I had a feeling that someone was looking at me. Startled, I woke up. I was having my siesta. Chika stood at the door glaring at me. I had forgotten to lock the door before sleeping.
I chided her. “You startled me. Is anything the matter?”
“Mary,” she spat through her teeth. As if my name was a curse word. “So it’s you?”
I sat up straighter, befuddled. “Me what? What did I do?”
Her eyes could have drilled holes in my head. “I saw you and William holding hands in GRA last week.”
My heart skipped, understanding dawning on me. “Look, Chika. I understand that you…”
“Shut up! You slut!” she interjected. “Like, sharap!”
I was taken aback by the outburst. Why was she raising her voice? What was wrong with the girl? I couldn’t understand the rage. What exactly was going on here? I knew she liked William and so? Was that why she was behaving like a mad woman?
Was she the first person who had an unreciprocated love? We had all been there. I couldn’t remember the number of times I’d cried because the person I wanted wasn’t interested in me. So what exactly was all this foolishness about?
Before I could respond, she continued in a cold, low tone.
“You listened to me talk about him. You watched me suffer and you told me to let go. So you’d go after him, right? Witch.”
I lost my cool. “Look, Chika. You don’t come to my room to rain insults on me. If you don’t want to discuss this like a reasonable woman, then get out.”
Chika burst into a hysterical laughter. “I should get out? Me? I will get out. But I have something to say to you. That I’m in church doesn’t mean I’m a church girl. Do you understand?”
I sat at the middle of my bed facing her. I was speechless. She stepped into the room, shutting the door carefully. She raised her blouse and fingered her waist beads.
“I’m a scary person. You don’t want to cross me.”
I gasped with shock, my eyes widening at the insinuation. Chika? For real? My jaws went slack with surprise. I was momentarily paralysed with fear, then immediately braced myself and shook it off. What? I was afraid of her? For what? I’d communed with the Lord of Spirits and walked with angels. She just met the wrong girl. Holy anger replaced the fear in a flash. I faced her squarely, smiling.
“I’m not afraid of waist beads. I’m more dangerous than you can even begin to imagine. I’m a church girl, but not an ordinary one. I’m not someone you’d want to cross either.”
She inclined her head to an angle, her eyes narrowing into slits. “You think I came here to play, right? I’ll just give you few minutes to call William right now and break up with him.”
My shoulders shook, as I laughed. Wonders shall never cease. I should do what? I laughed again. I just didn’t know what to say to the young woman. I actually pitied her. How could anyone descend so low? I reigned in my temper.
“Chika, please leave my room,” I said calmly.
“I’ll leave your room, Mary. But just so you’d do, you’re a bitch. A lowlife bitch.”
I pursed my lips. Taking a deep breath, I decided to lecture the young woman. “Aunty. William came to me and proposed to me. I never lifted a finger to pursue him. He came by himself. You don’t force a man to love you, do you get that? It’s his decision to make. If tomorrow, William decides it’s no longer me and it’s you, I swear that I still won’t raise a finger to chase him. I have respect for myself.”
“Liar. You’re always lying. That was how you pretended you didn’t know who I was talking about, when you were actually after the same person.”
I sighed. I was getting tired of the exchange by the minute. “Chika, go to William. You hear? Tell William that you like him. If he accepts you, then he’s all yours. Now, leave my room.”
She leaned on the door jamb. A sinister smile twisted her lips. “So you feel like you’re a better woman than I am, right? You’re challenging me to snatch him.”
“My dear, it’s not even a challenge, because nobody is dragging him with you. I’m the last person that would drag man with anybody. I’m a spec. A woman helped of God and Yahweh’s own daughter.”
“See, even if William leaves me today, a prince will always find me. I know this like I know my name. God has sons and they’re for His daughters. Didn’t you say you heard God concerning him? Obviously, that was a lie.”
That ticked her off and she returned to defensive mode. “I heard God. I did. William is the one who is insensitive to God.”
I wanted to laugh so badly. “You heard God? Which God? When you’re walking around with diabolic waist beads?”
“They’re not diabolic. They’re just waist beads. I don’t know the first thing about diabolism.”
I had to laugh then, so it wouldn’t choke me. So, all that was a show to scare me. How low could anyone get? I shook my head, feeling sorry for her.
“Very well, let God confirm His word by making William come to you. Don’t go around threatening people. If that was God, He will confirm His word.”
“You think my threats are empty, right? I may not know about diabolism, but I know how to do something that would change your life forever. Don’t dare me,” she said, raising the bottle she had in her hand. She began to open it casually, as if she wanted to drink from it.
“Please I’m tired of this conversation. Come and be going,” I said, starting to climb out of my bed. “You’ve screamed yourself hoarse. Now you want to drink water and continue with your drama. Not in my room.”
“You leave me with no choice, Mary. I came here so that we can do this gentlyly, but you’re proving stubborn.”
I was getting seriously irritated. I sat on the edge of my bed, struggling to remain polite. “I’ve already told you what to do. Go to William. Tell him that you…”
An alarm went off in my spirit.
Why? I was confused. I’d had enough of the girl’s foolishness. It wasn’t every time that I’d be turning the other cheek. I’d drag her out of my room for daring to stand in my face and spew all this rubbish!
The instruction came with greater urgency. By virtue of a consistent walk with God, I knew when the Holy Spirit was communicating. The urgency of His tone pushed me out of my bed.
Without thinking further, I sprang up and dashed towards the backyard. She quickly tossed the bottle after me and it landed on my back, it’s content splashing on my waist. I didn’t stop. I didn’t look back. I jumped from the two storey building and landed hard on my side into the shrubs at the hostel backyard.
My head hit something. I didn’t feel anything at first, then I began to feel some warmth on my temple and it hurt like crazy. I thought I’d pass out. I put my hand on it, more to stop the pounding than to stop the bleeding.
My back was burning. I felt like someone was peeling my skin or searing it with a hot iron. I wore only my undies, a singlet and a tight. The biting feeling on my back deepened until it hurt like hell. I looked up and saw her still glaring down at me. Her eyes were darkened by something I couldn’t identify. A shiver ran through me. That girl must be possessed.
She took the bottle and flung it towards me. I jumped up immediately and took off. The side of the bottle hit the back of my head. I didn’t turn. I just wanted to get to where people were. Screaming on top of my voice, I ran into the school cafeteria, tripping and falling. Everyone turned to stare at me.
I wanted to speak. I couldn’t. The pounding in my head increased, clouding my vision.
And everything went black.
To be continued…