Different Worlds

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Chapter Eight

Ijeoma

It’s been two weeks since our first and certainly not last lunch together, in fact after that day we spent almost every day having lunch together. Although, there were days we couldn’t meet up for lunch because emergencies came up that he had to attend to and I think today was one of those days because I waited for him to show up but he didn’t and I guessed he was busy with patients.

I felt a little disappointed and as much as tried not to be I just couldn’t help it, so I settled for eating my lunch in silence. Having lunch with him was beginning to become a norm that when we didn’t have lunch together it felt weird, at least for me.

“Hey babe” Fisola said as she walked into the small break room that was created for us kitchen/cafeteria workers.

“Hey” I replied sipping my bitter lemon drink.

“This one your face is like this, wetin happen?” she took a seat across from me, placing her lunch which consisted a plate of abacha (African salad) and a bottle of coke on the table. (What happened?)

“Nothing” I said shaking my head.

“Are you sure?” she looked at me not completely convinced.

“I’m fine” I assured her.

“Okay oo” she opened her bottle of coke and took a swig of it.

The aroma of her abacha filled the whole room making me salivate a little bit and it also brought memories of my mother making it for the entire family. My younger sister and I would always ask for seconds every single time she prepared it.

I shook those memories away because afterwards all they brought was sadness and I was tired of feeling sad and depressed all of the time. I took the last bite of my doughnut and drank up my bitter lemon before taking out my phone to check for any new messages. Apparently, Noah sent me a message saying that he wouldn’t be able to make it for lunch because he had surgery scheduled around that time.

“Ehen babe, did I gist you what happened at my compound yesterday” Fisola said, stretching to touch my arm bringing my attention from the phone to her.

“No, what happened?” I replied with my interest piqued as I placed my phone gently on the table to listen to her.

Fisola always had the juiciest gist ever, especially about her the people living with her in her apartment complex. I had never been to her place before but with the stories she had told me about her neighbors especially her next door ones, made me feel like I knew them already. She was that good a story teller.

“Omo babe, if you see fight wey happen yesterday ehn, you go fear ...” she narrated the ordeal gesticulating wildly with her hands. (My dear, if you saw the fight that occurred yesterday, you’ll marvel)

I laughed heartily listening to her narrate with so much excitement, she even got out of her seat to demonstrate making me laugh even more. Fisola is quite the character.

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I handed a customer the bottle of water that she ordered for before collecting the bill from her as she walked away, Noah walked up to the counter next.

“Hey” he said with a smile

“Hi” I replied returning the smile.

“Did you get my message?” he asked

“Yeah, I did” I nodded my head. “Do you want me to get your usual or are you getting something different today?

He chuckled lightly. “I’ll get my usual and then a chicken burger with a bottle of sprite”

“Oh wow. Was the surgery that draining?” I asked jokingly.

He chuckled. “It was actually but the burger isn’t for me”

“Oh okay, well let me get your order?” I said before moving to the show glass to arrange his order.

“Do you want the burger and sprite on another tray?” I asked him

“Yeah”

I moved to arrange everything and handed it to him. After paying with his card, I watched him walk over to a table where a beautiful looking woman was already seated. He placed the burger tray in front of her before placing his opposite her and taking his seat.

Watching him converse with her and laugh made me feel some type of way and I really didn’t want to feel like that. As much as I tried to ignore them and focus on work, I couldn’t help but sneak a glance towards their direction.

I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned my head to see Fisola with a smile playing on her lips.

“Don’t worry, she’s engaged” she said

“What are you talking about?” I said genuinely confused.

“The woman sitting with ‘your boyfriend’ is engaged, so you can wipe that look of your face” she replied.

“What look? And he’s not my boyfriend” I retorted.

“Oh please, as if you don’t wish he was and you were basically mopping like someone took your favorite toy away” she replied.

“I wasn’t looking like that” I strongly denied.

Or was I?

“Keep lying to yourself and if you had looked closer, you would have noticed the engagement ring on her finger” she pointed out before walking back to her station.

I looked in their direction and indeed there was an engagement ring on her finger. Seeing the ring on her finger made me feel better for some reason and it made wonder.

Was she right? Was I beginning to develop feelings for Noah?

The realization hit me like a ton of bricks - how disappointed I always got whenever he couldn’t meet up for our lunch ritual as usual and how I looked forward to my lunch breaks every day for the past two weeks. How I would sometimes find myself thinking of him even when I wasn’t in the hospital.

It happened all too fast, was that even normal?

I don’t know how I let him get this close because after Zozo’s father I made a promise to myself to keep men at a distance but somehow Noah had found a way around the wall I built around my heart without me even realizing it.

I need to put an end to this before it gets any further even if it means me going out of the hospital for my lunch breaks and avoiding him like the plague, then I would do just that.

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