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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

STORY, A CLARION CALL TO CONFUSION CHAPTER 9

A story written by Chekwube Emmanuel… 

I woke up the following morning feeling like someone hit by a train. I felt my body aching all over coupled with the fact that I couldn’t sleep through the night. The clarion sounded when it was like I just closed my eyes to sleep. The headache that accompanied the body ache was head splitting. I knew all that was a sign of restless night.
After parade that morning, we had all gathered and headed to Mami market for our breakfast without Purity. Everybody noticed that I wasn’t myself as I was ordinarily cold. Shania had pulled me aside and asked me if I was OK to which I had replied in affirmation telling her that I just had a bad night.
At the SAED lecture, I slept throughout. Shania was worried but since she didn’t know what was wrong with me, there was nothing she could do. After the lecture, I didn’t have the appetite for lunch so I told them to go on ahead that I wasn’t hungry. While I headed to the hostel to sleep. Shania understood that I was really having a bad day so she just allowed me be. Yusuf on his part haven’t seen this part of me before, so after trying to get me to flow with his discussion without success, he surrendered and allowed me be.
I don’t know for how long I slept, but I woke up to see some people relaxed and gisting football. Pulling my phone from under the pillow, I saw it was already 6pm. I don’t know how but my phone was on flight mode. Turning off the flight mode, messages started coming in. The first message from and unsaved number, another from Purity and some Whatsapp messages too.
The message from the unsaved number read ‘Mr Man where are you. Come to the parade ground before I count three’ I smiled after reading the message. I know it was from my platoon commander. Purity’s message confirmed it. Hers read ‘where are you? Commander is looking for you.’
After looking through the Whatsapp I decided to call my commander.
“Good evening sir” I greeted as he answered.
“Otondo, what is your problem? Why weren’t you at the parade ground this evening?”
“Sir I was sleeping and didn’t hear the clarion.”
“Otondo you think this is your father’s house abi? Don’t worry, you will meet me tomorrow morning.”
“Sir I’m sorry” I apologised laughing.
“Is sorry a name of person abi na una village head name?”
I kept apologising for a while till he told me to meet the platoon leader and drop my full details with him as they were compiling list of people in each platoon before he dropped the call.
I called Shania afterwards, while we talked she told me ‘welcome back to myself’ I asked for her location and she told me that some guys took her, Divine and some of their friends to Mami to which I told her to have fun.
I had my bath, changed to another set of white outfit and went out. I called Yusuf twice but got no reply. I was heading to the pavilion when I saw Precious with some of her friends. I called out for her but she didn’t hear so dialed her number.
“Where are you headed?” I asked as she picked the called.
She turned looking around for me. “I’m going to the volley ball court, where are you?”
“Behind you” I replied laughing.
“Hey son don’t play with your mother, where are you joor?”
I raised my hand and waved to her. She saw me and dropped the called while I walked down to where she stood with her friends.
“So you have learnt to play hide and seek with mummy abi?” she asked when I got to them. We exchanged pleasantries and started walking down to the volley ball court.
“Are you playing volley ball?” I asked as we walked down ignoring her first question.
“No o, I don’t have that kinda strength. Just going to watch my platoon girls train.”
“Is there ever anything you have strength for, lazy girl” I teased.
“Eh! Eh! You want to start with me? Are you sure you can do that? She said smiling and looking at me.
“Come on, you know I’m telling the truth, it’s not like I’m starting with you.”
“If I had the strength to ride that heavy duty between your legs for three years believe me there is nothing I can’t do.” She said laughing.
That was the least line I expected her to use. I looked at the other girls as all of them joined her laughing. I felt like the earth should open and engulf me immediately. As if to make matters worse one of her friends asked.
“Wait don’t tell me you guys were” she made a sign before completing her sentence with “in school.”
“You gats be kidding me, this dude here kept ramming into me like a trailer in school for three years, forgetting that I’m his mum” Precious said still trying to drive her point home.
“Three what?” the same girl asked again with mock seriousness.
“I rode this dude for three years before he dumped me for a fresh Kittycat” she said making a sad face.
“Come on…” I started before she cut me off.
“Come on what? Am I lying?”
The other girls kept watching us giggling.
“Hey ladies, do you mind if I take her away for a while?” I asked the girls.
“Sure, go on ahead” the one who seemed like their spokesperson said.
Dragging her by the hand gently, I led her away.
“Must you say all those things there?” I asked her as we walked down to the Pavilion.
“Did I lie?”
“Typical Nigerian, answering question with question.”
“Yes, no doubt, I am one” she said with a smile.
We got to the Pavilion and settled down on two seats. At first we stared at each other before she asked,
“This is about last night right?”
“Thought we settled this thing before now Precious?” I asked.
“Settled what exactly? Purity you played me for a fool. Ok, fine let me ask you again, did you ever give us a chance or you just got tired and used the single opportunity you had to get me off your back?”
“Come on Precious you know I tried developing feelings for you, I tried but it wasn’t just coming.”
“You tried when you already had another girl that followed you home and got introduced to your people. Is that the definition of trying? Is she the girl you told me you were trying to build something with?”
“No it’s not her. I found out things couldn’t work between that person and I. I started with Shania not long ago. We are not even up to two months into this relationship.”
“Oh this sounds more interesting and you want me to believe this hogwash? Ok fine, assuming I believe that you guys just started this thing recently, so what were you guys doing back then in school? Just straffing?”
“Yea, it was something that happened just a couple of times. Why are you being like this? Are you trying to tell me that back then in school you didn’t have other guys you were doing things with? Why am I the one being questioned here?”
“Purity let me tell you, you are the only guy I ever had something to do with sexually. Yes I know what will be going on in your mind but I just told you the gospel truth.”
It sounded funny to me how she could say that? She wasn’t a virgin when I first had intercourse with her, though as I could still remember, she was very tight during our first time, but I know a virgin when I see one.
“I am the only guy you ever had something to do with sexually? What happened?”
“Purity, that will be a story for another day, but I feel used by you. You are the only guy I ever had a bonding with. The only guy I ever came to love truly and adore is you. After I realised that you were trying to cut ties with me by avoiding me, I decided to let you be. But when I got posted here, I saw a flicker of hope that maybe since you said you will be working your posting here that we could revive things in a new environment, but see how my hopes got shattered. At some point, I do think that I am over you but I always find out that I am not yet. Maybe I need to work more on myself.”
“I’m sorry for acting kiddy with you. Believe me I treasured what we had, it meant a lot to me. You feel I used you, but I also feel the same. I felt you were using me, and I was afraid of what the future will turn out to be.”
She looked up at me after I said that. I could see the tears forming in her eyes and how she was trying to hold them back. I tried to hold her hands but she took them away before I could get to her.
“I know you expect that I would have moved on, but it’s not as easy as you think. I understand the fact that moving on was so easy for you, yes because I was just that girl for you, that girl that was only good for the bed. Purity I disobeyed my parents thinking that we belong together. Do you know that I am still not in good terms with them? I risked everything but what did I get in return? Nothing.”
I guess she couldn’t hold back the tears as she allowed it stream down from her eyes. I pulled out my handkerchief and handed it over to her. I couldn’t understand why she was saying all those things. From what I know, we settled things amicably and never did she bring up any of this, why now? Is it because of Shania? After she got her tear gland under control, I continued.
To Be Continued…

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