Bose sat looking into Frederick's face, she knew she would miss him because exams would soon be over and Frederick would graduate from college and pursue other endeavours. Frederick was a final year chemical engineering student of the University of Lagos who had always been very fond of Bose who assisted her mother in selling snacks in one of the kiosks on campus.
Bose had lost her father few years ago while she was a student at the University of Ilorin in western Nigeria and because of the demise of her father, she was unable to complete her education because her widowed mother could not cater for all the needs of the family on her own due to the reason that she was a full time house wife who didn't have a job and when she lost her husband, she didn't have any means to earn money for the upkeep of the family and as such, she opted for petty trading to make ends meet.
Her income wasn't enough to pay for the three bedroom apartment they lived in while her husband was alive and the pension and gratuity she had received on behalf of her late husband from the company where he worked was barely enough to cover the debts she had incurred during the funeral and this prompted her to move into a single room apartment with her four daughters.
Bose had decided to drop out of school to assist her mother in the sales of snacks on the campus of the University of Lagos.
Bose had met Frederick during his third year at the University in a very unusual circumstance after which she developed very strong feelings for him.
It was a rainy day in the month of April and Frederick had just finished lectures with his friends when they decided to go and get some snacks before heading back to the hostel.
As soon as Frederick and his friends got into the kiosk, he and his friends noticed how beautiful Bose was and his friends started making passes at her. Bose had just taken their orders when one of Frederick's friends, Tunde said to Bose, "hey pretty girl, I wouldn't mind if you can come to my hostel later today so we can spend some time together and I will surely make it worth your while". Bose had ignored the statement because it wasn't the first time passes had been made at her in the kiosk by male students on campus as as such, she was used to it but when Tunde grabbed her arm and said " I'm talking to you girl" she yelled at him "leave me alone this minute or I'll report you to the campus security". "Go ahead my dear and call the security but I can assure you, they'll do nothing to me or don't you know who my parents are in this country?" Tunde said.
Frederick had been very uncomfortable with the whole scenario and without thinking, he jumped up from where he sat and grabbed Tunde by the shirt and pushed him away from Bose. Frederick's other friends were surprised at Frederick's action because they had always considered Frederick to be weak, besides they also knew that Tunde was Frederick's benefactor.
Frederick, an indigene of the Niger-delta area of Nigeria was on a scholarship award to the University of Lagos. Frederick's father was a poor fisherman back in the Niger-delta who couldn't afford to pay his tuition through school because the oil companies had polluted their rivers with the oil spill from their drilling and this had greatly affected families who depended on fishing to make ends meet.
Frederick had been awarded a scholarship by one of the oil companies as compensation and the scholarship was for tuition only and Frederick had to do some part time job off campus to be able to cater for his immediate needs until he met Tunde whose father was a serving senator and they became best of friends and Tunde always having more than enough to spend never hesitated to assist Tunde financially.
"Leave her alone" Frederick said as he pushed Tunde away from Bose. "Did you just push me? Or are you out of your mind?" Tunde yelled. "This is no way to treat a lady" Frederick replied. "You will surely regret this" Tunde continued as he made to pay the bills of his friends with the exemption of Frederick's bill. "I don't ever want to see you around me again" Tunde said as he stormed out of the kiosk with his other friends leaving Frederick behind.
Frederick stood there in that stunned moment not knowing what to do and also realizing that he didn't have enough money to pay for his meal that Tunde refused to pay for and besides he was going to walk all the way back to the hostel under the heavy rain because Tunde who had a car had driven off with the other guys. He asked himself if he had just made a mistake by restraining Tunde but seeing the look on the face of the beautiful Bose, he decided the mistake was worth it. "I'm very sorry for my friend's behavior" Frederick blurted out, "I hope he didn't hurt you" he continued. "I'm fine" Bose replied. "How much is my bill?" Frederick asked as he made to bring out his wallet from his back pocket. "It's four hundred and eighty naira" Bose said and looking into his wallet, Frederick discovered he didn't have that much in his wallet and feeling very embarrassed, he asked "I have only two hundred naira with me, can I give it to you and come back tomorrow and pay up the balance?" It was at that very moment that Bose had realized the sacrifice Frederick had made to save her from Tunde and she felt pity on him and in a bid to save him from shame and embarrassment, she said, "you don't have to bother about payment, your actions to defend me from your friend has already covered the bill". Frederick felt relieved, but he felt that he should still pay something so he insisted that Bose take the two hundred naira which she did to make Frederick feel good with himself.
Frederick was about to step into the rain to start walking to his hostel when Bose said to him, "why don't you wait for a while till the rain stops" Frederick welcomed the suggestion and made himself comfortable in a corner of the kiosk while he watched Bose cleaning up the tables.
That had been their first encounter and meeting point and after that day, Frederick made it a point of duty to meet with Bose everyday after lectures and the fondness between them grew with each passing day.
"Will I ever see you again?" Bose asked Frederick, "of course" Frederick replied. "I told you I will never leave or forget you and besides, I will always keep in touch". "As soon as I am done with my compulsory one year youth service to this country and get a good job, I will surely come back for you and we will get married and be together forever" Frederick said. "But one whole year is a long time to be apart from each other" Bose said with tears in her eyes. "I know my love but you just have to stay strong for me till I come back for you, promise me that" Frederick said. " I promise I will stay strong and wait for you" Bose replied as Frederick planted a soft kiss on her rosy pink lips.