Chapter 3 is sitting here pretty if you need to catch up! Continue the story of two souls whose destinies are tied in ways they never imagined. Oh and quick reminder, Daniel is the narrator of ”Muse” and Amma ”Memories”
I smile politely at the security Man, Dennis as I drive through the school gate. Students are everywhere, walking in and out of the school. My thoughts drift on the article I am assigned to write. I don’t even know what to write about. I grumble in frustration as I pull up in the public car park right across the Caro’s cafeteria. I decide to ditch the morning lecture and concentrate on writing the article.
I grab my black cross-bag at the back seat and get down from the black RAV 4, it was my birthday gift last year from my parents. This year, I don’t know what they are going to get me; my parents usually give me my present at the end of the day, when I am about to sleep. It has always been that way for as long as I remember. In my family, traditions are taken seriously.
Adjusting my shirt, I stroll casually towards the less crowded cafeteria in school. This is my favorite spot in the school. I feel relaxed whenever I am here and I even have a favorite spot (most importantly, there is free wifi in here). I walk in and the familiar smell of maggi and toast bread fill my nostrils. The spacious room was quiet and secluded, as usual. The tables are clean and neat, the cream wall and the cream table clothes are pretty as usual.
Few people come here because of the woman who works here, Caro, which is why I love coming here. I never understand why anyone would not like Caro, she is different but so what?
Because this place is not usually crowded, i love coming here. I want to be able to write without raising my head a bunch of times to greet a friend from my department, or a female from the faculty or a crush I no longer want to see.
Caro is already here and she is dressed in her usual neat cream-colored short dress, cleaning the surface of the wooden slab. Her skin are the same color as a cup of milk and Bournvita and her wigs are carefully chosen range of bright colors. She wears deep shades of brown lipstick and she never stops chewing gum. She only talks freely to students who are her regular customers, it is like we are all in her secret club and she is not afraid to show the outsiders this. She was odd but she was comfortable in her oddness.
‘’Daniel! Happy birthday. I have been waiting for you’’ she said. She found out two years ago and she never forgot.
‘’Caro… thank you. Did u sleep well?’’ I answer, settling down on a long wooden stool opposite her.
‘’I tried. Will you have the usual for breakfast?’’ she asks as she turned back to face the wooden shelf behind her. Not waiting for me to reply she pours me a cup of tea and places it on a plastic tray. We exchanged few talks about her husband’s family. She always comes up with the hilarious gist ever.
‘’Thank you, Caro. I will be at my table, if anyone asks. Okay?’’ I say quickly as I pick up the tray. She nods and smiles at me.
Soon, I am seated at my favorite table, at the far end of the room behind a window. I sip my tea and place my laptop on the table. I need to brain storm on the article. As I glance at the pages on some old magazines, my phone rings.
I didn’t reply her message. She would be so furious right now. I contemplate on whether picking the call. Rolling my eyes, I hit ‘’answer’’
‘’Daniel! Did you not get my message?’’ she snaps. I snort.
‘’Good morning to you too” I manage to say.
‘’Don’t play cute with me, Dan. You never replied my text’’ her voice is tense.
I sigh and adjust my glasses. I don’t really know the right thing to say. She reads meaning to a lot of things. You never know what would upset her or please her. Tapping my fingers on the table, I decide apology is the best option.
‘’I am sorry Amaka’’ I mutter.
I hear her sigh at the other end of the phone.
‘’Okay…happy birthday and why are you not in class? I saved you a seat” she says.
‘’I need to work on some stuffs. Perhaps we would all just meet for your birthday dinner in the evening’’
‘’I take it that you are at that awfully quiet place’’ she scoffs.
‘’You keep saying that. But you know I love coming here” I say dryly. She always makes rude comments about Caro’s, whining about it not having customers, too secluded because of Caro. Blah blah blah.
‘’Yeah yeah. So will you meet us at the restaurant in the evening?’’ She replied dismissively.
‘’Yes, Larry and I will meet you and Chima there’’
‘’Great, see you soon’’
I hang up. Pushing Amaka away from my mind, I feel really excited about this year. A lot is going to happen. Final exams are going to start soon, my postgraduate studies in America (finally, mum had to agree that she would have to let me go at one point).
It is definitely necessary to think about life after school but right now all I can think about is my final exams. I have always loved routine and sticking to it. Every day is always the same with the next, with my activities based around lectures, picking up an old newspaper and reading it anyways, hanging out with the three closest friends I have, attending Editorial meetings, going to the bookstores or library, this café and driving back home.
No spontaneous plans, no new beginnings.
The only time I tried something new it scared me was the second year at the university when I picked an interest in playing the guitar. It was fun for a while and I would hang out at the bar downtown and watch people performing on weekends.
After a while I lost interest in playing and I stopped driving few miles to the bar. Since then, I got so used to doing things the same way day-by-day. Maybe that is why it’s so scary to think about my life after school other writing my finals and nailing this article.
I am having the fear of the unknown.
For hours, I scurry through my note pad. I really need to think of a topic to work on. I scribble some ideas in my note pad. But none of them is newsworthy. I sigh heavily and close the pad. Perhaps I need to clear my head.
Giving up, I pack my books into my black cross-bag, I bid Caro goodbye and pay for my meal even though she insisted it is free on my birthday. Still chewing my last bit of toast bread in my hands, I walk towards the narrow lane leading to the secluded parts of the Campus to calm my head for a while before going to meet my friends for my birthday dinner.
Nothing ever happens in secluded places, right?
Check back for the next chapter.