I rushed into the waiting room panting and sweating profusely. One would expect me to be drenched in tears after all that had happened but I just didn't feel the urge to cry. I was overwhelmed with anger, regret and fear. I was mad at Chuks for trying to kill Somto and I regretted ever getting involved with either of them and I feared for Somto's life. All these had happened because of me, if I hadn't loved both of them, Somto would not be in the hospital fighting for his life and Chuks would not be in police custody for attempted murder.
* * * * * * * * *
During my teenage years, all I cared about in life was boys—I would stare at any handsome boy I came across; in the class, in the hallway, in the bank, on a queue, in the cafeteria etc. Wherever I was, I was always on the lookout for good looking guys, a habit that earned me the nickname "Crusher" among my friends. I crushed on virtually every handsome guy that caught my attention, some crushes lasted for hours, some days, weeks, months and even years. It took more than good looks to stay in my heart, I also had a thing for smart boys and that was why I couldn't get over my secondary school crush, Somto. Somto was drop-dead handsome, he was light-skinned, tall and lanky with broad shoulders, dark hair and pink lips. He was an Igbo boy so his irresistible beauty was not a thing of surprise. I was in ss2 when I developed a crush on Somto who was in ss3 at the time. He was a charismatic genius and unarguably the most popular boy in school. Every boy wanted to be his friend and as one would expect, every girl wanted to be his girlfriend, including me.
I had such a huge crush on him that I even prayed to be his girlfriend. Once in church, we were all asked to tell God our greatest wish in life and I told God that I wanted to be Somto's girlfriend and that I wanted us to get married and live happily ever after. On our way home, my mother asked all of us in the car about what we requested from God and I lied of course. I was extremely sad when Somto graduated from secondary school, I couldn't imagine going through my final year in secondary school without seeing his perfect face. Months later, a Friend of mine told me he had gained admission into UNIBEN to study Mechanical engineering. That was when I made it my goal to get into UNIBEN by fire or by force. My dream to study in UNIBEN was easily realised because I wasn't at all a dull person, I was indeed very good in my academics. I passed my JAMB and WAEC at first attempt and the year I graduated from secondary school, gained admission into UNIBEN to study Physiotherapy. During my first semester in 100level, I desperately tried to see Somto, I visited the few friends I had in the engineering department on a regular basis just to get the opportunity to see Somto again but I never saw him throughout my first year in the university. I was sad and heartbroken but in time, I moved on because there were tons of handsome boys on campus whom I could have. During my second semester in 100level, our department organized a dinner party for all freshers. With little help from one of my roommates Elohor, I got all dolled up for the party. I wore a blue dress with silver shoes and a silver purse to match.
"How do I look?" I asked Elohor skeptically.
"You look beautiful but you need to do something about your facial expression"
I smiled awkwardly, revealing my beautiful set of teeth.
"Perfect" said Elohor, giving me a thumbs up.
I arrived at the banquet hall at 7:30pm, everyone stared at me as I walked in, I was extremely beautiful and shy and I couldn't handle so many eyes on me. At that moment, I wished the ground would open up and swallow me.
"Jane!" someone screamed excitedly. Hearing my name made me feel less awkward and uncomfortable. I turned to see who it was.
"Sonia! " I screamed, I was so excited to finally see someone I knew very well—my childhood best friend Sonia. She took my hand and dragged me to the table where she had been sitting with two other girls.
"I saved you a seat" she beamed
"Thank you...you look gorgeous by the way " I laughed. As I sat down, I noticed a handsome dark guy staring at me with a smile on his face. I smiled at him uneasily and sat down feeling very uncomfortable.I was determined to never look back at him again till the end of the party. When the party was almost over, I summoned courage and looked back. To my greatest surprise, he was still staring at me!
"What a freak! " I muttered.
"Who? " whispered Sonia.
"Some dark guy sitting behind us" I whispered
Sonia giggled "He keeps staring right? "
"You noticed? " I asked
"Yes, I think he likes you " she grinned
"Ugh—I don't have time for that "
Sonia giggled again "The Jane I know has more than enough time for boys, especially handsome guys like this"
"Whatever —I'm going home, you coming?"
"Nah....I think I'll spend the night at a friend's place"
"You mean Chris? " I asked rolling my eyes.
"How did you know about Chris?" she asked wide eyed.
"I read your whatsapp chats " I chuckled "On a more serious note, just be careful, you are 17, you can't afford to get pregnant " I warned. As I walked out of the party, I noticed someone was walking behind me. I was a little bit scared but I summoned courage and turned back abruptly to see who it was. I was shocked.
"Yes, me" he smiled broadly, it was the guy from the party.
"Are you following me? " I asked angrily
He smiled again "Is it wrong to go after someone who captured my heart? " I blushed slightly then rolled my eyes to avoid looking "cheap".
"So what do you want from me?"
"I just wanna talk to you for a while—I'm Chuks by the way"
"I'm Jane—nice meeting you"
To be continued