He cleared his throat again before sighing and tapping me on my shoulder. I nearly jumped.“What?” I snapped.
His eyes widened and he stepped back cautiously.“Sorry Dami, I just wanted to… never mind.” He shrugged and looked away.
I looked up sharply and narrowed my eyes in suspicion. “Who are you and how do you know my name?” I asked quietly.
People were starting to watch us but I didn’t care.
Was this the guy? But, why didn’t I recognise anything about him? He chuckled lightly before shaking his head.“I didn’t think I was that unpopular.” “Answer me.” I said in a serious tone.
He seemed to realise I wasn’t playing around because he suddenly stopped laughing. “We’re in the same Faculty of Science but different departments.
I’m in Biochemistry, you’re in Microbiology.” I nodded vaguely although I’d never seen him before.
He looked at me for a while before speaking.“Still doesn’t ring a bell, right?”“It doesn’t.” I confirmed with an apologetic expression.
The lady at the counter set my food before me and I paid the bill while the guy behind me kept talking. “Well, you’re room mates with my sister Chioma.
I’m Nonso by the way.”“Oh! You two are related?” I exclaimed, turning to look at him well. “I know I look nothing like my sister, I get that alot.” He smiled.
That was very true. While Chioma looked like she was ready to snap someone in two with her no-nonsense expression and plump build, Nonso looked like an easy-going person who was always seconds away from cracking a joke.
Not to mention his impressive height that had me tilting my head up wards to look at him.“Anyway, I just wanted to greet you since we’ve never really talked before. I arrived on campus yesterday and there aren’t many people around soit’s a bit lonely.”“I understand. But I actually like how quiet it is right now, it won’t be the same in a few days.” I said.“I don’t like very quiet places. That’s where we’re different.” He laughed.
I actually found myself smiling at how light-hearted he is. We continued our conversation until he realised he had followed me out of the restaurant. “Wow, I almost forgot how hunger was dealing with me before I left my room.” He laughed,turning to look back at the restaurant. “Don’t let me come in between you and your meal.” I smiled, turning to leave. “I’ll see you around soon.” He waved and went back into the restaurant.
I felt much better than I did when I left my dorm.
I really need to go out more often. I thought,making my way to Daniel’s place. Before I arrived,I called to let him know I was on my way.“Daniel? I’ll be at your dorm in about 15 minutes.”“Just like that?” He laughed. “Just know I’m broke oh, so there’s no food if that’s what you’re expecting.” “Have we just met?” I asked playfully. “When do you ever have food? Anyway, I came prepared. ”“Dami, you’re heaven-sent. I was just about to go and buy Indomie.” “Save the money for when you really need it.” I advised him.“Did you buy soft drinks too?” He asked. “Do I look like I’m made of money?” “Erm, forget I just said that. I can always arrange for cold water.” I smiled and shook my head. “Anyway, don’t let me finish my credit or else I’ll be broke in that area too.” “I’m the one who called you, Daniel.” “Oh, well in that case, we can continue talking.”“So it’s my own credit that should waste. In fact,I’m hanging up now.”I heard him laugh quietly before he hung up. Hedidn’t even give me the opportunity of hanging up first.
***It didn’t take Daniel long before he started questioning me on the recent happenings. “Has anything strange happened since you found that shirt?”I was silent as I thought of the message and thepicture I received today.“Dami?” “I got a text message today and whoever this person is has been following me around.” I sighed.
I just wanted to forget about all that today.
Constantly worrying about this man’s next move was starting to take its toll on me and I didn’twant to hurt myself with thinking too much.“Do we report this to the Police?” “What do we tell them?”“I don’t know Dami, but your life could be in danger.”When he said that, the fear I tried so hard to keep bottled up within me seemed to double its intensity. “You don’t know that, okay? Maybe this is just some kind of secret admirer who’s too shy to-““Too shy to what?” Daniel cut in. “Dami, this isn’t normal. A regular guy would have walked up to you a long time ago. But sending you strange messages and taking pictures of you is not normal.” I stood up and stared at Daniel. “How do you know about the picture? I didn’t tell you about that. ”Daniel’s eyes widened with guilt and he looked away.“Daniel… what’s going on?” I asked slowly, takinga step back.“I’m sorry, okay?” He said quietly.“What did you do?”“When you went outside to take a phone call, your purse fell open and I found the picture.
I saw the note behind it and realised that from the angle that photo was taken, you weren’t aware of whoever was behind the camera. What I don’t understand is why you wouldn’t tell me all that’s going on.
We’re best friends Dami and I can’t sit back and let something bad happen to you.” I felt my heart rate calm down slowly at his explanation. I had thought the worst. In fact, I didn’t know what to think anymore or who to trust.“Daniel, you had no right sneaking through my personal belongings.” “Well if I didn’t find out myself, you weren’t going to tell me anything. Are you waiting for your name to come up in the missing person news or worse?”“Th-that isn’t going to happen.” I whispered.
Daniel sighed and ran his hands through his thick black hair, rumpling it.“Just promise me that from now on you’ll open your mouth and tell someone; even if it’s not me,your best friend of almost 6 years.”His words quickly made my anger melt into guilt and I promised him I would.
Hours later when it was getting dark, I knew I had to return to my room. It was inevitable. Daniel escorted me all the way to the dorm building and waited for me to text him when I’d gotten into my room and locked the door behind me, somehow knowing that someone was looking out for me made me feel a lot safer.
I even slept better that night; although, if I’d known what was to come, maybe I would have really savored that good night’s rest.