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I got to work at exactly 8:50am the following day. My boss was already there. She greeted me with a warm smile. I just liked her warm personality.
“Come over here Shalewa,” she called after I have entered the shop.
“Let me show you the prices of each category of goods and their arrangements.”
She explained all the goods to me in details, some already had price tags on them. I was very fast in catching up with the mastery of the prices to the surprise of my boss
. She was also impressed with the way I attended to the customers. One or two of them passed some compliments about my politeness. In short, my first day at work was quite an interesting one and my boss liked me a lot.
At around 4:30pm, my boss told me she had to see someone down the street, so I was left alone in the supermarket. Some minutes after she left, a young man walked in. I quickly stood up to attend to him.
“Good evening sir,” I greeted cheerfully, “what will you like to buy?”
“Errmmmm… shaving stick,” he responded simply and quickly added, “you are new here, I am sure.”
“Yes,” I replied, handing him a packet of shaving sticks.
“Oh! That’s nice. My name is Stephen, it’s nice to meet you
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. I do come here often to buy get one or two items whenever I am around, in short, I am a regular customer. How is madam?” He asked.
“She’s fine, she went out some minutes ago to check on someone,” I replied while searching for a nylon bag to package his purchase.
One thing about me is that I didn’t usually give guys my attention. Right from when I hit my puberty stage, I have had a whole lot of toasters but I never gave heed to anyone of them. One, because I believed I was still too young for a relationship and two, because I was a virgin and I intended to keep it till marriage. So, guys to me were meant to be handled on a platonic level, no strings should be attached whatsoever.
But one thing I noticed about Stephen was that somehow, for the first time, i got attracted to someone of the opposite sex. Yes, I felt attracted to Stephen. Not because he was extremely handsome, No. Though he was moderately good looking, dark in complexion, averagely tall with a fine set of teeth, but all these I was sure was not the real thing that drew me to him. I have met countless guys who were more handsome. I couldn’t really place the reason why he seemed kind of special but I knew the attraction was real.
“What is your name?” He asked just when he was about to leave.
“Omoshalewa,” I replied.
“Wow! Such a nice name for a pretty face. I do hope to see more of you”
“Thanks for your patronage,” I responded, deliberately ignoring the personal compliment.
And that was how I met Stephen. A 25year old, 200 Level Electrical and Electronics Engineering student in the University. Stephen is a very cool headed, well behaved, caring, sweet, and above all a God fearing guy, a born again Christian. Another virtue he has is the fact that he is really hardworking. His aged parents lived in the village at the time he gained admission into the University, he is from a humble background. The second child in the family of three children, he had an elder sister and a younger brother.
Stephen had to do a lot of menial jobs at school such as car wash, laundry and others after lecture hours and on weekends to pay for his rent on campus, school fees and to keep body and soul together.
Some days after we met at the supermarket, I longed so much to see him again but he didn’t show up. I was really disappointed. The fact that we didn’t even exchange contact pained me the more…
A week later, I was alone in the supermarket one evening trying to write down a list of goods that were out of stock.
“Hello Shalewa,” came a voice from the entrance of the store. I looked up sharply from where I was seated. His voice had already registered in my memory so I didn’t mistake him for someone else. Stephen, of course. He stood at the entrance beaming with smiles, then finally entered. He came to get a loaf of bread for dinner.
My joy knew no bound. The first thing that nearly escaped from my mouth was “where have you been all these while that I have been longing to see you?” But I quickly restrained myself and greeted,
“Hi Stephen, it’s been a while, how are you doing? You haven’t been patronizing us, why? Did we offend you?” I asked shyly, trying to avoid his gaze.
I’m good and you? It’s not like that oh, I travelled last week to check on my parents, it’s my uncle that stays here in Lagos. I just arrived last night.”
“Oh, I see. It’s good to see you again.”
“Same here, Shalewa. How is your family and work?”We bless God.” I replied
We chatted for a while after which he begged to take his leave because his uncle would have been expecting him. I really enjoyed his company. It was as if I was with a friend with whom I have been so close for a long time. I felt neatly heart broken when he finally stood up to leave.
“See you some other time Shalewa, I will be going back to school tomorrow morning. Our strike has been called off and we have all been asked to resume with immediate effect.”
It was as if I had just been dealt a big blow. My countenance changed, I just couldn’t hide it. Why I felt so much at home with this stranger, I couldn’t understand but I knew I had feelings for him already, his going back to school was such a bad news…
He noticed my changed mood and said, “Huh huh, don’t tell me you are missing me already, Shalewa.”
I tried to conceal my feelings. I thought within me, “of course I will miss you, can’t you just ask for my contact?”
Then, I said aloud “well, I really enjoyed your company today.”
“Don’t worry, we will talk and chat more on phone. Can I have your number?”
“Yes!” I was excited within me.
But instead, I replied, “though I don’t give strangers my number, but I hope if i give it to you, you won’t be one of those guys that disturbs with both necessary and unnecessary calls, especially in the middle of the night?”
“Haba Shalewa, I will respect myself okay? And besides, we are no more strangers to each other.”
We exchanged contact, I felt so happy. We called each other regularly. Our friendship got stronger. A few months down the line, he asked me to pray about us, that he believed God was leading us to each other. I prayed, I was convinced and that was how we started a relationship when I was 19years old. I didn’t tell my mum about our relationship, though she got to know Stephen later when he came visiting at our house and I introduced him to her as my friend.
Our relationship was a wonderful one. He was the best guy in the world to me. I loved him with the whole of my heart. He called me often, we did chat on WhatsApp too.Stephen is a very caring young man, whenever he comes to Lagos when school is on break, he would have saved some money from the jobs he did at school and would shower me with little gifts…
We did spend time together during the weekends by hanging out either at a restaurant or garden. We avoided being together in private places. Stephen respected my desire to remain a virgin till marriage. He told me already that he was a virgin too, so we made rules that guided our relationship so as not to fall into temptation.
Whenever he came to our house to say hello mostly on Sundays, he would help me out with house chores and at times, wash my mum’s car. Mum wasn’t at first comfortable with our friendship because she believed such friendship will make me lose focus on my academics but as time goes on, they both got along when mum also observed that he is a nice and decent guy. My mum even liked him a lot more than I expected.
“He is a good guy, he will make a good husband,” just make sure you both stick to your rules to remain pure. God hates formication, I’m sure you know that Shalewa,” she counseled…
Our love for each other grew by the day. I made a lot of sacrifices for Stephen too. There was a time I gave him all of my savings for 3 whole months to pay for his accommodation at school when his landlord threatened to give him a quit notice. It was one of the many things I did for him. Our care for each other was mutual, though he didn’t have enough money to show how much he cared for me but he tried his best most times…
In short, I couldn’t really say that Stephen loved me more than I did or vice versa, all I knew was that the love was a genuine one, pure and sacrificial…
But, little did I know that our love wouldn’t last…
Okay, my dear friends, what do you think really happened? Who else once had a relationship like Shalewa’s own, probably your first love?
Does True love like theirs still exist?