Feeling so out of place, Ekanem decides to return to her room to have a well deserved Sunday siesta.
She wakes up after some hours to finish up with her lecture notes .
She remembers that Philip was in the house earlier and goes to the living room to check if he is still in her house.
Ekanem sees Chichi reading a novel on the sofa and says hi to her.
“Where is Philip?” , she asks Chichi with curiosity .
“He left after watching the game .He didn’t want to wake you up ” she replies .
“Hmmm, okay”,Ekanem replies. She eats her dinner while watching her favourite TV series and goes back to her room to prepare for the busy week ahead.
Ekanem wakes up early the next day and drives off to work to teach her students.
There’s an indescribable feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment which she gets whenever she teaches . A surge of inner happiness is the closest description .It makes it more worthwhile whenever she gets positive feedbacks from students and senior colleagues.
Ekanem has always regarded herself as a hardworking , loving and down to earth lady despite the fact that her parents are wealthy.
Her mother Mrs Akpan, gave birth to her 3 years after marriage and her only brother, Michael 12 years after. Her dad, Dr Akpan runs a successful medical practice at Abuja.
Ekanem has never really been in a serious relationship until now.She ran miles away from any guy who came too close to dating her. All she wanted while she was schooling in England was to focus on her academics and graduate with the best grades.
It however seemed like no eligible bachelors with admirable husband qualities took interest in her when she started her PhD programme.
They were either after her body or her family’s financial status. She had to return to Nigeria and accept being match made to Philip after years of being taunted by her mum for being supposedly too selective of men .
Ekanem walks towards her car after teaching. She sees her colleague Richard approaching her with a smile on his face.
“Hi Eky” he says to her with excitement.
“Hi Richie! “, she replies with a smile.
“How have you been? .I am going to have lunch. Have you had any?” , he asks with a soft voice.
“I am actually very hungry, why not!.Which restaurant do you have in mind? ” , she replies.
“Ekanem, I know that you love mama Bisi’s party jollof rice .We could go to her bukka on campus”,he says to her.
“Hmmm, how do you always manage to know what my taste buds crave” , she replies like an excited toddler.
She drives behind him to the local food joint and they enjoy a hearty meal of firewood cooked jollof rice garnished with peppered assorted meat.
After the meal ,he sits beside her in her car as they discuss virtually everything that concerns her.
Richard kola Daniels had become not just a colleague but a friend and brother she could count on these past few years.
They became close friends a couple of months after she started working in the University. They know virtually everything about each other.
She regards him as a brother from another mother.With Richard there’s no pretence whatsoever. She is completely herself with him.
His sense of humour is second to none. He always knows the right words to say that would put a smile on her beautiful face.
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“I have to leave now.I still need to make a stop at the coffee shop to buy some snacks”, Ekanem says to Richard .
“Okay dear see you later .You’re now their loyal customer. I haven’t been there in a while” , he replies .
They hug each other and say their good byes. Richard returns to his car and drives off.
Ekanem attempts starting her car .She however experiences a temporary resistance in starting her engine.
She is relieved when the car begins to move.
She hears her phone ring as she drives but decides to return the call when she arrives her destination.
Ekanem finally gets to Ryan’s coffee shop. She enters the shop and places her order.
“Can I have 3 blue berry muffins and a slice of carrot cake” she says to the cashier.
As her order is being packaged , she sees Toks as he carries some boxes from the front door to the back of the counter.
“Good evening madam! I hope you got home safely that night? “he asks with a smile.
“Yes I did. Thanks again”,she replies with a smile .
She collects her order and enters her car. Ekanem picks up her phone to redial Philip’s line which was busy some minutes earlier.
She tries calling his line one last time before driving off but it indicates that he is on another call.
She starts her vehicle and once again, it refuses to start. All her attempts to get the car to restart prove abortive.
“What’s wrong with this car?”she says to herself .Having no clue of how to make the car work, she decides to call Philip again for some assistance.
He picks up her call as soon as it starts ringing.
“Hi Philip “she says to him.
“Hi Ekanem. Why don’t you like picking up your calls?”, he asks .
“I tried calling you back.My car has refused to start .Can you meet me at Ryan’s coffee shop if you are free” ,she replies .
“Okay ! ,wait for me inside the shop “, he replies and cuts the line immediately .
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To be continued