Gina And Gin Part One
As he walked towards the store, Gin wondered whether he would meet Gina. It usually happened sometimes that they meet on the way. The coincidence had occurred several times when Gin's father sent him to get a few goodies from the store which is about a quarter-mile from their home. He usually trekked and sometimes he would meet Gina who is on the same mission; going to the store to pick up a few things. They would move along talking and keeping company. Usually, they talked about what they were going to buy, what happened in school, and more about their homes. They enjoy each other's company.
Gina is the daughter of a retired minister and her mom a retired nurse. She is the only daughter of her parents. Gin is from a poor family. His father is a weaver and his mom of late. He has a younger sister who lives with them.
Gin and Gina both live in the same neighborhood and are classmates in high school. Gin is seventeen, six months older than Gina. There was an avocado tree, ten meters from the road almost midway to the store. They usually stop there to rest and to have some fun on the Lucky days they met. Gin left for the store that Saturday afternoon, thinking of Gina. He went past the avocado tree but Gina had not shown up. He trekked on looking right all the time, to see if she would show up at any time. There was no sign to tell she was approaching. Jim felt bad as he entered the store but thought it was just one of those days they wouldn't meet.
He picked up his goodies and started trekking back home when suddenly he looked forward and saw Gina coming from afar. Gin pulled a deep breath and would not wait to talk to her. As they drew closer Gin started smiling. Gina smiled back as if she was also longing to meet him. They kept their smiles as they drew closer. When they were very close they stopped and with smiling faces stared at each other.
Gin then broke the silence, asking Gina why she was late for the store that day. She explained they had to do some harvesting on the farm that morning so she came back tired. Gin sympathized but said he missed her company. He added if she would not mine, he would escort her back to the store so they could walk together. Gina appreciated his offer but proposed it would be better if they created time in the afternoon to meet under their famous avocado tree, instead of keeping Gin's father waiting. Gin acknowledged it was so thoughtful of her. With more smiles, they departed intending to meet in the afternoon.
That afternoon, at sunset, Gin stood under the avocado tree, his heart full of joy and admiration as Gina approached. As she drew closer, his heart melted with joy and he could not stop smiling. He had been there first and Gina did not take long to show up. As usual, Gina smiled back as she advanced towards him. Confused about what to say or do next as Jim stared continuously at her, she asked a two in one question, smiling, "What are you doing here and why weren't you in school yesterday?" Gin stood quiet with a smiley face for about ten seconds and then responded with a question too. "If I may ask too, why are you here, and did you not hear the teacher call my name in class for owing fees?"
They both laughed aloud because they understood everything. Gina acknowledged the teacher did call his name. She consoled him and promised she would try to help him complete the fees again when her next pocket money is given by her parents. Gin smiled broadly, thanked her, and acknowledged that she is always there for him. Gina smiled back and asked him to mind not, she just likes helping.
Gin wanted to know more about her day. Gina explained what happened on the farm and added she also did her homework before her mom sent her to the store. She also asked him how his day had been. Gin said he had been helping his father with his artwork.
Gin’s father usually weaved baskets and sold them. It was from this craft that he got little income to meet up with some family needs. This didn’t give him enough to pay his children's fees on time, so they were on and off school. That's why Gina would always lend a helping hand to Gin, as a classmate.
Gin asked what the homework was about and Gina elaborated. They discussed and laughed at length under the avocado tree. They spoke much about their school life and Gin’s situation. It was nearly an hour when Gina asked to be excused. Her parents should be looking for her at the moment. She had to go home before they started searching for her. Her father was so strict on her and frowned at any misbehavior, so do her mom.
Gin was only smiling and Gina asked if he were not also going. Gin appreciated her coming and what they have shared together. He said he was very fulfilled and would like more of such moments. He added he would never thank her enough for the help she gives him and his family. Gina smiled and said it was nothing, then waved bye and left with a joke. After staring smilingly at her for a short time as she went, Gim then started going back home too. This usually happens at least once a week, and they meet somewhere out of school time.
Gina had secretly helped Jim several times with foodstuffs from their home. One day he came to school hungry, he kept dozing in class and the teacher asked him to stand up for the rest of the lesson. After the lesson, Gina went to his seat and inquired what his difficulty was. He said for days they had not fully eaten in their home 'cause his father was not able to provide enough food; He had not sold any of his baskets. Gina went back to her seat, opened her backpack and took out some of her cookies, moved back to him, and gave him to eat quickly before the next lesson. He smiled in appreciation, then ate as fast as possible. Gina again brought a bottle of water and handed it to him. She whispered, "It’s okay, have courage, all would be fine."
During lunchtime, they stood behind the class and talked more about Gin’s situation. Gina consoled him and then asked him to come to their home after school, in the afternoon, at about 4:00 p.m. so she could help him with some goodies. That is when her dad usually goes out for his daily sports. Her dad usually would take about one and a half hours to finish. With tears nearly flowing, Gin looked at Gina and gave a painful smile. Gina noticed it, moved closer, and whispered, “It's okay, please.” She helped him with a tissue to wipe away his tears.
Gin seized that opportunity to hold Gina's hands for the first time. He experienced a feeling he had never had between them before. A strong wave passed through him from head to toe. He held Gina's soft gentle hands, as she surrendered to him for some time and felt very consoled. Gina, Like she had wanted more of Jim, dared not agitated but allowed Jim to calm himself. When recess was over they went back to class so happy and fulfilled.
A home that night, Gin kept thinking of the special feeling he had when he held Gina's hands in school. He wondered whether his feelings were true for Gina. He questioned himself that if true, where would that lead him? Gina was from a rich family as compared to himself, even if he loved her, would his parents not be a hindrance? How would they feel seeing their only and rich daughter relating with a poor boy? Gin developed a mixed feeling but was convinced there was something real between Gina and himself. He said, "I think I should control myself if only I could."
Gina too thought, though she was calm at the moment Gin held her hands, she felt something strange running through her. It was more than just liking a classmate or a neighborhood friend. The desire to help, and be with him more was deep in her heart. Gina said to herself, "There are other rich boys in the class but I don't know what keeps pulling me towards Gin. Yes, I pity his condition and am able to help at times, but that's not all, I feel like being with him all the time. If this is true that I'm falling for him, I know my parents would not be in support. Well, as it is, I need to be very careful. Anyhow, let me just continue helping, even if it means helping one poor boy in my life just for goodness sake. I believe God would reward me for it. I'll try not to develop deeper feelings for him just to keep my friendship with him clean.