Feeling sweat drip down my face, I regretted putting on layers of makeup before coming to school in the morning. I used my handkerchief to tap my face, careful not to ruin my makeup. I picked up a book to fan myself. Afternoon classes were never my thing. Especially when it was Mr. Odili’s lecture. His classes were the longest, and the dreariest process for me. Looking at the rest of the class, I knew that the feeling was not exclusive to me alone. I discretely brought out a pack of gum from my bag. Immediately, someone tapped me. I looked back, and was shocked to meet the gaze of Greg. He was in school? He smiled at me and stretched out his hand, gesturing at the pack of gum in my hand. Still in shock, I passed it to him. He took one then winked at me.
Greg was my crush, the biggest reason behind my hours in front of the mirror, drawing and painting. He was your typical truant, only in school during exam periods. But that didn’t stop my poor heart from fluttering at every sight of him. Even his voice did not let me go. Fortunately, he was a male being without a female partner. Which meant that I had an opportunity. But how to go about it? And he just happened to be in the school on such a hot day. I turned my attention back to the lecturer, knowing that my mind would travel to a different place.
By the end of the lecture, I had made up my mind. As soon as the lecturer left the class, I packed my books in my bag and left the class, ignoring the voices that were calling me. I stood in front of the door, watching my classmates leave in twos and threes. It didn’t take long for him to come out with his usual clique.
“Erm.. Greg.” I touched his shoulder.
“Purity.” He smiled as he told his friends to keep on going that he would meet up with them.
I walked a distance away from the class to prevent unnecessary attention.
“So, what’s up?” He leaned against the railing, maintaining a casual pose.
“I’m fine,” I said, and mentally slapped myself. So lame.
“Anything for me?”
“Nothing much…” I was playing with my fingers. This was someone that I had only said ‘hi’ and ‘hello’ to on a normal day, what could we talk about with each other. It was either now or never, I told myself.
“I like you,” I blurted out, then patted myself mentally for being courageous.
“Huh?” He looked at me with surprise.
“Nothing, don’t worry. Forget it,” I brushed it away, ready to run away in shame. There, I had gotten it out there. At least, I freed myself from speculations and endless worries. “Bye,” I said as I turned to leave.
“Wait o, you just told me this kind of thing and you want to disappear. For wetin na?” He pulled me back.
“Don’t mind what I said.” I shook my head.
“But I want to mind it,” he said.
“What do you mean?” I looked at him with surprise.
“What else do you think I mean? You’re the only girl in our year that caught my attention. I was scared that you wouldn’t like someone like me. Like I’m a student, but I am not a student.” He winked at me when he made the last statement.
“Blame my stupid heart for liking you,” I said cheekily, feeling warmth in my chest.
He pulled me into a side hug. “I’ll take it anyhow I get it.”
Sometimes, you just have to be brave and chase what you want. This was the advice my friend gave me some days ago. And here I was, chasing what I want.