Suddenly there was a sound of raucous laughter.
Then a voice shouted in pidgin English: ” Na only banger oh. We no want make una use reading kill unaself for this exam period.”
That was when we all started coming out of our various hiding places. I was face down on the floor so I stood up to dust my clothes. People either hissed, cursed whoever threw the banger or laughed. I wanted to curse all the ancestors of whoever played the prank especially as I was already on a panic mode. I decided to just go to the library anyway. Maybe I will be able to forget the earlier incident of the day, at least for a while. Maybe not.
We just finished performing our play, hurray!!! It is also my last paper. Everyone said the play was amazing including our dear old professor ( he isn’t really nice). For him to say the show was amazing then, it was extraordinary. People asked how we we were able to pull off the scene where the prostitute who had stolen money was throwing some money in the air in her room to congratulate herself. They thought the money was real. I should thank Tony. He had come to wish me well before the play and after the play, I haven’t seen him. His number isn’t even getting through. Oh! Tomorrow is the dinner night he invited me to. The exams and all the other stress had made me forget about it. I will have to ask Laura to help me choose what to wear.
Laura discarded all the clothes in my wardrobe as unsuitable for the dinner. Instead, she made me try on a little black dress that was just 3 inches above my knees. It was a gift to her from one of her ‘friends’, but a size too big for her so she gave it to me since it was exactly my size. It really brought out my shape – my C cup, curves and everything. But it was modest.
“I swear I am going to stop talking to you if you don’t wear this dress to that dinner,” she said.
Laura also arranged my braided hair. Apart from this, she did my makeup. Soon, Tony will be here. He already called me this morning that he would be here by 6.30 pm as the event starts by 7pm. I am feeling a little bit nervous.
“Now, how much will u pay me for sprucing u up for your Prince Charming?” Laura asked with a wink.
“Let’s see what he says when he sees me first,” I replied.
“I can bet all my money on that. Girl, you look stunning and I know I did a great job. I know Tony will be eating from your hands when he sees you.”.
“Come on, Tony is just my friend”.
” Which friend? Is he not a man? You think I don’t see him ogling u every time he comes here? Hehehehe! You don’t have any other boyfriend that I know of.”.
“Tony may just be admiring me. Must everyone have a boyfriend? I just want to keep myself for the right person.”.
“We don hear. We all know it is Tony you are keeping yourself for. Why else will u refuse Tiempre, Isaiah in your church and even Attah in your class? You are always following Tony, Tony and Tony. Na wa.”
Before I could respond, there was a knock on the door. It is already time for Tony to come and pick me up. “No, babe don’t rush to open the door. Let’s keep your date waiting a little bit. The longer you make him wait, the more he gets expectant,” Laura said when I stood up to go to the door.
It is useless to argue with Laura. She will always win an argument so I just sat down quietly. After about a minute which seemed like eternity, Laura brought him in.
I had never seen him look so good. He was wearing a black suit with a sky blue shirt and bow tie that fitted him perfectly. And he was actually gaping at me.
“You look beautiful,” he said.
“You too,” I replied.
“You guys should run along. I will be at the dinner soon,” Laura said.
She and my other roommates have free tickets to the dinner courtesy of Tony. Bunmi and Bibi had said they would go later. They had not even come back to the room as at this time.
Tony led me to his old car that I usually referred to as ‘jalopy’ but it had served us well on many journeys.
We got there just in time for the dinner to start. Students turned up in different gowns and suits. Everyone looked more special than they looked on normal days.
It was an enjoyable affair. Laura later turned up at the dinner in a tiny red dress, red lipstick and black killer heels with a muscular guy I had never seen before as her date. Of course, everyone noticed her. Moreover, Laura had once won the beauty pageant for Miss Oyo state.
Soon, Tony was invited to the podium for his farewell speech as outgoing president of the campus press. As he made his way back to our seat after his speech and handing over ceremony to the new executives, there was a loud applause. Tony had broken a lot of great stories before and during his tenure so he was quite popular. He also had oratory prowess.
Then I heard a male voice near me say: “Hey your friend is really a good speaker.”
I turned to smile and thank the person who said this. Then my smile froze when I saw the grinning face. It was one I had prayed to never see again. Yes, he was wearing a suit but it was the face of my brother’s murderer. Then everything went black.