Angela had gone to pay Esther a visit. She found her reading through her books. Esther was happy to see her.
Angela: Hello Esther, How are you doing this morning? Where are your roommates?
Esther: I am doing very well thank you, and you? Well, Naomi did not come back since yesterday, while Janet went out a couple of minutes ago. I am very happy to see you
Angela: I am fine. Oh really? I was actually afraid that you were upset with me because of what happened between your fiancé and I yesterday.
Esther: Upset? Never! You didn’t do anything wrong. Moreover, I was happy within me that he found someone to give him a piece of their mind. You can now imagine what I have been going through every single day I am with him. His pride is a pin in my neck. So no worries, you bailed me out yesterday. I am glad he has gone back
Angela: Oh has he? I though you said that he would leave today
Esther: He said plans had changed and needed to be at his office. I definitely don’t care. I am just glad that he is gone. On the other hand though, I am quite sad because David was so cold with me yesterday. I feel he no longer wants me to be his friend
Angela: How? What happened?
Esther: I called him to ask him to escort me to the bookstore in town, but he coldly refused saying he did not want to get into any trouble with Jacob. He even cut the line on me
Angela: I guess it’s all my fault. When I left you and Jacob, he met me on his way to the dispensary and when he saw that I was very upset, he asked me what had happened. I explained everything to him. I guess that is what made him to be afraid of seeing you, thinking that he might put you into trouble, I am really sorry.
Esther: You don’t have to apologize. I understand how you felt. Jacob can be very annoying.
Angela: You don’t have to worry about David. He is just doing this to protect you and because he is a true friend, he wouldn’t want you to have problems with your fiancé. Otherwise, he is not upset with you. You just have to understand that things might no longer be the same between both of you as he has to respect you.
Esther: Sure I understand even though it is somewhat painful. Can you then escort me to the bookstore now? I have some books to buy, but I don’t know the way very well.
Angela: With pleasure my dear.
The two ladies left the hostel and went to the bookstore. Esther managed to buy all the books that she needed and they stood by the roadside to stop a bus going to the university. Suddenly, Esther sighted a car that looked exactly like the one Jacob had been driving. She looked closely to see if it was the one. The car drove to a nearby fast food.
Esther touched Angela’s hand “Angela, that car looks exactly like the one Jacob had been using” she said, pointing to the car. Angela looked at the car “Hmm, but how can you be sure? There are so many of those pick-ups in town” she said. “No, I mean, you see that red logo? It looks just like the logo of the bank where Jacob works. The car had the same logo and if you look at it closely, it seems to have red dust, the kind that you meet when heading to our town” Esther answered.
“Well then, we only have one choice: that is to go and see who is driving the car” Angela said. The car parked in front of the fast food and a man came out of the car. Angela and Esther stood a little bit further away to see who it was. “Oh my God! It’s Jacob! I can see him clearly” Esther shouted. Angela put her hand on her mouth “I thought you said he had left yesterday” she said, looking so surprised. Esther moved forward “Yes, he told me he was leaving that very morning. I wonder what he is still doing here. Let’s go and see” she said.
They went towards the fast food and tried to be as discrete as possible. They peeped through the window of the car to see if there was anyone in it: there was no one. Esther looked at the backseats of the car and saw a lot of shopping bags.
It looked like he had been doing some shopping. She also saw some empty bottles of beer. Esther looked surprised “I never knew that Jacob drinks beer. For all I know, our church preaches so much against the consumption of alcoholic beverages” she said to Esther. Angela clapped her hands “Amazing!” she said.
They both went inside the fast food and found Jacob ordering some food. Esther went straight ahead to meet him, while Angela stayed behind. She went behind him and touched his shoulder “Hi Jacob” she said. Jacob turned back to see who it was. His eyes opened wide when he saw that it was Esther. He looked terrified and guilty.
He gave a smile but Esther could see that it was a fake smile “Hey, baby girl, what are you doing here?” he said, looking so confused. Esther smiled ‘I should be the one asking you this question. I thought you said that you were leaving yesterday. What happened?” she said. Jacob laughed “Esther! I know you might be thinking that I was lying. Well, er-er-er, I was about to leave yesterday when I left the university, but I was called by my office to pass through our Head Office here in town.
When I got there, I spent almost the whole day because I had to help some new colleagues. By the time I finished, it was already 7pm, so I was booked in a hotel nearby. I just came to grab some food I might need on the journey” he said. Esther replied “And you couldn’t inform me of the change?”
“I am sorry baby. I didn’t want to disturb you especially that I knew that you were very upset with me because of what happened yesterday. I just thought it would be good for me to just keep it to myself. In any case there isn’t much difference between yesterday and today. I will soon arrive anyway.” Jacob answered.
Esther just kept looking at him. She didn’t know whether to believe him or not, but in any case, she just didn’t care. “Ok then, let me allow you to do what you have to do. My friend Angela and I came to buy some books in town. Safe journey once again” she said. Jacob held her hand as she tried to turn back “No, don’t go. Let me get some food for both of you.
They sell quite nice grilled chicken here. You can have it for lunch” he said. His phone rang, but when he looked at the screen, he refused to pick it up and continued talking “Yes, so as I was saying, let me get some food for you and your friend”
“Oh no, thank you very much. That’s kind of you, but we definitely need to rush as we have some urgent stuff to sort out at school. Once again, safe journey and my regards to my family” Esther said. Jacob gave her a hug and she left. She narrated his side of the story to Angela. Angela laughed “I am sorry to say this, but this guy is a crook! Who makes such changes and refuses to inform his beloved? He shouldn’t think you were born yesterday” she said. Esther smiled “I don’t even care whether he is lying or not. I am waiting for time to tell, as you and mom said” she said. Angela nodded her head “You are right. And time will definitely tell, my dear”.
They entered a bus and arrived at the main gate. When they were about to enter, they found a small group of students gathered around the main entrance. “Give me the medium sized one please……How much is the pink one?…….yes, that one please” they said. Angela and Esther were curious and went to see what was going on. Surprisingly to them, they saw David seated on a small mat on the ground, selling some nice looking gadgets: nicely designed key holders, journals, phone cases and many more items. Students gathered around him as they bought them like hot chocolate. “David!” Angela called out. David looked up and smiled “Hey, my dear friends, what’s up? Are you….”
He could not finish his sentence as the crowd pressed him. He continued his business as more students kept on coming. Esther and Angela were surprised. They left the place totally astonished “Wow, David is something else!” Angela said. Esther shook her head with a smile “He’s the most courageous and down to earth person I have ever seen in my life. It takes a lot of courage to humble oneself like that in front of fellow students, especially in a place where there are so many well to do students” she said as she kept looking backwards.
“I am totally surprised. I don’t even know what to say. I pray that God will help him to succeed” Angela said. Esther replied “Amen. He truly deserves it. He actually told me that he has invested part of the salary he received into a small business, but I didn’t know what it was”
Almost five days had passed since Esther and Angela last saw David. He had become very busy with both his work at the dispensary as well as his sales. The two ladies did not want to disturb his busy schedule. From time to time, Esther sent him some messages on his phone to which he replied.
It was Monday morning and classes had just resumed. Esther walked out of the class feeling excited as she was eager to learn more that semester. She went back to her hostel and fell on the bed after a long day of jumping from one subject to the other. Naomi had not been back since the day she left. Esther wondered what had happened to her, but she couldn’t ask Janet as they were still not in good terms. It was almost 8pm.
After taking a shower, Esther took her restaurant tickets and was about to go and have dinner when Janet entered the room with another strange looking lady: the lady wore buggy trousers and a loose fitting T-shirt with men’s trainers which made her look like a man. Her hairstyle was also quite mannish: Low cut on both sides of the head with a bit of brown dyed hair left in the middle. Janet was dressed in a short tight dress as usual with high heels.
Esther looked at both them in astonishment. She wondered how ladies could dress in such a manner in class. Janet touched her friend and laughed, pointing at Esther “she is the one”. The other lady laughed “Oh really! She is just like you described her. Dear lord!” she said, laughing to scorn. Esther didn’t even want to understand what they were talking about. She banged the door behind her and left. She could hear them laugh as loud as they could. Esther shook her head and continued.
She was happy to meet David at the dinner hall. She put her bag to reserve a seat next to him. David smiled. “Ah David, the busiest man on planet earth! It is easier to see the President than you” Esther said as she sat down. David laughed “No my dear, don’t say that. A man needs to work!” he said.
Esther: I understand. But spare some time for your friends my dear.
David: Sure, I will. It’s just that it’s the beginning of my business, so I really need to organize myself well. But in the next few days, I believe I will be able to properly organize my work, especially that classes have resumed. I might be obliged to stop my work at the dispensary for some time. Then once I make some gains, I will employ someone to be in charge of the sales. There are many boys I personally know on the streets looking for some jobs.
Esther: Good. So where are you buying all these items?
David: I met a Chinese who brings some goods from China and Turkey. He resells them to wholesalers in town. I got in touch with him and he agreed to be reselling them to me as well, but in much less quantities. I prefer buying from him directly because it is cheaper. The wholesalers add some VAT to the selling price which makes the goods more expensive
Esther: Wow! I am very happy for you.
David: Thank you dear, So how is your fiancé doing? Is he still in town?
Esther: er-er-er, he left a week ago. How is your sister?
David: my sister is fine. I am really happy for you Esther. I just want to advise you to be very serious with your relationship. Being engaged means a lot of things. It is serious business.
Esther: David can we just stop talking about this issue? I know I am engaged, but that should not stop us from being friends
David: I never said that you are no longer my friend Esther. If you are talking about your phone call the other day, I was very busy that day and I also didn’t want to bring problems between you and your fiancé especially after what Angela told me that day. She narrated to me what had happened. I didn’t want to be seen as an intruder.
Esther: Well, hear it from my mouth: you are not an intruder. You are still my friend, ok?
Esther: By the way, Angela told me that you had something important to tell me during the holidays but you preferred to wait until I come back. What was it?
David: hmm, er-er-er, it’s nothing really. I just wanted to…er…er…to tell you that I was about to start my small business. Nothing important
Esther: really? Are you sure? From the way Angela explained, you looked quite serious
David: Of course my business issue is a serious one? Or is it because I am still using a small table outside the gate that you think it’s not serious? Hahaha
Esther: no, of course not. Well then, if you say so! What about my gift? I am still waiting to see and receive it
David: Oh yes! Oh boy, I had completely forgotten. Please give me five minutes. Let me go and pick it up from my room.
David went to his room and came back with a package wrapped in a nice paper. He gave it to Esther who opened it with all enthusiasm and curiosity. Behold, it was a beautiful painting of her face. Esther held her breath “Oh my God! This is the most beautiful thing I have ever received. It looks just like me.
Who did this?” she said. David answered “I secretly took a picture of you the day we went to town after the exams with my phone and gave it to a friend who is a painter” David said.
Esther stood up with tears in her eyes and gave him a firm hug. David laughed “You are welcome my friend, you are welcome” he said. Esther sat down and kept looking at the painting. She was filled with emotions of joy.
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