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Wednesday, 16 December 2015


Chapter Three: Princess Ella of 2go

It had been a sunny noon and lectures were over for the day. I got back to the room around 5pm, warming up for a good rest. Element was already in the room, sleeping on my bunk (covered in my wrapper. I could swear he was nude beneath). His phone was playing music on the pillow he laid his head—knack you akpako by Terry G. I wondered how that sounded like a lullaby for his sleep. His own bunk (beneath mine) was a bomb explosion site. Clothes, papers, notes, were all over. Dropping my notes, I undressed and went to the bathroom to freshen up. First, I needed to poo the beans I took in last night (third time so far today). I had released a whole lot of silent wonders in lectures. The first toilet was ugly. That was the sickening thing about our hostel toilets; there was always a mess. Whoever poured in that voluminous diarrhoea without flushing must had eaten dynamite, judging from the way it splashed all over. I stepped into the next one. It was almost ok except for a big floating ball of stool. I flushed. It popped up again. My god! What are these boys eating? The third one had deep yellow urine in it with a repulsive stink. I flushed, relaxed on it and let go my burdens before it was late.

I had a quick shower, finished up and was returning to the room. Pascal and Giraffe were back. I knew. I could hear an argument coming from the room. It was football argument. I got in and asked them to chill out so we could straighten things calmly. I really needed to sleep but the baseless battle to prove who was right or wrong went on and on. Few ‘friends of the room’ got attracted and stopped by to add or subtract from the argument. We all knew who Pascal was when it came to arguments. I tried to be the mediator, playing the referee. I still needed to get some rest because I had to study by 9:30pm. I didn’t know how to pull the plug to stop this anarchy. Then I remembered what my Dad used to tell me: “Son, always walk away from trouble, it proves you more mature.” I assumed this rowdiness was an extended family member of trouble. I quietly climbed my bunk and left the parrots to fate.
I cannot recall how but I finally slept off. Two hours later, I was awake to the sound of our room’s musical set. It was playing moderately (meaning loud but not blasting). Everybody was in, plus few friends of the room. I felt better and more relaxed after the nap so I was ready for any mischief anyone launched. It was 8:12pm so I still had some little time to while off before 9:30pm. Feeling lazy to rise up from the bunk, I pulled out my E6 under the pillow and casually browsed through it. I had some unread 2go messages. I read and replied them and before I knew, I was deeply chatting.

 Element was washing pot and I suspected he was about to cook beans again. I looked down at him (from Ade’s up bunk where I lay). Last night, he cooked beans late with the electric stove and the gen went off while the seeds were not soft enough to be edible. We were hungry so we just added oil and other ingredients—pot on the floor. We stirred and ate it hot. That’s why I had rushed to the toilet three times today.
I playfully warned Element not to let that ever happen again after telling everyone about the confusions I caused in lectures today. Ade, Pascal and the other three guys were playing cards round Ade’s table. Ade and Pascal quickly added their own versions while playing their game. Element said we had other digestive problems and not from last night’s beans because he wasn’t affected in any way. I had almost forgotten a mad man’s meal could be a sane man’s poison.
He was now selecting the beans. It looked small in quantity.
Peter (Narrator): “You want cook chop alone tell me make I go canteen now”
Element: “Shebi you get rice, do make we join for this beans cook. The beans no go do four people.”
Peter (Narrator): “Now you de talk. Check that black polythene for my locker, commot two cups o. Mek that small rice reach weekend”
Element: “You de learn. All these ruminants wey full room you de talk two cups,” referring to the three                    guys from other rooms.  
Peter (Narrator): “We de run charity? abeg wen we cook finish everybody to their tent.” I added casually as I was focusing on my chat.

There was this chat friend I had been flowing with for a week now. We met in the flirt room so we hooked up from there because I “seem to be a funny guy” to her. Her profile name was Princess Ella. Surprisingly, the sweetness of her name matched her beauty. She was the most beautiful of all the chat friends I had, attractively tall and model-like plus, she was residing within the state. She obviously enjoyed chatting with me on daily basis and our chats touched a whole lot of areas; fashion, Nollywood, comedy, relationship life, philosophies, football, as far as our views on homosexuality which was becoming a common topic amongst youngsters. Yesterday, while we were chatting, one talk led to the other and she messaged me her digits. I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t even ask for it because I had no other plans beyond chatting. I knew I had changed in a lot of negative ways since the beginning of my stay in this room. I developed a bad mouth too (almost like Ade) and a host of other new characteristics for survival reasons (else, I would had been a punching bag for playful abuses and jesting) but I still retained my stance on relationship matters. For a moment, I wanted to share this news with my roommates but I had a re-thought. If I did, they’d call me names for not knowing what to do next.

Ade: “Peter this one you just de lie down de smile on your own, you de masturbate?” I was taken off by the question. I was unconscious of that fact. Now everyone turned in my direction, roaring out in laughter. I couldn’t help laughing along.
Peter (Narrator): “Na your grandmother de masturbate, mumu. I de finger phone you de talk trash”
Ade seemed to pick interest on what I was doing. He came and peeped on my screen.
Ade:     “Seriously, Peter you still de use 2go for this generation, you de shame this room o. That your Chinko no de gree whatsapp? Abi you no sabi say your mates de tweet Obama? Even Badoo you no hear. You just de 2go nonsense de laugh. I know say na one village chick you de chat with”

Though he knew I used an E6, and had all those apps he mentioned, some things were just said for fun. Besides, I had a special affinity for 2go. This long, ugly guy was just born with the talent of ridiculing and jesting.
Peter (Narrator): “Na guy e one be before? Free me jor.”
Element was setting up the electric stove but when he heard the mention of ‘chick’, his batteries turned green.
Element: “Maybe one chick don send am nude pic. Hahahahaha. If na chat you go chat for two straight days with woman. To stand woman front talk go turn Nigeria-Biafra.”
Peter (Narrator): “I’ve told you several times I could out-do you with girls if I wanted to. It’s a matter of choice.” Element gave out a mocking laughter, the way a proud lecturer would probably laugh when a fresh student told him his maths was wrong.
Element: “You? How can? You one go do juju make chicks like you? How you one take start reach me now?”
Ade: “Yeah, him fit ‘out-do’ you now, with sisters and female cousins. Him get them plenty. See him mouth like out-do”
Peter (Narrator): “Wetin carry this vulture neck come put for my yan?” Ade just ignored me and went on.
Ade: “...or him go browse google. ‘fastest way virgin guys get girls’ Hahahaha”

This lasted for over thirty minutes and the bullets kept flying at me. This was one area I was vulnerable to as far as jesting was concerned. Pascal never spoke all the while; he was just laughing and choking himself to tears as I was being slaughtered. His mocking laughter had a way of igniting annoyance. I was really getting slaughtered.
Pascal: “Chai! oboy these boys don kill you! Na three heart tricks be dat o. You no want do counter attack? Peter abeg say something...If na me, I no for gree o!” then his volcanic laughter followed.
Ade: “Registration forms don comot for seminary. E be like you go need one.”
Element: “fine boy like you just de waste. To socialize with girls for campus na court case. If you no learn am here, na for special training school you one go learn? Dull man”
At a point, Ade modified the mockery to look like an advice from a concerned friend.
Ade: “See Peter make I tell you truth now when e still early. I de very serious. See if you no learn some things now, e go really hard you I swear. If you de continue like this reach 30, your Mama go just voke enter villa go comot one Ekaette come put for your house”
Peter (Narrator): “Wetin I do una now, biko?”
Nobody was playing card again. Everyone had sat up for the bigger game-the slaughter game. The three guys from other rooms were really catching fun too.
Everyone fired at me. I was the victim here—the object of the jesting.  In my early days in the room, I used to feel very upset and defensive in moments like this. Unfortunately, it had usually made it worst because it exposed my weakness and ascended the jesting and laughter. With time, I grew stronger and resistant then with more time, I became an attacker too. Tonight was different. I felt most of my strength gone. They were really getting at me. The only way I could bail myself out was to prove them Peter (Narrator): “Alright guys, alright guys. Chill out first. Just chill out let me say something now! Ok, what if I can prove you guys wrong, that I can actually make out with a beautiful girl?”
Everyone was silent. I think they were trying to digest what came out of my mouth.
“Huh?” They all echoed in unison.
Peter (Narrator): “Now, this is what I’m saying. Y’all know I’m good looking and fun. Girls like me but the thing is, I don’t just wonna get into any love affair. Let me show you guys something.

I downloaded Princess Ella’s profile pic from 2go and showed it to all of them. I told them she’s crazy about me and that she had sent me her digits. They looked at the pic as if trying to conjure the girl to step out of the phone. They couldn’t help whistling and exclaiming at her beauty.
“Y’all see that? That girl is crazy for me. Girls do like me and I can date anyone if I care. I just don’t really care guys”
Now, I got everyone’s attention. Element was dazed I could see it. Anything women affairs, could do so to him. He came closer to feel my neck with the back of his palm. I didn’t understand what he was doing.
Element: “Precious dearest goodness! My god! True true, you no well Peter. That kind confirm babe send you number, you de dull?”
Ade: “Peter, wait, na family curse de follow you? Do make we carry you go Synagogue now o. This your dulling full drums pour!”
Element: “Guys hold on. Peter you don even call the chick at all?”
Actually I didn’t call Princess Ella yet. They were all disappointed.
Element: “Ok guys, mek we replay wetin him bin talk before. Shebi you bin say you fit prove us wrong unto say you fit date beautiful girl abi?”
Ade: “No, na ‘make out’ him talk, no be just date”, he inserted.
Peter (Narrator): “I meant to say, ‘ask out’ punk!” referring to Ade. Shit, I was playing defence again.
Ade: “You’re welcome virgin boy” I hated when he called me that and he knew.
Element: “Guys! Back to business. Una suppose sabi say this chick thing na step by step. Remember say na my field of calling be this. So Peter, we want see this proof, how you go take convince us say you fit date chick eh?”
I thought of it for some seconds. I had never asked a girl out before but it didn’t seem a big deal. All I needed was to apply the same logic of chat in the real situation. Before I could speak out, Element started something that pulled my manhood to the edge.
Element: “Ok, let’s do it like this: I bet 2 grand you don’t have balls enough to take Princess Ella out on a date.” Now, he was dead serious as he pulled the bills out of his wallet and slapped them on the table. This broke guy was betting two thousand naira on my balls!
The room cheered wildly and other mates seemed to be challenged. When everyone cooled, Ade spoke.
Ade: “This is the shit I’m talking about! I bet 1 grand Princess Ella won’t pick your calls at all!” He announced vigorously. Quickly browsing through his drawer, he found his wallet, drew out his wager and dropped it near Element’s. This was a big push on my back.
Pascal: “Wow! Everyone’s betting. This is really serious. Ok, Peter, I promise you your Princess will let you down on your first date. 3grand!”  He made a promissory. All hell was let lose in the room.
I was sweating by then. That was it. The die was cast. It was too late to chicken out. 6 grand on my manhood wasn’t child’s play.
Element: “Do we have a deal, Prince Ella?” I was afraid Pascal will choke to death. His outrageous laughter choked him and he coughed like hell.

Peter (Narrator): “Deal! This is the easiest 6 grand I’ll ever earned losers!” Show time was on.

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