Her Necessary Evil - Part 2

“ok, so she’s not pretty but she seems polite”, he thought to himself. Still pondering on his thoughts, he heard her ask, “Are you going for the graduation ceremony at Andrew Bates?” He looked up with a bemused expression on his face. She had finally caught his attention. “Yes, I am”, he replied. “You?”, he asked. She nodded. The winter graduation ceremonies were scheduled to take place on the 8th and 9th of December at the Grand music Hall, Edinburgh. Graduating students from the colleges of Arts, Humanities and Edinburgh Business School were scheduled for the 1st day while students in faculties of Engineering, Physical and Biological Sciences were to have their ceremonies on the 2nd day.

She was called Ademidun Ojonemi Agbabiaka. Born in October, 1987 to a Yoruba father; her mother was Igala from Kogi state. An indigene of the pace setter state, “Dedun”, as she was popularly referred to, was a down-to-earth, conservative and soft-spoken lady. She was the third and last child living with her parents in Lagos. With her two siblings married, the house had become boring. However, a friend of the family that lived in Akure had come to live with the Agbabiaka’s. Dolapo had only been to lagos twice and was excited to start her youth service at Landmark offices, Africa Reinsurance building, Oyin Jolayemi- Victoria Island, Lagos. Her twin brother Dipo, had completed his the year before and was currently working with a law firm in Akure. Dedun and Dolapo were age mates and they shared the same room at the Agbabiakas.

After completing her Master’s degree in Psychology from ABU, Dedun had returned home briefly to attend her brother’s wedding before going back to attend her graduation ceremony. The man seemed a little taken aback when she asked the last question. “I’m attending my son’s graduation”, he said.

“He certainly did not look like someone that had a ‘graduating-son’” she pondered

“uhnn…What’s he studying? oil and gas engineering or Project management? Most Nigerian students study these two courses”, she said.

“Project management”, he replied.

“Aha, why am I not surprised?”

“So does he stay in school accommodation or he lives out?”

“He rented an apartment somewhere near the school cos he know that his father can afford it”, the man said. You?

“I leave with my uncle and family. He has 3 kids, so I’m kinda like their nanny cos they both have to work but I like it.” Dedun replied.

“How about your folks? Aren’t they going to attend your graduation ceremony?” he asked quizzically.

“Nah, they can’t make it. My brother will be coming with his wife though.” she said

“Although this trip is making me leave work, I just have to be here for my family” he said.

“What’s his name?” she asked

“Who?”

“Your son”

“Robert”

As he spoke and smiled intermittently, Dedun observed that his eyes twinkled each time and the crease around his eyes were beginning to be more noticeable. He spoke softly and she barely heard some of the words he said. They talked about various topics ranging from academics to politics with her doing more of the talking. He smiled and chuckled a lot. She liked that about him. There was something quite mysterious about him which couldn’t quite place a finger on. He made her laugh. “For some his age, he sure knew a lot about younger people’s stuff” she thought.

“So you have a residence permit? How long have you lived in the UK?” the immigration officer asked Dedun, as he flipped through her international passport.

“A year” she said and smiled as he handed her passport.

As she was proceeding to her seat on the aircraft, the man asked her for her seat number.

“21A”, she replied. His was 9A.

“I’ll come and sit with you if the other seat is unoccupied” he told her.

The flight from Lagos had been very cold and she could hardly sleep despite the blanket provided by the airline and her summer jacket. So she had planned to take a short nap during the 90 minute flight from Frankfurt to Edinburgh. At this point, any form of intrusion was not welcome. And so by the time he came to sit beside her, her seat was already reclined in a ready-to sleep position.

“Am I disturbing you?” he asked

“No, not at all” she replied, readjusting her seat to take-off position.

Before he could sit down, she observed that he was really tall, very dark and ok. Ok because he was not particularly what her description of handsome would be.

“What’s your name?” she asked?

“I’ll tell you if you tell me yours” he said.

“Dedun” she answered, pronounced “day-dun”.

He laughed and said, “Nathan”.

His name was Nathan Tamunonengi Gogo. Born in Oloibiri in 1969, he was the last child of eleven children, two deceased. He was travelling to attend Robert’s graduation ceremony in ABU and had seen her as she approached the boarding area at the airport in Frankfurt. She seemed boring- her clothes said it all, he thought. Dedun was definitely a lively person with so much positive energy- how he had misjudged her! Now he wanted to get to know her more.

“What’s your surname?” she asked.

“Koripamo”, he lied. Yours?

“Agbabiaka” she replied.

“Do you have a boy friend?” Nathan asked abruptly.

“Why do you ask?” Dedun questioned back.

“I just want to know, after all we’re two adults having a conversation- there’s nothing shameful about that , is there?”

“I barely know you and you’re asking me personal questions- I’m not going to answer that, I’m sorry” she replied.

“it’s alright if you don’t want to answer. I’m sorry I asked”. He knew he had hit a sensitive chord so he let the topic drop but he’d still find out much later that she had never had a boyfriend. Soon the discussion changed to politics and then career.

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