He slowed down, pulling over to one side of the street un-strapping his seat belt he turned to me.
“You can continue from here”
“Sure” I said, knowing that was a statement not a question.
“You seem unusually quiet ?”
“I have never been much of a talker ” I said reaching for my bag at the back seat.
“I know, but.. anyway if you say so, soothe yourself”
Knowing I was already discharged, I opened the door, walking in rapid steps towards my father’s church.
“Amaka!! Amaka!! I heard a familiar voice calling, turning towards the direction of the voice, I saw Jessica and Uju standing under the shelter of a closed shop.
“I thought you won’t get here before the service starts” Uju was the first to speak.
“I’m sorry for keeping you waiting, my battery went flat” I said as I brought out my red wedge sandals, taking off the flat slippers I was wearing.
“Please can we leave, your dad has been calling me all morning and I have been ignoring his calls” Jessica said impatient already.
“Abeg, calm down. You can fear for Africa. Tell him your phone is on silent mode” Uju said as we started heading towards the church.
Jessica is the only daughter of one of our church’s highest financial donor. Her father owned a large supermarket outfit with branches scattered all over Lagos. We gained admission into UNILAG the same year and our parents not wanting us to live and share a room with total strangers who they felt might have a bad influence on us, decided to get us a place on St Finbars Road, Uju whose parents were also members of my father’s church. When she couldn’t get a hostel space on campus and she didn’t have any close friend to squat her, we pleaded with our parents to let her stay with us.
“Amaka, Kedu”. My mum said hugging me as we entered the oval room which served as my dad’s office and counselling room.
“I’m fine ma” I said.
“Where have you been?!” My dad inquired removing his reading glasses and raising up his head from the big Bible on his brown mahogany table.
“Good morning sir” Uju and I chorused together.
“Her phone battery went flat and Jessica’s phone was on silence” Uju said staring directly into his eyes.
“Nwam, go and collect your Usher tags, it’s almost time to begin” my mum said coming to our rescue.
I knew my father still had some unfinished words to say so I quickly dragged Uju out with me. Knowing my father still had his eyes on us, I had ma face to the ground as we left.
Jessica avoided my dad under the guise she wanted to say hello to her parents.
“Uju I have something I want to tell you” I stopped walking.
“What is it” She said turning to me
“It’s Roland” I said, as I fidgeted with my scarf.
“Why am I not surprised, so what did he do or what did he not do”
“What are you girls still doing there, this is not the place and time for idle gossip” my father shouted from behind us.
Startled, we hurried off, picked our usher tags and joined Jessica who was already standing in her spot.
..Today Christ defeated the devil, he rolled away the stone. He was wounded for our transgression, bruised for our iniquities.. Today is a day to give thanks, you are alive and present here, in these times when our country is filled with kidnapping, bombings, accidents..
“Where should I sit” a familiar voice whispered from behind me.
Turning back, I saw Roland and I went back in time recalling it was only a year ago he said those same words to me. How I got lost in his smile and fell head over heels and smitten over him. It was his first day in our church, he just got transferred to Lagos from Calabar. It’s a year now and the man who walked in that day was my lover and the fantasy of most single sisters in the church. Our relationship was not known to any member of our church, only to Jessica and Uju.
“Go and sit over there” Uju said pointing at an empty seat at her right with a tight look on her face. He simply nodded and walked towards the empty seat.
“If this is jazz, your dad is a pastor o, Uju said moving closer to me, “You just turn into a zombie, at the mention or sight of Roland”.
“I don’t, I got carried away with my thoughts, I had a déjàvu”
“It’s not only déjàvu, it’s Donjazzy”
I covered my mouth as I stifled a chuckle.
For the rest of the service I kept stealing glances at Roland, feeling hurt, love and many other things I couldn’t put in words. Jessica and Uju left with their parents to spend the day with their family promising to be back to our shared room by evening. I sat in a secluded spot close charging my phone while waiting for my parents, I went through people’s status and display picture as so many Easter broadcast messages flooded in.
At 8:45pm, we were seated in a cab headed for Elegushi beach.
“Ehen, Amaka you had something to tell me in church?” Uju said turning her neck to face Jessica and I seated at the back .
“How come I don’t know about this?” Jessica said raising her eyes from her phone.
“Calm down madame, she never talk anything yet” Uju said smiling.
“So, Amaka what happened?”
I narrated the whole incident in a low tone conscious of the cab driver and also avoiding the shocked expressions and wide eyes staring at me.
“So what did you do?” breaking the silence Uju asked calmly.
“Nothing” I said looking away.
” You didn’t cry” Jessica asked.
“Which kain mumu question be that, is that what you should be asking her” Uju said obviously irritated.
“So did you have sex with him last night?”
“Haba! Uju don’t ask her that”
Ignoring Jessica, Uju asked again “so did you?”
I nodded, not wanting the cab driver to know my response. Surprisingly Uju said nothing; instead she picked up her phone.
“It is ok, call him and talk it out with him. So you know what you are not doing right” Jessica said touching my arm.
“Talk about what? The moment she opened her legs again for him, she made her decision already. You think men like to talk and analyse like we girls do. He would only play mind games with her and make her feel guilty and he ends up looking like the victim. The only answer here is to walk out of the relationship. But Amaka is not strong willed enough to do that.
“You talk like it’s so easy. You don’t know what it means to love someone” Jessica cuts in
“I may not know what love is, but I know what it’s not when I see one. Please don’t let me start with you and your boyfriend who has been an upcoming artiste for only God knows when. He needs to open an association for upcoming artiste with Skales. You are not his girlfriend, you are his maga, you are practically his sponsor. Now you are dragging us to another of his “abeg make I perform outings”
“Uju that is too harsh” I said
“The two of you need help, your self esteem needs the blood of Jesus” Uju said obviously not finished yet.
“Wale is not that bad, he just needs the right support and connection” Jessica defended her boyfriend.
“He is that bad, he is still confused on whether to do rap or sing and don’t get me started on his voice, he should make use of that face and physique and join a modelling agency”
I held back a chuckle, knowing she was stating the obvious truth.
“Support and encourage him but it should end there, tell him to go and find himself a job. You have responsible, stable guys who want you but instead you change your name to charity”
“It’s enough, don’t know why I bothered inviting you”
“You know you would need our company, when his friends start popping bottles you would pay for and shouting with their fake looking girlfriends. Your dad is not working hard for this o”
“Like you ever keep your ass seated” Jessica said smiling.
We were both used to Uju’s scolding and never got angry because we knew she wasn’t talking out of spite. We never admitted to her she was right.
After we located Wale, Jessica’s boyfriend he led us to DV8 bar where his friends had taken a table. Not long after we settled down, Uju was already in the middle of the crowded dance floor grinding her waist erotically. I smiled as I continued munching the Suya I ordered for. I felt my phone vibrating and Jesicca signalling me to check my phone from across the table. Opening my BBM;
* We are going to the water side, heard there is a show there and some artistes will be performing
*Ok, I will wait here. Uju and I will join you soon
* Are you sure, we are all leaving. Won’t you mind sitting alone?
* No, am fine.
* Buzz me when you are ready to join us.
With that they all stood up and left, after some minutes of munching suya and Snapp, rejecting dance offers. I felt a pressure in my bladder, I signalled Uju I will be back soon. Picking up my purse I headed out, walking to the secluded area of the beach, spotting the abandoned bar we used whenever we came to the beach. Finding a spot, I pulled up the tight fitting gown I wore as the pressure in my bladder felt more intense.
I bent down, then I heard a male moan loudly, looking up in shock and surprise as I didn’t notice anyone there before. I saw a male figure leaning on the bamboo sticks which served as a wall, with a lady kneeling in front of him, his fingers lost in her hair as she kept nodding her head. His eyes were closed, I let out a loud gasp, his eyes shot open as he was surprised to see me. Sensing the change in his mood and his silence, the lady looked up at him and followed the direction of his eyes. As they looked at me, I stood up, hurriedly pulled down my gown and ran out.
Settling down on the empty seat I left, I tried to shake off the image of the couple I just saw.
“Where is Jessica?” Uju said, sitting opposite me and wiping off the sweat on her face.
“She went to the seaside”
“Ping her, ask her where exactly”
I looked at the table, then back at my laps and at Uju with a shocked
“What is it?” she asked
“Oh my God!! I left my wallet there”
*Kedu : how are you
*Nwam: my child
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