As Sharon walked into the lobby of the lecture theatre, arrogance oozed out of every pore of her being as if she had dipped herself in a pool of it before coming to school. She didn’t bother to greet any of her colleagues who stood chatting in different groups around the room.
She brought out her phone (a Blackberry Torch1) and began to dial nosily. After a while, she put it to her ear and spoke, “Oh Dad, I’m missing you here in Nigeria. I wish I could have come with you to France, Spain and Italy…oh daddy it’s too hot and boring down here.” She spoke with an exaggerated accent that seemed as out of place as a Saheed Osupa cd playing at a youth club in Victoria Island.
Even though she hadn’t really dialed anybody, Sharon spoke loudly for over fifteen minutes. After she was done, she hissed, “What’s wrong with this professor sef…we have an 8’0clock lecture and he isn’t here by 8:45, rubbish,”
She was dressed in a yellow mono strapped chiffon dress (which she bought from Yaba 2nd hand market) but wore like she bought it from Oxford street in London. The dress brought out her highly endowed curves in the right places, and she stood tall in her red high heel shoes. She knew that she was the centre of attraction, and she stood on her own like an island waiting for the lecturer, as all stares revolved around her.
On past occasions, some of the girls in her class had tried to make friends with her, but she had shunned and disgraced them publicly which taught them a lifelong lesson: to keep away from her at all costs.
Emmanuel, the tallest and most troublesome guy in the class who was standing at the extreme right corner of the lobby with his friend, Nonso, remarked, “I no know wetin dey worry this babe sef, she too dey form levels whereas she be nothing. No be ordinary aristo she be?”
“Well, it’s not her fault. You can see her father is rich, that’s why. She’s a spoilt brat. At least you heard her conversation with her dad just now. Have you ever travelled out of the country? Has anybody in your family ever travelled out of the country before? So, make we just dey endure am,” Nonso responded.
“Well, she’s still a woman and can always fall under my seductive charm. In fact, I’m going to make a move on her now,” he said and began to “bounce” towards her. He licked his lips repeatedly as he played around with the chewing gum in his mouth. “Hey lady,” he said.
At first, it was like Sharon didn’t hear him. She didn’t even give any sign to indicate that she was aware someone was standing close by.
Not relenting, Emma moved closer and placed a hand on her shoulder (the bare part). It was as if a piece of hot coal had been dropped on her flesh.
“What the f**k is wrong with you?” she screamed as she landed a fleshy slap on his cheeks. “You have the effrontery to touch my precious skin,” she said as another fat slap connected to his other cheek.
“Do you think I’m in your level…you riffraff? You must be silly,” she ranted at the top of her voice. “That’s how you go about raping ladies..abi. I’ll show you hell in this campus. Don’t you know who my father is?” she brought out her phone and attempted to dial.
Emmanuel began to beg frantically with fear in his eyes. “Please I beg you. My parents will have double heart attacks if I’m arrested,” he pleaded; but she didn’t listen, rather she continued dialing on her phone.
Just then, a very unkempt looking old woman, dressed in what could, at best, be described as rags, wobbled towards them.
“Safura, why didn’t you come home over the weekend as usual to help me with selling boli. After, you will come with that your bent mouth for money for Bi textbook; Io textbook; and gy textbook abi?” the woman said, facing Sharon.
Sharon looked at the woman with derision. “Are you crazy? No, tell me, are you out of your mind? I don’t know you. You had better leave me alone right now,” she said as she attempted to move into the main lecture theatre.
The woman raised her voice, “I hope you are not mad Safura; or have you started smoking igbo (weed),” the woman raised her voice, and this attracted the attention of more students.
“Oh I see, you people want to kidnap me abi,” Sharon cried looking from the woman to Emmanuel. “I’ll call the police, the soldiers, NSDCDC, My Oga at the top…anybody and everybody. If you know what’s good for you, you had better leave me alone jeje before I call my parents,” she threatened.
“Who are the parents you want to call? Please help me, my daughter is going mad. Your father is drunk on sepe and paraga as usual at the market square, and I, your mother, am right here before you.” The old woman said.
“No,” Sharon shouted and continued dialing on her phone.
Just then Professor Boniface, the lecturer supposed to lecture them, sauntered into view. “My oh my, and what is the cause of the ruckus we have here this morning?” he asked. He was known to often use high sounding English, and the students knew he could only make the situation messier.
“These people are trying to kidnap me,” Sharon said feigning an accent. “I don’t know them, and this young man right here attempted to rape me,” she pointed to Emmanuel. As she said this, she attempted to move away, but Prof. Boniface stopped her.
“Those are pretty portentous asseverations my dear, we have to get to the root of this matter,” he said.
“Just get them arrested. I have to go; I cannot stay here any longer. It’s not safe. Other kidnappers could be around.” she protested.
“No, you have to wait,” Prof. Boniface held her firmly by the wrist. And who is this old woman?” he asked as he turned to face Sharon’s mother.
By that time, the woman was already in tears. She explained to the lecturer that Safuya was her daughter but that she was surprised her child feigned not knowing her and also calling herself Sharon which she and the father did not name her. She hissed repeatedly, telling them how she always spent all of her income on Safuya’s needs.
“Oga Tisha, I don’t play with my pikin school fees o. If she saying she want anything, I quickly rush and borrowing money just because I want her to finishing university and get a good job to take me out of poverty. Have I done something wrong? Is it not this book that is now scattering her head now. Ehn, tell me lecturers.” She said in handicapped English and turned to Safuya, “As for you, it is not your fault and I don’t blame you. As you have denied and humiliation me in public, so will I also denying you. Just make sure you never come to my house again; I don’t ever want to see you again,” she declared, and began to walk away in anger.
Safuya (formerly known as Sharon) began to run after her, pleading, “Maami, e ma binu (Mother don’t be angry).”
The totality of the students burst out in laughter. “Chai, pride goes before a fall. The shameful secret of this useless girl has finally been revealed. I’m sure she will never come back to this school again,” Matilda, a short but bosomy girl said.
“How can she? With her level of forming, she dare not try it. Even 100l students will taunt her badly. I can just see her gist spreading all over Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Well, that’s good for her. Forming what she isn’t,” Kemi, her friend replied.
“Oh boy, you can like to relax now ehn. No more heart attack for your parents,” Nonso said teasingly as he moved towards Emma where he was standing near Prof. Boniface.
“Why? Me, I no fear o…I bin wan follow am drag the matter o,” Emma responded putting up a bold face.
“Uhm…if I hear. You wey don piss for pant already,” another fellow chipped in.
“Ok…congregate round me everybody,” Prof. Boniface called out, and there were many coughs and throat clearing. They all knew grammatical missiles were about to be launched.
“What we all just witnessed teaches us one thing: meretriciousness bodes calamity. So, in other news, no more speaking of unnecessary grammar again by me. Or are you all learners?” he continued to the astonishment of the students.
“So you can also speak like this…like us?” a student asked in surprise.
“Of course I can, but not as utopian as you will,” he answered with a smile.
A lot of students scratched their heads, “Utopian. What is that one again. Ahh, Professor Boniface can never change.” the students burst out as they moved into the lecture theatre.