By Mr Ben
“You are a nice person. Don’t let them take you for granted.”
He halted at his door and faced them, “Thank you for your concern. Have a good night ladies.”
“Good night doctor,” they sighed heavily and returned to their flat.
Chinyere looked him up and down, folded her arms across her chest and stood in front of him like a stumbling block.
“Chinyere, Chinyere, Chinyere!” he waved a pointed finger at her.
She pursed her lips, “I am only looking out for you.”
“Who made you my guardian angel or my bodyguard?” his tone of voice rose a notch.
She grimaced. She didn’t like the fact that he didn’t appreciate her gesture of care.
He looked up at her, “I am old enough to be your father.”
“You are not my father,” she hissed and stepped backwards.
He heaved a sigh of distress, “Regardless… look young woman; I know you like me…”
She lowered her gaze. She had fallen for him since he moved into the compound but, he had always related with her like a child. She had
hoped that he would see her like a grown woman and learn to love her the way she loved him.
“Look… you are a good girl… but, I cannot go out with you,” he searched her pale face.
She bit at her lower lip. His words wounded her pining heart.
“I am not a pedophile,” he hoped he would be able to get through to her that night.
She looked into his honey coloured eyes, “I know that. It doesn’t matter what people might think… it is ‘you’ and ‘me’ that matters,” her eyes pleaded for understanding.
He raised his head and looked upwards. Why do teenagers have such thick skulls? Nothing ever got through to them.
Lord Jesus help me out here. She is not listening to me.
“Listen to me,” he gave her a long steady look, “I don’t love you, I cannot love you and I will never ever love you the way you want me to.”
Colour drained from her face. Wet dark eyes probed honey coloured firm ones. She gulped spittle, turned around and fled.
“Chinyere!” he took some steps forward, and then exhaled loudly. He ran his fingers through his brown cropped curly hair and stifled a yawn.
He backed up and pressed the door bell.
He saw Misi standing at the doorway clad in a knee length straight brown dress with a pink bow at the waist line. The colour blended with her chocolate brown skin, making her look fresh, clean and desirable. Her dark brown shoulder length hair was curled at the tip, giving her a stylish look.
“Welcome…” she felt uncomfortable under his gentle scrutiny. There was a gleam in his honey coloured eyes as he stared at her.
“Evening, how are you doing?” he stepped into the apartment.
“Fine,” she closed the door and followed him into the sitting room.
“Evening everyone,” he met his sister and the Philips watching the television.
“Welcome,” Eno winked at him.
“Evening doctor,” Mr. and Mrs. Philips greeted him.
“I hope there is food in this house,” he directed his gaze at his sister.
“Yes, I will set the dining,” Misi responded.
“Good, thanks,”he glanced at her and headed for his bedroom.
She hurried into the kitchen and brought out his bowl of ogbonna soup and a plate of semovita out of the microwave. She and Eno had made soup and stew that evening. She set it on a tray and carried it to the dining. She returned to the kitchen and brought out a pack of fruit juice from the refrigerator and picked a clean glass cup in the cupboard. She arranged it on the dining and dashed back to the kitchen. She filled an empty plastic bowl with water and reached out for one of the napkins hanging on the window. She took it to the dining table and joined Eno on the settee. She and Eno had hit it off that day. She found out that she worked at Wazobia radio station and coincidentally, they needed an accountant. Eno called her boss that noon and an interview date was scheduled for her. She believed that she would get the job. God had turned things around for her family and everything was working out for their good. She noticed when the doctor started eating. He was in his boxers and a white singlet. His fair skin made him to look like a half-caste. She wondered if his curly hair was natural or in perm. There were times when she was tempted to run her fingers through it.
How will it feel like?
She cleared her head. It wouldn’t be wise to develop feelings for someone that had decided to help her family with no strings attached. Relationship was the last thing on her mind anyway. Her last boyfriend had broken up with her when he got an opportunity to travel out of the country. He didn’t want a long distance relationship and he wasn’t ready to get married. Her family situation had also killed any desire to get involve with someone else. She might be ready to date again once they were back on their feet. She saw him leave the room. He must have finished eating. She got up and walked to the dining. She cleared the table and carried the empty dishes into the kitchen.
Eno left everyone in the sitting room and went to one of the guest rooms to sleep. She had told Misi to be ready early the next morning so that she could be interviewed by her boss and hopefully gain employment at the Radio Station. She liked the girl, despite her family’s financial condition; there was still an air of affluence about her. She had a calm and peaceful aura. It had been a while since she had met someone who was so full of gratitude and had a firm faith in God. If she was in her shoes, she wasn’t sure how she would have reacted or coped. The Philips had stood the test of time. They were an encouragement to all that God never failed.
Misi came in and joined her on the bed. Her parents and the doctor were still in the sitting room watching the news. She needed to wake up early the next day. She couldn’t afford to sleep late and risk waking up late in the morning. In a minute or two, they were both fast asleep.
Bassey called Tomisin aside and they spoke in low tones. His wife discerned that they wanted privacy. She bid them good night and left the room.
“I have secured an accommodation for you and your family.”
Tomisin gaped in surprise. He prayed within that God would bless the young man. The Lord had used a perfect stranger to rescue them when friends and family turned their backs on them.
“It is a two bedroom apartment right here in Ikeja.”
He clasped his hands together, “Thank you, thank you so much.”
“You are welcome sir.”
“God will bless you,” his eyes glistered with tears.
“Amen. My parents and siblings donated furniture, electronics, kitchen utensils, food stuff, provisions, and a host of other things.”
“Wow!” his excited gaze held the younger man’s happy ones.
“You can move in tomorrow if you like.”
“That is good news, thank you so much.”
“I am happy to be used by the Lord to help you and your family… just thank God.”
He nodded in appreciation. He couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. His heart expanded with joy, “God will bless you and your family beyond your wildest dreams.”
Tomisin looked heavenwards, “Thank you so much Jesus. Oh God thank you.”
Bassey excused himself and went into his room. He would speak to his parents about how they could integrate Mr. and Mrs. Philips in their
work force. They had an outlet in Ikeja. The couple could work there and spend less on transportation. His brother had not given him feedback concerning vacancy in his place of work. He needed to get Misi a good job too. He had an accountant already in his clinic. If not, he would have employed her. He lay on the bed and soon drifted off to sleep. His dreams were completely taken over by the Philips’ daughter. She was singing and dancing.
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