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Saturday, 20 October 2018

RECOGNIZING THE FAKE CHAPTER 12

The lecture hall walls were bare and the windows large. Lots of wooden benches were arranged in rows and columns, a podium with a microphone on top of it was positioned at the front, clear enough for everyone to see from every corner.
Behind it was two fused white marker boards with calculation scribbling. The hall had emptied after the end of evening lectures, leaving only Nnenne and her friend, Oluchi.
They were seated by the window, at least fifteen seats away from the podium. Oluchi happily narrated stories about her and her boyfriend with the walls sending back faint echoes of her voice:
"He never lets me win any thing!" She whined playfully, pouting her lips. Without warning, her words caused series of memories to run through Nnenne's mind: laughing with Lanre. Talking with Lanre. Playing Whot with Lanre.
Her face beamed and her eyes twinkled as she blurted out,
"Lanre used to do that too!"
"Each time we played cards, he would trick me into looking away so that h—" she stopped, gloom clouding her features as she remembered that they weren't speaking.
Oluchi gave her a tender stare.
"You miss him don't you?"
"Yes" she admitted
"He's just a friend but going days without speaking to him, I feel so empty"
"I miss him so much" she fiddled with her fingers
"It usually said that absence makes the heart grow fonder"
"Maybe your time apart has made your heart realize how important he is to you"
"Just patch things up with him." She proposed.
Nnenne looked on glum, wondering if it would be possible to bury the guilt she was feeling concerning Adaeze with the happiness she would feel when finally close to Lanre.
Let me see how you guys patch things up
Adaeze murmured and snapped her fingers, smiling maliciously from a hidden corner before she walked away, her mind downloading a new plan as fast as a WiFi connected laptop.
**
A couple hours later, Lanre and Clarence stood by the railing along the varenda of a lecture hall chatting as Nnenne and Oluchi were leaving the lecture block.
Nnenne received a text. It was an unknown number, she stared puzzled at the number before she opened the message.
With the text leaving her in a blend of daze and tension, she hurried off nervously not responding to Oluchi's worried call for an explanation. Oluchi's echoing voice drew Clarence and Lanre's attention.
"Guy, where do you think she's going looking so edgy?"
Lanre watched Nnenne, his brain examining her like a robot device wondering different things at the same time: what message did she receive? What did it say? what is wrong? And where was she hurrying off to so tensed?
**
Nnenne turned up at a brothel, she saw girls dressed in extra revealing clothes, some exiting rooms with their male partners and others wandering outside the rooms smoking and drinking along with the boys who looked like thugs.
Nnenne was wearing a red and white floral designed pout dress that was a little above her knee along with her ballet shoes. The men were attracted to her curves and her glowing skin causing most of them to ogle at her and others to caress her arm as she passed.
She felt restless, confused and unsafe.
The smoke made her stomach twist. She hurriedly checked every room, but there was no sign of Adaeze anyway. She tried to call back the person she had spoken to earlier but it was not available.
So she decided to research the rooms one more time when she heard police sirens announcing their arrival like Santa's laughter on Christmas Eve.
Everyone scattered into different directions, they ran helter-skelter, the police grabbing those who weren't fast enough. Trying to remember how to breathe and unable to speak, Nnenne stood stunned, then someone pulled her quickly into a corner.
In fear, she stared at him bug eyed about to scream, but he covered her mouth, his index finger placed on his lips and his eyes popped out in an indication to be quiet.

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