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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - fellow Chelsea fans, chemical compound, chromatography machine, Nigerian National Petroleum Company, First Bank branch in Maitama, Abuja, Medical School.

“Just give this a try Bola,” Funke urged him. “I am not interested, Funke. I would not want to start what I can’t finish. Besides, if it does not work out, it could affect my friendship with you, and I don’t want that,” Bola argued. “If it does not work, you carry on with your life and she with hers. Come on, it won’t hurt anyone. You don’t have to see her any time soon. Just get to know her from a distance first, then if you think she tickles your fancy and you tickle hers, then you two can arrange to meet. I have no doubt in my mind that you’d fall for her, Bola,” Funke insisted. Bola would not budge. They were both colleagues at a First Bank branch in Maitama, Abuja. A few days later, a customer, an older lady was being served by Bola. He was unreservedly courteous to her, as he always did. “Young man, are you married?” She asked. The rest of the bank staff looked in Bola’s direction. “No ma, he is not,” Funke shouted before Bola could get a word in. “You are very handsome…kind and caring. I am too old for you, you see, but my granddaughter is in Medical School. She is as beautiful as heavenly sparkles. You should see her. Would you like me to bring her in one of these days?” Bola blushed. He scratched his head for answers. “I have a girlfriend already ma,” he lied in a bid to end the session, which his colleagues were relishing, especially Funke.

Funke began to open her mouth to tell the woman that Bola had lied. Bola cast a menacing look at her. His eyes spoke volumes – ‘don’t you dare’ was the simplest translation that Funke received. She bit her tongue. Inside, she was bristling with a million things she wanted to say. “Okay then. If you change your mind, let me know the next time I come in. Tell me your name again please,” the lady added. “Bola.” “I will not forget your name my son. Don’t forget, my granddaughter is as beautiful as pure gold,” she exaggerated as she headed for the door.  “I will keep that in mind,” Bola answered, happy to see her back. “Unless you promise to talk to my friend, I will tell her now that you lied…you don’t have a girlfriend,” Funke said in a low tone. “This is not fair. This is blackmail. No, I am not talking to your friend,” Bola insisted. “Madam?” Funke shouted as the older lady was about to walk through the main doors. “Yes my child,” she said. “Okay, I will,” Bola succumbed. “It is always a pleasure to have you here,” Funke said. “Aww!! That is very kind of you my daughter. Come here and give me a hug before I leave,” she requested. Funke ran around the corner and hugged her firmly. “I know he does not have a girlfriend. His tie is a bit wonky. He needs a girl to look him over in the morning before he leaves the house. And, he was swallowing hard when he told me he has a girlfriend. Find him one,” the older lady whispered in Funke’s ears as they hugged. “I will ma,” Funke replied, admiring the woman’s sense of humor and insight.

“So should I give you her number?” Funke asked after work. “No, not yet. I don’t think I am ready for that yet. Is she on Facebook?” “Yes of course. Who do you think she is? Some granny from 1965?” “Not everyone is on Facebook, you know.” “You are right on that one,” Funke agreed. “She is on Facebook anyway.” “Why don’t you suggest her to me and me to her on Facebook first? I would like to take is slowly.” “Keep an open mind about it Bola. Don’t go into this looking for reasons why you should bail out before it gets serious. The fact that your heart was broken by someone else does mean every girl is waiting to smash your heart to bits. You need to get past your past.” “I heard you preacher,” Bola teased. “But that’s true.” “I can’t promise you anything,” Bola replied. “Promise me you will try at least,” Bola persisted.  “Okay, I’ll try, if that will make you happy.”

About a week later, Bola was idling around in his apartment in Nyanya. He lay on the bed and flipped through his iPhone. A quick check on Facebook and he came upon a friend suggestion. That was when he recalled his earlier discussion with Funke. He looked at the girl Funke had suggested to him. Her name was Amarachi Oforma. She lived in Kaduna, where she worked for Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC). Her curves and overall beauty struck him. He enlarged her picture and dissected it with his eyes. Her Facebook settings were such that he needed to be her friend to see more of her pictures. Having liked what he already saw, he was eager to add her right away. Then, he recalled his heartbreak from a few years back. A frown appeared on his face. He closed the page. He thought of his ex-girlfriend, Ibukun Arotiowa. He opened a Google page and searched for her. He wondered if he still missed her or if he hated her so much that he wanted to find out if her life had gone to tatters. He could not make up his mind what he really felt. His search turned up nothing. Ibukun had not been active online, perhaps. He had searched for her severally on Facebook without luck. She must be using a different name, he concluded. The last he heard, she was living in Canada while her husband worked for Shell Petroleum in Port Harcourt.

His phone rang. It was Funke. “Wetin dey do you now? (What is wrong with you?),” She asked authoritatively. “I suggested my friend to you for how many days now, and you have yet to respond to that. If she changes her mind, Bola, you’d be missing out on a great girl. I have known Amarachi for most of my life. Good girls don’t get any better than Amarachi. You had better hop on the train now or walk for the rest of your life,” Funke philosophized. “I am a bit busy with things at home. I will do that shortly,” Boa explained. “No, do it now!” Funke yelled. “I will do it later, Funke,” Bola insisted. “Stubborn guy!” Funke yelled as she hung up. Bola peered at Amarachi’s picture one more time. Reluctantly, he added her to his list of friends. He waited for her reply but there was none. He went to the living room to watch an English Premiership match between Chelsea and Arsenal. After the first half, he looked at his phone, yet, Amarachi had not responded. After the match, he was full of joy as Chelsea hammered down the gunners (Arsenal).

He rang up some of his fellow Chelsea fans and talked about the game. Then, he checked Facebook again and there was no reply. He called Funke. “You were breathing down my neck like a parent, now I have added her but she would not respond,” he protested before Funke could say ‘hello’. “You just added her after how many days my friend. You took your time to analyze her like a chemical compound in a chromatography machine. Does she not have the right to do the same? Let her weigh you up as you weighed her, Bola. She is a girl. She is not going to jump at you as though she had been dying for you…without knowing you. Besides, why the sudden interest? A while back you were dragging your feet like an old tortoise. Now, you are dying to hear from her. Do you really want to hear from her or is it a pride thing? You added her, so she should add you right away, because you are Macho Man, right?” Funke teased. “Wait jare (please), she will get back to you. I know you have seen her picture, and now you are probably thinking…she is cute abi? (Right?)” “Well, I did not realize it was going to be a game,” Bola protested. “It is not a game Bola. A girl will not add you right back just like that!!!”

It was not until Tuesday evening that Amarachi responded to his friend request. He was tired after a busy day at the office. He lay down and scanned through her pictures. He was overly analytical. He wanted to tell the kind of person she was by merely looking at her profile. She did not have too many selfies, he observed. Bola was more of a quiet and modest kind of guy. He was eager not to get involved with someone that was overly ostentatious. Her dressing was consistently classy. Her posts were elegantly worded in correct English unless she chose to write in Pidgin English. Another plus! She clearly had a good command of the language, unless someone else wrote her posts for her, Bola thought. He checked the sort of pages she liked. Even those were classy. All of a sudden, he forgot he was hungry. He opened Facebook chat box…Amarachi was online. He wondered whether he should say something to her. Abruptly, his heart rate increased. He began to sweat lightly as he ruminated of sending her a message. He turned on his air conditioner and went for it. “Hi Amarachi, good to see you here. Thanks for accepting my friend request. I have heard so much about you – mostly good. And you look great, I have to say.” He looked at his message. After a few more edits, he hit send. He felt a trickle of sweat cascade down his forehead despite the air conditioner as he awaited her response.  STORY CONTINUES...

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