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Bankz and Jeff packed out of our flat into one of the rooms in the empty flat downstairs one Saturday morning. They didn’t inform any of us about renting the place, not even Dennis, until the previous day when they went to the market to purchase food items, buckets, pots and a stove. I was surprised they bought kitchen utensils, as I hadn’t seen any of them cook anything before. In the weeks that followed, I got to understand why they bought them, when Chioma, as well as some other female student visited them regularly. Jane’s visit also became frequent. Apparently, when the girls came around, they prepared soups and stew that would last them a week.
Amaka often went down to their flat to hang out with them or collect a movie from Bankz’s laptop, so we got the gist of what was going on downstairs. She had once stumbled on Bankz, who had claimed not to know how to eat swallow, demolishing a bowl of eba. We had all laughed at that. Dude had been pretending to be ajebo all this while. Jeff had also told Amaka, that he was glad that we separated and they moved downstairs, cos now he was getting really sumptuous Igbo meals and privacy to do whatever he liked. Amaka said, she suspected that he was sleeping with Chioma, cos she had found them in a compromising position more than once.
“Babes. I’m going downstairs to collect the next episodes.” Amaka said to me.
She was currently watching Empire, courtesy Bankz, her movie supplier. A minute or so later, I heard her voice, high and angry.
“You must be mad! I would rather sleep with a pig, than sleep with you.”
“What the hell!” I rushed downstairs to find Amaka standing in the flat’s sitting room, cursing in English mixed with Igbo. Bankz stood next to her trying to placate her, while Jeff stood akimbo staring quietly at her. As I stepped inside to draw her away, Jeff walked into their bedroom and shut the door, while she turned to me and started to explain what had happened.
“Can you imagine that onyeoshi, blabbing and lying to Bankz that he slept with me during the weekend, when Bankz was away.”
I gasped in shock, and told her to calm down. Then I convinced her to follow me back to our flat.
“I’ll show that bastard that I’m a correct Imo girl.” She fumed, and started to explain what had happened.
When she got downstairs, she had heard Jeff’s voice from the sitting room. He was talking about a girl that he had had sex with while Bankz was away, so she had slowed her steps to eavesdrop a little.
“Trust me na. I give am to her ehn, sotey she come dey beg me for more rounds.” Jeff had said. “But I no go lie you, she turn my world too. Nna mhen she sabi!”
“Na wa o. So after all the forming that Amaka girl used to do, she like to do like that.” Bankz had replied with a loud laugh.
“Yes o my brother. No mind her. I sure say na so that proud Dewunmi girl go dey too.”
Amaka had lost it at that point, and barged into the room to call him out on his bullshit. That was when I heard her voice and went downstairs. The whole thing was so comical, if Amaka wasn’t breathing fire, I would have laughed.
One minute I was upright, the next, I was kneeling on the floor like Jet Li, or is it Jackie Chan, in one of his flying monkey movies. I was too surprised to scream. The other three in front of me turned swiftly at the thudding sound of my knees hitting mud, and screamed in shock.
We had woken up to find that the well water had turned to mud as a result of the rain that had fallen through the night. It was ironic that the well was one of the reasons why we chose to live in a place that was located more than 30 minutes from the school. Zahra, Temi, Dennis and I went to fetch a slightly less muddy water to take our bath and get set for school. The road was a total mess. In hindsight, we should have gone back half way into the journey. But we pressed on, cos we only went to school once, the previous week.
“Awuzubillahi!” Zahra exclaimed.
“Just stay like that. I’m coming.” Dennis said, making his way carefully to me.
I smiled weakly at them, ignored Dennis’s instruction to stay put, and tried to lift myself up. Seconds later, I was kissing the mud like Jet Li would, after being beaten to a pulp.
“Oh my God!” Temi’s eyes rounded in shock.
A searing pain shot through my leg, as I lay there helpless and embarrassed. Damn it, I didn’t deserve this, I thought to myself. Minutes earlier, we had stopped in front of a house halfway through the muddy strip to dust off mud from our feet.
An old woman had told us off, shouting, “Sieba puo.” We decoded that she wanted us not to dust our feet at the spot, but Temi wouldn’t listen and continued till the women let off a stream of Igbo in a scream before taking heed. Then karma decided to hit seconds later and chose me.
Dennis finally made his way to me and assisted me up as carefully as possible. If not for my throbbing leg, I would have found the whole thing hilarious. I was a mess, the whole of my front was covered in mud.
“Sorry. Sorry.” Zahra and Temi chanted over and over again.
Luckily, a bike came along at that time and offered me a ride to the lodge. Bankz and Jeff were so shocked at the state I was in, they didn’t think to gloat at that time. Bankz quickly fetched two buckets of water for me from the neighbor’s well and Amaka helped me into the bathroom. To say it was a mortifying experience is an understatement. Thank God I didn’t sprain or break any of my bones when I fell.