Kelvin shut the door before going to the driver side, slid in and drove out of the premises.
“Where are we having lunch?”
“In a Chinese restaurant.” He glanced at her.
Her brows narrowed. “Their meal don’t really go down well with me.”
“Me too.” He beamed.
Katherine glared at him.
He laughed. “I was only pulling your legs.”
She chuckled and pointed at the car sound system. “Can I put it on?”
Lara George’s Dansaki fill the airwaves. It was one of her favourite gospel music. She didn’t know he favoured Nigerian gospel song.
“Kel, I’ve noticed you hardly make use of your driver. You seem to know the roads well.”
He nodded. “I can drive from Lagos to Benin, Port Harcourt, Calabar and so on.”
“Don’t tell me!” Her eyes widened, awed.
“I already told you.” He returned gleefully. “When I made up my mind to come to Nigeria, I did a geographical study of the country and with time I got used to everything I learnt, though it wasn’t easy. Most of my drivers when they saw how interested I was, tutored me.” He took a turn and the car sped up.
“Splendid. I used to hear people say, when you know how to drive in Nigeria especially Lagos, you can easily drive in other part of the world.”
“I agree, dear.”
Soon they were past a bridge. He took a minor road which looked familiar to Katherine and then brought the car to a halt in the parking lot of restaurant, the very same Mr Franklin had taken her to.
She beamed, unbuckled her seat belt and opened the door.
“Oh no…Katherine.” He groaned. “You must learn how to be a lady.”
“I’m sorry.” She told him when she stepped out of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.
“Why are you grinning?” He asked as he took her hand.
“I’ve been here with your dad.”
Kelvin bobbed his head from side to side and then chuckled. “I bet I’m going to treat you better than he did.”
“Hmm.” She muttered, dabbed at the edges of her lips and swallowed. “In all my entire snacks-eating life, I’ve never had anything so nutritious-deliciously tasty.”
“True but I love the drink more. It is an extract of soya beans and other combo, I love the icy flabby tantalizing feel on my tongue.”
Katherine nodded her head in agreement.
A couple of minutes later, Kelvin disrupted the silence. “What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?”
“Craziest thing.” She repeated thoughtful and then scooped from the cup. “When I was fourteen, I had one of the best celebrated birthday any fourteen year old ever had.
“Yep, to show the extent, scenario like this often happen in my class. Two students get into a disagreement which leads to exchange of words. Another student in an attempt to calm the situation may say—‘You two should stop quarrelling for peace sake.’
One of them will give a short laugh and say—‘How can I stoop so low to quarrel with someone Katherine did not consider inviting to her birthday. I have been unreasonable by exchanging words in the first place.’ That said, he or she walks out.
“Huge.” Kelvin exhaled amused.
“There was this guy in my class he was either a son to a minister or a senator—I cannot remember which exactly.” She chuckled. “He asked me out a couple of times but I turned him down. On a particular day, I was on my way to the cafeteria when he fell in steps with me.
‘Hi, Katherine.’ I glanced at him but didn’t attempt to reply because I was pissed by his sweet talks over and over again. This guy had gone out with half of girls in my grade and some in the higher grades.
‘Katherine, why are you treating me like this? I don’t go through all these long process with other girls. I want you to be my girl, please stop and look at me.’ I obliged him.
‘I’m making myself so cheap when you stand to gain a lot by being the girl to the minister’s son.’ Ah-ha! Now I remember.” Katherine chuckled. “He was a minister’s son.”
Kelvin sat back and took a scoop from his drink.
‘I’m not a rag that can be used and dumped by the minister’s son, how many times do I have to tell you that? Besides I’m not on the same level with your many girls and I-am-not even in your level.’
‘Baby girl, I understand you’re the best in the class and all but that’s the message I’ve been trying to pass, let’s be in the same level or better still, teach me how to be in your level. You’re too beautiful and intelligent for any sane guy to use and drop.’ He grinned. ‘We would play safe if that is what you’re scared of.’
‘Play safe!’ Kelvin gasped.
She nodded before proceeding. “‘Everything you said passed through my left ear and out through my right ear.’ I told him.
‘You don’t believe, right?’ He unstrapped his school bag and opened it to fetch a carton. ‘This phone was given to me on my last birthday but since I have one already, you deserve it.’ Since I was sizing him up from head to toes with my eyes, he went ahead to say. ‘In case you think am lying, here.’ He brought out a Samsung galaxy whatever. ‘When you have this phone in your hand, you have to promise to be mine.’
I took the phone from him and looked at his grinning face that was like that of a Cheshire cat and then examined the phone. I raised it up right above my head and gbam! right on the floor.
‘Katherine!’ The onlookers exclaimed exasperated.
‘If you ever disturb me again, I’ll not only smash what you came with, your head will not spared.’ With that I marched off to the computer room. Since then, he started maintaining a distance and stare in such a way I wish I knew what was going through his mind. But then, he became better behaved.” She concluded.
“At least the guy was wise because I believe that threat hook, line and sinker.” He winked at her.
Katherine lowered her gaze and chuckled. “Your turn, Kel.”
“When I was in high school, there was this bully in my class, tall, huge and rounded like a ball. He counted himself to be handsome ’cause he was always going around with a mirror and a lip gloss.”
“Seriously?” She was amused.
“Yes. When he was not doing the bullying stuff, he was checking himself out. He was that obsessed about his look. We suffered in silence and avoided him like a plague. One day, my immediate younger sister came home and told me the bully had asked her to be his girl and when she had politely turned him down, he threatened to deal with her. I shuddered at the thought of what he meant when he threatened to deal with a girl. I didn’t care much about what he did with other girls but not my sisters because I had sworn to protect them in time past. But how in the world do I protect my sister from a guy I’m scared of?’ He heaved like in was in the situation presently and Katherine giggled, her eyes not leaving his dramatic face.
“That same day, I hurried to visit my friend and told him, he was helpless too but we were determined to find a solution. The following day, I was on my way to see a couple of drama in the school theatre when I saw the bully with his hands around my sister’s neck and her back against the wall. I sprang like a spring and launched several kicks until he freed her to clutch his legs and then I delivered an anger -propelled fist to his jaw.
He growled and when I pulled my sister up and was about to flee, he grabbed me and pushed me against the wall and then went back to my sister who was ready with a pepper spray mum had given her for self-defence. As he cried out, I scrambled to my feet and we ran out. That same week, we’re to have a prom night.
I lent a magazine from a neighbour and advertised in it were masks and costumes. Like a bolt from the blue…” Kelvin snapped his fingers. “I was brain stormed. Then, I loved watching wrestling. You watch wrestling, don’t you?” He wanted to know how to go about his next line of narration.
“Do you know the name of the names of the wrestlers that came into my mind?”
Katherine shook her head.
“Sting and Golddust.”
“Oops! Those two have dreadful costumes.”
“I hurried to my bestie and told him of my plan and together we did finishing touches. That same day, we didn’t have to empty our savings box to get what we needed. We did our training which included taking a pair of our shoes to the cobbler to triple its sole, we did voice training amongst others.”
Her eyes sparkled in amusement inspired by imagination.
“We were to take advantage of his self-obsession. When we got to the prom, we stayed at a strategic place where we could see the happenings at prom without being noticed. We even had telescopes.” Kelvin chuckled in remembrance. “Few minutes later when he left the room, we didn’t have second thoughts of his destination. We hurried to the gent, to hide behind its door. Thankfully, the light switch was close and my bestie’s left thumb posed just above it.
The bully entered, looked at his reflection, washed his hands and as he took a tissue, my bestie switched off the light and we stepped out. On seeing us, he screamed like a teen who woke up in a room occupied by wild, black cats.”
“Kelvin!” She chided at the analogy.
“It took great discipline for us not to laugh.” Kelvin laughed and Katherine joined him.
“I went ahead to lock the door and in a husky voice said. “It’s a shame that a bully can scream like a child. Your bullying days are brought to an end for we are bully hunters and the cries of your victims have reached our ears. We are here to take you to the land beyond to be a slave.”
Katherine stifled laughter. “I’m sure he must be shivering.”
“Yes, Kathy, like a bucket of water that was power kicked. Also, he urinated on his body.”
“Oh no!” Katherine gasped and covered her mouth as her body shook in laughter.
“He went down on his knees and begged with tears rolling down his cheeks and swore to change. My bestie and I exchanged words like we were considering his plea. I told him to lie on his belly, my bestie and I produced whips. We lashed him twenty four times, twelve each before we warned and asked him to leave, he ran out like a bat from hell.”
“Ouch—you two were gross.” She managed in between bouts of laughter and held her sides. “I… hope I don’t crack my ribs.”
“As soon as he left, we laughed long and hard.” He beamed.
“Did it end in a live happily ever after?”
“You bet it did! He became so introverted in such a way that most of the students were ready to part away with priced possession to find out the cause of change. We dared not share our secret.”
“What is the fate of your sister or is sisters when it has to do with guys now?”
“No guy mess around with my sisters except he wants his ribs cracked.”
“Seriously?” She assessed his arms for muscles.
“Very. I have two sisters.”
“Lucky sisters with a brother with bully whipper hands.” She joked and glanced at her wristwatch. “Jeez!”
He followed her cue. “Wow.” He said unperturbed. I will give my left hand to know why time flies when one is having so much fun.
It had been years that she laughed in total abandon and she was grateful as she place her palm in his.
“Sir, your flight ticket is booked for tomorrow 8 p.m., the traveling agent extends his greeting.”
“Thank you, Anita, put a call the secretary of the council of exporters Hawaii for me.”
He ended the call and exhaled.
He had asked to have a last lunch before travelling to Hawaii for two weeks but she had come up with good excuses that he couldn’t refuse. He hoped that when he called her later in the day to see him off to the airport the next day she wouldn’t refuse.
*** ~~~ ***
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