It was barely 8 ‘0’ clock on Saturday morning on a very cold day and Adaora was enjoying rolling about in her mattress. It was one of those wonderful days you just didn’t feel like getting up. Under her blanket, she stretched her supple body and adjusted her pillow to get into another gear of sleep.
She didn’t hear the door open and she wasn’t concerned. When you share a room with 2 other girls in a Hostel as big as Succoth was, you learn to wear ear plugs when you go to bed. Barely a few seconds after the door opened, she felt herself shaken vigorously and drowsily opened her eyes to stare into her best friend’s angry eyes.
Adaora: “Rita, what is it? Isn’t it too early?”
Rita: “How could you miss the vigil? How? What is wrong with you? We have been planning this for over 6 weeks and you just refused to show up. That’s so wrong!!”
Adaora: “I was tired jor!” She said grumpily. “Really tired, I just needed to sleep.” She proceeded to cover herself with the blanket, not mindful of her friend’s boiling temper.
Rita: grabbed the blanket off Adaora, very angry, “Ada, what is wrong with you? Are you ignoring God now?”
Ada gets up angrily, her small body clad in her nightgown, her normally calm demeanour riled up.
Adaora: “Rita, Rita, Rita, I’m warning you! Stop this nonsense! What’s wrong with you? Why are you always trying to control me? If you want to go for a vigil, why can’t you go? Why must you drag me along? Am I not the one who wants to sleep? If you don’t want to sleep, go for your vigil!!”
Rita: “Ada, is it me you’re referring to? Have you lost your sense of shame and dignity? You’re the one who did wrong and you’re still talking!” She didn’t stop when she saw Ada’s new roommates, Lanke and Kosi walk in. As far as she was concerned, these girls were a bad influence on Ada and she was going to see the Hall Mistress about having Ada’s room changed.“How could you miss this vigil?” She ranted on. “Weren’t you aware that the Zonal Priest would be around? What kind of sleep was so important?”
Kosi: Her arms akimbo, focused on Rita, “This girl, what is your problem? Why are you always disturbing Ada? Why are you always trying to control her?”
Rita: “Please, I’m not interested in talking to a sinner like you!” She turned her nose up as the other girl, Lanke started laughing.
Lanke: “Imagine!! We are sinners, abi? Because we are not willing to allow your sad life influence us? Because we prefer to party now? Or you would prefer us to be like you who would be cheating on her husband years from now because you spent all your university life being fake?”
Kosi and Lanke started giggling while Adaora looked uncomfortable. She was tired of Rita but she didn’t want her roommates making jest of her. Rita was very controlling and she couldn’t stand for anyone making her look stupid.
Rita: “So this is what you want, right? This is how you want your friends to be talking to me, right? When all I tried to do was help you out so you won’t mess up your life? Well, keep it up! Just know that I won’t stand to be a part of your life if you want to continue like this!!” She turned on her heels and marched out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
Kosi and Lanke burst into laughter immediately and when Adaora merely sighed and sat on her bed, they both laughed harder. When they were still giggling twenty minutes later, Adaora looked at both of them worriedly.
Adaora: “Are you guys okay? Or are you drunk?” When they started giggling louder, she realised they were indeed drunk. “Isn’t it too early for you to be drunk?”
Kosi: “Early? No oh, our party just ended not long.” She said as they took off their clothes and ran into the bathroom together, giggling all the way.
Adaora was surprised. She knew the school was very strict about students not being outside the school without proper exeat. Since she began her 2nd year and got to room with Kosi and Lanke in the past 5 weeks, she realised that some students went out anytime without exeats. She didn’t know how they did it and she was curious.
Adaora: “How did you get in this morning?” She called out through the door.
Kosi and Lanke: “We have our means!” She heard the two of them echo followed by more giggles.
She smiled as she laid down back on her bed. She really enjoyed rooming with Kosi and Lanke. They were not perfect, she knew that. From the stories they told of partying, meeting guys and one episode of panic after Lanke had had a one night stand without a condom, she got the idea that their morals were very loose.
Adaora did not want to be like them, they were too much for her but she wanted their carefreeness, their ability to laugh at everything and have fun while they did. She had spent all her life being good and decent and now at 18, she couldn’t point out one fun thing she had done in her life. Lanke was 18 too and also in her second year but was far ahead in experience.
Kosi was a year older in age and academics but years ahead in experience. She, on the other hand had spent her entire life at the control of her best friend, Rita.
She and Rita had been best friends since her days at their catholic all girls primary School, Saint Augustas. After that, they had proceeded to the same catholic secondary school and now the same Catholic University. Infact, the only reason she had come to this school was because Rita was going there.
However, on getting to the University, she realised she wanted more than being at her best friend’s behest all her life. She had felt that Rita had controlled her for too long and she needed to break off from her.
Knowing her nature, she was aware that she would have to apologise to Rita, she had never been able to keep malice with her no matter how angry she was with Rita’s controlling excesses. She sighed as she got back into her bed and covered herself with her blanket. She would apologise when she woke up in a few hours’ time.
Adaora rushed out quickly so she could make her Philosophy 211 course. Rhaddeus University was pretty new, barely 3 years old, one of the two new Private Universities in Nigeria and they took class attendance and punctuality very seriously. Anyway, she also happened to enjoy the class and had a very fun philosophy lecturer.
In 1998, Private Universities were still a very new development in Nigeria and Adaora’s parents hadn’t considered one for their daughter. In fact, their plan had been for Adaora to go abroad to study in Ireland but Adaora had wanted to stay close to Rita. Of course, Rita had pressured her a lot too.
When Rita had gotten her their Priest to speak with Adaora’a staunchly catholic parents about Rhaddeus University, they had given in, albeit reluctantly when they realised the school was catholic and disciplined. So far, they hadn’t had any cause to regret their decision.
Which was why it came as a surprise when Adaora heard her name being mentioned barely 2 hours later, over the speaker, which was in every lecture room, asking her to report to the Office of the Dean of student Affairs.
When she got there 30 minutes later, the Dean, a Catholic Reverend had greeted her affably and informed her she had a telephone call from her parents. As was the school’s policy, when Parents wanted to communicate with their children, they could send letters or if they had telephones at home, make direct calls to the Dean, the child was then called to the Dean’s office to receive the call.
Adaora was surprised at her parents calling her in school though. Since she started at Rhaddeus, her parents had often sent her letters but they had never called before. She tried not to be worried but as she went into the phone room, she was worried something was wrong.
She heard the phone ring immediately she entered the booth and she picked it quickly. She heard her mother say hello and she replied hesitantly…
Adaora: “Hello… good afternoon, mummy.”
Mrs Chineme: “Adaora, how are you? How is school?” Her mother inquired.
Adaora: sighing with relief, “Mummy, its fine, as usual. Really, quite good.”
Mrs Chineme:“Really? Is that what you would say? Because that isn’t what I and your father have been hearing!! What have you been up to?!”
Adaora was aghast at the anger in her mother’s voice. Her mother was usually the calm one and when her father was getting angry, her mum was usually the one to calm him down.
Adaora:“Mummy, I haven’t been up to anything, I promise you, I have been a good girl here mummy.”
Mrs Chineme: “That isn’t what I have been hearing Ada, I’ve heard very bad things about you.”
Ada wondered at that word “hearing”. What exactly could anyone be telling her mother about her? And why would her mother believe such a person except if it was someone she had known for a long time? And then it came to her, of course, it was Rita. No other person would go as far as reporting her to her parents.
Adaora: “Mummy, is it Rita telling you stuff about me?”
Mrs Chineme: “Does it matter who it is? My question is, what are you doing? Who are these new friends you are keeping?”
Adaora: “Mummy, I’m not keeping any new friends, Rita is just lying! I can’t believe that girl! Yes, I have two new roommates but they aren’t bad or horrible like Rita is painting them! They…..”
Mrs Chineme: “Do they go to mass? Confessions? Do they pray? You know how your father and I made plans for you, don’t ruin them! I don’t want you keeping any bad friends!”
Adaora: “Muuuumy…” she whined, “….they aren’t bad. And they aren’t my friends, just my roommates! I missed one stupid vigil and now Rita has you thinking I’m now satan’s daughter?”
Mrs Chineme: “Stupid vigil? Stupid vigil? Ada, what has come over you? We raised you better than that!! You had better watch yourself over there. You wouldn’t be sounding this way if I had let your father talk to you like he wanted to but I begged him to let me talk to you first.”
At that, Adaora subsided. Her father was very strict and if he was the one at the other end of the phone, she knew she would be crying miserably by now. As it was, it took everything in her to stop from bawling.
Mrs Chineme: “Adaora…” Her mother’s voice gentled, “…I love you and I want the best for you. You are my daughter, my special first child, please don’t keep bad friends, do what is right and study hard. Remember the daughter of whom you are, okay?”
Adaora: “Yes, Nne.” She sniffed, “I won’t forget, thank you.”
They went on to talk about other things including Ada’s father and her 12 year old younger sister, Sochi. By the time Ada rounded off the call, she didn’t feel so sad anymore but deeply angry. How could Rita call her parents? How could she be so manipulative?
Her parents had started having children very late. And even at that, they had only managed to have 2 so they were extremely protective of Ada and Sochi. They never joked with any issue affecting their daughters and had spared no expense in giving them the very best of everything in life.
Her father, Engineer Chineme was a Civil Engineer who also had a huge import and exports business. He was very rich and had for all of Ada’s life been able to afford summer holidays every year in different countries. As it was, Ada and her sister were citizens of the UK and the US. They were born in the UK and through their father had earned American citizenship.
Her mother had always been a stay at home mum who was more comfortable taking care of her family, cooking and entertaining her slew of in-laws. Although her Parents were pretty strict, she had never had any cause to doubt their love and dedication to their children. Without actually seeming to, they gave them everything they wanted, including an opportunity for their beloved first daughter to attend a relatively unknown University just because her best friend was going there. Of course, for her masters, Adaora would still have to go to a foreign University.
Rita on the other hand did not have such a great home life. Her mother was on her 4th husband and she had 7 children for 4 different men. Rita was the fifth child but the 1st child born by her mother to her 3rd husband. A man who also happened to have 2 wives already. However, Rita’s brains, academic excellence, pious living and her unspoken desire to become a Reverend Sister ensured that the Catholic Church continued to fund her education.
Adaora had not gotten around to apologising to Rita as she had planned to do on Saturday. When she had woken up, she had gone to wash, cook, eat and catch up on her school work that she had quite forgotten Rita. On Sunday in Church, Rita had refused to make eye contact with her and she had decided not to stress herself talking to her, she was tired of always apologising first.
Which was most likely why, today being Tuesday, she was getting a call from her parents, Rita had probably called them yesterday. Another way to bring Adaora to heel. Adaora had however decided not to heed Rita, she refused to be Rita’s puppet forever and for this stunt, she was going to have something to say to Rita.
As she passed the corridor to her 3rd floor room, she saw Rita coming out of the 2nd floor common room and heading for her own room which was two doors away. She quietly approached Rita whose head was in a book so she didn’t see Adaora until she walked right into her.
When she looked up and saw it was Ada, she hissed and continued walking and was shocked speechless when Ada’s tiny arms dragged her backward by her shirt.
Adaora: “I’m warning you right now!” She said with fire in her eyes, “If you ever call my parents on me again, you will regret it. I’m not your child or your puppet, I don’t have to do everything you tell me to! Stop trying to control me, go and get a life. If you think you’re so perfect, then stay alone but leave me out of your miserably controlled life. Amebo, AIT!!” She shouted as she walked away.
Rita stood in the corridor as several girls who had heard Ada’s tirade stared at her and laughed. She was so shocked, she didn’t notice them at first. Ada had never spoken to her like that in all their lives. What was happening to her? Yes, she had called Ada’s parents but only because Ada had refused to apologise for last Friday’s incident. All she wanted was Ada’s good. If Ada continued to walk with those sinners, she would become like them and she could not have her best friend become a sinner.
She became aware of the girls laughing in the corridor and she got angry. Ada must know that there was no greater insult she could pass than to insult her in a corridor full of girls who didn’t like her. She knew she wasn’t very popular among the other girls because she was holy but she didn’t care. She knew she couldn’t afford to fit in with people who weren’t heaven bound and that was that.
But for Ada to humiliate her in these same corridor where they had flaunted their 15 year friendship was the worst thing that could happen and she would never forgive Ada for that. Now their friendship was truly over. Ada could keep her sinful friends, Rita would keep Jesus.
Hmmm, what is going to happen to Ada and Rita’s relationship now?
Stay tuned for the next Episode later today to find out!
EXCLUSIVELY FROM ADELOVE.COM
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