On hearing her name, Henry couldn’t hold his compliment as to how beautiful the name “Vanessa” was. He kept staring at her and smiled while at it.
“You have a beautiful name” he complimented, “Thanks! are you happy now?” Vanessa asked. Henry smiled and asked her if it would be possible for him to see her again but Vanessa walked away before he could finish his sentence.
Henry kept wondering why she wasn’t friendly or jovial. He sat in his car and watched her till she cornered to another street before he left. On his ride home, he couldn’t stop thinking about everything that happened. He smiled at the thought of how stubborn Vanessa was and laughed occasionally too.
Weeks passed and Henry seemed to have forgotten about Vanessa and everything that went down that day. There was a mega business conference that was coming forth and Henry happened to be one of the facilitators that would speak on that conference. Vanessa’s friend told her about the upcoming conference but she turned the offer down.
“Hey madam, I know you love this your house too much but I would really appreciate it if you follow me to this conference. Remember you majored in Business Administration back in the university, this would be a good opportunity to learn new things and also network” her friend advised. Vanessa was touched by her friend’s wise counsel and finally decided to attend the conference.
The day of the conference came and Vanessa didn’t know what to wear. Her friend helped her to pick a nice corporate outfit that was befitting for the occasion. They arrived 30 minutes late and were lucky to sit at the 7th row. Vanessa wasn’t aware that Henry was there, same with Henry.
As the conference went on, Vanessa paid close attention to the wonderful teachings of the facilitators. After the 3rd facilitator spoke, the organisers of the conference asked if anyone had a question. Vanessa raised her hand and was called upon to ask her question. The conference projector projected anyone the camera was on, so Vanessa appeared on the conference big screen so everyone could see her. She asked a very intelligent question and gave brilliant remarks. Henry kept wondering why she looked so familiar. Everyone was smitten by her question so they gave her a round of applause afterwards.
Henry was very confused and kept wondering where he met the speaker. It finally dawned on him that it was the stubborn girl from weeks ago. He was so surprised to hear her speak the way she did, he couldn’t wait to talk to her after the conference.
After the question and answer section, Henry was next to speak. When he was called upon, he majestically walked to the podium, picked the microphone and started teaching. “I know this guy from somewhere. Wait! This isn’t whom I think it is, don’t tell me this is Henry” she thought to herself.
She was smitten by his demeanour as he spoke but quickly called herself back to order. The conference finally came to an end and Vanessa got up with her friend to leave. Unknowingly to her, Henry was already at the entrance waiting for her to come out.
Immediately she stepped out, she heard a voice say “so it’s truly you”, she quickly turned to see who it was and Lo and behold, it was Henry. “Hi” she greeted, “Hello Vanessa” he replied, “how have you been?” He continued, “I’m fine, Thanks!” She replied.
Her friend suspected that something was up and excused herself. “I just got an urgent call now and have to leave immediately, I’ll see you later” her friend said, “But I can go with you” Vanessa responded, “Oh No! Please take your time, I’ll see you when you get back” her friend said and greeted Henry, then left afterwards.
“Can we talk?” Henry asked, “No, why?” Vanessa outrightly replied. Henry was already used to her stubbornness, so he pleaded till she agreed. They went to the refreshment spot for the facilitators of the conference and sat down. “Do you want anything?” He asked, “No, I’m good” she replied. “Are you sure?” He asked smiling, “Do I have to spoon feed it to you? I said I’m good” she replied. Henry smiled and said “You are very complicated and difficult but I think that’s what makes you amazing, besides, you spoke very well back at the conference, Nice one”.
Vanessa smiled for the first time ever and Henry was shocked and surprised. “Is that a smile I see on your face, Wow!” He said in an excited tone, “Don’t push it” Vanessa replied smiling more. “I think today is going to be a good day for me, so Vanessa can smile? Thank you Lord” he jokingly said. Vanessa couldn’t help it and wanted to laugh but remembered that fateful day she was raped and all her excitement died an instant death.
“Can I go now?” she requested, “Sure, but I would love it if you stayed a little longer” he pleaded. Vanessa looked into his eyes and her heart skipped a beat, “I have to go now” she said and stood up to leave. “Should I drop you off” he asked, “No!” She replied, “Ok but can I at least have your number? He pleaded.
Vanessa didn’t let him finish before she walked out on him. Her heart kept beating fast and she almost cried. Her mind kept racing down memory lane and finally arrived at the day she was raped. “Why is my heart beating so fast? I can’t be in love and I don’t want to” she said to herself and finally boarded a taxi home.
On the other hand, Henry couldn’t get his mind off her. He was going crazy thinking about her and wanted to see her again. He didn’t know how to get in touch with her since he didn’t have her number. “Oh wait! Everyone that came for this conference got registered and also wrote down their contacts, so all I need to do is check the list” he thought to himself and jumped with excitement, knowing that he was one step away to hearing her voice again. “I just pray she wrote down her real number” he said.
Henry wasted no time in alerting those that had the duty of registration. He asked for the list to be brought to him and when he finally had access to the list, it wasn’t difficult locating Vanessa’s info because there was only one registered “Vanessa” in all the lists brought to him. He took her number and saved it on his phone.
After a stressful day, Henry retired to his house. When he was done freshening up, he picked up his phone and dialed Vanessa’s number. Vanessa have been thinking about Henry since she got home and kept crying and wishing she didn’t have to deal with everything she was going through.
As she kept thinking of everything that happened earlier, her phone rang. “Who could this be?” she asked herself. She refused to pick but the phone rang again and this time she picked.
“Hello” she greeted, On hearing her voice Henry was already convinced that she was the one. “Hi dear, how are you doing?” He said, “Please who’s this” she asked.
There was silence for a while and he finally responded, “It’s Henry!”.
End of episode 2.
Stay tuned in few hours to see what happened next.
Story by Sonia Okehie
PS: If you are just joining us, visit page to read previous episode.