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Thursday, 25 October 2018

BEYOND HATE CHAPTER 10


Chapter ten

Zara.

I walked into Mrs Ibe's office with Mona closely behind me, whistling. She was slightly taller then I was and whistles were grazing my ear.

"Stop that!" I playfully snapped.

She grinned and went on.

"Who is that?!" It was Mrs Ibe. Her voice rang out across the room. She snapped her head up from the book before her and glared at Mona.

Mrs Ibe was the head of English department, which earned her a special office.

"Good afternoon ma," I greeted, walking further into the room.

She didn't smile. "You want to call your mother?"

I nodded.

"Just flash her oh, I just put in one thousand naira here and I want to use it." She picked her infinix zero from the table and handed it to me.

It was as though she was skeptical about handing the phone to me. Her expression was sour and she kept narrowing her eyes at intervals.

I bowed slightly, thanking her for the phone then I walked outside with Mona. I typed in my mother's number. It rang a couple of times but she didn't pick up. I dialled again. She still didn't pick. I groaned then resorted to dialing my brother who was studying in the states.

One the first dial, he picked.

"Hell-"

"The fuck!" He screamed. "Please call back. I'm kind of--"

The call started breaking. Trust my brother to throw a curse word when someone interrupted him doing something.

"Kosi it's me." I went on, despite the poor network.

"--who?"

"Zara!" I huffed angrily.

The network suddenly snapped back. The connection became clearer.

"Baby?"

I rolled my eyes. They had given me that nickname as the last born of the house.

"Yeah it's me."

"Baby what's up?"

"I'm not fine. I'm angry and sick and Mom has been acting strange." I blurted.

I could hear shuffling on the other side. A slight silence before my brother finally replied.

"Strange how?"

I began to recall the event that took place just before I'd returned to school. All through, Kosi had been quiet. He just listened and didn't say anything.

"Wow," he finally blurted softly. "Well. Maybe she was sad."

I snorted. "Sad enough to tear his picture and then remind me that he is dead."

Kosi remained silent.

"Look, just tell her to come to school this coming visiting day. I need to see a doctor. The eye issue is getting worse."

"Really? " Kosi asked. "I thought you had gone to see a doctor."

"No. Just a pharmacist who referred me to a doctor, but mommy dearest hasn't had time for me."

"Oh. Ok, I'll whatsapp her."

"Yeah."

"So how na..." the line started breaking. Then it went dead. It disconnected. I pulled the phone from my ear and looked at the screen. I was horrified by what I saw.

You've exhausted your airtime.

I looked up at Mona who stood by the corner admiring her nails.

"Mona." I called, panicking.

Mrs Ibe would kill me. I'd forgotten that she'd warned me to only flash. She'd told me she had a thousand nair airtime in her sim and now, it was zero naira, zero kobo. Worse, it was an international call.

Mona raised a brow and walked over.

"Mona, the woman's one k airtime is finished." I whispered.

She creased her brows. "How come?"

"I forgot international call was very....expensive. I called my brother."

"Ah!" Mona gasped. Then she burst into laughter. "Babe, are you serious?!"

I gave her a blank look. "I don't look serious?"

She threw her head back and laughed out loud. Then she stared at me blankly and it dawned on her that I was indeed serious.

She creased her brows then cleared her throat. "Alright, you know what?.... bring the phone."

I quickly handed the phone to her, unsure of what was going to happen. Mrs Ibeh would bury me if she knew her airtime was exhausted. Mona typed away seriously on the phone. I moved closer to her to see what it wss she was doing. I saw the borrow airtime details on the screen. She clicked on it. Then the amount, she clicked on a thousand naira.

"Mona," I gasped.

She said nothing, she went on. The next moment, a message entered. It was from the network, congratulating its customer on borrowing a thousand naira. Mona quickly deleted the message and handed the phone to me.

"All good," she smirked. "Now give her the phone let's run away."

I glared at Mona. "What if she finds out?"

Mona grinned. "Mama we'll be long gone by then. Be quick, let's go. Just give her the phone."

"We'll be carrying a curse on our head for this evil act." I raised a brow.

Mona sighed dramatically. "Ok na, drop One k let's buy airtime."

"Ehn? For this era?" I gasped.

Mona glared at me playfully. "Mama go and give her phone jare."

I threw my head back and laughed. "The crazy friends I keep."

  
                            _____________

Toby

I sat back, watching as Jerome spoke to Afam, their loud laughter echoed through the hallway. Sighing loudly, I turned away from them. My eyes landed on Dandy and Larla.

Trying to fuel my need to feel among and somehow fit into Jerome's world, and even be more relaxed than he was. I decided it was best I related with the people he spoke with ; Dandy and Larla being top on the list after Afam.

In truth, my jealousy was that he seemed to tell Afam more things than he'd ever told me in the past two years of our Best friendship. Also the fact that since he and Zara started getting along, I had been feeling some kind of uneasiness. Something wasn't right and I felt like I was the only one who couldn't see it.

I made my way over to Dandy. Picking up courage,  I started with the pidgin English they spoke like they were drinking water. I seldomly spoke in pidgin but it still wasn't as deep as theirs.

"Watin dey happen na? What's up?" I chanted as I approached them.

Larla was the first to look up. "Toby, soft! Sup man."

Soft.

"I dey," I replied, suddenly feeling chill.

"So are you going to Iya kemi today?" Dandy asked in a fine English.

Relief washed through me, I didn't have to force pidgin for long. It didn't even sound good coming from me.

"Are you guys going?" I queried.

They both nodded. "Now."

I smirked. "May I ball with una now."

"What of Jerome?" Dandy asked.

I shrugged. "I don't know."

Larla raised a brow. "Ok na. Let's go."

I nodded my head cooly, trying to act as though their reply didn't surprise me.

"But- ask Jerome first, I think he wanted to go." Larla said suddenly.

I shrugged, still acting cool. "Alright."

I turned and headed towards where I'd seen Jerome conversing seriously with Afam. I approached them slowly.

"Just admit you still like her!" I heard Afam shout.

I stopped immediately, I wasn't really far from them and I wasn't really close to them either.

Jerome snorted. "No I don't."

I watched as Afam reclined on the wall. "She seems to still like you."

Jerome closed his eyes and groaned. "She's just- igbo, I'm tired of Igbo girls."

Afam smirked. "I ship K-"

"I don't like Oge!" Jerome snapped. "I like Betty."

Afam creased his brows. "The fuck are you- oh," he suddenly laughed. "Of course, I just thought you liked Oge..... I mean..."

"Well I like Betty." Jerome grinned.

I felt some sort of relief wash through me. I didn't know the girl I had expected them to be talking about, but I never really thought it'd be Oge and Betty.

I walked towards them. "Jerome."

They both whipped their head towards my direction. Jerome grinned. "S'up,"

Afam smirked. "Red notes-"

Jerome jabbed him. "Shut up."

"Black n yellow!" Afam laughed as he waved and walked away, leaving only Jerome and I.

"So," I began. "You want to visit Iya kemi's?"

Jerome rubbed his eyes. "Not tonight."

"Well I'm going with Larla and Dandy." I said.

Jerome raised a brow. Then he shrugged and nodded. "Ok oh. Just be careful and bring stuffs for me."

I rolled my eyes. "Sure thing asshole!"

                       ____________

Dandy moved right, tiptoeing slightly when he got to Mr Yemi's house. Larla did the same. They walked faster than I and Jerome usually did. Most times, I feared their footsteps made too much noise. I could not risk getting caught. Behind me was Saheed. Saheed had insisted on going with us. Everyone knew Saheed to be clumsy, which is why we were reluctant to let him come with us at first but since going had been successful, we'd arrived at Iya Kemi's kitchen, prepared the meal and were now on our way to the hostel, Saheed had been good. Nothing could possibly go wrong at the last moment.

As we walked on, with nylon bags filled with hot spaghetti, our footsteps were barely heard.

A loud scream erupted from beside me and echoed through the silence of the night. We all froze. I looked sharply to my right, my eyes glaring daggers at Saheed who had screamed.

"You craze?!" Larla whispered harshly.

Saheed glared back. "I think my leg got punctured!"

I hissed loudly. "You could have just groaned lowly or someth-"

"Who is there?!"

My eyes locked with Larla's wide ones. The voice belonged to the old security guy who roamed the school at night.

Just as we made to move, a dim torchlight came our way.

"Where are you boys coming from?" The old man asked.

I panicked, the next moment, Larla dashed forward, he raised his left foot and swung it forward, deliberately making contact with the torchlight. The light stumbled out of the old man's hand and rolled on the floor.

"Run!"

No one really needed a reminder, we all took to our heels. We had ran far enough, the teachers quarter was quite large and it was quite hard to escape easily. Once we got to the front of Mr Ojo's house, we were back to tiptoeing.

"My leg!" Saheed whispered harshly, breathing heavily.

"Manage, we'll soon get to-"

"Ahh!" He hissed loudly.

Loud footsteps echoed through the dark air. A bright torchlight was suddenly directed at us. We all moved swiftly and hid beside the closest wall.

"There is no where to run to, come out."

It was definitely OJ. His voice was ever echoing in my ears.

Larla spoke up. "We run on count three, no looking back."

I nodded, all though I wasn't so sure if he'd make it out in the dark.

"One, two, three...."

We all took to our heels, running relentlessly and still clutching onto the bags filled with peppery spaghetti. I ran quickly, letting the cool night breeze into my mouth as I panted. I didn't stop running until I got to the hostel.

As expected, boys were still awake, some outside despite the power shortage and most, inside. As we stopped running, most of them stood up instantly. The panic on their face was apparent.

"Why are you guys running?" Wale questioned.

I held my chest, still panting.

"O.J, be like say en dey come." Dandy spoke up.

I nodded in agreement.

"Let's go inside fast. If the man sees us here, we are all suspects," Samson whispered.

"I thought Saheed went with you guys," Wale inquired.

"Yes," I groaned, clutching my sides and finally letting go of the spaghetti nylon.

"Well, where is he?"

I looked over at Dandy and Larla, my expression mirrored theirs. The colour had drained from all our faces, shit was about to get down.

         ____________________



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