The sun rose and everyone went to their usual business. They went to their various working places and schools. It was the last week before the end of the exams. Bay was in the exam room writing her last paper and she was counting some minutes. She was counting the last minutes before she could be done with the final examinations and takes a long break from her books. She was no longer angry at Mels with about conversation they had the other day
She sees no valid reason to be angry at him. She learned that one gains nothing from being angry at someone but to hurt her and cause some suffering. If someone did you wrong, forgive them even if they haven’t apologized. Not forgiving and forgetting what they did to you is more like holding oneself a prisoner. Every time you see or hear about them, you get angry and being angry all the time isn’t good for one’s health. It’s more like putting a dagger and each time you press it you are the one getting the pain.
There is a smell of Mr. Lategaan cologne all over the office. Bay cannot ignore it anymore. Confused and terrified she walks out of the door to go look for someone to explain what is going on there. As she turns around after locking the door she sees someone who looks exactly like Mr. Lategaan at a distance. The man is a bit lighter in complexion and looked even more handsome. She cant get a better look because the man had shades on and bay was shy to take a good look at the man. The man is now coming to her side and closer he came, the stronger the cologne smelled. Bay can’t stare at the ground anymore but took her eyes off the stranger. Out of shock she stops and drops the keys she had on her hand.
‘Is that you?’ Bay as she takes some steps backward.
‘In flesh, is that a way to greet me? Come here.’
‘Don’t you dare come closer to me.’
‘Bay! Do not do this, can you please walk with me in there so we talk about this please babe!’
‘Don’t you babe me, do you know what I went through while you were having fun with whoever you were with.’
Mr. Lategaan picks up Bay’s keys. He goes to the door and opens it, then went back to call Bay.
‘Bay can you please go inside, we cant talk here.’
‘Who said I want to talk to you?’
‘Bay I am only asking for 5 minutes of your time. I understand you are angry but please.’
They both walks in the office in silence, for neither of them said any word. Mr Lategaan closes the door behind them and goes straight to his desk and start searching for his bag.
Bay begins to swing to and fro she was waiting to hear from Mr. Lategaan before she could say anything. Staying there with him for some seconds seemed like a very long time, she steeped in front of his table and looked closely at him.
‘Look you have 3 minutes now, remember you asked for 5 minutes.’
‘There we go, here it is.’ Mr Lategaan gives Bay a white paper. She slowly opens it and started reading.
‘And!’ Bay shrugs her shoulders.
‘You read and understood it?’
‘Yes! You are offered a place to study pharmacy at the uk and what do you want me to do or say, congratulations? Oh congratulations! You deserve it.’
‘Have you checked the date when that was sent to me?’
‘You bastard! You were keeping all that away from me why? You thought I would bewitch you or something? I shouldn’t have trusted you in the beginning. I knew you were going to hurt me at some point.’
‘Bay! Look I know you are angry at me for keeping all this from you. I did all this for you because I did not want to hurt you.
‘You didn’t want to hurt me? Do you know what I went through while you were out there? You are going to the UK because you don’t want to hurt me? What are you saying?’
‘Bay! After receiving this letter, I was confused. The other part of me wanted to break the news to you but the other held me from telling you. It was the hardest decision I had to make. I knew you would be excited for me for the scholarship and at the same time it would hurt you knowing you were only going to see me after a very long time.’
‘And when did you start lying to me? It’s crazy how we forward with some things and go the some steps back in others.’ said Bay
‘I know you hate lies bay and especially if it involves you.’
‘Oh! You remembered, did you do it to see how I would react; did you just do it to hurt me? Huh?’
‘Bay! All I did was to protect you. Leaving here to another area wasn’t that easy for me. I stayed there for some important weeks in an area that I was not familiar with. I had to switch my phone off, yet my health condition was unstable. My heart always beat fast whenever I thought of you and I always felt like screaming. Whether you unbelievably Bay, I did it for you and out of loving you. I didn’t want to tell you that because I knew that it would disturb you and make you fail the examination.’
‘You didn’t think that your disappearance would make me fail? Not seeing or hearing from you made me go mad. I was hurting inside and didn’t want to show it out to people. It took me some days to find myself again.’
‘I went through a rough time like you did Bay, I sacrificed everything for you Bay because I love you Bay. Why is it so difficult for you to understand. Do you think I enjoyed it there all alone? I would have told you without considering your feelings. And because I do care for you I did all this. But its fine believe what you want to believe.’
Bay turns away from him and wipes her face.
‘Do you still love me?’ Bay asks.
‘More than anything Bay. You are still the woman I love.’
‘You’ve already lost me as I have fallen for Mels.’
‘I knew he would take care of you and I am happy for you.’
‘Ummm! I… he?’
Bay widely open the door and slams it as she goes outside. She is so angry and didn’t want to talk to anyone she meets on her way who greeted her. All she wanted was Mels’s head. Mels was in the classroom with his other classmates. Their heads were in the last exam paper revising for the last paper that they were to write on the next day. Bay just knew where to find him. She came in and stood by the door. Mels couldn’t see her as his back is facing the door.
‘Oh! What a pleasant surprise.’ Says the crowd.
‘What do we owe this visit, or you will also be writing tomorrow? Thought you were done with all this.’ The school head girl asks.
Everyone smile and Bay tries to put a smile on her face. Mels could see right through her and did not want to believe what was on his mind.
‘Mels! Can I please talk to you.’ Bay asks.
Mels stands from his chair. ‘I will be back guys.’
He and Bay steps out of the room. Mels closes the door behind. They stand in front of the room. Those in the classroom or at a distance could see they are quarrelling but cant get what they were saying because their voices are very low.
‘You are much of a muchness, how could you?’ Bay asks.
‘What is it Bay?’
‘You and Mr. Lategaan are practically the same thing. Liars!’
‘Is Mr. Lategaan already back?’
‘Didn’t he tell you he is back because you and him are best buddies. Yes he is back for your information and we just had a chat, is what he told me the truth?’
‘Answer me and tell me it isn’t true Mels.’
‘I am afraid it is Bay, as much as I trust him, I hope he told you nothing but the truth Bay.’
‘You lied to me Mels.’
‘Bay! You are missing the point here.’
‘Am I? tell me what’s the point then, tell me…’
‘Bay! Mr. Lategaan did all this because he loves you. He never wanted to see you hurt. He did all this so you could forget about him; he wanted me close to you so…’
‘Oh! This was a set up, you never loved me Mels?’
‘Bay we did all this because we care for you.’
‘Tell it to the marines.’
‘Bay! Nothing was a setup here. You know Mr. Lategaan haa some heart problems. Imagine himself alone in an area he is not used to. Do you think he enjoyed it? He did that because he loves you and cares for you. He didn’t want to see you hurt. He sacrificed all he had for you Bay and the last thing you could be doing is giving him a hard time.’
‘A hard time Mels, are you listening to yourself?’
‘We lied to you Bay but it was for the good. It also hurts me to lie to you every day. We knew you were going to find out about this one day but we wanted it to be after you examination. We knew you were going to lose your concentration if you found out about this and that you could fail this exam.’
‘Enough with all that…’ she sobs.
‘Come here’ he takes her hand.
‘I know I haven’t told you this Bay. I haven’t found the right time to do so but now it is the right time. Bay Brittle you complete Mels Dickens. You make me feel like a real man, with you I feel like I can tackle anything that comes my way, good or bad. I look for another tomorrow each day and each day passes like a rising star. I want to take you as my wife Bay. If it was that simple, the process and all that I would make you my wife now. I’d die for you bay. I can’t stand to see you hurt my love and…’
Bay’s eyes fill with tears and they start flowing down her cheeks. She can’t stop staring and smiling at Mels.
‘Stop crying sweetheart. People will think I did something bad to see you cry…’
‘Hmm! Let them think whatever they want, but if they are thinking exactly like you just did. I will tell them that I am feeling the opposite of what they were thinking.’
‘Look me in the eyes Bay. Do you feel the same way about me Bay?’
‘I don’t know how you feel about me but I do have these strong feelings for you Mels, I am very much attracted to you and I hope they are not lying to me.’
‘Bay Brittle! Mels Dickens, the man standing in front of you here loves you so badly. You are all I think of these days and I want you to be mine. I want us to be together for the rest of our living days Bay. I love you and haven’t said this lately but that’s how I feel about you.’ He holds up Bay’s hands.
The quarrel between the two of them that could be told by someone from a distance some minutes back was now turning into romance. Those in the classroom were still watching silently looking as if they were watching a movie, they were looking for what’s going to happen next and they were all expecting a good end.
There were no words that could come from Bay’s mouth. She couldn’t help smiling and staring at Mels. They came close to one another and started kissing and all those that were in the classroom started cheering and clapping. Bay and Mels were surprised to hear and seeing theM doing that. Bay lay in Mels’s shoulders because of shyness.
‘Mels! Go back to your people, I think they want you. Look at them staring at us.’ said Bay as she was pulling away from mels
‘Let them stare sweetheart. I will see them after enjoying myself here with you. Mels pulls her closer to him.
‘Mels!’ Bay calls.
‘Okay okay! I will definitely see you after this. Don’t go home before I see you.’ Mels kisses her forehead and goes in the classroom while Bay goes away.
On her return to the office Bay finds Mr. Lategaan packing his stuff in some boxes. One could tell that he is troubled by something or he is not happy. Sadness is written all over his face. Bay slowly closes the door as she is getting in and Mr. Lategaan can’t notice Bay’s existence.
‘Can I help you with those?’ she pats his shoulder.
‘Oh! Hi what did you just say?’ he asks as if he didn’t hear anything that Bay said.
‘I asked if I could help you…’
‘Oh! I would love that, go ahead help me.’
He keeps on looking at Bay as if they were strangers.
‘Stop doing that you are killing me.’ Bay says.
‘Ummh! What are you talking about?’
‘Stop starring at me, you are making me uncomfortable.’
‘…We are cool, I have nothing against you so stop giving me that look. It’s like I am going to do something bad to you and you just want to get prepared.’
‘When are you leaving?’
‘My flight is tomorrow in the evening, I will be going to the airport by 3pm.’
‘Oh! Man why didn’t you come yesterday or the day before so we can have some time together. Is this some kind of a punishment?’
‘I am so sorry Bay. I thought I was doing all this to spare you heartache but it seems like I created it.’
‘So when are we leaving to the airport?’
‘Are you kidding me? Oh my God? You are accompanying me there, does that mean you forgave me.’ Mr. Lategaan asks in a thrilled voice.
‘What’s with so many questions? You should know by now that I am not the type to hold grudges.’
‘Oh my God come here…’
Mr Lategaan holds and lifts her up. He turns around in excitement and everyone passing by the office could hear all the laughter and happiness. They were stopped by Mels as he slammed the door walking inside the office.
‘Oh! Don’t stop because of me, I will join you later…’ Mels says as he pulls a chair to take a look.
‘Who said you were invited?’ Bay asks.
‘Ahem! I wonder how you pulled all that;’ Mels turns to Mr. Lategaan.
‘Whew!’ Mr Lategaan pulls a chair to sit.
‘This one is a nut hard to crack;’
‘Tell me about it.’
‘Yoh! We have all been through hell and I don’t even want to go there, tragic moments…’
‘Did you just call me hell, did I hear you right?’ Bay asks as she sits on the desk.
‘Oh! No! Don’t cause another trouble; we have had enough of it...’ Mels says.
‘Are you calling me a trouble maker Mels?’
‘Bay can you please…’
‘No! you listen and tell me if I did hear you well, were you calling me a trouble maker and hell?’
‘Bay! We are sorry if at all we said anything to upset you. It was never our intension.’ Mels explains.
‘Are you laughing at us?’ Mels asks.
‘You are so funny guys; I mean you should just see your faces now. I just did that so you leave the topic that you were to discuss.’ Bay explains.
‘Oh! Man you got us Bay don’t you ever do that again. You will give us silent deaths.’
They all laugh.
‘That could never be repeated, I promise.’
‘I am very glad we could pour oil on troubled waters continued Bay.’
‘Yoh! Mels and I are out of the wood. We can now take some fresh air.’ Mr. Lategaan says.
‘This is our eleventh hour I guess, anything you have for us?’ Bay asks.
‘Don’t say it as if I am dying or never going to come back, of course I will. I love this place and I will be coming on every vacation. Mels take extra care of this beautiful woman here. Treat her well, she deserves it. I don’t want to hear that she is out of your life, if you ever think of it fight for her, fight for what you have already built.’
Mels nods and smiles.
‘Bay I’ve seen how this little man makes you happy. You smiling and I am glad to see you happy again. Seeing you unhappy is the last thing I want to think of. Don’t let other loose girls take your man. Don’t leave him because you found a new boyfriend or anything of that sort.’ Mr. Lategaan turns to look at Bay.
‘Don’t worry about that, there is no way we can break up. We love another very much and our future together is all we can talk about now.’ Mels
‘What is the way forward?’ Bay asks.
‘I will be going to spend seven years of my studies abroad but I will be coming during school holidays like I have said.’
‘Seven years is a lot of time man!’ Said Bay
‘Yoh! After completing that I will no longer be teaching, I will apply for other jobs in pharmacies or any other health facility. I will be in my early thirties and that is the time I want to say I do.’
‘Yeah yeah!’ Bay claps.
‘Hahaha! Yah and after that I want kids. I want to have them after marrying the woman I have chosen. That was going to be Bay but unfortunately. Umm! Yah that’s that.’ Mr. Lategaan explains.
‘I also want kids, bunch of them and wonder if this lady is up for it. Ahem!’ Mels clears his voice.
Bay rolls her eyes.
‘Bay! Aren’t you going to comment on what he just said?’ Mr. Lategaan asks.
‘No! Just wondering where he is going to find that woman who is going to agree to have a bunch of kids for him and I wonder if that woman won’t be working. And are they going to find a nanny that easily who will be taking care of their football team.’
‘Aaah! Come on there are plenty of people out there looking for jobs. They will be glad to take care of that football team if we can call it that and of course my wife will be working. She is going to be one of the few women holding top positions in the country believe me.’
‘God!’ Bay shakes her head.
Bay continues ‘…I am going to have three kids like my mom; I want two beautiful girls like me and one boy boy looking handsome like his daddy. I love kids so much. They always bring happiness to their parents and the whole family. There are always some smiles and laughter whenever they are around. They bring joy until they are ten when they start telling you about the type of shoes they want to wear, how they want their hair done and start choosing what they want to eat.’
‘Are you telling me that you gave your mother that headache?’ Mr. Lategaan asks?
‘Ummm! Not really but I believe each child goes through that stage. I don’t know if it is to impress our friends with staff or what but I know it happens.’ said Bay
‘I cant wait to have that boy boy looking like me, Mels junior, lets agree here in front of Mr. Lategaan that we are going to call him Emjay, Mels junior please.’
‘We will talk about names when that time comes; right now is not the time.’
‘Let me tell you these guys, my mom once said after the death of my older sister. I could see the sadness in my mom’s eyes and each person could tell part of my mom was ripped from her.’
IT just feels so incredible to think of it. The feeling you have cannot be faked and no one can come close to imitate it. It is a bond, a connection that cannot be easily destroyed. You feel ill too when they are not physically or mentally well. You will be the first to notice the change when it does occur. You might shout or lay a hand and it`s always of a good course, it is not to hurt or destroy but a way to show and lead to the right way and the shouting is simply because you are scared. Scared because you know they are going to get hurt and it is going to kill you seeing them in that state. You might always be at loggerheads and always passing harsh words but one would definitely wish death upon them to think of another older, it grow even more to see them become what you always wished for. The stupid jokes they pass on makes you laugh, and the laughter does not stop when they learn to speak and cannot pronounce some words. Knowing that you created part of this nature bring nothing but joy to oneself. You want to give more to the world. You see the reason to stay alive. And you do everything to make sure that, that little creation has a better living. No matter your living condition, you will never watch them go to bed dying, seeing them dead is the last one would wish for. Happiness is all that they bring to you as you watch them grow on an empty stomach or with a dry mouth. You will do it all to share whatever you have with them even if it is a drop of water or breadcrumbs.