Zainab yelped, grabbing an empty pan from the kitchen counter while chasing Namdi. Laughing, Namdi felt a little sad he didn't have more time to watch her bottom ripple. Quickly, he ran round the kitchen island a couple times before fleeing into the living room; Zainab right on his tail. With a quick turn, Namdi grabbed her frying pan hand, his other grabbing her waist pulling her to him as he fell on the couch.
Face to face, they remained motionless, their eyes baring into each other’s souls. He could feel her heart beat against his chest. At that moment, he knew he had to tell Zainab everything; the truth.
"God, you are beautiful."
A blush crept up Zainab’s cheeks as she heard Namdi; her head resting on his chest, hair sprayed around her.
"I need to tell you something, Zainab."
Zainab looked up a hand brushing away a loose strand of hair. She loved the way he said her name. No one called her quite like him.
Taking a breath, Namdi first took the frying pan she inexplicably still held, tossing it away.
"You have to understand it wasn't my fault but..."
It was then Namdi noticed burn marks on her fingers.
With concern written all over his face, he gently held her fingers in his rough palms, afraid of causing her any pain.
"It is nothing, I burnt it on the stove. Guess it's been too long."
She laughed it off. Before Namdi could say anything more he sniffed the air.
"Do you smell smoke?!"
Zainab shouted, "The Akara!"
Leaping off Namdi, she raced to the kitchen.
Unperturbed, Namdi grabbed the T.V. remote; flipping through channels till he landed on a Lagos news station, the image of a partially burnt down store making him pause.
He recognized this store. Turning up the volume, he listened as a female reporter questioned a man in front of the camera.
"And here we have the owner of the furniture store Biboye Aliyu. Sir what happened?"
"It must be the devil! This is my 6th branch I've opened and nothing like this has ever happened. If not that I was expecting shipment early, the whole store would have burnt down. Ahhh! But even the small part that burn pain me oh. Don't worry my customers we will reopen in two days! Come to..."
Forcefully taking the microphone from Aliyu, the reporter continued.
"We await the fire marshal to deduce the cause of this unfortunate event. But there is one thing that has already been determined. The fire began a couple hours after midnight..."
The reporter droned on. For Namdi, her voice faded into the background, his head turning to the kitchen.
Continued on next page...
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