The studio room was very quiet. Everyone listened with rapt attention as Nkechi spoke. Her voice at that moment was the only reason preventing some of the teenage girls from thinking further about their plans for abortion. They put everything on hold and listened to her, hoping to find the answers they were searching for.
Mo on the other hand allowed Nkechi flow with her story. Cutting her short was going to spoil things and she didn't want that.
"I was young." Nkechi continued. "17, actually. Then I was in senior secondary three at Queen's High School. I was an art student and I had lots of friends but my best friend was a girl named Bose. After school hours we will always go home together. We played together, studied together, played pranks together and sometimes we ate together. We did a lot of things together. I think the only thing we didn't do was bathing together." She chuckled lightly.
"The story surrounding my pregnancy started when I fell in love for the first time in my life. Being naive, I thought a relationship was just pure black or white. I didn't know it was a mixture of both and so many other colours. One day, after school hours, I went for a friend's birthday party with my best friend, Bose. It was there I met Alex. The first thing that attracted me to him was what he was doing the moment I saw him. He was entertaining the guests with music. I think his voice attracted me to him more than anything else. One thing that was common with us was our love for the arts. I loved, and still love music and so did he."
As she narrated her past experience, her mind flashed back to over nineteen years ago. She could see the scene perfectly in her mind's eye. She could see and even feel once again, the young, adventurous and out spoken Nkechi. She saw herself back at the birthday party, the first place it all started. She was dressed casually in a blue jeans trouser and white blouse. Her hair was woven back and there was a slight touch of lip gloss on her lips.
She stood far behind, in the hot sun, watching the young man thrill the guests with his voice. He looked like he was either in his mid or late twenties. Oh! What did she care? He was fascinating and very gifted, that was all that mattered. She had come to the party in honor of a friend's invitation. What she did not expect was to be noticed by the young man who was doing a special song for the celebrant and entertaining the guests at the same time. Although he sang for the celebrant, his eyes remained fixed on the new comers who stood side by side.
"Wow!" Bose exclaimed, excitedly. She was a dark complexioned beauty, moderately slim and had hips the shape of the figure 8. She was also casually dressed in jean trouser but wore a yellow long-sleeved blouse. Her hair was an all back weave. She was slightly taller than Nkechi as well as a little darker. Both girls were age mates, smart, intelligent and adventurous.
"Wow what?" Nkechi asked.
"His eyes are on you, my friend." She said, smiling.
"So what?" Nkechi shrugged, while trying to shake off the warm feeling that was beginning to creep all over her body. "He may be acting up. Wake up Bose, its stage performance. I have been in the spot light too and I know how it is. Acting up is a very good way to stay focused and still entertain the audience."
"Everything you just said is TRAAAASSSHHH!" Bose stressed. "Stop acting coy Nkechi, at least not with me. We both know you are beautiful and so does everyone in this party. If Mr. Singer over there has eyes on you, the truth is, he is not the only one. A lot of other guys have been starring at us, particularly you, since we arrived. Their stare is so intense, I think its going to tear us apart. But you, you didn't notice that. You notice nothing because you are too busy starring back at Mr. Singer. So tell me, you like him too? I want the truth, nothing but the truth so help you..." Her voice trailed off when she looked at her friend and saw her smiling dreamily. Her focus was on the man singing to the guest. She obviously didn't hear more than half of Bose's rants and frankly, she didn't look like she cared. "Hey! Snap out of it." Bose ordered, snapping her fingers in front of Nkechi 's face.
"Bose what now?" Nkechi asked, in low tones as she regained herself. She quickly looked around her to ensure that nobody was eavesdroping.
"You like him! Its so obvious. The least you can do is try not to look like a desperate dog searching for left over bones. Come on, don't let the guy know you're into him."
"At this point is there actually any need to pretend about it?" Nkechi questioned. "He is a star and so am I. I have movies to my name."
"Oh!" Her hands went up in frustration. "My friend doesn't get it. You're too much of a free spirit."
At that moment, the song ended. Everyone present applauded the singer as he handed the microphone back to the MC. Some men and ladies, even young boys and girls, shook hands with him and told him how wonderful his song was. He thanked his new fans but at the same time did everything possible to pull away from them.
"Well, our guy is handsome." Bose admitted, biting her index finger.
"Yes he is." Nkechi agreed. "And I think he is coming toward us."
"He definitely is. My point Nkechi, is this. If he comes talking to you, play a little hard to get. As for me, I'll find somewhere to fix myself so I can leave you two love birds alone."
Bose stole away, leaving Nkechi in her dreamy state. She was totally lost as her eyes took in the man that was now about eight feet away from her. He wasn't handsome, he was undeniably attractive and more masculine than any man she had ever met. Tall and Mascularly lean, he had thick, dark hair and strong facial features, one that could make even a nun forget her oath to celibacy. He was a little light complexioned. His lips were full and very inviting as they moved up and down, accompanied by a broad smile. Behind those lips were a set of white and well arranged teeth. Nkechi involuntarily sighed, she was clearly captivated by the stranger. His clothes was a simple, fitted native shirt and trouser with black, leather shoes to match. The shirt was open at the throat against the hot sun. Nkechi saw a pulse throbbing there and had an insane desire to kiss it but then, she frowned. She frowned because he was suddenly frowning and waving his hands in her face. She quickly pulled out of her dreamy state. It was then she heard what he had been saying.
"... Can you hear me? Are you ok?" He asked, still waving his five fingers before her eyes.
"Oh!" She pulled back a bit, feeling very embarrassed. "Sorry. I shouldn't stare. I'll just get out of your way." She turned to leave but his strong hand held hers, firmly.
"You are not in my way. You're just where you should be." He said, smiling.
"Oh! Ok." Nkechi felt really stupid. She was always bold, sharp tongued and never fumbled over anyone. Why his was different, she did not know.
"Do you mind having a drink with me?" He asked.
"No I don't. It will be nice having a drink with the star of the occasion." She said, finally finding her voice.
"And it will be a pleasure having a drink with the most beautiful girl in the party." He replied.
Nkechi blushed as she felt a warm feeling creep all over her body, for the second time. Fortunately, her not so light complexion hid the red patches on her cheeks. Before she could recover, her new found friend led her by the hand, to an empty table. They sat and he ordered two bottles of malt. Since it was a first meeting, he didn't want to spoil it by taking alcohol. Especially because he had some earlier. At the table, a waitress served them a plate of fried rice with chicken and salad.
"So what is your name?" He asked, while opening both drinks with his key holder opener.
"I'm Nkechi." She replied, observing as his muscles worked the keyopener.
"You have a lovely name. I'm Alex."
"Well, your's isn't bad either." She smiled at him and he smiled back.
"You are beautiful." He confessed as he passed her one of the opened drink."Very beautiful. I almost forgot my own song the moment my eyes spotted you."
"Thank you." Nkechi chuckled. "It's a good thing you didn't forget the song, It would have been very embarrassing."
"Yes it would." He laughed and drank from his own bottle. "So, are you in school? Uni I mean?"
"No. Not yet anyway. I'm in SS 3. Soon I will write my final exams and Uni will be in view. Wish me luck." She smiled. Once again, Alex was captivated by her smile.
"With that smile of yours, I doubt luck wouldn't be able to find you." He teased. "But from me, I wish you all the best of luck." He smiled, revealing a set of white teeth.
The duo talked at length. They talked about school, books, the society, movies, songs and much more. From where Bose stood, watching them, they looked very relaxed and into each other. She was sure their infatuation will soon blossom into something real, that is, if they gave it a chance.
"Ride on Nkechi girl. I gat your back." She smiled lightly before turning away to mingle with some of her neighbourhood friends who were also at the party.
To be continued...
Karo Oforofuo. November 2015 © All Rights Reserved