[STORY] I DEY FEAR GIRLS (episode 1-3)

Episode 1

“Ogechi, meet my boyfriend, Chidi. Chidi, this is my cousin Oge, the one I have been telling you about,” Uchechi said beaming with smiles. “I have heard a lot about you, Oge,” Chidi said, extending his hand for a handshake. He smiled broadly as Ogechi’s tender palm brushed against his. “I hope you heard good things about me,” she said with a cheeky smile. “Of course, no!” Chidi replied. “Really?” asked Ogechi. “Just kidding. Uchechi has told me what a wonderful cousin you are.” “That is better,” Ogechi said rolling her eyes. “Of course you are the best cousin anyone could ever have,” Uchechi added. “Thanks for everything you do for my Uche. She tells me everything, and I am deeply grateful to you.” “It is okay…Uchechi is my darling cousin, of course; I’d do anything for her.” Uchechi had been seeing Chidi for about eight months. Finally, she brought him home. She stayed with Ogechi’s family. Ogechi’s mother was her mother’s older sister. Since her family lived in the village, she stayed with Ogechi’s family while she studied at Enugu State University (ESUT). There had been times when her immediate family could not afford to pay her tuition or provide money for her upkeep, Ogechi and her family stepped in to take care of the situation. Consequently, both cousins had grown very close to each other. “I hope you are not one of those cultists at ESUT?” Ogechi asked as they sat down in the living room. “Come on, not every ESUT male student is a cultist,” Chidi retorted. “I know, but from the number of shootings we hear of from across the wall at UNEC, a lot of male students at ESUT seem to be involved.” “That is a lie. A whole lot of ESUT students are not cultists. A small fraction of the student population gives the rest of us a bad name. There are cultists at UNEC as well.” “Just a few. UNEC is a quiet academic environment, and you know that!” “No, I don’t. Folks at UNEC are just a bunch of pretenders – ajebos that would go to any length to show that they are from rich homes. Well, you and I know that the vast majority of your students at UNEC lie through their teeth.” “Just a few!” “Really? Just like a few ESUT students are involved in cultism?” “Enough of that ESUT – UNEC argument,” Uchechi stepped in to break the argument. “Please let’s get something to eat.” She got up and walked towards the kitchen. Ogechi followed her. Uchechi had suffered a horrendous heartbreak some years earlier, so she had formed the habit of taking time to study a guy before fully jumping into a relationship with them. She had taken her time to scrutinize Chidi before bringing him home. After the first visit, Chidi came around quite often. Before long, Uchechi’s uncle and aunt began to call in ogo (in-law). He was a bright engineering student with a big smile and a handsome face. He was likeable. Chidi’s best friends, Ifeanyi, Emeka, Sunday and Nsudeh would often accompany him to Ogechi’s house to see Uchechi. They lived in a sizeable compound with a two storey building belonging to Ogechi’s father. He was a real estate broker who had done fairly well for himself. The building was located in Achara Layout, Enugu. “I really like your babe’s cousin, Ogechi,” Sunday once told Chidi. They were seated in Ogechi’s father’s compound peeling and eating fresh oranges. “I want to ask her out,” he continued. “I think she already has a boyfriend at UNEC,” said Chidi. “But you are not sure,” Sunday protested. “Maybe you don’t want me to date your girlfriend’s cousin,” Sunday continued, frowning his face. “Don’t talk like that, Sunday,” Nsudeh reprimanded him. “He only said the girl might have a boyfriend. If you like her, then ask her out. Chidi won’t stop you and you certainly don’t need his permission. However, if she says no, things will certainly become somewhat awkward. Bear that in mind,” Nsudeh added philosophically. “I know that, but I still want to try.” “Then, go ahead,” said Chidi. “Lilly-livered Sunday. You always talk the talk but you don’t walk the walk. Please stop bugging us jare! Is this the first time you have made an absolute hullabaloo about a girl only to chicken out in the end? I heard Uchechi mention that Ogechi will be home this weekend. You have your chance to make a move on her. If you snooze, you lose, because I too have interest in her,” Ifeanyi teased. “Everyone is throwing their hat in the ring. What about, Emeka?” “I am just watching these guys make a fool of themselves. I am a man of few words. You know that when I want something, I go for it,” Emeka replied with a smirk. “So, you are interested, abi? I am interested too,” declared Nsudeh. “I said I was watching.” “Watching what? Us or the beautiful girl?” “Both!” Ogechi was home that weekend and the boys were on hand, shelving their plans to join Chidi on a visit to Achara Layout. “All roads lead to Achara Layout this weekend,” Sunday said as they rode in a taxi. “I am sure when you stand in front of her, you will begin to suffer Parkinson’s. Stop shouting now, shout in front of her,” Nsudeh teased him. “You nko? How many girls have you successfully toasted?” Sunday red back at him. “Children shout and make noise, but when the chips are down, they cannot get the job done,” said Emeka. “Stop talking like a sage!” Ifeanyi red at him. “I have never seen you with a girl, yet you always want to claim that you are commander of all women. Where are they? Who is your girlfriend? You dey fear girls too, so stop pretending as though you were the king of queens!” Ifeanyi red a straight shot at Emeka. “I will not argue with you, Ifeanyi. Watch me act…that is all,” Emeka replied with an air of confidence. … Darkness was slowly wrapping its long dark arms around the skies, shielding the sun from mother earth. Ogechi went downstairs to fetch water from the tap and Sunday followed her. “Let me help you with that Oge,” he offered. “Oh, thank you Sunny,” she replied. Her dimples were ravishing! Her big bold eyes glared with life as she smiled. The teasing puff of her perfume swirled around, mesmerizing Sunday. Side by side, they descended the stairs. “So, how are things going at UNEC?” He asked, not sure how to start his move. “Life at UNEC is ne. I enjoy it. How about you? How do you like engineering at ESUT?” “Not bad at all. I am doing very well. You know, I am the best student in my class. If things stay the way they are, I’d end up with first class honors.” “Good for you.” “Yes, I am really thankful. I work really hard. I want to work for Chevron when I graduate.” “That would be wonderful.” What about you? What are your aspirations?” “I don’t know yet,” replied Ogechi.” “I am still thinking about it. Business administration could lead into anything, really, but what I really enjoy the most is writing. I find that I have a passion for writing, so I might return to school for a master’s in mass communication when I graduate.” “That is great. If you want it, just go for it,” Sunday urged her as he dragged a bucketful of water up the stairs. “Did you ask her?” Nsudeh asked at the first opportunity after Sunday and Ogechi rejoined them upstairs. “Yes,” he lied. “And what did she say?” She wants to think it through, but I know she will say yes. She is into me already…I can tell,” he whispered to Nsudeh. “It is a lie,” Ifeanyi said his eyes burning with incredulity. “I am going to make a move on her,” Ifeanyi insisted. “You can’t. If Sunday has already asked her out, it would look stupid of any of us to as her out this night,” Nsudeh explained. “I know Sunday’s line…I swear he went there and told her that he is a first class material.” “How do you know?” Nsudeh queried. “Shut up. You are jealous of my academic performance,” said Sunday. Eventually, they agreed to hold off asking Ogechi out in the meantime. Weeks later, there was no news from Sunday. “She is taking her time,” he explained to his friends.” “Come on, I spoke to Uchechi about it. If you had asked Ogechi out, she would have told Uchechi. Up to this time, she has not mentioned it to Uchechi,” Chidi intervened. “I said it!” shouted Ifeanyi. “He went there and told her he is a first class material. Idiot. You took my chance away from me. I would have asked her out that night!” Ifeanyi fumed. … Three Months Later “Why are you crying, Oge?” Uchechi asked. “This has got to stop. You have failed to return to UNEC for over four weeks since school resumed. What is going on? You won’t talk to me or your parents. I am not leaving your room until you tell me what is going on,” Uchechi insisted. “I can’t…I am not sure. My God, I am dying of pains that are marauding every inch of my body and soul. I don’t know what I know or if what I know makes sense. I am hurt, Uchechi. I carry a burden I do not know how to let go of it,” Ogechi replied, almost in an esoteric language. “What are you talking about, Oge? You know you can tell me anything. Please, my dearest cousin, what is it?” Ogechi peered at her and shook her head in tears. “I am not going anywhere until you tell me what it is,” Uchechi insisted. “I am…I am…” She paused as tears ran amok on her face. “You are pregnant?” Uchechi asked.
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Episode 2

“Yes, I am pregnant!” Ogechi finally said, breaking down in tears. “What? How far along?” Uchechi asked. “Three months.” “Why haven’t you told me all this while? How could you hold this in? We are cousins…even more than that; we are like sisters. I would do anything for you!!! Do you know who is responsible?” “I…I…I was r-a-p-e-d!” Ogechi sputtered. Time seemed to stand still. “My goodness, baby girl you have been going through a lot. I am so sorry. How can I help? Who did this to you, my dear?” She threw her arms around Ogechi.

“I…I…Uche, I think it is Chidi.” “What?” Uchechi let go of her, stepping aback to look into her face. “What did you say, Ogechi?” “I think it was Chidi that raped me.” “My own Chidi?” Ogechi nodded sullenly. “Impossible. He is very well behaved. He is a solid Christian. He cares about people. He would not rape a girl…and my cousin for that matter. How come you kept this in all this while? Chidi is here nearly every weekend. Have you confronted him? How did this happen? Where does he figure in the picture?” “I was not sure, Uche, until this evening. I was raped at UNEC. I was walking back to my hostel, Lady Ibiam hall, from the class one night after studying, when a group of young men tackled me down. Before I knew it, their guns were out and trained on me.

“I was asked to keep quite or be shot. I…I…I kept my mouth shut and they carried me to a secluded area and blindfolded me. Then…” Tears cascaded down her face. Uchechi hugged her momentarily and then stepped backwards again, listening intently. “They took turns to rape me. The first person to rape me must be their leader. They addressed him as Capo. I heard them tell him that the girl was ready…the girl being me. They… they stripped me down to bare skin. I felt the nozzle of a gun on the back of my head warning me that if I shouted, I’d be dead. “The Capo mounted me…I was lying on a blanket that was placed on bare ground. He…raped me multiple times. I could tell his breath and his perfume. It was distinctive. When he satisfied his depraved desires, he ordered his boys to have fun with what was left. He did not say a word, but I heard one of them say something like, ‘it is me next’. I have tested myself for HIV and several STDs several times, and I am still not convinced that I am free. I am having a panic attack. I don’t know how to explain this to my parents.”

“It is not your fault, my dear. You have to tell them. They love you that much. Please tell them. They are very worried about you. But Oge, how come you think Chidi is the Capo?”
“Yesterday, I was lying here and Chidi stopped by to say hi. He sat beside me, lowered his neck and spoke to me. I felt his breath and his perfume. I will think of that breath and perfume till my dying day. I will never forget it. I think he is the Capo. He is a cultist, Uche. I have been having severe panic attacks since yesterday, following his visit.” “Why did you keep this from me? I have been…sleeping with him all this while. Are you sure the breath is his?”

“Positive. I have to be dead not to decipher it. At the time, a lot of students were attacked around Lady Ibiam Hall, so I did not think it was Chidi. After yesterday, I became convinced that he had been the Capo that raped me.” “God, what do I do? My own Chidi? I am calling him now.” “You can’t do that, Uche. If he is in a cult, which I think he is, then you don’t want to spook him. Let me talk to my parents tonight.” “No, I am calling him.”
“You can’t do that, Uche. You’d be endangering our lives…all of us. He could send his boys to shoot us all.”

“If you no talk true, I go kill you here! (If you don’t confess, I will kill you right here),” the policeman said angrily, kicking Chidi. “I did not rape anybody,” Chidi insisted. “You are a hardened criminal, but so am I. I can kill you here and eat your meat. Ask my colleagues. I will beat you until you finally confess.” Ogechi’s father had quickly sent her to hospital for a battery of tests to be conducted. Then, he arrested Chidi, Sunday, Nsudeh, Ifeanyi and Emeka. “I am not in a cult,” Emeka pleaded with every kick of the boot in his rib cage. “Aaaahh!!!” He exclaimed painfully. “Look at your eyes; you were the one that strip the poor girl naked so he could rape him right?” The policemen asked him. “I don’t know anything about any rape, sir.” All the boys received the same treatment, yet not a single one of them confessed to anything. Uchechi could no longer stay. She parked her things and left for the village in the meantime. The thought that she was the one that brought Chidi into the family was far too much for her to bear. In the village, she cried herself silly, wishing and praying that somehow, life would erase the ugly mess and restore everything to normal. Another two months passed and the boys were still in detention awaiting trial. They grew skinny with rashes all over their skin. Their parents did their best to have them released, but Ogechi’s father spend every penny he could lay his hands on to keep them locked in. … Holy Family Catholic Cathedral, Sokoto, Sokoto State “Father, forgive me for I have sinned,” Chinedu said to the Reverend Father. It was his first confession in a long time. “Go ahead my child and pour your heart,” the Reverend Father urged him. “Father, I got a girl pregnant some months back. I succumbed to the cravings of the flesh and when she informed me of her pregnancy, I denied responsibility, packed my things and ran out of Enugu. I have been hiding here in Sokoto since then, but I have no peace, Father. I can’t sleep well. I have let my parents down. I abandoned my education and disappeared after my parents had invested so much in me. And, I dumped an innocent poor girl.” “Do you repent of your sins?” The priest asked him. “Yes, Father.” “Do you want to atone for your sins?”

“Yes, father. I can no longer stand the guilt. It weighs down on me like a sledgehammer, beating down on me with brute force.” “Then, you must return to Enugu. Go back to Enugu and ask the forgiveness of this girl and of your parents too.” “I will do that father.” “Then, do it quickly. Say the rosary three times a day for seven weeks and spend time to meditate, asking the spirit of God to come into your heart and wash you clean…to lead and guide you away from sin.” “Thank you, father.” “Thank God, my child,” the Reverend Father replied.

… Ogechi walked laboriously towards Lady Ibiam Hall. Her belly was getting big by the day. Gossip had been flying around campus that she did not know who got her pregnant, while some students pointed fingers at Chinedu, who had been ‘missing in action’. “Oge!” A familiar voice called to her. She was walking from class back to Lady Ibiam Hall. She turned and behold, Chinedu was standing under a tree. He had been waiting for her to show up. “Chinedu!” She replied, her voice revealing her surprise. “You are still alive?” “I am alive, Oge. I know you must be angry with me. If you don’t mind, please can we chat for briefly?”

“Yes, we can.” They walked to a restaurant on Edinburgh Road, just outside UNEC. Edinburgh Road, Enugu was a busy street with a number of eateries that were regularly frequented by UNEC students.

“Are you sure you don’t want to take a taxi or bike?” Chinedu asked. “I am fine; there is no need for that. Edinburgh Road is just down there. Besides, the doctor asked me to take regular walks. It is good for the pregnancy, so not to worry about me. So where have you been?” “I went up north to seek refuge. I did not know how to handle the news of your pregnancy. I guess I was not ready for it.”

“Are you ready now?” “I will see what I can do. I have no means of livelihood, but at least, I can accept my mistake and face it.” When they reached the restaurant, Chinedu helped her to settle into a seat. He took a seat opposite her and ordered food for the two of them. “I am really sorry, Oge. While I was in Sokoto, I began to search my soul…God really convicted me for the way I ran away. I am very sorry. Please forgive me.” “It is okay, you are forgiven.” “I want to be a different person from now on. I will be there for you when you need me. I am eager to make my peace with God. Hopefully, I can find a means of livelihood to support you and the baby.” “You really want to do that?” “It is the right thing to do, isn’t it?” Ogechi took a deep breath. Then, she took a sip of the Fanta she had ordered.

“I have to be honest with you, Chinedu,” she said on setting down her glass of Fanta. Chinedu looked curiously at her, sipping his coke. “You are not the father of my baby,” Ogechi said. “What?” Chinedu nearly threw out the coke he had just gulped down. “I am really sorry for putting you through this. Considering the way you came back and your desire to make things right, I think you…you deserve to know the truth.” “Are you sure?”

“One hundred percent. Please forgive me.” “You are forgiven,” Chinedu said. He could hardly mask his relief. “So, who is the father?” “You don’t know the person. I guess the real offence on my part was not just trying to pin the pregnancy on you, but cheating on you.” Chinedu said nothing in reply. His eyes were fixated on Ogechi, his heart pounding in sheer relief. The cheat did not matter a bit to him. Finally, he was free from a precarious situation. His hands shook slightly as he listened to Ogechi. “A friend of my cousin’s boyfriend, Emeka asked me out severally, but I turned down him down repeatedly. Quite frankly, I had a crush on my cousin, Uchechi’s boyfriend, Emeka’s good friend, so I tried to lure him to bed. Chidi is a different breed. I made him come to the house one evening when I was home alone. I removed my clothes and threw myself at him, but he shoved me aside and screeched down the stairs as though he had seen a mad ghost.
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Episode 3

“I felt…I felt rejected! I grew very angry at him. I was worried that he might tell my cousin about it, but he did not. I doubt that he has told her up to this moment. In my anger, I went and slept with his best friend, Emeka. When I missed my period, I told Emeka that I was pregnant for him, but he would not hear of it.

After just once? He asked me incredulously. He came to campus one night with a group of boys. They had guns. At gun point, he warned me that if I mentioned his name in regards to my pregnancy, he’d shoot me, my parents, siblings and cousin. Somehow, I had to turn to you as the culprit. It was…it seemed the rational option; you see – you were my boyfriend after all.” Tiny balls of sweat walked languidly down Chinedu’s forehead. Slowly, they coalesced into a bigger ball which eventually dripped speedily down his face before crashing into his waiting laps. The fan was not that far from them, but Ogechi’s story shook Chinedu to his marrow. I dey fear girls oh! He thought quietly. So, na so this girl wan finish my life be this? (So, this was how Ogechi wanted to wreck my life?) God, I thank you for giving me the courage to return home and face the truth. Chinedu sang praises to God in his mind as he listened to Ogechi disgorge her horrific scheme.

“Well, when you skipped town, I had to find another scapegoat to pin my pregnancy on, knowing in my heart that you were not responsible. Chidi was my rational choice. I felt an indescribable rage towards him. By my judgement, he was responsible for my pregnancy. If he had not turned me down that evening, I would not have gone to Emeka, and perhaps, I would not be pregnant. That was what I thought then. I went ahead and pinned the whole thing on Chidi, shattering his relationship with Uchechi.” “Where is the Chidi of a guy now?” “He is in detention, awaiting trial.” “Why?”

“I framed him for rape.” I dey fear girls, no be small (Now, I am really scared of girls). God, this girl na winch (God, this girl is a witch), Chinedu thought. “Why are you telling me all these now?” “I am…I am really…really impressed by your courage and your desire to do the right thing. I guess I finally overcame my fears and selfishness seeing that you were willing to do the right thing, however difficult.” “The best way to do the right thing is to tell the truth to your family, Chidi, your cousin and the police. That poor guy needs to be released.”

“You are right. And his friends too.”

“Which friends?”

“His closest friends. My dad had all his closest friends arrested too…Including Emeka.”

“I don’t feel sorry for that one, but for the rest, they need to be let go, Ogechi.”

“I agree with you. Thanks for speaking to my heart. I have to go now. I need to talk to my father.” “Please, go and let them know. I will pay for the drinks and food.” “Will I still see you again?” she asked as she rose slowly to her feet.”

“Of course, I am going nowhere.”

“Okay then, I will see you soon, Nedu.”

“Yes, I will see you real soon.”

She walked slowly to the door, carefully descended the stairs and flagged down a taxi. Chinedu watched in shock. “See you again! No way. I was not about to say no to you, but seeing you again is not going to happen. My God, I am afraid of this girl…in fact, women in general!” Chinedu muttered to himself. “Tuakwa! (God forbid!)” He bellowed, running his right hand around his head and then snapping his fingers afterwards. …

“I am really sorry. I don’t think anything I say now will make a difference. I dragged your name in the mud, put your through indescribable pain and suffering and not for one moment did you tell anyone that I had tried to seduce you Your courage in the face of trial was both admirable and suffering, and not for one moment did you tell anyone that I had tried to seduce you. Your courage in the face of trial was both admirable and frustrating to me. I wanted to see you suffer; breakdown under stress so I could derive pleasure from your pain, but you grit your teeth and took the suffering with commendable courage and maturity. I guess that was what drew me towards you, and when you turned me down, I wanted to destroy you. I am ashamed of myself. Instead of being happy for my cousin, I wanted what she had. I hope someday, you will find a tiny space in your big, strong heart to forgive me. I am sorry for what I have done to you and your friends, except Emeka,” Ogechi preached to Chidi as he was being released. “I need to find Uchechi. I need her to know that she is the love of my life. I was willing to fight through the suffering, trusting God to see me through and to vindicate me. Thanks for telling the truth. I was praying that somehow; you’d come to a point where you could no longer keep all that within you. I have nothing against you, Ogechi. I hope you truly start life anew. I am glad to be free. Somehow, everything will work out well. All things work together for good, for those who love God and are called according to his purpose,” Chidi replied courageously, quoting his favorite Bible verse. His skin was covered in rashes and scales. He had a black eye and patches of healing wounds on his head from the incessant beating by the police. He limped as he walked, but on his face was a glowing smile. He wrapped his arms around his mother who was on hand to pick him up with his father. “I knew my son was innocent. I raised him well,” his mother said jubilantly. Ifeanyi, Nsudeh were equally released.

Emeka remained in detention where he was charged with rape, illegal possession of rearms and cultism. Uchechi was in class when she received a text that Chidi had been released. She had been staying with some friends after returning to Enugu following Ogechi’s ‘phantom rape’. The text was from Ogechi. She sent a lengthy message, confessing her actions to her cousin. Uchechi’s phone lit up in class. She had placed it on silent mode. She moved the phone below her the desk and looked at the text. She could not believe what she saw. She excused herself and ran outside. She read the text severally, wondering if she had been dreaming. I knew Chidi was different, she thought through a flood of tears. Gosh, I abandoned him through his trial because I did not want my family to see me as supporting the guy who raped my cousin, she thought. She wiped tears off her face, ran out of campus and boarded a bike to Chidi’s house. She cried all the way to the address. “Are you alright?” the bike rider asked her severally. “Yes, I am ne,” she replied, but she could not stop crying. She paid the bike rider, walked towards the building. Her heart was racing as she drew closer to it. She felt lighter; it was as if the gentle afternoon breeze would sweep her off her feet. She dragged herself, willing her body to keep going. When she reached the door to Chidi’s family’s apartment, she knocked gently on the door. She was afraid to knock loudly. She sniffed and coughed as each second dragged leisurely by. Every half second was sheer torture to her. Then, she heard a pair of feet shuffling along the floor inside. A hand grabbed the handle and squeezed it open. As the door flew open, she nearly swooned. She felt her heart beat faster. “Uchechi!” Chjindu, Chidi’s younger brother exclaimed. “Chiji,” she said, her teeth clattering. She could hardly look him in the eye. “Good to see you. Please come in.” “I can come in?” she asked in disbelief. She had thought that Chidi would instruct his whole family to throw her out if she ever showed up at their door for turning her back on him in his hour of trial and tribulation. “Yes; please come in. I will call Chidi for you.” “Thanks, Chiji.” She entered the living room and took a seat just by the door. She wanted to make her exit easy, with the anticipation that Chidi would usher her out of the apartment. About two minutes later, a frail looking Chidi walked through the door connecting the living room to the family’s single bedroom. “He wore a reassuring smile on his face, but not even that would settle Uchechi. She wrestled with guilt. She could see the rashes and scars; Chidi had made little effort to mask anything.

“Uchechi!” He said with a smile.

“Chidi…Chidi, I am very sorry,” Uchechi replied, rising to her feet. He took her is his arms.

“Are you not angry with me?” she asked incredulously.

“For what?”

“I…I abandoned you…abandoned you when you needed me the most, but I can explain.”

“If you had stuck with me, your family would have thought you were insane to stand by a guy who presumably raped your cousin.”

“Yes…yes…yes…that was what I thought, but even at that, I should have at least shown up…at least once. Or twice. Maybe more. I am sincerely sorry!”

“Stop crying dear. You were in a real dilemma. What matters is that I have been vindicated. I love you…with all my heart. I still want to be with you, if you want to be with me. I never stopped loving you.”

“You never told me that Ogechi did hit on you?” “Well, what was the point in creating friction between you two?”

“I wish I could be like you. I would have castigated her if I were in your shoes. Thanks for demonstrating incredible maturity. I don’t deserve you, but if you don’t mind, I will try, one day at a time to be better – to love you with maturity, kindness and stalwart dedication!”

“Your love is enough for me, Uche…that is all I ask for.”

“Then you have it…I give it all up to you, as imperfect as it is.”

“That is my favorite; imperfect love, my sweetheart. So far as it comes from the heart.”

“It comes from beyond my heart; from deep within my stomach, my legs and the soles of my feet.” Chidi smiled, their faces were pressed against each other as they started into each other’s eyes like puppies seeing themselves in the mirror for the first time. “I’d kiss you now, but my parents are in the backyard. I will reserve that for another day, but I want you to know that I am thinking of it.” “Me too!”

**************THE END**************