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Near and Dear – Episode VII

Near and Dear is a fictional story of Ikenna Obi Okonkwo, a college graduate who neglected the opportunities of picking up usable skills alongside academics while in college in Nigeria—where a college degree alone no longer makes the bold promise of placing food on the table. His graduation was an awakening to the ugly realities of societal difficulties. Could he ever get a chance at life, save a miracle of some sort happened? Clenching tenaciously to reverence, honor, morals, values, and persistence, he caught a break via newfound relationships, love, and lessons as he began to breathe a new air of success and relief. You want to know more, follow along.

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She walked down to the foot of the gatekeeper’s house and appealed to Mr. Zach to slide open the gate. She then turned and marshaled me, “go wait for me by the Wrangler,” and I proceeded to the car to wait while she disappeared into the house one more time. “Hmmm, that’s all you know how to do, Commander-In-Chief! Can I say Alpha Female or what?” I murmured.

“She turned, went around the car to the driver’s seat, and we fled, cruising fast past the city streets.” 

She stared straight at my face, making sure I connected. She then smiled dubiously but quickly twisted her lips inwards to screen it, shook her head, and jumped into the wheel in a tomboy fashion. Like an overwhelmed teenager, I turned around and joined her in the car. However, instead of joining her in the vehicle’s front by sitting on the passenger’s side, I decided to sit at the back. All her endeavors to dissuade me from sitting there failed.

“…I decided to sit at the back. All her endeavors to dissuade me from sitting there failed.”

“Hey! Comm’n what happened to the front seat?” She queried casually. “Nothing really, I am just flowing with the impulse, kindly grant that I sit here,” I pleaded as nicely as I could muster the courage to do. “Okay, if that would help you feel better,” she responded and shrugged, baring both palms. “I won’t allow you to add heart failure to the imbroglio the day had already offered, to exacerbate an already complicated day,” I fumed under my breath. I heaved a sigh of relief when she didn’t press further. However, the distance did not in any way reduce the tension I have had to harbor all day. I still felt her presence all over me and was going to run out of breath each time she took her eyes off the road momentarily to peer into the rear mirror.

She engaged the gear-moving the lever from P to D, blared the horn twice in quick succession, then rolled the car slowly towards the gate. Once outside, she took off spontaneously at top speed-making the engine groan heartily. I scrambled for the seat belt with one hand, fought with the other to maintain my balance as inertia surged me close to rolling on the floor of the SUV. She let out a giggle, lifted the shade off her face, and mounted it loosely over her head. I looked up into the mirror, where our eyes locked momentarily. She dispassionately apologized for her failed plan to throw me off and then fled. On a different day—that I have no injury to nurse—I should relish the expertise she handled the steering wheel.

“My instinct had told me it was to the pharmacy, and it had been correct.”

I didn’t know where we were going, but I did not dare to ask. My instinct had told me it was to the pharmacy, and it had been correct. She drove in and chose a spot on the parking lot. She alighted and commanded, more than instructed, “Stay put in the car; I will be back before you know it.” She adjusted her beret further left and dabbed a hand over her hair. She walked briskly into the shop, pulling on the handle of the glass door towards herself, and disappeared into the store.

She looked infectiously beautiful, her grouchy attitude regardless. Glancing in her direction as she walked away, I could only say from my perspective that her physique is a wonderland at best. The elegance of her masterpiece frame flowed with her catwalk gait. “She has enormous energy—and I like it,” I caught myself muttering. I tried to fight the thought but lost flat, as I could only end up remembering how her pinched lips looked so inviting while she tried to hide a smile earlier. Moments later, she returned with two packs; one of which was drugs’, then a second, which contained all manner of goodies and ’a get-well soon’ card.

Get Well Soon Card.

Before getting to the car, I had been phubbing on my phone. I glanced up just when she emerged from the store, and I could not go back to going through my phone. Sometimes I wonder at the psychology of our make-up as men. It is often natural for men to experience triggers when they see the opposite gender that appeals to them. Hence, would the notion be correct that Iyabo appealed to me that I was always stealing glances at her whenever I could or when shyness permits? Am I falling for her? If not for the tinted car windows, my admiration would have been arrested by her charming gaze. Instead, as I watched, each step she took plunged me into an imaginative spiral. Snapback to sane reality, Iykay, snapback.

I loved the feelings of admiration surfing up, although I could not say the same about the thought that birthed it. At this juncture, I will attribute its source to the primordial instinct of the psychology of being created a man—I am only human, being human at best. “The Ajayi’s are not in your league. Internal police warned. She opened the door to the seat where I sat, handed in all the items to me, brought a card out from one of the bags in my hand, opened it, then recited what the inscription it held, ‘get well soon, Iykay,’ she added softly.

“She turned, went around the car to the driver’s seat, and we fled, cruising fast past the city streets.” 

She turned, went around the car to the driver’s seat, and we fled, cruising fast past the city streets. I was grateful, not just for the gifts alone, but especially for not being required to get down from the car nor made to stand up for any reason. I was happy where I was, relishing the gifts, and appreciating Iyabo in my mind for what she did, who she was, and the elegance she exuded. 

As she drove, she looked fixedly into my face during her glances at me via the rearview mirror. Her face was expressionless at best. We drove home in silence. Who even had the strength, no, the courage, for a conversation after all? Finally, I got down, forced a thank you through the wounds, and headed to the bedroom upstairs.

As she drove, she looked fixedly into my face during her quick glances at me via the rearview mirror.

I had barely sat down when a soft knock on the door announced someone was coming. I begrudgingly descended to attend to it. It was Iyabo. In her usual manner, she brushed past me by the passage as usual. She assumed my favorite spot, cross-legged, and leaned back on the couch. The living room temporarily scented nicely after the perfume she was wearing. I drew in a long air to fill my lungs to the brim as I trailed.

“Had anything to eat today?” She asked. “Yes, your Highness,” I responded. Her eyeballs bulged in a shock. Then, a beautiful smile parted her lips to unveil a perfect dentition. I was even more surprised at myself and wandered where that gut had been borrowed. “Okay…,” she said slowly. “Take the drugs, after which you go get some rest; I’m off to my room. I need to rest too”.

“Oh, I thought you were a robot. I muttered as she was leaving the room.

…to be continued.

Watch out for “Near and Dear – Episode VIII” on Oaekpost.

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Caleb Ogbonna Onwe is a guest contributor of Oaekpost LLC, a US-based online media company. He is a seasoned on-air personality, a communication expert, an entrepreneur, and a writer specializing in the prose genre. He recreates experiences using fictional tales in the hope to impact, alter and influence character positively. His area of specialty on Oaekpost are the categories, Fiction and Good News. You can reach him at cogb.onwe.gc@oaekpost.com.

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