“The more you pace, the more agitated you become.” Pamela told her roommate.
“It is easier for you to say that because you don’t know what it feels like to come close to being rape, to have an idiotic boy place his hands all over you.” Barefooted, Lillian kept pacing on the passage separating their beds.
“Hmmm…” She pursed her lips. “All right Lillian, I have never come close to being raped by an idiotic boy. I am not in your shoes and don’t understand how you feel but please stop pacing, it won’t help matter.”
“At least I am not pacing all over you, what is your stress?” The hiss sizzled out of her lips even as her hands descended on her waist.
“My stress is that you should be grateful I walked in right on time! My stress is that you should be grateful to God for that rather prancing about! My stress is that I can’t concentrate on anything while you pacing about and muttering like you are about to lose your mind.”
“Pamela I am warning you, don’t let me transfer my grievances on you. If you can’t concentrate, get out. Did you hear me, get out and get lost!” She spat as she gestured to the door.
Pamela stood and covered the distance between them in swift motion. “I can’t get out and get lost anymore as I used to before. I paid equally for this accommodation.” Three inches shorter but five kg weightier, she locked gaze with Lillian. “You have to stop treating others like you fell from the sky while others were mistakes of creation. If you had simply taught him or politely turned him down or even ask him to pay rather than tongue lashing him every time he approached you for tutorials on those courses, he probably wouldn’t have been callous.”
“Is by force to be a teacher? Is it my fault he is a dullard?” She threw back on top of her voice, fury radiating from her like the red waves of an electric stove. “Since you’re his advocate, tell him I will make him so sorry for laying his filthy fingers on me!” That said she clomped out of the room for underneath an isolated mango tree to begin scheming revenge.
She began pacing once more. “I swear Ibrahim, you will regret …”
“Madam.” Her chauffeur called for the fifth time, his yes schooled on the rear mirror. He unstrapped his seat belt, got down from the car and went ahead to open the door closest to where she was seated relaxed with her eyes shut.
“Madam…” He called once more but when he got no response, he tapped her on the shoulder.
She jerked back to reality in such a way that the chauffeur jumped back in fright.
“I am sorry Madam, I wanted to tell you we are at the office.”
She rubbed her eyes and blinked severally before looking out. What happened to her?
A look at the alarmed chauffeur caused her to snap out of reverie. She stepped out of the car without her another word and head for the building.
When did she drift off? It had been so real, her days in Nigeria college of aviation technology, Zaria. How long ago was it?
“Ouch!” she exclaimed. The sudden twist of her ankle brought her thoughts to a screeching halt.
With a thumping heart powered by adrenaline, she lowered the 50-cl of plastic sprite that was half filled with fuel and the thin stick she held on the other hand noiselessly.
She peered down the corridor that was semi lit with a bulb. It was empty and would have been quiet save for the rap music blaring from the mega speakers in room three.
The idiotic rapist’s room!
Though the music assured her that he was in his room, it would be his ruin. She stifled a hiss, how on earth was he supposed to understand anything that was taught with such loud taste for music and inconsideration of others in the hostel?
She was also aware his music had driven all serious minded guys to the library or to their various destinations of study or for sports. She had spent reasonable hours for three Saturday in the shadows observing the activities in the hostel.
She walked briskly to the large kitchen they shared as opposed sneaking like she had done on a first visit barely two weeks back, it was then she identified, gauged his gas cylinder and finalized her plan. She examined closely the adjoining corridor before her eyes swept the gas cylinders arranged on the large table. She walked purposefully to the one that bare his initials and turn loose the nozzle.
Gas sizzled into the atmosphere.
A satisfactory smile played on her lips as she pranced out. With a glance at her environment, she dipped the stick in fuel and fetched a lighter from her jean trousers pocket.
With nostrils now trained to pick the whiff of gas, she took a glance at the seconds’ hand of her wristwatch, surveyed her environment and beamed.
Today, he would pay dearly for attempting to rape her.
Basked in delight so much was she that when she heard the sudden shout, she was startled.
“Gas! Gas!” He stopped short at the sight of her and then sneezed, held his nose and sprinted to the kitchen.
Cussing, Lillian took to her heels.
“That was close.” Chinenye heaved. “That action would have cause damages, injury and lost of more than a life. You didn’t bother to ensure Ibrahim was the only one in the hostel.”
Lillian shrugged. “I felt no serious minded person should be in the hostel.”
“Okay. What happened next, were you reported to the school?” Chinenye gestured with an opened palm.
“No I wasn’t. My guess was that Ibrahim must have told the guys what he did and that would have implicated him likewise.” She heaved a sigh. “The news did spread like wild fire because two days later, Pamela my roommate move out of the room we shared.”
“Pam, you can’t leave. I don’t want another roommate.” She stood akimbo and watched puppy-faced as she arranged her textbooks in a medium sized ghana must go bag.
“So that one day when I knowingly or unknowingly offend your Eminence you will snuffed life out of me with your pillow while I sleep or put rat poison in my pot of vegetable soup.” Crouched over the bed, she replied not slowing the pace of her arrangement.
“I can’t do that to you, you are my friend.” Lillian replied offended.
The dictionary fell off her hand as she slowly straightened herself and regarded Lillian from head to toe like she was seeing her for the first time. With her right thumb pressed on the middle finger, she raised it in a semi circular motion over her head. “God forbid that you are my friend!” She met her gaze. “Lillian those that are my friends value my advise. Those that are friends wouldn’t execute murder as a pay back for something that didn’t occur disregarding the lives involved. Do you realize Ibrahim, Pastor, Gabu and three others were in the hostel at that time?”
“As far as I am concerned you are no different from…from…” She swallowed in the adjective at an afterthought. “You are a lady Lillian, an intelligent and outstanding brilliant one at that but if you don’t change your attitude, you might end up unmarried.”
Stunned and speechless, she stared with tears-filled eyes as Pamela placed the dictionary in the bag, zipped it and hefted it up to her head.
“Please don’t go.” She muttered as tears rolled down her cheeks.
“Miss Makinde?” Chinenye called for the third time and sat forward.
Lillian blinked back to reality.
“Lillian did you get my question?”
“What…what question?” She looked up with eyes brimming with tears.
“Since the news spread, how would you describe your relationship with others after the incident?”
Tears rolled down her cheeks. Hastily she reached reach for facial tissue in her bag.
“Do you need a moment?”
She shook her head dabbing her eyes. “I am fine. Please repeat the question.”
“Are you sure you don’t need a break?”
Lillian gave a shaky laugh. “I don’t know what came over me but I’m fine. Please come again with the question.”
Don’t leave without sharing your thought. All the best for the rest of the week.