The next day, I placed my note on the seat beside me to make sure that Amara had a spot to sit right beside me when she arrived. As with the first day, I was the first to arrive at the training auditorium. Linda was already there. I wondered if she slept in the building. She still had that ravishing smile on her face and an acquired foreign phoneh (phonetic expression) on her sumptuous lips. “You are the first to arrive for training for the second day running,” she remarked. “Am I? I asked. “Yes, no one else has arrived yet.” “I am surprised,” I answered.
Honestly, I was fagged out – tired like an overworked horse. The previous day, I rode home on a Zenith staff bus. It took hours to weave through typical Lagos traffic. I got home sometime around 10:00PM. I managed to eat, fix a meal for my older brother in whose apartment I was living at the time, and then made sure my breakfast was ready for the morning. Then, I did a bit of laundry and studied my training notes before hitting the sac. Yes, we had to take tests…written tests during the training and as a first class graduate, I felt I had to ‘represent’, so I studied as though I was writing my final exam at university all over. By morning, I was up at 4:00AM. I was sleep-deprived, but I had to keep going. Zenith staff bus left my area at 5:30AM for Victoria Island, so I had to be there early enough to catch the bus… which I did.
After placing my note beside me, I laid my head on the desk with the hope of catching up on missed sleep. That was not to happen. I would not complain though. I was quickly woken up by Amara’s tender touch on my neck. I was dreaming of her when I felt her sweet tender touch. I raised my head and she was smiling down on me…beautifully. “Someone did not sleep well last night!” She said in her characteristic ebullient style. “I really needed the sleep,” I replied.
“I am afraid, you are not getting it. Not before you talk to me,” she said sinking into the seat beside me. I felt the warmth of her voluptuous body piercing delicately through her suit and hitting my body with velvety gentleness. I will speak to you with all my heart and soul, even though sleep is haunting down my eyes with ‘resilient dedication’ I thought to myself. “How was your ride home?” I asked. “It was great, Cletus. You won’t believe what the guy who sat beside me during lunch yesterday was saying. Seriously, is there anyone here who is not acting as though their father was Bill Gates? I mean, there has to be some people with humble beginnings like me, or those who don’t care to flaunt their parents’ wealth…humble people!!!” Amara was not impressed. The guy must have tried to entice her with lies or empty wealth.
“You are looking at one,” I replied smiling. “My parents do not custom-order deboned meat from London…In their dreams, that is. We buy our goat meat from the market in Enugu, to be precise. That is, when we can afford meat,” I emphasized jokingly. “Where did you get that one from? Custom-order meat from London? Who does that?” “Yes, deboned meat for that matter. I learned that one yesterday. Empty lies!!! The girl who sat beside me at lunch was keen to impress me with that one, while I was busy crushing the bones in my goat meat with ‘ecstatic joy’.”
“That is appalling. This guy would not let me hear anything yesterday. He kept going on about his limousine which had not arrived in Lagos yet. I can’t go around town after starting my new job at Zenith without my limousine, he said arrogantly. I swear he has never seen a limousine. Those who own limousines don’t brag about them. I wish you had returned to supplant him from the seat beside me.” “I wish so too, my dear. I did not want to make trouble. Anyway, here I am now, seated beside your sweet succulent body,” I replied with a cheeky smile on my face.
Somehow, being around Amara seemed to melt my shyness away, mystically. I had the inexplicable power to express myself around her in an energizing manner. “Please don’t step an inch away from me at lunch time,” she replied. “I will build my humble castle in your heart so you can take me wherever you go. When braggarts come calling, I will not only sit firmly beside you like rock of Gibraltar, but I will be residing deep within your soul.” She turned her neck slightly, peered into my eyes and said, “You are good with words and I like it. I want your lips to press against mine as soon as you and I can find a quiet place to hold each other’s hands and listen to our hearts breath rhythmically in concordance with each other.”
“Where have you been?” I asked her. The auditorium was slowly filling up, but we ignored everyone else and conversed in low, muffled tones. “I have been around…everywhere, searching for you.” “I crossed seven seas and rivers, roamed the wilderness and traversed perilous caves searching for you…now that I can perceive the waft of your angelic perfume caressing the cells of my nostrils, gently; and the touch of your skin against mine…I know it was worth it. It was worth the search and the wait.” “What are we doing?” Amara asked smiling. “I am not dreaming, Amara. I am serious. You are…You are simply unique. I have prayed and hoped that there was a girl like you in this whole wide world. Now, I am thrilled to have you beside me.”
She smiled, placed her hand on my knee below the desk. She said nothing but her touch spoke volumes to me. I could feel electric waves…good ones rocketing through her body and permeating mine with pleasure-infused power. We would look at each other momentarily and smile. Peace – that is the word to describe the unique and empowering feeling between us…the connection that ran amok like strong ocean currents between us, serenely.
“So, what is your hubby?” The first instructor for the day asked in the middle of her lecture. “Reading!” “Travelling!” “Watching movies!” “Listening to music.” “Hanging out with friends!” People were spewing out their hubbies – some were real while most were fake – as hands sprouted eagerly in the air. “Do you know my hubby?” Amara asked me. She was whispering. “No.” She leaned towards me and whispered into my ear. “Sleeping. I dare not say that to these fake people. Never you mention it to anyone.” I laughed gently. “Your secret is safe with me, dear. By the way, I am very sleepy. I am going to the restroom to get some rest.” “To the what?” “I will tell you later. Take some notes, my dear. I will borrow your notes later.”
I dragged my tired body up, reluctantly though. I still wanted to feel Amara’s touch and aura beside me, but I did not want to be caught sleeping during a lecture. I walked slowly to the end of the auditorium, opened the door gently and walked quietly into the hallway. I went to the bathroom, locked the door firmly behind me, sat on the toilet seat, and set my phone alarm for forty five minutes. I leaned backwards and passed out. The air conditioner was right above my head, serenading me with cool, soothing tunes. I dozed off. By the time my alarm went off, I had gotten decent sleep. I was refreshed. I quickly washed my face and returned to the auditorium.
“So you were serious?” Amara asked. The last lecture before lunch was going on. “Yes, I was passing out.” “So, I was not enough to keep you awake, right?” she teased. “You are more than enough my dear…more than enough to wipe the strongest of sleeps from my eyes. I needed to just stretch my legs and wash my face. I had to go. Not to worry, I will make it up to you in case you missed me too much.” She laughed gently, placing her hand over her mouth. “You two should go and get a room,” a girl behind us said. “Thanks, we are really thinking about it. Do you know of any rooms around here?” I asked her, somewhat caustically. She hissed in reply and rolled her eyes.
At lunch, Amara and I sat together, refusing to sit an inch apart. Three other guys who had interest in Amara joined us. They had been hovering around her like hawks scouting the terrain for prey with keen interest. I was keen to assert myself, so I placed my hand on her shoulder with every opportunity that came my way. I could see their eyes shooting bullets at me, but I couldn’t care less. Eventually, we all got talking and Amara brought up the idea that I was in the habit of going to the bathroom to nap. We all laughed about it. Well, the next day, when I went down to my suite – the bathroom – to get my daily afternoon nap, all the toilet cubicles were occupied.