Steps of Love by Ngozi Lovelyn
It was a very busy road, with vehicles maintaining a normal speed limit. People were spotted going about their activities. Road side vendors were spotted attending to customers, while some sat looking out for buyers. Ifunanya was in a tricycle, heading towards supreme supermarket.
As she alighted from the tricycle, which is popularly known as Keke in Nigeria, she spotted a man who looked exactly like Victor, coming down from an exotic car. She quickly paid the Keke rider and hurriedly walked closer to have a clearer view.
“Wait a minute, that’s him. That’s Victor Emenike, that’s Victor” She screamed aloud, in a joyful tone.
Victor turned, and couldn’t believe who his eyes were seeing.
“Ifunanya?” He screamed excitedly as they embraced widely.
Victor was a very tight friend of Ifunanya and Amanda back in the university. They were inseparable friends until Victor dropped out in their third year after having series of carryovers.
“Oh my God! Ify, today is a blessed day. I finally found you. I can’t believe my eyes. You are looking more beautiful” he complemented her amidst cheerful tone
“Thank you so much. I am happy to see you too. Wait, is that your car?” Ifunanya asked, widening eyes in admiration
“Yes, I got it last month” Victor replied, maintaining a cheerful look
“Wow! You are doing good for yourself. Congratulations, I am happy for you” She said so warmly
“Thanks beautiful” Victor appreciated kindly
The word “beautiful” created a new kind of feeling in Ifunanya’s heart. At that spot, she started developing a feeling for Victor.
“Victor, you left without giving a clue to your whereabouts. All our efforts to connect with you went in vain.”
“I was so ashamed, you know. I wasn’t a good student. I know you guys tried alot to help me kick up my GP, but I wasn’t worthy” he said with a faint smile
As he continued explanning why he couldn’t keep contact with them after he left the university, Ifunanya got lost in her thought,
“I can’t believe I’m falling for him. He was our best friend, how come I never felt something for him back then? If he doesn’t ask me out, I’m definitely going to throw the question right to him. He is looking so cute. Wow!” Ifunanya quickly concluded in her heart and then resumed listening to Victor
“But I tried connecting you girls, even on Facebook. It seems you are off from social media. And your numbers, when I call, another person will answer” Victor explained
“We are on Facebook but with different names. And our former lines, we lost our phones, and couldn’t retrieve the numbers, because you were the one who got it for us. Our names and pictures were not on the data. The process of retrieving them got more stressful, so, we decided to abandon it and got new lines” Ifunanya replied, blushing, expecting Victor to notice she was having a thing for him.
“Ok, now that I’ve seen you, having your number again would make me happier” Victor requested, with a calm charming smile
“With all pleasure” Ifunanya said and started wondering in her heart “What does he mean by that? Is he falling for me too?”As she tried to call her number for him, Victor interrupted.
“And how is Amanda?”
“She is very fine. She is going to shout if I tell her who I saw today” She replied, with her white teeth making way for a smile
“Please tell me she is not married, please” Victor blurted, eagerly waiting to hear a “no” as an answer
But the question wasn’t what Ifunanya was expecting.
“And what if she is married?” She asked, with sheer panic brushing her heart. She doesn’t want it to be what she was thinking.
“Ify, I’ve seen women, but to tell you the truth, none has appealed to my heart like Amanda does. God has finally answered my prayers by leading you to me, today. I believe you girls are still friends. Please, can I have her number?” Victor warmly requested, rejoicing in his heart, thanking God for making that day special for him.
Ifunanya continued looking at him without knowing what to reply him
Victor continued, “I can’t wait to hear her voice again. Her kind smiling face hasn’t left my heart. I still hear the sounds of her laughter each time I’m alone in my room. I only realized I was inlove with her years after separating from you girls”
“No Victor, don’t do this to me. How can you be inlove with Amanda?” Ifunanya became sad, but without showing it.
“Judging by the look of your face, does it mean, you are not friends with her anymore?” Victor asked, observing the sudden change in Ifunanya’s facial expression.
“We are friends, but I don’t think Amanda is the woman for you. She belongs to another” she rushed the words
Victor gave her a strong questioning look.
“Yes, Amanda is happily married” Ifunanya added
Victor got weak, as he maintained silence for about 31 seconds.
“But, why does my heart keep telling me that, Amanda is the woman for me?” He sighed deeply, nurturing disappointment.
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© Ngozi Lovelyn, 2020