“Looking for someone Miss Hadijat?” Gentle asked as he popped out of nowhere.
“Oh!” She smiled and turned back. Gentle grabbed her hand and placed a light kiss on the back of her palm.
“Good afternoon, how are you doing today miss?” He asked, smiling. He had planned for the day already, he had studied her timetable from her department’s board and found out her closing time. He also took time to find out where and how she parks her car and what time she comes for it.
He was neatly dressed in a pair of blue jean and white Polo shirt, a pair of white sneakers to match the clothes. He had everything he was going to say to her rehearsed and perfected.
“Good afternoon, I’m fine” Hadijat replied, still staring around to catch a glimpse of anyone else around.
“You seem to be waiting for someone” Gentle said, he turned back to check what she was staring at.
“Yes,” she quickly acted along. “I was expecting a friend to join me” she added with a smile and turned back to Gentle after seeing that no one else was around.
He stood still and stared into her eyes, placing his hands on each side of her arms just below the shoulder. “You look beautiful today,” he complimented, running his eyes down her body and her legs.
She was dressed in a pink blouse and a white skirt which stopped a little above her knees. Her black handbag hung on her shoulder. She had light makeup on.
“Thank you,” she replied, trying to force a smile. She started walking slowly, making his hands fall off her body.
“So, how was lectures today?” Gentle began to walk with her.
“Fine, thanks” she answered less enthusiastically. “What about your brother?” She paused and glanced back at the point where the boys usually hung around.
“My brother is fine. And what about… ?” He wanted to ask about Rofiat but Hadijat cut in.
“Is he not coming today?” Her eyebrows raised as she asked.
“Who? My brother?”
“Yes, your twin” she confirmed.
“Is he not coming where?” He asked, wondering why she was asking about Slimmy.
“I thought you guys loved to hang around here?” She said and continued to walk.
“Yes, he’s busy with some assignments” he answered.
“But is he still coming here today?” She persisted.
“I don’t think so. Let’s talk about something else” Gentle proposed, really desperate to change the topic.
“Slimmy is a student of what department?” She asked about Slimmy again as if she didn’t hear his last statement.
He was getting surprised about her sudden interest in Slimmy who had wanted to kill her at the point she slapped him if not for his pleas. “Why don’t you ask Slimmy your questions when you see him?” He voiced out.
She paused and glanced at his face, smiling. “I’m sorry, it’s just that the way he talked that day was unusual”
Gentle smiled back, happy that she apologized. “He talks like that, he’s usually strict with everybody regardless of the gender” he said and they continued walking.
“It’s okay” she said. They walked in silence till they got to the car park. They stood behind the boot of her ash colour Camry pencil. The car was gift from her father on her eighteenth year birthday. She had long learnt how to drive before she was eighteen but since she wasn’t up to the legal age, she was not allowed to own a car yet. Even when her father gave her the car at eighteen, eyebrows were raised and some people had told the father that as a girl, she was too young to start going around with a car but none could win the argument against the man as he was always ready to shower his money on his daughter, regardless of if she was getting spoilt by his actions or not.
Gentle stylishly stretched his left hand towards her right hand and gripped her fingers gently. She glanced at his face, surprised at his gesture but he kept a smiling face. His smiles was annoying her but she still manage to reply him with a fake smile.
“Hadijat!” Someone called from behind as Gentle was about to start talking. Hadijat heaved a sigh of relief as she recognized Halimat’s voice, at least she now had an excuse to leave Gentle. He released her fingers and they both turned to see the person calling.
“So since you left school, you’ve not gotten home yet. Thank God, I’ve not boarded a bike yet. We can go home together now’ Halimat said facing Hadijat. “Good after…noon” she turned to acknowledge the presence of the guy with her sister but the smile on her face gradually faded as she recognized Gentle.
“Good afternoon” Gentle replied, his voice clearly showed that he was not too happy about the disturbance.
“I think I should leave you guys since you’re busy. I’ll go home with a bike, Hadijat would meet me later” Halimat said and was about to walk away.
“I’d like to go now, I need to help her fix something” Hadijat dragged her back by the hand as she said to Gentle.
Gentle sighed. “Okay, may I get your digits then?” He asked, taking out his phone from his pocket. He swiped it open with the tip of his thumb.
She swallowed and stared at his face, his eyes showed his eagerness to start typing her number. She didn’t want to make him feel embarrassed or regret pardoning her for slapping him, so she reluctantly called out the digits to him. Maybe he wouldn’t be a bad friend anyway.
“Thank you, I’ll give you a call later today” he said as he locked back the phone’s screen and returned it into his pocket.
“Alright, bye” she said, expecting him to start leaving.
“Ermm… I’ll like to watch you drive away first” he said with a smile, pocketing his two hands.
“Oh! That is nice of you” she flashed her teeth at him before turning to Halimat. “Let’s go please”
They both turned to the other side and entered into the car while Gentle stepped away from behind the boot and watched the car reverse and turn. The car zoomed off after Hadijat waved him goodbye.
Gentle stood still and stared for about a minute, thinking of what of kind of girl she was. She must be a very inquisitive one, he thought , considering the manner at which she was asking about Slimmy just because of the way he talked to her. He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath, wondering what it would be like when she finally says yes to him and becomes his girlfriend. He’ll do everything to keep her and make her happy. Protect her, treat her like a Queen and do anything to satisfy her.
He dipped his hands into his pocket and began to walk slowly away, humming a Nigerian love song tone as he went.
Hadijat opened the door slowly, poking in her head first before the whole body. She closed the door and smiled at Halimat who was seated on the couch with her hands folded and a face expression of someone who was ready with a fight. She ignored her and began to proceed towards her room. They had not spoken any word to themselves in the car but she knew from Halimat’s expression that she was up to something.
“What do you think you were doing with that guy?” Halimat finally sprang up with the topic Hadijat was wishing she wouldn’t talk about.
Hadijat paused and turned. She rolled her eyes and head in a girlish manner, spreading her palms out as if to ask for the relevance of the question. “What was I doing with him?”
“Yes!” Halimat slammed. “That is not the kind of guy you’re supposed to be moving with on campus”
“And who told you I was moving with him?” Hadijat scoffed. “He met me on my way back from school and was trying to engage me in a conversation”
“But you should have told him you were rushing home to do your assignments”
“Why should I do that?” She raised her eyebrows. “Why should I put away someone who’s trying to strike a friendly conversation”
“Friendly conversation my foot!” She paused and gasped. “Friendly conversation with a notorious person?”
“Oh please Halimat. Don’t let’s talk about this again” Hadijat raised her palm and waved a finger to emphasize her point. “He wasn’t even the one I wanted to see on that route”
“Oh!” Halimat’s eyes widened. “So you have another special one you wanted to see”
“Please Halimat, I need to go rest” Hadijat said and walked away tiredly.
Halimat sat back on the couch, folding her arms. She rested back and crossed her feet. She knew her Hadijat was daring but she thought slapping guys was the height of it. She couldn’t understand how she could be so daring to want to move with dangerous guys too. The madness must be stopped, she had to report Hadijat to Rofiat, the eldest amongst them.