It was the best two months of my life. He worked till 4pm, five days a week and we only got to chat from around 5pm every working day. We however got to spend every afternoon together on weekends.
He loved and adored me. Again, I can’t really say why exactly but isn’t that what love is all about? We never had an argument and he always pampered me.
On my twentieth birthday, he took me to the mall and I shopped to my satisfaction. He ordered for me a huge cake and a few of my friends came over to my place later in the evening for the little get-together I arranged. He was not present though, as I wasn’t sure how dad would have received him. It was so much fun, I hadn’t been so loved my entire life.
Oh, I left for the NYSC camp the following week and he was visibly crushed. He seemed to be addicted to me and the thought of not seeing me for an extended period of time saddened him. I could have sworn he had tears ladened in his eyes. He was mad at me for not telling him sooner though and I had to placate him with a little bit of romantic gestures which translated to more elaborate acts.
I was posted to Abuja for my NYSC unexpectedly. Dad had boasted that his friend at the NYSC office at Ibadan had promised to help place me in Lagos. He was so confident that I couldn’t doubt him. Well, Abuja wasn’t that bad actually, being the country’s capital and all.
Camp was boring and lonely for me, I barely got close with anybody and the only lasting conversations I had were with my bunkmate. Actually, we never bonded, she was such a terribly filthy girl. She was from the North and she didn’t in anyway dissuade me from the tales I’ve heard before hand. We quarreled most of the time but I realized there was no point in it all, after all we would be out of our transient cage in a matter of days.
The drills were as exhaustive as they were unnecessary. I often wondered what the whole point of the exercise was. Ahmed called and texted me every evening, about the same time we were both free. He was my solace in the camp.
On the final day, everyone faked alluring smiles and hugged friends around. Cliché ‘I’ll miss you’ filled the air as I gently made my way out of the camp with my luggage. My thoughts were firmly fixed on my heartrob and I couldn’t wait to get home. He had sent me money to get an airplane ticket back and I was back in his arms before night fell. I needn’t talk about what ensued.
I was back to Abuja in the first week of 2002. I had to, I was posted to the Federal Ministry of Commerce as one of the neonate accountants and my immediate boss had ordered us to resume in earnest. I wish I could at least enjoy one more week with Ahmed but I didn’t want to start work with a wrong impression, especially as I was hoping to be retained after service.
Working in the ministry was so much fun. Moreso, Abuja was turnt. Although I kept to myself for the whole of the first month at work, it wasn’t long before collegues succeeded in convincing me to explore the city. My immediate boss was alluring, he liked me, in a platonic kind of way mind you, and he seemed to make it his major objective to make sure I enjoyed my stay in the ministry and indeed Abuja. He would take me out for lunch and ring me up on weekends. He genuinely cared, with no strings attached. He used to tell me I reminded him of his sister who was also serving in Lagos at that same time.
Ahmed was part of my everyday life though. He would call me very early in the morning and in the evening. We didn’t get to chat as much as we used to but we nevertheless talked often. He told me about his plan to quit his job and said something about a certain grand plan. I had an inkling he was about to get one of his dad’s businesses even though he said he was going to surprise me when the time came. I didn’t pester him on the matter, as I was waiting for him to.
Four months into the job, I started feeling weird. The height of it was when I became light headed at the office on a Thursday morning and everything went blank. I woke up in the hospital with a certain fair nurse hovering over me. She smiled and left the room. A few minutes later, the doctor walked in and told me I was brought to the hospital after collapsing at the office. He asked how I was feeling and asked if I had been observing my monthly flow. I smiled awkwardly and answered in the affirmative. He saw the certainty in my eyes and smirked.
“Well, it happens,” he said, moving closer to feel my pulse.
“We carried out a pregnancy test on your blood and it came out positive.”
I felt light headed again and fell into a deep, dark sleep.