Not Now

By Chummy122 All Rights Reserved ©

Romance

CHAPTER 11

Bay’s face was flowing with mirth that morning that everyone could tell. She had nothing to worry about as her mother approved her relationship with Mr. Lategaan.

‘Hey Clara!’ Bay says.

‘How are you Bay?’ Clara replies in a low but normal voice.

‘How possibly can you ask that? I am all-good and anyone can tell… you should have been the first to notice as a friend and speaking of which I have something to tell you and promise me you won’t breath a word to anyone…’

‘Ummm! Say it, I am listening.’

‘Clara! What is it? Is there anything I have said or done to upset you?’ Bay comes closer to Clara’s table.

‘No! It’s not you Bay…’

‘Then what is it? Something is not right.’

‘Ahh! Let’s rather not talk about it; I will be fine and I promise you, there is nothing to worry about.’

‘I am taking no for an answer, I just cannot let it go, share with me maybe I can be able to help you…’

‘Bay you know my Aunt Joyce right. The one who likes going out to nightclubs and all that. She just passed away last night and from what I hear, she died of AIDS …’ Clara sobs.

‘Oh no! I am sorry about that. She was my favorite person and never expected to hear such news at this time. Was she that sick before she died?’

‘I do not really know, they say she has been refusing to take medication. She was ashamed to queue for it at the clinic and she went around telling people that she was bewitched when they asked about the tiny body she was now turning into…’

‘Shame! Why can’t people just learn, AIDS is not a joke, it kills and there is nothing we can do unless we go to hospitals and clinics. I thought she loved herself; all that beauty had no brains. How are we ever going to learn?’ she says in a disappointed tone

‘Bay! Why can’t you just say a word about AIDS today at the assembly? Talk to other students about the dangers of it and how they should encourage their families to seek medical attention when they see something disturbing with their patients at home…’

‘Oh! You are talking, I wish I had time but I will think of something. We have less time to the assembly but I am sure on my way there will be lots on my mind…I will do anything for you friend, if that will make you happy and take away this sadness. I will do it. Let us go…’

AIDS is no joke people. AIDS is everywhere The disease AIDS is everywhere. AIDS is slowly taking us all. We are losing our loved ones day and night. Hence, AIDS is talked about every day and everywhere. Medical practitioners are the ones to turn to when this serial killer. AIDS has attacked you, traditional doctors nor do spiritual healers have no control over it. Seeking help from them is like adding petrol to a wild fire. Taking no action after discovering the disease in yourself is like putting dagger to your heart. It is like calling death upon you. Same as stopping the medication while you were on it, no one survives and no one will ever survive. AIDS cannot be cured. Nevertheless, there are medications to be taken to slow the danger. AIDS is taking our parents and children. AIDS is leaving our parents widows making them lonely. AIDS is taking our parents leaving us kids’ street kids and orphans. The population is getting smaller and smaller day and night due to AIDS related deaths. Reckless behavior is the only way to AIDS. If one is that careful, there is no way one can get AIDS. If one already has it, there is no way they can pass it to one another. For AIDS patients to survive longer is for them to take extra care of themselves. AIDS would not be an issue if we were not afraid of hospitals. Let us give our lives and none to the medical practitioners by believing in them and by so doing AIDS would be an issue. Let us fight and fight and at the end of it we will beat and defeat it. Let us give fighting it out all. Surely, it is possible to live in an AIDS free world era!

‘You may not be ill but each one of us is affected by this disease, if you see that someone is sick just talk to that person so that they go to the hospital or any nearest medical facility. We are adults at this age. I am sure none of us wants to lose any of their family members. If you see something disturbing with someone, encourage them to seek medical help and if they do not listen to you, ask for help from elders or the social workers nearer.’

Everyone clap and cheer as Bay walks down the stage.

Well, well, well! Clapped the headmaster going up the stage. Those were beautiful and powerful words Bay; you just touched the whole school today. Not only your peers, all of us here needed to hear that even the country and the world, as a whole needs that. We are blessed to have someone like you Bay, continue doing what you are doing my child. I do not want to add anything to what you just said as I might destroy it…says the headmaster.

Everyone cheer Bay’s name as Clara is smiling throughout.

‘You really are a good friend Bay and the good ones are rare to find these days. I am so blessed to have a close friend like you and I will be grateful for that always. All the pain that was inside me is now going away after hearing those words of yours. I now feel like I am not the only victim here…’says Clara as they walk to their classroom.

‘You see, I told you that I could help you but you were in denial. I like it when someone appreciates the little that I do to help. I am glad I could help and I do appreciate being your friend.’ Bay says patting Clara’s shoulder.

‘You were to tell me something mouth watering this morning before we went to the assembly and out with it now!’

Oh that! Do not worry my love that can wait. I will give each detail to you this afternoon.’ Says Bay with a naughty little grin.

‘No Bay! Please tell me now, I want to know about it, look at your face it just light the moment I brought that up please tell me…’

‘Let us go to the science lab, Mr. Lategaan will not be happy if we arrive late. That I have for you need extra time so I can explain every detail…’Bay’s lips pull a broad smile as they walk to the science lab.

‘I just cannot wait to hear that makes you happy. I bet it has something to do with a new love or boyfriend. Only a girl in love would act strangely like you.’

‘My lips are sealed. I will only tell you after school and promise me you won’t bring that up during the lesson, if you do I am going to keep my mouth shut forever about that and you will never hear about it from anyone as no one else knows of it…’

‘That is not fair Bay and it’s some sort of blackmail.’

‘I am being serious Clara, you say anything about that, and you kissed it goodbye.’

‘Oh! Okay I will try shut my mouth as long as I can bear.’ ‘Oh! We are early; I thought we would find Mr. Lategaan and the rest of others here.’

‘In addition, where is the rest of the class? They might have gone to the wrong laboratory those fools.’

‘Hello! I am in here can somebody go and call on them, come on us all do mistakes…’ smiled Mr. Lateran as he came from the storeroom.

‘Stupid mistakes! I will go and get them.’ said Clara pulling back from her stool.

As Clara closes the door behind, Mr. Lategaan pulls Bay from the stool and quickly kisses her. They open the book as if they are discussing something and Mr. Lateran pulls another stool and sits in front of Bay and holds hands.

‘Babe! I was not myself until I saw you this morning at the assembly.’ He stares at Bay.

‘Oh! Let me guess is it because I did not come to the office this morning. Did you miss me that much?’ Bay smiles.

‘Why did you do that babe and how did you know that I was going to say that? Of course, I did miss you terribly terrible! Do not ever do that again babe…’

‘Hahaha! Let us just say I know you so well by now! I slept late last night and woke up late this morning. I asked you to always wake me every morning but it seems like a difficult thing for you.’

‘I saw no point of doing that because you have a cell phone with an alarm. You can always set it to wake you up every day and speaking of a cell phone, I tried your number several times this morning but I couldn’t reach you and I somehow thought you were avoiding me.’

‘And for what reason would I be avoiding you my love?’ ‘I do not know. It is a silly thought I had. Seeing you not showing up at the office and not reaching you in your cell phone made me think all that.’

‘Try never to have such thoughts again; they will corrupt your mind. I was so cheerful this morning that I nearly told Clara about us but I promised to tell her this afternoon after the lesson.’

‘What did you just say? Mr. Lategaan says with a loud harsh voice rising from the stool.’

‘Babe Clara is my friend and please do not raise your voice at Me.’ said Bay with a low voice.

‘Bay! We agreed not to…’

Mr. Lategaan is interrupted by voices at the door and he immediately went to the front of his desk.

‘Do you want me to punish the whole class?’ he asks as the students came in.

‘And why would you do that sir?’ some boy asks.

‘How confidently can you ask me that? Huh! Do you seriously want to know why, you come late to my class and that is the attitude you give me?’ He asks in a loud and harsh voice.

‘We are sorry we are late sir! We went to the other lab thinking that is where we were attending today’s lesson.’ some other girl apologizes.

‘Oh! And you stayed there though you saw another class in...What is wrong with you? Did you just stayed there so that you can pass time? I told you long back that we are going to use this lab today.’

Mr. Lategaan! I am sure that they all must have forgotten please forgive them and let us continue with the lesson, we have already wasted some time waiting for them.’ Bay says. ‘They forgot. Huh! Are you for real Bay, why did you and Clara not forget? This is my class and you do not tell me what to do. I am the only one here who makes rules, understood?’

Bay lifts up her arms, throw them in the air as a sign of giving up, opened her book to read, and did not say a word.

Clara came from the back of the students who stood at the door to go sit down as she was not late.

‘Clara! Get your books and sit in front today, you and Bay are always making noise at the back there.’

‘Seriously sir?’ Clara turns to look at Mr. Lategaan.

‘Clara I am not joking, grab your staff over there…’his eyes freezes on Bay’s. Bay looks at him once and shakes her head as she is turning her book pages on.

‘Bay! What happened while I was out there? He was fine and smiling now he wants to bite our heads, there must be an explanation…’ Clara asks as she picks her school bag.

‘Clara! What are you insinuating? Do not try to pick a fight with me because you will not win.’ says Mr. Lategaan with a calm voice.

‘Sorry sir, I just meant well…’

‘You really are a joke Clara, Bay can I please have your notebook so I see where we left last time.’

Bay picks her notebook and passed it on to Clara so she passes it over to him.

‘Hahaha! A joke? I get that a lot sir…’

‘Clara! Can you shut up for a minute; don’t you ever get tired of talking?’ Bay says in a harsh voice.

‘Geez! Don’t bite me sissy, what’s with the mood so early in the morning?’

‘Do you think all standing at the door are having some fun, do you have any idea how their feet must be killing them?’

‘Oh! Ummmh!’

‘Mmmh! exactly what I thought…’

‘Bay don’t be hard on her she was just throwing a joke.’ said Mr. Lategaan with a relaxed voice.

‘Me! Hard? You must be kidding, then what do you call all you are doing to those people at the door, if you call talking to Clara hard.’ she asked with a serious face.

‘Forgive me then I should not have brought that up.’

‘I am glad you realized. I will only forgive you if you let others take their seats. I know this is your class and you will not let anyone dictate to you.’

‘Oh! Will you be able to forgive me if I free them? I can see how hurt you are.’

‘I have nothing against you. You should know by now that I do not hold grudges, just let them sit and we will be cool.’

‘Go take your seats guys and be sure this does not happen again.’

They all went and sits down.

‘Sir! Can I ask you something?’ Clara asks.

‘Not you again Clara;’ Bay says.

‘What is Bay?’ I want to understand something here.

‘Shoot!’ Mr. Lategaan responds.

‘Sir! You were fine before I went out to call the others and you were like hell when we got back, what really happened?’ Clara continues.

‘And sir, you should not have treated us the way that you did, it was not fair at all.’ some other boy adds.

‘I am sorry guys. I should not have taken out my frustrations on you. Please find it in you to forgive me please!’

‘Sir you have not yet answered me.’ Clara says.

‘Oh! Clara, my girlfriend just told me she wanted to do the most stupid thing ever. I never thought she would think of something like that but she assured me that she would take care of it before the end of today.’ Mr. Lategaan stares at Bay.

‘If she is that stupid, why don’t you dump her?’ some other guy asks.

‘I did not say she is stupid. I said she wanted to do something stupid.’

‘Ditch her and date someone like Bay. She is a full package. beauty with brains.’ The boy says.

Bay narrows her eyes and looked at Mr. Lategaan with a serious face.

‘Bay! What's with the look? You scaring me .’

‘Pretend I never gave you that look then; I am not in the mood.’

‘Why Bay of all people my boy?’

‘Bay stop giving me that look.’ Mr. Lategaan with a wide smile

‘Do not tell me you have not noticed sir, most girls are jealous of her. Bay has got everything and the two of you would make such a great couple.’ said the boy

‘Kgm! Umm!’ Mr. Lategaan clears his throat.

‘Don’t you agree sir?’ The other boy continues.

Bay looks at Mr. Lategaan and he winks at her.

‘Umm! Of course, she has everything a man needs, beautiful, sexy, intelligent, good hearted and smart. I do agree that she and I would make such a great couple.’ Mr. Lategaan says as he is staring at Bay.

Bay is also staring at him with her hand covering her mouth.

‘Yeah!’ Cheers everyone.

‘Dream on people, just think the possible; Bay is Mel’s not anyone else’s.’ Clara says.

‘Take it easy girl, it was just a suggestion. We never said it will happen.’ some girl says.

‘And who said it would not happen? God works in mysteries ways; maybe Bay and I will be together some other time.’ said Mr. Lategaan

‘And I would really love that.’ Bay smiles.

‘Oooooh!’ The class says.

‘What? I am sure every girl here would this hunk here to be theirs, isn’t it. Bay says. ‘Of course it is, you are right Bay.’some girls say.

‘Hahaha! Do not make me blush.’ Mr. Lategaan plays with his tie.

‘The truth needs to be told.’ Bay says.

‘Sir I meant it, you and Bay will be the best couple ever, do something sir. I am sure she won’t refuse.’ the boycontinues.

‘Excuse me, Bay belongs with Mels, Mr. Lategaan is too old for her.’ Clara says.

‘Oh look who is talking about old men…What do you know about age? Aren’t you the one dating older men, older than Mr. Lategaan? I could have listened if someone else said that, not you;’ the boy adds.

‘People! Drop that, you heard Mr. Lategaan, he has a girlfriend he loves, I am no home wrecker, and besides that, he is my teacher.’ Bay says.

The siren rings and everyone picks their staff and got out of the lab.

‘Mr. Lategaan! I have to report you, this is the second lesson wasted talking nonsense;’ Bay says.

‘Sorry babe! It will not happen again.’

Bay smiles.

‘Did he just call you babe? Make sure Mels or Bays’ mysterious boyfriend never hear you say that;’ Clara says.

‘Hahaha! Someone is jealous.’ The other girl in class laughs.

They all go out and only Bay remained as she was waiting for her office keys from Mr. Lategaan.

‘Sir! I have to be in another class,’ give me the keys please.

Mr. Lategaan just looks at her and drops her face again…

‘Keep those damn keys and never give them to me again. I will ask the maintenance people to give me the new one.’ Bay turns her back to walk away.

‘Don’t you dare walk away from me.’

‘Or what? Watch me…’

Mr. Lategaan immediately grabs her and they kiss for some time until Bay pushes him away.

Do we really have to fight over a small issue?’ Bay steps backwards.

‘And do you really have to pull back? We were having a good time.’

‘I am being serious…’

‘No, we do not have to my love, just go and fix what you broke.’

‘And what is it that I broke?’‘Do I have to spell everything out to you Bay, I am getting tired of your rubbish. Go and tell your friend something else about us. I don’t want my name tarnished by little school girls…’ Mr. Lategaan says in anger.

‘And what am I going to tell her? I have already told her it’s something to do with my boyfriend?’

‘I don’t know, make something up. Lie to her; you know you are good at it.’

‘Go to class Bay; I will talk to you after you destroyed the castles built in Clara’s air,’ Mr. Lategaan slams the storeroom door behind him.’

Bay went on attending other classes thinking about what she was going to tell Clara. She kept quite after the last lesson thinking Clara would have forgotten what they have talked about earlier that morning.

‘Out with it girl’ said Clara taking a sit on Bay’s table

‘What?’ Bay asks.

‘Tell me the good news that you were to tell me earlier this morning.

Something tells me you not going to tell me. I had that feeling.’ Clara said in a down face and voice.

Bay rolls her eyes.

‘Kgm! I was going to tell you that I have decided to forgive Mels; I cannot keep myself a prisoner for this long. I am the one suffering after all.’

‘Are you kidding me!’ Clara shows a confused face.

‘I have decided to make peace with him. I will never run away, never, whenever I see him; I just…’

‘I thought you were going to tell me something about your boyfriend or that you and Mels are finally a couple, something fishy is going on.’ ‘What are you talking about Clara? Thought you will be glad to hear that I have decided to make peace with Mels. Who knows, maybe things will work out and we will end up together.’

‘Just forget I ever said something like that, I do not know what is up with me but I will be fine. Umm! Have you talked to Mels yet?’

‘No!’

‘Why not?’

‘Because I have not seen him. He is in an afternoon shift; remember we just got out from the last period just now.’

‘Ahab! You know you cannot fool me Bay. You are not telling something to me. That entire glow you had in your face is gone now, you wanted to tell me something and it is as if something stopped you from telling me.’

‘You like reading too much into things that is all I wanted to tell you. Believe me or not, I do not give a damn.’ said Bay picking up her school bag and went out from class and Clara came running after her calling...

‘Bay wait’!

‘What is it Clara? Thought we are done with what we were talking about; do you want to continue with the argument?’

‘Who said I want to argue? I was saying now that we are out of the classroom we can go together and look for Mels so that you tell him what you just told me.’

‘And who said I wanted to tell him now? Look here Clara; this is my business so stop poking your nose. I do things my own way, not the way people tell me.’

‘Weapons down, I come in peace. It was only a suggestion; sorry if you do not like it, please do not bite my head.’ Clara lifts her hands up. ‘Hahaha! Silly you, I am not fighting. I am not a little girl Clara. I do not like being ordered around.’

‘I get it; I was just trying to help…’

‘Are you coming with me to the meeting or just idling around? It’s almost time.’

‘You know I never miss those sessions and what are we talking about today?’

‘You will soon find out, hold your breath…’

SEARCH or LOOK FOR SOMETHING better if you are in that kind of a relationship where your partner NEVER wants the two of you to be seen together. It is a clear sign there is someone else he is always seen with. A man who is serious and who cares about you will never shy away to show you to the world and his friends will be the first to know about you. He will not even give a damn or hesitate to go around hand in hand with you even when you are at your worst. Enough with your foolishness. It will not benefit your damn ASS so stop pushing your damn self into a bastard who does not give a damn about you. If the two of you meet sometimes in the dark at the dude’s apartment, it clearly shows that his woman is not around so he is using you as a distraction. Does he call to arrange to meet you in the morning or afternoon? YES! His favorite woman is at work or something so he is having a quick one with you and he does not want to be caught. Does he takes long to reply your texts or never reply to them or does not return your calls? This truly shows that you are disturbing the couple; the bastard is with his number one woman. He is with someone who is important in his life, someone he adores, someone he respects, and someone he cares about and never wants to see hurt. To him, you are just a looser, someone without a stand. Some kind of a whore who does not have a life, who’s pussy is always convenient to be fucked. He would just pick you from wherever you agreed, takes you to his apartment and immediately asks you to dress up and takes you home or anywhere but his apartment. Doesn’t something from the back of your mind click, does this entire spell love?

Each woman would love to rest on her man’s chest after they make love to show love and appreciation to one another. That one who immediately ditches you does not truly love you; he is just playing you and using you. You are a sex object to him. All that he wants from you is your pussy, nothing else. You will never hear from him when his penis is cotton soft, only when you hear from him is when his dick is hard. LADY! Open your eyes and close those damn thighs. The dude is using you and there is no future for you two. Wrap that pussy again even if it has been used for someone who would care for you. Stop being someone else’s second choice while someone out there will love to make you his first lady. There are millions dudes out there who would want to give you the best so stop running after some kind of jerk who does not give a damn about your pretty self. Don’t you ever let any dick that is not serious to go through your thighs because it is just extracting those juices from you and it is only a matter of time before spitting you out or throwing you out like last summer magazine and start spreading some shit about you?

EVERY WOMAN IS WORTH KINGDOMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Every student in the hall can’t stop clapping and cheering. More students came in large numbers than before.

‘Listen up!’ Bay shouts.

‘Kgm! Everyone listen up, keep shut! She is trying to talk to you.’ Mr. Lategaan says coming through the back door.

Everyone turns to the back to see who was talking and they immediately keep quite.

‘Thank you so much you are a lifesaver.’ Bay says with a huge smile.

‘Anytime!’ He nods as he turns to walk out of the hall.

‘People we all know that we have little time and we have to utilize it wisely and can only do that if we do cooperate well. We cannot waste time with all that noise and never want to listen when I try to make you shut. You are adults and let us act like one. If you don’t want to listen to what I want to say in this meeting, no one is forcing you to come if you know you can’t keep shut here, the door is open, just feel free to walk away and never set your foot here again.’ Bay shows an angry face.

Everyone stares at her with no words coming out of their mouth.

‘You are all scaring me, stop staring at me, ask questions, and comment if at all you have anything to say;’ Bay says.

‘I did not know you were like this Bay.’ Some boy in Bay’s class says.

‘You are more than beautiful when you are angry.’ the boy adds.

Everyone laughs

‘Larry that was not funny at all and I do not know why those people are laughing. You can go if you do not have anything to say and I can’t force you.’ Bay picks up her staff.

They all stare at her, no one moving.

‘What is wrong with you all today? You are all acting weird. Oh I get it now; there is rice and chicken waiting up for you all at the kitchen.’ She lets forth a giggle.

‘Bay! That was all good, we do not know what to say or to add to it but hey those were very powerful words…’ said the school head girl.

‘Bay that was great and I am afraid our girlfriends are starting to ditch us…. With those words, I am now sure they are starting to think twice.’ Mat says.

And why would they ditch you, if you were doing nothing-wrong Mat, where there is smoke there is always Fire.

‘Answer the question Mat! Why would we ditch you if you treat us like queens? One would only be ditched if he does not do the right thing... ‘ Clara says.

‘No! Mat is not the only dude afraid here now; I think most of us are.’ Larry says.

‘And why is that so?’ the head girl asks.

‘Some of us here have girlfriends as guys. Our girlfriends and we are still in school and we do not have money to give them expensive gifts. After those precious words, you just gave to them. I think a whole lot more is going to change.’ Larry says.

‘It is as if you are missing the point Larry. Bay was not talking about gifts or money, all that she was emphasizing was the ill-treatment of women by men if I got her well. We agreed to be your girlfriends still knowing that you are students and we don’t want that material staff from you as we know that you cannot afford them as you are schooling. We will want all those from you when you are working. All we want from you now is to be loved by you people, nothing else. If you do not want to love someone, you just tell her so that she stops wasting her time thinking they have you.’ Clara says.

Bay claps her hands nodding her head.

‘There is nothing hurting on this earth like to love someone and that person does not love you back. That person does not care about how you feel even if you are ill, all he is in for is sex. Such a person does not deserve someone like you at all…’ said the school head girl

‘You see what I am talking about, they are now getting emotional. I do not see anyone of us gents with a girlfriend end of this week.’

‘Only jerks will be left with no girlfriend of course but my boyfriend and I are okay. He does treat me very well and if he starts nonsense, I will let him go.’ some other girl says.

‘I hope my girlfriend does not change too. I do not know why I am even worried because I treat her well.’ Larry says.

‘There is nothing to worry if you know she is your all, as I said every woman is worth kingdoms.’ said Bay

‘We shall see…’ Larry says.

‘Let’s meet again next time people, time is gone lets go and begin classes in a good mood and you to have a great lunch. Remember always to smile. I love you all.’ Bay says.

They all went out. Bay and Clara remained putting together the chairs they sat on always

‘You amaze me day by day. I do not really believe this is the Bay I met four years back.’

‘And what are you talking about?’

‘You have matured quickly; your thinking ability is like of a grownup.’

‘It comes from within and always prays that I do not mess up. I have come a long way to be where I am and thanks for that hey.’

‘Can I ask something?’

‘What have you decided to do about Mels, about what we talked about earlier this afternoon?’

‘I will let you know once I have decided and you will be the first to know about it. This conversation is getting old and I think we should drop it.’

‘Why is it that you always get angry whenever I talk about Mels, Bay? There is something you are not telling me.’

‘I have to go Clara, stay here alone coz it seems like you want to, i have something to be done with at the office…’

‘I thought we were still talking…’

‘There is nothing to talk about if you are still on about that Mels issue…You can have him for yourself since you care that much about him.’ ‘Okay madam! Have a great day then, going straight home, will see you tomorrow…’

‘You too girlfriend, remember to always smile.’ waves Bay.

‘Hahahaha! You silly.’ Clara waves back.

Bay went to her office where she found a box of juice and pizza on her table. She opened the pizza and the words ” I love you” were written using cheese over the pizza. She poured herself some juice and took one slice. She ate and locked the door, put her earphones on and leaned on the chair with eyes closed listening to music on her phone.

Mr. Lategaan found her asleep when he walked in. He just stood beside her taking photos of her sleeping. He then pulled a chair to sit next to her. He ran his fingers slowly around Bay’s face and she finally woke up.

‘Hey! How long have you been sitting here?’ Asks Bay rubbing her eyes.

‘Does it matter? Just enjoyed looking at my babe sleeping;

Why didn’t you wake me? I was just writing something and I wanted it typed before I go home…’

‘You slept peacefully babe and I did not want to ruin it, you can just type it, I will take you home on wards.’

Bay raises her head to look at him and said nothing…

‘Pizza and juice Hmmm! Looks like someone is having a great day, aren’t you babe?’ Mr. Lategaan asks.

‘Never say you had a great until the sunset...’ she replies in a down voice

‘What? So you having a long one?’

‘You can say that again…’

‘What is wrong now babe?’ ‘You are seriously asking that? You part of all that messed my day.’

‘Come on babe! Just tell me.’ Mr. Lategaan rests Bay’s head towards his chest.

‘Clara and I had an argument and it all started after she joined the dots and discovered that I was lying to her. My meeting today nearly didn’t go well, I don’t know what was with them and now I just fell asleep and now my work is pending and to start with all that ,you gave me hell this morning that I belittled myself…’says Bay taking her head away from Mr. Lategaan.

‘I am sorry about that babe. I also realized I did not talk well to you. Please forgive me, you know I hate to be the reason your day is dull…’please! He kneels besides Bay.

‘Don’t be ridiculous, stand up!’

‘Tell me you forgave me then up I will be on my legs again.’

‘Who said I forgave you?’

‘I just asked for forgiveness; let us just forget about all I said to you…’ he begs.

‘Sorry but I can’t.’

Mr. Lategaan saw that Bay was stubborn and difficult…

‘Okay babe you can have it your way. You can go tell Clara about us if you are that much certain she will not tell everyone around about us, how about that?’

Bay sighs and drops her eyes.

‘I am serious babe; we can arrange to tell her together if that will make you better. I do not want to see my angel in this drastically condition.’

Bay looks at him and smiled.

‘Talk to me is that a yes? Anything to make you happy angel.’

‘Clara will be fine, I am not telling anything about us to her…’

‘What did you tell her, isn’t she in your case right now?’

‘Clara is something else and she can be difficult that one….She could not rest it and I told her that I decided to forgive Mels for everything: I could tell from the way she looked and responded to me that she did not buy it;’ she pauses.

‘And then she ordered me to go around looking for Mels so I could tell him those words and that Mels would love to hear that coming straight from me, and I was like, ”What the hell, who does she think she is?’ Bay stops.

‘Sorry I made you go all through that babe; I can imagine it …’Said Lategaan giving Bay a back massage

‘We quarreled for a long time and we were to say things we would regret tomorrow. She is a true friend that one. We were laughing after the meeting as if nothing happened also owe her an apology.’ Bay smiles.

‘I am glad that you and your friend are not at loggerheads. I can see how much you value your friendship with her and I would never do anything to challenge it.’

Bay smiles again.

‘And you were great at the meeting babe.’

‘And thanks for keeping them quite hey. You were just in time; those ones can be difficult sometimes.’

‘As I always say babe ‘I d do anything to make you smile. i don’t think they were being difficult, they were excited to hear such words coming from their colleague and they were applauding because they had to. You were being harsh on them.’

‘Do you think so?’

‘Yep!’

‘Let me go pee, I will be back;’ Bay goes out.

Mr. Lategaan sits on her chair and starts going through her stuff, and picked a paper there and started reading from it and it was titled.

ONLY IF I HAD THAT ONE CHANCE

As I see happiness around their faces. As I hear them calling loudly and proudly. As I see the good and the strong bond they have. I wonder what I did as a child to deserve this. As I see them holding hands together. As I see them laughing. As I hear them given word of advice. I wonder what I am being punished for. As I see them given everything, they ask for. As I see them showered with love. As I see them making them proud. I wonder if I was conceived out of love. I wonder what happened between my parents. I wonder if they truly loved one another. I wonder why my father had to run. I wonder if he ever knew about my existence. All my wonders I thought they d be answered at some point in time but all that was imagination. It was as if a door was slammed right into my face to learn that the man I long wanted to see passed away. The thought of never knowing his face or sharing a single word with him pained a lot. The thought that he and I stand no chance as a father and daughter pained my heart. The word father or dad never came from my lips to any male person. Never will I know father love; never will I have daughter father memories…

Mr. Lategaan is still holding the paper going through it repeatedly though he long finished when Bay walks in.

‘And what is with that stare?’ Bay asks as she is closing the door.

‘Talk to me babe;’ he says in a worried face.

‘About what?’

Mr. Lategaan holds the paper that he had been reading up and waves it to her face.

‘You are not supposed to go through my stuff.’

‘Come! Come sit here;’ He shows her to his lap his lap.

Bay drags her feet and sits on his lap.

‘Be honest babe or don’t say a word, do you promise to?’

Bay nods.

‘Are you that suffering because of this? I told you to talk to me about whatever is troubling you…’

‘I just wrote that down because I like writing. I long forgot about my dad, he is dead and never coming back. Its part of life and I long forgot about it…’

Mr. Lategaan grabs her and gives her a rib-cracking hug…

‘I am fine, stop feeling sorry for myself. You know I hate that.’

‘Okay! Sorry babe, I thought it was making you suffer. i don’t want you to bottle some stuff, I am here for you to talk to but if it’s that difficult I can hire someone for you.’

‘Thanks for that offer babe, I am so grateful to have you and you are the best ever. Like seriously, I am fine. This is the third year he is been gone and I forgot about him not that I ever knew of him. Of course, I wanted to meet him as I was growing but after I heard he was gone, I just cried and accepted that. We will never get everything we want in this planet, that’s how it is…’

‘Thanks babe! So how about you write a little piece about me now that I see that you can write about anything, can you do that please? ‘

‘Will do so if that’s what you want.’

‘And when should I expect it?’

‘It wouldn’t be exciting if I told you.’

‘I don’t take surprises well since I have heart problems.’

‘Forget it, I have to go, I don’t want mummy to worry about me.’

‘Grab your staff then I will take you home. Your mom must be thinking I ran away that I never visit or call them.;

‘I will be fine; people will start talking if they see your car parked at home. You will give my mom a call to check up on them.’

‘Let them talk, if you and I are still together, I do not care. That is not for discussion, take your bag and let’s go.’

‘Babe!’ Bay calls and Mr. Lategaan pulls her head towards him and they start kissing.

‘You still don’t want me to take you home?’ he says after a long kiss holding Bays shoulders.

CHAPTER14

It was exactly two weeks before the final examination. The truth of the matter was that Mr. Lategaan passed the interview that he wrote some months ago and he was offered a place at the United Kingdom to study pharmacy. He saw his life filled with a newfound joy and at the same time had a heavy heart to think about Bay. He knew this was going to make her happy to hear the good news but could tear her apart to learn that they were only going to see another after a very long time. He decided to keep this a secret from Bay until she has done with her exams as this could affect her and make her fail.

YOU GAVE me love when everything and everyone turned their backs on me. I can feel warmth where there was cold full. You gave and showed me joy when I was in sorrowful. You showed me beauty where there was ugly full. You saw a smart one in me when everyone saw a fool in me. You helped me succeed where I always failed. You gave the answers to everything in my life that was answerless. You brought light to my life when everything seemed dullful. You turned all the bitterness in my life to sweetful. You brought me higher when I was in my lowest. You changed my living days from worst to better ones. You turned all the hardships to softful. The older face I had turned younger now. The old days are gone and found the new me. The sad days I had back then have now changed to happyful ones. I can now lead others but not follow them because you gave all that strength to me…

Mr. Lategaan kept Bay’s writing to him and so often brought it out and glanced at it. He could just see smiles on her face the day she gave it to him. They were all laughing out and happy and what could happen tomorrow was less of their worries.

He went to the house of prayer that was in school. He closed the door and hung the tag ‘inside’ in the door handle knowing he could count on no intrusion. They respected this place and believed it was holy and it was where one could ask for help and guidance from God. He lighted the candle and knelt down to ask help as to what to do. He sat on a plastic chair, which was inside trying to clear his head as he was still in confusion. To think of the cruelty he will be doing to Bay if he told her now pained him a lot.

He remains with his hands on his head. He weeps there alone with no one to comfort him.

In his deep thoughts, it began to dawn on him that to survive in this world, one need close people in time of unhappiness .He rushed to his office to get car keys and jacket then went on the road.

He has been dreading the day this would happen since he applied for the post and here it was now. He was sweating lightly when he got there though he switched on the car air conditioner and the color of his skin had changed.

When he got there, he found Tom and Terry on TV. He asked Tom to bring his play station to play as to control stress he had. Playing with the boys did something to him, as he was now laughing loud and cheering. Miss Brittle walked in as they were playing and they stopped with the noise.

‘Oh! Mr. Lategaan, Tom, Terry, where is Bay?’ Miss Brittle asks as she was walks to the bedroom.

‘She is not here mom,’ Tom answers.

‘Mr. Lategaan?’ she greets him as she walks in.

‘She is still at school and she does not know I am here…’

‘Okay! Boys can you please give us a moment,’

Tom and Terry go outside to take their dogs for a walk.

‘Mr. Lategaan, what is it? Talk to me, something is not right and I can tell it….’she says in a concerned voice.

‘Pheeeew!’ Mr. Lategaan sighs and covers his face with hands.

‘Is Bay in some kind of danger, where is she?’

‘Bay is at school like I said before and she is fine…’

‘Ok…’

‘Ma! I just received a letter this morning; I have been offered a place at UK to study pharmacy….’

‘Oh! That is wonderful news congratulations….Why don’t you look happy then, Bay must be that excited…’

‘Ma! Bay does not know that is why I am here and she does not know about me going to UK…’

‘What?’

‘I have to accept this offer, I wanted it so bad and it is a great deal. Bay has some few days to start her final examination. She is too excited and do not want to hurt her. I know telling her all this now might hurt her and lose concentration during the exam. I want a great future for her so I cannot ruin it now…’

‘I understand you my son, I know how it must be difficult for you, and what are you planning?’

‘I really wanted something special with Bay and I do not know now, the post I have been offered is more than seven years out there and I just cannot keep Bay waiting for me while I am out there. She is too young and she has to carry on with her life….’

‘Are you breaking up with my daughter? I knew something of this sort was going to happen…’

‘No madam! I am not; all I am saying is that, after I am gone I cannot expect Bay to wait for me; it will be like putting her into prison.’

‘I can’t understand all this, when are you planning to tell her now?’

‘I have two months before leaving and Bay will be done with her examination, by then I can tell her. This was heavy in me and now feels light; I did not know whom to turn to….’

‘Thanks for caring about my daughter. Not everyone would have done this, I am very sure she would understand by the time you tell her.’

‘Moreover, please mama, do not tell her about it and please don’t tell I was here….’

‘My lips are sealed, just make sure that you wipe all that sadness in your face before she finds out, cheer up .If you keep on with this face, it can also contribute to her failure if she notices this sadness…’

‘Hahaha! No need to worry ma, I will be fine now that I talked to you, it really helped…..Can I please have some water, I have to get going. I don’t want your daughter to find me here or I will be in a hot soup…’

‘Oh! Forgive me son, I didn’t even offer you anything to drink, let me get that for you.’ said mother on her way to the kitchen.

‘It is okay, the boys gave a juice and some pancakes when I got here; you taught them well ma, they know visitors.’

‘That is how I raise my children. They might be disrespectful to adults out there but when it comes here, in my house, they know how to behave.’ said mother giving Mr. Lategaan a glass of water.

‘If they all are like Bay, you certainly have good kids madam and I believe they grow up with that spirit….Let me use toilet, I have to hit the road.’

‘Let me leave you to that then.’

Mr. Lategaan goes to the toilet while mother went to the kitchen.

‘Hello! Anyone home?’ Bay asks as she is getting inside the house.

‘Hello! Mom, Terry, Tom….’she calls again.

‘Hey big girl! I did not expect you this time…’ her mother says as walking into the living room where Bay is.

‘Hey mom! Oh, wait…’

‘What is it?’

‘Was Mr. Lategaan here?’

‘Why?’

‘The smell of his cologne is all over this place, he is the only person I know who wears it…’

‘Yes! I am here babe; I was around this area and thought I should just come here to say hi!’ Said Mr. Lategaan as he was closing the toilet door

Babe! I am that speechless you know this man that well, he should marry you.’

‘Mom!’ Bay shouts.

‘You owe an explanation to me…’ Bay points a finger to Mr. Lategaan

‘Bay! A woman never points a finger at his man, don’t you know that? Mother comments.

‘Whatever and I don’t care,’ Bay takes a seat.

‘What is it that I did Bay?’ he sits next to her.

‘Let me just leave the two of you to it, you will call me if you need help...’ mother leaves the two of them.

‘Hmmmmmh?’ Mr. Lategaan says.

‘Hmmmmh what?’ Bay asks.

‘You said I owe an explanation to you and I want to know what it is…’

‘Why didn’t you tell me?’

‘Tell you what babe?’ he asks and his heart beat fast.

‘Didn’t we have an agreement that we would never keep anything from one another babe? I am so disappointed;’

‘I am so sorry baby, who told you about it? It was not my intention; I did it for your best interest…’he says in a shaking voice.

‘I just found you here, no one told me about it and I want to hear it from you. Where you were all day and why is your phone not answered?’

‘I said I am sorry babe; I just went to see my doctor this morning for a checkup. I did not want to worry you. My phone is at my house and just realized I forgot it when I was out there. I then came here with the thought that you would understand better if I explained all that happened today in person.’

‘Still! We are always a minute away from one another at school; you could have run to tell me that you will not be in. Do you know how sick worried I was?’

‘I know how it might have been, that is why I saw it important to come see you before the end of the day my love. Please forgive me…’

‘Okay! Ummh! What did the doctor say?’

‘What, the doctor?’

‘Babe! You went to see the doctor today, didn’t you? Tell me how it went and what did he say?’

‘They just checked my blood pressure as always. I am just fine babe, do not worry. My heart is also in a good condition,’ he said as he was holding Bays hands

‘Oh! That’s great news babe, promise you will never leave me again and promise me you will never keep a thing from me again…’

‘That is a promise babe! From now onwards, you are my first priority. I am going to give you all the love you deserve.’

‘I would love that babe…’

‘Didn’t you miss me?’ Bay pulls back to get a better look at Mr. Lategaan.

‘How can you ask that stupid question babe, of because I did and you know it? You have been all that has been running on my mind all day…’

‘Really?’

‘Of course!’

‘Why haven’t you kissed me then? That should have been the first thing you did to show how you terribly missed me as you are saying.’

‘Come on babe! Your mom and brothers are around. What if they walk on us? That would be disrespecting especially to your mom. I am dying to have those lips but I can’t babe…’ he says in a low voice.

‘You always find a way to defend yourself, you very good at that one hmmmmh!’ she sighs.

‘That is why we make a great couple; you always have a way of doing so too.’

‘Hahaha! Am I? I wonder what would happen to our kids then if you and I are like that.’

Mr. Lategaan face falla to the ground with no word coming from him.

‘Babe! Did I say something wrong?’

‘No! Not at all, I was just imagining about them. Babe! I have to go; it is getting late;’ he sits up from the couch he sat on.

‘We will see another tomorrow then, have a safe journey. Love you babe!’ Bay gives him a hug.

‘Love you too babe, I will call you before you go to bed …Just wake up every morning knowing that I love you Bay Brittle, ‘he kisses her forehead.

‘Go before I start crying, should I walk you out?’

‘No! I will be fine babe, just go and takeoff your uniform and grab something to eat, you must be hungry;’

‘Okay, bye bbe!’

‘Tell them I have left, will see them some other day.

‘Okay! Will do, drive safely, bye!’ she waves closing the front door.

‘Where is that boy? I thought I heard you saying “bye”.

‘…Did he just go without saying goodbye to his mother-in –law?’ mother continues.

‘Mom! He just drove away; I told him that I would tell you that he is gone.’

‘How rude of him’

‘Mom! Do not make it such a big deal, it is my entire fault. He came to see me after all…’

‘Oh! Is it?’

‘Didn’t he?’

CHAPTER15

For five days afterwards, Mr. Lategaan and Bay’s love was stronger than before. He did all he could to make Bay happy as it was about to be the end of them. No other person could tell that Mr. Lategaan was hiding that big secret from Bay. He reasoned that Bay or any teacher around school would never know about his going. He told Bay’s mom and the school headmaster only and knew that with them, his secret was safe, as they all wanted what is best for Bay. Some days passed on as he perfected his plan. He thought of everything that would make Bay happy while he was away. He thought of Mels and knew he should talk to him to take care of her and it must be done quickly and with an air of confidence.

It is after school and there is a knock in Mr. Lategaan office door.

‘It is open, come in …’ Mr. Lategaan answers.

‘Come in and welcome, you can have a chair,’ he continues and offering him a chair to sit.

‘I was told I am called in this office and now no longer sure, if I am in the right room…’ Mels says standing at the door.

‘Don’t worry you are at the right one. I called you Mels; I am insomniac these days…’

‘So how can I help you sleep, do you want me to pray for you? I do not think that will be possible. You are the one who slept with an innocent child. I knew that would haunt you, you called it for you so fix It.’

Mr. Lategaan glances at him waiting for him to finish with what he is saying.

‘I am serious, I want help you, even if you give me that look…’

‘Look! I know I might be the last person on earth you’d want to talk to…Hear me out, I know you are the closest person to Bay and love another…’

‘Oh! You realize now, all was like you before you came to the picture. She does not want anything to do with me coz you corrupted her.’

‘I love Bay as much as you do Mels and I have never slept with her. I wanted what is best for her, and I did not want to hurt her neither. Bay is a very special person and deserves to be treated so…’

‘I know so, why are you telling me this entire sir?’ Mels says with a calmed voice coming closer to Mr. Lategaan table.

‘I have failed Bay Mels and I think you would be the right person to take care of Bay when I am gone. My days are numbered here so you are the only person I trust to take care of her;’

‘Mr. Lategaan, stop speaking in parables, are you dying, you scaring me now…’

Mr. Lategaan unlocked his table drawer and brought out a white envelope. He gave it to Mels without saying anything to him. Mels quickly opened it and to his surprise, he found himself screaming out of happiness.

‘Wow! Congratulations sir, I know we have not been good friends but I do salute you. You should be that excited…

When are you leaving?’

Mr. Lategaan takes the envelope back and locked it away again.

‘Mels! I need your help. This is a great offer and I should accept it. If I do not, I will never have an opportunity like this again. I have not told Bay this because I know it is going to hurt her especially that you are writing; I do not want to be the cause of her failure…’

‘Therefore, you want me to be the one breaking the news to her?

Why me? I don’t understand.’

‘I want you to come very close to Bay. I want you to start building a strong relationship that she will not notice that I am gone, I am begging you Mels…’

‘I would love to help sir but I do not think Bay would agree to, I think she hates me now.’

‘I will help you if you in the same page with me; I have until you finish with your exams then I will be gone. I have decided to tell Bay after you done writing, her mom and the school head were the only people who know about this and asked them not to tell anyone. I trust you too that you will not open your mouth to anyone about it. Please help me Mels…’

‘I would do anything for Bay sir even if it means risking my life. I have a feeling things are going to work out between the two of us this time around…’

‘Is that a yes? Will you help?’

‘Count me in…When are we starting with your big plan? I cannot wait…’

‘Give me your cell number, save it in here...’ Mr. Lategaan gives Mels back his cell phone.

‘Here is what I was thinking; I will always give you a call to come here whenever I know Bay is alone. I will do my all to make sure that I spend less time here. Whenever you are with her, tell her all that you have been meaning to tell her all this past time. Make her feel you love and want her, make her feel special, make her feel like she is the only woman;’ Mr. Lategaan is walking from one point to the other.

‘Easy peasy! I have a lot to tell her and I am sure she is going to love me being here. So what do I say to her whenever she asks my doing here?’

‘Do not worry about that one, I will think of something to tell her…’

‘So when do I start? I am so ready…’

‘Mels! What are you ready for that makes you so excited?’

‘I have never seen you this happy?’ Bay asks as she comes into the office.

‘Oh! Bay, I didn’t expect you; didn’t you have a meeting today?’ Mr. Lategaan asks.

‘Nope! How are you? You haven’t answered me Mels.’ Bay says.

‘Let us just say things are finally coming my way…Mr. Lategaan! Let me go, you will brief me on everything.’ Mels says as he is rising up from the chair.

‘Enjoy the rest of your day boy, don’t let it slip through your mouth, I can see how excited you are…’

‘My lips are sealed sir, this is a great offer like you said and I can’t blow it away.’

‘People hello! i am here, what are you talking about.’ Bay waves her hands in front of them.

‘It is nothing to worry yourself about B, let the men worry about, Have a great day.’

‘You are in a so good mood; did you win lotto or something?’ Bay continues.

‘It is more than a lotto, I have been offered something I long wanted in my life and very soon it would be mine I can assure you and i am going to work hard to win it…’

‘Please don’t forget me after winning it.’ Bay pulls her lips to a smile.

‘How can I, you will be right beside Me.’ Mels winks to Bay.

‘Hahaha!’ They all laugh.

‘Goodbye, everyone…’Mels waves and closes the door.

‘And when did you and him become friends, what was he doing here?’ Bay asks with a face showing confusion.

‘That boy is one of the good ones. I misjudged him and I regret the time I wasted hating him. You should forgive him for all his wrong doings to you babe;’

Babes are you okay? Bay put her hand over Mr. Lategaan forehead to check his temperature.

‘Babe I am fine’. he smiles.

‘And when did you realize he is one of the good boys?’

‘For the last minutes that I have been chatting to him here.

You should fix your differences babe; I will not forgive myself if you lose a good friend like him forever because of me…’

‘Something definitely is not right here…’ Bay walks over to her desk.

‘What do you mean? Oh! I just forgot to tell you, the headmaster asked me to brief Mels about something that he should do, the very same thing that made him that so excited and I’ve been asked to share this table with him that he agreed and that will be working with another, he will be working in this office babe so don’t be surprised to find him here some other time…’

‘Why this office, there are so many others that he can use, gosh!’

‘I will be helping him babe, what is wrong with him working here?’

‘Nothing!’

‘Babes are you fine with him working here with us? I do not want it to be as if I did not tell you or something, it would not be fair on you and it will not be fair on Mels, the way he was excited. He is so looking forward to it…’ he stares at Bay.

‘I said its fine. I will get used to work alongside him and I will tell him that I forgave him as you wish…’

‘What is wrong babe? Do you still have a thing for him?’

‘Do you really know how it feels like to be around someone you once loved?’

‘No! I do not coz I have never been in such a kind of situation. He shakes his head.

‘Yah! I can tell…’.

‘All those good memories you shared comes back and you start wondering what went wrong.’

‘I said we can arrange another office and teacher for him but I wonder who will be perfect to help him except me…’

‘I said I am fine with him here.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘Very much certain…’

He jumped and hugged her in an excitement. He knew all would go according to his plan if nothing could interrupt the whole thing…

‘We have staff meeting very soon babe, I have to go…stay well.’ He kisses her forehead.

Bye! She waves.

‘Will you wait up for me?’ Mr. Lategaan asks.

‘I will if you don’t take long;’

‘Okay hope it will be chop chop, love you babe and always have it in mind…he blows some kisses to Bay.

‘Love you too…’she waves.

[The coast is clear; you can check her. I will be in a meeting for an hour. Remember to delete this, she should not find out that we are communicating.]

Mr. Lategaan texts Mels and immediately Mels arrives at the office where he finds Bay resting her head on the desk.

‘What did you forget now?’ Bay asks with her head still down.

‘Hi again’! Mels closes the door.

‘Oh Mels! I thought you were, how did you come in? I thought I locked the door.’ Bay takes her head up.

‘Um! I just!’ Mels waves some key at her.

Bay interrupts him.

‘Oh! I get it now; you have your own key so you just opened for yourself.’

‘Yah! That is right, are you okay with the arrangements?’

‘I will be fine, will get used to.’

Mels walks to Bays desk and pulls Mr. Lategaan chair to sit next to Bay.

‘Bay I have a lot that I wanted to tell you but never did that coz you never gave me a chance, and I have a lot to apologies for.’

‘Mels please!’ Bay lifts her hands

‘Bay listen, I think we have to clear the air that we would be working together. Do we really have to be fighting like cats and dogs?’

‘Mels sorry, I can’t do this now…’she rises from her chair and stands next to some shelve which was by the corner.

‘Bay do you know that we used to be like a nail and a finger? We were unseparatable by then and we were good together. Do you know that everything we do well in this world gives some people happiness and also makes some angry and it is those that who plan evil against us as a way to spite us. They did all to come between us and I still don’t know how we let them do so….’

‘Do you really have to remind me about that, of course people are laughing at us, I don’t get it. it’s all your fault you are the one who told me you had a girlfriend the other day I tried to fix things and I just told myself that I won’t hurt your girlfriend by coming between the two of you and decided to move on too like you did…’

‘I know I told you that Bay but it just came out of anger and wanted to make you jealous.’ Mels walks to where Bay is standing.

‘You mean you never?’

‘Yes Bay never had a girlfriend. Every time I tried to explain myself to you, you always runaway without giving me a chance,’

‘Are you serious?’

‘I even asked Clara to tell you so coz you never wanted to talk to me.’

‘You mean she knew about this all along? Why didn’t she say something to me then? Things wouldn’t be a mess by now…’

‘Don’t blame her Bay; it’s the two of us to be blamed for our selfishness. I got Clara’s point she didn’t want to be a go-between us. She wanted us to fix our problems ourselves and I respected that.’

Bay takes a paper she is holding in her hand and chucks it into the shelve she stands next to.

‘No wonder she is always on my case about talking to you. I should have listened to her long back…’

‘So what do we do now?’

‘Mels I have to go, I promised mom to be early today,’ she walks to the door.

‘You not take your bag with you today?’ Mels asks as he was smiling.

‘Oh! Thanks, I nearly forgot it,’ she picks her school bag.

‘Bye! Mels’

‘Bye Bay! I won’t rest until you are mine.’ Mels smacks his lips as Bay is closing the door.

As she steps out of the office she texts Mr. Lategaan.

“Hey babe! I just left to home, I didn’t feel well. See you tomorrow…..”

Reply: “Love you too babe! The meeting is taking longer than we all expected. Will definitely see you tomorrow. Don’t miss me too much, xoxoxo!!!’’

After he texts Bay he gets another inbox from Mels.

“Everything is according to plan, don’t stress

About it anymore. Give me a day or two and

everything will be on point”

Mr. Lategaan face suddenly falls to the ground after reading the message and felt like screaming. His mind is running around and no longer listening to what was said in the meeting. He takes his phone back again from his pocket and looked at Bay’s photos. He runs his fingers on them as if he was touching her. She is looking good on them, with beautiful eyes that gazed at Mr. Lategaan. That accusing gaze makes him very guilty about his plan to make her fall for another man. He takes a deep sigh and consoles himself that he was not committing any sort of crime but doing what’s best for Bay as he truly loved her.

“If I tell Bay that I am going, that is definitely going to lower her performance and not telling her also makes me feel guilty. I am doing all this for her sake and do believe I am doing nothing wrong. I would have worried if Mels refused to help me as knew he is the only person who understand Bay” he said this all to himself looking at Bay’s photos

Reply Well done my boy, will talk tomorrow”

Mr. Lategaan! Wake up you are not here with us, I want to see you after this. What’s with you? The headmaster says.

‘No! I am here listening, don’t worry…’he replied

After the meeting Mr. Lategaan walked out with the headmaster telling her all about his plan and the headmaster couldn’t refuse to agree to it.

‘And I am unabashed of it…’

‘Have a good evening my dear; I can see how this is stressing you. Take a rest, all will be well.’

‘How can I take a rest? I am in an object misery. I really wish this could blow away. To hurt her was the last thing I wanted.’

‘I can see how much you loved her. You shouldn’t beat yourself over it…..You didn’t call all this. Go home and rest Mr. Lategaan.’

At home Bay was in a confused state of mind. She does not know what to think or what to believe. The kingdom of Heaven shall be denied all sinners”. The preacher’s words rapidly came to her mind as she was thinking about all this. She knew loving two men at the same time was not acceptable at their community nor their religion preached that and believed to be a sin. It is happening all around her. She saw Mels and Mr. Lategaan fighting and this making headlines in newspapers and the whole town talking about her.

‘How did I end up in this mess?

How did I let Satan get to me?
I have to make up my mind. This is not right and can’t go through it. I wonder how all these other women manage…’

‘Are you avoiding that boy these days or something? You are always early…’ mother says as she walks inside the house.

‘Oh! Hi mom! I didn’t hear you walk in …’

‘Yes! I noticed that, answer me, are you having second thoughts.’

‘What boy now mom?’

‘Are you okay Bay? You look miles away…

Is it Mr. Lategaan? Everyone can tell that you are in big thoughts and it has something to do with a man.’

‘How do you always read into such things mom?’

‘You are my daughter Bay and I know it when something is troubling you. You can’t hide anything from me and you should know it by now…’

‘Mom! How sinful is it to fall for more than one man?’

‘Are you?’

‘What?’

‘I said are you falling for another man. Are you cheating Mr. Lategaan?’

‘There is that other project Mels is working in at school mom. Mr. Lategaan is helping him out with it and…’

Bay stops because of her mom’s broad smile.

‘Mom! What is it? Is what I’m about to tell you already exciting you?’

‘Continue my girl don’t mind me.’

‘He is helping him and we are now using the same office. We were together this afternoon while Mr. Lategaan was in a staff meeting. Mels told me about how he has been meaning to talk and apologies to me but not giving him that chance. He also told me that he never had a girlfriend and that just came out the other day because of anger. He then told me that he won’t rest this time until I am his. I am so very confused now mom. Talking to him his afternoon made me realize how much I missed him and I am a mess.’

‘You are doing nothing wrong my dear, what’s with the long face? You are about to write your final examination and don’t want you to fail because of this entire men saga.’

‘None of this could make fail mom. I have it under control; I am so ready waiting for the exam! I thought you were going to be…’

‘What? Judge and shout saying I told you, that’s your mess and fix it. No my girl, that won’t help. Give it some days and then you can tell what it is. Cheer up and pray, you know prayer does miracles. Ask guidance from God. You are the only person who can sort this.’

Bay takes comfort from her mom’s words and assured her that all will be all right.

‘Thank you mom, I `knew I could always count on you. I am now feeling much better…’

‘Talking is the medicine to a heart, I always tell you…’

‘Yeah! You always right mom!’

‘I know, wasn’t I right about Mels at the beginning?’

‘Let’s rather not talk about it for now mom. Will do it some other time. I took your advice and now know what to do about it.’

‘All I can say is follow your heart my love…..smile and cheer up, laugh like you always tell people.’

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