Corper's Diary-Adura community (5)

Corper's Diary-Adura community (5)
"Francis, you mean all this was going on and you didn't tell me? I thought we were friends!" Ebuka stated, sounding upset. I had just told him about Shade and I and the plans I was making for us. 

"I'm truly sorry I didn't tell you earlier. But we had to keep it top secret because of the situation- you know Shade has a fiancé, a Prince. Abeg no vex!* I pleaded with him. That calmed him down a bit.
"So, all this while you said you were travelling to Lagos to see your parents, it was the girl you were with. Francis, you are a real bad guy o!" he stated, hitting me playfully on the shoulder.
"Anyway, I don't blame you. That girl fine no be small*," he added in pidgin.

"So, what are your plans for now?" he queried some time later.
I shrugged.
"I intend travelling out of the country to do my Masters degree. I'm hoping Shade will come join me so she can attend school over there as well," I told him. That was the tentative plan we had at the moment. But its success was based on Shade being able to extricate herself from her engagement with Prince Dayo. 

And that would depend on her father and Dayo's father too. Would they give their consent to Shade calling off the engagement or would there be opposition? What about Dayo? What would be his reaction when he finds out his fiancé had fallen for someone else and no longer wanted him?

We both knew there were challenges ahead but we never envisaged how tough it was going to be.

Ebuka and I sat on the verandah for some time discussing the issue. Then around seven o'clock, as we were getting ready to head to Iya Akin's Bar, Shade arrived unexpectedly.
It was her first time of visiting me at the Corpers' Lodge since we had started dating.
"This is a surprise, Shade. You didn't even call me that you were coming," I said as she got down from the car. She was dressed in a T shirt on snug fitting leggings that showed off her sensuous figure to advantage. She smiled and said: "I wanted to surprise you." She held my hand as we walked towards Ebuka, who was standing by the verandah.
"Hi, Shade," Ebuka greeted, smiling warmly at her. They had met a couple of times during the period I was giving her tutorials at the palace so they were familiar with each other.
We all stood chatting for a while then I took her inside my room.
"Your room is not bad, it's just small," she observed as she gazed round. 
I laughed.
"I didn't like it much at the beginning but I think I'll miss it when I leave," I stated. She sat on the bed as the other piece of furniture in the room, a small armchair I had coerced from Mr Babson was piled high with clothes, books and other stuff.

"I feel bad hearing that word. The thought of you leaving me here makes me so sad," said Shade, frowning a little.
I sat by her on the bed and held her close. 

"It's just a temporary separation. With time, we shall be together again," I reassured her.

"I can hardly wait," she said, smiling.
"Now, that's what I want to see- a smile on your pretty face. Come here," I stated, lying down on the bed and pulling her on top of me.

"What are you doing, Francis? I thought you were going out with Ebuka!" she said as I began to pull off her T shirt.
"Changed my mind. There's something more interesting I want to do here," I stated.
"Like what?" she asked coyly.

"This," I said as my lips found hers and I caressed her silky smooth skin, her firm, lush breasts. As my lips trailed downwards to her nipples, I could hear her gasp, then she moaned softly, her body writhing in pleasure.
"I love you so much, Francis. No matter what happens, I hope we will always be together," she whispered, holding me tight.
"You have nothing to be afraid of, my sweet. I'll always be there for you," I told her. As I entered her gently, I knew it was not an empty promise; it was one I vowed to keep no matter the odds against us...

The gathering storm
About a week before we were to leave Adura at the end of our service year, the Baale summoned me. I had not seen him for a while as it had been some months I stopped coaching Shade who had retaken the school certificate exams. 

At the palace, I was taken to the garden where he sat under a gazebo, reading a newspaper.

"Quite an age, Francis! Were you intending sneaking off to Lagos without saying farewell?" he asked after I had greeted him. 
"No, sir. My friend, Ebuka and I were planning to visit before we leave next week," I stated.
 He nodded.
 "You can visit anytime. Even after your service ends here, you are always welcome to my town. You boys made quite an impression on my people and I," he stated, smiling broadly at me. Then he added, with a mischievous glint in his eyes.

"Even, my daughter Shade has fallen under your spell!"
"I…ehm… sir," I began to say, but his raised right hand cut me short.

"No use denying it. She has told me everything, about your love affair. I suspected there was something going on when she was always talking about you. But I thought it was just a crush. I never knew it could be this serious that she's talking about breaking the engagement with Prince Adedayo and marrying you!" he said. 

I could feel my heart beating erratically, wondering what was going to happen next. Would he send his guards to have me beaten up for daring to touch his daughter? Would I be able to leave Adura alive and see my family again? Is this what love had done to me?

His next words and the smile on his face brought me back with a jolt and calmed my nerves.

"Francis, I like you. I think you are a young man with a bright future. Under normal circumstances, I would not mind having you as a son-in-law. But," he said, sitting up straight. "My daughter is taken. As you are aware, she and the Prince have been engaged for years and their wedding will come up soon. His father and I are old friends, we go back a long way. I don't want anything to affect our relationship, least of all, this matter. So, whatever you have with her can't work. I'm sorry, my hands are tied on this matter as it’s beyond me."

As he spoke, I felt my hopes of ending up with Shade fade gradually away. But I was not ready to give up on my love.

"But Sir, Shade does not want this man. Will you want to see her married off to a man she does not love and can't be happy with?" I said.
"The issue of love does not come into it. What matters now is that Shade belongs to someone else. She can't be with you. You look for another lady and leave Shade for the Prince!" he enjoined.

 Before leaving, Shade and I saw briefly. We stood at a corner of the garden under some orange and mango trees. 
 She was silent as I narrated what had transpired between her father and I.
"He wants us to stop seeing, insisting you belong to the Prince," I said.

"Truth is my father is not against my leaving Adedayo as he cares more for my happiness than being married to the Oba's son. The problem is with 'Dayo and his father, the Oba. They are the main obstacles on our path," she said. 

Despite such obstacles, we vowed to stick together no matter what came our way. I later left, feeling more hopeful about the future, and began preparing to round up my service year and leave Adura for home...

To be continued...
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