by Sohana

Note……. For Part-1 Click here

I had almost forgotten how attractive he is! I admired his features as he came closer: On his fair handsome face is a pair of clear eyes that pierce through your soul, a nearly flat (but beautiful) nose and thick pink lips. I looked at his tall frame; his kind of tall makes you really look up when talking to him (even if you’re 5’ 7” like me!). He wore a red tee shirt which hugged his perfect masculine torso, revealed his muscular biceps and blended perfectly with his ash chinos trouser and red-laced black sneakers. Boy! He could take your breath away!
He was beside me now; we walked together side by side without saying a word to each other. We went into Polo Park Mall through the first entrance, the one that’s closer to Shop rite. ‘What’s it?’ he asked with a hint of concern in his voice. ‘You’re never this solemn, not even in your sleep!’ Okay that made me smile (because I actually talk in my sleep, occasionally though) but I tried concealing my reaction and he goofed a little about it, ‘There, there, I made her smile. You see why you should marry me? I know you too well!’ I giggled, ‘That’s why you shouldn’t, there’s nothing new to know again. I’ll bore you before 6 months. Wow! I actually feel better now o; you’re getting better at this!’ ‘If you say so,’ he said gesticulating. We were in Shop rite now. ‘What are we having?’ he asked. My reply was, ‘Chicken pasta’. It’s my favourite, but then, I haven’t tried anything else! (He doesn’t know that though). We got two plates, he paid for them then we left the store. We went to KFC and got ice cream (big twirls with strawberry droppings, yum!) and soft drinks. It’s the most delicious ice cream I’ve ever tasted. I order it every time I come to Polo Park mall! I paid this time around. We secured a table at the Food court and sat down to talk (and eat of course!). We started catching up on things that have happened in our lives since we last saw each other. It’s been four years since we sat down like this. Fred and I met in UNN five years ago. We were both in our first year then and as great friends, we spent a lot of time together. But he’s a medical student so he had to go to UNEC (the campus where the college of medicine is) in his second year and things changed a lot. The distance drove us apart and for years we barely kept in touch. A year ago, we tried to re-establish contact with each other but never made out time to visit. Although I’ve graduated, he’s still in school because medicine is studied for 6 years while Pharmacy is 5. I asked him about medical school, he asked me how I’ve been keeping busy since my defence. We had a lot to discuss. As we were eating and talking, licking our ice cream and sipping our drinks, he gave me this I-want-to-ask-you-something look. I shook my head. He sure does know how to ruin a moment! He smiled. He could guess my thoughts. ‘You know I have to ask you’, he said. ‘Alright,’ I conceded, ‘I just found my New Year resolution for the year; I didn’t do anything on that list, Fred. Not even one!’ As soon as those words left my mouth, he burst into laughter. He laughed so hard that I regretted telling him. ‘I’m sorry for laughing’, he said with a hint of jest in his voice making me feel worse, ‘But I couldn’t hold myself! See who’s feeling bad. At least you had a list; it never crossed my mind to write one!’ That was it – EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED TO HEAR! I mean, wasn’t I getting a little too old for this New Year resolution nonsense? As in, there was really no point! So I decided not that my New Year resolution for 2017 would be: ‘No more New Year Resolutions’ because when you have No expectations, you have no disappointments. I was very proud of myself – I had rediscovered an ancient secret formula for happiness.

We talked a little bit more and then he drove me home. It was a different me that came home that evening. I was too full to eat dinner so I greeted my parents and went straight to my room. Then, I curled up like a ball on my bed and started chatting with my friends on whatsapp. I was excited so I tweeted: ‘No expectations, no disappointments and no worries: Hurray!’ 5 people ‘favorited’ on the spot! This was good! I uploaded a picture of Fred and me on Instagram and started posting some random stuff on Facebook. My Crossover night had just begun! In our house, we don’t go for vigils on the last day of the year. We just pray at midnight and thank God for a new year. Soon after I had gotten really busy with texting and watching photos and videos online, there was outage of power supply. I hissed, ‘This NEPA people have come again!’. My parents called for family prayers. After that, I started feeling sleepy so I decided to yield to call of nature. I turned my phone off because I knew people would call by midnight; I didn’t want to be disturbed at all. I dozed off almost immediately.

‘Happy New Year!’ screamed my mum in a sonorous voice that clouded my dreams and pulled me into reality. I stirred and opened my eyes. Yea, it was morning already. Daylight streamed in through the glass louvers, lighting up the whole room. I stretched and got up. ‘Happy New Year too, Mummy. Good morning.’ She gave me a list of chores to complete before service. I got to it immediately. When I was done, I prepared for church. I wore a velvet dress and my black ankle boots and a black funky hat to match. I sat somewhere in the middle of the congregation and participated fully in the service. When it was time for sermon, our Youth Pastor Benjamin was called to give us a New Year charge. He talked about beginning the year with God and letting Him pilot your affairs this year. He encouraged us all to commune with God and hear from him, write down what he has told us and walk in them. He stressed that we shouldn’t just waltz through the year aimlessly – we should set goals and work towards them. I stopped writing in my word note after hearing that. I started thinking of what Fred had said to me and how disappointed I was to find out that I didn’t achieve anything I had planned to last year. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this kind of stuff. I’ve gotten by 22 years of my life without it so I might as well keep on as it has always been. I cast my mind back to my SS3 when I made some plans about my writing. I had to reluctantly give that up because studying Pharmacy in UNN plus being committed in church didn’t give me ample time to take it seriously the way I wanted to. I kept regretting that decision till recently because I felt I had lost a huge part of me. Now, I was torn apart. I honestly want to do better than I’ve ever done but my heart isn’t strong enough to bear disappointing myself. It’s one of my greatest fears.

I left church sober and thoughtful. I forgot to even say hello to my friends. As I was on my way out, Pastor Benjamin called to me and asked if I was okay, I smiled and nodded but my eyes were distant. I looked around. My parents were still catching up with friends that had travelled so I asked my mum for the house key and excused myself politely. I ran home because I was confused; I needed to clear my head. I literally flew up the stairs to our front door. I unlocked it quickly and went straight to my room. I sat on my bed and thought for a while. Then, I prayed in tongues for a minute and felt peace. I knew what to do: ‘I would set those goals fearlessly, write them down and work with them. I’d remind myself of them every now and then I will also revaluate and modify my plans if necessary. Above all, I would do my best and with God’s help this year would definitely be the best year ever’. This is my New Year Resolution for 2017!