"What am I ever going to do with Nepa!" Nono flew into rage as she marched out of her room, into the passage and slammed her door shut. Electricity had been out since four days ago. Being a final year student, she was typing out her project and that of some of her course mates. But with the light issue, work progressed slowly. She had to round up everyone's project by the following Monday, and Wednesday was already ending.
Since the light issue, she had resorted to going out to barbing saloons or the campus premises to work and also get the laptop charged.
On this particular day though, she felt extremely tired and just wanted to rest. But whenever she tried closing her eyes, thought of the work waiting for her flashed through her mind. She couldn't sleep.
As she prepared to go to campus for charging, electricity was restored.
"Yeeaaaa!" Her neighbors shouted
"Up NEPA!" She jumped out of bed and began to plug the laptop and her phones. She had only plugged them in when the light went out again. So there. She felt really frustrated.
"The name is no longer NEPA, bush girl." Elohor, her next door neighbor said from where she sat peeling yam.
"As long as I live and I grow old, they will always be NEPA." She replied Elohor, frowning. "Never Expect Power Always."
"I will expect it o" If that's all I can hope for in this village called country". She laughed.
"As you wish." She walked away.
The next fifteen minutes met her at the the Fine and Applied Arts department. It was Sunday, but a lot of her course mates were present. The extensions, phone chargers and different models of phones lying around a socket was no news. They had all come to charge their devices.
Nono took out her extension, connected it to a free spot on another extension, before plugging her devices. While the phones charged, the owners engaged in one discussion after the other.
Nono sat aside, switched on her laptop and continued with the project.
"How far?" She heard a male voice from over her shoulders about 20 minutes later. Looking up, it was Emmanuel, her class coordinator.
He was not only her best friend, he was her crush. Sure, he wasn't all that handsome, but he was intelligent, neat, jovial and treated everyone with respect.
They used to work hand in hand. They did almost everything together. As at the time she noticed her feelings for him, she tried to pull away. But it was impossible. Emmanuel was always in her front, by her side and even in her house. She struggled with her self. Should she or should she not tell him about her feelings? She chose the later. But anyone with eyes could have seen how she felt about her best friend.
Unfortunately, Emma was blind to her. He hung out a lot with Stephanie, the assistant class coordinator. And she never missed an opportunity to to wrap her hands around his neck or shoulders. She claimed him as her own and sent Nono a warning stare to back off. Nono didn't take her serious. She still hung out with Emmanuel until one day, when Steph cornered her at the ladies and told her Emmanuel was her boyfriend and father of her unborn baby.
Nono was shocked. She never expected the duo had gone that far. Not only had they been sleeping together, Steph was carrying his baby. She gave in then. No matter how much she crushed on Emmanuel, she had to back off. She wouldn't pull him away from the mother of his baby.
When she did back off, she wasn't sure Emmanuel even noticed. She preferred it that way. He seemed to have been perfectly paired with Steph. Not just for work as coordinator and assistant coordinator, but for a relationship too.
For a while, she had succeeded in avoiding him. He could visit Steph everyday and have sex with her if he liked. She choose to move on. Thanks to project work, everyone had to face it in their different areas.
A few weeks later, Emmanuel came visiting. She heard Elohor tell him she was in, but she didn't open her door. She left the door locked and remained quiet until he left. Now he had caught her. In an open place.
"I'm good o! You came to charge to?" She smiled wearily at him.
"No." He jumped down the pavement and sat by her side. "I was passing by, I saw the crowd here and I came to check what was happening. Then I saw you."
"Hehehehehe..." She managed a laugh. "NEPA refused to change now."
He laughed too. "I see you're typing your project. How far have you gone?"
"Almost done. You?" She asked, her eyes focused on her work.
"I'm done with mine. All I do now is read through and practice my presentation and defense."
He chuckled. "So why have you been avoiding me?"
"I have not." She denied.
"Nope! I haven't."
"The proof is here. You won't even look at me." He pointed out.
"Emma," she stopped and turned to look at him. "I have to finish my project and others'. Time is against me."
"Ok. I understand. But you know I missed you."
"Miss?" She scoffed, returning her eyes to the laptop screen, "I thought you had Steph to keep you company?"
"You too?" He was perplexed, "Why does everyone keep saying that? I'm not involved with Steph in anyway."
"But she has been all over you."
"That is her problem. I didn't notice what was happening till I realized all my friends, you and even the guys, were suddenly far from me. I investigated and it turned out Steph had chased them away. She wanted me totally for herself. I'm sorry Chinonye. I do love you."
Her fingers froze in the keyboard, her heart skipped and a million thoughts flashed through her head. "Love?" She looked at him, mouth agape. "As in, sisterly love?"
He chuckled. "Why is it hard for you to believe that I have feelings for you?"
"I just didn't expect it. And I thought Steph was your woman. She made her point very clear. Besides, she's carrying your baby."
"Don't deny it. She told me."
A brief silence followed.
"You should have asked me, Nono." He spoke at last. "Steph is with child, true. But the pregnancy is not mine."
"You will deny your child?"
"No. But I will deny a child that is not mine."
It was Nono's turn to be quiet. She knew he was telling the truth. She had known him long enough to tell if he was sincere or just telling lies. Thoughts about all the things Steph had told her flashed back. Then she remembered how she had stayed away from Emmanuel, never wanting to see him. She remembered the hurt.
"Is that why you never opened your door for me all those times I came knocking?" He broke the silence.
"How do you know I was in?" She defended.
"I know because you weren't in class or the library. Besides, your neighbor said you had locked yourself in. You should have confirmed from me first."
"Yes, I should have." She admitted. "I will next time."
"Thanks." He took her hands off the keyboard and caressed them. "So will you be my girl? Don't say no because I know you feel something for me too." He added.
Nono chuckled softly. Who would have thought that the almighty Emmanuel saw through her. He knew. All along he knew she had feelings for him. But why did he wait till now? And then there was one last issue to clear up.
"Did you have sex with her?" She asked, before she could stop herself.
"Steph? No way! Our meetings were only done with the lecturers, deans, and sometimes the H.O.D alone. And that's why I didn't looked for you more. We were busy. But sincerely, Steph and I never had so much as a private meeting, let alone sex." He bent slightly to look at her face. "You believe me?"
"Yes." She was happy that the sex chapter never even existed.
"So? Will you be my girl?"
"Yes." She smiled broadly. She felt like the day was created just for her to be happy. At long last she had the guy of her dreams. To hell with Steph. Now she regretted why she never threw a challenge at the assistant coordinator.
Moral of The Story: Never assume. If you do, you might loose out on someone or something you love dearly