Ijeoma was reading in class a month prior to the exams when suddenly she felt that someone was staring at her. She knew who it could be though she could not be too sure. Boys could be so funny but her first guess would have been a guy she had just started seeing suddenly who was doing all he could to bring himself to her notice. Wherever she was, he came, if she left and came back he left and came back and then spent half that time just looking at her as if he had never seen a girl before.
Well, he had certainly succeeded in his devices. She had noticed him all right. Most of the time she was also looking at him when he wasn't aware of it and avoiding his eyes when he was. She had become sensitive to his presence and he was a very handsome guy at that. Many times she caught herself dreaming about him while she “read”.
Brushing “the unknown known” as she had dubbed him out of her mind, she settled down to read. Three hours later, people started to leave and the chair beside hers was vacated. While she was debating whether to pack up or not, someone occupied the empty seat and goose bumps trickled over her skin.
When she looked up, she wasn't surprised. She was looking into the most liquid golden brown eyes she had ever seen and the handsome face of her dreams.
“Hello,” he said in a deep baritone staring into her eyes.
“Hi,” Ijeoma replied surprised at the normality of her voice. Her heart seemed to be turning cartwheels inside her chest. She turned back to her books. “Aren't you tired yet?” He asked quietly.
“No,” she replied feigning a distracted air.
“Okay,” he said settling down to his own books.
After thirty minutes she couldn't deceive herself any longer. Her heart was pounding in her ears as she felt him staring at her at intervals. She packed up.
“Oh? Are you leaving?” He asked.
“Yes, it's getting late,” Ijeoma replied standing.
“It is late, he corrected, “Let me walk you back to the hostel.” he offered standing too. “You don't have to...” Ijeoma started but he interrupted her.
“Oh no, don't say that. I can't allow a beautiful young lady like you to move into the night alone when I can help it,” he stated.
Ijeoma ignored the flattery, “But you....” She hesitated.
“No excuses. I am also tired and its time I went back to my own hostel,” he said.
As they got out he asked which hostel she was going to and she told him. “Ah, I'm also going to that side, you know Manus Hostel, don't you?”
“Yes,” Ijeoma replied in a monosyllable. She found herself tongue-tied for the first time in her life because of a guy.
Do you always read in that class?” Ifeanyi asked trying to strike up a conversation.
“Sometimes, when my friend isn't going with me. It's nearer to the hostel so I can walk back alone,” Ijeoma replied.
“I read there sometimes too,” he said.
“I know,” Ijeoma replied and almost bit off her tongue. She cursed her run away thoughts for betraying her.
Ifeanyi smiled secretly. “Oh yeah? You looked so serious I didn't know you even noticed anybody,” he teased.
“Mmm...” Ijeoma mumbled.
“Well, my name is Ifeanyi Apia and what's yours?”
“Ifeoma,” she replied and breathed a sigh of relief when Lady Ibiam Hall came into view “What a nice name, a good thing,” Ifeanyi said, “It suits you.”
“Thank you,” Ijeoma replied weakly.
“Which department...?” Ifeanyi started to ask but they were already in front of the hostel.
“Thanks for everything,” Ijeoma cut in with fake poise, “Goodnight.”
Wanting to make the best of a bad situation, Ifeanyi replied warmly, "goodnight and sweet dreams,” He watched as she went inside.
Once inside the hall, Ijeoma ran all the way up the stairs and down the corridor to her room. Inside, she closed the door and leaned back on it. Taking in a gulp of air with her eyes closed, she let it out with a sigh. She then opened her eyes and saw her two roommates staring at her. Ignoring them, she walked nonchalantly to her bed.
“What is it, is there anyone chasing you?” Jane, the more outspoken one asked with concern in her voice.
“Nothing,” Ijeoma evaded, “I am just tired.”
“Okay,” Jane replied as the two girls went back to their books.
Ijeoma undressed and got into bed.
Hard critique please and if you haven't caught up, go over to Cupid's Risk series and read the latest episode by Rene. Don't forget to vote.