The only sound Queen could hear was her heart beat,
swallowing down her saliva the umpteenth time, she could feel the moisture of
sweat trickle down her brow and land on the marbled tiles of the bathroom. She
had waited for an hour to do this and now, she had the result.
 She wasn’t pregnant!
A sigh of relief escaped her lips as she buried her head in
her hands and began to cry.
******************
Classes had ended and Ego searched desperately for Queen,
‘where could she be?’ she asked herself. She had seen Queen earlier in class and
was desperate to apologize to her over her sister’s intrusive nature. She had
just carried her overloaded bag of books when she felt someone touch her from
behind. She turned to see a boy standing right behind her and before she could
say anything, a small piece of paper was thrust into her hand, without saying a
word, the boy retreated the way he came. Forgetting about Queen and focusing on
the paper in her hand, she opened it quietly and read silently.
See me
after class, in my office
Mr.
Nwabuno
Ego was puzzled, ‘why would the maths teacher want to see
her?’ Crumpling the paper again, she abandoned her search for Queen and walked
into the tutorial instructors office section. Almost all the tutorial
instructors had left the office since it was already evening and classes had
ended for the day. Ego could hardly hear her footsteps as she located his
office through the iron gold plate secured to his door with his name inscribed
on it. She knocked at Mr. Nwabuno’s door, a firm but clipped voce ushered her
in and she pushed the door open tentatively.
“Ego Uwakwe, come in. Please sit.”
“Thank you sir.” Ego mouthed, silently looking at the books
on the shelf and avoiding the maths teacher’s gaze.
“Are you scared?” Mr Nwabuno asked with a smile.
“No…no…ofcourse no…ot sir.” She stammered.
Mr Nwabuno laughed and rising from his seat, he walked up to
her, taking a seat directly opposite to her.
“I am sure you must be scared…it’s not often that a teacher
calls a student into his office.”
“Emm…yes…yes sir.”
“I understand…I mean no harm. I called you because, I was
looking through the maths assignments only to discover that you failed the
whole questions.”
“Em…err…” She stammered.
“You are a bright girl and I do not want you to fail,
understand?”
Ego nodded, averting his gaze.
“Where are you from?”
“Enugu…state sir.” She replied.
“Ah…you are my sister. That’s nice…what a small world.”
Ego smiled sheepishly.
“I want to make you the most brilliant student in the whole
tutorial school.”
“Why sir?”
“That’s because I believe in you.”
“Believe in me? I am not God sir, the only one we are to
believe in, is …God.”
The teacher laughed hard.
“Who do you live with? Your parents or guardians.”
“My sister sir.”
“I am sure your sister has invested so much in your
education. Am I right?”
“Yes…she warned me that if I fail the Jamb exam, I will go
back to the village.”
“I bet you do not want to return to the village.”
Ego shook her head vehemently.
“I will help you.”
“Really? Thank you sir.” Said Ego, standing from her sitting
position to kneel in appreciation.
“You have to make out time for extra tutorial classes with
me.”
“Extra? Okay, I will tell my sister about it.”
“Do you need to tell her? You don’t need to have her know or
anyone else for that matter. We don’t want people knowing that I have taken
preference to you or they will be jealous.”
“That is true sir…but what about the money for your
services? How do I get the money to pay you back if I don’t tell my sister?”
“Don’t worry about that, pay me with your excellent
results.”
“God bless you sir, thank you so much.”
“Be in my office every day at seven pm except on Sundays, I
will make sure that we leave no stones untouched as regards book work.”
“Thank you so much sir.” Said Ego as she made to rise.
Mr. Nwabuno dipped his hands into his pocket and brought out
a wad of two hundred naira notes and gave it to Ego, she slightly hesitated but
the meaning of her name took preminence of her as she quickly grabbed the money
and slipped it into the pocket of her Jean trousers. Thanking the teacher
again, she left the office.
******************
Queen almost swore under her breath, she had forgotten her
phone inside her table locker. She hastily told the bike man to turn around
again and return to the tutorial centre. Thankfully the gates were still open;
she entered the tutorial centre premises and accidentally bumped into Ego.
“Watch it!” Queen yelled.
“Are you blind?” Shouted Ego.
At once, they recognized each other’s voices and stared at each
other.
“What are you still doing here, Ego?” Asked Queen.
“I was looking for you.” Answered Ego.
“Looking for me? Tutorials ended long ago.”
“I know.”
“This is forty five minutes after closing time, why are you
still here?”
“When I couldn’t find you, I decided to study awhile…my
sister doesn’t come back till ten pm nowadays.”
Queen hissed audibly.
“What was that for?” Asked Ego.
“That sister of yours that feel she can stick her head into
everyone’s business.”
“She was just trying to help.”
“Help? Do you call, pronouncing me pregnant, help?
Nonsense.”
“Don’t insult my sister.”
“For your information, you aren’t the only one with a
sister. I have three sisters and I bet you that they wouldn’t have done to you,
what your sister did to me.”
“What did she do? She never meant any harm, besides you
refused to take the test and she didn’t push you any further.”
“Didn’t what? How do you explain the pregnancy test knit in
my bag?”
“What? I don’t understand.”
“Never mind. Please deliver this information to your sister.
Queen isn’t pregnant!”
“I never thought you were.”
“And you thought right. Are you sure she’s a qualified nurse
or a fake?” Mocked Queen.
“Did you take the test?”
“Hm…well…yes I did. Are you satisfied now? And from the
results of the test, I am not pregnant.”
“I heard somewhere that pregnancy test kits are not the best
in determining if one is pregnant or not. I heard that…..”
“Just shut up okay….I wonder why I’m wasting precious time
with you when I’m supposed to search for my phone.” Snapped Queen as she headed
towards the classroom with Ego in tow.
They found the phone in Queen’s locker. Queen sighed in
relief and placed the phone in her bag. They both walked out of the gate barely
talking to each other, they had hardly stepped out of the gate when they
perceived the strong aroma of suya from a nearby suya joint.
“That smells good.” Said Ego.
“Yes it does.” Said Queen.
“Let’s buy some.” Said Ego.
“It’s going to be quite expensive besides I don’t have money
to spend.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll buy and we will share.”
“Okay.” Answered Queen.
The both of them walked to the suya joint, a lot of people
crowded the place. Ego dipped her hands into her pocket to count the sum Mr.
Nwabuno had given her and was shocked at what she saw. It was a bundle of five
hundred naira notes, Queen was quick to observe and opened her mouth in shock
as she stared at the money.
“Ego….where did you get this money from?”
“Em…my sister’s…I mean my cousin came to our house yesterday
and gave it to me.”
“What? This is more than ten thousand naira!” Said Queen.
“Why are you shouting? Haven’t you seen this much money in
your entire life?”
“I have but…I know your sister is too strict with you to
give you such a huge amount.”
“Well…she’s my sister.” Ego said.
“Hmmm…okay, if you say so.”
They buy the suya and walk to the restaurant across the suya
joint and order for cold drinks. Their drinks are served and they quietly munch
the suya and sip their drinks.
“You were telling me sometime ago that you needed help with
your studies.” Said Queen.
“Me? When?” Denied Ego.
“Do you have a short memory or what? You told me not long
ago that you wanted to learn from me.”
“Ohh… don’t worry about that, I am fine. I will study on my
own.”
Queen looked at her and shrugged, there was definitely
something going on with Ego and Queen knew it was no good. She had just taken a
long sip of her drink when she looked up and froze. Right there, strolling into
the restaurant was Tunde. Queen’s heart beat fast and stopped, in his arms was
a young girl of about Queen’s age and she clung on to Tunde possessively and
hung on to his every word. They made their way into the restaurant and Queen
stared at them till she could see them no more. Looking up, she saw a waiter
and quickly asked for a cold bucket of water, the waiter was confused and Queen
had to repeat her question again. The waiter shrugged and went to do her
bidding, Ego was puzzled.
“What do you need that for?” Ego inquired.
“Something personal.” Queen answered.
Ego shrugged and stared at Queen silently while munching on
her suya. The waiter came back and told Queen that they didn’t have a bucket of
cold water, only bottles of cold water. Queen stood up from her seat and walked
into the restaurant kitchen.
“Can I get a bucket of cold water?” She asked the cook.
“Excuse me, you are not supposed to enter the kitchen of
this restaurant.” Said the Cook.
“I need a bucket of cold water.” Queen said.
“Please leave the kitchen, we don’t sell buckets of cold
water….only bottles of water or pure water.” Said the cook almost losing her
patience.
Queen stormed outside the kitchen and out of the restaurant,
Ego followed suit.
“What’s the problem?”
“I just saw my most dreaded enemy.”
“So?”
“I intend teaching him a lesson.” Said Queen, her eyes
blazing in anger.
“How?”
“Watch me.”
Queen tapped her foot impatiently on the ground and thought
of what to do, ‘Tunde must not leave here as he came’ she vowed silently. An
idea came to her mind quickly and crossing the street with Ego at her heels and
wondering what had gone wrong with her friend, she bought a big cellophane bag.
“What do you intend to do with this?” Asked Ego.
Queen didn’t reply but quickly walked towards a deep pond
which stood at the side of the road. Not minding her clean state, she dipped
her hands into the pond and scooped out large chunks of mud which she placed
into the bag till it was filled up. Carrying the bag hastily, she hurried into
the restaurant with Ego trying hard to catch up with her. Locating Tunde was
not a problem as he was busy sharing a deep kiss with his new girl, Queen
walked up to them and emptied the contents of the cellophane bag on their
heads. A shocked Tunde and girl friend startled and disentangled from their
kiss to see a satisfied looking Queen stare at them with malice in her eyes.
Ego could only gape and open her eyes in shock as she stared at a side of Queen
she never knew existed.

“That is for deceiving me
and almost getting me pregnant!” Said Queen as she stalked out of the
restaurant with a confused Ego on her heels.

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