Tope heard a click and the phone came alive with a soft but sleepy voice say “Hello” and her brain went blank. She could not come up with a response and she did not know what to say. She had dialed the number without having a plan and she was unprepared to hear his voice again. The phone was connected for more that 30 seconds and in that time, she still could not bring herself to say anything and the line went dead on the other side.
Damn, she told herself, now she had flunked the first chance and not only that, he has the number on his phone so if she calls back, he would know she was the one who called him and she would sound desperate.
She got out from under the tree and started walking back towards her room when she realized she had made another mistake. When she left the room, she left Wale and Wunmi alone which meant they were probably having sex or at least making out inside the room right now. They would probably think she left the room to give them some time alone. Now she cursed at herself, she hated what she did.
“I should have at least left with my car keys or at least wore something decent enough to go out with. Now I might have to wait for those two to finish whatever it is they are doing before going in”.
She walked back towards the hostel and met John on the way. John was a friend to a member of the Skulls who she had dated at some point but broke up with because he was too controlling. He had once tried to collect the password to her ATM card and that’s when she decided she had had enough. Ever since then he had continued to disturb her about a reunion she knew would not happen even if there was a gun to her head. He still told everyone she was his girlfriend though and she did not mind as long as he did not say it where she was and no one disturbed her over it. Life was complicated enough without having to fight over what some airhead said to people.
Tope looked like the average girl next door to everyone but those closer to her knew she tried to fit into school most of the time. She is intelligent and academics came to her easily but the fact that her father was a millionaire had made it difficult to make true friends in secondary school. When her dad called her and asked what University she wanted to attend, she had chosen to study in Nigeria for reasons she could not explain.
Her father did not understand why but he had only two children and he made it a point of duty to spoil them silly. He agreed with her and she ended up here. Making friends came naturally to her in her secondary school days as she had things to discuss with the girls and guys but here was a different scenario. Wunmi was the only one she connected with and every friend she made in school was through her and it has always gone smoothly.
John saw her coming at a distance and started smiling at her. His steps changed as he tried to make himself more attractive.
As if it will make you look better, she thought to herself.
She got close to him and brought her phone and pretended to be typing something on it and he called out to her.
“Tope, will you pretend as though you did not see me?”
She had expected him to call her back so she was not surprised. She looked up and feigned surprise.
“Sorry, I got an important message and I was replying it. What were you saying?”
Now the look on John’s face changed a bit, it was obvious the she was lying and was trying to ignore him and he hated it when she did that.
“Okay what message would be so important that you could not even mutter a simple hello to me, If you did not do this on purpose”.
She walked closer to him and put her phone inside her pocket.
“Now what law in the world or this country makes it compulsory that I say hello to you and when I see you? You are not my father so why are you pained?”
She threw her hair backward and continued.
“I don’t want to say hello, simply get that into your skull and move the f**k on. Don’t you have any dignity as a man? You tried to scam me and steal money from my account but instead of getting you arrested and making sure you spend time behind bars like a monkey, I allowed it to pass and you still act like the world belongs to you. Stop pestering me and walk on fool”.
A little crowd had gathered as her voice was slightly raised and when she saw this, she smiled at him.
“Good afternoon John, I hope you are satisfied now” and with that she walked away.
It took John some moments to react to what she did as he could not believe the calm and gentle girl he dated could explode like that, and the fact that she just said all that and walked away make him a lot more crazy. The crowd was gathering and his hurt and anger grew and suddenly he moved towards her. The people who had gathered around saw that there was a chance he might beat her up and they made to stop him but Tope suddenly turned around, looking at him straight in the eyes.
“You would hit me, I dare you”.
And she turned around again and walked away leaving the people laughing at John and his ego completely crushed.
She walked back towards the hostel and saw that the door to her room was opened and she strolled in to meet Wale bent over their reading table studying with Wunmi.
“You both should not tell me you have been studying all this while and could not come to my rescue”.
Wale chose to ignore the statement thinking it was some kind of talk between them when there was a loud knock on the door and someone turned the knob.
Without thinking Wale reached for his gun behind him and kept his hand there while he waited for whoever it was to enter. He stood directly opposite the door in the space between the girls and the door as the knob was turned again. That was when he realized that Tope had locked the door when she entered.
He looked back at her.
“What is going on?”
Tope fell on the bed unconcerned.
“There is no need to be worried, it is probably that idiot John coming to teach me a lesson because I ignored him”.
Bear still did not let his guard down as there was another knock at the door and this time, it was louder as though the person was trying to scare whoever was inside the room.
He stood there with his hand still holding his gun when he saw Tope get up from the bed and move towards the door.
Wunmi went to stand behind Bear as she did not believe Tope’s story of John coming to beat her up.
Tope walked to the door and opened it. The first thing she did when she opened it was to step back and cross her arms over her chest.
“What do you want now? Have I not made it clear that I don’t want to see you?”
John stepped into the room in company of two other guys and when Bear saw their faces, he pulled his hand off his gun, looked back at Wunmi and sat down.
John started to talk.
“What gives you the right to talk to me anyhow? You had better watch your mouth next time or else, I will shut it for you”
Tope started laughing.
“Did you just say you will shut my mouth? Dude, you will spend the next 7 years of your life behind bars if you even lay a finger on me. Ever heard of the term assault? It is a big word, maybe too big for you dumb head to comprehend but I promise you that if you so much as touch me, the next person you will be talking to will be in uniform”.
John could not believe he was been spoken to so brazenly, by a girl of all people, he had shown restraint because he knew she will go through with her treats of getting him arrested but his anger was getting the better of him. There was an increase of blood into his head and he could not think clearly.
He took a step towards her and she still did not move away she just stood there watching and daring him to do whatever he wanted and just as he raised his hands to hit her, a voice came through.
“If you don’t have respect for the people who gave birth to you, would you also deny my presence?”
(...to be continued)
(Mynd is a final year student of Mechanical Engineering at one of Nigeria's universities. When he's not busy being a nerd he spends his time writing, playing basketball, listening to music and laughing! You can reach him on firstname.lastname@example.org)