Auwal knew that I wasn going to succumb and since he wasn ready to let go, he made plans. We still continued to study together till the time of our exams.
It was June and our exam had begun. We were both in the same departments and on that fateful day, we just finished writing Chemistry theory. We had done our practicals prior to that day and as we finished the theory aspect we all came downstairs to play around before we went home. We finished by 12pm and we weren going home till 3pm so we might as well have fun. I had stopped talking to Auwal so we were distant from each other. He was with his friends and I was with one of my classmates.
Suddenly, a jeep was driven to our gate and the gateman speedily opened the gate for the jeep. The person drove into the school and alighted from the vehicle. Everyone seemed to know him and greeted him with so much respect as he walked towards where all the students were seated. Our principal came out from his office to greet him too so I knew he was an important personality for him to get such respect. There I was looking lost because I didn have the slightest idea who he was. He greeted my principal also and everyone who greeted him with a level of niceness that made me feel like he wasn an arrogant rich man. It was very clear that he was very rich because his car looked and definitely was very expensive and he was dressed in an agbada with a cap on his head. His shoe was very well polished and looked new and he was wearing a wristwatch which glass reflected the sun in the afternoon heat. He walked towards Auwal and was greeted by every student he passed by. Auwal greeted him with a very strong acquaintance and said ”Welcome dad, how was your meeting? ” The man replied, ”it was fine my son, how was your exam? ” I was stunned. He was Auwals father. Auwal told him it had gone well and he asked Auwal ”where is she? ” My first thought was ”she! ” Auwal then pointed in my direction and my heart raced like I had just run a race as they both walked towards me. I tried to keep my cool but I was confused just like all my classmates. They got to my front and I had to greet him because my parents taught me to respect my elders. I said a cold hi to Auwal because of what had been going on between us
His father replied me with this smile on his face that scared me more. He asked of my wellbeing and exams and I said everything was fine. The principal suddenly approached me and reprimanded me for not greeting him warmly and with a smile. He said
”Miriam, can you greet properly. Don you know who he is? Thats the man that has been sponsoring your entire education!
” At this point, I felt as if the ground should open up and swallow me. I couldn hide my surprise but the man told me not to worry, he was here only because of his son. I knew it really wasn going to go in my favor. He said
”please my dear, come with us.
” I followed with hesitation but my principal moved his right hand downwards towards his chest,smiled and gave me a thumbs up to sort of reduce my anxiety but it didn really work. I walked behind Auwal and his father as they both related very lovingly while I was there with my heart in my mouth. I entered into the jeep with them and his father drove off. I noticed that the route he was taking was way too familiar. I stayed completely mute but observant as the both gisted in front of the car. I was sitted at the back seat alone. We got to a signboard that led directly to my village.
”What on earth is going on?!,
” I asked in my mind. As he was driving, I saw my house in sight and that was exactly where he was driving to. He drove in front of my house and parked his car. He honked before alighting and the moment he did my parents and older siblings all came out to welcome him and greeted him warmly. I was loosing my mind. Auwal also came down and I heard from my parents:
”our son, welcome oh, come inside!
” He also greeted my parents warmly
”mama, baba thank you let me get my yarinya. He opened the door to where I was sitting in the car and said
”my love, come down nah, we
e waiting for you. ” I could not believe my eyes nor my ears as I came down from the car looking dazed. I greeted my parents with a confused tone and they smiled and welcomed me.
My brother shook Auwals hands as his father told them to get what was in the jeeps booth. Auwal opened the booth and he and my brother took the food items and gifts they brought. It was as if they bought an entire stall. Yams, bags of rice, a bag of beans, gallons of palm oil and groundnut oil and many more were the food items they brought. They carried them all into our house as my parents, my siblings, his father and I walked into the house. We all sat down. my parents sat on a wooden chair, my siblings sat on the floor, Auwals father sat on a chair whose foam wasn so appealing and they reserved a two seater foam chair that had been abandoned for a while at home for me and Auwal.
I sat down and he sat beside me smiling like his dreams had finally come through.