EMPIRE HIGH SCHOOL FINAL EPISODE 40 ?
Finally, the day was here! Empire High School Valedictory Service held on the 27th of July. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. All my friends were all happy about the party! I was unhappy because I was leaving today.
And eversince dad broke the news to me, I made sure that I spent each passing day with Jeffrey. I visited his store up until yesterday but I didn’t tell him I was leaving thinking I would have the chance to explain later.
The Guests present at the Valedictory Service sat in Empire High School Grand Hall. The Grand Hall was different from the Hall which Elena, Temi and I had the discussion about her finding her secret admirer. It was the Mini Hall which was beautifully decorated for EHS students to have fun today without the presences of Teachers or Parents. Special location for Students Only!
We were all seated in the Mini Hall waiting for the principal to call us into the Grand Hall which was few block away from the Mini hall.
“Its time!” Elena said from the entrance
We stood up and walked out of the Hall.
“You’re leaving right after the party?” Elena whispered beside me. She was the only one aware that I was leaving the country tonight. I told her a week ago and pleaded with her not to tell anyone about it. And I’m glad she didn’t tell anybody..even Temi.
“Yes, probably before the party ends. My flight leaves at nine tonight” I muttered
Everyone hurried to enter the Grand hall except me and Elena. Though I didn’t see Jeffrey go in with the rest of the team.
“I still insist you talk to Jeffrey about it” she said squeezing my hands gently.
“I know but I’m not really big on goodbyes” I admitted
I was already feeling a little lump in my throat at the thought of saying goodbye to Jeffrey.
I moistened my lips as Elena tucked a strand of hair behind my ear.
“Why are you outside?”
I heard Jeffrey’s voice behind us. We both turned to face him.
“We..we were just talking” I said
He had a plastic coke in his hand. Elena excused herself and walked into the hall.
“I went to get Coke at the tuck shop” he said
Jeffrey wore a beautiful Tailored Dark suit just like the other boys. That was the dress code for the male graduands. And for the girls we were made to wear a Red dress and Silver shoe. Luckily for me, I had one floaty sleeveless Red Dress which mom bought for me the last time she traveled to Dubai.
“Having a good time” Jeffrey said casually
“Yes its a nice party and I can’t wait to spin around the dance floor with you” he said giving me the brightest of all smiles.
Even though I owe him an explanation, I still managed to smile back at him.
“Would you like me to hold that for you?”
He pointed to my hand. I looked down and found my lipgloss in it.
Oh! I forgot to drop it in my bag after Angella and Lizzy used it in the Mini Hall.
“That would be great..thanks”
I touched a little on my lips before dropping it into Jeffrey’s hidden inside pocket. He should hold it since my purse was with Temi.
“I’ll retrieve it after the party”
“I’ll only trade it back in exchange for a kiss” Jeffrey said lightly.
And I laughed softly.
There was a good chance I would never see him again after today. So let me make the best memory out of today’s party. He offered his arm and I slipped my arm around it as we stepped into the Hall. Jeffrey went to the Male section while I settled with the girls.
Mr Joel was making his speech on stage. He spoke about the History of Empire High School. He addressed the owner of the school who was an old woman..probably in her 70’s. He appreciated our parents for turning up for the event monetarily.
Mr Joel said nice things about our set. He admitted that our set was the Best set since the inception of the school. He wasn’t flattering us, he mentioned the medals and Prizes the EHS old students won during Sports and Academic Competitions. He also said our results was going to be the best in the State!
“I’m proud of you all!” He said loudly beaming at all of us.
Everyone clapped as he stepped down the stage.
Junior Students came on stage for Cultural Performance.
Everyone was indeed having a good time in the mini hall. We all left the Grand Hall after receiving our prizes. Virtually everyone on the team received a prize.
I won the overall best students in Ss3. My Grade was high. Even higher than I had expected and I got prizes in Literature and English.
Joseph was the second best student and he won prizes in Physics and Mathematics.
Elena was the third best student and she won a prize in Chemistry.
Lawal won a prize in Technical Drawing.
Angella won a prize in Government.
Temi won a prize in Economics.
Jamal won a prize in Geography.
And Adesewa was the Best Student in her class.
I was aware of passing time, I kept an eye on my watch while mixing and mingling with the Junior Students. I took pictures with them, especially students in Nora and Cora’s class.
Everytime I spotted Jeffrey, he was surrounded by Junior Students taking pictures.
My phone beeped and I glanced down. A message from my mom.
“Time to leave, I’m waiting in the garage”
My mom was present at the party but my dad couldn’t make it because he went on a business trip. I typed on my phone and sent her a text.
“I’ll be there soon”
Suddenly saying farewell to my friends was hard and leaving without saying anything to Jeffrey was more than I could handle.
I hadn’t been kidding when I said I wasn’t a fan of goodbyes! But I needed to atleast tell Elena that I was leaving!
So I crossed the room to where Elena stood chatting with some Junior Students. I gave them an apologetic smile and drew Elena aside.
“You’re leaving already?” she asked
“Yes, I’m heading out” I replied
Elena shook her head in protest
“Can’t you stay a little longer?”
“No, my mom is waiting in the garage”
“Okay but aleast talk to Jeffrey”
“I can’t..Say me well to him after party”
She bit her lower lip
“You and I will definitely have a long chat when you get to UK”
Elena gave me a fierce hug
“Okay” I mumbled
“Thanks you so much for everything. I’m glad you were able to touch our lives. And you changed some certain things about us. You are indeed an Angel who God sent to EHS to make things right. I hope to see you again” Elena said
“I’m really going to miss you. And Katie, I love you”
“Love you too Elena” I said
Elena took a step back, blinking hastily against the tears that threatened to streak her makeup.
I glanced around the large room, Jeffrey stood among the other boys, one hand on Jamal’s shoulder as they all laughed at something one of them had said.
“Be happy okay?” Elena mumbled
“I will..I am”
After squeezing my hand, I turned towards the door. And I glanced over my shoulder for the last time before leaving.
I motioned towards an empty class to clear my head and relax a little before getting to the garage where my mom was waiting.
It had been fun to be with everyone!
I close my eyes for a moment to blink back tears.
“Don’t cry Kate” I chanted with a faint sigh.
I opened my eyes and turned to the door only to find Jeffrey in front of me, his arms crossed over his chest, a look of disappointment on his face. I blinked a few times in surprise at seeing him. I really wasn’t expecting Jeffrey to follow me when I slipped out of the Hall.
“I thought you’d left already” he said
I glanced automatically towards the door.
When did he come in?
Jeffrey mouth twisted.
“I can’t believe you were planning on leaving without telling me anything”
I looked at him
Is he aware?
Perhaps did Elena inform him that I was leaving?
No she already promised to keep it a secret!
My heart beats faster
Jeffrey rubbed his hand over his face. And he sighed
“I know you are traveling out tonight”
My head snapped up immediately.
How did he find out?!
“Wh..who.who told you?” I asked before i could stop myself.
Jeffrey eyebrows rose.
“That doesn’t matter! The fact remains that you never wanted me to know about it!”
His response was blunt and I could see the anger in his expression.
“I’m sorry” I whispered
He held up his hand
“You should have informed me! Do you even know how foolish I felt when Elena asked me to look for you before it’s too late?! Two weeks Kate, it was enough for you to discuss with me. And we met every single day but you didn’t talk about it!”
Elena eventually told him.
Should I be mad at her?
Grateful for telling Jeffrey?
“I would have understand it if you had explained to me. I was really a fool to not suspect anything!” He added
“You don’t..Understand” I muttered shakily.
“I was willing to take any risk for us. I never hid anything from you. But I was so dumb for thinking that our love was leading us somewhere into the Future. Whereas It never meant anything you”
My heart broke at his words
I sensed him withdrew even more into himself.
“You can leave. Goodbye”
He took a step backward, his expression shuttered.
I grabbed his upper arm but he stepped away.
“Let me explain”
Tears burned down my cheeks
“You had two weeks to explain but you didn’t -“
He turned to leave. No! He can’t leave!
I don’t want us to end on this note!
“Jeffrey please listen to me. I’m so sorry”
I sobbed blocking his pathway towards the door.
“I’m sorry just listen to me this once” I pleaded fearfully.
He stepped backward, putting a distance between us.
“I couldn’t -” I paused
Trying to control my tears.
“You are not dumb for thinking our love was leading us into a place in the future.. I’ve thought about it too. And if it were left to me, I’d stay here with you” I cried
“I wanted you to be happy that’s why i didn’t tell you. And I don’t want to break with you because I still want to be with you. I had placed your feelings above mine. Jeffrey, I meant it when I said no matter where you are I will always carry you in my heart because I love you” I sobbed loudly
Tears flowing uncontrollably.
Then Jeffrey leaned forward and hugged me.
“I’m..so.. Sorry” I said
“Its okay. And I’m sorry for misunderstanding you” Jeffrey muttered
I embraced him tightly
“Katherine I will never say goodbye to you because I will love you forever. You wanna know why? It’s because I have been able to face every difficulty in my life with you by my side. And I will be able to face difficulty of tomorrow if you remain in my life. The happiness you brought to my soul compares to nothing in the world. Even money can’t buy the happiness in my heart when I see your face” Jeffrey said
He pulled away from me and I saw unshed tears in his eyes. But he was holding back.
Jeffrey reached out to trace my lowerlips with one of his fingertips. He looped a hand behind my neck and his lips descended on mine. I slipped my tongue into his mouth and met him eagerly. His other hand gripped onto my waist. He deepened the kiss and kept me in place.
It was a long kiss. The most intense kiss I had ever shared with him.
Jeffrey broke the kiss, I never wanted it to end but I have to leave.
He pushed my hair behind my ears as he looked in my eyes. Then I realized that those tears he held back had slipped down his cheeks. I reached out to wipe his tears and he did the same to me.
“I’d like to hear from you sometime..And always” he said when he released me and stepped away.
He’d my number but I doubted if I would be able to use it in UK.
“Send a message to me, with your UK line when you get there” he added
A thought crossed my mind.
We wouidnt stay in contact for long once both of us get back to the routines of studying in our respective universities and working on our dreams. It was likely that we would be too busy to keep up a long distance relationship even with the ease of Internet.
I envisioned a quick spread of further – further – and Further apart until we stopped altogether, leaving us to remember just our time together in High School.
Jeffrey kissed me one last time.
“Always remember that I love you and I will love you forever”
He embraced me
I pat his back gently before stepping away. Time to leave.
“Take care of yourself” I said before walking out of the empty class.
My face burned with tears as I walked to the garage.
“Did you talk to him?” My mom asked when I slipped into the car.
I nodded and hugged her.
“Everything will be fine” she mumbled
And the car glided into motion.
I was grateful to Elena for telling Jeffrey to follow me. I got the chance to say goodbye to him.
?••?••?••?••? Jeffrey's POV
I watched Katherine walk out of the class before I broke down in tears. She was gone. I wouldn’t have forgiven myself if she had left without a word to me. Two weeks together and I hadn’t suspect that she was leaving. But I should have known because during those times, she always avoids my questions about her desired university. Though i knew she wanted to study law to become a Lawyer but I don’t know her choice of institution.
Thanks to Elena for telling me Kate was leaving the party. I had been talking to Our classmates when she called me aside and said Kate was leaving. Elena explained to me. And she said Kate didn’t want me to know for some reasons which she couldn’t explain because she felt we were running out of time.
I was stunned and shocked that Kate was really leaving the country without informing me. I searched for her until i caught a glimpse of someone slipping into an empty classroom. I walked closer and found her in the classroom.
She loves me!
She wanted me to be hapoy!
And she had placed my feelings above hers.
And I couldn’t imagine how hard it must have been for her to spend time with me just to make me happy when she knew she was leaving soon.
And now she was really really gone!
I closed my eyes, tears flowed down my cheeks.
I recalled how happy i had been over the last two weeks. She had made me happy!
Now I felt incomplete without her in my life. She healed me when I was grieving for my, mom’s death, When I shut myself out of the world completely.
Our love was beautiful and filled with happiness. I was blessed to be with Kate.
I even imagined a future with her. I was determined to promise her..For life. I was going to love her forever.
I felt more tears when I again recalled that Katherine wasn’t here with me anymore. And I lasted four minutes in tears before gathering myself together. I walked to the male toilet and rinsed my face. I can’t join her in UK, even if I wanted to.
My Stepmom was pregnant and I’m the only one around to care for her since my dad was out of the country. And it would take a while before he returns.
Moreover it was never in my plans to study abroad because I had my mom’s store to take care of and that’s why i had opted in for a school in Lagos.
I heard voices calling my name. And I stepped out of the toilet and moved to the hallway. My friends were looking for me.
“Hey looK at him!” Jamal saw me first and they turned to face me.
“Where is Kate?”Joseph asked
“She’s gone” I whispered
“She didn’t inform us that she was leaving” Adesewa said in a low tone.
“Kate is leaving the country tonight. Her parents made arrangements for her to study abroad” I explained
“Yeah, Elena already explained to us”
Jones said looking shocked
“I’m sorry about that Jeffrey” Cullen pats my shoulder.
“Did you guys break up?” Lizzy asked
We didn’t break up officially!
“Not really..we’ll keep on talking I guess..If Kate still wants us to..” I responded
“I’m gonna miss Kate, maybe I should consider studying abroad too” Emeka said in a said tone
“You dare not leave me!” Caroline snapped
And everyone laughed
“Kate was incredible” Adesewa mumbled
“She was an amazing person” Caroline said
“I’m definitely gonna Miss Katie” Elena bit her lip
“Same here, she was really a God sent to EHS. I mean, she changed me” Angella said
“I hope to see her again” Temi sobbed in Jones chest
I thought if I would ever see Kate again. But one thing was sure for me, I would never stop thinking about Kate, that her angelic face. It hurts to say goodbye to her but I would be fine..Definitely.
“Well with Kate coming into EHS and changing our lives, it was indeed an awesome year!” Joseph said loudly as we held each others hands.
“To Kate!” Jamal said
“To Kate!” We said raising our hands up in the air.
It was indeed an awesome year! And it had been great fun for everyone!
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