“hello, please, who am I on to?” “it’s me, Taiwo” she replied. (It was another lovely voice from a lady) “did you mean Taiye Taiwo, the Nigerian player?” I asked jokingly “no o o o!” she replied stressing “o” and giggled. “Then, which Taiwo?” I asked with seriousness. “From the bank you are banking with”, she said in a silky tone. Me: oh yah! How did you get my number? Taiwo: from your form now, or you have forgotten that I was the one who entered your details into the system? Me: hmmm! What a clever game! No wonder they employed you. Taiwo: stop teasing joor. Me: I am not o, but only saying the fact. Taiwo: ok o. Thanks anyway. Me: so, you were the one who sent me the card? Taiwo: don’t mind me jare. I did when I discovered you were out of airtime. It’s just a token and I hope you have accepted it the way it was? Me: I can’t just belief this! So, your type still exists on earth? Thanks so much. You are highly appreciated. Taiwo: the pleasure is mine. Me: I guess you have information to pass across to me. Taiwo: not really, but just to apologize for what our organization made you pass through. I decided to do this on their behalf. Me: baby, you are so kind! Are you truly a human being? Because, I’ve not come across someone like you. Everything about you is just perfect. Taiwo: hmmmm! Really! Me: I mean it baby. Sequel to what you apologized for, it was nothing, but only a challenge which has added to my boldness and rigidity. Taiwo: I could notice that while reacting in our office. I so much cherished and saluted your courage and boldness. I was really impressed. In fact, you are such a man! Me: are you trying to kid me? Taiwo: I’m seriously not kidding you o. I mean it. Keep it up. Me: thanks so much for the compliment. Taiwo: hope you have granted the apology? Me: even, more than granted. Taiwo: how will I be sure you have granted it? Me: I swear to God, I have granted it. Taiwo: ok o. But if I invite you to my place, would you honour my invitation? Me: that will be awesome! I will definitely do. Taiwo: you mean it! Me: of course, yes. Taiwo: I’m now inviting you to my haven on Sunday. Me: that’s serious! I thought you were joking. Taiwo: joking ke? I’m not o. Me: by what time then? Taiwo: I want you to choose any convenient time of your own since am going nowhere on that day. Me: let’s make it 4:00pm then. Taiwo: that’s too far now. I will be bored at home. Could you make it 12noon at least? Me: no problem. I will give it a trial. Taiwo: thanks so much dear. Me: the pleasure is mine. Let me have the address. Taiwo: don’t worry, I’ll send you the address via text message. Me: alright. Taiwo: thanks so much for making my night a colourful one. Me: the pleasure is mine. Take care of you and do have a splendid night rest. Taiwo: and you too. Me: yeap. Good night. ( I hung up the call) ___ What has just happened now? Taiwo! From the bank! Am I dreaming? Then, I started picturing the scenarios that happened in the bank and her stances towards me. Has this lady felt in love with me? Love at the first sight, can it be possible? In the course of thinking, my heart lighted up and my face was full of smile… I stood up and went for prayer, but couldn’t just belief I was still thinking of her while praying. I managed to complete the prayer and took the food prepared for me by my sister, then went to bed when I have watched and listened to NTA network news. I woke up at midnight just because I was still thinking of her in my sleep, then I decided to put call to her and let her know how I was feeling. I picked up my phone and dialed her number, and couldn’t just belief she picked it up immediately as if she was expecting the call before. Me: hello baby. How far? Taiwo: I’m fine, and you? Me: I’m doing well too. You were not sleeping, why? Taiwo: I’m experiencing slight stomach pain ni jare. How did you know? Me: I could notice that in your voice and again, you picked the call without any hesitation. Taiwo: don’t mind me. A pot calling kettle black… What about you? Me: I woke up to urinate and decided to remind you that you have not sent the number to me. Taiwo: number? Which number is that? Me: oh! Sorry. I wanted to say address (laughing) Taiwo: (giggled) Funny you, am very sorry for that anyway. I would do justice to that as soon as I am ok. Me: alright then, am sorry for disturbing you by this time of the day. Taiwo: you are not disturbing me joor. I’m even enjoying you for keeping my company. Me: that’s lovely, but I still need to free you so as to rest a little bit because of work. Taiwo: you are such a darling! Thanks so much for being there for me. Me: don’t mind me. Take care of you. Taiwo: and you too. Bye… Me: yeap. Byeee (I hung up the call) My mind was a bit satisfied and I slept off. I received a text message from her in the morning which stated thus; one becomes a fool and acts silly when she meets someone whom she believes, take care of you like you always say. Winks – Taiwo cares about you so much. The message ignited the feelings in my heart and the feelings busted out like raging fire which water cannot quench, even flood could not stop it. I don’t need any soothsayer to tell me that I’m in love. Suddenly, a thought came over me – Hope I’m not making same mistake; once beaten, twice shy is what they say… Afeez, did you even learn from your past bitter experience that made you lost your grandma? Yet, life is all about risk, at least it’s a must for you to marry, only that you have to be very watchful On Saturday, Zainab called me and pleaded to me that she wouldn’t be able to make it on that day, that I should be expecting her at the end of the month. I was neither happy nor sad on her decision since I’ve erased her feelings from my heart. Zainab was the only daughter of one popular businessman in my town. She was an attractive lady with moderate bosoms and her hips were well curved. Though, we are both from the same town but never met except one fateful day when we met in a supermarket. Her beauty caught my fancy right from that very first day. We both stared at each other at a distance, then she left and I followed her, but before catching up with her, she had entered a car, and that was when I discovered that she was brought by the car. “We’ll meet again”, I said to myself and I left for house in preparation for the class as a newly admitted student. Though, the school had resumed a month ago, but due to financial constraints, I couldn’t resume with them at the appropriate time. I was an orphan who didn’t grow up to know my parents. I was brought up by my grandmother who did petty trade to cater for us, my sister and me. And as a result of this, I hustle to meet my needs for survival. My first day in class, I put on my best wear and looked cute, and then left for class. All eyes were on me when I entered but didn’t know why. I went to sit at the back since the front seats were filled up. After some minutes, a skinny man entered and the class that was rowdy before became a graveyard. It was a lecturer, he wrote the course code on the board, MTH 121. “Everybody should submit the last assignment I gave out”, he said. I had nothing to submit, so I was just looking. He went through the submitted copies and said, ” I know you would copy one another and I don’t mind, but I will need someone among you to show what you have copied down on the board, otherwise, I will score you people zero” he threatened. We started looking at one another, who will bail us out? I thought in my mind that I have nothing to lose since I didn’t submit. He wrote the question on the whiteboard (question on permutations and combinations) which I’ve been thought in further mathematics when I was in secondary school. I was looking at the question and at the same time thinking of the approach to use when I heard him say, “Who is belling the cat?” he asked angrily and no one stood up. “Before the count of THREE, if someone fails to come out, you will all smell pepper”, he emphasized. Then, a guy stood up and walked up to him (we started clapping for him until when we heard what he said) “Sir, I want to go and urinate”, he said. “You are permitted, but you are not entering my class again till the end of this session” the lecturer replied and the guy reversed to his seat. Then, the man started counting, one, two and he was about to pronounce three when I interrupted “Sir, though, I didn’t submit because I am just resuming class today, but let me give it a trial”, I said soberly. He looked down on me and said “those that were in class when the topic was been taken couldn’t solve it, I wonder how an unserious element like you will go about it. I will allow you, but if you miss it, you have put salt to your wound”, he said sarcastically. I felt embarrassed, but I raised above the taunt and remained unruffled… _ The eyes of every member of the class set on me and my heart started pounding heavily. I summoned courage, stepped forward and collected a marker from him. I drew three vertical lines to divide the board and I started proving it. The solution was so long and tough, but thanks to God I got it. When I completed it, I wrote “QED” which means Quite Easily Done. “This is serious! The man did it! What a perfect job! You must be a genius!” the man was flabbergasted and started to applaud while the members of the class joined him and I didn’t know when tears started rolling down my cheeks just because I was over joyous. The man embraced me and then asked for my name which I answered immediately. Then, he handled the submitted assignments to me said “you are the course rep of MTH 121 and you will need to follow me to my office right now”, he ended the class with us and I followed him as instructed. When we got to his office, he asked why I have not been coming to class, and I explained the challenges I was facing then. He advised and encouraged me. I moved directly to where the departmental notice board was situated when I left his office. I stood there reading information when someone covered my eyes from the back as if we were doing hide-and-seek. I held the hands and turned around, and I couldn’t just belief who I was looking at, it was as if I was dreaming. Could this be true? “Were you not the one I saw in a supermarket the other day?” I asked anxiously. “hmm…un, yeah! You are very correct! I respect your talent” she said and put on a sumptuous smile. “Your name, if I may ask?” I asked stylishly. “I’m Zainab”, she replied without hesitation and quickly said “Afeez, right?” I was shocked, “how did you get to know my name?” I asked “I was in the class when you performed a miracle in front of that wicked man called Popo. I was very happy when you completed the work correctly, because he wouldn’t have taken it easy with you if you missed it” she said happily. “God! So, we are course mate!” I said surprisingly. “Yes o o o.” “Nice meeting you”, I said and handshake her “It’s my pleasure” she replied and embraced me warmly as if she had missed me a lot. “But, why have you not been coming to class before?” she asked inquisitively “It’s a long story baby” I replied. “But, hope you have done your registrations?” she asked. “Not atall. I didn’t even know where to start”, I replied. “Hope you wouldn’t mind me putting you through?” she said while rolling her eyes and twisting her neck. “I would appreciate it” I replied and that was how we started our friendship. Due to the natural gift bestowed in me, people like associating themselves with me, most especially ladies but Zainab always chased them away from me and sequel to that, people saw us as lovers of which we were not, but ordinary friends. I was emotionally connected with her after some months and I also saw the traces boldly written on her face as well, so I decided to ask her out, but she turned me down… What happened next?