Roses N Chocolates


Ope tried to keep his voice low, knowing Aduke was somewhere in the house, but he couldn’t get over the fact that Maya had shunned him for two days in a row.

He sat forward until he was just right there at the edge of his seat. “Did you check your result?”

Maya pouted. “I topped my class.”

“I know.” He reigned in his temper. “That did not answer my question. I asked if you checked.”

Maya threw up her hands in the air. “What difference does it make for goodness’ sake?”

“Are you raising your voice at me?”

“Look, Ope, please, come and start going.” She’d been on her feet since she walked in a few minutes earlier to find him waiting for her. “I’ve had a long day. I’m tired.”

“It’s just noon…”

“And I’m even going out again in another five minutes.”

He jumped to his feet and whispered harshly. “Maya! What has come over you?” He could shake her.

“Nothing! You just think you can continue to boss me around and now you can’t! I’m not a small girl anymore.”

He scoffed. “The last time I checked, you were still seventeen.”

She folded her arms across her chest. Ope could not believe his eyes. Giggly, excited Maya had her brows furrowed and lips pressed together. He doubted he had ever seen her this aggravated. She’d rather cry when upset. For a moment, his heart only just thudded in his chest. Something has gone totally wrong, but he couldn’t find an answer in his spirit. From the week before exams, she had been almost unapproachable, and constantly cross. He feared she had joined a wrong group, but he never saw anyone around her. In times like this, what does one do?

Father, talk to me.

He never saw anyone with her, except the old bat, Ben. And that wasn’t even often. Maybe once in all of three weeks.

Ope drew in a deep breath. “You haven’t been in school since exams finished. You didn’t come to holiday fellowship. You…”

“I got a job. Didn’t my mother tell you?”

Her tone, goodness! Where did this come from? He knew he had to handle this properly or it would escalate, whatever it was. Or did she have a crush on him? That would be terrible. He had no plans for a relationship any time soon. Not with Maya who he took as his little sister. But then, someone with a crush will not be so angry, avoiding him.

“Is it me you’re talking to like this, Maya? So, if I didn’t come to your house, I will not see you. You said you’ll come to school two days ago, and didn’t show up and I was there waiting…”

“Come, Ope, please! What’s all this about? Did you want to see me about something?”

“Who did this to you?” He took a step closer. “Is it that wicked old man, Ben?”

“You’re stupid!” Maya stomped out of the parlour and out of the house.

Ope staggered back as though he had been hit. “Maya!”

Aduke walked slowly out of the inner house, her mouth drooping. “Yeepa, Ope!”

“Ma! Ma, I’m short of words.”

Aduke’s wide eyes appeared sunken. Her harsh whisper seemed also to carry more weight than what just happened. “Who is Ben?”

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