“I’m not pregnant Kamil. I lied.”
Kamil staggered forward, gradually raising his arm and pointing at Lolade in disbelief. “You…you are not pregnant? You…you lied?” He stuttered.
Lolade sniffled and used the back of her hands to wipe the tears off her face, only to give way for another stream. “I lied that day because I was jealous. I felt so jealous of you being concerned about that girl that nothing but those words came through my mouth.” She sniffled again. “I was simply attracted to you at first but slowly, I began to develop feelings for you. To you, it was just sex, but to me, I was giving my all to you from my heart, Kamil.”
“You are so nice and gentle, and even though often times, I knew you used me to take your mind off some things, I nursed that as hope that you were mine.” Lolade smiled amid tears now. “I love you, Kamil. I realize it for real today. But I also realized just now, that I have to let you go.”
“You deserve to be happy, Kamil. You are a good guy. I really hope you find happiness.” With that, Lolade wiped her face hard with her palm, sniffed harder to restrain any tear, and made out of the building. “See you in class.”
Kamil stared blankly ahead of him. His feeling at that moment could be best described as light-headedness. He couldn’t seem to pull himself out of the most shocking thing he had just heard.
Lolade was not pregnant.
** ** **
Abeebat crinkled her brows in confusion as Kamil dragged her to their usual rendezvous spot. Why was he acting strangely? She thought they were done with the ‘dragging’ thing but Kamil had missed Maths class, which was their first period. And now he was making her miss the second period along with him. He had barged into the class and pulled her out of her chair, and then out of the class. Everyone in the class had been as startled and confused as she was. Lolade really wasn’t.
“What is it, Kamil?” Abeebat asked, as Kamil help her to seat of one of the stairs.
Kamil settled beside her without saying anything. “What is it, Kamil? Is anything wrong?” Abeebat was getting apprehensive. Did he have a bad brawl with his father? Did something bad happen to him? Or his sister? Abeebat’s thoughts were concocted with fear.
Kamil let his head drop and Abeebat was getting really scared. What was going on?
Kamil raised his head now and his eyes were bright with tears. Something was definitely wrong. Abeebat felt her heart clench.
“Abeebat,” Kamil started, staring into Abeebat’s eyes. “I think God is giving me a second chance.” Abeebat was lost. “I think God is giving me another chance to make things right.”
“What’s going on?” Abeebat inquired, her voice going up a little. She was extremely nervous and Kamil didn’t seem to be helping her condition.
Kamil took Abeebat’s hands now and wrapped them in his. Abeebat stared at their wrapped hands and then back at Kamil. “Abeebat, Lolade…Lolade is not pregnant.”
Abeebat was beyond shocked. “Lo…lolade is not pre…pregnant?” Abeebat stammered, blinking her eyes incredulously.
“Hmmm.” Kamil said, nodding his head in affirmation. “She is not pregnant, Abeebat and all of a sudden I feel like I’ve been reborn; like God has forgiven all my sins, and He wants me to start afresh.”
Abeebat could not help but break into a smile. The relief and joy that coursed through her being at that moment was ineffable. She didn’t know when she reached out to Kamil to give him a hug that was from the bottom of her heart. “I’m happy for you, Kamil. I’m really happy for you. Thank God.” She cooed as she patted his back soothingly.
In that moment, Abeebat couldn’t help but feel suspicious about the mushiness she was feeling inside as she relished in the fact that Lolade was not pregnant.
“Why had Lolade even said she was pregnant in the first place?” she thought.
“I’ve always wanted to ask Kamil, why did Lolade lie that she was pregnant in the first place?” They were both eating from a plate of Rice, Beans and Plantain as Abeebat spilled the question that had been bugging her minds for days. They had been so busy with their just concluded Mock exams so they didn’t get to hang out often. Thank God they were done. Not that the coast was clear. WAEC was just around the corner, waiting for them.
Kamil stopped munching on his plantain and raised his head. He adjusted himself on the stair he was seated on and dropped his spoon down on his plate. He knew this was something that she had been meaning to ask him. But somehow she never got to ask him. “She said she was jealous.”
Abeebat frowned as she brought a spoonful of rice to her mouth. “Jealous? Of what?”
“You.” Kamil said, staring at her with amorous eyes.
Abeebat absent-mindedly let her spoonful of rice slip down from her hands to the lower stairs. Her thoughts began to go askew. Lolade was jealous of her? Why?
Kamil smiled as he rose up to pick up Abeebat’s spoon from the messy spill on the stairs. “She lied because she was jealous of me? That is totally strange.” Abeebat said, still trying to figure out what Kamil meant.
Kamil smiled again as he regained his seat beside her, using the small tissue he found in his pocket to clean the dirt off Abeebat’s spoon. “Well, she said she was jealous of how concerned I was about you the day Dimeji tripped you over in front of the class.”
Abeebat furrowed her brows as she retrieved her spoon from Kamil. “That’s strange. You and I weren’t even close then. So why was she jealous; even to the extent that she lied about being pregnant?”
Kamil moved away the plate of food that served as a barricade between him and Abeebat and then reached out to dust away the grains of rice that had fell off her spoon to the top of her skirt.
Abeebat watched Kamil with keen tenderness as he helped her clean up. Kamil held her hands now and fondled them. And Abeebat could feel all of her insides warm up with every caress. Kamil raised his head up to meet her mushy eyes. And his were full of passion. “Don’t blame Lolade.” Kamil started, half-smiling. “Abeebat, now that I think about it, she was not stupid to have been jealous even when we weren’t close then. She knew everything between us then was brewing to this.”
Abeebat found it difficult to swallow. Her heart was racing wildly. “What…what do you mean?” Abeebat stuttered, even when she knew exactly what Kamil meant. Ever since Kamil told her that Lolade was not pregnant, she kept having a feeling that something like this was going to happen. But God knows she had no idea that it was going to be today.
Kamil smiled and then let go of one of his hands from Abeebat’s to remove something out of his back pocket. He shifted slightly and then brought out a neatly folded piece of paper and then handed it over to Abeebat.
Abeebat stared down at the paper in her hand and then back at Kamil. “What is this?” She asked.
“Open it.” Kamil said, gently.
And Abeebat slowly did so to unravel a breath-taking drawing of her. Abeebat was blown away. The detail with which Kamil drew her arched brows, intelligent eyes, slightly pointed nose, ever high cheekbones and bow-shaped lips were simply stunning.
Abeebat was mesmerized; so mesmerized, her eyes brimmed with tears.
Kamil gazed lovingly into Abeebat’s eyes now. His hands still fondled hers. “Abeebat, “ Kamil started. “You’ve been like a soothing dose to me these past few crazy weeks and all I seem to think about after I wake up from bed, apart from our forthcoming WAEC of course,” He stopped to laugh briefly and then continued to gaze at Abeebat. ‘…is you.”
Abeebat’s breath was caught in her throat.
“And that has not happened in a while.” Kamil continued. “The only person that used to be on my mind the moment I open my eyes is my mother. But you changed that.”
Abeebat’s heart was beating louder than normal now and she had a feeling of butterflies dancing around her stomach.
Kamil lowered his gaze and then raised them to meet Abeebat’s affectionate one. “I think I’m in love with you, Abeebat.”
Abeebat didn’t know when a tear trickled down her cheek. She nodded and then reached out to hug Kamil very tightly. “I don’t know what to say now, Kamil,” Abeebat started, her voice hoarse. “But I do know you are not going to be an apprentice artist. You will be a great one.”
“And I think I’m in love with you too.” Abeebat added in her mind, as she basked in the sweet warmth of their hug.
WATCH OUT FOR THE END OF THIS SERIES ON SATURDAY!