For the first time in my life,I wished time would just slow
down. Unfortunately,time must have been enjoying the
discomfort I felt as it kept going faster and faster.
Niel and I hadn’t been talking much since he made the
proposal. I needed space to put my brain in one piece. I told
mum about it and she was delighted as if she was the one
that would date Niel. She urged me to think about it. I could
see she wanted only my happiness.
March 17 landed again. My eighteenth birthday and that of
Jason and Gloria. My family and Gloria’s decided to have a
joint birthday party for both of us. I invited my dad but I was
sure he wouldn’t come. I stopped calling him some months
ago because he always claimed to be in a board meeting
each time I called.
The night before my birthday,I couldn’t sleep. I just kept
tossing on my bed. I called Kara and she promised me
everything would be okay.
“Just follow your heart Mille.” She told me. She couldn’t
come for the birthday party because of her pregnancy. She
was seven months gone and had some health challenges.
Mum had gone to see her about thrice since she left.
Her condition had started getting everyone worried. Her
blood pressure was nothing to write home about. The most
important prayer in the family was for safe delivery when her
The house was full once again with the exception of Kara.
Rachel and Jason were around and so were dad and mum. I
was shooed to bed very early and I didn’t close my eyes till
the weakpop hours of the morning. No one came to disturb me
When I was tired of staying indoors,I bathed and went
downstairs. Only Jason was in the living room watching TV
without a care in the world.
“Sleeping beauty. I thought you’d never wake up. It’s almost
“Happy birthday to you too.”
“Come here little sis.” We shared a brief hug.
“I’m not your little sis.” I pouted.
“Let me hear English abeg. I’m some minutes older than you
“Chaff boy.” I pushed him and he laughed.
“I’m not considered chaff in Uniben so your ‘chaff’
hypothesis is wrong.”
“Whatever. Let’s go to the salon. I need to fix my hair.”
“Women. You haven’t fixed hair till now and you have a party
in the evening. Congrats.”
“Are you through? I’m getting late.”
“Madam late. Won’t you at least eat something?”
We left for the salon. I bought a kinky straight weave hair
there. I wasn’t a fan of curly weaves. They made me look
terribly terrible. Jason just sat staring at my head till my hair
was all fixed.
“Is it not heavy?” He asked sincerely.
I laughed. “It’s as heavy as a bowling ball. Argh!” I feigned
“You’re not a serious human being.”
“Same to you bros.”
We went home to while away time. Be was filling me up on
what’s been going on in his life and I gave him a listening
ear as always,only interrupting to tease him.
I called Gloria when it was few minutes to six pm.
“Jamille,you called at the right time.”
“What is it this time?”
“Our cake is ‘ it ‘ ”
“What’s that supposed to mean Gloria?”
“Well,the woman just called. She was telling me some silly
story of falling sick and blah blah blah. Our cake is history.”
“What?! Gloria if this is a prank,stop it.”
“I’m not joking Mille. What are we gonna do?”
“Have you told Niel?”
“Yeah. He said we should buy at an eatery.”
“Which one will be okay?”
“Oh okay. Aka Road right?”
“Yeah. I’m with him. We’re on our way there.”
“Alright. Let me know how it goes.” She ended the call.
“What is it Mille?”
“Our cake is ruined. Niel and Gloria are going to check out
“Yikes!” He exclaimed. “Chill, I think there’s a new cake place
around here.” He added.
“Are you sure?” I raised my brows.
“Yeah, I saw it yesterday. I don’t remember the name but I
know I saw it.”
My phone rang.
“The cakes are all booked. Niel is going somewhere else. I
can’t follow him,mum needs me at home now.”
“Jason said there’s a place around here. I’ll go check it out.”
“Ok then. Later.”
“Jason,let’s go.” I ordered.
Jason suggested we went on foot since he was sure the
place wasn’t far.Jason preferred waiting for me outside.
“Jason,what’s this? Let’s go in.”
“Babe,I don’t know a ‘C’ about cakes so go ahead. I’ll be right
“I don’t trust you,you’ll leave me here.”
“This time I won’t.”
I eyed him and went inside. The cakes I saw were not as
large as the one we were expecting initially. I called Gloria
and she asked me to get three for us. I picked a cream cake
for me,pink for Gloria and blue for Jason.
I asked the lady at the counter to write our names on each
of the cakes. Just then,I saw Niel walk in.
“Niel!” He didn’t turn at first.
“Jathniel?” He stopped and turned to face me.
“Hey babe.” He was walking towards me.
“Why didn’t you answer me the first time?”
“I didn’t hear you.”
“Gloria didn’t tell me you were coming around here.”
“She probably didn’t know.” He replied curtly before facing
the lady at the counter to place his order.
“I’ve ordered for the cakes already.”
“Nothing wrong in me ordering another one.” He said
without a smile.
He just bought a plane blue cake and dashed out without
“What’s wrong with him again?” I thought. Niel looked really
different. He rarely ever wore ankara, in fact,he never wore
ankara in his life. Plus,the voice wasn’t as deep as I
remembered. Maybe it was because I hadn’t seen him in a
while. I checked the picture of him I had in my phone and
he looked slightly different from what I saw.
The lady who took my order came back with the
cakes,distracting me from my comparison.
I went outside to call Jason and he wasn’t there. As I turned
to go back in,Jason came out from a shop with a bottle of
Coke in his hand.
“Jason,come and help me with the cakes.”
“Where’s your smile and your politeness Mille?”
“I’m not in the mood Jay.”
To Be Continued