Greetings!! We are back on the #Room1045 train and yes, it feels good to be back! Last time, Nii and Joan got back on the campus romance train. Kesewa ran off to go and nurse Chukwuma, and someone from Ohemaa’s past resurfaced. Let’s see what this episode has for us. Also, a hearty welcome to all the Kenikodjo newbies.
‘He is regaining consciousness.’
Kesewa’s voice was surprisingly steady. She leaned over and turned him to his side.
‘This will help him breathe more easily.’, she said over her shoulder to Marcia.
When Chukwuma opened his eyes, she waited a few seconds and helped him to sit up.
‘It’s Kesewa. You had a seizure and Marcia called me so I came over to help. Where are your drugs?’
He pointed at the bottom drawer in his wardrobe and Marcia scrambled over to look for it.
‘Erm, there are a lot of bottles here. Which one?’
Both Chukwuma and Kesewa spoke at the same time.
‘The blue bottle.’
Kesewa walked up to his fridge and pulled out a bottle of water.
‘I can’t believe you came.’, Chukwuma’s voice sounded groogy.
‘Why wouldn’t I?’, Kesewa responded, suddenly conscious of how high pitched her voice sounded. She cleared her throat, even though there was nothing there.
‘I don’t know…just touched you did.’
‘Here, drink up. Feeling better? I called your mum. She is on a flight to Accra. I know you can’t stand it when she fusses over you but I didn’t know anyone else who knew everything about what to do when you have a seizure.’
‘I have you. You seem to remember everything I taught you.’
‘I have a good memory, remember? That is how I got 5As for WASSCE. Memorization skills holding me down.’
‘-and holding me down as well. I don’t know what would have happened if you had not come here.’
‘It was good that Marcia called me. Now you should get some rest before your mum gets here. It is a 2 hour flight, remember?’
Chukwuma started to drift in and out of sleep. Kesewa turned her head in Marcia’s direction and caught the look on her face. She followed Marcia’s gaze to her own hands. She was rubbing the back of Chukwuma’s right hand out of habit- that was how she got him to fall asleep back in the day anytime he had a seizure. She quickly dropped his hand, picked up her power bank and her phone and walked out of the room.
Why is my heart beating and why do I feel this overwhelming need to go back and take care of him? Why did my heart flutter when he said I have you? What is wrong with you, Kesewa? You can’t be falling back in love with the man who treated you like crap. This is like a bad Nigerian movie. 😫 Okay, time to go to the library. Get some sense into your head. Memorize something.
Prince shifted his weight from one foot to another. It was almost time for Lamisi to come and visit like she promised. Given the way the conversation had gone, he had already passed by the pharmacy to get a pack of condoms. He was ready!
The only problem was today it was a full house in Room 1044. Bryan, Yooku and Senior Man Chris were all there. Even PK who is never in the room was sitting behind his laptop, watching some Pastor Chris sermon. If it was just one person, it would have been easier to ask the person to take a long walk, but it was 4 of them- and one of them was a man who looked old enough to be his father.
What can I do? I definitely can’t postpone this bamba. She would think I am all bark and no bite. After all those sexts, the least I can is give her a good time. Besides, blue balls are not good for my health. What do I do?!
‘Ah, why what dey wrong you?’, Bryan asked, after watching him pace up and down on the balcony for a good 5 minutes.
‘Glad you asked. My woman bi dey come visit me. I beg, you go fit excuse us small?’
Both Bryan and Yooku started laughing.
Dangling his legs off his bed, Bryan threw his Chelsea jersey into the bag he had turned into a laundry basket.
‘Ah, so this is why you are walking up and down like you have misplaced your school fees? Problem no dey. I even need to go to my old man’s office. Boss man Chris, he wants to narrow us.’
Chris looked up in amusement.
‘Does narrowing mean the same thing it meant in my day?’
‘Yes please. He wants to kick us out of the room so that he can impress a girl with his waist bending skills.’
Prince looked down at his phone.
I am at your door.
He signalled to the boys that she was in. When he opened the door, he swallowed.
This girl isn’t here to play.
Bryan picked up his backpack and nodded a greeting at the lady. Yooku started to convince Chris to take a break from his notes and go with him to get his car washed.
The boys are good. Everyone dey lef one by one.
Except PK. His ears were still covered with the Dr Dre headphones his uncle bought him for his birthday and he was aggressively nodding at his laptop. He clearly agreed with whatever Pastor Chris was saying.
Lamisi looked at Prince quizzically.
‘Give me one second. Sit here.’, he pointed at the bed Chris sleeps on.
‘Chale, PK make I see you for the balcony briefly.’
PK paused his video, clearly irritated by the interruption. He also tossed a cursory look at the lady who was wearing what looked like a bandana with shorts that could pass for panties, sitting on the bed, hitting her acrylic nails against the wood.
‘I beg, you go fit excuse us small?’
‘Excuse you how?’
‘As in can you leave the room for just an hour?’
‘Ah, what do you mean by so that? PK, don’t do this.’
‘So let me get this straight. You are a percher in this room. You technically don’t have a bed, but you expect me who paid for my bed and for my share of the room and who by the way is almost never in the room to enjoy it, to leave for an hour so that you can fornicate? Did I get that right?’
‘Never mind, forget I asked.’
‘No, I can’t forget it.’
‘Ah chale. I said, forget it. Stay in your room and enjoy it.’
‘No, but why are you angry? Don’t I have a right to be in my room? Don’t I have a right to not condone sin? I am probably saving you from STIs. Why you bore?’
By this time, Lamisi was tired of waiting around.
She walked up to Prince and said, ‘Call me when you have sorted yourself out’, using her index finger to trace a line on his chest, stopping just before the bulge in the gym shorts he was wearing.
As soon as the door shut behind her, Prince grabbed PK’s collar.
‘Herh, God will punish you! What kind of wickedness is this? 5 months of hard work down the drain because you just had to be Jesus. Is your fornication missing? What is wrong with you?’
Bryan took in a deep breath. Going to his father’s office on any given day was a daunting task, but whenever his dad summoned him, it became 10 times more daunting.
Such an egoistic name.
Why would you name a building after yourself?
When he first said this, his father had given him a speech about how businesses named after the owners had gone on to excel.
Cadbury. Tata Motors. Horlicks. Colgate.
’I am leaving you a legacy. The least you can do is show a little gratitude. If I had the kind of opportunities you people have today in my time, I would have been President of Ghana by now! You these social media babies take everything for granted!’
Bryan always stopped listening whenever the conversation took a turn like this. All of this- the 7 storey office complex, the factories, the houses, the flats, the buses, the hostels, the family vacations- none of it was for ‘them’, like Papa always said. It was all part of the elaborate script that Papa had written out for his family when he was a child.
Everything had to be done the way he envisioned it. Bryan had even heard that Papa wanted a son first so he had Mama’s first pregnancy terminated when he found out it was a girl. That was why Bryan found joy in defying Papa’s wishes. He simply refused to play the part in Papa’s grand scheme of things.
Bryan nodded at the secretary whose office was big enough to house 3 men with queen size beds. Tentatively, his fingers lingered a few seconds before knocking on Papa’s door.
‘Come in and have a seat.’
Papa went back to the documents he was perusing before Bryan walked in. Bryan, on the other hand, allowed his eyes to wander the length and breadth of the office.
This man is all about putting on a show.
‘I am reviewing your transcript and you had a B in Qualitative Research Methods.’
Papa’s voice sounded pained.
‘My transcript? Even I haven’t seen those grades. How did you-’
‘You are not going to manage this empire with substandard results.’
‘Papa, that’s the thing. I don’t want to manage your empire. I am not interested in living out your legacy. I wanted certification for photography. You insisted that I should get a first degree but in Business Administration. We just had to stick to your perfect plan. Not everything will go according to your plan, most especially not me. I am going to become Ghana’s best wildlife photographer and people from all over the world will come and everyone will know the Osei-Ntim name, just like you wanted- just not for a business empire, for photography.’
‘I didn’t get this far by taking whatever people told me without question. You are my only son and even if it is the last thing I do before I die, I will make sure that you are ready to carry on with this legacy, and that’s final!’
‘Sala? Did you hear anything I said?’
Startled, she looked up to see the eyes of her study group members looking at her in amazement.
Shola continued, ‘Now that we have your attention, can we continue?’
‘Erm, sorry guys. I was a little distracted.’
‘A little? I just wanna know who he is.’,
‘Hey, hey, give the girl a break. Shola nie, everyday school prefect tendencies. Even those of us who are secretly crushing on her are not complaining about other people making her smile. Abeg, let’s go back to infections. This exam is not going to write itself.’
Sala was grateful that Yaw, being the joker that he was, had moved the attention off her. With their heads huddled together over the chapter on respiratory syncytial virus.
When nobody was paying attention, Yaw nudged her.
‘I hope it is not one of the older medico guys. It always ends badly with their kind. You don’t deserve that.’
She smiled and said nothing because he wouldn’t believe her if she told him who was texting her.
The same guy who terrorized the whole school, the one who took her book and pushed her to enter the lion’s den, the one who was rude and cynical. That one.
It had all started with a random text from him almost a month after their incident.
Hey big head. Thanks for not burning my mum’s picture.
First of all, your head is bigger than mine. You need to pick on someone your own size. About the picture, it was more about your mum than about you.
The banter had been going on for about a month now and she found herself looking forward to the texts anytime she was idle. It wasn’t anything romantic, but she was leaving that option open.
Her phone buzzed again and she instantly started smiling.
It is true what they say about a social media notification having the same effect as a dose of dopamine on your mind. So addictive.
It wasn’t Bonsu. It was Maa Rakia.
‘Salamatu, yaya dai?’
‘I am fine, Mama.’
This was how their conversations always went. Maa Rakia spoke Hausa and she always responded in English.
‘School is fine, Mama.’
What she heard next made the phone fall out of her hand.
‘Get married? To Ibrahim Kilba’s son? Why?’
It didn’t make sense. None of it made sense.