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Near and Dear – Episode X

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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I didn’t feel any better at Nathan’s—the things I had hoped might help me get the depressing thoughts off my mind didn’t happen at all. The supposed “big leap didn’t appear the best leap to me,” therefore, I had to leave much later the same day. The journey to Branamah Island did not yield all that I had anticipated from the onset. Upon getting home, I went upstairs and reclined to rest.

“She opened the door and sighted me in those pants; she heaped herself in a mound at a corner and reinforced the laughter.”

Did I tell you that there have been flashes and more flashes of thought of Iyabo, and they have become even more frequent? Moreover, the feelings they evoked had been endearing the few seconds I entertained them. Yes, that’s correct! Maybe I am falling for Iyabo; who knows? 

“Did I tell you that there have been flashes and more flashes of thought of Iyabo, and they have become even more frequent?” Iyabo on my mind.

I was enjoying the reverie when suddenly, a bang hit the front door in three successive knocks. I paid no ear to it; I didn’t want anything that would threaten my chill mood—it held peace and quietness; so, did it offer solace from all the pains and troubles of the real world. So, naturally, I hated whoever it was, knocking, the same way I hated facing reality again. I just wanted to be left alone.

Grudgingly, I pulled off a layer of fluffy blankets that I used in covering my body as the knock persisted, with the bangs getting attention beyond my apartment. I walked to the wardrobe to get something decent to cover my bare upper body. I threw the double wooden doors ajar and cast a glance through the cloths. I gazed steadily on, in apparent confusion about what to pick. At this point, whoever was at the door had been spirited and resumed knocking with a fresh determination. 

Knocking on the door. 

Luckily, my eye caught an overflowing Agbada dress isolated at an extreme corner of the wardrobe; without a second thought, I got into it. I adjusted it this way and that way to make sure I was fully covered. I then hurried downstairs just in time, before the persistent knocker would hack down Mr. Ajayi’s door, which was undoubtedly a given in a matter of few minutes.

I turned the locks leftwards until it made a double click sound before I grabbed the handle to pull the door towards myself, then attempted peering. Kpiiim! My head collided with Iyabo’s forehead and each one of us fell backward. However, I managed to contain mine to just a stagger, but hers was different. She fell backward—butt first across the two short rungs, rolled on her back on the bare earth.

“As a gentleman, I panned away my face instantly so as not to see her accidental indecent exposure, as her long legs were now made bare…” 

As a gentleman, I panned away my face instantly so as not to see her accidental indecent exposure, as her long legs were now made bare, due to the fall, as she was still in her flowing silk nightwear. She had attempted being her usual naughty self, but this time, it boomeranged with a painful bang. She let out a scream, clenched her forehead, and grunted as she writhed in agony. I felt dizzy, but it died down at the sight of her writhing in pains I had inflicted. Instantly, beads of sweat sprouted all over my face. 

Suddenly, a strange feeling of genuine concern and care sprouted me to action. I defied my own pain and the short headache I was feeling. Her wellbeing after this accident superseded mine. I fled the short steps she had fallen across to the ground, sat very close beside her, and exerted some pressure on the point of contact on her forehead.

“I defied my own pain and the short headache I was feeling.”

I had said I’m sorry ten thousand times in the first two minutes. Strangely, the throat didn’t or couldn’t prevent me from doing so. Sitting so close to Iyabo and helping her nurse, her pain had galvanized a reaction that defied the taming the Agbada offered. She sensed it first, paused grunting suddenly, and funnily rolled her eyeballs amidst squeezed brow. She then gave out a peal of weird high-pitched laughter. It didn’t occur that I had been too close for comfort and held her so close all along. I snapped my hand away as if she suddenly became a hot metal, scooting away from her unceremoniously, and fled upstairs crestfallen at the workings of chemistry, physiology, and biology. 

She got up and came after me, cackling throatily like an excited hen, to my room. Hurriedly, I got into tighter jeans trousers and tried to sit calmly and play with my phone. She opened the door and sighted me in those pants; she heaped herself in a mound at a corner and reinforced the laughter. I hadn’t learned to relate with her in a more relaxed atmosphere and less embarrassing situations, how much more now. I didn’t know how else to handle this; I wished I could vanish into the air—Poof!

“…I wished I could vanish into the air—Poof!”

A drop of hot sweat made inroad from my head through my cheek towards my neck; I tamed it with the back of my hand just as quickly as it cascaded. I summoned all the composure I could and remained as calm as I could until she recovered.

…to be continued.

Watch out for Near and Dear – Episode XI 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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1 Comment

  1. Julianne

    July 26, 2021 at 1:05 pm

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