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Sunday, 31 December 2017

STORY, A CLARION CALL TO CONFUSION CHAPTER 5

A story written by Chekwube Emmanuel…


The following morning the gist in every nook and cranny of the camp was about a girl that Iyanya called up to the stage and gave his gold necklace. Everybody was talking about the girl but the few I asked to show me who the girl is seemed not to know her.
Our parade started fully that morning. It wasn’t business as usual. We were being drilled like military recruits. Our commander will always tell us that should war break out between Nigeria and another country, we were going to be the next to be recruited because we are now para- military.
Making friends with my platoon mates wasn’t difficult. Since I was unconsciously made the second commander, everybody will shout out to me when the commander is late to take over. It is fun being the one leading my platoon when other platoons are led by their commander. Funny enough, my platoon members obeyed my command which made my authority legit.
After our orientation, every platoon was expected to elect their platoon officials. From the platoon leader to vice, to sport representative etc. Also skill acquisition training and lectures commenced after orientation. At the end of our parade that morning, our commander told us that we were going conduct election after evening parade to select our platoon representatives. Everybody kept saying that I was going to be the platoon leader and Purity the vice. I told them that I wasn’t going to be their platoon leader but they said I had no choice.
*******
Purity was keeping her distance from me as I noticed. The normal Purity usually clings to me before and after parade. She stands beside me on the parade ground. But that morning she just greeted me and went to Amina. After the parade, she left without letting me know, even when people were shouting that we were going to be the platoon leaders, she kept a straight face.
After the parade, all of us were supposed to go to Mami market to have our breakfast but she left for her hostel before the other girls could come around. When Shania and Divine came around, I called Yusuf who told me to go on ahead that he wasn’t hungry. I dialed Purity but she didn’t pick neither did she pick her sister’s own call.
After we ate, I bought two take away for Purity and Yusuf respectively. I handed Purity’s own to Divine and left with Yusuf’s own. I met Yusuf on his bed pressing away on his phone when I got to the hostel. I gave him the food and demanded to know why he refused to come with us. He told me that he didn’t want to see Divine.
“But shebi you know say you bleep up yesterday? Why you go do that kain thing na?”
“Guy na highness o, in fact conji na bastard. Finally I know say I don cast.”
“Why you carry hand they enter her shorts na. You no know say na that kain thing dey make woman burst man head outside?”
“Guy I swear, no be me dey do that thing o. On how I don see you and Shania dey gingle, the kain conji wey come hold me coupled with say I don high. Na to just kpansh na e come dey hungry me.”
“Shebi you no say you don spoil any chance wey you get for that girl matter abi?” I said smiling.
“Guy abeg you go help me abeg. Just make am understand say na highness. Say me I did not mean to embarrass her, abeg” he pleaded.
“I no even understand the other one, Purity. She just dey avoid me today for parade. She no even follow us go Mami this morning.”
“Shebi I don tell you before, that girl like you. I been just dey look her as she dey look you and Shania yesterday.”
“Say she dey look us no mean say she like me.”
“Don’t worry e go soon become clear for your eyes.”
We were still talking when we heard the clarion. It was time for our SAED (skill acquisition) lecture. I sighted Purity buried in whatever she was doing on her phone when I and Yusuf got to the Pavilion. I told Yusuf to keep seats for the other girls while I went to find out what is wrong with Purity.
I went and sat beside her, pulling off one of the earphone plugged into her ear to draw her attention. I didn’t wait for the pleasantries before asking
“What is wrong with you?”
She looked at me and looked away not saying a word. After waiting for what seemed like a life time, I asked her what was wrong with her again. This time around, she stood up, took her seat and walked away from me. I looked around embarrassed but people around weren’t even paying attention to us. I went back to where Yusuf was with the girls. Shania and Divine were talking while Yusuf was playing games on his phone.
I sat with them till the end of the lecture. During the lecture, I had talked to Divine about Yusuf and to let go of what happened the night before. After that, Yusuf apologised to her and they settled. She teased him on that being the reason he didn’t come out to have breakfast with us, while Yusuf tried unsuccessfully to defend himself.

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