Somehow, despite the many threats of Aunty Mabel looming, I was beginning to enjoy Uncle’ Emmanuel’s attentions and I instantly decided I would keep my fingers crossed and see how all would pan out.
However, I had more urgent and pressing concerns; one of which included my mum’s burial ceremony coming up in a few days. I mentally calculated my schedule for the next day and decided I would go and cash the cheque and make the outstanding preparations before evening when I would be expecting Uncle Emmanuel to come pick me up. I was still ruminating over these when my phone rang. I had picked my phone thinking it was Uncle Emmanuel who was calling. On the contrary, the caller was Linda, my ex roommate in school.
“Hello Linda, this one wey you call me so. Hope I am safe o?” I chuckled.
“Hmm…I dey ooo. Where you dey?” she asked.
“I dey house na. Where I for dey before? You don forget say I get burial to arrange?” I answered sounding irritated.
“Oh ok. Sorry o…meanwhile you go fit try show for school this evening, or at worst tomorrow. Something dey” she quipped.
“Wetin dey happen? Una don dey defend project ni?” I asked with the alarm bells starting to ring in my head.
“Sha come. I go dey expect you. Come Patricia room. Na dere I dey squat for now” she said and hung up.
I looked at my wrist watch; it was a little after 6 pm. I briefly contemplated going to school to hear this ‘something dey’ gist from Linda that night or hearing it the next morning. My previous experiences with Linda had taught me to take it serious when Linda says she had a gist for me. My curiosity got the better of me and I quickly dressed up to go to school with the plan of sleeping over in school and returning home the next day. I set out at about
6.45 pm and got to Patricia’s room at about 7.45. I knocked and heard Linda’s voice asking me to come in.
After exchanging pleasantries, I asked after Patricia who I was informed had travelled home leaving Linda all alone to stay in her apartment in school. I felt a little relieved. I never liked the Patricia girl and the less people I saw, the better for me. I had grown tired of hearing the many pretentious empathetic greetings thrown at me over my mum’s death. Weary from my journey to school, I sank into the next available sofa in Patricia’s (or Linda’s whichever you chose) room.
Then I glared at Linda scolded;
“so what’s the gist that can’t fit to wait that you are insiting I must come this night by fire by force? You no even fit allow me bury my mama in peace”.
“Han Han! But I said you could come tomorrow morning if today was inconvenient na!” She retorted.
“na so! After you don raise my anxiety ba? What’s the gist na? I screamed.
Silently, Linda withdrew into a locker, retrieved a magazine and threw it at me. I looked at the unfamiliar magazine confused. I stared at Linda questioningly but her gaze gave nothing away. I saw the cover and realized it was my school campus based magazine.
“so you brought me all the way to school only to tell me to come read some flimsy magazine that will add nothing to my life!? What’s all this nonsense? I blazed.
“Check page 15” she blurted. I obliged and there in my face was a story titled;
“Ex finalist, Jennifer Dike Gang Banged on the Outskirts of Town”
I freaked out!