Please note that this series contains some sexually explicit content, violence and offensive language. It is not appropriate for children nor an immature and sensitive audience.
A SMALL WORLD - SEASON TWO
Copyright © Ufuomaee
So, I finally completed my Masters in Beauty Industry! Yeah!!! Many thanks to my sister and her husband. Now to serve my time for my country, before I can continue with my plans to open up a beauty shop in Lagos. I really wanted to do an internship with a private organisation, but with the recent NYSC posting restriction to certain service sectors, I would be happy to pass my time as a teacher. I really hope I don’t get posted to the North, though!
Now I am in Camp, in Iyana Ipaja, Lagos. I’ve made a few friends. It’s never really been a problem for me. They don’t call me ‘Sweet Kay’ for nothing 😊 But to be honest, I’m bored! I can’t wait to start on my business.
All this compulsory service and what have you, is just delaying my passion. Although, I have heard some people say that it was during Camp that they discovered their true passion. I’ve known since I was a teenager that this is what I want to do, and I’ve been doing a small make-up business for a few years now. I’ve even registered my company name, S’Kay Belles.
Kemi smiled to herself as she doodled on a sheet of paper. She was trying out different logo designs for her Beauty Shop. She had originally gone into Accounting, encouraged by her mother to do something ‘more profitable’. She was good at it and liked it, but when her sister, Promise, and her brother-in-law saw her passion and talent in make-up and design, they’d suggested that she could do her Masters in a related field. Ope had even offered to help her with setting up the business, being somewhat of a business guru.
As she was developing her concept, she’d already decided that she would be needing a small spa attached to her shop as well. Her idea was blowing up, and her mind had been so wrapped up in her business plan, that she hadn’t noticed when everyone was hooking up ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Even though she hadn’t been asked out, she’d volunteered to do the make-up for her room-mates who had dates. The word had spread, that she was quite the artist, and she’d ended up working till 8pm that night, charging N500 per person, after she had done all the girls in her room. Next week, they would be having the beauty pageant for Miss NYSC, and her friend, Amy, had already spoken to one of the Coordinators to see if Kemi could be the official Make-up Artist for the show. They’d said it depends on each candidate. So far, Amy had secured all but one of the candidates.
“Hey, just signed Juliet! You got them all, girl!” Amy announced, as she joined Kemi under the tree, where she was doodling.
“Wow! What would I do without you, eh?”
“This is business, oh… Don’t be doing best friend tings… I want my commission,” Amy joked.
“Alright… You’ll get yours, when you pay for the make-up I did for you last Sunday!”
“What is N500? You’ll get your money, joor!” Amy chuckled.
Amy sat down on the sandy patch of dry grass next to Kemi. They both looked on as people passed by in their cliques. Kemi noticed the guy they had both dubbed a “Tall Handsome Somebody” (THS) walk by with a couple of his friends. They had bumped into each other at least a couple of times, but had never been introduced. She knew she liked him, but he obviously didn’t consider her anything special, because he had hardly acknowledged her presence.
“So, are you really going to go through this whole Camp experience and not talk to him?”
“Huh?” Kemi turned to Amy, jolted from her reverie.
“T-H-S,” Amy spelt out.
Kemi swallowed. “What’s there to say?”
“For starters, you can tell him you’re doing the make-up for the pageant. I hear he’s even been nominated for Mr Macho…”
“I think he would be more impressed if I said I was nominated for Miss NYSC, don’t you think? Besides, I’m sure he has a girlfriend…or two.”
“Nope. The verdict was in on Valentine’s Day. Brother was solo! Apparently, he’s looking to make a ‘spiritual connection’.”
“Ummm… Really?” Kemi raised a brow. A spiritual connection, eh? What’s that slang for?
“Look, Kay, you’re not the only one who likes him. He’s fresh off the boat from the US, fine as hell, and rich as Gates! Well, maybe not…but his family is stinking rich. And he looks like he’s got a good head on his shoulders. If it’s a spiritual woman he wants, I don’t know anyone more spiritual than you, Kay.”
“Oh, how you flatter me…” Kemi joked, but couldn’t help smiling. She always believed the right man would know her when he saw her. Making a move on a guy just didn’t seem right. Even in this 21st Century!
Mehn, I don’t know how I let them talk me into this. So, I’m supposed to strut on that stage for one minute for the award of Macho Man? It would be different if I had a woman I was strutting for… Maybe if I fixate on one of them, I will be able to pull it off…
Nomnso took the stage dressed in an Igbo traditional wrapper and walking stick, with a red cap. He saw the young lady he had bumped into a few times already, but never met. She was looking at him now, and he gave her the smile he had always wanted to give, this time with all boldness. He fixated on her, as he did his strut, and he did so with much confidence. His plan worked so much, that he thanked her with a wink as he strode off the stage.
The crowd raved madly when he was done modelling the outfit. Some people were looking between him and the girl, wondering if there was anything between them. Nomnso looked back to see if she was still looking in his direction, but she was not. She was touching up the make-up for the winner of Miss NYSC, his friend, Juliet.
Moments later, he was announced the winner of Mr Macho, and shyly took the stage again. Juliet joined him as Miss NYSC, and they held hands and smiled at each other as they took a bow together. Some people started chanting “Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss!!!” and Juliet was giggling. But Nomnso was thinking about that girl. There she was, in the crowd, looking at him.
He swallowed, turned to Juliet and kissed her on the cheek to everyone’s disappointment. Including and especially Juliet’s.
“Juliet’s hot! Why didn’t you kiss her, mehn?” his friend, Toju asked.
Nomnso shrugged and went to the changing area to change back to his NYSC uniform. Who was that girl? He’d seen her about a few times, but never had the courage to go up to her. He tried to remember where he often saw her. Yes, she liked to sit under the oak tree. He started in that direction.
She wasn’t there when he got there, but she was heading in his direction. He swallowed, nervously, before trying on his smile again. She slowed down her pace as she took note of him.
“Hi,” she breathed.
Kemi was nervous. Amy had just suddenly disappeared and left her all alone. What was THS doing there, and why wasn’t he saying anything? When he had held her gaze while modelling, she was sure her knees were going to give way on her. But she hadn’t been able to take her eyes off him, until he winked at her. What did that mean?
“Ummm…just wanted to say thanks…” he said, as if in response to her thoughts.
“Well, I sort of used you as my focal point back there. I think I owe my winning confidence to you. But I’m ashamed to say that I don’t even know your name…”
Kemi swallowed. “Okay, no problem. I don’t think you owe me anything.” She made a move to sit down.
“I am Nomnso.”
Kemi took his hands. “Congrats on the win, Mr Macho. I’m Kemi. My friends call me ‘Kay'”.
“Mind if I chill with you, Kay…? For a while?” he asked, almost breathlessly.
Kemi raised her shoulders in a shrug. Nomnso took it as her acceptance, and collected some sheets of paper from her to sit on. The sun was just beginning to set, and they had a great view of it.
“This is beautiful. And the breeze here is amazing. Now I know why you like to sit under this tree,” Nomnso said, closing his eyes to enjoy the breeze, forgetting about everything, except the young woman he was sharing this moment with.
Kemi looked at him, surprised at how easily he had settled by her side, and smiled. She looked towards the sunset and took in a deep sigh. And without many more words, they connected.
Seventeen-year-old Daniel is in an all-boys Boarding School. While others had taken the mid-term break to see family, he had chosen to stay back to study for his Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), which would commence during the third term. He also had the burden of getting a few of his classmates notes up to date.
He had actually refused to do their homework for them, and stood up for himself, as he had been advised to do by his brother-in-law, when he had confided in him about the bullies. However, he had only gotten a few bruises and a swollen lip for his efforts. His plan now was to lay low and complete his studies, and move on with his life.
Thankfully, his education was not failing. In fact, he was assimilating so much, that he pitied his bullies, who would not even sit long enough for him to explain the concepts to them. It would only take them a little while, and they would get it too, but now, he had all the benefits of studying, while they took all their liberties to play.
Well, the tables would soon turn. One day, they would stand alone, and all they would have at their disposal and defence is the knowledge they acquired when they were opportune to study, and not the certificates they received by deceit. His faith in God and belief that evil will surely face their day, kept him encouraged. What also kept him going was the promise to further his education in the United States if he passed his exams with flying colours. He had it in the bag already, and just couldn’t wait.
Samson and Samuel Uwanna are in their last year at the University of Lagos. The two brothers could not be more different. Their similarities seem to end with their birth date, their appearance and academic brilliance. Even still, they are as close as two brothers could be.
Samson is the elder, though he often behaves more immature than his serious-minded brother. He is fun loving, popular and charming with the ladies. Even though he isn’t studious, like Samuel, he grasps concepts easily, and has a very practical and imaginative mind. He loves to solve problems. Maybe that’s why he has two girlfriends.
Samuel is the quiet twin. He is single, and not seriously looking. His mind is “set on things above, and not below”. His Christian friends know what he means whenever he says that. At the University, including the many hours he spends studying and tutoring other students, he also manages to be an active member of the Christian Fellowship Group. But more than anything, he loves his quiet times alone, reading or praying to God.
Problem is, Samson keeps getting Samuel into trouble… Usually when his second babe comes knocking unannounced, and Samuel has to pick up the slack and take her on a date… It was during one such scandal that Samuel realised his gift for acting.
“Jennifer’s at the door!” Samuel whispers into the phone. “Did you guys have plans again?”
“No, Bro. Abeg, break up with her for me… I’m sorry, I have to go…”
“What?” The phone goes dead. Jennifer is knocking impatiently at the door.
Samuel pulls himself together. Remembers to take off his “WWJD” T-Shirt, and puts on Samson’s vest, before he opens the door. It is a marvel that the girls still couldn’t tell them apart.
“Sorry, I was in the bathroom,” he says, when he opens the door. “What’s up, Babe?”
“I’ve got Chlamydia. That’s what’s up!”
To be continued…
Photo credit: www.pixabay.com
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