A First (Ep. 2)

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Previously on TSB: The clique had agreed to prepare a guest list for the much anticipated party at James’ crib. However, Maryam had major explaining to do when her father overheard her plans.

 

Maryam looked behind her as she left her compound and headed to her friend Amina’s house. She was worried that in any moment her father would call after her and ask to see the contents of her overnight bag. He was so unpredictable of recent. His over protectiveness was beginning to get on her nerves. She had blossomed with it in the past when she was still a little girl, but now she found it over bearing. She felt that at some point he had to realise that she was no longer a child and let her be. However, the opposite was the case. It seemed that the older she got, the more protective he became. Theirs was a relationship with positive correlations. It was getting boring; but being the good and disciplined daughter that she was, she never complained. She merely took it in stride and counted down the days until when she would leave to study abroad and be rid of his iron clad reigns on her life. That would be the day! She thought. Maryam Danjuma couldn’t wait.

 “Yayade” Maryam greeted her friend’s mother as Amina ushered her into their living room.

“Welcome Maryam, how is your mother? Greet her for me” Amina’s mother replied.

Then she turned to Amina and told her not to forget to offer her friends the snacks and Zobo drink made from Hibiscus leaves that she had prepared earlier that day.

“Yes mama” Amina replied and dragged Maryam off with her.

“What friends? Who else is coming?” Maryam asked confused.

“It’s the twins. After your mum called my mum to confirm the sleepover I had to invite them; but tell me, how did you get yourself into this and dragged me with you eh?” Amina questioned.

“Oh my God, you should have seen my father’s face that night. I’m sorry but I really have to go to the party, so using you was my only option. Are you angry?” Maryam asked whilst playfully nudging her friends arm.

“Well, you know I don’t like lying like this. Allah, if it was anyone else I would have opened their nyash. And those twins are going to be a headache. You better plan how you’re going to leave without Zainab knowing” Amina replied.

“Oh no, not that I too sabi girl! She better not interfere” Maryam sighed and slumped on the bed when they got into Amina’s room.

“So tell me, how did you escape your father finding out that you’re going to a party? Are you sure he doesn’t suspect anything?” Amina asked.

Maryam began to narrate what had transpired that unfortunate day after she had hung up from the call with her friends. She had had the shock of her life when she found her father leaning on the wall. He had looked at her with such fierceness that she had hoped the floor would cave in and swallow her. She hadn’t known how she would explain herself out of the situation. She had tried anyway, and began by laughing nervously, but her father had been unmoved. He arched his eyebrows and continued with his inquisition.

Maryam had decided that it was time for her to be brave and lie to him for the first time since she could remember. She had to go to the party, and truthfully she wanted to bar her ruined reputation if she didn’t. So she began again but with more conviction. She had told him that the ‘party’ was actually a sleep over she was having with her friends at Amina’s house since she was going to leave for the UK but he hadn’t believed her straight away.

“Maryam, are you sure? I clearly heard talk of a party. Since when did you start lying to me!” He decried raising his tone.

Maryam felt like she was in deep shit. He had to believe her. She stuck to her story and his questions only escalated until her mother walked in and begged them both to stop shouting. Maryam was furious that he would not believe her and he was furious that she wouldn’t tell him the truth. Maryam had seen the confused look on his face even though it was only for a moment. She knew that sticking with her story was best and he was none the wiser.

“It’s okay. I can confirm with Amina’s mother tomorrow and we’ll know the truth then” Fara had said with finality.

They both looked at her warily as she slowly took a sit on one of the plush leather sofas. Her mother hardly ever raised her voice or stood up to her father. It was a first and this caught her by surprise.

“You better not be lying to me Maryam” Her father had shouted after her as she left to her room.

Maryam had been happy that her mother had stepped in but then realised that she had to clue in Amina before her cover was blown. So there she was, finally in Amina’s room with her parents permission. But she still felt that her mother must have suspected something even if her father had believed her story upon confirmation from Amina’s mother the next morning.

Amina’s mother of course had been unaware of any sleepover party being hosted by her daughter; but Amina had somehow managed to convince her mother that it was an impromptu decision and thrown in the twins’ names for good measure to make it more believable. So come morning, Maryam’s alibi was confirmed, but still she felt a sense of foreboding that something would give and her parents would find out. One couldn’t blame her though. Maryam Danjuma had never pulled such a trick in her life.

She had just finished her story telling when Zainab and her chubbier twin Zahra walked in. Maryam feigned a smile and pretended to be interested in Zainab’s conversation. She had never been particularly fond of the twins. Zahra she didn’t really mind but Zainab was a long suffering thorn in her flesh. Maryam despised the superiority Zainab placed over her twin. She hadn’t cared much in the past because she never saw much of them since she attended boarding school, but now that she was back she hoped her contact with them would come in their rarity.

The conversation swiftly moved to the event they had attended the previous week and Zainab talked ceaselessly about the dresses some girls in attendance had worn and made them discuss on which was cheap or specially hand made. Maryam picked up a book and pretended to read as she snacked on the pastries Amina’s mum had been kind enough to make especially for them. She was careful not to over eat though. She wanted to fit perfectly into the sleeveless top she had secretly bought with Simi to wear to the party.

Maryam kept looking at the time and then decided that it was time to head off to the party at 7pm. She had promised to arrive early to play host with her other friends and she was looking forward to it. Finally she could let off some steam and experiment a little before she travelled away to England.

“Where are you going to?” Zainab asked when Amina told her to wait while she escorted Maryam out.

“It’s none of your business!” Maryam snapped before she could stop herself.

“Tell me or I’m telling your mum” Zainab replied challengingly, looking at Amina.

“Let’s go then I’ll tell you on the way” Maryam sighed.

“What about me?” Zahra began to say before being interrupted by Maryam and Zainab who shouted “No” at the same time.

Zahra pouted and slumped back into the chair she had been sitting on. It made a screeching sound as her bum contacted with the seat. It was clearly suffering from the pressure of her weight. As they tip toed through the living room and out the door, Amina reminded Maryam that she would have to face the consequences if she was caught. She didn’t want to be involved or bring shame to her family’s name she warned. Maryam nodded and whispered her thanks while Zainab brushed it off with an air of arrogance. The girl was clueless and an ignoramus Maryam thought.

Unfortunately, Zainab was the ignoramus that she would have to entertain for the night if she was to make it to the party.

On the other side of town>>>

Ovo was about to go into the kitchen and report a customer’s order to his Madam when his phone rang. He fetched it out of his back pocket and saw that it was Simi calling. What could she want again? he wondered as he placed the outdated Nokia phone to his ear. He walked over to the side and ignored the customer who was now shouting at him to go and get his order. Ovo raised his hand and signalled for the customer to give him a minute. He walked out of the restaurant with his other hand pressed against his ear, trying to block out the loud music booming from the speakers.

“Yes Simi?” He asked as soon as he heard her voice.

“Yes, I haven’t forgotten. I’ll try and come if I finish work on time” He replied.

He didn’t understand why they kept on calling him. He wanted to forget what had happened altogether, and any involvement he might have had in it but it seemed like they weren’t going to let him. They thought he was stupid and didn’t know why they kept calling. He was no fool. He was completely aware of the delicate situation they had all found themselves in. Mostly he had blamed his involvement at the start but now he felt no remorse. Just anger that they would try to implicate him in their dilemma. As far as he was now concerned he had the ball in his court and would serve it however he pleased if they ever crossed him. He disliked their kinds. They reeked of the kind of people that were spoon fed since birth and that angered him. He on the other hand, had had to work doubly for everything that he owned. Even at that, it was nothing that he could celebrate or be really proud of. His father’s untimely death had made matters even worse and now it was up to him to improve his family and carry on their name. It was a task that encouraged him to work harder just as it daunted him.

 Ovo walked back into the restaurant and returned the mobile phone to where it had once been stowed. As soon as he got back inside, he apologized to the customer and hurried into the kitchen to get on with his job. Even after a month of working at the local restaurant, he still felt uneasy that he was the only male waiter. He believed that he was treated differently from the rest of the other female workers and didn’t get near as much tips as they did. This didn’t surprise him though. He had seen some of the waitress’ buttocks being smacked as they walked past male customers. It seemed that the vile customers thought they were entitled to do as they pleased just because they left a tip at the end of the meal. He sometimes wondered why the girls didn’t slap them right there or at least hurl insults at them; but he didn’t blame them. They had to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. They were only able to do that by working for their ruthless Madam. ‘Na condition make crayfish leg bend- life’s conditions creates challenges  ‘ he remembered a friend once saying.

Ovo was still undecided whether to attend James’ party. He was curious to see how the rich lived but was also wary of being out of place. He felt like he wouldn’t fit in because of his clothes and poor background. He decided it was best for him not to but soon changed his mind after a pompously dressed customer flanked by two scantily clad girls rudely shouted at him to bring water to wash his hands.

Ovo decided he had had enough poverty for the day and smiled at the prospect of being served for a change at the party.

“I will go and show them” He said to himself and strolled to the back room to inform his Madam that he wouldn’t be working the night shift that day.

Later that night, after what seemed like a marathon ride on a bus to the island, Ovo strolled up the gated community and banged on the massive gate that shielded the Badmus’ home from the rest of the world. It was indeed a massive house. It exceeded his expectations. He knew that James was from a wealthy family but he wasn’t ready for the mansion that stood before him.

The gate opened slightly and a confused looking aboki(gate keeper) looked at him from squinted eyes. He waited to be let in but the man wasn’t budging.

“I’m here for the party” He said in the most formal tone he could muster.

“Na lie! Where your car? Everybody wey dey here enter with big big car” The gate man replied.

Ovo sighed and reached in his pocket to call James from his mobile.

“James, your gate man isn’t letting me in” He said into the receiver.

He passed on the phone to the gate man who then opened the gate just wide enough for him to slip through. He could feel the hate seeping through the older man’s pores. He didn’t understand why such an old man would take it upon himself to be so hateful to someone he had never met. He could understand why a rich person would feel they were superior to him, but a fellow nobody was unfathomable.

He brushed off the man’s stares and walked towards the entrance where he could hear loud music and voices on the other side of the door. He rang the bell and waited for a response.

He was about to ring again when James opened the door.

“What’s up James” He said in greeting and was about to step inside when he was pushed aside.

James looked at the intruder with astonishment just as a hot slap landed on his cheeks.

 

Coming Soon: What happened when Maryam got to the party? Also, who was the unannounced guest that assaulted James?

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