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Saturday, 6 October 2018


With every passing week, Lanre and Nnenne drew closer. He called her at least three times a week and their conversations were always long. They ate lunch together a lot, she helped him organize his campaigns and they prepared his manifestos together.
Every once in a while, he brought up the topic about the secretary position in their discussions but she always refused. Adaeze kept a close eye on Lanre and Nnenne's friendship. Watching them get closer, her jealousy grew like a bean stalk.
Three days to the election, Lanre called Nnenne to accompany him to his last campaign but she refused as he had told her earlier that the next time he would see her, she should have an answer concerning his offer. Nnenne dropped the call, confused.
She ran to Adaeze who was in the salon, getting her hair tied into Bantu Knots.
"Adaeze I've been looking everywhere for you" Nnenne pointed out, walking briskly into the shop not noticing anyone else.
"Is anything the matter?" Adaeze asked.
Adaeze looked at the mirror and saw Nnenne's brows crinkled, she looked uneasy like a baffled thief.
"What's wrong?" Adaeze asked
"Lanre has been offering me a position among his delegates but I've always turned it down. This time he's saying he won't take no for an answer as it is to my benefit." Nnenne rambled on, throwing both hands in a gesture of tension and confusion
"I'm so confused, I don't know what to do. I don't think I can handle it. And he's demanding an answer the next time we see"
"Calm down first. What position are we talking about here?" Adaeze asked, relaxed.
"The secretary position" Adaeze's expression hardened as she mused on Nnenne's last words again.
"I'm thinking of accepting. Do you think it's a good idea?" Nnenne asked, biting her lips.
"Hmm! Good idea ke" Adaeze snapped, peeved
"You don't know what you want to get yourself into. Let me give you a hint" she paused, pursed her lips together, then continued
"You have to be ready to sleep with a lot of people to get what you want, and you know your clueless when it comes to that. You'd have to swear allegiance to them, which is kind of like a cult. We both know you don't have balls for that"
"You'd no longer be able to concentrate with your studies because you'd miss a lot of classes due to the various meetings you'd need to be present for, plus, the responsibilities would drain you"
"Are you ready for all that? If you are, you can accept" she concluded, pretending not to care.
Nnenne was visibly blanched at these utterances.
Her eyes were frozen wide open in an expression of stunned surprise, and although she was staring straight at Adaeze, she appeared not to notice her at all.
Shortly after, Nnenne's phone rang, bringing her back to reality. It was her mother. She looked briefly at Adaeze as she answered the call and walked out the salon.
The hair dresser kept keeking at Adaeze, she got irritated and asked,
"Why are you looking at me like that?"
"Nothing, I'm just wondering why you put so much fear in that innocent girl." She pointed out, calmly
"How is that your business?" Adaeze asked, rudely, glaring at the lady through the mirror
"Abeg, make my hair let me leave this place!"
The lady glowered at Adaeze and replied harshly,
"Abeg don't shout at me!
"Small thing wey I talk, na em your conscience dey prick you to vex like this!"
Adaeze's face wore annoyance like a veil
"Why won't I be angry? When you've refused to mind your damn business!!" She growled, giving her a dead eye.
"Whether you want to hear it or not, what you just did wasn't right! How you fit dey comfortable to put sand sand for person garri?!" The lady shouted back at her, indifferently.
"Ehn? Innocent girl like that!"
"Haba!" She exclaimed, wobbling her head and looking at Adaeze in a mixture of pity and disgust.
"Where is your conscience?"
Adaeze unmoved, stood up, packed her bags and hissed.
"I don't have time for this rubbish!" She protested as she proceeded to leave the salon with her hair unfinished.
The hair dresser disappointed gestured to her workers as if to say they should come and see what she is witnessing.
"See someone I'm trying to reason with" she said to them, mockingly pointing towards Adaeze with her hands shaped like a standing cobra before it bites.
" alailopolo! —senseless fool! These are the kind of people that dig pit for someone because they feel no-one should do better than them!" The lady uttered at the top of her voice, making sure that she heard her.
Adaeze ignored the lady and exited. Her heart was filled with spite, thinking of what to do next.
The school was rowdy due to election campaigns going on, Nnenne located a quiet place to talk to her mother.
"Hello mama" she answered
"I'm so sorry I haven't called, I've just been busy with school"
"It's okay dear. As long as you're happy, that's good enough for me" her mother replied
"So tell me how is school?" She asked
"School is fine mama, I'm just going through a lot right now"
"Ahh, odikwa mma ?—What is the matter?"
Her mother asked, tensed.
"I am being offered a position as secretary of SUG but I'm afraid it would be a big distraction" Nnenne explained
"Distract gini?—Distract what?" Her mother asked, puzzled. She didn't want an answer, as she continued sharply.
" Biko nwam —please my child, you better go now and accept before you see me in Lagos"
"Don't you know that is the beauty of school, and it would be of great help to your result"
" Enugo nwa m?—Did you hear my child"
Nnenne remembering what Adaeze told her, asked her mum
"Mama, are you sure?"
"Sure what?!" Her mother exclaimed
"Am I not the one paying your school fees?"
" Oya , do it for me if not for yourself" she proposed.
Nnenne not being able to refuse, complied after a thoughtful second
" ezigbo nwa m—my good child, thank you for making me happy."
"Always mama. I have to go now, I'd talk to you soon"
Nnenne oblivious to the fact that Adaeze had left the salon went back to tell Adaeze what she had discussed with her mother. She got to the salon, her eyes searched around but couldn't find Adaeze. She was about leaving;
"Excuse me! If you don't mind, can I have a word with you?" The hair dresser called out to Nnenne
"Sure ma" Nnenne said, looking puzzled as she took a seat.
The hair dresser explained to Nnenne the benefits of accepting the post and she became encouraged.
"Look, baby girl, don't let anyone deceive you. The secretary position is a good chance that would announce and celebrate you in this school. Trust me, it is said that opportunity comes but once. Now that you've been handed an opportunity on the platter of gold, you should grab it" she concluded.
Nnenne smiled in appreciation as she stood up to leave
"Thank you ma"
"It's my pleasure. Just be careful and take care" the lady said, her eyes beaming with admiration.
As Nnenne walked to the hostel she spoke to herself the scripture says in the mouth of two or
more witnesses there is an iota of truth . So that
means lanre , mama and the hairdresser are right.
Thinking back on the words of the hair dresser and her mother, she decided to accept Lanre's offer.

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