Cries of NEPA rent the air as the house was plunged into total darkness. "God" sighed Emeka " why now?" He looked around the room, he could still remember who was where before the power was seized. His mother on the red sette with his father, his two sisters Oge and Chioma on the floor in front of the T.V. The housegirl Ime peeping at the T.V from behind the curtains. Everybody was all set for the F.I.F.A Championship Cup between Nigeria and Gambia. Nigeria was sure to win, what with good players like Ken Igboli, Musa Lasisi and Preye Greene-Graham, the match was a mere formality and now NEPA had struck as usual.
"Mama Oge, Mama Oge" cried a loud voice from outside.
"who?" replied Mama Oge, irritably. It was not funny that NEPA had chosen that time to seize power.
"You see wetin NEPA dey do?" the voice asked
"My sister"Mama Oge replied "Dem be foolish people. How you dey, Sister Clara?"
"Na God oh! Sister Clara replied "Malaria wan kill me" Making her way into the room, she sat on the little stool facing Emeka. "Abeg my kerosene don finish." As Ime took the lantern in her outstretched hand, she continued "You hear say Adanna, Mr George pikin get belle? Mr Esonu, good evening"
"Hmm" he grunted. Sister Clara was a notorious gossip and would spend at least an hour there before going back to her own house. Emeka quickly used this opportunity to leave the house. " I dey go Efraim house go watch the match" he said rising swiftly and moving to the door. " Okay" his mother replied "greet his mother for me."
At Efraim's house, the situation was not much better so he suggested they go to Akan's house, a classmate of theirs whose father owned a generator. They could be sure to see the match there, NEPA or no NEPA. Ten minutes later, they were heatedly discussing the match with some other classmates who had gathered at Akan's house to watch the match. By ten o'clock the match had ended and Nigeria beat Gambia soundly 3-0. Everybody proceeded to go home. "Hey" yelled somebody right in Emeka's ear. Emeka jumped,startled. "You stepped on my foot!" the voice said again. Emeka turned to find himself face to face with a dark-skinned plump girl with her hands akimbo. "Sorry abeg, no vex" he pleaded. "Ok" she replied walking away. Emeka quickly caught up with her leaving Efraim behind him, " whats your name?" he asked. The girl stopped, looked at him for a few seconds and continued walking. "Eh?" he asked again. This time the girl stopped and faced him " why do you want to know?" Emeka shrugged, "I just want to know." " Bim" she said. "Do you go to St. Mary's?" he said as he strode alongside her, Efraim apparently forgotten. "No" she replied. Emeka nodded "That's why I don't know you." "Really, so you know every girl in St. Mary's?" she asked. "I did not say that." he replied defensively. "Ha, ha" she smiled. Emeka found out she went to Idana Girl's School across the bridge and lived only five minutes away from him. He went back to Efraim whistling. " Oh, I think say you don forget me" Efraim said. "Sorry, I dey talk to that girl." he apologized. "Ok" Efraim said and they walked the rest of the way home in silence.
By the end of May, the romance between Emeka and Bim was at its peak. They saw each other everyday and Bim spent more time in Emeka's house than she did in her house. As for Bim's parents, they loved Emeka and treated him like their own son. Even Efraim complained but the two lovebirds were too far gone to listen to anybody.
June came around and brought with it new people. A new person moved in on Bim's street. He was well-to-do and had a cheerful smile for everybody. It did not take too long before he was known by everybody. Neither did it take him too long to start chatting with Bim. "How old are you? Julius asked for that was his name as they were standing beside the well in Julius's building. "18" Bim replied "and you?" "28" Julius told her. Julius liked Bim because she was respectful and quiet. He also believed she was very intelligent and self-confident and talked to her as much as he posibbly could without making a fool of himself. In the meantime, he had started making inquiries about her discreetly.
"You, you, you are a thief!" Shade yelled at her, pointing one of her fingers right in Bim's face. "You are crazy, let me tell you ok?" Bim yelled back "why would I want to steal that stupid dress?" "Because you are a thief thats why!" replied Shade. Bim walked out of the room and slammed the door behind her. "My God" she thought to herself " these people are crazy.I hate my roommates and I hate this school." It had been 3 months since she had been admitted into FUTA Akure and she was dying to move off-campus because she hated her roommates with all her might. They were so petty. Always gossiping about her and Emeka, hiding her slippers and accusing her of one thing or the other. Unfortunately, neither she nor Emeka had money to rent a room off-campus. The landlords were big-time shylocks and the rooms only went to the highest bidders. She was quietly going mad living with those girls. Even the girl squatting her was no better, infact Bim suspected her of being the ringleader and was making trouble for her so that she would leave the room but she had no plans of doing that. Afterall she had paid her to squat with her. "Anyway" Bim said to herself as she walked to the men's hostel where Emeka was staying "I don't have time for them".
"Come in" yelled somebody. "These visitors always troop into this room as if there is an auction going on here" Bim thought to herself irritably. "Is Bim here?" asked the visitor. Bim peeped to see who the stranger was. "Oh my God!" she thought as the guy walked towards her "Julius!" she said, surprised "what are you doing here?" Julius sat down on the bed with her as her roommates looked hoping for some drama, Bim's only visitor was usually Emeka so who was this strange guy? As for Bim she was so surprised and even after seeing him off she still could not believe that he had visited her. Who gave him her address? Well the five thousand naira certainly came in handy. Next day, she told Wenna her friend all about Julius. "Girl, you need to work it, he likes you, spend his money" said Wenna. Wenna was crazy about rich guys and did not have any boyfriend in school because according to her, they were "kekere" and likewise advised Bim to string Julius along whether she liked him or not.
"Damn!" Bim swore "I should never have listened to Wenna." Her period was late and she was afraid she was pregnant. She had finally given in to Julius's request to visit him and they had had sex last month. "Julius" she said to him over the phone at the media center " you need to come and see me." "Ok "said Julius happy to grant her any request. "So what do you want to do now?" asked Julius a few days later as she was seeing him off. "I will get an abortion" she replied. "No, marry me" begged Julius. "I can't, I'm not yet ready " she said in a small voice.Bim was confused. Emeka had just graduated and was serving in Yobe and they had not seen each other in about two months. A week later, she got an abortion but still something did not feel right to her. "I don't feel so good" she complained to Wenna, the only person she had told. "Don't worry" she told her " you'll feel better soon." Six weeks later, Bim had still not seen her period. "God, I'm really sunk now. What will I do?" she asked no one in particular. She went back to the doctor who pretended he did not know her and shooed her out of his office. "I know what to do" said Wenna dragging her to a chemist shop. Bim took all the pills Wenna poured into her palm and lay down to sleep. That night her period came.
"Do you know you look pregnant?" said Shade, her roommate. Bim always kept Shade at an arm's length after their last quarrel so she did not reply but her heart was beating fast. Later that week, she went to see a doctor. The news was bad. The baby had not been aborted and she was still pregnant. Furthermore, it was too late to have an abortion.
"Thank God you came to your senses and decided to marry me" whispered Julius into Bim's ear during the traditional wedding. It was huge as Bim expected because Julius was rich and popular. The wedding was scheduled for February and was as big as envisioned albeit with as many mishaps as any other wedding. Next month Bim gave birth to a baby girl. At the hospital, Bim refused to look at her baby and snuck out in the middle of the night taking the baby with her.
"Madam wetin you dey do?" said a loud voice startling her. "Nothing, nothing" Bim replied nervously turning to see a nightwatch man standing behing her. "Wetin you dey put for dirty?" he asked again " I tell you, nothing" Bim replied shrugging. Just then the piercing cry of a baby fill the air. "Na wetin be that?" the man asked. "I no know" Bim said and starting walking away. The man looked around, went over to a heap of cartons and buckets. Lifting a carton up, he saw an infant. He turned around just in time to see Bim turning as fast as she could. "Catch am, catch am" he started screaming. " She throway pikin, catch am" he shouted running in the direction Bim took. People on the street started chasing Bim and caught her in a in little while. "Wetin happen, wetin happen?" everybody asked the person beside them. "Dem say she throway her pikin" somebody replied. As for Bim she stood at one corner held by two men as they debated on her fate. "Make we burn am" suggested one person. "No, make we call Olopa" said another. "Dem don dey come" said a third person. An hour later the policemen were there and sent for Julius.
"What " screamed Julius as the baby was handed to him. Neither man nor beast, the baby looked grotesque. A large hole where the nose was supposed to be, and no ears, this little infant defied explanation. As Julius looked from his wife to the baby, he gave the baby to the policewoman standing next to him and put both hands on his head. He was still standing this way when thr police took Bim and the baby away. Comments? Go to My Message Board...Back to My Homepage