Sorry femmes, I know it’s been a while but here’s the next edition of To Fan an Old Flame. I know you’re eager to know what happened next. How did Christie treat Frank in the past? Did Frank recognize Christie and did they become friends again? Find out in this next part. Meanwhile, if you missed the first 3 parts then click to read Part I, Part II and Part III.
Continued from last edition…..
She laughed softly under her breath and Frank asked her what amused her so. “Nothing much, I just remembered something that happened last night.” Christie shook her head slightly and giggled again. Then she realized that they were approaching the hall for the event. She knew she had to say something quickly and get rid of him. She was grateful for his help but she was already tired of his silence.
“This is where we’re holding the dinner tonight.”
She expected him to walk away but he stood there nervously, like he had something he really wanted to say.
“My name is Frank Daniel Kenechukwu. I’m a 300 Level student of Statistics.” He said.
Christie rolled her eyes. Did he really have to pronounce his full name like that. He was obviously a boring guy and Christie was seconds away from yawning. She checked herself in time. Her friend, Muna had told her the day before that she was too rude to guys. “I’m Cristabel Eze. 2nd year Marketing. Everybody calls me Christie.” She decided to toe his bee line.
Frank was silent for a while. Christie decided to break the silence again. “F.D.K,” She said.
“What did you say?” Frank asked.
“I said, F.D.K. Those are your initials, right?”
“Yes.” Frank laughed silently. He seemed to be thinking. “I’ve never thought about it that way.”
“Well, that’s a new thing then.” Christie shrugged. There was something cute about his bashfulness. Maybe she could be friends with him. After all, there were so many more assignments left to be done before they graduated. She smiled to herself at that mischievous thought.
They were in front of Abubakar Hall when Christie said, “Do you want to attend the dinner? Actually the IV is sold for N100 and N150 for two persons. It is for a complete meal.”
“Really? It is very cheap. What kind of meal is that?” Frank looked suspicious.
Christie laughed casually. She had had to answer that question a number of times. “It is for a whole meal and you have two options of; rice with moi moi and chicken, including fruit salad and a drink or eba and egusi soup with fish. It has been subsidized by my fellowship. The idea is to get people to attend the dinner and also deliver the word of God to them. You gain both ways.” For some reason, Christie hoped he would turn down the invitation.
“In that case, I would love to attend. Do I need to dress formally? Do you have any date or can I get tickets for both of us?”
Christie was surprised. She hadn’t expected him to be interested and she hadn’t thought about being anybody’s date to the dinner. “Yes, the dress code is formal. A shirt and trouser would do for you. I don’t think I’ll be needing a date since I’m part of the organizers.”
His face fell. “It wouldn’t be fun for me to go there alone.”
For some reason, Christie felt like cheering him up. She didn’t know how to turn someone who had been of much help to her that night down. “Okay, I’ll try as much as I can to squeeze out time to sit with you if you attend.”
Frank smiled like a toddler, “Thank you, Christie, let me go and get ready.” He walked away quickly.
Christie walked into the hall. Satisfied that everything had been prepared the way she wanted, she went to her hostel, quickly changed into a formal purple dress with sequined detail on the neckline. She admired her look of simplicity with a touch of class. Then she went back to the hall.
The hall was already quite full. She had expected a large turn up but she never imagined it that way. She soon spotted Frank in a tuxedo. Christie was surprised. She hadn’t expected him to take it so seriously. She walked over to him. He looked as if he was ready to bolt from the room any minute. Christie smiled warmly at him, “You’re welcome. I didn’t know you would make it.”
“Am I okay in this?” Frank adjusted his slightly over-sized jacket.
Christie had always be known to be blunt, “You shouldn’t have bothered dressing up so much. A shirt and trouser would have been just fine.”
Frank blushed so much that his pimples even looked purple.
Christie laughed and bumped his shoulders playfully to ease the tension “Relax, you look okay.” He seemed to relax a bit and even smiled.
The rest of the evening went smoothly. Everything went according to plan. Well, everything except for one of the guest artistes who didn’t show up. The story was that her car had broken down on the way so she and her crew were unable to make it to the dinner. It wasn’t much of a setback. The rest of the event went so well that the Head Pastor even called Christie and commended her for a job well done. She beamed with smiles as she walked back to meet Frank who was waiting patiently for her. She had managed to shuttle effectively between Frank’s table and organizing the event.
After that night, Frank became a regular figure by her side. He visited her so often that he was often referred to as one of her roommates. He helped her out with class work as much as he could even though they weren’t even course mates. Christie heard from a reliable source in his class that he was a candidate for a first class degree in Statistics. Frank eventually asked Christie to be his girlfriend a couple of months after they started seeing each other. She turned down his offer. He just wasn’t her type. Muna had told her to give Frank a chance. He seemed like a nice guy. Christie couldn’t get past the pimples on his face or his tall, gangly frame.
That was seven years ago. The Frank standing behind that powerful desk wasn’t the same Frank she used to know. This Frank wasn’t skinny and had no single pimple or spot on his face. He didn’t stutter when he spoke. He wasn’t wearing ridiculous white-rimmed glasses, instead he had on a very cute pair of black Chanel glasses. He didn’t look nervous or unsure of himself. He was well built and was wearing a starched sky-blue shirt with a patterned navy blue tie over well cut trousers.
“Oh my God! Frank, what a surprise!’ Christie said and walked closer to the table.
He extended his hand and smiled coolly. “Hello Christie, what a pleasant surprise too. What are you doing in my office?”
To be continued….
Watch out for the next part of To Fan an Old Flame. You’re sure going to love it! 🙂