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She logged on to Facebook and found a new friend request. She looked at the sender, but she could not recognize him, but she added him ...

She logged on to Facebook and found a new friend request. She looked at the sender, but she could not recognize him, but she added him anyway. Minutes later, he sent her a message, “Hi.” “Hello,” she sent back to him. “My name is Roland, pleased to meet you.” “Pleased to meet you too. I am Mary, as you can see.” “Please don’t think I am one of those men who add girls randomly. I stumbled upon you on Facebook, and I could not take my eyes off you. Is there a chance that I could get to know you?” “May be.” “Sounds good to me. I live in Ikoyi. From your page it appears you live in Lagos too?” “Yes I do, but I won’t tell you where yet.” “No problem. What do you do for a living?” “Nothing yet. I am a fresh graduate. I am still roaming the streets in search of a job, even though jobs barely exist in the country.” “It is a pathetic situation, isn’t it? I wish you luck.” “And you, what do you do for a living?” “I work for a small company on the Island. It is a small telecommunication outfit.” “It is better than nothing.” “Yes, it is. Where are you from?” He asked her. “Anambra State.” “I am from Abia State.” “So, what did you study? You are very beautiful!” 

She paused for a moment to scan his pictures. She made sure to look out for pictures with girls on his wall. “So, who is the girl in red in some of the pictures on your wall?” She asked him. “That is Emelda. She is a good friend of mine. We were classmates back when I was at the University of Ife.” “But the pictures seem quite new to me. How come she is always hugging you as if she was your girlfriend in most pictures?” “No!!! We are just friends. She is married now. She is still in Lagos and we see each other every now and again.” “Does her husband know that she is in the habit of hugging you like that in pictures? That is if she is truly married. How am I supposed to know that she is not one of your many girlfriends? And there is the other tall one that wears high-heeled shoes in almost all the pictures?” “That is Toyin. She is a friend too.” “This guy, I don’t trust you. You seem to be enjoying a lot of hugs in all the pictures.” “No Mary…They are just friends. Please believe me! They are good friends of mine.” “Forgeti!!! Maybe your girlfriend travelled and you are busy browsing around for a fling.” “I don’t do flings, Mary. You have to believe me.” “I don’t believe what I have not seen, Roland.” “Well, hopefully someday you will see for yourself.” “What I see right now is scary. You are constantly wrapped up in the arms of beautiful girls, and you claim you have nothing to do with them. I am not easily fooled my friend!!!” They went on to chat about life in Lagos, politics and movies. 

A few days later, Mary could not sleep, so she logged on to Facebook. Roland was online as well. “What are you doing online this late?” She asked him. “Waiting for you to log on.” “For where? (Impossible). How did you know I was going to log on tonight? It is midnight and you are still gallivanting on Facebook. I am sure you are busy chatting up another girl.” “You are very suspicious of everyone, right?” “I am suspicious of you, Roland.” “You have no reason to be suspicious of me. By the way, I happen to know one of your friends on Facebook – Ifeoma Anago. She went to Ife, right?” “Yes, she did. So you know her?” “Yes I do. She studied Geology while I studied Mathematics. I have not spoken to her in years.” “Now I know someone I can ask all about you. You should be worried. All your secrets will be laid bare to me by morning. Ifeoma is a good friend. We grew up together.” “Go ahead and ask her anything you want. I have no skeletons in my cupboard.” “Not just skeletons, I am sure freshly killed corpses are stuffed in your cupboard. I will unearth them all by tomorrow.” “You are very funny.” “Me funny? No, I am very serious.” “Does that mean you are keen to know about me? Can I get your phone number now?” 

“I won’t give you my number until I am sure that you are not some Casanova loitering the internet in search of hearts to break.” “You sound like someone has broken your heart before.” “You have to offer up your heart to someone for it to get broken. I don’t pass my heart like a plate at a restaurant. I guard it like a soldier keeping vigil over his master.” “Tough girl, right?” “I am not claiming to be tough. I am simply stating the facts.” “The more I talk to you, the more I like you.” “That does not work with me. Keep it for those girls you hug in your Facebook pictures, not me.” “Please let me hear what your voice sounds like.” “Forget it. I am not one of those girls who are easily swept off their feet.” “We will have to find out!” Roland said. 

By Morning, Mary was on the phone with Ifeoma who lived in Port Harcourt. “Roland was a nice guy in University. I remember he had a girlfriend back then,” Ifeoma said over the phone. “Is her name Toyin?” Mary asked expectantly. “No, I think her name is…Sandra. Yes, Sandra. She was all over him back then. She would literally shoot you with her eyes if you walked past Roland. I heard they broke up after graduation. You know how it goes.” “Is he a Casanova?” Mary asked. “Far from it. He was a nice guy back then from what I remember, but you never know. Some guys just pretend to you while running around with a bunch of girls behind the scenes. Besides I don’t know what he has been up to since after graduation.” “I see. I need more information about him.” “Do you like him?” “It is too early to say that. We met on Facebook – he added me and since then we have been chatting. I don’t want to waste my time meeting with someone who is a time waster. He thinks I am in Lagos, but I am in Awka at the moment. I am not even sure how we are going to meet…if we do decide to meet.” “That will not be a problem. Roland is top gun at KPMG. He has a top position at the consulting firm. Besides, his parents are loaded,” Ifeoma added. “He can easily fly to the East to see you.” “He told me he works for a small firm in Lagos.” “That is typical Roland – always modest.” “Be honest with me, Ify. Did he talk to you? Did he tell you what to tell me?” “No. You are my childhood friend. I owe more to you than I do to Roland, besides; we have not spoken to each other in years. I don’t even have his number. He added me on Facebook last night and I have not spoken to him yet.” 

About a week later, Roland and Mary were chatting again on Facebook. “Isn’t it time you gave me your number, tough girl?” “You should give me yours first,” Mary answered. “08034546387.” Mary looked at the number for a moment. She wrote it down on a piece of paper. “Look, I am not in Lagos. I was for some time – from my youth service to some months afterwards. I am in Awka now, so don’t expect me to be in your apartment tomorrow.” “I am not expecting anything more than your phone number, Mary. I am dying to hear your beautiful voice.” “How can you be dying to hear what you have no idea what it sounds like? What if I am not who I say I am? I can put up fake pictures on Facebook. I could even be a guy pretending to be a girl, you know!” “I know you are not the type.” “Be careful what you believe!!!” “I believe in you Mary.” “Please don’t believe in me. Believe in God.” “Okay, I will. Please can I have your number?” “08076612458.” “Can I call you?” “Now?” “Yes.” “This guy…You are in too much hurry. Anyway, go ahead.” Mary was surprised to find out that her chest was beating slightly abnormally. Her palms were somewhat wet from sudden emergence of sweat. 

“Hello,” she said into the receiver. “Your voice sounds like pure gold. It sounds even more beautiful than I imagined.” “Please don’t even go there. If you have anything to say, just hit the nail on the head. Flattery does not work on me.” “I was just stating the fact, as you normally say. I was not flattering you.” “That is cheap flattery, and I am not one to buy into that.” “I have heard you, madam.” “I am not your madam. How is Emelda?” “She was fine the last time I saw her.” “You mean she has not hugged you today?” “Hahahaha!! She does not live with me.” “I think someone should show those pictures to her husband.” “He has seen them already.” “I don’t believe you…Which man would see those sultry pictures and not send his wife away?” “The pictures were taken before they met each other. Besides, the pictures portray nothing as bad as you make it sound.” “Says who? Maybe you two were at it before she dumped you for another man. Are you in love with her? Is that why you still have those pictures?” “Emelda and I never really dated.” “Maybe you liked her secretly.” “No I did not.” ‘What of Toyin? Is she in love with you?” “Hahahaha!!!” Roland laughed again. “Silence means you are admitting this one, Roland.” “No!!!!  I am laughing at the ludicrous nature of your allegations.” “You mean I don’t know what I am saying?” “Not in a disrespectful way, but for real, both girls are good friends. So will I ever get to meet you? Or do I have to wait another year?” 

“I told you I am in Awka and I have no plans to be in Lagos soon.” “You see, you were the one lying. You told me you were in Lagos at first.” “Are you angry that I am not in Lagos? Perhaps you wanted a quick fling. Now that you know that I am far away, you are wondering if it is worth your effort and time.” “You are so imaginative, Mary. You should be a script writer. Maybe that is the answer to your job-hunting.” “Please don’t make fun of me. Writing is a hard job. Do you know how many people out there slaving away to make it into the crowded Nollywood? Writing scripts that no one buys or those that producers end up paying peanuts for?” “Maybe Nollywood is waiting for you.” “You are the imaginative one. Of all the millions in the country, Nollywood is busy waiting for someone who has never really written anything. Did I tell you that I studied Biochemistry in School?” I know man a Biochemist who works in consulting, banking, finance, insurance and the likes.” “Please keep your motivational speech for another day. Writing is not for me.” “Well, you never know until you start.” “Please leave that one. So where do you work? Who are you?” “I am Roland Okeke. I am from Abia State; from Umuahia in particular. I studied Math at Ife and I work for KPMG.” 

“The truth is coming out. At first you said you worked for a small telecommunication outfit. Now, that outfit has turned into KPMG. Since we are in the spirit of telling the truth, why don’t you go ahead and tell me which of those girls you are seeing or which of them you have dated before.” “You truly believe that I have something to do with them, right?” “Yes I do.” “The answer to be honest with you is that they are my friends…good friends.” “The truth will come to light someday.” “I agree with you, Mary. The truth will come to light. So, is there any chance that we will get to finally meet?” “I don’t know.” “Please don’t play this game again.” “It is not up to me. I live in Awka and I am not planning to be in Lagos any time soon.” “Can I come and visit you in Awka?” “Maybe someday.” “There you go again.” “I can’t decide for you; yes you can but I don’t know when, yet.” “That is fine by me. I can’t wait to see you. You are so beautiful Mary.” “Looks can be deceptive,” she replied. “At least you don’t have a man’s voice,” Roland teased. “I could be the sister to the guy who set up the Facebook account, you know!!!” Mary joked. 

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