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“ Hello son?”
“ Yes Dad”
“ what’s the problem? Do you not want me to meet your friend ?”
“ oh no Dad. I do. I would speak to her, then we can decide on a date”
“ Sure Son. When you are ready, call Tony to book your flight tickets”
He said and ended the call.
I looked at my phone when the called ended, I couldn’t believe the conversation I had just had.
Astrid smiled when I sat next to her on the bench.
“ is everything alright?” she asked
I nodded and she also nodded.
There was a brief silence then I asked her if she was hungry. She nodded again and we went to get something to eat.
I wasn’t sure we were even close enough as friends for her to meet my father. I was so nervous to ask her.
I stammered the whole question through.
She laughed when I asked but she knew I wasn’t joking.
“ have you been talking to your father about me?”
I shook my head.
“ I guess someone on campus told him about you. I think he’s got people spying on me on campus”
I lied. I was embarrassed to tell her the real reason.
“ I am very nervous Ademola. I need to inform my parents, I haven’t been to Nigeria before. If they grant me permission I would let you know but I wouldn’t want to disappoint your father”
“ I understand Astrid. It’s totally fine, if you can’t make it. Just relax, I would explain everything to my father”
“ let me ask my parents first. Even though I am nervous, I am curious to see your home and your family “ she said with a smile.
That evening after dropping Astrid off, my cousin called me to confirm what she had heard from my sisters.
“ Ade, please tell me Kemi and Damilola are joking. You are taking Astrid home to meet Uncle Tayo? ”
Tiwa said and laughed hysterically.
My sisters have already informed her. I couldn’t believe what was happening. All because the Dean of students couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He always tries to find ways to impress my father just to be in his good books.
I didn’t hear from Astrid the next day, I was very nervous. I was worried my father’s request might have scared her off. I couldn’t get through to her on her phone. I begged my cousin to check on her for me.
“ I knocked but she didn’t answer, I think she isn’t on campus at the moment but I am sure she is fine. She has probably taken a day off to think everything through. Being invited by Excellency Dr. Tayo Olatunji is not something to be taken lightly you know” Tiwa said, when she called that afternoon.
I was very uneasy and very worried. I kept checking my phone to see if Astrid has called or texted but there was nothing from her.
I couldn’t take it anymore so I drove to her hostel and waited till she came back.
I was dozing off in Tiwa’s bed when she woke me up.
“ I just saw her getting down from a taxi. Go and check if she is in her room now”
I jumped out of the bed and rushed outside. I knocked twice on Astrid’s door before she opened.
She was startled to see me.
“ Ademola? What are you doing here so late?” she asked.
I was kind of upset she asked me that. I hadn’t heard from her the whole day and she was surprised I am at her door. I calmed my nerves down and asked her where she had been the whole day.
“ just here and there. I had a pretty rough day” she said.
She asked me in then sat on her bed just starting at me.
“ Are you okay?” she asked.
I sighed heavily.
“ Astrid, I was worried out of my mind. Your phone has been off the whole day. It felt like you were avoiding me because of my father”
“No. I wouldn’t do that. I had to go somewhere this dawn. Something pretty urgent came up and I didn’t want to be distracted”
“ what came up Astrid?” I said almost shouting.
I didn’t know why I cared about whatever she did, I am not one to poke my nose in people’s affairs. But with Astrid, I couldn’t control myself when I was around her, I couldn’t help but care.
“ I haven’t told anyone this before. It’s kind of very personal Ademola”
“ You can trust me Astrid” I said mindlessly.
“Where are all these words coming from Ade? “You can trust me Astrid”. You sound like a phoney. Shut up!” I thought to myself.
Suddenly I wanted to take back all that I had said, but Astrid smiled, then told me about the two first year girls I met in her room the first time I visited her.
“ One of the girls is an orphan, before she got a scholarship to come here she lived with her Auntie who really maltreated her. Her friend and I are the only ones who support her.
I talk to them about Christ and encourage them the best way I know. This dawn I got a call from her friend Ruth, saying that, Victoria, the orphan girl,attempted to take her life but she saw her in time and stopped her.
I rushed to their hostel when Ruth informed me, I couldn’t wait for the day to break. I prayed with them and tried to help Victoria deal with what she is going through. She doesn’t want people knowing, I wish she could talk to someone who is older with much experience but for now I am all she’s got.
I am really scared that I might not be able to give her exactly what she needs because we would graduate soon and I would have to move back to Angola. She has been hurt pretty badly and she finds it so hard trusting anyone. I wish I could do more for her and make her understand how much God loves her”
I was touched. I could never have guessed. At least she wasn’t thinking about my father’s request. She was out helping someone. I sat next to her.
“ what you are doing is a good thing Astrid. A lot of people wouldn’t help a stranger they just met in school to this extent. Whatever help you need, I am willing to help you. I know a few doctors outside campus who can talk to her. I think it’s a psychological problem and she needs an expert to help her. I am going to keep it a secret don’t worry . Victoria would be fine, from now on you don’t have to carry this burden alone. Whenever you think she is ready, just tell me and I would inform the doctor”
Astrid was shocked I said that, I was shocked I said that myself. I cared about her so much I only wanted to make her happy. She hugged me tightly and stayed in my arms for a minute and more. She let go of me and told me about what her parents thought about my father’s request.
“ I spoke to my parents last night about your father’s request and they agreed. Well, they came to that decision after a very long discussion. They were shocked but I think they were more honoured your father wanted to meet me. They know about your family and they couldn’t believe I am friends with Excellency Dr. Tayo Olatunji’s son”
“ we are really just regular people , it’s not a big deal” I said
“ I am not making it a big deal but no matter how much you down play it, you and your entire family are a pretty huge deal” she teased.
We decided to go that weekend to have more days with my family.
When we got to the airport, Astrid felt a little intimidated by the way the cabin crew treated us. She has never flown first class yet alone be treated so well on a plane but she comported herself well and took everything in.
Tiwa didn’t want to miss an opportunity to tease me about taking a girl home, so she joined us to Nigeria. We arrived in Nigeria in the evening, dinner was ready when we got home. My mother was the first to kiss and hug me then instructed some of the house staff to take our luggage. Kemi and Damilola hugged me too and started teasing me immediately but in Yoruba.
I laughed and shook my head, they ran off giggling.
I asked Astrid to sit down in the living room and went to find my father.
On Friday evenings, he normally reads in his study. I knocked and he asked me to come in. He stood up and embraced me.
“omo mi ” he said. Ba wo ni?” he added
He said “My son, how are you?”
I hugged him and answered. I was very better now after seeing him very fit. I told him about Astrid and we went down the stairs to meet her.
She was nervous, I could see her hand shivering when she shook my father’s hand. My father shook her with both hands and asked her to relax. She smiled and nodded nervously. He led us to the dining room and pulled a chair close to his and asked Astrid to sit. I sat next to Astrid.
Kemi, Damilola and Tiwa sat across from us to enjoy the show. I knew they were never going to make me forget this day.
A place was set next me, I didn’t know we were expecting somebody else.
“ who are we expecting mom? ” I asked.
She smiled, then suddenly I heard someone walking in with heels, I turned to see Ayomide Wiliams. She greeted and sat next to me.
Hi there ♥️, thanks for reading, I hope you are enjoying how the story is going.. watch out for next episode soon ?