Ekanem eats the slice of carrot cake she bought earlier with a glass of cold almond milk as she goes through her lecture notes for the following day.
She ignores the missed calls from Philip and goes to bed.
It’s a beautiful morning for Ekanem .She gets prepared for work and eats her breakfast .As she picks her phone from the dining table to book a cab ,her phone rings.
“I just hope this isn’t Philip”, she says to herself. Ekanem picks up the call and says “hello , good morning “.
“Good morning madam, I hope you slept well?”, the male voice says to her.
“Yes I did , thank you. Please may I know who is on the line ? “, she replies .
“Oh! ” the voice says .”Sorry for not introducing myself earlier, this is Tochukwu. I just called to inform you about your car.The car mechanic I called for you just arrived. Will you be able to come to the shop now? “he says to her.
“That’s great! .Thanks alot for your help. I am on my way”, she replies.
Ekanem eventually gets a cab to take her to the coffee shop. She goes into the shop when she arrives to meet Toks and the mechanic.
“Madam you are welcome” they both say to her with smiles on their faces.
They all go outside to where her car is packed. The car mechanic whose name is Victor, goes into the car to diagnose the car’s problem.
After about 15minutes of standing outside and watching as Victor tries to make the car working again, Toks draws closer to Ekanem and says to her; “please ma, you can actually have a seat inside. I will be here with him , since there’s someone inside attending to customers”.
“Okay thanks. Will have a cup of coffee while I wait”, she replies.
Ekanem goes into the shop and sits at her favourite spot. She drinks her well brewed coffee as she watches the news channel.
After some minutes, the two men return to where she is seated. Victor diagnoses the car’s problem and mentions the part of the car that needs replacement.
She pulls Toks aside and says to him;” I hope you know this guy very well?” .
“Yes madam, don’t be afraid. He is trustworthy and equally an expert in car repairs”, he replies with a reassuring look on his face.
“Okay! She says to him and gives him the money Victor requested for the faulty car part.
Toks gives Victor the money and returns to meet Ekanem .”You can leave the car here and go to work “he says to her .
“I don’t have a morning lecture today .It’s just my personal project work which wanted to use the library for this morning”, she replies with a smile.
“Okay ma”, he says to her.
“Can you stop calling me Ma. Your making me feel old.My name is Ekanem ” she says to him.
“Okay! ” , he replies with a smile.
Ekanem looks at him from the corner of her eyes. His fitted mustard coloured branded tshirt and the black denim trousers did justice to his well built physique.
“Would you like to try something from today’s specials?” , he asks .
” I have had breakfast ,thanks anyway” ;she replies.
“You will enjoy Ryan’s special kidney pie” he says to her.
“Sounds mouth-watering but I will just have water” , she replies.
After some minutes,Toks approaches her table with a glass of water.He looks at her as he places the glass of water containing ice cubes and a thin slice of lemon in front of her. Ekanem quickly avoids his gaze .She thanks him for the water and takes a sip.
In less than an hour, the mechanic finishes fixing Ekanem’s car and returns her car keys.
She thanks Toks for all his help and leaves the shop. Ekanem drives to work and continues to ignore Philip whose calls were becoming annoyingly regular.
When she finishes giving her lectures, she drives home and relaxes in the living room after a hot shower.
As she scrolls through her phone ,she gets a text alert from Toks on her phone.
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“I hope the car is still functioning optimally”, the text read .
She smiles to herself and replies “Yes, thank you. I hope work is going well? ”
“You’re most welcome, Ekanem. Work is great. Have a good night”, he replies.
Ekanem wondered in her heart why a coffee sales man /coffee maker would be bothered about her or her car.
As she pondered on the appropriateness of the text,Chichi walks in with her child hood friend Chioma.
“Who am I seeing with my eyes?” Ekanem screams in excitement .
“It’s me girl!” ,Chioma replies as walks hurriedly towards her .They hug each other sit down on the sofa.
“Ekanem, have I become invisible?” Chichi asks.
“Chichi don’t be angry, welcome dear. Where did you meet Chioma?” .
“She came to my office from the airport. I guess she wanted to surprise us” she says with a smile .
“Chioma how is life in Newyork? .I hope your parents ,siblings and of course your fiance are fine? “, Ekanem says to her.
“Everyone is doing great dear.I came to see my parents and Kamsy’s parents want to meet my parents officially” she replies .
“Wow that’s awesome, atleast one of us is getting married soon.I am so happy for you “Ekanem replies.
“Yes oh !” Chichi replies in excitement.
“How is Philip? When are you guys inviting us for the wedding” Chioma asks with a mischievous smile.
“Hmmm , not anytime soon dear, we have broken up .Please let’s focus on you for now! .Forget about my boring love life”, she says to Chioma .
They continue to catch up on old times till they drift off to sleep.
The rest of the week was very busy for Ekanem because of exams which were around the corner and her project work.
It is a beautiful Saturday morning. As Ekanem cleans her room,she hears her phone ring.
“Hi Eky”, Richie says to her .
“Hey dear, how are you doing? “She replies.
“I am doing great. I hope you will be at home this afternoon?” , he says to her.
“Are you bringing goodies for me ?”she replies with excitement .
“It’s been a long time since I was visited you at your house “,he says to her.
“You know that you’re always welcome. I will cook something nice for you. I will tell Chichi that you are coming” she replies.
They discuss for a while and eventually end the phone conversation. Ekanem quickly finishes tidying up her room. She informs Chichi about Richie’s intended visit and goes into the kitchen to prepare something for everyone to eat for lunch.
At exactly 3pm, Richard arrives at Ekanem’s house. He is welcomed by Ekanem who offers him a seat and some drinks afterwards.
“It’s good to see you dear”, Richard says to her.
“Same here .I thought you would come around 1 pm , my friends have been waiting to see you” ,she replies.
“Who else apart from Chichi are you living with currently?”, he says to her with curiosity in his eyes.
“Chichi’s friend , Chioma who lives in the US is spending some days with us before going to see her parents who live at Awka” ,she replies.
“Okay, that’s nice “,he says to her.
They discuss as they watch the television for some minutes before Ekanem serves him a hot plate of Edikaikong soup and semolina.
As he eats the delicious meal, she hears the door bell ring.
“Why is Chichi ringing the bell, did she forget to take her keys along with her?”she says to Richard as she walks towards the door.
“She unlocks the door and opens it. What are you doing here , Philip ?” She says to him with a frown on her face.
To be continued