The alarm was ringing for the twenty-second time when Frank fell into consciousness. He sprang up quickly when he realized the rays of the sun was already illuminating his room. He looked at the clock hanging against the wall, it was 7:30am!
He was already late…too late for work. 7:30am was the official time for him to arrive at work but there he was, just getting out of bed. He knew he was in for another query, for that was going to be the fifth time he would arrive late for work in two weeks. Bimbo had always been the reason behind him arriving late for work, and this time, he had been dreaming about her.
He didn’t feel the need to rush anymore, since he was late already. He was ready to face whatever punishment meted out to him, even if it was a sack!
To him, that would not match the pain Bimbo had inflicted on him. He loved her with all his heart and all through the five years they dated, he was unconditionally faithful and loving to her. Things became different when she went for her National Youth Service.
Bimbo was posted to Port-Harcourt despite all Frank did to make her serve in Lagos. They both had to accept it that way, and on the eve of Bimbo’s final departure for Port-Harcourt, they had sex for the third time in four and half years of dating! They renewed their vows to be faithful to each other, and the next morning, Bimbo left for Port-Harcourt with a promise to keep in touch always.
It was barely two weeks after Bimbo left that Frank began to find it hard reaching her, she didn’t call either. At first, he attributed it to the stress of camping and was patient. When camping was over and the corp members were assumed to be having their two weeks’ break, Bimbo returned to Lagos but did not make any attempt to call or visit Frank. When Frank called, there was no response. He did not find her at home when he visited too. Yet, he remained patient because he still believed something must have kept his angel from him which did not warrant any panic. He called some of her friends, and they all told him Bimbo was working on her PPA, and therefore was very busy. This settled his mind a little bit, but he yet could not understand why she wasn’t answering her calls.
The break ended and Bimbo returned to Port-Harcourt without seeing Frank. After so many unsuccessful attempt to reach her himself, he resolved to going to Port-Harcourt to find her. He had the challenge of finding her exact location because he didn’t know where she had been posted to as her Place of Primary Assignment (PPA). He also couldn’t leave his work place as he wasn’t due for annual leave. These reasons led him to exercise more patience. He kept on calling Bimbo’s number and there was yet no response from the other side.
After about two months, Bimbo’s number stopped going through and panic finally set in for Frank. He damned all consequences, sought for a sick leave at work,
Which was conditionally granted and left for Port-Harcourt. After a stressful but strategic attempt of going to the NYSC zonal offices in Port-Harcourt, he discovered where Bimbo was serving, and where she lived.
Bimbo was serving at Shell Nigeria Plc and was living in the staff quarters. Frank was happy to have finally gotten a chance to see her so he lodged in a hotel not too far away. He had numerous questions on his mind; will he have to stalk his own girlfriend? Will she recognize or acknowledge his presence? What was he going to say to her? Will he be a stranger in the familiar face of Bimbo? All these questions were soon answered when Frank went to Shell the next day.
Bimbo and Frank bumped into each other just as Frank was talking to the security man at the gate. Bimbo had come to receive a parcel at the security post when she saw Frank. She was stunned beyond words and couldn’t move. They stared at each other for such a long minutes that it took the security man’s voice to bring them back to consciousness.
“Oga wetin happen? Na she you dey find?” the security man requested.
“Errm…yes, she is. I’m happy to see her.” Frank replied in a way that revealed the fusion of happiness and sorrow in his voice.
He was indeed happy to see her, but was sorrowful at the same time because shock was all he felt after seeing her. The connection between them was electrocuting and not electrifying as he had hoped. He managed to speak to her nonetheless,
“Good morning Bimbo, I have searched for you all over. I called your number severally…”
“I’m sorry Frank.” Bimbo stopped him short. “You seem to have come at a time when i can’t attend to you. Please you’ll have to call me after 4pm. Thank you.” she said all those words without looking at Frank’s face. She received the parcel from the security and walked away briskly in a fashion that revealed tension.
“But i don’t have your number anymore…” he called out to her.
“I have yours and will call you myself.” she replied as she disappeared into the building.
Frank was too dazed to know what next to do. He went back to his hotel room and laid on the bed like a dead man. He was relieved to know Bimbo was alive, hale and hearty. She had become twice as beautiful than he had known her to be, she was also very official in the way she addressed him. All these were the positives he drew from the short meeting. He could recognize all that has changed about her, but he couldn’t recognize what changed her.
After much thought, he decided not to wait for her call. He did not want to hear anything from her that would further break his heart, so he packed quickly and left for Lagos with the next available flight.
At exactly 5pm when he was already in Lagos, he received a text from her saying:
“Don’t bother looking for me anymore, It’s over between us.
He couldn’t fathom why she took the “heartless” decision. He was heartbroken but he didn’t stop loving her. She remained in his thoughts and was always in his dreams. Each time he arrived late for work, it was either because he stood in the bathroom for too long, crying his eyes out for her, or times he stood looking at her pictures and falling into deep memories of times they shared together. But this time, he had been dreaming about her.
In the dream, they had the discussion which they should have had back then in Port-Harcourt when he visited her two weeks earlier. The discussion was deep enough to make him not hear the alarm ring, and was also long enough to make him wake up at 7:30! In the dream, Bimbo told him she got tired of the relationship because she wanted some new adventures. She didn’t change her mind despite his passionate plea to her. Quite mysteriously, in the dream, she told him about the ringing alarm, but he purposely refused to pay any attention. She had to walk away from him before he woke up to consciousness.
He got into the car at exactly 9:30am after taking his time to prepare for work and prepare for what was to be his punishment.
“The next time you put up this form of negligence and lackadaisical attitude to work, you will be fired!” his boss had made it clear the last time he arrived late for work.
It was certain, he had lost Bimbo. He seemed sure that the dream was just a way to comfort him and make him forget her quickly. He took solace in the cliche “life goes on”
What he did not know wass what the future meant for him without her, and quite importantly, what to expect at the office.
To be continued…………
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Written by: Olumide Lawrence.
Facebook: Glowville Olumide Lawrence.