“By looking at us, can’t this man see that we are tired?” I asked myself.
I tuned out halfway through the lecture, thinking of what to wear to Cynthia’s wedding on Saturday, I overheard some of my course mates discussing earlier today about their outfits being ready. Gosh!!! Can’t this lecture end, so I can ask my friends what they are planning to wear, I have a new gown in my wardrobe and it’s so lovely? Which shoe am I going to wear? ……..
“We shall continue from where we stopped next week, course-rep I am expecting your assignments on my desk first thing tomorrow morning”, said my lecturer, bringing me out of my reverie.
I immediately packed my books into my bag and sighted Rachel dozing with her mouth agape, I don’t blame her, and it’s been a long day.
“Let’s go, it’s over” I roused her. As we made to leave the classroom, my other two friends Sandra and Tina caught up with us. “I am so hungry, please let’s stop over at that canteen and eat something” said Tina, looking like she would faint the next minute.
We all trudged to the canteen and ordered rice and beef stew with salad. Over our meal, I asked them what they are planning to wear to our course mates wedding. “I have this dress Kellyoutfits made for me and Tina has seen it”, said Sandra. “Yea, I have seen it and its beautiful, as for me, I shall be going into town after lectures tomorrow and I want you girls to accompany me”, said Tina.
You girls know that my mum is ill, so I would be going home tomorrow after lectures, I would attend the wedding from my house”, Sandra told us. Sandra’s mum has been ill since the beginning of this semester and she has been going home every weekend to stay with her, “I have to go with the other girls to see her one of these days”, I thought.
The wedding was so dreamy, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, the décor was superb, the cake was five tiered, it looked and tasted excellent. The guests were left with variety of food and drinks to choose from. I gobbled bread fruit porridge with dry fish. That is what I usually eat at events especially ones taking place in South-East Nigeria, I am very much aware of its nutritional benefits but it’s so expensive so I don’t miss the opportunity of eating it whenever it’s served free.
Cynthia looked like a princess and her groom looked like a prince, my course mates were gorgeously dressed, thank God I didn’t look bad myself. I was sitting with my friends and Rachel asked Sandra about her mum. “My mum isn’t doing well, she will be undergoing chemotherapy in two weeks”, she replied. “Am so sorry to hear that, I shall continue to pray for your mother, nothing will happen to her”, said Rachel with a tense expression on her face.
On Monday morning we were all seated except Sandra, waiting for our lecturer to come in. After sometime Sandra walked into the class straight to where we were seated, she took a seat and I noticed she looked rather radiant and I said to her that she doesn’t look a bit like someone whose mum is terribly ill, well she told us at the wedding that she hardly sleeps whenever she’s at home because her mum is uncomfortable most part of the night and cries sometimes due to severe pain.
“God keeps me beautiful, in spite of what am going through”, she said. “Girls I need a favor, I need some money, my mum’s health is deteriorating and I have some bills at home I have to take care of”, she continued.
“How much do you need”, I asked. “20,000 Naira”, she replied. Okay I shall give you 10,000 Naira, I said. “5,000 Naira from me”, chipped in Tina. “5000 Naira from me too”, said Rachel. Thank you girls, I don’t know what I would have done without you, God bless you, she said.
“It’s the least we can do”, Rachel replied. We all nodded.
After the lecture I texted Rachel and Tina telling them that we need to pay Sandra’s mum a visit next Saturday and please no one should tell Sandra about it, I want it to be a surprise. They texted me back agreeing with me.
On Saturday, we set out for Sandra’s house, we knocked at the gate and her younger brother Kene opened the gate. “Where is your mum and Sandra”, I asked him, “Mum is inside, but Sandra isn’t at home”, he said. We followed him into the house and he ushered us into the sitting room and went to call his mother. Meanwhile I was thinking that Sandra went out on an errand and hoped she came back soon because I wanted us to surprise her.
Her mum came into the sitting room looking pale, thinner but stronger than we expected; I was half expecting her son to wheel her out of the bedroom, I looked at my friends and saw the confusion on their faces. We all stood to greet her; after she sat down we also sat down. I told her that we came to see her and to know how she was doing because Sandra told us she was terribly ill.
“My children, I am fine, I had malaria last week but am okay now”, she told us. “But mum you have lost weight”, Rachel said.
“Yes I know, it was quite serious and it came with high fever, and I was advised by the doctor to have some rest, eat well and drink enough water. Where is my daughter?” she asked.
I looked at Rachel and Tina and they looked back at me bewildered.“She told us she was coming back home for the weekend”, Tina said to her.
I haven’t seen my daughter in three months. Let me ask you girls, since you resumed this semester haven’t you gone back home to see your parents?” she asked. “We have gone home to see them”, we answered her. “Well, I haven’t seen my daughter and she hardly calls me”, she said with tears in her eyes.
Okay, that was so awkward and too much to take in. I immediately gave her the fruits we brought, she thanked us and we promised to visit her from time to time. We got up and left the house.
“If I see Sandra on Monday I am going to break her jaw”, Tina thundered.
“Her mum doesn’t have cancer, she lied to us”, I fumed.
“She only had malaria last week, but then Sandra didn’t bother to visit her”, Rachel said, her face contorted.
“Didn’t you hear the woman, Sandra hasn’t visited her for 3 good months, and they live in this town”, I said visibly angry.
“She will vomit our 20,000 Naira on Monday, I swear”, said Tina.
“So where has she been going every weekend since the beginning of this semester?” I asked them.
“A man’s house perhaps”, answered Rachel.
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