Osas Idubor 1 year ago
@Theosasidubor 11 min read Write a comment #creative-writing

Play Her(chapter Four)

Lanre) From where he was sat, his back was turned to her. She had just finished her lecture, a lecture he didn't exactly think he was paying close attention to. He had met her gaze one too many times, and in those moments, he couldn't help but notice the cold stare in her eyes. There was always going to be bad blood between them.

(The less conversation they had, the fewer chances they got to meet, and the less he understood about her. He didn't think that was any problem except he still wanted to see through to his plan of making her suffer for all the times she had been arrogant; talking to him the way that pleases her. The way no one else will, hissing and walking out on him, one too many times.

Oh, they had been having it hot even before this time. And most times, their argument stemmed from his disagreement with Chuggs. That one will never confront him, but would cowardly go behind him, letting all and sundry know that they were fighting and recruiting people like Sylvia to fight for him. He didn't know she was no longer behind him and when he took up his head, his gaze met hers. She didn't look away this time, the stare was different, long. Did she make eye contact? It left an unsettling feeling in his chest, he was the first to pull away and as he did, he got up but had rather walked towards her. "Hi." It was forced. He could feel his throat dry. The air was suddenly tense. He didn't think he knew what he was doing. He never really ran out of words. It was unlikely he ever did, but now, even as he stood a few paces away from her, he was thinking of what next to say. "Enjoyed the class?" She darted her eyes everywhere then returned her gaze to him. "Yes...well, it was quite enlightening." He said. She laughed it was a scornful laugh. He didn't see what was funny."What's so funny?"

She smacked her lips then edged closer to him. "You don't need the class after all, or perhaps you could continue from where I stopped with lecturing your classmates, seeing how you have a better understanding of the course." He knew nothing good could ever come out of his conversation with her. He didn't exactly think he understood where she was heading with her points. "No one except for you found the class understanding." He felt as though his feathers had been ruffled. He didn't see that coming. "I didn't use the word understanding." "If you didn't understand the class you wouldn't find it enlightening." She said. Still chuckling. "Well, I wanted to say something that wouldn't leave you sad." "Sad?"

He noticed the change in her mood. It was a delight for him. He had to take charge or risk being ridiculed by her. "You aren't necessarily a good teacher at the end of the day, seeing how no one understood all you've been teaching since the last hour-" "That wasn't..." She was trying to interrupt him but he would hear none of it. "That is exactly the situation." "It isn't!" Her voice was loud enough for the others in the lecture room to hear. A few turned to look at her, and she nervously diverted her gaze, fuming in the instance. "I am not a bad teacher," this time, her voice was low. "Really? Then prove to me that you aren't." Lanre said. He loved the turn the conversation had taken and it filled him with joy.

"How?" Her breathing was fast-paced and at the moment she was tapping her shoe against the floor. "Calm down." He couldn't hide that he was relishing the moment. He drew closer to her, bent slightly, and whispered to her ear.****(Sly) She was at the school's library to read. It was where she went to, to have a better, clearer, and deeper understanding of the courses she read but now even as she was sitting in a chrome back chair with kneels pressed to the desk in front of her, all she kept wincing about was Lanre's offer. Who did he think he was? Why had he requested for her to be his private tutor? Like she didn't have enough on her plate already. She scoffed over and over again even as she recalled how incredibly close he had been to her when he whispered to her ear. Couldn't he have said what he wanted to say from the distance they had earlier been maintaining? She didn't know what infuriated her the most. That he was that close or that he made an insane request. Not forgetting the line with which he ended his request. "You need the money." He had said. Oh, why wouldn't he say so when he witnessed her getting the biggest embarrassment of her life from just asking her friend for money to buy textbooks? Speaking of which, she was yet to purchase the textbooks.

She winced and had her head pressed to the desk. Everything, every damn thing was infuriating her. The conversation. His request. His closeness. Especially his closeness. She thought and frowned. His closeness? She found herself asking. She was tired of thinking that was the main problem but she couldn't exactly push the feeling away. Did he suddenly think she was one of those girls he slept with? She found herself asking but she cautioned herself immediately, thinking she was going too far with her theory. He might not have thought it out or did he?

"Can you stop doing that?" It was from the girl two chairs away from her. "Doing what?" For a short while, she seemed confused.

The stranger gestured towards Sylvia's feet. Sylvia looked to her feet and then apologized. She hadn't realized she was tapping her shoes again. Unable to concentrate and rid herself of the many conversations that were shifting in her head, Sylvia got up, packed her note, textbook and cell phone (she had smuggled in), and walked down the stairs to sign out of the library that day, then head down to the hostel.*********

(Lanre)

"I didn't have to go overboard," Lanre acknowledged to himself. He had been thinking of the many ways he could have ended his request to Sylvia. He hated that he had to use the line; you need the money. He hated it. While he didn't exactly like how her friend had embarrassed her the other day, he just might have succeeded in mocking her. Although he ought to be celebrating, considering how he had finally gained ground to execute his plan of playing her, he couldn't push the feeling aside. "Help me unload the groceries in the kitchen." His mother said, even as she handed him bags of groceries. He was home for the weekend. It was one ritual of his except that for some time, he hadn't really been coming home from school on weekends. "I need to take a quick shower." Mrs. Ayooluwa said, even as she propped her head inside the kitchen, her full body hidden behind the wall. Lanre nodded without a word. His back was still turned to her.

He knew when she retreated to her room, he could hear the descending footsteps, it was at the time he stopped unloading the groceries and relaxed against the counter, rethinking his decision for coming home. It wasn't exactly the best place to be and he had felt at peace not coming home for the last three months. Slowly, he paced the length of the kitchen. Thinking about nothing in particular, but trying to ease himself; the tension he felt. "We praise thee, we thank thee and bless thee oh Lord." It was his mother, she was singing a hymn, and until she reappeared inside the kitchen, he didn't think she had a hymn book with her. Mrs. Ayooluwa kept singing along to the hymn book and Lanre stood there, watching her with such hatred he never knew he had until now. This very moment. "For the bountiful harve..."Can you stop!" His voice echoed the length and breadth of the kitchen.

His mother stood frozen at the spot, with eyes buried on the page of the hymn book in her hand still. "Can you stop?" This time it was a request and not a command, he was edging away from her and making for the exit. "Can you?" He again asked. Mrs. Ayooluwa had brought the hymn book down from her face, a once calm face now overshadowed with sadness. "Lanre." She called calmly. "I..." She had not the right words. She looked at him, he was just about to step out of the kitchen, she walked slowly to where he was in the time before he did and was about to place her hand on his shoulder, but he pulled his body away and stormed out of the living room, shutting the door loudly behind him. Mrs. Ayooluwa propped down to the floor shortly, her head bowed and tears trickling down her cheeks.*********** (Sly) "He sounds like something you'd better not stay away from," she brought out her tongue.

Sylvia dropped the textbook in her hand on the bunk next to her in time before she readjusted to face her friend. "What do you mean?" "He has money. He promised you money. You need money..." Sylvia narrowed her eyes in anger. "Oh, now you are reiterating what he said?" Tayo shook her head. "Let me finish. You need money to survive in this school, or the school never stress you reach? This guy sounds like a good catch." "Good catch you say. I would rephrase your initial statement to be 'he seems like someone I would rather stay away from have you seen the fleet of girls he moves with? Do you know the number of girls he has slept with?" She asked through clenched teeth. "Did he say he was going to sleep with you? Or do you have in mind to sleep with him?" Tayo asked leaving Sylvia totally stunned. 

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