“Abeg shuttup! What do you know” *mocking laughs*
“See ehn, you have no contribution here aunty, where have you been to sef that you are talking?” *long hiss* “mehnn Sayo, this your roomie sef”, she turns to address a young lady lying on the lower bunk bed she now seats half-bodied with, who’s partially fiddling with a laptop and also involved in the discussion.
“I’m sorry o, she can be irritating sha”, returns a disgusted face towards the victim of her deliberate lashing, who’s on the reading table, silent and obviously very embarrassed.
“Ahan Delish, irritating, really? What did she say now that was? Common, that was uncalled for, even if you have to make a point, don’t you think so?” Sayo replies in a concerned tone.
Delish rolling her eyes at her friend *hiss* “please, I’ll be in my room, whenever you are interested in continuing our interesting jist, without un-nece-sarryyy, interruptions”, eyes focused on Kene (the victim) as she talks and finally heads for the room door.
****GBAM!! **** Door slams, “imagine!” is subtly heard outside right after.
“Sorry Delish, is anyone sitting there?” no response. “Hi Deli…”
“I’m not deaf ‘cane’ or whatever your name is, did you see any property on the seat? Abi now you cannot see too?” Kene swallows saliva painfully and sighs within, still looking at Delish who is staring back daringly. She then looks ahead and proceeds to assume position on the plastic chair…
**CRRRACCCKKKKK GBOOMM!** scattered lecture notes, photocopied paper, pressed powder with no brand on it, body mist, and a trail of tissue now lose from the bundle it was rolled up in the knit sling purse still hanging on Kene’s shoulder, is spread out on the floor around the spot she is forced to lay in pain from collapsing with the chair. The chair had an almost broken leg, which Delish failed to communicate intentionally, making it crack and give way immediately Kene sat on it. Delish sits crossed legs, with her shades on in the hall, where a mix of departments had gathered to receive lectures for an elective course, which the lecturer was yet present.
“Hey Kene sup now?” Dave signals kene from across the walk way to come towards him, Sayo and Delish. Kene responds and is walking towards them, shy and a bit reluctant.
“Hi” Kene addresses no one in particular. Dave still looks at her with a partial smile.
Sayo cuts in “Star girl, I heard o. Is that why you did not return to the room yesterday ehn, you slept with the winners, we are no longer your type” *laughs* Sayo teases. Kene begins to smile, flattered and perfectly understanding the reason for the tease, which was because she received an award for excellence in her department at the award night organized for her department the previous day.
“No, that’s not why” *laughs* “I just wanted to stay with my friends yesterday, they where all pretty excited and..”
“No but really congrats Kene, I’ve always known you’d be recognized here, definitely not for being social” *laughs* “but far better and now you see. You deserve it!” Dave interrupts, with a wink.
“What will you be doing later this evening though; I could come pick you up for din…”
“sheeesh! You guys are just the ‘lamest’ right now” Delish interrupts eyes shifting between Sayo and Dave. “So its kiss ass time because aunty here got an award? And so? Like Ewwwww Dave, of all the ladies on this campus, you want to take ‘cane’ to dinner?”
Her sight now focused on Dave in dismay and shock. “What will she wear?”…
“What will you wear huh?” She confronts Kene, who is now at the brink of tears. “That your one nation skirt and ceremonial shirt shebbi?”
“Enough Eno! ENOUGH!” Sayo yells at her friend Delish.
“What’s your problem Delish, You’re so annoying Jeez! But what did Kene ever do to you, what’s with all this hate? Is she not our mate, is she your child for goodness sake???”
“O ti su mi gan!, I’m tayard sef Dave. It’s because the girl does not say anything, she’ll just be humiliating her at any opportunity she has. Yes! It’s a big deal ENO! Delishhhh, it’s a massive deal! You’re my friend but please which award have you won that has brain, even with all the clothes and popularity you’re forming, have you collected award for it?” She gives a long stare back at Delish, who’s staring in amazement at all she’s getting from her friends.
“On top this nobody shey? On top this one!” she uses her fingers to weigh Kene, who’s now embraced by Sayo, tearing silently.
*Laughs* “Sayo shey?” She looks at Sayo, nodding.
“Dave, me annoying ba?” She glances back at Dave who’s pretty dazed at the abrupt turn out of events. “Annoying, because of this riffraff, that just wants to place herself where she does not belong by force!”
She’s now very upset.
“See, if you like eat all the awards in this school, I promise you, you will not be important to me, you can’t be among us because we have what we are claiming, you are barely here out of pity” *scuffs* “‘scholarship’ and let me tell you, even 10 years from now, you’ll still be a nobody with only an award of excellence to your name!” *long hiss* She storms out of their midst, brushing Kene aside. As she struts farther away, she can hear the consoling voices of her friends at Kene…
Dave; Kene, don’t mind all of that, you know how she is. Please stop crying.
Sayo; Oya kene stop, stop, you know we are outside, don’t make it obvious this got you, oya Kene, please stop….Kene please, Kene…
“Mummy! Mummy!! Mummmmy!!!” A young lady calls at her mum.
“Yes, yes, yes…I heard you the first time” her mum replies, faintly and with a downtrodden look.
“You mean the third time right?” Her daughter replies sarcastically. “What happened now, one minute you are the most excited person in this room meeting Yinka and talking wedding preparations excitedly, even before I could tell you about his family and then the next you go off into space for almost 5 minutes and now you’re arriving like you didn’t want to return to the conversation”.
“Mummy” she moves closer to her mum, concerned, “what’s wrong, are you ill?”
Her mum disregards the question as if it was not asked and faces the young man her daughter brought home to introduce as her boyfriend (who recently proposed while they were in the United States rounding up their Masters Program, at the same University).
“Yinka right?” the young, fine man, nods in agreement.
“Your mum is a single parent yes?” he nods again agreeing.
“What did you say her name is again please pardon me?
“It’s no problem ma” he replies with a lush mixed accent, “Her name is Kenechukwu Ihejirika, like Stella was telling you, she reverted back to her maiden name after my dad passed on, owing to the fact that she’s built a status on that and is publicly recognized by that; it’s easier that way for her, but don’t worry ma, your daughter is definitely marrying into a ‘Craig’” he follows with a warm laugh and Stella joins in.
Mrs Delish Chukwu is far away from this excitement.
Featured Image by – ZaneleMuholi