And that verification rested with his class instructor.
Chuks brought out his phone and re-read Anne’s address. She too lived on the mainland, but at Akoka, much more closer to the range than either he or his friend. It was with her that the answer to the question that was bothering him lay. And he had decided to leave his motorcycle at home and experience commuting the regular way once again. He didn’t want to ride on Sunday and make it feel like a working day.
Only an hour and thirty minutes later— thanks to lazy Sunday traffic —he got down from a bus at her bus stop. He had to walk only a little way to get to her street. Her house was number forty-seven. He located it farther up the street, opened the gate and entered. When Chuks took his phone out of his pocket and compared the picture she had posted on her Instagram with the house before him, he nodded in satisfaction. He had gotten the place.
The house was yellow, and quiet, a face-me house. But it wasn’t the face-me-I-face-you Chuks was concerned about. It was the building along the right-hand fence. As he walked past the face-me, a woman came out, all dressed up in an ankara gown for Church, or more likely something else, considering the time. They greeted each other.
Chuks got to the building against the fence and knocked. No answer, but he could hear the sound of a television coming from inside. He knocked again, and the television’s sound stopped abruptly.
“Hold on, I’m coming,” answered a voice that was unmistakably Anne’s.
The door swung open on a spring to reveal the young lady dressed in a loose-fitting long-sleeved pink top and denim shorts. Her black and brown braids hung loosely behind her back, and behind her glasses her eyes stared inquisitively at him.
She actually had to squint even with the glasses to recognize him, but when she did, the look of utter surprise on her face was nothing short of what he had expected.Visit www.pobsonline.com for more amazing stories
“Chuks? Chukwudi Brown, right? Ahn-ahn, what are you doing here? How did you get my address?”
“Good afternoon, Instructor. Anne. I tried calling your number severally to tell you I was coming, but the thing was saying switched off.”
“Oh, don’t mind me, jare. My battery was flat, and they just brought light this morning. I plugged it and I just forgot to turn it on.” She looked at him, then back inside her house, then at him again, not able to shake off her surprise. “Hold on o, I didn’t give you my number. And how did you manage to get my address? Come in first, the sun is hot.”
She opened the door wide, and Chuks entered the house.
“@anneokolo on Instagram, abi?” he said as the door shut behind him. “From there, it wasn’t hard for me to link to your Facebook and— ”
“Get my phone number and address,” Anne completed. “And many other things about me.” Well, that part wasn’t a lie. Chuks knew she had gone to UNILAG. And the name of the secondary school she had gone to as well. The instructor hissed. “Is it not Nonye? When she came to spend her last holiday with me, she started using my phone to Facebook. I told her she could create her own account, but no, she started using my own to pretend as if she was me.”
Chuks did what many Nigerians did when they enter a new house: check the place out and mentally compare it with his. He had especially tried to make his apartment as cozy as possible when he first moved in, but Anne had managed to beat him at it. She had a small set of chairs that curved round the television. His were leather, and more expensive besides, but hers were fabric, and it exuded a kind of warmth his own chairs definitely did not. Her Tv was a flat-screen, but at no more than twenty-two his was significantly bigger, he noted with triumph.
Her living room had been done on a lower budget than his, but even so, he liked what Anne had done with the place. You couldn’t look at the faded yellow paint outside and guess that inside the house could be this nice. Or smell this good.
Anne came to sit in the chair opposite the television. Chuks was on her left, to the left of the tv.
“Who is Nonye?” he asked.
“My sister. She’s in SS2.” That brought to mind his own sister.
“But don’t you think you should do something about it? Advertising your address and phone number to everybody is not good. At all. You don’t want the wrong kind of people seeing it. My own is different, I’m the right kind of person.”
Anne cracked a smile at that comment.
“I don’t know how to remove it, o. I’ve tried. Maybe the next time Nonye comes again.”