Her Silver Lining.
Hi People! Second short story, randomly written on my way home in a really slow bus. It’s a different kind of story from my first, I hope you all like it!
Bunmi was having a bad week. Nothing was going as planned. She’d had really average marks all week and oh she’d also failed that neurobiology test. She would have to retake it next week. It wasn’t as though she hasn’t studied. She studied, extra hard. This week just didn’t seem to be on her side. She’d prayed before she wrote all her tests. She’d had only four hours of sleep every night this week. Her hard work just wasn’t paying off. She sighed. And now, she’d been waiting at the bus stop for close to thirty minutes. Plus, it was 4 degrees and windy. She was sure her lips were chapped, seeing as she had ditched her signature red lipstick when she had been dashing out the door. Oh well, she thought. I’ll just use my lip balm once i’m in class, she decided. Where was her bus anyway?. She checked her watch, her beautiful Michael Kors, she still swooned when she looked at it. She loved the thing. Bummer. She was already late for her class. Maybe she should just give up and go back to bed, it wasn’t like she didn’t need the sleep. She needed it. Craved it. Her innate sense of responsibility wouldn’t even let her sleep when she knew she was supposed to be in class. Ahh! Her bus! She could kiss the driver! If he didn’t smell too much like cigarette smoke , she scrunched her nose after paying him and grabbed a railing. Great. Her sleep deprived body would have to stand. At least she had Justin Timberlake crooning into her ears while she tapped her foot to the beat.
She got down at her university and half ran to the neuro building. Mr Bateman was talking about Parkinson’s. She cringed and heard her croaky voice say “May I come in?” This was just wonderful, she sounded like a frog in front of almost a hundred students, she should have treated her sore throat earlier, but she’d been too busy having a bad week. “Yes, you may” she heard her teacher say. She sat in her usual third row seat and put on her tortoiseshell glasses and tried to understand the presentation. About twenty minutes in, she heard her iPhone ring, very loudly. It seemed like everyone had turned in her direction. She muted the device after thirty painful seconds and pretended that she couldn’t feel eyes burning through her. She was so shy. Almost like she had a phobia for embarrassment. At the end of the lecture, she said hi to some of her friends; the Asian chick she saw in the library a lot, the Arab boys who lived in a flat next to hers and the Nigerians in her group. They were having some argument about intestinal glucose and Bunmi honestly wanted to escape but her best friend Amaka was so involved in the argument and she needed to borrow her textbook. So, she waited until the argument was resolved and they’d agreed on what GLUT transporters did what and when facilitated diffusion was necessary.
”Ehen. What did you want? Amaka asked sweetly.
”Your atlas, Frank Netter, I left mine at home” Bunmi replied
”Oh, I didn’t bring mine either” Amaka said, making her nonchalant face.
”Ugh, That’s why I’ve been waiting” Bunmi said ”Okay, I’m off to the library, I’ll see you in microbiology class”
”Okay” Amaka said distractedly, something else had caught her attention.
Bunmi sighed and walked away, putting her earphones back in. Her ipod was a bloody lifesaver. Too bad it didn’t know.
The library was silent, just as she liked. She pored over the library atlas and textbook for two hours and packed up, heading for her microbiology class. The class was pretty boring. She didn’t particularly love the course and couldn’t wait to be done with it. However, she did her best to understand it and get the best grades she could. At the end of her class, she remembered she had not returned the phone call that had threatened to destroy her serenity in the neuro lecture. It had been her mum. She called her.
”Hello mummy” Bunmi said
”Bunmi!, darling, how are you?” her mum said in her sophisticated voice.
”I’m fine, mum. I was in class when you called, sorry” she apologized.
”Oh. It’s okay, I hope your grades are great as usual?” Her mother asked.
Bunmi cringed. Typical of her mother to ask about her grades during every phone call. She needed to try this thing called subtlety. She should ask ‘how is school?’ not grades this, grades that. She sighed.
”Yes, mum. Don’t worry” Bunmi said
” Okay, my dear, I’ll call you later today, I don’t want to bother you since you still have classes today” She drawled
”Alright mummy, later” Bunmi said ”Love you”.
”Love you too” her mother crooned.
Her mother was from a very wealthy Nigerian family and it didn’t hurt that she’d married a wealthy architect. Both her parents wanted her to do great in school and become a neurosurgeon. Bunmi shook her head. Sometimes the pressure got too much. She felt like she needed a year off to travel and see the world. It wasn’t like her family couldn’t afford it. But she’d never say that. Her parents would be crushed. Plus she loved medicine, it just got too hard sometimes, like this week. She wouldn’t be a neurosurgeon anyway, she’d already decided. It wasn’t for her. She wanted to have a life. Fall in love and have a family and an existence outside the walls of the hospital. But, she hadn’t said that to her folks just yet. She’d cross that bridge when she got there.
”Booms!!!” Amaka called, snapping her out of her thoughts. ” are you going home now?”
She checked her watch, it was 5pm. ”Yeah, I’ll be back to the library in about two hours though, if I can” She said with a yawn.
”Brainiac! It’s not finals week yet, you know. Its like two months away, so chill on the studying” Amaka said with a frown.
”I said, I may or may not came, calm down” She said laughing.
”Okay, I’m off. Mike and I have date night tonight” Amaka said excitedly. Mike was her boyfriend of two years. They were in love.
”Ah, enjoy yourself then” she said with a tired smile. She was knackered. Standing in micro lab for an hour plus had done her in.
They said goodbye and Bunmi walked home with The Script singing their hearts out in her ears. It was so windy and her green skirt danced in the wind. She kept struggling to keep it down.
”Don’t worry, it looks fine” A voice with a sweet American accent said to her.
She looked behind and smiled. Gosh. He was so pretty. Green eyes. Dark blond hair.
”Thanks” She said shyly.
For someone who’d be twenty one in a few months, she was still school girl shy. Damn.
” How long have you been in this school? Is this your first year? I’ve never seen you” He crooned. His voice literally was a song. The right level of raspy and the right degree of honey smoothness.
”Nah, three years” she said, trying desperately to be cool.
”Really? Wow, I’m Brian” He said
”Bunmi” She said smiling. She wondered how she must look. No makeup, hair freestyle whipping in the wind. Now she understood why girls did the whole makeup retouch thing. You never knew where you’d meet your prince charming.
”You’re Nigerian?” He asked with a proud grin. ”I have Nigerian friends” He said happily.
”Oh cool.” she said. Please don’t be one of those obnoxious know-it-alls, she prayed.
”I hope I don’t sound too obnoxious, I’m just fascinated by Nigerians, great food, great music, great people. I like them generally” He said’
She smiled. He had read her mind. ”Nope. It’s cool.”
They walked together and talked about all they could and she found out he liked The Script too. Awesome. The walk to the bus stop was supposed to be fifteen minutes from campus, they doubled the time. He took her number and she his. He’d call her later in the evening, he’d said. Now she rode in the bus alone, thinking how magical it’d seemed. Maybe it wouldn’t last, but she’d hold on to it as consolation for her otherwise awful week. Brian. This could be the start of something great. She’d been ready to meet her person since she’d turned eighteen. Maybe this was it? No? It didn’t matter. This had to be the silver lining in her dark cloud of a week. She should wear skirts more often. She was smiling, all thoughts of returning to the library forgotten. Her ipod was playing Olly Murs’ ”Heart Skips A Beat”. Ah. She was happy. Those starter butterflies of first attractions. Her phone buzzed, a message from Brian:
”It was great to meet you. I’ll call you at 8pm- B”
Coursework or not, She was going to have a great weekend.