“You have to get back to school Grace, am going to be fine, there is no way you will quit school and stay home because am sick” Grace kept thinking of her father`s words as she watched people pass by in campus. It was three weeks after she went back to school from home and she still couldn’t help feel bad about her father`s sickness. Even though she had to talk to him almost every day, she felt it was not enough.
“what are you doing here all alone?” a familiar voice popped up in her ears she was made to look up just to see Jack standing there tall and elegant in his denim jeans and a white short sleeved shirt he looked like he was just plugged out of the advert for some whitening washing paste. For a second Grace wondered why a man had to be that neat and perfect in his attire.
“How did you find me Jack?” she asked him standing up
“Am fine too Grace” he smiled instead
“Yeah am sorry, just that I am puzzled seeing you here. I don’t remember telling you to come” she shrugged casually sitting back on the bench.
“Well, where there is a will, there is a way they say “Jack chuckled his eyes on Grace she had to look down.
“what brings you here, I mean what is your will?” she teased looking at him as he sat next to her his legs folded displaying the charcoal gray moccasin on his feet
“I have been trying for months to get you to invite me here but I guessed it was not going to happen sooner so I decided to man up and take my chances. You know my mother always tells me you cannot measure how successful you could be till you try out things” he shrugged
“so am here to get what I feel belongs to me Grace, there is something about you that makes my heart feel at peace and whenever I call you and hear your voice, I just feel complete. So am here to tell you I need you in my life, be my girlfriend “Jack stated clearly without hesitation making Grace Wonder why he was so proud of himself.
“Are you always this straight and proud or you just doing it to impress me?” she laughed softly shaking her head as she looked at his smiling face.
“Grace, am sorry if I went too fast but am one kind of person that speaks my heart out and if I like you I will not go round in circles to make you know that truth. So what do you say?” he sighed
Grace was silent for a moment, she hated the guy’s guts for sure. Though he was right about speaking his mind, she somehow found it irritating and was surely not going to give him the right answer. Her mind went to think of junior, she had seen him less that semester since she was still ashamed of the last event in her room, besides, and she noticed he had withdrawn his earlier commitment to her. Even though Junior always found time to see her, she had tried to escape his presence hating that he was what she felt she wanted but yet he had no intentions to be with her.
She sighed snapping herself from thinking about Junior and shifted her attention to Jack who was patiently waiting for her answer, his face with determination she hated how she was to break his ego with her response.
“No” she finally spoke and that made Jack sit up and look at her shocked.
“What? No one has ever said no to you Mr. Bwalya?” she laughed shaking her head at his down face.
“No, um, I mean I didn’t expect that Grace like seriously, I have talked to you several times and I thought maybe you could feel the same for me you know” he responded this time his voice down and composed.
“Well, am sorry, am sure you had a wrong impression about me. Just like you said, I too tell things as they are, I don’t like beating about the bush and so that is my answer, am not going to be your girlfriend. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go” she sighed standing up but before she could move, Jack held on to her hand making her face him.
“I like you Grace, am sorry if I acted so fast and proudly but I like you a lot, in fact I think I have fallen in love with you” he uttered with sincerity for some couple of seconds Grace looked at his face and saw how truthful he was being.
Before she couldn’t say a thing, she heard someone clear his throat and she looked past Jack just to see Junior standing there his hands tucked in his black soft jeans.
“Who are you?” Jack cut through the silence.
“Oh, yeah Jack meet my friend Junior” she smiled standing between the two guys who eyed each other like angry wolves.
“I asked what is going on here Grace, who is this clown?” Junior raised his voice.
“no, junior am not going to allow you insult my visitor, like I told you, his name is Jack and he came to see me anything the matter here?” she asked inside making a happy dance seeing Junior`s face.
“Um, Grace I will probably see you some other time. I don’t like coming between people. Think about what I have told you and see you later” Jack added walking away leaving Grace stoned to the ground she hated the awkwardness the scene was making her feel.
“Who is that guy Grace?” Junior moved closer to her and she looked at him for a couple of seconds shaking her head
“You are unbelievable you know that?, how dare you! You are not my boyfriend so please stop playing like one” she snapped and walked away making Junior run after her.
“am your friend and I think I have the right to know if you have a man in your life Grace, at least you owe me that you know” Junior panted as he followed her to her room.
“Hahaha, I have never heard of such nonsense, so now I get it, you think am not good enough for you and chose that my friend Dingy over me and you stand here talking rubbish. Leave me alone now Junior please” she shouted as she opens the door to her room.
“What? Who told you about Dingy?” Junior asked shocked.
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“I saw the two of you Junior, you were so close and it’s not even once, the fact that I never said a thing doesn’t mean I didn’t see you two, you are so …. “ she paused before she could bring her word out.
“You know what? Just leave already. And please tell your so called Uncle Ben to stop calling me” she added closing to the door to Junior`s face.
“I can explain about Dingy, it’s just that she is, I don’t know how to say it Grace, what i feel for you is different. I like you a lot but for some reason I cannot explain myself, I don’t think we can be what you thought we could. I just feel I love you but can never get to do things like, kissing and you know what I mean” he explained.
“Huh, am supposed to be comforted by that huh? I cannot believe this my God, here I was thinking you will tell me all this is not true about you and Dingy? Just go junior please, go away” she added throwing herself on the bed.
“Okey am going I know you are upset right now.” He spoke walking to the door just to stop again.
“But what was that about my uncle you mentioned?” he asked.
“Go ask him “she snapped and plugged her face in the pillow.
Ben had called her to greet her on a couple of occasions, she had asked him why he was calling the first time he did and he told her he wanted to say hi to and find out if she needed anything. Grace had assumed it was because Junior had told him about her and she felt comforted he was talking about her to his relatives.
“No sir, am okey thank you for the gesture. “She told him and they hang up.
“the second time he called he asked to invite her home for dinner with his family saying his kids would love to see her again, she was about to say yes when she walked into the passage of the hostel seeing Dingy her Friend with Junior they were smiling to each other. She went silent for a couple of minutes and Ben kept asking her if all was well.
“Am sorry sir, I got to go and about the dinner, am sorry I can’t am going to be busy this weekend” she told him and hang up the line. Ben called her back several times but she never picked up.
“He is so pathetic!” she yelled in the pillow feeling broken at the memories of Junior and Dingy.
She lifted herself up, went to take a bath and decided to go out of campus lest she got so depressed over what was going on. Grace was walking around town taking her time window shopping when she saw Ben walking towards her with a tall beautiful woman. She was smiling so widely Grace knew the moment she saw them that she was his wife.
“Uncle Ben” she called him out making Ben stop and look at her his smile fading he fidgeted.
“Hi, Grace” Ben sighed feeling so ashamed of himself.
“Hi Aunty nice to meet you finally, Junior has told me a lot of nice things about you” she looked at the woman with him who smiled shaking her hand.
“And you are?” the woman asked her
“Am Grace Ma, am a friend of Junior” Grace introduced herself excitedly.
“Grace huh?” the woman smiled
Grace `s phone rung at the moment and she noticed it was her father`s number so she quickly excused herself.
“good to see you both, am sorry I have to pick my father`s call” she smiled and walked on, leaving them watching her.