Mickey was determined to be noticed by Gbenga whether he liked it or not. She had finally come to terms with the fact that what she felt for the teenage boy wasn’t a crush but true love. The only downside was the fact that he wasn’t reciprocating the love at all, in fact, it was already five weeks since resumption and the boy acted as though she didn’t exist.

The class was quite noisy as everyone prepared for the basic science test; some students tore the center leaves of their notes, rolled them into balls and stoned their friends. A few others studied for the test while the rest glanced at their books while their minds were elsewhere.

“Ferdinand bought me a wristwatch.” Amina said to Mickey in a whisper.

Amina was Mickey’s seatmate, the girl’s father was the security guard at the company not too far from the school.

“How dat one come consign me?” Mickey spat at her.

“Why e nor go consign you? Mtcheeww…” The girl hissed.

Mickey looked at her and her expression softened.

“Oya, lemme see the watch.” She said.

Amina stuck out her wrist and proudly flaunted the watch.

“Hmmm…nice…but it’s cheap sha…is it not the ones that mallams sell for hundred naira? It will soon stop working sef.” Mickey said.

“Jealousy like you….” Amina spat.

Mickey’s full concentration was on Gbenga who was walking up to Chekwube’s desk. Mickey glared at Chekwube and thought to herself, ‘since she moved out of our compound, she’s been acting like a princess.’

“Wetin Gbenga dey do for Chekwube side?” Mickey spat.

“E be like say he like am o.” Amina said. “Since he joined our class, he never really looks at anyone.”

“That’s not true!” Mickey fired.

“Do you want us to ask around? Gbenga likes Chekwube…” Amina said.

Mickey was upset.

“I thought she’s your neighbour at home.” Amina said. “You should warn her to stay away from Gbenga, since you like him.”

Mickey looked at Amina in alarm.

“Wait…do you think we don’t know that you like Gbenga? It’s so obvious.” Amina giggled.

“Chekwube has left our compound…she left last week.” Mickey said with a sigh.

“It doesn’t mean anything. You can still warn her after school. Tell her to stay away from him.” Amina suggested.

“Do you think so?” Mickey asked.

“Ha! Don’t tell me you’re growing soft because of that boy.”

“It’s just that Gbenga doesn’t like hardcore girls like me.” Mickey said in a low voice. “I’m trying so hard to stop being myself because of him.”

“So, you’re changing yourself because of a boy? That’s unrealistic ooo.” Amina warned. “Anyone that doesn’t like you for who you are, doesn’t deserve you. For instance, my Ferdinand loves me for who I am.” Amina boasted.

“Does your father know that you have a boyfriend?” Mickey asked in a sneer.

Amina stared at Mickey in alarm.

“I guessed so!” Mickey said in triumph.

“Don’t get ahead of yourself ooo…it’s not your business ooo…” Amina warned.

“It’s not my business but when your father finds out, he will kill that boyfriend of yours.” Mickey laughed.

Amina stood up from the chair and stormed up to seat at another desk.

Mickey glared at Chekwube and Gbenga, who were studying together. She thought of a plan to separate them but she had none.

*******************

The test was over and Chekwube felt relieved, she had studied for the test and she was sure she was going to pass it. She had just zipped up her bag when Gbenga walked up to her seat.

“Thank you for the help.” He said quietly.

“You’re welcome. The test was pretty easy right?” Chekwube said to him.

“Yes…it was…” He admitted. “Thank you so much for coaching me, I am really grateful.”

“You’re welcome.” She said.

“The bell for closing will be rung soon, would you like to ride home with me? I could ask my driver to take your route.”

“No, don’t worry…I need to get to the market from school.” Chekwube said.

“Serious?”

“My aunt likes fresh vegetables.” Chekwube said.

“You mentioned that you moved to a new place, how has it been so far?”

“It’s been fine…I like the fact that I can study without noise.” Chekwube said with a smile as she referred to her sister’s compound.

Auntie Lizzie’s house was the most conducive atmosphere for reading. Since Aunt Lizzie was mostly not at home as she was setting up her new business, Chekwube spent her time alone at home. The only people in the house so far were the gateman, Auntie Lizzie and Chekuwbe, there was also a cleaning lady who came in thrice a week. Auntie Lizzie didn’t let Chekwube clean or sweep the house but she made sure that Chekwube kept her room clean at all times. Chekwube loved Auntie Lizzie and she loved her house too but she missed Ola so much. She missed their brawls, laughter and jokes and even though Ola’s house was really small, she still referred to it as home.

“It’s Friday, do you have any plans for the weekend?” Gbenga asked.

“Well…I should go to my sister’s place this weekend but I haven’t asked Auntie Lizzie for permission yet.” Chekwube said.

“Do you think that you can make out time to study with me this weekend?” Gbenga asked. “At my house…”

At that moment, Mickey cleared her throat, she was standing right behind them.

“Hello people.” She greeted.

Chekwube stiffened and busied herself with her bag.

“Hello Mickey.” Gbenga greeted.

“Shio…so, we can’t get along and be friends now that you’ve moved out of my compound.” Mickey said to Chekwube.

The bell was rung and the students roared in glee as they rushed out of the class.

“I have to go now, I need to get to the market.” Chekwube said standing from her seat.

“Why are you running away? Do I have horns?” Mickey asked her.

“I really don’t want your trouble…please.” Chekwube said.

“Mickey, please don’t cause any trouble with Chekwube.” Gbenga said.

Mickey was hurt by his words.

“Is that how you see me?” She asked. “You think I’m a trouble maker?”

“You are full of mischief and trouble and I don’t like it that you disturb Chekwube. If you really want to be friends with her, why don’t you look for better ways to approach her instead of bullying?” Gbenga suggested.

“Me ke? Friends with who?” Mickey asked incredulously.

“I am going home now…see you next week.” Chekwube said quickly as she picked up her bag and made to leave.

“I am coming with you, please wait…I’ll go get my bag.” Gbenga said as he hurried off to get his bag from his seat.

As soon as he left, Mickey spat at her.

“I see that you have gotten your claws deep into Gbenga and I will cut it off.”

“Gbenga and I are just study friends, if you really want to be close to him, why don’t you start studying for a change.” Chekwube spat at her.

“Your mouth is sharp abi.” Mickey said in warning. “Do you think I can’t still harm you now that you’re no longer in our compound?”

Chekwube ignored her and slung her bag on her shoulder. Gbenga walked back to them with his bag, slung at his back.

“Let’s go…” He said to Chekwube.

“I would love us to study during the weekend. Next week will be our full test week and we need to be prepared.” Mickey blurted, surprising herself.

Chekwube and Gbenga stared at Mickey incredulously.

“You want to join our study group?” Gbenga asked.

“Yes, why not?” Mickey asked.

“Well, it’s up to Chekwube. If she wants you in, then, you can join but if she doesn’t want you in, you can’t join us.” Gbenga said.

Mickey looked at Chekwube fiercely, daring her to say no. Chekwube looked at Gbenga in surprise while Gbenga looked at Mickey with a sly smile as he was so sure that Chekwube would never agree to her being a part of their study group.

“Okay then…but you’ll have to play by my rules.” Chekwube said.

Mickey smiled, she knew she’d hit the jackpot.

Gbenga frowned, he didn’t like the new arrangement at all.

To be continued tomorrow…..

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