bleeding nose. “I was only joking na. Na play I dey o! I just wanted to see your reaction. You didn’t have to punch me na,” exclaimed the shocked Edward. Eric wasn’t an advocate of violence.

“Don’t you ever joke with that sort of thing again. Oleng is not one of your girls or one of your play things.” Eric curtly told him, his black eyes filled with fury as Dave held him from punching Edward further.

“Okay. Okay. Lover boy. Okay. But get down with her before someone else does.” Edward riposted as he brought out his handkerchief from his pocket to wipe his nose.

“You don’t know my Oleng at all. My sunshine is not like that.” Eric fired back with strong masculine conviction.

“Okay o! It’s my moons abi stars who are like that. But Eric, you pack quite a punch! I’m lucky my nose isn’t broken”

“Serves you right!” Dave scolded him, releasing Eric from his grip.

“I’m sorry. Don’t joke about my sunshine like that again.” he instructed calmly.

“Okay. I just hope she’s worth it.”

“She is!”

“Let’s go home” The ever quiet Dave dermanded of them when he noticed their school mates were watching them; knowing fully well that the news would be all over school the following day.

Their cool headed senior prefect had punched one of his closest friends because of Oleng

“Alright.” Edward conceded witheringly, smiling mischievously as he continued wiping his nose.

Eric wasn’t as cool headed as everyone thought. It was good to know that his friend would fight for his girl. Sincerely, there were times he wondered how Oleng would be in bed but dared not tell Eric.

Oleng was a very beautiful girl; quiet but captivating even in her serene nature. What he loved most about her was her smile. She had a shy, cool, charming smile.

He had to warn his classmates though because now he knew Eric’s feelings for her ran deep and that he would be prepared to fight anyone who dares to toy with his “Sunshine”.

With that thought, he said goodbye to his friends and knocked on his gate.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 9:56am On Jul 25, 2014
CHAPTER TWO

“O God!” Marvelous groaned as Oge and her four friends entered their class room as the bell for break was rung.

She quickly looked at Oleng, seated at the table beside her. The latter was already shaking her head sorrowfully. Ezinne was frowning at the table beside hers.

“Oleng, Ezinne and Marvelous, come with me.” Oge announced and walked out of the class with her goons at her heels. The whole class including the boys felt sorry for the three friends as they walked quietly out of the class with Zinny sighing in anger. That was good bye to their break time.

They followed their seniors to the school farm. Last time it had been the school poultry.

“Go on your knees.” Oge told them harshly when they got there.

They quietly went on their knees on the loamy soil. Zinny was the last to go down.

“What did you tell Edward?” Oge demanded curtly.

The three friends looked at each other. Oleng groaned inwardly. So Eddy had kept his promise of telling Oge off them.

“Nothing, Senior Oge.” Oleng informed her.

Oge gave her a sharp slap. Tears ran down Oleng’s eyes as she held her sore cheek.

“Who are you making eyes at?” Oge asked the frowning Zinny and gave her a sharp slap also.

“So you girls had the guts to report me to Eddy. You weren’t afraid. By the way, what did he tell you?” she ranted.

They looked at the ground.

“What did he tell you bitches about me?” she screamed like a banshee.

Her friends held her from kicking them.

”Leave me alone,” she screamed at them.

“Let me teach these bitches a lesson for telling on me.”

“You girls better tell her what Eddy told you or we’ll allow her beat you girls to death.” One of her friends advised the three friends.

“Senior Beatrice, truly we didn’t tell Senior Edward anything and he didn’t tell us anything.” Marvelous quickly supplied.

“Then why did he approach me? How did he know that I maltreat you girls? Filthy liar!” Oge shrieked. “As for you Oleng or whatever you call yourself, I’ll deal with you. The few weeks I have left in this school will be very miserable for you.

Because of you, Eric has been ignoring me but thank God he has finally come to his senses. If not for the school authorities, I would have marred your beautiful face for you, so that nobody will ever speak to you again especially your so-called best friend!” she hissed furiously. Oleng just continued crying and looking at the ground.

“Girls, please keep them here while I go and meet the love of my life. You know what we planned na.” Oge instructed her friends smiling.

“Remember to bring all the goodies you promised us from the canteen.” Gertrude reminded her confirming why they were always ready to act as her slaves due to the favors they enjoyed from her because her dad was filthy rich.

“Trust me na. I’ll be back” she declared as she walked away.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 12:39pm On Jul 25, 2014
Meanwhile, Eric was wondering what was keeping Oleng and her friends. The bell for the long break had been rung a long time ago yet they were not out and he knew there was no teacher in their class.

He had sent a junior student to go and call them but she had returned saying they were not in the class. Where could they be? Dave and Eddy had left him to go to the canteen. He had told them he would meet them there whenever the girls showed up.
Cell phones were not allowed in the school; otherwise he would have called her.

As he was there pondering, he caught sight of Oge. He wanted to escape but she had already seen him and seemed as if she was heading towards him in the first place.

“Hi, handsome.” Oge was all smiles when she got to him.

“Hi, Oge.”

“What are you doing here all alone?” she purred innocently.

“Waiting for Oleng. Have you seen her?”

“No,” she replied with a small shrug.

“Come on. Let’s go to the canteen. She can meet us there.” she cheerfully requested trying to drag him off the bench.

“No, thanks. I’d rather wait for her here.” he cooly told her and she stopped trying to drag him. She stood there looking at him, pretending to be lost in thought.

“I know where she is but I was trying not to hurt you.” she slyly told him and sat beside him.

“What do you mean? Where’s she?” He was filled with curiosity as he surveyed her coolly.

“I saw Uche half leading and half dragging her towards the toilet behind the school farm.” she lied.

“What?” Eric thundered, standing up.

“Uche did what? I’ll kill him!”

Oge was surprised at the fury she saw in his eyes. She had never seen him like this before. Had she gone too far? She was scared but managed to try to calm him.

“It’s okay. I’ll show you where they are.” she told him squarely as she got up to hold his hand. He shook her hand off and followed her.

He didn’t say a word as he followed her quietly to the place. In his musings he planned to give Uche a black eye and a bleeding nose.

As for Oleng, he would think of something to do to her. Right now, he would handle Uche. In his anger, he failed to question if Oge was saying the truth. Oge left him to his musings as she quietly led the way and prayed for success in her seduction plans.

When they got to the toilets, they entered quietly.

“Uche…..Oleng!” Eric bellowed in anger.
Oge locked the main door of the toilets and walked seductively to him as he checked from toilet to toilet. She caught up with him as he got to the last toilet.

“I’ve been waiting for this ever since I set my eyes on you.” she purred seductively as she pressed herself to him against the toilet door. Eric just looked at her, bewildered.

“So this was a set up.” he breathed, shaking his head in disbelief. “You lured me here for this? I should have known” He hit his head with his hand, cursing himself at his folly.

“Eric please. I need you. I’ve dreamt of you doing a lot of things to me. Please Eric. Nobody will find out. I assure you. We’re all alone here. No one comes here at this time of the day.” she pleaded with him, all the while quickly taking off her tie and opening her buttons.

She removed her white shirt to reveal a black lacy bra. She had generous proportions there. Eric forced himself to look at her face, not the twin temptations.

“Oge, get a grip on yourself. Look, you’re a very beautiful girl but I don’t want you. I’m not into such things.” he snapped at her holding her by her shoulders and pushing her gently.

“Don’t worry. I’ll teach you.” she insisted as she grabbed his trouser belt and tried loosening it. “Just a quickie, my darling. I’m burning up for you.”

“Oge!” he yelled at her. “I don’t want to have sex with you. Why don’t you ask Eddy? I’m sure he’ll readily oblige a second time.” He was disgusted by her coercive methods.

Understanding dawned on her then making her look downcast. “I did it for you. He promised to get you for me if I got down with him. I didn’t know it was just a ploy to sleep with me. He lied to me. He used me.” She was almost in tears.

“It’s a pity then.” Eric shrugged nonchalantly as she righted her clothes.

“Is that why you don’t want me? Because of Edward? Do you see me as his left over?”

“No. The thing is, sex is not my priority right now. I’ve been able to hold myself since and I’m not about to smear my record when it’s just few weeks from my graduation. Besides, there is only one girl who holds my interest.” he delivered with brutal frankness.

“Oleng.” She whispered.

He nodded.

“Is there nothing I can do to make you like me more than her?”

He shook his head. “Absolutely nothing.”

“Okay.” she conceded with a slight shrug.

As she turned towards the door, he held her hand.

“No hard feelings, right?”

She shook her head, gave him a peck and smiled.

She unlocked the door of the toilet and walked out. She smiled as she saw Oleng and the other girls some distance away.

She made a great show of buttoning her shirt and fixing her tie as Eric came out fastening the belt she had loosened belatedly realizing they had spectators. He looked up and felt his world crumbling.

Standing some distance away was Zinny, Marvy, Beatrice, Gertrude and the love of his life looking at him with so much horror on her face as if he had suddenly grown horns on his head. She looked at Oge who was fixing her tie and smiling. She ran.

“Oge, you’re a witch!” he exclaimed and ran after his best friend.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 4:55pm On Jul 25, 2014
Oge was no longer smiling. Her friends came towards her with great eagerness. They asked what happened but she just shook her head and left them sadly.

“Oleng! Sunshine! Where are you?” Eric called as he ran. He had suddenly lost her in the bustling school. It was break time so there were a lot of students and activities going on.

He looked everywhere for her but couldn’t find her. He even went to the canteen but couldn’t find her. He couldn’t find Zinny and Marvy either.

He was so worried that he didn’t pay attention to the two subjects they were taught after the break. He was eager for closing time. When the bell was rung, he was the first to leave the class. He went directly to Oleng’s class. He was surprised that she wasn’t there.

He however saw Zinny and Marvy. Marvy didn’t talk to him. She just walked past him. Zinny would have done the same but he held her hand and asked her about Oleng’s whereabouts and what was wrong. For an answer, Zinny shook his hand off hers and walked to where they normally sat.

He followed her quietly all the while looking out for a glimpse of Oleng. Zinny waited for him to sit before talking.

“What happened between you and that witch, Oge?”

Eric recounted all that transpired between them.

“I thought as much.” Zinny admitted when he was through.

“What happened? Where were you girls and how come Oleng was there when we came out?”

Zinny in turn told him what happened. He was furious.

“You mean that witch actually punished you girls and hit you?”

“Yes, and that wasn’t the first, second or third time. It has been a constant thing. All because of you.” she remarked in an accusing manner.

“For God’s sake, why didn’t you girls tell me? Why didn’t Oleng tell me? We’re not supposed to keep things from each other. We promised each other no secrets.”

“Oleng was just trying to save her head from further punishments. Oge is the female senior prefect. She wields a lot of power. She might use other prefects to punish us.” Zinny pointed out.

“And what am I? Her house boy? Am I not also the senior prefect? I wield more power than her. I’ll deal with her. She’s going to be dethroned.” he fiercely said, got up and started to walk away.

“No, Eric. It will only worsen matters. She can still use her friends who are prefects to get to us.” she pleaded with him as he walked with determination towards the principal’s office.

“Not while I’m still senior prefect. The principal has complained about her a number of times. I’ve been defending her but now, I’ll bring her out myself. She was only elected because her dad is an influential person. I’m not boasting but her dad is a small boy where my dad is. So she must go. No one hurts my sunshine. Thanks Zinny for the information. I’ll see you on Monday.” he informed her as they got to the principal’s office.

He knocked politely and entered at the summons. Zinny just stared at him in admiration.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 5:05pm On Jul 25, 2014
###############################.
Eric threw his phone on the bed in frustration. He had been calling Oleng but she refused to answer the calls. She kept ending the call and finally switched off her phone. God! She could be stubborn sometimes.

He just wanted to explain what happened between him and Oge and to tell her that Oge would be dethroned on Monday because the principal had had enough of her also.

He wondered when his mum would leave the house so he could go over to her house. He would have loved to go there now but his mum had visitors and he wasn’t in the mood to go and greet them for him not to be embarrassed by their scrutiny and his mum’s praises of him since his mum had maintained that she must be informed about his whereabouts.

Just then his phone rang. He scrambled to go and answer thinking Oleng had changed her mind and called him forgetting it was not the ring tone he had saved for her. He was disappointed that she wasn’t the one but glad it was his elder brother, Damian.

“Hi Damian.” he cheerfully greeted.

“Hey kiddo. How you doing?”

“Cool….No, not cool. I’m actually in trouble.” he lamented.


“Talk to your big bro.”

Eric told him about the events of the day.

“Have you tried calling her?”

“Yes. She refused to answer and switched off her phone.”

“Big trouble then. Why don’t you go over to her place? Make her listen to you at all cost. She’s your best friend, so you should know how to get through to her. Try and do it fast so that you don’t lose her to inane gossip from that Oge to spoil your name further in her sight.”

“Alright, Damian. Thanks. I’ll do that as soon as mum’s friends leave.”

“Oh! The so-called society ladies are there?” he chuckled.

“You talk as if your mum isn’t one of them.” Eric reminded him and they both laughed.

They talked about this and that and how Eric would soon join him in America to further his studies. He remembered he had not told Oleng and wondered when he would tell her he was going to leave her. It hurt him anytime he thought of leaving her but he couldn’t refuse the offer to better his life and his parents wouldn’t hear of him going to even a private university here in Nigeria what with their poor educational standard and all.

He was glad when his mum’s friends finally left. He got dressed and went to his parents’s room.

He found his mother before her exotic dresser, making up. She was a stunning woman.

“Mummy, I want to go over to Oleng’s house.”

“You see her in school everyday, what do you want to tell her that can’t be said over the phone? Don’t you have air time?” his beautiful mother asked, looking him in the eyes.

Eric looked at the rugged floor. He didn’t like it when his mum tried to be difficult.

“I have credit but mummy, what I have to tell her cannot be said over the phone.” he fielded quietly

“Really?” his mum questioned smiling as she went to sit on the luxurious bed and studied him cooly. That was when he knew she was only teasing him.

“O Mummy! I offended her. I’m only going there to apologize.”

“Can’t you apologize in school?” Mrs. Sokipirim Conrad asked her son still smiling. She knew of the close relationship between her son and Oleng and always wondered at it.

“Her anger would have escalated by Monday.”

“Wow! Why didn’t you apologize when you were in school?”

“Mummy!” Eric exclaimed in exasperation at the non-ending questions.

His mum burst into laughter. “Come, my darling. I was only pulling your legs. You can go over. Just make sure you come back early.” she said as she hugged her son.

“Alright.” He quickly pulled away before she started her usual kisses on his forehead. She always forgot he wasn’t her little boy anymore who had adored her kisses.

“If you see her mum say hi to her for me, will you? And tell her that when next she goes to Dubai she should get me a diamond necklace.”

Eric shook his head. “You and jewelries!”

“You can’t blame me darling. I’ve got to look good for your father.”

Eric smiled and left. He walked quickly to Oleng’s house wondering where he would begin his explanation. He knocked at the gate and Andrew, the gateman opened it and greeted him warmly since Eric usually tipped him. Eric didn’t disappoint him by pressing some few naira notes in his hand. He joyfully told him that Oleng was inside.

Eric walked cautiously to the house remembering the first time he had come there ten years ago.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 8:29pm On Jul 25, 2014
His family had just moved to Port Harcourt from Lagos because his dad had been transferred by the Central Bank of Nigeria in Lagos to the one in Port Harcourt. Eric and his elder brother, Damian hadn’t liked the change because all their friends had been in Lagos but they didn’t have a say in the matter.

The first couple of weeks had been very boring for them except for television and video games but they soon got tired of them as well. They decided to go out for a stroll to get to know their neighborhood one afternoon. Their mum had told them to be careful.

They had walked down their street admiring the beautiful houses. It was when they had gotten to the next street that Damian, fifteen years of age then had met his age mates talking in front of a house. He had gone to chat with them and Eric had had no choice but to stand beside him and listen to their conversation of movies and video games.

He had gotten bored just listening to them. Just as he had been about telling his brother that he was tired, he turned around and saw in the opposite compound a small girl riding a bicycle.

Without informing his brother, he had gone to the house. He had gone in and stared at the girl. She rode her bicycle towards him and they had stared at each. She had never seen someone so fair before except on television. He stopped staring and introduced himself.

“Hi. My name is Eric Conrad. We just moved to the other street; Telema street. What’s your name?”

“Oleng Akpan.” she had replied quietly.
He had laughed then. “Oleng. What a funny name. What does it mean?”

“Don’t worry.” she replied.

He had stopped giggling then. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to laugh at your name. It’s just that I’ve never heard that sort of name before.”

“It’s okay.” she had quietly replied again.

“So will you tell me the meaning now?”

“I told you. Don’t worry.”

“Please. I said I was sorry.”

It had been her turn to giggle then. “Oleng means don’t worry”

“Oh! Okay. I get it.” he had laughed and she had laughed too and that had been the start of a wonderful friendship.

He had been telling her about Lagos before his elder brother had come to look for him. He had introduced her to the amused Damian. They had promised each other they would be friends since he didn’t have any and neither did she.

They had met again in school the following week where he had gone to start primary two and where she was already in primary one. Their friendship had blossomed and now they were in the same secondary school. A distinguished private secondary school called Marvin Bay owned by a Canadian and situated at the end of their estate in Mguouba road. He was presently in SS3 preparing for his WAEC and NECO exams while she was in SS2.

He came back to the present with a smile.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 9:32pm On Jul 25, 2014
He rang the door bell twice before Oleng opened the door. She was surprised to see him. She should have known he wouldn’t let matters be.

“Hi. Can I come in?”

Oleng just stared at him and folded her arms across her chest. “For what?”

He was shocked but not deterred. “I came to teach you that physics you’ve been asking me to teach you.”

It was her turn to be shocked because she had only told him once that she needed help with her physics.

“Well, I’m not in the mood for receiving lessons. Well, if that is all…..” She made to close the door but he placed a foot at the door before she could shut it.

“Sunshine please. At least hear me out.”

“Ric…Eric, whatever you do with your break time and whoever you spend it with is entirely your business.” she launched back furiously at him. “Just leave me alone!” She made to close the door again when he asked,

“Why didn’t you tell me Oge has been maltreating you?”

She was transfixed with surprise.

“Who told you?”

“Why didn’t you tell me? I thought we promised each other that we wouldn’t have secrets. Why did you keep such a thing from me?” He was angry too.

Tears came to her eyes. “I didn’t want any trouble.”

“Trouble? Did you stop to think how I would feel if I found out? How could you? You know I can handle her.” he accused.

She felt sorry that she hadn’t told him but remembered what she had seen that day.

Her anger surged. “Oh yes! You can handle her alright. You did just that today, didn’t you?”

“It’s not what you think. Nothing happened.”

“Really?” she enquired sweetly.

Eric then explained everything that happened still at her door steps. As she wanted to reply, she heard her phone ring so she ran to go and answer the call.

Eric took it as an avenue to enter the house. He smiled when he saw Oleng was frowning when he came to the living room. She didn’t know how beautiful she looked like that. She told the person to call her back later.

“I didn’t ask you to come in.” she intoned coldly when she was through with the call.

“I know but the door was opened. So I came in.” he retorted nonchalantly as he sat down in the tastefully furnished living room.

“Well, I want you to leave.” she fired back at him.

“Make me.” he dared.

She sat down looking at him in anger. He explained what happened again.

“Tell me you weren’t turned on when she took off her shirt.” she threw at him when he was through.

He shook his head slowly. “The issue here is that I didn’t fall for her.”

“Please!” she said in digust with a wave of her hand and turned away from him to stare at the television.

He looked at her intently. “Frankly, there is only one girl on earth who would come on strong to me to make me fall flat.”

She slowly turned to look at him. The question was in her eyes but she didn’t dare ask.

“You.” he told her shortly. “You can come on strong to me any day any time, sunshine and I’ll fall hook, line and sinker.”

Oleng could not help looking away. She was embarrassed.

“And as for Oge, you need not worry about her anymore. She’ll be dethroned on Monday.”

“What?” She turned to look at him then.

“I reported her to the principal. There have been numerous complains about her. This was the last straw.”

“How could you? It will only worsen matters.” she lamented.

“No. She’ll only be a toothless bull dog now.”

“No! She’ll use her prefect friends against me. All of them will hate me for making the principal dethrone her.”

Eric studied her calmly before smiling.

“These are the very same prefects who have been complaining to the principal about her. They’ll be glad when she’s dethroned.”

“Really? But she’ll still have some loyal friends.”

He smiled again and she had to look away. He didn’t know he looked more handsome whenever he smiled.

“You underestimate me, sunshine. I think you sometimes forget I’m the senior prefect.”

“I’ve never forgotten. It’s the reason why I don’t like drawing attention to myself in school at all. I don’t want people to say I’m taking advantage of the fact that my best friend is the senior prefect. Now they’ll go about saying such.”

“But they don’t know what happened. It was Zinny who told me about what she has been doing to you.”

“Zinny?” she asked in bewilderment.

“Yeah. When I asked of your whereabouts and when she asked what happened between you, Oge and I. No one knows she’s going to be dethroned on Monday except you and I.”

“Thank God. That’s a relief. I don’t want to be the talk of the whole school.”

“Neither do I but the thing is, people will still talk.”

“Well, that’s true.”

There was a moment of silence between them. Eric got up and went to sit very close to her on the sofa and took her hand.

“Sunshine, am I forgiven for what happened this afternoon? I swear, nothing happened between us. It was a set up but I didn’t fall. Don’t allow a nonentity come between us. Please don’t throw away our friendship of ten years.”

All the while he was talking, Oleng wasn’t looking at him but the hand he held. She raised her head to look at him. “I heard her talk about the plan with her friends but didn’t know it was to try to seduce you for me to think you had sex with her. I was so angry seeing both of you coming out of the toilet, dressing up.”

“She was the one who……” he tried to explain but she placed a finger on his lips.

“Ssh… You’ve already explained yourself. I’m glad you didn’t fall.” She smiled shyly.

“Thanks. Me too.” he said smiling and pulled her to give her a hug. They hardly hugged these days so she was glad when they did and they stayed like that for while until she pulled away wondering at the sensations that were running all over her body. Eric felt it also and was lost for words before pulling himself together.

“So, what about the physics lesson?”

“Certainly not. I’m not in the mood. Maybe another time.” she informed him smiling.

“Alright.” he said with a slight shrug.

“Where’s Tessy?”

“I don’t know. Maybe she’s in her room.”

Tessy was her mum’s distant relative. She was twenty two years old and was studying in the state university close by. Her mum had brought her to live with them when Oleng was ten and to take care of her since she constantly traveled but Tessy always ignored her. Whenever she was around which was seldom, she would lock herself up in the room and behave as if Oleng didn’t exist. It hurt Oleng a lot because she had been so happy when her mum had brought the latter thinking she would no longer be lonely. She was used to her now anyway. Besides, she didn’t need her as far as she had Eric.

She was surprised to hear her mum’s car horn. She got up and went to the window to lift the curtain to make sure and saw their gateman running to go and open the gate.

“My mum is back.” she informed Eric.

Eric sighed a little. He could count the number of times he had seen Oleng’s mum. She owned chains of boutiques where she sold both English wears and all kinds of materials. She also dealt in jeweleries; gold, diamond, sapphire, rubbies, platinum, whatever; which made her travel all over Nigeria and the world. She was rarely at home.

He never knew Oleng was neglected until he got very close to her. Her mum would travel out of the country for over two weeks and leave her alone at home assuming her distant relative, Tessy would take care of Oleng not knowing that Tessy would also travel and leave Oleng all alone. She always came back before Oleng’s mum. Oleng not wanting her mum to send the girl packing, never reported because at least she was at home sometimes and she didn’t want to be all alone again since her mum didn’t have time for her.

Eric had visited her one day and found her crying. She said her mum didn’t love her because times without number, she had tried talking with her mum but the latter was always too busy to talk to her. He had told her that she was the one not trying her best to get close to her mum but she had replied that there was no time to get close to her because if her mum wasn’t in Kano or Kaduna today, she would be in either one African country or the other or Dubai the following day and when she was even at home, she was too tired to talk to her when she came home at night, tired from running her numerous boutiques.

Eric had tried to make his mum her mum also but she was too scared of his mum, saying she was too much of a society lady for her to get close to. Eric knew that at first sight his mum appeared that way but inwardly, she was a very sweet person.
Eric was the first person to know when she started menstruating. It had been one of those periods when both her mum and Tessy traveled. She had thought she was sick having never been told anything about adolescence and feminine changes.

She had called Eric who in turn told his mum. It was his mum who had come over to lecture her and buy her her first sanitary towel before she told her mum when she came back. Her mum hadn’t told her anything but made sure she had a regular supply of sanitary towel as she did with her clothes and money. Oleng didn’t lack anything except motherly love. She had money, clothes, and jeweleries at her beck and call but a mother’s love.

That was why Eric was so important to her because he had always been there for her especially when she was all alone at home. He insisted she come over to his house but she always refused saying her mother wouldn’t appreciate it if she suddenly returned home to find the house empty. She hadn’t told him though when she started developing breasts but he had noticed and teased her about it then but not anymore now that they where both very conscious of each other.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 11:14am On Jul 26, 2014
“Welcome ma.” Oleng greeted as her mother entered the luxurious living room, standing up.

“Good afternoon ma.” Eric greeted standing also.

“Good afternoon……Hmm…what’s that your name again?”

“Eric ma.” he politely answered.

“Yes, Eric. How are you?”

“Fine, thank you ma.”

“How is your mum?”

“She’s fine ma. She sent her greetings and said you should get her a diamond necklace when next you go to Dubai.”

“Hmm! Soso and diamonds! I’ll get her one. Tell her I’ll bring it at the next club meeting.”

“I will ma. I was on my way out before you came in.”

“Alright, dear. Extend my greetings to your mum.”

“I will ma.”

“I want to see him off.”

“No problem.”

Eric and Oleng walked quietly from the living room.

“Your mum seem so nice that it is hard to believe she ignores you.” Eric observed when they were outside. Oleng shrugged nonchalantly for an answer.

“Well, anytime I see her; I always understand where you got your beauty from. You look very much like her.”

“You’ve told me that so many times.” she acknowlwdged, smiling shyly.

“Because it’s the truth.” he retorted smiling.

Oleng couldn’t deny that fact. Her mum was indeed beautiful and looked younger than her age. She was chocolate skinned like her, slim and petite also. It took her awhile to accept it but she knew she was a replica of her mother though she didn’t have that air of authority her mother had.

They had gotten to the gate and opened it.

They both went outside and stared at each other.

“Let’s go out tomorrow.” Eric finally suggested. The following day was a Saturday.

“Where to?”

“Anywhere…….Mr. Biggs.”

“Okay.”

“I’ll be here in the afternoon.”

“Okay.”

“See ya.”

“Bye.”

She went back inside. As she was heading for her room, her mum called her. She sighed. She rarely went to her mum’s room.

“Yes ma.” she answered when she got to the room after knocking and asked to come in.

“What was he doing here?” Mrs. Linda Akpan asked as she sat on her king size bed.

Oleng looked at her toes. “He came to teach me physics.”

“Is he your physics teacher?”

Oleng was silent. She looked at her toes from her flip flops.

“I asked you a question, young lady.”

“No.”

“Then how come he came here to teach you physics?”

“Because I asked him to.”

“Why did you do that?”

“He is very good in physics and I’m having a bit of difficulty understanding it so I asked him to help me out.”

“Why didn’t you tell me so I can hire a private teacher for you?”

“I haven’t seen you in three days.” she defiantly remarked.

“You haven’t seen me in three days.” her mother echoed in ringing disbelief. “Is that your excuse? Couldn’t you have waited for a time like this that I’m at home?”

Oleng was silent at that.

“Let me warn you. If you get pregnant, don’t bother coming back here. Just go to his house. Afterall, his parents are wealthy enough to take care of you and the baby. Just don’t come and saddle me with a bastard.”

Tears streamed down Oleng’s lovely face.

Is this the way a mother is supposed to tell her daughter about the dangers of premarital sex and the consequences of unwanted pregnancy? She vowed right there and then never to be like her mother.

“By the way, where’s that useless Tessy?”

“She’s in her room.” she replied still in tears.

“Go and call the idiot for me. She’s supposed to be your chaperone not the queen of this house.”

Oleng walked dejectedly out of the room. She went to Tessy’s room. The latter was reading a magazine and listening to music from her phone. She delivered the message and walked quietly out of the room.

She went to her room, laid down on her bed and cried her eyes out. Tessy later came in anger to her room and warned her never to bring Eric to the house again before banging the door rudely after her.

Oleng only stared at her because she knew it was an empty threat. They were both never at home and expected her to die of boredom? They were joking. Eric meant more to her than both of them put together. He gave her a reason to live.

Eric came as promised the following day and of course both Tessy and her mum weren’t at home. After playing video games, they went to Mr. Biggs to get some snacks. They went back to her place, ate the snacks, watched some movies and later went out for a stroll in the evening. She was sorry to see him leave but knew they would see in church again the following morning.

Monday came and as Eric said, the principal announced to the whole assembly that the board of trustees had a meeting on Saturday and have decided to strip Oge of her post. There was much shouts of joy to her surprise. Oleng didn’t know people hated her like that. Her fellow prefects were the most joyous with an exception of a few who just stood looking indifferently. Eric showed indifference also as he stood before the assembly as he usually did, being the senior prefect.

Oleng could not however help feeling sorry for Oge when she saw her crying. She was human after all. Another girl was named the senior prefect. The students clapped with joy because Antoinette was a very nice person. Her post was given to someone else too. Oge’s friends or better still her goons abandoned her since she didn’t have any power again.

Oleng was glad that the second term ended peacefully because Oge never disturbed her again though some of Eric’s female classmates still despised her for having all his attention. She shrugged. It was their funeral.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 6:30pm On Jul 26, 2014
CHAPTER THREE

Oleng faced the third term with dread. It was Eric’s final term in school and the period of his exams. The second term holidays had been the best in her life because she and Eric had spent everyday of it together.

He had even refused going on a short break with his parents to California just to be with her. Though he longed to see his elder brother and grandmother, he hadn’t wanted to leave her all alone at home since Tessy and her mum traveled for over two weeks. That had touched her and she had wished the hols would never end but good things they say didn’t last for ever so the hols eventually came to an end.

Now she was faced with the dilemma of both going to school alone and going back home alone since Eric would no longer be her companion because he would have graduated by then. She wished for the umpteenth time that they were in the same class. She would miss Dave and Eddy also.

“What is it Oleng? Why are you looking at all of us like that?” Eddy asked smiling.

It was their lunch break and they were all eating in the canteen. She had been thinking of how she was going to miss all of them, especially Eric. For an answer, she lowered her eyes so the tears there wouldn’t be seen.

Eric frowned. “What’s wrong, sunshine?”

She still refused to look at any of them.

She just stared at the snack on her plate and shook her head. She didn’t trust herself to speak because she felt like bursting into tears.

“Oleng? What is it?” Marvelous questioned in anxiety.

Everyone at the table were now staring at her expectantly. She continued shaking her head, willing the tears not to fall. She tried to get a grip of herself. Eric worsened it then by touching her hand gently. On impulse, she quickly withdrew her hand and raised her head up then to look at him. He was surprised to see the tears in her eyes but he was too moved to say a word.

“Eric, what have you done to her?” Eddy enquired when he saw the unshed tears in her eyes and how she had pulled away from his friend.

Eric shook his head. “I didn’t do anything……..Sunshine, what did I do? Did I hurt you?”

Oleng just continued staring at him.

“Oleng, you’re scaring us. What’s wrong with you? Has Eric or any of us annoyed you?” Ezinne was alarmed also.

Oleng had gotten a grip of herself then.

An idea came to her then to save her from embarrassment. She gave them a bright smile. They were taken aback.

“Wouldn’t my performance win me an Oscar award?” she asked beaming.

Zinny and Eddy sighed while Marvy and Dave laughed. Only Eric just stared.

“Is it only Oscar? AMAA nko? You dey crase.” Zinny proclaimed laughing. Oleng continued smiling until Eric quietly said,

“You and I know you weren’t acting. Something or someone nearly made you cry just now.”

Oleng stopped smiling and looked down at her snack. She didn’t know what to say.
She was however saved by the bell when it rang signifying the end of the break.

“We’ll discuss it on our way home.” he informed her in a solemn manner as they all got up.

Oleng knew she would tell him the truth because she didn’t like lying to him but she wondered if she wouldn’t die of embarrassment when she told him that she had almost cried in public just because of the thought of him leaving school. She hoped he would just laugh it off.

She was however rescued when Eric couldn’t walk her home because the principal wanted to see him and some prefects. They were going to hand over their posts soon, so they could concentrate fully on their forthcoming exams. The staff bus would take them to their respective homes.

Oleng had heaved a sign of relief when he told her. She walked home with Dave instead since Eddy said he wanted to walk his latest catch home to get to know her better. She and Dave walked home talking about this and that until Dave said,

“Erica, can I ask you a question.” He called her Erica because he said she and Eric were so close they could be mistaken for twins.

Oleng smiled at the name. “Sure Dave.”

“Why were you almost shedding tears today?”

Oleng smiled at the question. Eddy would never have asked her about what happened in the morning but not Dave. They shared a kind of closeness, though not to be compared to the one she and Eric shared.

“I thought of missing you all.” she truthfully confided in him.

“Especially Eric.” he commented smiling.

“Yes, but we can see each other after school because Eric said he doesn’t think he will stay around the Choba or Aluu. He intends going for lecturs from home.”

Dave stopped walking. Oleng stopped and stared at him in surprise. “What’s wrong?”

“But he’s no longer going to Uniport. I thought that was why you were almost crying earlier on.” he informed her, clearly confused.

Oleng was confused also. “What do you mean by he’s no longer going to school here?”

Dave was quiet then. “You mean he still hasn’t told you?”

“Told me what? Dave, you’re scaring me. What’s Ricky hiding from me?” she held his hand in desperation.

“Nothing.”

“What do you mean by nothing? You just asked me if he hasn’t told me something and now you are telling me nothing. Dave, I’m not a fool.”

“I didn’t call you one. Please, let’s go home.” he urged and made to move away but Oleng stopped him.

“Please don’t leave me in suspense. Please.” she pleaded, holding his hand.

“Erica, please. Eric is in the best position to tell you.”

“Tell me what? Dave please, you just said he still hasn’t told me. It means he won’t tell me.”

“He will. Just give him time. He’s probably looking for the best time to tell you.”

“Why don’t you tell me first? So that I’ll be able to handle it whenever he tells me.”

“No. No. No.” He shook his head vigorously and began walking away quickly.

Oleng ran after him. “Dave, please. Please. I won’t rest until you tell me. You’ve already started. So please just finish it. I won’t be able to talk to Eric freely knowing he’s hiding something from me. Dave, please.” she passionately pleaded but Dave ignored her and continued walking.

He however stopped when he noticed Oleng had stopped walking. He turned around and saw tears slowly rolling down her eyes not minding that her fellow students were walking along. He was touched. He walked up to her slowly. He held her hand and pulled her to continue walking. There was silence between them for a while.

“I’m sorry for making you cry. I didn’t want it to seem as if I betrayed Eric by telling on him. You see…………” He faltered, not knowing how to say it.

He shook his head and continued, “God help me! I pray Eric doesn’t punch me in the face for this! When Eric is through with his exams, he’ll go and join his elder brother in America. He’s not going to do his university education here in Nigeria.”

“No.” Oleng whispered as she stopped walking. Dave stopped walking also as he watched as tears gathered in her beautiful eyes again. She put a hand to her mouth and continued shaking her head.

“No. This is not happening.” she whispered in protest.

Dave didn’t know what to do as tears rolled down her eyes continuously. He wanted to hug her to comfort her but their fellow students were passing by and some of them were looking at them. He could only take her other hand and pull her to start walking again. Luckily, her house was just two blocks away.

“It’s not so bad, Oleng. You guys can communicate through the phone and he can always come over for vacations. You never can tell, when you’re through with your own secondary school education, you can go over there to join him.” he rattled firmly but she just kept quiet, still in tears.

“If it’s any consolation to you, Eddy and I will still be around. I intend schooling here. Eddy too. Besides, you still have Zinny and Marvy.” he consoled and sighed with relief when they got to her gate. They both stopped walking. Oleng wiped her tears away.

“Thanks a lot, Dave for walking me home and thanks for telling me Eric’s secret. I know you and Eddy will always be there for me but you don’t understand.”

“I understand, Erica. Eric is your best friend.”

“You don’t understand. Ricky is not just my best friend, he’s my life!” With that outburst, she pushed her gate open and rushed in.

Dave stared at the closed gate and shook his head. As he walked away, he knew his suspicions had been right. Oleng and Eric were in love with each other but refused to do anything about it. They were still denying their feelings for each other. He wondered if it was the very morning Eric would be leaving for the airport that they would say what they felt for each other.

This was why no one must ever know his true feelings for Oleng. No one must ever find out that he had a hopeless crush on his close friend’s best friend. With a heavy heart, he walked home.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 8:48pm On Jul 26, 2014
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“Something’s wrong with my sunshine.”

Eric commented as he walked home with Dave and Eddy a week later.

“What do you mean?” Eddy asked as he spat his chewing gum out of his mouth.

“Didn’t you notice her moodiness as we walked her home just now?” Eric enquired.

“I did but I thought she was just her normal quiet self.” Eddy delivered bluntly.

“She’s too quiet. I know her. Something’s wrong. What do you think Dave?”

Dave looked uneasily at his friend. He knew it was his letting the cat out of the bag a week ago to Oleng that had made her moody for a week now. He regretted telling her.

“Ah…..” he stammered. “I think she’s moody. Maybe its one of those her moody spells. She’ll soon snap out of it,” he assured smiling. “Better still, why don’t you go and find out what’s wrong with her?” he helpfully suggested.

“I have asked her a number of times but she keeps telling me nothing and with our exams fast approaching, I haven’t found time to go over to her house.”

“Maybe that’s why she is moody,” Eddy put in. “You’ve abandoned her because of your exams.”

“Really?” Eric wondered in disbelief.

“I don’t think so. Oleng isn’t selfish or self centered. Just find time to go to her house.” Dave countered quietly.

“I will.” Eric said as they said good bye to Eddy when they got to his house.

When Eric had taken a shower and eaten, the thought of Oleng’s moodiness was still on his mind. He decided to postpone siesta and studying. He would study throughout the night but for now, he had to see his sunshine or he wouldn’t be able to study. He thanked God his mum wasn’t at home as he dressed up in blue jeans and an Armani shirt. Besides Oleng’s house was only a stone throw from his.

He hoped Tessy and her mum were not at home. That was unlikely anyway. He got to the house and rang the door bell after giving the usual tip to the gate man.

“What are you doing here, Ricky? You didn’t tell me you were coming.” She was surprised to see him when she opened the door.

Eric smiled brightly and with a small shrug said, “I got tired of reading and decided to come and see you since I haven’t been here in a while.”

“It doesn’t matter. I understand that your exams are coming up soon. You should be reading.”

“Is that a polite way of telling me to go back home?” he teased.

She laughed. “Of course not. Come in.” she stepped aside for him to enter before shutting the door. She followed him to the living room from the lobby.

“Alone as usual?” he remarked as he sat down on the leather sofa.

“As usual.” she replied and sat facing him on her mum’s wicker chair.

“Did you make the fruit salad?”

“Yeah. Want some?”

“Yeah, that’s if I won’t spend the rest of the day in your toilet.” he teased.

She laughed. “You’re not serious.”

She went to get the fruit salad from the fridge in the kitchen and served a helping in two glass bowls. She took them back to the living room where Eric was already surfing through the channels of the DSTV for sports.

“Don’t tell me you intend watching TV, Ricky.”

“Not you too, sunshine. My parents allow me to watch only the news. I need a break. I’m tired of reading. God! I’m not the first person to write WAEC and NECO for crying out loud!” he lamented.

Oleng laughed. “So Mr. Civil Engineer can get tired of reading? Book worms like you are not supposed to get tired of reading.”

“Me? A book worm? So it’s only market women like you who are supposed to get tired of reading?”

“Me, market woman? I’ll kill you. Mechanic!” she fired back with humour and threw part of the fruit salad at him. He ducked and it hit the plasma television.

“Oh! Look what you made me do.” she complained as she went to get a hand towel from the kitchen. He laughed joyously but helped her scoop the mess from the floor while she cleaned the TV.

They later sat down to watch a movie while eating their fruit salad. When the movie was over, Eric felt it was time for him to broach the topic that had brought him there. He held her hand, not minding the tingling sensations that ran through his body. She looked down at their hands and looked away.

“Sunshine, you’ve been very moody this past week and I’ve continuously asked you why but you refused to tell me anything. Truth be told, I wasn’t tired of reading. I just wasn’t able to concentrate. How can I concentrate when there’s something wrong with my best friend and she refuse to talk to me? I thought maybe I was neglecting you. Is that it? Have I been paying less attention to you because of my studies?”

Oleng shook her head vigorously. “Of course not, Ricky. You’ve never neglected me before. Even when you go abroad, you still always make me feel your presence.”

“Then what’s the problem? And don’t tell me nothing because you and I know something is bothering you.” he pressed.

For an answer, Oleng got up, wrapped her hands around her and walked towards the TV with her back to him. She thought for a while before saying,

“Nothing is wrong. I mean what could be wrong when my best friend, someone I trust so much is no longer going to school here in Nigeria as I thought but in America yet he refused to tell me? What could be wrong?” she threw at him still with her back to him.

Eric became tense. He was shocked. He sat ram rod stiff. He could only shake his head before anger took over. He stood up in anger. “Who told you?”

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 7:11am On Jul 27, 2014
She swung to face him then in anger also.

“That’s not the question. The question is why didn’t you tell me? How could you? How could you leave me in the dark like that? When were you going to tell me? Immediately you land in JFK airport or when you begin classes there? How could you?” Tears slowly rolled down her eyes.

Eric quietly sat, looking at the Persian rug. He had made a mess of things. He didn’t know why he had lacked the courage to tell her. He had kept postponing the time and now she had found out. He wondered who told her. Eddy? Dave? Who told her was not the issue now. How would he make her understand that he had not meant to keep her in the dark for this long? He kept thinking for a while.

He finally got up and looked at her. She had her back to him but he knew she was crying. She kept wiping away the tears impatiently with her hand. He walked up to her slowly. He placed a hand on her shoulder. She shrugged it off.

“Sunshine, where do I start from? I really don’t know where to begin. All I can say is I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to keep it from you. I was waiting for the right time to tell you. That’s funny because I still don’t even know the right time to tell you………Sunshine, I’m filled with so much dread at the thought of leaving you here in Nigeria.

I pleaded and pleaded with my parents to allow me school here but they refused. They no longer have faith in our tertiary institutions. Grandma Conrad didn’t help matters also. She kept saying she’d like me to be close to her the way Damian is over there. I did everything humanly possible to dissuade them but they refused to listen to me. My dad who is usually more understanding than my mum refused because I couldn’t give him a tangible reason why I wanted to stay back in Nigeria. When I knew there was no hope, I didn’t know how to tell you………Sunshine, please I’m sorry. Forgive me.” he explained sadly.

When she still didn’t say anything, he touched her tentatively.

“Sunshine?”

She turned around then to look at him. He was sorry to see her eyes flooded with tears.

“When did you know? I mean for how long have you known?”

He stared at the rug. “Before the second term holidays.”

“Since then?” she shouted. “How could you? Why?” She started crying profusely then.

“Sunshine, please. I don’t like seeing you like this. Don’t you know this is hard for me too? How could I just look you in the eye and tell you all our dreams together won’t come to pass? Tell you all our promises of living together, traveling together and visiting tourist centers during our vacations will go unfulfilled. How? Tell me how?” Tears formed in his eyes.

For an answer, she put both hands to cover her face and wailed. He couldn’t resist taking her in his arms. He held her while she cried. He tried very hard not to cry also though tears were brimming in his eyes. He couldn’t imagine life without her.

When she was spent, he led her to a chair and made her sit. He went to the kitchen fridge to get her a glass of water. He made her sip from it; she took small sips and shook her head. She was so downcast; he didn’t know what to do. He had never seen her like this before not even when she had been crying that her mum didn’t love her. He sat down beside her and held her hand. He didn’t know what else to do.

After a while he said, “Why don’t you talk to your mum? You can come over when you are through with your secondary education. We can live our dreams over there instead of here. It would be more fun,” Eric brightened up at the thought. “I know your mum can afford it and she can come once in a while on one of her numerous trips to see you if she wants.”

Oleng looked at him and shook her head. She had to take a sip of water before she could talk. Her voice was broken from the weeping.

“No.’ she simply said after a while.

“Why?”

“I’ve asked her before. When you first told me that your parents hinted that you would school over there. She told me I was joking. She doesn’t want me out of her sight. It was funny to me then because she is never at home. So I wonder how I’m in her sight. If she finds out you’re going also, that will only make her refuse the more.”

“No, sunshine. Don’t be negative. You can talk to her again. I can even get my mum to talk to her. Maybe she can convince her to send you there also.” he prompted with hope.

She shook her head again. “Let it go Eric. There’s no hope. I know my mum. She won’t allow me to go. She doesn’t like me being happy. She likes to see me miserable. She hates me. I don’t know why but she does. She won’t agree because she knows I’ll be happy to be out of her hair and be with you over there.” Tears slowly dropped as she spoke.

“I can talk to her. I can make her see reason.”

“No, Ricky. You’d only put me in trouble.” She wiped the tears rolling down her eyes again.

“I’ve got to try Oleng. I don’t want to lose you.” he sorrowfully proclaimed.

She held his hand and smiled a little.

“You won’t lose me if we promise each other never to lose contact or stop communicating no matter what we are going through or wherever we are.”

“I promise. I promise.” he solemnly declared.

“I promise too” she affirmed and they hugged. When they broke it off, she smiled lightly and said, “Let’s look at the bright side. We still have about four months before you leave since your results will be out towards the end of the year.”

He looked down at their entwined hands.

“My uncle over there helping me with the admission said it would be very good for me to come over there, write my SATs and all, familiarize myself with the surroundings and the way of life there and for Damian to put me through with some things since he schooled there, before my results come out.”

“So when exactly are you leaving?” she fearfully enquired.

He looked down at their hands again and took a deep breath.

“A week after my exams.”

She immediately took her hand from his and used it to cover her mouth as she continuously shook her head, whispering. “No.”

The tears that had stopped falling earlier on, rolled down profusely.

Eric didn’t waste time in taking her in his arms and comforting her. He however couldn’t control the tears that rolled down his eyes. God! He was going to miss her. His best friend. His Sunshine. Sincerely, life would be meaningless without her. Would he be able to concentrate over there without her? He slowly shook his head. He doubted it.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 2:07pm On Jul 27, 2014
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Eric and Oleng knew they had little time together so they spent it wisely. They were now inseparable. After school, Eric would spend some time with her before going home. Whenever he was tired of reading, he would go over to her house. They spent their weekends together. This was their normal routine except when her Mum or Tessy was at home.

Time flew and Eric West African Examination Council Exams began. Then it was time for NECO. Eric decided to write the NECO exams just to spend more time with Oleng because it was only WAEC that was needed for his schooling abroad. He had already written his GED and passed. It was a hard time for Oleng because she rarely saw Eric due to his exams and she was preparing for her own third term exams.

The exams finally came to an end. On the last day of the exams, Oleng, Zinny and Marvy waited a short distance from the SS3 classroom. Physics was their last paper so Oleng was assured that Eric would come out smiling. He was a genius in physics. The art and social science students had finished 2 days earlier leaving the science students to finish theirs that day. It had been much joy for them and their friends from SS2 downwards had waited for them to come out of the hall to hug and congratulate them. Hence the three friends were waiting to do the same to Eric, Eddy and Dave.

“The way I’m feeling right now, I can actually kiss them when they come out. Oleng, hope you won’t mind if I kiss Eric?” Zinny questioned smiling broadly.

“Just try it.” Oleng warned and they all
laughed.

“Its Dave I know I can kiss. Certainly not Eddy. That womanizer will read meaning into it and before you know it, he’ll want to get down with me.” Oleng said and they all laughed again.

There was a small silence before Marvy remarked with great emotion. “I’m really going to miss them. I can’t imagine lunch break without them anymore. I know for a while now we haven’t spent our lunch break with them because of their exams but it was just like a temporary thing to me then but now I realize its forever.”

“Yes Marvy. I’m really going to miss them. Eric’s charming personality, Eddy’s silly and flirtatious attitude, Dave’s quiet and cool nature. I’m not sorry to have known them. All thanks to Oleng here. If not for her friendship with Eric, we would never have been friends with such nice guys.” Zinny pronounced smiling.

“Yeah, thanks Oleng.” Marvy smiled also and hugged Oleng who just kept quiet.

Zinny and Marvy kept recounting all their experiences with the three seniors. They discussed how the three friends were like them in terms of tribe. Eric was from Rivers state, Eddy was from Anambra state and Dave was from Bayelsa state. They were all from different states like them too. Oleng was from Cross River, Ezinne was from Abia state while Marvy was from Rivers state.

They didn’t know the effect they were having on Oleng. All this while, she had put a mental block against thinking of living without Eric but as her friends talked continuously about him and his two friends, reality dawned on her. She finally saw her future without Eric.

“Oleng!” Marvy exclaimed as she saw tears rolling down her friend’s eyes.

“What’s the matter?”

Oleng cleaned her unheeding tears and picked up her bag. “Please tell Eric I’m sorry. I can’t stay.”

“Oleng, what’s wrong?” Zinny demanded of her friend who was already walking away.

Oleng stopped and turned around. “A week from today, Eric will be leaving for California where he’s going to school. He’ll be gone for about four years.” she announced still in tears.

“Please tell him I’m sorry that I can’t share his joy on a special day like this. I’ll only make a fool of myself if I stay because I know I won’t be able to look at him and not remember that I’ll lose him a week from now. I’ll only wet his shirt with my tears of sorrow instead of joy.”

With that sorrowful declaration she quickly walked away leaving her friends in a sad mood.

“No wonder she’s been so sad.” Marvy commented at her friend’s receding figure.

“Yes, poor girl. Marvy, we must make sure that she doesn’t feel Eric’s absence. We’ll be closer to her now more than ever.”

“Sure. That’s if she’ll let us.”

“No matter what, we must try.”

They waited there alone with others quietly. They however became joyous again when students started filing out with great joy and students were screaming and hugging each other.

The three people they were waiting for came out together. Zinny rushed to hug Eddy, Marvy ran to hug Dave too. Eric looked around for Oleng but she was nowhere to be found. He was both hurt and disappointed. Zinny rushed to hug him and Marvy followed suit. Female students who had been looking for an opportunity to get close to the gorgeous former senior prefect saw their chance.

They hugged and kissed him continuously. Zinny had to forcefully drag them away. She became his self appointed personal body guard. Eric put up a happy front but inwardly, he wasn’t happy. Where was his best friend on a day like this? He didn’t accept the excuse she had given to her friends. She had given no thought of his feelings whatsoever. Didn’t she think of how he would feel seeing she wasn’t there to share his joy? He knew how she felt but he felt the same way also.

He heard people whispering that they had quarreled, that was why she wasn’t here. For the first time in their relationship, he was truly angry with her. She had behaved in a self centered manner.

When he got home, his mum welcomed him like a king. His dad who was usually not at home at that time of the day was at home to welcome him like a king also. They had arranged a small party for him. He tried his best to be cheerful. His brother and relatives called to congratulate him. He however kept rejecting Oleng’s calls. He didn’t feel like talking to her just yet. When the small party was over, he went to his room with the excuse that he was tired.

After awhile, he decided to pick Oleng’s call. He answered the call albeit coldly.
“Thank God you finally answered.” Oleng was full of relief but he kept her quiet.

“Please can you come over? I need to talk to you.” she eagerly requested.

“About what?” he coldly asked. He was obviously still angry.

“Please. I really need to talk to you.” He could hear the tears in her voice but he just wasn’t in the mood.

“Sorry, Oleng. I can’t come over. I’m tired. I need to rest.” With that he ended the call. He told himself that he would switch off his phone if she tried calling again. He was surprised when she didn’t call back. She was probably crying her eyes out. He picked up his phone to call her back. He shook his head and dropped the phone. He was the wronged party here. Let her do the calling and begging. He laid on his bed but couldn’t sleep.

A while later, one of his cousins staying with them came into the room. He sat up on the bed. Boma was funny and mischievous and Eric liked her like that; and of course for the fact that she called him handsome.

“Handsome, your girlfriend’s here.” Boma informed him as she sat down on the bed.

“God!” he winced. “Don’t tell me mum invited Bridget to dinner without my consent again?” he lamented and laid back on the bed.

Boma laughed. “No, not that one. I mean your real girlfriend.” she stressed in an undertone.

“Here you go again, Boma. You know I don’t have a girlfriend.”

She laughed again. ”That one” She stabbed a finger in the air at Oleng’s huge portrait on the wall.

Eric turned and looked at it in ringing disbelief. “No way! That’s not true. Oleng cannot be bold enough to come here on her own. She doesn’t like coming here. She’s been here only once and that’s because it was mum and dad’s anniversary and I threatened to end our friendship if she didn’t come. I even had to go and pick her myself.”

“Are you calling me a liar, handsome? Or maybe I’m blind?”

Eric paused and surveyed her steadily.

“Boma please, I hope this isn’t one of your mischievous games.”

Boma got up then. “Well, I’ll go and tell her you don’t want to see her.” she said as a matter of fact and walked towards the door.

“You’re serious, aren’t you?”

“Like a heart attack.” she laughed heartily.

“I can’t believe Oleng actually came here. She must really be sorry.” he murmured under his breath. He didn’t want to start explaining things to his nosy cousin. He got up from the bed. “Where’s she?”

Boma still standing by the door said, “The lounge, but be warned; your parents saw her. Your mum was talking to her before I left to get you.”

“O no!” he exclaimed, putting on his chinos trousers. “She’s terrified of mum.”

Boma giggled. “So was I until I got to know her. I discovered that that look of hers, that ‘Don’t come near me, you leper’ kind of look was just for show. She’s the sweetest person I know.”

Eric smiled in spite of himself. His mum was really like that to a lot of people. He had told Oleng a lot of times that his mum was different from the face she puts on but Oleng had never believed.

“Now that you know your parents are aware of her visit, don’t do what you guys normally do in her house.” Boma advised in a teasing manner.

“We don’t do anything in her house. What are you insinuating?” he asked buttoning his shirt.

“A handsome guy like you, a beautiful girl like her, tell me something else.”

“For crying out loud Boma, I’m just sixteen and she is just fifteen!” he protested.

“And Jesus died at the age of thirty three.” she put in as a matter of fact.

Eric just stared at her. “What has that got to do with the issue at hand?”

“Yeah well………….Okay, maybe it doesn’t relate with what was just said. What I’m trying to say is that no one is too young to taste the forbidden fuit. Joleen, my elder sister lost her virginity at the age of 12……….Ooops! Pretend you didn’t hear that.” she put a hand to her mouth.

Eric burst into laughter and walked to the door smiling brightly.

“Come on, handsome. Promise me you won’t tell anyone. Let this be our little secret.”

“Lets see,” Eric pretented to think. “Little secret number thirty four? How much?” he held out his hand, grinning.

“Cash or kind?” she questioned, rolling her eyes at him.

“Both.” Eric smiled mischievously.

“Alright, spoil sport. I’ll think of something.”

“You better do. Cause’ we don’t want Joleen to know we know her little secret, right?” he remarked sweetly, still smiling mischievously and opened the door.

He walked slowly to the lounge. He knew his parents would be in the living room. He still didn’t believe Oleng had come to his house. He was indeed surprised to see her there. She quickly got up when she saw him. Eric had to appreciate Oleng’s mum once again. She knew how to buy good things for her daughter.

Oleng was looking drop dead gorgeous as usual in a beautiful top and hip hugging jeans, which brought out her hour glass figure. She wore chucks on her feet and he knew it was some kind of jewellery other than gold and diamond that adorned her neck, ears and wrist. God! Oleng was beautiful.

She walked shyly towards him while he just stood in the middle of the room and put his hands in his pockets with an air of indifference. She stopped before him and stared at the thick rug. She thrust out a beautiful hand-made card to him.

“I had this made specially for you. I should have given it to you earlier but………I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you were through with your exams….I just couldn’t handle everything then………I …” She was still staring at the rug. She smiled a little. “Zinny told me more than half of the girls in the school hugged you. I don’t blame them though. If I had been there, it wouldn’t have happened……I……..Won’t you at least take the card from me?” she queried when she looked up at him and he didn’t take it or say anything.

He waited for a full minute before he slowly removed his hand from his pocket and took the card.

“Thanks.” he quietly said.

“I’m sorry.” she apologised and stared at the rug again. When he still didn’t reply, she pleaded in almost a whisper, “Please say something.”

“What do you want me to say, Oleng?” he began impatiently. “You hurt me a lot today. For the first time since our friendship began, I was really angry with you. A very special day in my life and my best friend was nowhere to be found. I was surrounded by strangers and few friends but the most important person in my life was not there when I needed her just because she was too sentimental to hang around.” he said each word bitingly.

Tears slowly dropped from her eyes. She didn’t know what to say. At the time of her departure, escape had been the uppermost thing in her mind. She hadn’t thought about his feelings. It was when she had gone home and thought of everything before she realized the folly of her actions. It had been too late to go back and Eric had kept rejecting her calls making her more miserable. She had known she had to see him. She knew she would be in trouble if she got home to meet her mum. She would receive a heavy scolding but she didn’t care. She just wanted to make things right with her best friend.

“I’m very sorry, Ricky.” she sniffed. “I didn’t think before I left. I just wanted to escape. All I saw was my future without you. It was when I got home that I realized how you would feel and when I tried calling you, you kept rejecting my calls. I really felt like dying because I knew I hurt you. All I can say is please forgive me. I’m sorry. Please.” she conceded ruefully.

Eric couldn’t bear her to see her cry. He stepped closer to her and hugged her, forgetting his cousin’s warning.
“It’s okay. I forgive you. I wanted you to know how much you hurt me today. It’s okay, sunshine. I’ve already forgiven you. Don’t abandon me like that again, okay?” he informed her, looking down at her smiling.

She wanted to remind him that he wouldn’t be around for her to do it to him again but thought against it. Better to let sleeping dogs lie.

“I promise.” she declared smiling, still in his arms.

“Handsome!” Boma exclaimed from the door way. “What did I tell you?” She looked scandalized.

Oleng quickly struggled to leave his arms as she wiped her tears way. Eric let her go but held her hand.

“Come on, Boma. It was just a harmless hug.” he assured his cousin, smiling mischievously.

“Yeah right! And Jesus died at…………..”

“The age of thirty three. Yeah, I know.”

“Naughty boy!” she admonished, grinning brightly.

Oleng couldn’t help smiling. She wished Boma were in Tessy’s place. She wouldn’t have been lonely. Boma was such a nice person.

“What are you doing here anyway?” Eric inquired.

“Just checking on you. You’re lucky your parents went out to go get suya.”

“And they made you my body guard or should I say Oleng’s chaperone before they left?” he enquired smiling.

“Self appointed.” Boma put a hand to her chest and saluted as if she was a soldier reporting for duty.

They all laughed. Oleng informed them that she had to get going. Boma told her goodbye and wrestled the beautiful card out of Eric’s hand before they left. She read the inscriptions on the congratulations card and shook her head.

Fifteen and sixteen indeed! They were clearly infatuated with each other. She wouldn’t call it love because she felt they were too young to know the real thing. She at twenty didn’t even know the real thing. She would really love for them to end up together in future though. They looked perfect for each other. Eric, tall, fair and handsome while Oleng, petite, chocolate skinned and beautiful. She read the inscriptions on the card again and shook her head again.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 7:07pm On Jul 27, 2014
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Oleng and Eric spent everyday together after his exams. Time was running out for them and each day felt like their last. Eric had just days left to spend in Nigeria. He didn’t feel like going to the graduation party organized by his classmates that Saturday but he felt he needed to because that would be the last time he would see his classmates in a long time if not the last time since he wouldn’t be around to attend the one organized by the school. They had all contributed individually for the party.

He asked Oleng to be his date. She obliged, if her mum wasn’t around. Luckily for them her mum traveled to Dubai and as usual, Tessy told her that she had to travel to see her parents. Oleng couldn’t care less. She was happy to go with Eric. She asked Zinny and Marvy what they would put on because some months ago, her mother got her a beautiful Dior gown. The three of them went shopping.

When she opened the door in answer to Eric's knocks that Saturday afternoon, she took his breath away. She was looking heavenly beautiful on a simple but elegant mono strap black dress that showed a lot of skin and accentuated her small breasts and ended at her ankles. High heeled sandals by Jimmy Choo made her look tall and gold necklace, earrings and bracelet adorned her neck, ears and wrists respectively. He noticed she wore make up for the first time since he had known her which made her even more beautiful. She smiled shyly at him.

“Do I know you?” he questioned, smiling in a dazed manner.

She laughed. “I’m supposed to be the one asking you that. You look good.” she complimented, sizing him up in his tuxedo. He looked like a young model.

“You look better. Gosh! Sunshine, you are gorgeous.”

She smiled shyly again. ”You’re not looking bad yourself.”

He laughed joyously. “Are you ready?”

“Yes. Let me get my clutch.”

He waited outside while she did that. He kept thinking of how good she looked. When she came out and locked the door, he took her hand, gave her a peck on it and they walked to the car outside the gate where the driver was waiting for them. The gate man bade them goodbye.

Eric’s parents were equally not at home. They had traveled to Lagos the previous day for a relative’s wedding. Eric had informed them about the party and had taken permission for their driver to take them to the venue even though it was in an exclusive hotel at the end of the estate since they had refused him driving until he was eighteen. His mother had refused at first. She didn’t want her son to be exposed to alcohol, hard drugs and sex which was the order of the day at such parties. It had been his dad who had convinced her to let him go, vouching for Eric that he wouldn’t engage in such and for her to also remember that it would be like prom night for them.

Eric had also reminded his parents that this would be the last time he would see his school mates. His mother had eventually agreed, however she warned him to come back home early and stay out of trouble. He had been told to abandon the party at the slightest sign of trouble. He doubted there would be trouble because his classmates were mature in that area and attendance was strictly by invitation.

When they got to the Audi A6 car, he opened the door for her and closed it before going to open his own. The driver drove at a sedate pace. Oleng couldn’t say a word because she was so nervous. This was her very first party and she didn’t know what to expect. Eric clasped her hand in his and smiled at her when he noticed her nervous countenance.

The party was already in full swing when they got to the venue. It had been slated for 12pm but they had decided to go there late knowing the party wouldn’t begin then because of African time. They got there some minutes after 4pm. Eric showed his invitation card to the bouncer at the door of the big club where the party was being held. Tuxedoes or blazers were the dress code for the guys while evening gown was the dress code for the girls.

All eyes were on them as they entered the hall holding hands. Eddy and Dave walked up to them with their dates, Zinny and Marvy respectively.

“Do I know any of you?” Eric questioned when they had finished shaking hands and hugging. They laughed. “You’re all looking good.” he commented.

“You’re not looking bad yourself. Oleng, better watch him all evening because you see those girls who are already eating him up with their eyes, they’ll try to make sure you don’t leave here with him.” Zinny teased.

“You’re talking of Eric, what about Oleng? I’m ready to have a duel with Eric to get her off his hands and into mine.” Eddy jibed, looking at her lustfully.

“Just name the time and place.” Eric informed him calmly and they all laughed.

“You girls should never wear those uniforms again. You’re all looking good. I never knew you’re all so beautiful.” Dave complimented also and the girls shyly smiled.

They all stayed together and talked. Food and drinks flowed but Eric refused to take anything. He didn’t feel like it. Oleng took a can of malt. They sat together and watched as people danced. It was a joyous occasion. Eric excused himself and came back, drinking from a canned beer.

“Eric!” Oleng exclaimed. “You’re drinking beer!”

“So?” He shrugged nonchalantly as he sat down beside her.

“You told me you wouldn’t drink beer until you are twenty one.”

“Really?” He shrugged again carelessly.

“Ricky, are you drinking beer because your mates are drinking? Because you want to belong and don’t want to be called a weakling?”

“No.” he quietly countered.

“Why Ricky? Why?”

He gulped down the last drop of beer and dropped the empty can on the floor before he turned to look at her.

“I’ve been with these people for the past six years. We’ve been together since JSS1. We’ve seen each other everyday for the past six years except during hols and suddenly, I’ll never see them again. They can go on seeing each other but I, Eric will never see them again. Some might be for just the four years I’ll be away while others might be for the rest of my life. I had to take that beer to block that fact out of my head since alcohol dulls one’s senses because the whole thing was getting to me.”

Oleng was dumb founded. Not minding the people looking at them, she hugged him.

“It’s okay. I understand. Just try to be happy. Today is your day.” she encouraged him smiling.

He smiled back at her and told her he would be right back. He came back with two cans of beer, opened one and gave it to her.

“Ricky, you know I’ve never drank beer before.” she protested.

“Well, there is always a first time.” He opened his own and took a gulp. He prompted her to sip from hers. She did and made a face. He laughed. He told her to try again and she made a face again as if she was taking a bitter pill. He laughed again.

“It’s sweet at first but later on, it becomes bitter.” she remarked and he laughed. He urged her to continue sipping. She tried again but gave it to him. He finished his and drank hers also. He later went to get them a pack of Don Simeon alcoholic drink. It was so sweet they both finished it.

Then they took to the dance floor. They danced so much that people left the dance floor for both of them. No one knew they were both tipsy. Later on, they exchanged partners. Girls tried to smooch with Eric but failed. He was tipsy not foolish, he thought to himself. When he saw Uche and Eddy trying to do the same with Oleng at different intervals, he yanked her off their arms.

The party got heated. Boys and girls could be seen smooching. Oleng was appalled to see Zinny and Eddy kissing. Dave and Marvy were holding hands and talking. Eric finally decided it was time for them to go home at about 9pm after his mum had called to check up on him. They bade goodbye to all of them with Oge and her friends still sending daggers with their eyes at her because Eric had hardly spared them a glance as he bade them good bye.

Though Eric was tipsy, he managed to call the driver to take them to Oleng’s house. He dismissed the driver telling him he would walk home instead. He had paid the driver to cover up for him incase his mother called him to ask about Eric’s whereabouts because he had already told his mother on their way there that he was already on his bed about to go to sleep.

He needed to pee badly because he hadn’t wanted to use the rest room at the hotel. Oleng had barely opened the door before he rushed to her room and went straight to the toilet. She dropped her bag, his coat and tie he had taken off before they entered the car home and went to the door of the toilet to wait for him because she needed to pee too. He came out and they both laughed as she rushed in. He stared at his huge portrait on her wall and smiled. That was how Oleng met him, standing in the middle of her room, grinning like an idiot.

“You still have it.” he stated as a matter of fact.

“Sure. Don’t you have mine?”

“I do.” he replied and went to sit on the bed.

They had both gone to the photo studio though it was quite far from their residence. They had snapped a lot of pictures together before going to an artist’s shop to have a huge portrait of each other painted, so they would never forget each other and look at it everyday.

His mum had protested when she had first seen it in his room but he had pleaded profusely with her to let him keep it. Oleng didn’t have such problem because her mother never came to her room. Oleng went to sit beside him on the bed and they discussed the party. Oleng told him how shocked she was to see Eddy and Zinny kissing. Eric laughed.

“Eddy has always had a thing for Zinny but had been afraid she would laugh in his face if he told her.”

“But Eddy is a womanizer.”

“Yes, but he’s crazy about her and I think she has a soft spot for him too or she would never have allowed him to kiss her.”

“Well, she didn’t tell me anything like that. Imagine Eddy really liking a girl. It’s hard to believe when all he wants to do is get down with them” Oleng laughed.

“Yeah, I know it’s hard to believe but he’s crazy about her.” he insisted then added quietly, “Like how I’m crazy about you.”

Oleng looked at him in shock. Eric didn’t know if it was the alcohol that loosened his tongue but he felt like barring his mind to her. He took her hands in his.

“I don’t know how or when but I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with you. I’ve been hiding it all this while because I didn’t want it to spoil our friendship but now that I am leaving, I can’t hide it anymore. Oleng, I love you.”

When the shock wore off, Oleng found herself smiling. “Oh Eric! We’ve been playing games. I have asked myself continuously what this strange feeling I have for you is. I know that the way I feel about you now is not the same way I felt when our friendship began. You’ve finally given it a name. I love you too.” she declared, smiling brightly.

Eric was so happy he didn’t know when he kissed her.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 11:51pm On Jul 27, 2014
They were both surprised and ended the kiss. She looked away but he continued staring at her. They were like that for a while before he gently held her chin and turned her to face him. They slowly came closer. They kissed again. The kiss was slow and passionate. Soon they were in each other’s arms kissing passionately.

Oleng felt as if her lungs would burst out of her body. She was feeling tingling sensations all over her body. Eric drew her closer and began unzipping her sexy dress. She sat rigid for a moment and broke the kiss. Eric paused also to look at her with lust ridden eyes.

“What are we doing?” she whispered, her voice heavy with desire.

“I don’t know but I don’t want to stop.” he huskily told her as he made to unzip her again.

“Me neither.” she acknowledged him and started unbuttoning his shirt.

Eric pulled down the mono strap after he had finished unzipping her. He gazed intently at her breasts held by her strapless sheer bra. He unhooked the bra and grabbed her soft breasts. Oleng became senseless then. She dropped her hands from unbuttoning his shirt, hung her head backwards and moaned in pleasure. When Eric brought his mouth to taste the twin buds, she had to bite her lips hard from screaming in utter delight. Eric stood up, lifted her and pushed the dress off her. It landed in a heap at her feet as she stood there before him in only her panties. She wasn’t self conscious because she was laden wit passion. He carried her gently and placed her in the middle of her bed. He quickly removed the rest of his buttons and yanked his shirt and singlet off his body before he resumed kissing her all over her body. When Eric touched her core through her panties, Oleng felt she would die of ecstasy. When his finger found her soft spot and caressed it with his fingers, she arched her body from the bed and moaned. Eric continued expertly caressing her there until her body was a wave of spasms as she had her very first orgasm. When she came back to the present, Eric placed her hands on his belt indicating he wanted her to UnCloth him and whispered into her ears “Touch me, my love.”

With shaking hands, she did just that. Her eyes widened at the size of the bulge she felt when she touched him. Her inexperienced fingers caressed him, making him moan.
They slowly stripped each other off their remaining clothing with no thought of what they were doing as the alcohol they had consumed and their love for each other dulled their senses. When Eric finally entered her, breaking her maidenhead, she gasped at the pain. Eric stopped and offered her soothing words before slowly driving in further. The pain went and Oleng matched his deep thrusts with the movement of her body. When they both came, they shouted each other’s name. No one had informed Eric the ecstasy he would feel at his first orgasm. Oleng couldn’t comprehend the intense joy she felt at her second orgasm which was better than the first. They slept in each other’s arms.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 11:57am On Jul 28, 2014
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Eric woke up the following morning with a headache. He turned on the bed and stared at the sleeping Oleng. She was beautiful even in sleep. He remembered what happened the night before and smiled. He sat up and groaned as he waited for the world to become still again.

He removed the sheets to get up but was surprised to see blood on him and on the bed. He wondered why until he remembered a book he had read about it and Eddy bragging about how he got down with one of their classmates in one of the abandoned classrooms and she had been a virgin. It was a thing of a conquest to him to have deflowered her but Eric didn’t feel that way. He felt a strong emotion towards her. She had given him this priceless gift. He had given her a priceless gift too because she had been his first too. He knew they would never forget each other no matter what.

He carefully got up and went to the bathroom to clean up a bit before getting dressed. He checked his phone and saw no missed call from his mother. He smiled knowing Boma had covered up for him too. He gave Oleng a peck on the head and covered her up properly before tip toeing out of the room in order not to wake her up. He knew she would die of embarrassment if she woke up to meet him there.

He prayed she wouldn’t regret their night together. Though unplanned, it had been the best night of his life. He hadn’t intended kissing her not to talk of making love to her but he hadn’t been able to stop himself what with the alcohol and his declaration of love.

He got outside and had to go and wake up the gateman to open the gate because it was around 6am. The latter was surprised to see him. He didn’t say anything though. When he was about to leave the compound, he stopped and brought out some naira notes from his wallet and gave it to the smiling gate man who bade him goodbye and a safe journey home. The gateman shook his head as he closed the gate.

“Which one concern me? Since her mama no send am, anything wey happen to the girl go be her fault. Dis oyibo no know say e no need to bribe me make I no talk. Afterall, nobody dey ask me question.” he said to himself, sighed and went to the small house by the gate to resume his sleep.

Oleng woke up with a headache also. She tried getting up but groaned at the pain she felt between her thighs. She slowly sat up. She looked at the blood stains on her thighs and the bed and wondered why until memories of the previous night flooded her. Was she supposed to bleed?

Then she remembered a romance novel she had read a while back of how the heroine of the book had bled also when she was deflowered. Oleng had to admit that she didn’t know much about sex or womanhood or puberty apart from what she read in books. The time a seminar was organized in the school to talk about everything to do with females, she had been very sick so she had been unable to attend for the whole week the seminar was held.

When she had gone back to school and asked her friends, they had told her flippantly but not in details. They had told her the things Eric’s mum had already told her when she came to talk to her about menstruation.

If someone had told her that she and Eric would go as far as making love, she wouldn’t have believed the person. She didn’t regret it though. She felt she would die of embarrassment if she saw Eric again. Just then her phone started ringing. She knew he was the one. She kept thinking of what she would say until the phone stopped ringing. He called twice before she decided to answer.

“Good morning, my love.” he pronounced cheerfully, making her lose her breath for some seconds.

“Hi.” she replied with a small voice.

“How you doing?”

“I’m fine.”

There was silence.

“Any regrets?” he questioned holding his breath.

She was silent for a while before she responded with calm, “Certainly not.”

He heaved a sigh of relief. “Thank you very much for that. When you didn’t answer my call at first, I was scared you had started regretting what happened between us and didn’t want to talk to me.”

“I was shy. I didn’t know what to say to you.”

“I thought you hated me.”

“I can’t and will never hate you.”

“Same here…….Sunshine?”

“Yes?”

“It wasn’t just alcohol talking last night. I really do love you. I love you very much.”

She smiled. “I love you too.”

He laughed joyfully, then sobered up.

“Are you alright? I mean, did I hurt you?” he demanded with tenderness.

“No, I’m just a bit sore. A warm bath will take care of it.”

“I’m sorry.”

“What are you apologizing for? Are you regretting what happened?”

“No. I’m sorry I hurt you. As for regretting, not in a million years because if given the opportunity, I’d do it again.” he spelt out bluntly and took her breath away again. She was dumbfounded. She didn’t know what to say because she would do it again also.

“When are your parents coming back?” She changed the topic.

“Either today or tomorrow.”

“Okay.”

There was silence again.

“Do you want me to come over later on in the day?”

“No!” she protested sharply before catching herself. “I mean….I’m not ready to see you just yet……..I am still vulnerable……..Still shy…………I….”she trailed off, embarrassed.

“Don’t worry sunshine, I understand.” he drawled softly.

“Thanks…. Maybe tomorrow or next.”

“Sure. I love you very much.”

“I love you too.”

“Alright. Take care. I’ll call you later.”

“Okay. Bye.”

“Bye.”

When she ended the call, she laid on her bed and thought of everything that happened between them. She wished he wasn’t going away. This would have made them closer. She wished he was here right now to hold her in his arms. Funny enough, she felt like making love with him again. She asked herself if that was how sex was. Would she always feel like doing it? What would happen to her now that Eric wouldn’t be around and she felt like doing it? Was that why people were unfaithful to their partners?

She thought of her mum. Was her mum living without sex? She had never brought a man home before. Or was that why she traveled so much? Did she have men friends everywhere? Oleng continued asking herself rhetorical questions before she decided to go and take her bath. She got up slowly and went to have a warm bath. The pain was still there so she decided to take some pain killers. She left her room and went to the kitchen to get some water from the fridge. She was surprised to see Tessy there.

“Good morning. I didn’t know you were back.” She smiled faintly at her.

“Good morning. Why didn’t you go to church?” The former asked in an unconcerned manner as she drank from the cup of tea.

“I……I’m not feeling fine.” she lied. She hadn’t even realized it was Sunday.

“What’s wrong with you?”

“I …I’m feeling pains.”

“Where?”

Oleng shifted uneasily. Was Tessy aware of what she had done the night before?

“Everywhere.” she lied again.

“You should take panadol or something.”

“Yes, that is what I came to take.” She opened her palm for her to see. “When did you come back?”

“Thirty minutes ago. I didn’t travel again. I went to stay with some friends in town.”

“Okay.” Oleng walked slowly to the fridge. She walked awkwardly because of the pains she felt between her legs.

“What’s wrong with you? Why are you walking like that?” Tessy enquired as she surveyed her steadily.

Oleng didn’t look at her as she opened the fridge and brought out a bottle of water.

“I told you I’m having pains all over my body.”

“Sorry.”

“I’m going to sleep.” she informed her relative who just nodded as she walked away slowly.

She didn’t know if Tessy was lying about coming in thirty minutes earlier or if she knew she and Eric had made love the night before. Funny enough, she didn’t care if she knew or if she would report to her mum. The worst her mum could do was ban Eric from coming there. It wouldn’t matter because he was going away anyway. She went to her room and slept till evening. Eric called her again in the evening and before she slept that night.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 5:34pm On Jul 28, 2014
The following day being Monday, Oleng had to go back to school. Her third term promotion exams were the following week but she couldn’t read. She kept remembering that night and that Eric was leaving in two days. She couldn’t tell Zinny and Marvy what transpired between Eric and her that night. It seemed too private and sacred to be shared with anyone.

Great was her joy when Eric called her to inform her that he would be leaving on Sunday instead of the proposed Wednesday because his parents had decided to go with him. His dad’s leave was going to begin the following week and his mum had taken permission from the ministry where she worked to see him off too. They were both joyous.

They spent their evenings together after school where Eric always put her through with her studies. She was able to study with him around though sometimes their love got in the way and they would end up kissing before catching themselves and continue to study.

On his last day in Nigeria, Eric persuaded his parents to allow him spend the whole day with Oleng. His mother protested as usual but his dad made her see reason with him. Oleng was his best friend and they wouldn’t see each other in a long while. Moreover, didn’t she trust her son anymore? Mrs. Sokipirim Conrad had agreed then. As she told him before he left, she trusted him and knew Oleng’s mum wouldn’t bring Oleng to come and live with them some months from now saying she was expecting her first grand child. Eric had chuckled then. If only his mum knew what had happened the previous Saturday, she would have chained him to his bed. She didn’t, so he joyfully went to his girlfriend’s place. That was what she was now and he loved her dearly.

He was grateful for the umpteenth time for the fact that his parents weren’t the conventional Nigerian parents and allowed him to get away with a lot of things society would have frowned at. He believed it was because his parents had spent so many years abroad before settling in Nigeria, so they didn’t see anything wrong in a girl being his best friend and for them to be so close.

He got to her place and as usual to his joy, Tessy had finally traveled home while her mum wasn’t back from Dubai. As he expected, Oleng wasn’t in a happy mood. He tried making her happy but she kept bringing up his going away. He finally told her to dress up because he wanted them to go to that photo studio in Waterline again so he could get her recent pictures to show to Damian and guys over there that his girlfriend was an African queen. She had smiled then.

They both went to the place and snapped some intimate pictures together. They stopped by Chicken Republic and bought some snacks. They devoured them when they got back to her place. They sat on the rugged floor listening to cool music and holding hands. As she usually did, Oleng dug her hands in his pockets to check what he had in them and as usual he struggled for her not to get to them. She ended up on top of him. They looked into each other’s eyes and started kissing. Oleng broke the passionate kiss.

“We shouldn’t.” she stressed in an undertone.

“I know but that doesn’t stop me from wanting you.” he drawled huskily, touching the nose he was so fond of.

“Me too but we shouldn’t.”

“Okay.” he conceded grudgiling but yelled, “No!” when she playfully thrust her hand in his pockets. She quickly got up and he did the same. When she realized what she was holding, she immediately dropped it. Eric quickly picked up the pack of condoms and put it in his pocket again. They was a great silence. They couldn't look at each other.

“Where did you get it from?” she demanded curtly. He kept her quiet.

“Don’t tell me you got it from Eddy!”

“Of course not. I got it from Damian.”

“Damian? Is he back?”

“No. He told me where to get it in his room.”

“That means you actually told him what happened between us. How could you? I thought it was sacred.” she launched back furiously at him in ringing disbelief. Eric went closer to her.

“It was sacred but I couldn’t handle it alone. I had to tell someone because the beautiful experience was almost driving me crazy. I had to confide in my brother on how to get self control because I felt like making love to you everyday.

Desiring you was driving me crazy. I had to do something and who could I tell but my elder brother who is experienced in such things? It wasn’t as if I wanted to brag about it like Eddy. I just needed help. Besides, Damian won’t tell anyone.” he explained drily.

Oleng was silent for a while. She sent him a frowning appraisal before quietly admitting, “I felt like sharing it with someone too but there was no one to share it with. I don’t think Zinny and Marvy will understand and I don’t trust Tessy enough to tell her.” She shyly smiled. “I have wanted a repeat performance of what happened on Saturday but I thought it was abnormal for me. As you know, I am not experienced in such areas.”

“Neither am I. Sunshine………If it’s any consolation to you, you were my first.” he asserted with coolness. She looked sharply at him.

“You thought I was experienced?” His mouth quirked.

“With friends like Eddy………..and…..and…..the way you touched me and made…..” she trailed off and shrugged.

“I watched a pornographic movie I found in Damian’s box a while back. Eddy is the only experienced one among us. How could I go fooling around when I had my missing rib?”

“It didn’t stop Eddy from fooling around even though he had feelings for Zinny.”

“If you haven’t noticed honey, I’m not Eddy.” he drawled seductively and moved closer to her. She raised her head to look at him and tears rolled down her eyes.

“I’m going to miss you.”

“Me too, my love.” He assured her and took her in his arms. Soon they were kissing again and later on went to her room to make love there. Eric made sure he didn’t allow lust to carry him away again by using the condom his brother told him to search for in his room.

Damian had been mad at him at first when he had told him. Eric had thought it was because he had had sex early in life but later discovered it was because he had slept with Oleng without protection. His brother had said he knew boys would be boys but did he want to ruin Oleng’s future by getting her pregnant? Eric hadn’t thought of that then. He said he felt Oleng getting pregnant was unlikely since it was her first time but Damian had called him a fool and told him to pray she didn’t. So he had prayed. He didn’t want to alarm her so he kept everything to himself.

After they made love, they just laid in each other’s arms with the sheet around them. They didn’t say anything for a while.

“Ricky,” Oleng called softly.

“Yes, love.” he responded softly too.

“Please don’t ever forget me. Please. Please promise me we’ll always be together no matter what.” He heard the tears in her voice.

He was touched. “I’ll never forget you. I promise I’ll always be there for you. Never forget me too.”

“I won’t. I promise.”

“I promise too.” he affirmed and kissed her. He linked his little finger with hers and they both said like they always did whenever they made promises to each other.

“These promises we’ve made to each other will never go unfulfilled.”

He kissed her and continued kissing her until he heard his phone ring. It was his mum. It was time to go because he had promised his mum that if she called, he would come home. That was why she had allowed him out in the first place. He answered the call. She told him to come and put finishing touches to his packing and to remember that they were having a farewell dinner for him. He told her he would be home soon. She promised him she would continue calling until she saw him. He ended the call.

All the while he had been talking with his mum, Oleng had been crying. The dreaded moment had finally arrived.

It was already after six in the evening so she knew he had to go. She tried to stop the tears but they kept falling. They both dressed up yet she was still crying. Eric didn’t know what to do. He consoled, petted, scolded, kissed her yet she continued crying. He didn’t know when tears slowly dropped from his eyes also.

This was his best friend now turned girlfriend for God’s sake! In her tears, he told her that four years was just a matter of time. It would fly by soon and he would come back to her and not stay back over there like his brother to work. Or better still, he would send for her since he would be of age then so they would be together and finally get married.

When she saw the tears rolling down his eyes, she cried even more. To confound issues, his mum kept calling him and not knowing what more to do, he told his mum what was keeping him. He gave the phone to Oleng to talk to his mother. She shook her head slowly. He had to put the phone on speaker. The respect he had for his mum grew when she talked to his girlfriend like a mother and a friend.

Oleng stopped crying then. He thanked his mum and ended the call. She cleaned her eyes, walked up to him, gave him a hug and peck and wished him a safe trip. She was about walking away when he held her and passionately kissed her, then he hugged her, said goodbye and walked away without a backward glance.

When he left, Oleng crumbled to the floor and resumed crying. She couldn’t shake off the feeling that that was the last time she would see him.

When Eric got to the gate, he gave the gate man a huge some of money.

“Sir, please, I’m traveling out to further my studies. Please take care of her. As you know, she’s always abandoned. Please always make sure she’s okay. Please make sure she eats and read her books. Please make sure she’s not sick and if she is, please take her to the hospital and take care of her. I promise to repay you when I come back. Please take care of her. Please.” he pleaded passionately.

“I go try my best.”

“Thank you very much, sir.”

“Safe journey.”

“Thank you, sir”

He looked back at the house once more, shook his head and left. He put up a joyous front at the farewell dinner organized by his parents along with all his cousins that were staying with them. His heart was heavy especially as he knew his girlfriend was alone at home at a time like this. He felt hatred for her mum and Tessy for always abandoning her.

He called Zinny and Marvy then and pleaded again with them not to leave her all alone as he had done a day before; he and Oleng had gone to see them and his two friends to say farewell. He called his two closest friends also and pleaded with them again to take care of Oleng. Dave he knew would keep to his promise but he knew Eddy would be too busy getting down to fulfill his promise. He knew the girls in whatever university he chose to attend were in trouble with such a womanizer like Eddy.

God! He was going to miss such wonderful friends like Eddy, Dave, Zinny, Marvy and above all Oleng. He kept recounting his friendship with all of them as he laid down on his bed to sleep. He didn’t know when tears rolled down his eyes. He was sure going to miss them. He promised himself not to lose contact with them. He wanted to call Oleng but he didn’t want her to start crying again. He would call her immediately he got to California, he resolved.

He however couldn’t call her immediately he got to the airport the following day because he had to make adjustments to his phone and sim card. When he was able to do this, she was the first person he called.

She was happy he had had a safe trip. Though she had stopped crying, she sounded sad. He was sad that she wasn’t happy because he was happy. Damian and Grandma Conrad gave him a rousing welcome.

Two weeks later, his parents went back to Nigeria. His mum cried at their departure. It seemed she realized then that she was going to leave her baby behind. Damian had to promise to come home immediately he could get a break from his place of work.

Though Eric missed Nigeria, it was fun to be with Damian again. They went everywhere together except his office though he went there a couple of times and had fun like they used to before the former left for the states. They realized then how much they had missed each other. Eric even liked Damian’s charming girlfriend, Rachael.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by Costlybabe: 9:48pm On Jul 28, 2014
wow love dis,
this is called super story

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 10:31pm On Jul 28, 2014
Costlybabe: wow love dis,
this is called super story
. Tanx a million dear. Ws beginning 2 wonder if anyone ws following
Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 10:34pm On Jul 28, 2014
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Meanwhile back in Nigeria, Oleng tried coping without Eric. She managed to write her exams though she had to be motivated by her two friends. It wasn’t her best efforts but she felt her first and second term results would make up for it. She didn’t even mind if she was promoted to SS3 on trial. After all, the sun had left her world. She missed Eric terribly.

Though Zinny and Marvy came to her house sometimes, it couldn’t be compared to Eric who had come almost every day then. Dave had come to visit once and she had seen Eddy outside a couple of times yet it didn’t make up for Ricky’s absence. Though they communicated everyday, she felt his absence heavily. Everyday after school, she chatted with Eric through yahoo messenger on her phone and facebook sometimes. He called her on the phone sometimes. If anything, their love was getting stronger.

He hadn’t started school yet since his WAEC results were not yet out and she was on hols so they had enough time to spend chatting. She pleaded with her mum to get her a laptop and a modem with an excuse of getting more information from the web in preparation for her WAEC but she refused. It was Tessy who however persuaded her to get one for her. For the first time since Tessy came to stay with them, she actually liked her. Great was her joy when her mum called her one day and gave her the laptop and modem with unlimited browsing. She actually hugged her mum; for the second time in her life.

The first had been the first time her mum had traveled and came back. The way her mum had looked at her then made her not to repeat it again. Joy made her throw caution to the wind that day. She however sobered up and apologized. Her mum had only nodded her head and gone inside. It didn’t matter to her though because now she and Eric could see each other through webcam which was what she had been after in asking for a laptop. They could say anything to each other, like how they were burning with desire for each other, the last time they had made love and how they wished they were together to make love again. They talked far into the night even when school began again.

They continued like that with him calling occasionally. Sometimes, when Zinny and Marvy came to visit, they would chat with him too. He introduced her to Damian’s neighbour, Yolanda. Since she wasn’t a beauty, Oleng wasn’t worried even though she noticed how cold the girl was towards her.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 9:42am On Jul 29, 2014
CHAPTER FOUR

By November, Oleng knew there was something wrong with her. She kept throwing up and feeling sick especially in the mornings, her breasts were bigger and sore to touch; she kept urinating and she was gaining weight. She couldn’t quite place what was wrong with her though she was suspecting something but her fears didn’t allow her think of it. She didn’t tell Eric though.

“Oleng, what’s wrong with you? I’ve been watching you. This is the third time I’ve caught you throwing up this week.” Zinny announced with a worried look as Oleng washed her mouth and her hands in the toilet sink.

“I don’t know. I think its malaria. I throw up whenever I have malaria.”

“Sorry. When did it start? Have you taken drugs?”

“Last week. Yes, I’ve taken drugs.”

“Good. Sorry ehn. Can you manage to the assembly or should we go to the sick bay?”

“No. I’m okay.” she proclaimed weakly as she straightened up even though she still felt queasy.

They walked quietly out of the toilet.

Oleng knew she had to find out what was wrong with her immediately when during their lunch break, Marvy suddenly slotted in,

“Oleng! What’s the secret? Your breasts are getting bigger.”

“Really?” She looked down at them as if she didn’t already know.

“Yes. Look at your buttons. Your uniform is tight there.”

“I…………I’ll be on soon.” she stammered as she removed her blazer from the back of her chair and put it on to cover them.

“Haven’t you been on for years? Your busts have never been this big.” Marvy extended with emphasis.

“Well, maybe I’m growing and leaving you girls behind with your swollen nipples.” she tried teasing.

She succeeded because they all burst into laughter and threw things at her.

She kept asking herself what was wrong as she continued to notice changes in her body. She even had to buy a new uniform because the other three were now tight at her breasts and waist. She didn’t want to ask anyone so she kept everything to herself. She didn’t even tell Eric though their relationship was waxing stronger.

She went for a walk one evening and saw a book shop. She went in on impulse and asked the kind looking elderly woman if she had a book that talked about changes in a girl’s body. The woman gave her a book called, ‘Every Woman’. She thanked the woman, paid for the book and rushed home to read it.

She threw away the book in shock when it confirmed her fears. She went to the mirror, lifted up her blouse and looked at her stomach. It was true that her period had only been dents of blood for three months now which she read was called, ‘spotting’ but she had thought it was because she lost blood when Eric had deflowered her. She was so scared she didn’t know what to do.

She ran to her bed, fell on it and started crying. No! She couldn’t be pregnant, could she? She wiped her tears and sat on the bed. She went to pick up the book again hoping it was a false alarm, but when she read the book again, everything said she was pregnant.

She hadn’t seen her period for three months now, her breasts were fuller, she kept throwing up in the mornings and sometimes during the day, she urinated a lot, she was putting on weight especially her stomach region and the thought or smell of some food irritated her to the extent she would lose her appetite. God! She was pregnant. She held her mouth and started weeping again.

Oh! She was dead. How would she tell her mother? If her mum found out, she would kill her because she had warned her before. Oh! How could she and Eric have been so careless? Foolish as she was, she hadn’t even thought of protection until Eric had brought that condom the second time they had made love. She was ruined! Her future was ruined! She was only fifteen for Christ’s sake! How would she take care of the baby? She didn’t even know much about taking care of herself not to talk of taking care of a baby. Would she even be able to give birth? She heard labor was very painful. She kept wondering about her future as she continued crying on her bed.

When she saw the beep on her system signifying that Eric was now online and wanted to chat, she ignored it. She thanked God it was a Friday because she didn’t think she would have been able to go to school the following day knowing what she now knew. She remembered school and cried anew. She would have to drop out because the school would surely expel her if they found out. She could just imagine the shame and embarrassment; ‘The school’s time keeper, pregnant.’

People would surely know Eric was responsible if they calculated the time Eric left Nigeria and how far gone she was. She calculated herself and discovered that she could be three months pregnant. She looked at her system and Eric’s, ‘Hello love, are you there?’ messages and ignored them. What did he want to tell her? Sorry for ruining her life? He was living it up in the states while she had her life ruined here. She shook her head from such thoughts. It wasn’t his fault after all, she was the female involved, she should have taken proper care of herself and insisted on protection but she hadn’t been kissed before; she hadn’t known passion could make your brain numb.

She didn’t know once could result in pregnancy. She laid down there and continued crying. She was like that throughout the weekend. She however managed to go to school on Monday with the hope that it was probably a false alarm and she had been worried over nothing but by December, she knew she was pregnant. Her stomach was now protruding a little. The bulge couldn’t be mistaken for over feeding. She stopped going to school then and shut herself in for fear of anyone discovering. She shut her friends out too. They kept calling her and sending text messages but she didn’t reply. She bribed their gateman to tell them she traveled whenever they came to look for her at home. Her mum was only at home in the evenings so she thought she was still going to school, Tessy too.

The school didn’t ask because they thought she actually traveled as her friends had officially told them. She continued in solitude until she couldn’t take it anymore. She called Zinny and told her she was coming over to the latter’s joy. She called Marvy also and told her to meet her at Zinny’s place. She made up her mind to tell them everything and to probably find out from them a way out.

Zinny and Marvy were already waiting for her outside the gate when she got there. They hugged her fiercely because they hadn’t seen her in weeks. They went up to Zinny’s room. Oleng didn’t bother with any preamble.

“I’m pregnant.” she announced coldly as she sat on a chair facing them on the bed.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by halfcaste1: 12:35pm On Jul 29, 2014
Am following! Lyk u said @ d beginning, slow and steady and it will catch fire. I tink its beginning 2 catch fire!
Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by Shokoloko(f): 2:01pm On Jul 29, 2014
Captivating....talent cant be hidden

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by halfcaste1: 3:10pm On Jul 29, 2014
halfcaste1: Am following! Lyk u said @ d beginning, slow and steady and it will catch fire. I tink its beginning 2 catch fire!
. Tanx dear. Dis is jst a spark sha
Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by halfcaste1: 3:11pm On Jul 29, 2014
Shokoloko: Captivating....talent cant be hidden
. Tanx 4d compliment
Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 3:18pm On Jul 29, 2014
halfcaste1: . Tanx dear. Dis is jst a spark sha
. Dis my naughty friend. Told u I ws busy na. Who send u make u com dey comment on my bhalf? Tot u wre jokin. Tanx anyway. Lyk u said, its rily jst a spark. D fire dey com.
Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 3:19pm On Jul 29, 2014
Shokoloko: Captivating....talent cant be hidden
. Tanx a million 4 following and 4 ur compliment.

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Re: Unfulfilled Promises By Audrey Timms by AudreyTimms(f): 3:49pm On Jul 29, 2014
“What?” Marvy screamed. Zinny just held her mouth in shock.

“I suspected it but prayed it wasn’t true.” Zinny admitted ruefully when she finally found her voice.

“Are you sure? Maybe it’s a mistake or something.” Marvy still in shock, assumed.

For an answer, Oleng raised her shirt up for them to see the small bulge.

“Does this look like a mistake? I’m four months pregnant.” She confirmed sadly.

“Maybe its not pregnancy, maybe you’re sick. I heard liver disease makes the tummy big too.” Marvy countered shaking her head.

“Marvy, I know you can’t and don’t want to believe it, I didn’t too but I had to face the reality. I’m pregnant. I feel the baby sometimes or maybe it’s just my imagination sha.” Oleng tried holding back her tears as she saw Marvy eyes watering.

“Who raped you?” Zinny slotted in, full of anger but Oleng just shook her head.

“Why won’t you tell me who did this to you?

“Zinny please………” Oleng began but was cut off by the angry Zinny who got up from the bed and held her shoulders.

“Who? Don’t be afraid.”

“Ezinne!” Oleng yelled, standing up. “I wasn’t raped!”

Zinny was weak at that. She carefully went back to the bed to sit.

“Were you drugged?” Marvy enquired still in tears.

Oleng slowly shook her head and stared at the floor of the bedroom. “Eric and I were a bit drunk that night at their graduation party. When we got to my house, maybe it was the alcohol, I don’t know, he declared his love for me and I did the same. We started kissing and one thing led to another and before we knew it we made love. We both didn’t give a thought for protection then until he talked to his elder brother. We used a condom the next time we did it a day before he left. I don’t know what to do.” she informed her dumb founded friends.

“Does he know?” Marvy finally asked after the long silence.

“No. I haven’t told him.” Tears rushed down her eyes.

“O God! Oleng how could you? How could you and Eric have been so careless? I know love and alcohol intoxicates but for crying out loud, you guys should have prevented this.” Zinny angrily lashed out.

“I never knew I was going to get pregnant. I thought since it was my first time nothing would come out of it. After a month and nothing happened, I thought I had escaped it. I didn’t know pregnancy symptoms didn’t show that early.” she explained in tears.

Zinny looked at her in disbelief. “I never knew you were so naïve……….O God! This is our fault. We never discussed such things with you even when we knew your mum didn’t tell you things; you missed that puberty seminar and have a boy as your best friend who couldn’t tell you such things…….Eric should have known better.” she held her head downcast.

“Stop looking for who to apportion blame on. I messed up. I’m supposed to be old enough to know such things. I was just too dull.” she wept.

Her friends went to hold her and comfort her “It’s not your fault Oleng. Its true, Eric should have been wiser.” Marvy put in.

“I’m still to blame, after all, Zinny is not pregnant even though I saw her kissing Eddy at the party and you Marvy, I saw you holding hands with Dave but you’re not pregnant.”

“That doesn’t mean we actually slept with them that night.” Zinny put in, “Eddy told me his true feelings for me and as you know he has a way with words so I got caught but I didn’t sleep with him that night because I felt it was alcohol talking in him………It was during our hols when he came to me to declare his love again, that was when I slept with him but he used a condom and we’re now dating.

I didn’t know how to tell you girls because you all know he has always been a womanizer but he’s no longer like that. I’m sorry if it is your seeing both of us kissing that made you agree to sleep with Eric.” Zinny explained sorrowfully.

“Don’t apologize. It wasn’t. I love Ricky, so it happened naturally.”

“Dave and I were holding hands because we just felt like being together since everyone there had someone and we didn’t. I didn’t sleep with him and we’re not going out. We are just friends.”

“I understand.” Oleng quietly said.

“What are you going to do now?” Zinny asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Are you considering an abortion?” Marvy asked.

“No. I’m too scared. I feel I will die.”

“Not if it’s done by a competent doctor.” Zinny put in.

Oleng shook her head. “I can’t. The thought scares me a lot.”

“You have to tell Eric so you can both find a solution.”

“I can’t. Our relationship is now strained because of this problem. I don’t communicate with him like before. He’s going to start school soon so I don’t want to spoil it for him. One ruined life is enough.”

“Don’t say that. Your life is not ruined.” Marvy started crying again.

“I still insist you tell him so he’ll know what you’re going through alone……..Or better still, why don’t you inform his mother? She’ll know what to do.”

“I have to tell Eric first then. It wouldn’t be fair to just spring it on his mum like that without his knowledge and consent.”

“That’s true. You just have to tell him.”

“I don’t want to alarm him. Knowing Eric, he would want to come back to be with me. We’re too young to get married; otherwise he would have suggested we do so. It’s better for him to be over there than here thinking of how he’s going to become a father at such a tender age.”

“But what about you?”

“With the right advice and encouragement, I can handle it. See, I love Ricky very much so I can’t do this to him. I might probably tell him when I safely put to bed but not before.”

“Eric won’t thank you for this sacrifice you’re making.”

“I know but I believe the storm will be over then.”

“I hope so.” Zinny said and hugged her. Marvy did too.

They walked her home; each one lost in thought. They hugged again when they got to her place as if they wouldn’t see each other again. They promised to visit her after school the following day.

Oleng was surprised to see her mother’s car and another car in the compound. So it meant she was at home with a visitor. She dragged her shirt over her tummy harder before slowly walking into the house. She wanted to quickly escape to her room but her mum called her as usual to come and greet her visitor. Oleng greeted the woman but didn’t like the way the woman was looking at her. To worsen matters, her mum sent her to get the woman a bottle of malt. As she opened the drink, the woman continued to stare at her much to her distaste.

She had to wait to be dismissed so she couldn’t rush out as she felt like doing. She heaved a sigh of relief when her mum told her she could leave. She felt the woman’s eyes on her back as she walked away. She hoped the woman wouldn’t divulge her secret. Her mum would kill her if she knew she was pregnant.

“You should ask your daughter questions.” Mrs. Amare coyly said when Oleng had left the living room and took a sip from her drink.

“About her whereabouts? I know she went to see her friends.”

“Not that. I mean the changes in her body.”

“There is no need for that. She knows about growing up.”

Her friend smiled and shook her head then she took a sip from the malt offered her. “I knew you would be too busy to see what others see so I came to see for myself. When she passed by my house in the afternoon, I was surprised to see her because I haven’t see her for a while now. When I observed the changes in her body, I knew why. So I came here to see things for myself. So, what you’re telling me right now is that you haven’t noticed anything about your daughter?”

Oleng’s mum was puzzled. She shook her head slowly in confusion. “No. Not really. All I can see is that she has put on weight. I told her to control it when I gave her money to get new uniforms to replace the old ones she said were now too tight for her.”

Mrs. Amare smiled again. “Call her. Let me see her again. At least to make sure I’m not getting blind or hallucinating.”

“Okay. Though you’ll tell me the meaning of this when she leaves.”

“Just call her.” Mrs. Amare said feeling worldly wise while her friend picked up her phone and called her daughter.

Oleng groaned before she answered the call. She hoped that woman would not look at her funny again.

“Ah...Em……..” Her mum didn’t know what to say as an excuse for her calling her. “Go to my room, get me my black hand bag on the bed.

When she brought it, she noticed the woman was still looking at her intensely. A cold shiver went down her spine. Could women detect such things at sight? She wondered, as she walked to her room after she was dismissed.

“Yes, my suspicions are correct. Linda, your daughter is pregnant.” she proclaimed.

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