Nadia had a secondary school history of being the neighborhood brat. She had once broken into her class teacher’s office in the after hours of school after a childish seduction of the gateman whom she teased with the promise of a ‘good time’ – a well garnished lie of course.
She succeeded in getting into her teacher’s office, laying hold of her test papers and forging her test scores to favorable ones.
At another time, she had stolen one of the school’s official stamps in order to be able to create fake permission slips to be let out through the school gate, her true destination being the numerous parties and hang outs with delinquent friends from other schools.
Yes. Nadia was a brat in the past, with a thug mindset. She loved to dress like a boy and smoke like one until puberty rode hard on her and she felt her hormones and body raging out of control. Her body couldn’t assume its masculine look anymore. Suddenly she had breasts and her hips fleshed out; her face underwent rapid metamorphosis and a beauty she never knew was there, was born.
Suddenly, her boyish clothes didn’t fit anymore; she looked out of place where she had once reigned. Even the guys who saw her as an ally now saw her as an ‘opportunity’, and worse of all, she had to carry those ‘diapers’ called ‘Always’ around with her when it was time to host the notorious ‘Aunt Flo’.
But when life opens a different chapter, you’ve got no choice but to adjust. Nadia did just that and what she initially despised, became her tool; her means to many ends and a seductive weapon of destruction.
Tonight, she was on her way to perform the rites she had never in her life imagined she’d have to do in a long time – read for the reluctant professor’s exam.
All efforts to tune free marks and good grades in her favour had failed. She had tried other channels; other academic influences she had romped with for the benefit of her grades but unfortunately the lecturer was way too powerful to be sidetracked. He wielded the reins of power amongst a mafia of strong minded likes. How he did it, she would never know. Even the cult boys on campus refused her request to get him to ‘agree’ to her wants. She recollected her discussion with Wilson, the Capone of the campus’ most dreaded fraternity. He owed her a favour for all the ‘service’ she had rendered at his lavish parties, not to talk of giving him a ‘dose’ of what she was made of. She had watched as Wilson’s face break into a volley of sweat when she mentioned the lecturer’s name; he immediately refused before she even finished. She had requested to know the reason for the refusal but he refused to tell her anymore. (Later she would find out that the professor was Wilson’s Uncle) She realized she had reached a dead end.
For the first time in her entire school life, she felt helpless. It was either she studied for that paper or carried it over. She was fast approaching the depressive state. She buried herself in her curse – successive meals of beans now and again to throw her mind off her worries.
She strolled gingerly along the gangway corridor that connected the different departments in the Faculty of Social Sciences. Auditoriums and classes where well lit for the evening and had some students warming up for coming exams.
The whole studious act was totally alien to her.
Her stomach rumbled violently and for a moment she paused and grabbed hold of one of the poles along the dimly lit corridor. The rumbling subsided and she continued her trip.
She eventually found an auditorium that had just a very scanty number of students in it studying for the exams.
She found a seat somewhere in the middle of the auditorium and went about her business.
She opened her notebooks; notes that were written in another’s handwriting – She had been too lazy to write notes and had paid someone to write her them for her.
She stared hard at the pages, visibly terrified. Weeks of ‘stabbing’ classes were beginning to show in her inability to comprehend the notes before her.
She flipped the pages somewhat hoping she could find somewhere to pick up from.
At that moment more students trickled into the auditorium to read for the night. Nadia didn’t take much notice. She fumed at her notes as if they had failed her. She couldn’t understand what the heck she was reading.
She grew tense and her palms became moist – something that always happened whenever she was nervous.
Another rumble sounded in her belly.
Why was it hard for her to read this? What’s the big deal with reading written notes?
Gradually it dawned on her. This was one of those courses where there was no way you could fully understand the notes if you were never in class.
Her palms moistened the more and stained the pages.
Her breathing quickened as her heart beat rapidly in tune to the realization.
Her stomach rumbled violently as she turned the pages blindly not knowing what to do.
Then she lost control…and farted loudly.
It echoed throughout the whole auditorium.
Shocked eyes all around the auditorium stared wildly at her; eyes that knew her and eyes that didn’t. Some students burst into laughter; others just looked in surprise at the chick that had just mesmerized the atmosphere.
Then its stench hit the air.
Nadia watched in hotly amplified embarrassment as people gasped at the nasty stink; some ran out of the auditorium, some hurled insults at her while others just laughed at her keeping their distance from ‘ground zero’ where she sat.
Nadia buried her faced in her palms. The lioness in her died; the fierce thugness that lived in her was instantly choked to death. She had become vulnerable in her world of invulnerability.
She buried her shameful face into her arms on the desk, stewing in the stench of her own fart.
A year later
The graduation ceremony was a colorful one. There was festivity and celebration in the air.
Wilson straightened his suit and graduation gown as he walked to the stage to shake the hand of the Vice Chancellor and collect the cylindrical casing containing his degree.
Outside the huge theatre hall where the event took place, families, friends and loved ones gathered around graduands to celebrate and take photographs.
Moments later, Wilson handed his academic gown to his younger brother, excused himself from his jubilant family and took a stroll to the gents.
On his way he had to pass by one of the lecture halls of the Administrative Faculty.
He hadn’t strolled far when he saw her sitting at an extreme end inside the hall, buried deep in books.
She looked familiar but he couldn’t be sure. Curiosity got the better of him. He went in and walked over to where she sat.
She was dressed in a pair of ankle-length jeans, a flowery blouse and canoe shaped flat heeled loafers. Her face had no make-up, and she wore a pair of silver rimmed spectacles. Her hair had been neatly tied back in a bun.
He stood firmly behind her desk. If he hadn’t taken a close look, he wouldn’t have recognized her.
She jumped, held her chest and looked up.
‘Oh…! W…wilson…you startled me!’
He drew up a chair and sat next to her.
‘Nadia, I can’t believe it’s you. You’ve changed!’
‘Hmmm…thanks’. Her eyes were back in her book. She didn’t seem pleased to see him.
‘What happened? You just disappeared and we never saw you around the faculty again.’
‘That’s because I changed my course, department and faculty.’
‘I needed to.’ She turned a page. Wilson noticed her fingers bore no nail paint and her nails had been trimmed short.
‘I was surprised that you weren’t graduating. What…’
He didn’t finish. She slammed the book shut, interrupting him and turned to face him.
‘Wilson, lets just say I’ve gotten wiser and finally found myself.’
‘Oh…Okay. I get you. Hey, how about joining me and the boys, we’ll be having an after grad party at the…’
‘Thanks but I’m sorry I’ve got a lot of assignments to do.’
She began packing her books into a rucksack.
Wilson watched her, speechless and confused.
Assignments? Did she just say assignments?
This was not the Nadia he knew. Something had happened to her. She seemed to have become a bookish freak. Her sensual and seductive look had given way to a conservative one. She no longer cut the picture of the sassy, sexy, uninhibited and naughty vixen who had ruled the campus queens. She was now different – reserved and less fashionable; all her loud and exaggerated beauty had been buried; as if she had undergone a personality plastic surgery.
All Wilson knew was that she had disappeared from the scene in the Social Sciences Faculty after some unclear and rumored incident a year ago; she seemed to have just disappeared from boththe Social Sciences and her room in the hall of residence. Only to resurface, unknown to most people in the Administration Faculty.
He helped her with the rest of her books. She took them, smiled, murmured her thanks and walked away in quickened strides that still carried that familiar grace she was known for but which was devoid of the seductress tone.
Wilson stood by the desk and watched her walk away. He suddenly felt uneasy, hot and stuffy inside his suit. He wanted to go after her and talk to her more but instinct told him to let go.
He watched Nadia turn a corner round the building and disappear from sight, questioning thoughts bombarding his mind over her strange metamorphosis.