Eighteen year old Janet is not sure she is in love with her school teacher, but she knows she thinks a lot about him. After many considerations, she decides to satisfy her emotions, but soon realizes she has taken a wrong decision. She then finds her whole world collapsing before her very eyes – she is expelled from the school, disowned by her family, rejected by the church, mocked by the neighbours and abandoned by friends.
To make things worse, she learns that the man for whom she is suffering will be marrying another lady in the next few weeks. That becomes a burden too difficult for her to bear. She therefore decides to stop the wedding by all means even as the only option she has is a criminal act that can earn her a lifetime in jail, she still decides to go ahead. But is she not taking another wrong decision?
FIVE YEARS AGO ……………
It was a capital offence in Streamline Girls College for teachers to be dating students. Some teachers had been sacked in the past years for that offence and the management had specifically included the prohibition in the term of contract signed with every staff. Certainly, the students knew they were sacred and it seemed they intentionally wished to be oppressing their teachers with their God given beauties. Most times the girls walked along the school, flaunting their bodies. They were fond of cat walking to their teachers’ offices and always putting on seductive smiles. They always kept close body contact with their teachers whenever they were talking one on one and would constantly be seen rearranging their hairs, readjusting their clothes and applying their powders in their presence. Coincidentally, most of the teachers in the school were males and were still single.
The management chose not to care about the students’ seduction, rather put in place a very rigid law against student-teacher romantic relationship. The law was so strict that a mere suspicion of such act almost meant an instant dismissal of the teacher and expulsion of the student. Quite a number of teachers had been sacked even when there were no enough evidence to prove they were guilty.
Despite this restriction, Simon Habby, a twenty four year old and highly resourceful teacher who did his NYSC in the school two years previously and was retained by the school, decided to dare the law and wait for the consequences.
On that thursday evening, he was a bit nervous, he knew he was on a suicide mission, but had chosen to take the risk. For two years he had kept his feelings to himself, now he could no longer bear the burden. The first day he set his eyes on Janet, he had immediately had a feeling of wanting to be closer. Janet was beautiful, brilliant and responsible. Then she was in S.S 1,and she was the best student in her class. Now she had was in S.S 3 and was appointed as the library prefect, though everybody argued she should had been the senior prefect. But to Habby that was better. That kept her more reserved for him as he was the teacher in charge of the library.
Janet did not belong to the category of the students who seduced the teachers nor Habby to the category of the teachers who enjoyed lustful view of the students’ body. Both of them were reserved, quiet and easy going.
On many occasions Habby had discussed many issues with Janet. He had shared his experiences with her. He had asked her about her family, her future plans and her past. Habby had told her about his own career, his passion for writing and his interest in modeling, but he had never told her he loved her.
He pressed the button at the gate of Janet’s house and waited for a reply.
“Who is that?” Janet’s asked
Habby was happy to have heard Janet herself replying.
“It’s Mr. Simon” Habby replied.
“Hey! Good evening sir, I am coming,” Janet said excitedly.
Janet opened the gate wearing a pink blouse and a black short skirt. She looked very attractive in the outfit.
“Good evening sir,” She greeted again.
“Good evening. How are you?”
“Very fine sir. What a surprise visit sir. How did you know my house?” Janet asked.
“I am coming from Parker’s house. I have been waiting for him since the past two hours and he has not come, so I decided to say hi to you. Maxwell told me you live here” Habby replied.
“Oh, you are very nice Mr. Simon. Do you mind coming in? She asked.
“No, Janet I am about going. Just to say hi.”
“Haba. So soon”
“Not that soon. I’ve been at the gate since the past three minutes.”
“Imagine, three minutes, and you spent two hours at Mr. Andryl’s house who was not even at home.”
“Can you compare?” Habby asked
“Uhun. We all belong to Streamline,” Janet said
“But Parker is my friend.”
“And I am your student.”
“Besides, I am very hungry,” Habby said.
“So you are going home to eat?”
“No, I don’t have a wife.”
“So you don’t eat?”
“I eat at the restaurants. Anyone around here?”
“You are rich uncle, you better go and get a wife.”
“Is there any restaurant around here?” Habby asked again.
“There is one down the lane, just three minutes walk.”
“Or can we go together?” Habby asked.
“No, uncle, I am alone at home.”
“It does not matter, we won’t stay for long. I heard you celebrated your birthday yesterday, so it will be an opportunity to buy you a birthday drink,” Habby said.
“How did you know?” Janet asked.
“When we get there I will tell you.”
They trekked to Hiltop Hotel.
“Who told you I celebrated my birthday?” Janet asked as she sipped the Maltina Habby bought for her.
“Never mind but I have a gift for you,”
Habby opened his folder and took out an envelope. “This is my humble birthday gift.”
“Thank you very much sir,” Janet said and opened the envelope. It contained a greeting card specially designed with Janet’s picture. The content read “A GIFT OF LOVE TO SOMEONE VERY SPECIAL ON HER BIRTHDAY”
“Thank you so much uncle, I really appreciate it but how did you get my picture?”
Habby ignored the question and said “It remains one and this one is more important.” Gradually he brought out another greeting card and slowly handed it over to Janet. His action and mood told Janet there were more to it than just a card.
Written boldly at the front were “I DON’T KNOW WHY IT TOOK ME SO LONG TO SAY…….” When she opened it, it continued as “……I LOVE YOU”.
Janet looked at Habby’s face, she looked at the card, looked at Habby’s face again. Habby was calmed, a lot of things were going on in his mind. “Will she agree, will she refuse?
Janet put the cards on the table; she stood up sharply and said in an unshaken voice. “Sorry Mr. Simon, I am not interested”. She left immediately.
Andryl Parker was worried, he had just had a discussion with a lady who claimed to be a childhood friend of his colleague – Simon Habby. Parker knew certainly that the lady was lying, but he realised that too late, not before he had told her all she wanted to know about Habby. After she left, he found it very necessary to call Habby and inform him about the danger ahead or perhaps the opportunity ahead. He took his phone and dialled Habby’s number. It rang but it was not picked. He dialled it again, the same thing happened. He wondered why Habby refused to pick his call. He knew Habby very well. He was always excited to pick his calls. Why then did he refuse to pick it. He was afraid. He tried it the third time, this time he was lucky. It was picked. He heard Habby saying “ Hello! Parker, ….” Then he went off again. Could it be that he was in a serious problem? He asked himself and tried again, it rang then his phone displayed ‘user busy’ showing that Habby terminated the call himself. He tried it again, this time the phone had been switched off. He got seriously worried. He decided to go and check Habby at home but as he moved out he saw Habby on a bike heading towards the direction of Hilltop Hotel.
Habby stopped in front of the hotel. Parker followed him. Parker saw him looking everywhere as if he was searching for something very important. He lifted up everything, then he looked up and saw Parker.
“What are you looking for pal?” Parker asked.
Tears dropped from Habby’s face as he watched Janet leaving. He knew there was no point calling her back. Reluctantly, he stood up and walked out of the hotel. He stopped a bike and ordered the cyclist to take him to his house. The cyclist noticed that he was not happy, he asked him why but he did not answer. As he was entering his house his phone rang. He looked at its screen, it was Parker’s number. He was not in the mood of answering any call now, especially that of Parker, so he returned the phone to his pocket neglecting the ringing sound. The phone rang the second time. Again Habby neglected it. As he entered his room, he laid on the bed and then the phone rang again. This time, he decided to pick it. He picked it and said “Hello! Parker, …….” Then he suddenly saw a greeting card on his table. Not that he has not seen the card before, but the card reminded him of the cards he gave to Janet. He knew Janet did not go with the cards and he too did not go with them. “Then where are the cards?” he asked himself. He quickly terminated the call he was making without caring how Parker would feel. “Where are the cards?” he asked himself again. He must have certainly left them at the hotel bar. He rushed out and stopped a bike. As he rushed towards the bike, his phone rang again. Now, he was in the least mood for any disturbance. He cut the call off and then switched off his phone.
As the bike passed in front of Parker’s house, he noticed somebody that looked like Parker, but he was not sure he was Parker. He got to the hotel, he searched everywhere, not only the table he sat but all the tables at the bar, but he did not see the card, then he looked up and saw Parker. “What are you looking for pal?” Parker asked.
“Mr. Andryl, what are you doing here?” Habby asked back.
Parker was surprised to hear Habby calling him by his surname. Then he said “Hope the girl has not put you in any trouble?”
“Which girl, you mean Janet?” Habby asked.
“Why Janet?” parker asked again.
“Listen Habby, I know you have fallen in love with Janet, but you need to be careful”
“Why did you think so?”
“I have noticed the way you usually react each time her name is mentioned”
“Please which girl are you talking about?”
“Well, a goddess who called herself Linda”
“Linda?” Habby asked to be sure
“Yes, she claimed to be your childhood friend”
Habby thought for a while. “No I can’t remember any friend called Linda”
Linda Jackson put on her suit and her glasses. She looked at herself in the mirror. Certainly, she looked very beautiful and attractive. She got into her car and drove towards Streamline College. She has decided to go at the closing time. She parked her car directly opposite the school gate and watched all the staff as they were passing out of the school. When it appeared everybody has gone and Habby did not come out she decided to ask the security officials about him. The official checked the signature book and confirmed that he has not signed out. Then somebody told her that he was in the proprietress’ office. She was directed to the office.
When she got there, the door was closed, but she could hear the voice of the people inside. Professionally, she did not expect such an official office to be closed when people are inside. She tried to listen to what they were discussing. But the person talking was speaking with a very low tone that she could not hear what she was saying. Then she heard a louder female voice saying “You are in love with an eighteen year old girl?”
There was a silence then the voice said louder “Who is there?” Linda remained quiet.
“I said who is there?” she asked again.
Linda opened the door “Good afternoon ma, please I am looking for Mr. Simon.”
Madam Kofo was the rich owner of Streamline Girls College. She was very active and everybody feared her. When Habby was about to sign out and was told the proprietress wanted to see him he was shocked, especially now that he has got skeleton in his cupboard and indeed he has guessed right. When he entered her office, Kofo asked him to close the door and sit down. Immediately he sat, Kofo threw two greeting cards to him. He did not need to look deep before he knew they were the cards he bought for Janet.
“These cards were found at Hilltop Hotel and they have your name on them. Can you please explain?”
Habby knew there was no point denying so he just kept quiet.
“Can’t you talk Mr. Simon” Kofo said angrily.
“I bought the cards ma, for Janet, on her birthday”
“Then why the “I love you” written there?” she asked.
“I am sorry ma” he said.
“You are sorry for what? You have not explained anything”
Habby knew Kofo very well, he knew there was no point begging her
“But ma, I truly love her” he said boldly, with a very low but calm tone.
“What rubbish are you saying Mr. Simon, you are in love with an eighteen year old girl?” Kofo asked raising her voice then she noticed someone has been listening.
“Who is there?” she said with a louder voice but there was no reply.
“I said who is there?” she shouted again then the door opened. Linda stood at the door, “Good afternoon ma, please I am looking for Mr. Simon.”
Kofo looked at Habby “Go and make sure you are here to meet the school’s disciplinary committee by noon tomorrow”
Habby stood up without saying a word. He looked at Linda. He has never seen her before. Linda moved out of the office and walked towards the gate. Habby followed her. When they were out of the school, Linda turned back, now she was facing Habby directly. “Good day, Mr. Simon Habby Peters” she said.
“Good day, have we met before?”
Linda neglected the question “My name is Linda Jackson, I am sure your friend must have told you about me”
“Yes, Parker told me about you, but I could not understand what he was talking about”
“Well we have a very important issue to discuss. If you won’t mind I am staying at Hilltop Hotel, we can go together to discuss it” she said and led Habby to where she parked her car. They entered the car and she drove to Hilltop.
Linda led Habby to her room in the hotel. They both settled down and Linda ordered for drinks
“Habby, I knew you when you were living in Rock City at St. Andrew Primary School” Linda started
“That was fourteen years ago” Habby said remembering that he left Rock City immediately he finished primary school at the age of ten
“Yes, then you were our senior boy” Linda said
“You are right”
“Now, when I saw a book you wrote I was excited and decided to look for you wherever you may be”
“But you should have called me. My number is always in all my books” Habby said.
“Nothing thrills like two old friends meeting again”
“But have we ever been friends?” Habby asked.
“Even if we were not before, we are friends now”
“So I am happy to meet you” Habby said.
“I am happy to meet you too” Linda replied. She adjusted her way of sitting and that showed she was about to discuss business.
“As I have told you, my name is Linda Jackson, I am twenty two. After leaving St. Andrew, I went to America, there I attended a high school before proceeding to Leeds University in England to study Law. I went back to America for just three months and then return to Nigeria this year for my NYSC.
“So you are a Corper” Habby said.
“Yes I am serving at Colling’s Chamber. My friend’s in-law owns the chamber”
“You are very lucky Miss Jackson to have tasted the good side of life.
“Thank you, Habby, but you are in a position to taste the better side” Linda said.
“How do you mean?”
“I have read your books and I know that indeed a writer is born. Those books will fetch you millions of dollars if they were published in America or England” she said.
“Well, thank you for your observation. I know one day I will become an international writer” Habby said
“Not one day, Mr. Simon, it can be done next week”
“I don’t understand”
“Listen I can get you a travel visa this weekend, by next week we will travel to America, I will introduce you to Mr. Harry Whyte, he is the owner of CL publishing house, the biggest publishing house in New York. Once your book is approved, in a couple of weeks, you will be receiving thousands of dollar as royalties every week.
“Is it that simple?”
“For those of us that know the secret, it is very simple”
“Then what shall be your own profit?”
“I am not profiting anything, but all the money I am going to spend in the process shall be returned to me immediately you start collecting your royalties. Whatever pleases you, you can add to it”
Habby was alone thinking over what Linda told him. Though he was aware of how rich American writers are, he was not sure making millions can come on a platter of gold like that. Then he thought about the personality of the goddess who called herself Linda as Parker has identified her. He was not sure there was anybody like Linda in his primary school. St Andrew was a small school and he was the senior prefect. He knew the entire students from primary one to six. There was nobody like Linda. Also somebody that has the capacity to attend a high school in America would not attend St. Andrew. But indeed, the lady was beautiful, eloquent and smart. She was highly literate, exposed and friendly. A beauty queen and a goddess. Then he realised he has been spending too much time thinking about her. Why is this lady coming at the peak of his passion for Janet? He asked himself. Then he felt a sudden urge to call Janet. He tried to resist the urge but he could not. He took his phone and dialed her number. It rang but it was not picked. “Why? Is the girl angry with him? He asked himself. It couldn’t be. At least they have met after the issue in the school and she did not show any sign of been offended. He tried the number again. Luckily, it was picked.
“Hello, Mr. Teacher ……” he heard a matured male voice speaking. He quickly terminated the call. “Who could be the one that picked Janet’s call?” He asked rhetorically.
Janet walked confidently to her father’s room, but when she saw her father’s face, she knew all were not well.
“You called me sir” she said.
“What is the relationship between you and your stupid Literature teacher?”
“You mean Mr. Simon?”
“Answer my question and don’t waste my time”
“I don’t understand. He is my teacher” Janet said.
“Ehen! You don’t understand. Okay, let me explain to you. Your proprietress called me this afternoon and told me you are dating the teacher. He said the cards he gave you were still with her that I should come on Monday to confirm. I even learnt he has been taken you to hotel”
“I?” Janet shouted.
“Do you want to deny it? At least three people saw you with him at Hilltop Hotel yesterday.
“But that was just one day, and he went to buy drink for me for my birthday” Janet said.
“Hey! Look at this girl, you were caught with a man in a hotel you are telling me it was just one day” her father replied angrily, then Janet’s phone rang.
Janet looked at the phone; it was Habby that was calling. She was too afraid to pick it. Her father looked at her and read her mind. “Bring that phone” he said. He collected the phone and saw ‘Mr. Simon’ as the caller. He wanted to pick it, but before he could pick it, it has stopped ringing.
“Can’t you see? He is calling you again. Are you to meet at the hotel today too?” he asked. Janet kept quiet.
The phone rang again and Janet’s father picked it “Hello, Mr. Teacher. Is this what you are teaching my daughter, you this son-of-a-bitch, next time you ……” then he realised the call has been terminated.
Janet was confused, the school authority has just served her a letter to face the school disciplinary committee on Saturday. Her father was threatening hell. Her friends were not making things better. The news has spread far. Everywhere she went, people were talking about her. She couldn’t understand what she has done wrong. A gentleman who was truly in love with her has innocently expressed his feelings, she has refused his invitation and the whole thing has erupted like volcano. She wondered what else she should have done. Is it a crime for a young man to woo a young lady? Is it a crime for the lady to say no? And some busybodies have taken the greeting cards she rejected to the school principal. Why can’t some people just mind their own business? Perhaps, it was her fault. If she has accepted the cards, nobody would have heard the story. Then she started thinking deeply about the whole incident. Why did she refuse to have a relationship with the man? Why was everybody talking about her? That the man was her teacher was nothing. It is not so uncommon, especially in our present time. In these days of ours when fathers are having sex freely with their own daughters, when eleven year old girl has aborted pregnancy three times, when a man is impregnating both mother and daughter, when entertainers are having sex openly on the stage. So what is wrong in an eighteen year old girl having an affair? Certainly, her father and her school were living behind the time. Then she suddenly developed a strong passion for Habby. She knew he truly loved her and indeed he was a complete gentleman, focused, nice, considerate and kind. He was handsome and caring, diplomatic and soft spoken. Then she realised she has been thinking too much of him. She asked herself if anything should be wrong with that. Just few days ago she clocked eighteen and she has never has a boyfriend. She believed she was old enough for a relationship and if she chose to date her teacher, it was her choice. Again she felt strong passion for him and strong urge to call him. She resisted for a while, when she could no longer resist it, she took out her phone and dialed his number
“Hello!” she heard him replied.
“I am sorry to have put you in all these problems”
“No, I am the one that put you in problem” he replied.
“Habby” she called. “I want to tell you something” she continued.
“I am listening”
“I love you” Janet said and waited for response.
There was a pause. “I have heard” Habby replied but the reply shocked her.
“Don’t you love me again” she asked.
“Of course I do”
“Then tell me you love me”. There was a long pause.
“Please talk” she pleaded.
Then Habby terminated the call and switched off his phone. Janet was baffled and afraid. She started crying.
The whole story started about two weeks ago when chief Akinwale was returning from a wedding of a niece. He has traveled with the whole of his family and their jeep unfortunately has a fatal accident. Everybody died except Akinwale himself who sustained serious injury. His doctors believed he could not survive it. The death of the entire Akinwale family necessitated a change in his will. He has willed out most of his properties to his wife and children who have now died even before him. On his sick bed, he sent for his lawyers at Collins Chamber. He wanted them to change his will. Apart from his children, he has also willed out a house and a five hundred thousand naira worth shares for Simon Habby, a son of his friend. Habby’s father introduced Akinwale to his business. They have intention of running the business together but Habby’s father died before they could start the business. Akinwale has to run the business alone. The business was successful and earned him his wealth and fame. He believed the only way he could pay his friend back was to will out part of his properties to Habby. He therefore gave him a house and some shares in his will and shared the remaining properties equally among his children and wife. But now that his wife and children have died, he asked his lawyers to give all his properties to Habby. His entire twelve billion naira business world. Apart from his properties, as the next of kin to his wife, he also willed out his wife’s twenty million dollars Women Initiative Foundation to Habby’s wife. The lawyers came and effected the change but they have to wait till Akinwale died before they could break the news to Habby.
Among the lawyers that came was Linda Jackson, a Youth Corper at the chamber. She was surprised that such a luxury could be willed out to a man who is not even aware of his fortune. She therefore decided to play a game. She would look for the man and lure him into a relationship and marriage. If that could be done successfully, she would inherit the twenty million dollar worth women foundation that was meant for Habby’s wife and would be a partner in his twelve billion naira inheritance.
Linda took a permission for three week leave in the chamber, a period of time she believed would be enough to get information about Habby, search for him and lure him into a relationship and possibly marriage. She has spent most of her life in U.S.A and England where people court for just few days before marriage. She knew if Habby eventually realise her reason for her action he may sue for divorce, but then she too would sue for half of his properties. Half of Akinwale’s twelve billion naira business world.
So Linda pretended like a former school mate of Habby and got enough information about him from people closed to him. When she met him, she told him she would assist him to publish his books abroad. With such promise, she got closer to him. She sought the assistance of Gloria, her friend whose American husband was working at the U.S. Embassy. As soon as she received a phone call from Gloria that the travelling documents were ready, she called Habby to join her in her room at Hilltop Hotel.
“The documents are ready, American and British Visa. I will go and collect them in few minutes time”
“I don’t know how to thank you Linda, you are my angel” Habby said. Linda smiled
“One more thing Habby” she said in a low and passionate tone.
“What is that” Habby asked.
“I want to make a request but it is not compulsory that you should grant it” she said.
“I will try as much as possible”
“Habby I love you” she said.
The statement did not shock Habby. Before saying it, she has shown it. Before Habby could think of what to say, his phone rang. It was Janet that was calling.
“Hello Habby” Janet said on the phone. Habby was surprised to hear Janet calling him by his first name. She has never done that before. None of his students has ever done that.
“I am sorry putting you in all these problems” Janet continued, then the main surprise, Habby heard her saying “Habby, I love you”. He was surprised and happy. He wanted to reply immediately but remembered that Linda was sitting in front of him begging for his love. “I have heard” he managed to reply, knowing himself that that was not the best response to such statement.
“Don’t you love me again?” Janet asked.”
“Of course I do”
“Then tell me you love me”. Habby paused for a while. She glanced at Linda then he heard Janet saying something again. Habby couldn’t talk. Then he terminated the call and switched off his phone wondering how the girl would feel.
“Who is that?” Linda asked.
“One of my students” he replied.
“Oh! Is that you eighteen year old lover?”
“How do you mean?” Habby asked back.
“Never mind, but I won’t like to be competing with small girls” Linda said, rose up and said “I am late, let me go and collect the documents”
Habby followed her. When they got to the place where Linda parked her car in front of the hotel, Linda turned back facing Habby directly. She held his two hands and looked directly into his eyes.
“I love you Habby” she said seductively. Habby remained quiet.
“Please kiss me” she said again.
Habby looked at her. She was extremely beautiful. She was light in complexion, not the kind of complexion obtained through creams. She has a perfect figure eight curve. Not very tall but with long and very straight legs. Good portion of her fats are deposited at her hips, making them exciting sight to glance at. She has a round face with proportional lips, her eyeballs were big and clear. They were inviting. She put on light make up which presented her lips in the colour of her face. The attachment she added to her hairs made them to be dangling on her neck, completing a real figure of a beauty queen. The kind of ladies you can only see in cosmetic advertisements. As she looked at Habby, she put on a charming smile that could intoxicate any man. Few of her long hairs ran down her cheeks, they revealed the real beauty of her face. Her breasts stood towering at him, her pointed nose, her big eyeballs, her snow white teeth, her rainbow eye lashes, all reflected an adorable beauty queen. An icon of beauty, a gem and an angel. She looked like a shining precious stone. Habby could not resist the beauty. He moved closer and kissed her. Then he realized somebody was watching him.
It was Saturday morning, though it was getting close to noon, the weather was still cool. Janet was depressed, she was to meet the school’s disciplinary committee by noon. Her father has just left the house after a session of abusive words. Habby, the man he was suffering for has shocked her. Instead of telling her he loved her on the phone he switched off the phone. She decided to have a walk. That was her usual way of relieving pressure and boosting her moral. She left the house without having any particular place in mind to go. After trekking for few minutes, she found herself on the road leading to Hilltop Hotel. She kept going. As she got close to Hilltop she saw two people coming out of the hotel, one of them was unmistakably Habby. They walked towards a car parked under a tree in front of the hotel. As they got to the car, the lady turned back. She saw Habby and the lady holding each other the way lovers do. She saw the lady whispering something to Habby, then after some time, she saw Habby kissing the lady. Janet was terribly moved, she started crying then somebody tapped her at the back.
“Stop crying baby!” Parker said.
Andryl Parker was idle. In times like this, Habby would have been in his house. But he knew his friend has more problems now than to start visiting friends. That was the day he supposed to face the school’s disciplinary panel over his misconduct. Parker called it negligence. He was surprised that Habby could forget something as important as those cards at a hotel bar. But then, who could have been the person that has taken the cards to the school proprietress. Certainly, Hilltop was not a safe place for a secret deal. Then he decided to go to Hilltop, maybe he could meet someone who could give him a clue to how cards fly, especially from Hilltop to Streamline.
As he was going, he saw Janet also walking towards the Hotel. He was surprised. What could have been her mission there? He felt she should have learnt her lesson. He tried as much as possible to ensure she did not see him. Then he saw another surprise. He saw Habby coming out of the hotel with Linda. “What is Habby doing here with this lady again. Has they been dating this soon? Now Janet is watching them and he does not know. Poor Habby!” Parker said to himself. Then he saw the greatest surprise. Linda held Habby’s hand and after sometime Habby moved close to her and kissed her. Parker looked towards Janet’s direction to see if she has seen them. He saw Janet weeping. So he moved close to her. “Stop crying baby!” he said.
Linda entered her car and drove off. Then Habby looked around to confirm someone has been looking at him. And indeed he saw Janet crying and Parker begging her. He felt ashamed and walked towards them.
“Sorry Janet, I will explain everything to you now” Habby said.
“You really need to, because I am in the dark myself too” Parker said.
Some minutes later, they were sitting round a table beside the hotel’s swimming pool.
“Who is she?” Janet asked to break the silence.
“Her name is Linda Jackson. She was my former school mate and has just returned from the United States of America. She wants to help me get my books published in U.S.A and Europe.” Habby explained.
“So you are together in business” Janet said.
“Precisely, she is to be my manageress”
“Do you love me Habby?” Janet asked.
Parker was surprised, more to have heard Janet calling her teacher by his first name.
“Yes, with all my heart.” Habby replied.
“You know what I am passing through for your sake. I can’t afford to lose at both ends” she said.
“Don’t worry, I promise I won’t disappoint you” Habby said then they saw Linda coming towards them. Everybody remained quiet.
“The documents are ready. We will first travel to London for our wedding before going to New York for honeymoon” Linda said and dropped two international passports on the table almost directly in front of Janet.
Habby got to the school late. He and Janet were supposed to meet the school committee by noon, but Janet decided not to go, rather she chose to wait for Habby at Parker’s house. When Habby got to the school, all the members of the committee have gone. He met only the school principal. The principal did not disturb himself asking for the reason he came late rather he politely told him that all the members of the committee have waited patiently for him and when he did not show up on time they have taken their decision and have gone. He said their decision would be communicated to him in the school on Monday. Habby thanked him and left. He decided never to return to the school again.
Having taken a decision to quit Streamline Girl’s College, one of the leading schools around, he knew he could not afford to miss the golden opportunity of travelling out of the country as Linda has promised him. But he knew Linda was asking for a price for her assistance. She wanted a relationship. Habby decided to play along with her long enough for her to introduce him to Mr. Whyte, after that she can go to hell.
Habby and Janet were at the critical stage of their lives. A lot of things have happened to them in the past few days. They have undergone serious emotional turmoil, threat and pressure. They have had to take serious and delicate decisions and Janet now looked more matured in thought and character than her age. She has decided to defy all laws, dare all threats and acted strictly according to the dictates of her heart. When Habby left the school, he bought two gifts for Janet. Then he went to take her from Parker’s house to his house. There he presented her with the gift. The first- a copy of the Holy Bible, Janet did not understand its essence and the second – a ring. She was excited.
“This is the seal of my covenant with you” he said as he put the ring in her hand. Janet looked at Habby, looked at her ring, looked at the Bible and looked at Habby again. She clung to him.
Janet has never had sex before. She has decided to keep her virginity till marriage. But she has never been closed to a man as this before. Habby took her to his bedroom, he whispered sweet words to her ears. He kissed her passionately – at the cheeks, at the forehead, at the neck then at the lips. To Janet, the kissing lasted for ten thousand years. Then gently he laid her on the bed, he ran his tongue down her neck. Slowly, he caress her skin. His hand felt soft and chilling on her skin. It sent a burning sensation down her nerves. Habby ran his fingers from her leg up to her tight. Her entire body was burning for passion. Then he unbuttoned her shirt. She did not know how the clothes got to the floor. She was not sure she knew how the same thing happened to her skirt. She only realised she found herself wearing only pants and bra. With a single touch, Habby unstrapped her bra. The whole of her breasts shoot out to him. The breast were rapidly rising and falling before him. She was breathing heavily. Habby cupped the fullness of her breasts with his two hands. Her whole body was trembling. She felt an excitement she has never felt before. Habby withdrew his hands from her breast, then he put his tongue on her nipple. She wanted to scream but immediately called herself back to order and pulled him away. She sat on the bed. Only with her panties on.
“I love you with all my heart” Habby said softly
“I am afraid” Janet replied.
“Can’t you trust me? I promise I will make you comfortable. I will do everything within me to make you happy”
“And when this hour has passed and the little love you have for me gone with it, what shall become of me?” she asked.
“I swear by the stars and the moon, thousands of hours can pass away but my love for you shall never” Habby replied
“Even the stars you swore with do go to hiding in the day, and the moon as well loses its illumination when day breaks”
“Then I swear by the unconquered sun, the ultimate source of the world energy. I swear by the unlimited sky, the ultimate covering of the earth. I swear by the endless ocean, the origin of all living beings. I swear by the mother earth, the final home of everybody. I swear by the ………”
“Skip swearing. Show me what you have in your heart.” Janet demanded.
“Look straight to my eyes. If you look deep enough you will see my heart” Habby said.
Janet stared at him. She saw a handsome young man, innocent enough to be trusted.
“Can I trust you?” she asked
“Yes and I mean yes”
“Tell me who you are” Janet demanded again.
“I am your man. The best man for you. Someone you can count on, in joy or in agony, in surplus or in need, when you are laughing or when you are crying. In whatever situation, I am a man that will always be there. When everybody goes home, when the cloud turns dark, when the honey turns sour, when the chips are down, when the die is cast, I will always be there for you”
“So what fascinates you most, when do you get depressed? Janet asked.
“I love blue, the colour of love, but I am down when love is lost” Habby replied.
“Then what ……” Janet started but Habby interrupted her
“Save the last dance Janet. Give me your hands”.
Janet gently placed her hands on his laps. Habby took the hands and lifted her up. He drew her close to him and started kissing her from the neck down to the toes. Again it lasted for another ten thousand years. Then he started caressing her body. Gradually, his hand got to her panties. He removed them. Janet found herself absolutely naked before him. She realised what he was doing and the danger involved but this time, she simply surrendered.
Girls of Streamline college did not used to observing afternoon devotion except if there was an important information. So when the bell was rung around the closing hour for the girls to assemble at the terrace, everybody started speculating what the reason could be. Madam Kofo decided to address the girls herself. She reminded them of the school’s stand not to tolerate indiscipline and immorality. She warned them against the deceit of men and the lust of youthfulness. He then told them that he was not happy to announce to them that two of her most valuable assets have committed a forbidden act and have been found guilty. She brought out two greeting cards and called a JSS1 student to read the contents of the cards. After reading it, everybody remained quiet and fearful, partly because they were afraid of Kofo but mostly because the issue involved two people they all loved so much and they were afraid of the judgment Kofo would pronounce. Kofo went on to give more details. She explained how they were invited to explain their parts to the school’s disciplinary committee and how they refused to show up. How they were seen together in the same hotel at the time the committee members were waiting for them in the school with yet another male teacher in the school. How Janet has followed the other teacher to his house while Simon came to the school. How Simon took Janet from the other teacher’s house to his own house and they stayed together till only God knows when. She said she has decided not to mention the name of the other teacher involved till investigations are concluded but that the teacher was being monitored. Then she gave her verdict: despite all prizes and awards Janet has won for the school she was expelled, Simon was sacked.
The management of streamline college was not the only body that did not find Janet worthy of associating with, so was her father. As she got home, she met the wrath of her father, a police man whose action always confirms his profession. He told her that the school authority has sent a message to him that she has been expelled from school for gross misconduct. Such decision was painful especially as she was in her final year and she supposed to write WAEC examination in the next two months. After spending a lot of money on her education from JSS1 to SSS 3, she would be graduating two months before her mates without anything to show that she has ever been to senior secondary school. In his conclusion, her father told her that for her act of immorality he has disowned her as his daughter
Janet did not fully comprehend the meaning of her father’s statement but she knew the immediate implication was that she was not going to sleep in his house that night.
Habby got home to meet two visitors – Linda and Janet.
“What is wrong with your phone? I have been trying your number since morning” Linda asked. Habby ignored the question
“Janet hope no problem?” He asked
“Attend to your manageress first” she replied
“Linda why did you come at this time of the day” Habby asked
“Because I am sleeping here” she replied
Habby was confused then he called Janet to one side.
“Janet why did you come here at this time of the day? This is almost 9 O’clock.
“I have been waiting for you since five O’clock and I tried your number it was not available” Janet replied
“Yes my phone is faulty, but you should have gone and come back tomorrow”
“I have been expelled in the school and my father has disowned me”.
“What did he mean by disowning you?”
“Well the immediate meaning is that I have been sent out of our house”
“Why? Killing an ant with a gun. He doesn’t suppose to have gone to that extent” Habby said but Janet kept quiet
“So what are we going to do now? He asked.
“That is why I have come” Janet replied
Habby paused for a while then he said
“Why don’t you beg him?”
“He won’t listen” Janet replied.
“But you cannot sleep here tonight”.
“Why? Janet asked “Because of your manageress?” She continued.
“No Janet you cannot understand. May be you will go and stay with Parker today, tomorrow we will find a final solution to everything.”
Janet kept quiet. She was looking at him with surprise.
“I truly know I have offended you, but you will not understand my reason for now. I promise by tomorrow I will explain everything to you in full details without hidden anything” he said.
Janet believed him.
“So what did you say I should do now?” She asked.
“Go and spend the night at Parker’s place” he replied
Habby collected Janet’s phone and called Parker’s number but it has been switched off.
“So what are we doing now that his number is not on?” Janet asked
“It does not matter, Parker usually switch off his phone when he is sleeping. So he might have slept”. Habby said
“What if he is not at home?” Janet asked
“No, he is at home. We left together now, and he took bike straight to his house.”
Janet left, Habby followed her. He stopped a bike for her and paid then he turned back home to meet Linda.
Parker was woken up by the gentle tap on the door of his flat. If he has been sleeping in the bedroom he wouldn’t have heard but luckily he was sleeping on a settee in the sitting room. When he opened the door and saw Janet still having the school uniform on, he was surprised. he looked at his wrist watch, it was twenty eight minutes to ten.
“Janet, hope no problem?”
“Good evening Mr. Andryl” she said.
“Hope no problem?’ Parker repeated
“A lot of problems sir” she replied
“My father has disowned me and he has sent me out of his house.
“Why, what for? Even if he is a police boss, does that mean he should not have a common sense? Your father sending you out at this time of the day” he said and later realised he was talking to the girl’s father.
“He has not just sent me out. I have been sent out since afternoon” she said
“Then what have you been doing since then?”
“I was waiting for Uncle Simon, He just returned.
“Yes we left together, So what did he say?”
“Uncle Simon said maybe I can stay here tonight and by tomorrow we will get a permanent solution.
“What about his own place?” Parker asked
“His wife is around” She replied
“Who is his wife? Parker asked
“His manageress” Janet replied.
“No Janet, she is not his wife, she only wants to help him publish his books abroad.” Parker explained and continued. “But the problem, Janet, is that I still have a query to answer with the management over your issue. So it will be too risky for me if you sleep here tonight. I can’t afford to lose my job. But I can still follow you to beg your father at least your house is not far.”
“I know my father, he will not agree, at least for now” Janet said, turned back and started walking towards the road
“Where are you going?” Parker asked.
“Don’t worry Uncle, I can take care of myself” she said.
“No I can’t allow you to just go like that”
“Uncle, I was there when madam said you are being investigated and I don’t want to cause any problem for you.”
“Don’t worry about me Janet. Your safety comes first.” Janet ignored him and stopped a bike
“Where are you going now?” Parker asked.
“To the city junction, I have a friend there with whom I can spend the night” she lied
“Are you sure you will be safe there?” Parker asked.
Parker gave her a sum of N1000
“Take this, you may need it.
“Thank you uncle” she said as the bike took off.
Parker wanted to call Habby then remembered his phone was with a repairer.
The bike stopped at the city junction and Janet came down. She looked up and down not knowing where exactly to go. The cold was too harsh on her. She thought she should have left home with some clothes. She had only with her, her school uniform, a hand-kerchief, a bunch of keys and a sum of N1320.If not for Parker, she would have had N320, but she was not worried about money now.
She saw a table at the road side, she sat on it and started thinking about Habby. She wished it was morning and Habby has come with a genuine explanation as promised, but can he ever has a genuine excuse? She loved Habby. She knew she really loved him.
She saw some people walking at some distance from where she was. She perceived the odour of cigarette and Indian hemp, then she knew she was not safe, but she has no place to go. She took out her phone and started reading the text messages Habby sent to her a day earlier. They read “To hold here next to my heart, a beautiful picture of you and I, everyday together as perfect even as I pass through the valley of death, until we have our place in the sky” and the second one “I have loved, I have paid the price, I have tasted the juice of love, I have felt its pains but I’m glad I have found an angel who walks on the land”.
She pondered who had paid the price for love now, who has felt the pains of love? The she started typing a poem on her phone
WHEN LOVE IS LOST
When this hour has gone,and the little love you have for me faded away
When I look at your face and the smiles are no longer there
When I wish you embrace me but you refrain from that
I know I will still appreciate your beauty, though it may not be for my glory
When my phone rings but the call is not from you
When I throw a party and your name is not on the roll
When you display your album and my photos are missing
I know I will still dream of you even if the dream may never come true.
When I wish time can be reversed, history can be cancelled
When I pray those hours come back that you passionately longed for me
When I wait endlessly for the time you return to my arms
I know it might never occur but I will still wait for it.
Those times may be hard to bear, those fate may be difficult to accept
When love is lost the heart is wrecked
But there is one fact that will gladden my heart
That when I have the chance I have loved you the best way I can.
Suddenly, a bike stopped beside her
“Janet what are you doing here alone at this time? ” Sandra asked, almost shouting.
“Senior stainless” Janet shouted excitedly.
Sandra was the senior prefect of the last graduating students of Streamline Girls College. She was the most brilliant student in the school then. She loved Janet because she was equally brilliant. When she was in school, she stayed in the school hostel. Immediately she finished her secondary school education, she gained admission to the State University in the same city. There too she stayed in the hostel, so she just moved from the school hostel to the University hostel.
“I said what are you doing here alone, this is past eleven and you are still wearing the school uniform?” Sandra asked again.
“It is a long story senior” Janet replied.
“So who are you waiting for?”
“Nobody” Janet replied.
“What do you mean nobody, are you sleeping here?”
“ I have no place to go senior”.
“Wonderful! O.k, follow me I am going to the hostel” she said.
Janet joined her on the bike and they headed towards the university hostel.
Sandra was brilliant and sociable. Apart from her studies, Sandra cared so much for her skin. She spent a lot of money on soaps and creams. It paid, for nobody has ever seen any spots on her body. She was more than shinning, she was glittering. It was even rumoured that no matter how teachers could beat her, it cannot create any impression on her skin. That is why everybody including the teachers was calling her stainless.
When they got to the hostel, stainless roommate has slept. Sandra gave Janet clothes to change and started preparing tea for her to eat bread.
“Hope my trousers will not be too tight for you?” She asked as she gave the cloth to her.
“You will not mind me o, I have only bread at home, I think that one too will do. She continued.
“It will be okay, senior, thank you.” Janet said. Then Sandra noticed Janet’s matured body in the slim
clothes she was wearing.
“Baby, what did you pack here?” She asked as she tapped Janet at the buttock.
“Am I the one that say you should not have Ikebe? Janet replied. Now feeling at home, settling down to eat her bread and tea.
“Girl you are now fully ripe, you have got both the front and the back, who owns it? Sandra demanded. Janet ignored the question concentrating on her bread.
“I said who owns the Ikebe? Sandra asked again.
“Senior stainless, I have a serious problem” Janet replied.
“You have told me that before, you just want to shift my attention.”
“No senior, but the Ikebe has put me in trouble.” Janet said.
Sandra laughed, “I don’t know it is because of that, that you are saying you have problem, how can you expect to be as beautiful and elegant as this without creating problem, you just have to be handling situations maturely. Now tell me how many guys have wounded themselves because of you? How many male teachers have been sacked? Stainless asked jokingly.
“But I am serious stainless, someone has just been sacked.” Janet said then Sandra got serious.
“Baby! Tell me something”
When Janet finished her story, Sandra was full of surprises; she had trusted Habby than what he did.
“Can you see now that men cannot be trusted.” Sandra said. “He ruined your life and abandoned you,” she continued.
“But I cannot believe that Uncle Simon has abandoned me,” Janet said
“You better believe,” Sandra said.
“He still promised to tell me the reason for his action. Who knows, he may have a genuine excuse,” Janet said in defence of Habby.
“Don’t deceive yourself baby, let me tell you authoritatively, Simon is having his wedding next month,” Sandra said.
“What did you say?” Janet asked in disbelief.
“I said Mr. Simon is having his wedding next month. I have his wedding invitation,” Sandra replied. Then she noticed that Janet was falling down from the chair she was sitting on. She fell on the ground and fainted.
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