Only God knows the mountains and valleys this story has had to cross to get to you guys. A thousand apologies to those of you who kept checking the website for an update. I was one of the people who was praying that January and then February would not end so soon because I had a few stories to tell that had not yet seen the light of day. Nonetheless, March is upon us and I trust that we will all make the most of it. Chapter 3 of 12 underway!!
Oh, and if you haven’t signed up for the meetup, what are you doing? 🤷🏾 Time no dey oo! I am excited about all the various things we will be getting up to. (And I can’t wait to meet all my silent readers!) If there is anything you think will make the meetup fun, please let me know. By the way, remember #8to5? Please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or private message on Facebook, Twitter or IG if you are interested in signing up for the #8to5 photoshoot. I am particularly interested in seeing Edem, Dr Osam, Maku, Akwasi and our favourite footsoldier, Joseph. My inbox awaits!
‘This is your favourite voice to listen to, Monday through to Sunday on 3rd Universe Radio, the only radio station that brings you all the juicy campus content and more! It’s DJ Sleek and the programme is still ‘I’ll keep your secret’, right here on 89.1 FM. Send in your secrets and we will read them anonymously. Don’t go anywhere.’
She turned in her chair and asked her producer the question she now asked every week.
‘Has the text come through?’
Every week, at the beginning of the show, they got a text from an anonymous person who always had some scandalous story about someone or something happening on campus. They had gotten tips on leaked examination questions, blackmail, rape allegations and scandals of all kinds. If there was a rumour flying around campus, Anonymous was more likely to give them the inside scoop. In many ways, it had made the show more interesting with every passing day.
Sometimes the secrets were so scandalous that even DJ Sleek wondered if she was not wading into dangerous waters by reading them out, because she herself was no stranger to rumours and fabricated stories. Big Brother’s texts always came with evidence- screenshots, audios, videos, recordings of phone conversations. It was almost like Big Brother had his own cameras set up everywhere on campus.
‘Text just landed.’, her producer said, gesturing at the phone.
While MzVee’s Rewind played, they huddled around the phone to look at this week’s secret.
‘Senior staff love triangle: mother and daughter sleeping with a key senior staff. If the secret is fully revealed, it will turn this school upside down.’
This time, there was no evidence.
DJ Sleek read it anyway and on second thought added, ‘If you have any evidence, don’t hesitate to send it our way.’
‘Isn’t that Chukwu? And who is that girl?’
The roommates were seated on the short wall in front of the hostel, watching people come and go. Joan insisted that this was the best spot for the hall week celebrations. You could see anything and everything from that spot. She wasn’t lying.
They had seen the above school going age men who were parked in their air conditioned cars, waiting for the girls who didn’t mind being groped in the back seat of a car with way too loud music playing. They had seen the evangelists, clutching their Bibles and the A5 sized pamphlets to everyone in short skirts. They had also seen the entrepreneurs shun out their best ‘let’s make as much money from this as possible’ ideas. The food and music was flowing. So was the content for kokonsa.
Today was the first day of the hall week celebrations. Well, it was actually the 4th day, but nobody had been really interested in the motivational talk sessions, the book and career fair or the inter-hall sports competition. Today was the day that the food fair began. The musical show and the all night party would follow later that evening. The beach party was on Saturday and the gospel rock show was the last thing on the bill.
The girls followed Chukwu and the lady on his arm, with their eyes. He had clearly seen them and was bent on putting on a show to annoy Kesewa. He turned the girl towards him and started kissing her neck. She looked uncomfortable and tried to wiggle her way out of his grip. That was when they saw her face.
‘Wait, who is Marcia?’
‘One of my friends. She told me time and again that Chukwu was bad news and that I should end it with him as soon as I could. I always thought she was looking out for me but as it turns out, she just wanted to occupy the girlfriend position.’
Sala reached out to restrain Joan from creating a scene.
‘Oh Sala, relax. I didn’t even think of moving.’
‘We know you.’
‘Don’t worry. I wasn’t planning on going there. It is really her own funeral. She knows that he beats the women in his life and so if she has chosen to be with him, I am not going to waste time trying to save her. The only person I am worried about is Kess. You okay?’
‘Yep. I am Queen Kess, remember? I don’t spend time worrying about pigs when I can be readjusting my crown.’
‘Amen. I’ll drink to that.’, Joan said, raising her imaginary wine glass in the air.
‘I am worried about Stacy.’, Sala said absentmindedly as she shoved popcorn into her mouth.
‘Yeah, me too. We were just getting to know her.’
‘We were? She didn’t strike me as the open to sharing information type.’, Joan quipped.
Sala rolled her eyes.
‘You this! She did try to befriend me, maybe because I was on the bed above hers. Besides, you’ve been quite distracted lately. Everything okay?’
‘Things with Nii have been awkward since the Barima incident.’
‘I always knew you would scare him off.’, Kesewa said dryly.
‘I actually thought nothing I could ever do would scare him off.’, Joan said to herself quietly.
The banging on the door grew more and more intense.
The rest of the sentence never made it out of Paapa’s mouth. He instantly wished that he had worn shorts instead of running to the door in his boxer shorts. The well endowed woman who was standing in front of him always gave him involuntary erections.
‘Adelaide, what are you doing here?’
She shook her head in disbelief.
‘You are really going to play games with me, aren’t you? You are actually feigning ignorance. You are a disgraceful man! Idiot! A mere prostitute!’
‘Adelaide, you are a married woman. Our on and off fling isn’t a full time relationship. What is the meaning of this?’
‘Paapa, I am not here to jump into your bed. I am here to demand an explanation. What kind of deranged man are you, to be warming your bed with both mother and daughter?’
For a few seconds, it felt like the wind had been knocked out of him.
‘Come inside, please.’
‘Oh now, your manners have suddenly been activated.’, she scoffed as she made her way inside.
‘Adelaide, who else knows what you have just told me?’
She laughed. It was a long laugh, filled with malice and disdain.
‘Oh now you are afraid? Wait till my husband hears about this.’
‘Actually I’d love to let your husband hear about how you came into my office and seduced me. Sleeping with his daughter isn’t a crime. She is above 18 years and I have her consent. You, on the other hand, would have committed adultery. You will lose your husband’s trust and your coveted place among the ‘Rich Varsity Wives’, not to talk of your front seat at the Interdenominational Church. You want to risk all of that, just because you are jealous that your daughter is my lover?’
‘Lover? It is not an affair? Well, I hope you don’t plan on asking her to marry you. It would be a little weird to think of you as my son in law when I have seen you naked.’
‘Mothers have seen their sons naked. That is how the world works. I might just ask Ohemaa to marry me.’
‘Quit playing games. We have a real emergency on our hands.’
‘What’s the emergency?’
‘Someone knows about us, about you and I, and about you and Ohemaa. I overheard the administrative staff gossiping about that secrets show on 3rd Universe. Apparently someone sent in a text saying that a senior staff was sleeping with a mother and daughter at the same time.’
‘That’s it? So how do you know it is not someone else? Barging into my home because of an ambiguous text? It could be anyone at all.’
‘Oh save the condescending tone for someone else, Paapa. If there is nothing you know about me, you should know that I know how to do my research. How many of the male senior staff have a reputation for sleeping around?’
‘Err, all of them, except the chrife ones.’
‘Fair enough. How many female senior staff are mothers, have a daughter and are still good looking enough to have an affair?’
‘Well, that brings the list down to you and Mrs Ahwireng.’
‘Exactly! Mrs Ahwireng is definitely not having an affair. She is still mourning the loss of her husband and looking like she just turned 35 while she is at it. I didn’t even know there were these many ways of slaying in black and white. Anyway, I digress. So it had to be me. And the only person I have had an affair with on this campus is you.’
‘The ‘on this campus’ bit tells me I am not the only one.’
‘Oh of course not. After Gustav allowed himself to fall apart, I decided to take matters into my own hands, if you know what I mean. Just look at that potbelly and the triple chin. How am I supposed to enjoy sex with this man? I take care of myself and I do my best to look like I am not a day older than 40, even though 60 will soon be my portion. You are my favourite though, which is why I can’t forgive you for Ohemaa.’
‘I am not apologizing for Ohemaa. We have a real connection. It is not business as usual with her. About this rumour, you are the one who has the most to lose, but I also can’t afford to lose Ohemaa so let’s come to a compromise. We’ll find this person and pay them off or something. Use your FBI deductive skills to solve this one, love.’
‘I will keep you posted.’
‘That’s the Adelaide I know!’
Shoot shoot shoot. How am I going to get out of this mess?
Stacy looked back down at her hands, thinking of a way out.
She had always enjoyed a good adventure. Her days in high school were full of warning letters, detention sessions, dismissals and every negative thing. It was the only way to get her parents’ attention. Her dad was a business man who made money from shipping cars to Ghana and selling them to people at ridiculous prices. Her mother was a heavy drinker who owned a beauty parlor in their community. Her parents hated each other. How else could she explain why they could never have a civilized conversation without tearing at each other’s throats? Even in her principal’s office, they had to make a scene.
‘If you ever had time to actually spend time with her, she would not be this messed up!’
‘Well, if you could quit drinking and gossiping, you would have enough time to notice the wrongdoing before it even happens!’
‘Don’t you get started with me? I drink to survive being married to a useless man like you, Koku!’
‘I didn’t promise to be useful when we got married, but then again you didn’t promise to be overweight and yet here we are!’
When her dad died suddenly from a stroke, her mother acted as though she was the only person who had a loss to mourn. She drowned herself in the drinking and neglected her business for about 5 months.
‘I am sending you to Ghana. I can’t predict what trouble you are going to get into this time around. You will go to university there. Hopefully, you will learn some common sense.’
Of course, Stacy’s modus operandi was to act as if she didn’t really care what her mother decided, so she shrugged and said, ‘Whatever mehn..’
Ghana wasn’t so bad. It was just very hot, so she never wore anything longer than Serena Williams’ tennis skirt. It didn’t take too long for her to find a group of people she could identify with. Lexus and the others were cool guys and she felt comfortable around them. She didn’t really seem to connect with her roommates, but Sala, the one who wanted to be a doctor, seemed very warm.
‘I asked you a question. Who and who were at the party? Cocaine possession is against the rules of this school. If you continue to shield the rest, you will be dismissed and no university will take you in for the next 5 years, not with a criminal record.’
‘You think this is a joke eh? You people come from overseas and take everything for granted. If the laws in this country don’t work, I will have you know that the rules in this school do. Now, I will ask again who was at the party?’
‘I-I- don’t remember anything. All I remember is waking up.’
‘Don’t play games with me.’
‘I am not lying!’
See you next week (and on Friday at the meetup!)