**N.B. Abuja hostel is the schools’ female hostel located at the other side of town (behind the school). Back then, while still in secondary school, I heard stories of it being a place where guys with cars wait outside the gate to pick girls of their choice. Whereas, Eko hostel and other hostels as I later found out were newly built private hostels all around Abuja hostel.**
As we walked towards the gate leading to Abuja hostel I got a call from Ella.
Me: Hi, what’s up?
Ella: I’m good. Was expecting your call.
Me: I didn’t say I was gonna call you!
Ella: No you didn’t. But I felt you would have.
Me: You pulled a stunt on me and then jumped on a bike and left after saying crazy stuffs and you expected me to call you?
Ella: I apologized in the text I sent.
Me: Yea, you did.
Me: So what?
Ella: Why haven’t you called me since then?
Me: I was gonna call. So, sup with you?
Ella: I’m good, where are you?
Me: Your school.
Ella: Doing what?
Me: Came to use to use the internet.
Ella: Who are you with?
Me: Why all these questions?
Ella: Nothing. Just wanted to know. Bye.
She ended the call after that. To which Rose now spoke saying, “She saw us.”
I was surprised at the revelation and wondered where and why she (Rose) didn’t alert me or call out to her (Ella) when she saw her. Or, was she assuming Ella saw us?
“She saw us? Where?” I asked as I stopped walking.
“As we left the gossip center,” she replied as she kept walking.
Walking to meet her I asked, “So, why didn’t you call out to her or something?”
“She was inside that Camry that passed us when we made the turn from the gossip center.” A tinted glass silver coloured Camry had honked for us to make way from the road. Then she added, “We quarreled yesterday when she got back from the hospital.”
Curiosity got the best of me when I asked, “What happened?”
“When I asked about you, she told me what happened and that she left you there. I told her that wasn’t cool and she flared up.” Rose answered.
“Okay…” I said, dragging the word to suggest I wanted her to say more.
“I really don’t like people raising their voices at me, so it ended with me leaving her place,” she added.
Not sure of what else to say, I said, “Sorry about that.”
“About what? Fury leave me alone,” she replied laughing as we entered her hostel building.
“So, whose car is that?” I asked because the silence was now awkward.
“Her friend.” she answered, reaching for her purse and pulling out her room key.
Walking past a couple of rooms, we got to her door. Turning the key in the keyhole, She held the door open for me saying, “Welcome to my humble abode.”
Humble was an understatement. The room was not only bigger than Ella’s, but also had its contents well spaced out. An LG minI home theatre system, an hp pavilion laptop, a reading table with some books on it and a reading lamp and a minI refrigerator. While Ella had her hand bags line a section of her wall, I couldn’t see any or a single foot ware outside at Rose’s. Perhaps they were all arranged in the closed closet. Then a dressing table and a normal female sized mirror over it.
A single picture of her just right over where the home theatre was, and two glass flower frame (the type in Ella’s room) hung separately. Obviously from Jude’s shop too. At that point, I remembered Jude was the only one I had to hang out with for the weekend and began to dial his number.
“So, what do you think?” she asked after watching me observe the room.
“Are you a minimalist of some sort?” I asked, turning to smile at her.
“Not sure I’ll call myself a minimalist, but I only keep things that are needed and I make use of. I enjoy my space,” she said, heading into the kitchen.
Jude: Hehe! Sup bro?
Me: Baba…morn sir.
Jude: What’s up? I guess Frank has left…
Me: Yeah. Early. Just about the time the rain started.
Jude: Ok. So what’s happening?
Me: Nothing much. What’s tomorrow going to be like?
Jude: Nothing much. Shops will be closed, but we’ll chill out somewhere. Just holla in the afternoon to come pick you up.
Me: No sweats. Thanks.
We said our goodbyes and ended the call. Rose called out from the kitchen, “Boiled or fried eggs?”
“What am I having with the eggs?” I asked.
“I’m preparing noodles,” she said.
Surprised, I asked her, “Thought I was invited over for tea…?”
“First of all, you weren’t invited. Secondly, you asked what I cooked, to which I offered to make you tea” she said, laughing.
“I don’t eat in places I wasn’t invited to. Guess I’ll take my leave,” I said as I stood up, making my way into the kitchen.
“Remember to close the door behind you,” she replied, turning to face me as I stepped into the kitchen.
A gas cylinder connected to a gas cooker (one of the burners was lit, with a pot on it that can be best described as new), a small sized deep freezer, a family sized electric oven, cutlery rack, flour mixer, and medium sized cupboard.
“Wow! Your kitchen is richer than your room. Do you sleep here? Anyways, I don’t cook, but I have a freezer and a minI fridge, I don’t cook but I have a gas cooker, I don’t cook but I have an oven, I…”
“Shut up Fury…You talk a lot. Yea, I don’t cook. The freezer is for my baking items. I bake cookies, pie and cakes and distribute to people to sell for me. Also, whenever any student contacts me for a birthday cake and stuffs like that. So, the perishable ingredients I make use of, I preserve them in there.” she said, opening the pot on the gas cooker.
To say I was impressed would be an understatement because not only was I awestruck, I was also in love with this girl. For real this time. I mean, here is a girl who’s not just good looking and smart, but obviously self reliant. Also, I bake myself (paid some good money to learn), and for some time now, I make extra cash enough to take care of my subscription and stuffs.
Turning to see me looking at her in this ‘you’re unbelievable’ way, she turned back to the pot saying, “So, whenever I manage to cook, which I rarely do because of lack of time and strength, and with respect to soup or stew, I just put them in smaller bowls and freeze everything. Major reason I eat at Ella’s.”
Finally finding my voice, I asked, “But you need lots of electricity to power these items. Besides the terrible low voltage, you guys don’t seem to have regularly power supple here.”
“Sure. I have a power generating set at the back of my room. It powers about 5 rooms on this floor. They all contribute to the fueling. I don’t bake daily, but when I do, I mix the previous evening and if I’m making use of the electric oven, only my room gets the light.”
“So, where did you learn all these?” the main question I was dying to ask but couldn’t was ‘how did you get all the items?’ but fortunately she answered them without me asking.
“Late mum. This are or were her stuffs. I just chartered a car to bring them here for me. Though dad bought the generator for me, because they use the other one back home,” she said as she went around the kitchen getting one item or the other.
“Sorry about your mum,” I said.
“Thanks.” she replied, in a way that suggests hurt.
If I was nursing any thought of bedding her, it went out her kitchen window as I was now genuinely interested in knowing who Rose was. So I asked another question, “So how do you cope? I mean school work and all these?”
“You still haven’t told me how you like your eggs,” she said, ignoring my question.
“I dunno…Anyhow you prepare it, I’ll eat it.” I said, not sure of what to say.
She looked at me in a way to suggest my demeanor had changed and asked, “Are you okay?” as she broke some eggs and began to whisk.
“Me? I’m good. Just hungry!” I replied in a way that suggested I wasn’t sure of what I had just said.
Just then, power supply was restored and I excused myself to go and plug my laptop. After powering it on and it finally booting, I plugged the home theatre auxiliary cable and began playing my Yanni playlist. Minutes later, she came out with a tray carrying a plate noodles and fried eggs. Two forks by the side. Dropping it down, she said “Yanni, volts in 7/8.”
Surprised, I asked her how she knew the artist and track playing. “His albums are just about the only CDs in my Dad’s car,” she replied.
Then she went towards the mini fridge to bring a canned malt drink and a sachet of water.
“Breakfast is served. Shift your ass down here let’s eat.” she ordered.
Picking up my fork, I was about to begin eating when she took the sachet water, tore it open and drank a little from it which made me ask, “So, where’s my own water? Besides, I was expecting tea.”
“The malt is for you,” she replied as she began to eat.
“Are you planning to make me fat like you?” Immediately, I regretted the statement. But calmly she answered, “No.”
This made me apologize saying, “Hey! It was meant to be a joke. No offence,” to which she replied, “None taken. Besides, fattening you a little won’t hurt.” she took a sip of water before adding, “Fury eat!”
Damn! This girl sure knows how to put someone at ease. Yet to have a taste, I made my observation known, “You haven’t eaten anything, but the water is almost finished.”
“Gosh! Fury just eat, please!” she said as she stood up and went to the fridge to bring two more sachets. Placing one in front of me, she kept the other to herself.
I began to eat…