Naya picked up the phone to see that it was Philip calling, she hissed and dropped the phone, ignoring his call for the umpteenth time. Florence her roommate gave her a knowing look and shook her head. She knew Naya to be a very calm girl, stories had it that she took her calmness from her mother. Her father was a retired military general. Her twin was stubborn, while her twin had insisted on them going to study for their first degree abroad, Naya had insisted on staying behind in Nigeria to the disdain of her parents who had no option than to grant her desires because they indulged the twins in all they did. Maya was to return to the country the next day after completing her degree programme and Naya was to return home to her parents’ house that day so that she could accompany them to the airport to pick her twin sister.
Florence was her course mate and roommate right from their 100 level days. They had met during their course registration when they had secured admission newly and since then their friendship had blossomed. Naya had invited Florence who was from a humble background to join her in her self-contained apartment that her parents had rented for her off campus, she fed and accommodated Florence free of charge. The phone kept on ringing and she turned a deaf ear to it.
Florence: “Oooooh! Naya pick your call, now. Hian!”
Naya: “I don’t want to pick the call, is it by force? Shebi it is my phone?”
Florence: “Oya, put the phone on silence, I am trying to concentrate on my studies here. Remember we have a test in GST 202 tomorrow”.
Naya: “Madam, if the ring tone of my phone is disturbing you, go to the library. That is where serious reading is done”.
Florence: “Okay o, no vex”. She grabbed her ear piece and blocked her ear with it. She knew better than getting on Naya’s bad side anytime the issue centered on Philip.
Philip and Naya had met during the preparation for her first semester examination in 100 level, he was a year ahead of her and he often took tutorial classes for 100 level students. He was a cool dude with cheeky face and dreamy eyes. He was the dream man of all the girls whom he taught but he stayed away from ladies and concentrated on his studies. It was this attitude of his that had attracted him to Naya who out rightly accepted him when he asked her out to the surprise of all the girls. Over the years, their relationship had waxed stronger with them going to read at nights together and even in the library, they shared the same space. The phone began to ring again and Florence began to hiss, the ear piece she had blocked her ears with was obviously not effective enough in preventing her from hearing the phone ring.
Florence: “Ohhhh. Naya now, okay if you don’t want to pick the call, just switch off your phone so that we can hear word”.
Naya: “It is not like I don’t want to pick his calls, it’s just that I feel so hurt right now that talking to him may bring back emotions that I would rather allow to die”.
Florence: “What exactly happened?”
Naya dropped the novel she was reading and faced Florence.
Naya: “I went to his house the day before yesterday, I didn’t inform him that I was coming. I went to the corner shop and bought ogbono soup ingredients since that is his favorite and guess what I met when I opened the door?”
Florence: “What?” her eyes balls were almost popping out of their sockets.
Naya: “You know that Nneka that won miss campus this year? That 100 level girl?”
Florence: “Yes, what happened to her, is she dead?”
Naya: “It would have been better if she was dead. I met her and Philip romancing”.
Florence: “No, you can’t be serious”.
Naya: “I wish I am not. I met them kissing and touching and smooching. Oh God, I can’t even imagine it”.
Florence: “You mean Philip was touching another girl? Jesu o!”.
Naya: “I couldn’t believe it. And to think that we had agreed on no form of body contact before marriage because I told me it was against the will of God”.
Florence: “That is why I am shocked. That guy that said he has never had any girlfriend before he met you? Me I dey even see am like say him no fit toast girl until you gist me about how him take ask you out”.
Naya: “I ran out of the house in anger. In fact, I left the ingredients I bought there on the ground in his room there”.
Florence: “Naya, why now? You for carry the ingredients come back, I for arrange the soup o. So you leave am make that yeye miss campus wey no even fine cook am come siddon well chop? Your matter seff dey tire me some times”.
Naya: “Hmmn, Florence, you too like food. In fact, you can eat more than Adaku in Jennifer’s Diary. Anyway, I don’t regret leaving it there, I can always get whatever ingredients I want to make my soup here”.
Florence: “Hmmmn, my friend, my friend. I gbadu your paroles mehn. In fact, I am your greatest fan, omo babalowo”.
Naya: “go jor, na me you dey wine abi? You no well. Do you now see why I don’t want to pick Philip’s call?”
Florence: “I see o, in fact, don’t ever pick his calls again. That guy is a big pretender and I don’t want you to have anything to do with him again. When next he calls, give me the phone to talk to him, I go treat him fuck up with my mouth, you no say you gentle. And as for that stupid miss campus that only knows how to snatch peoples’ boyfriends and husbands, I will deal with her. I will arrange boys to give her the beating of her life. Foolish useless idiot”.
Naya: “No, you will do no such thing, leave the girl alone. Was it not Philip that allowed himself to be seduced?”
Florence: “Forget that thing, jare. You are too gentle and that is why people always take you for granted. Just leave that girl for me, by the time I am done with her, she will develop wings and fly anytime she sees anything that belongs to you”.
Naya: “I don’t understand you at all, one minute you want me to forget all about Philip, the next minute you want me to fight the girl he is cheating on me with. How do you explain that?”
The phone began to ring and Florence collected it without looking at the caller and began to insult and curse, thinking it was Philip.
Florence: “Hello, you are very stupid and useless. In fact, you are a callous and pretentious nincompoop, you think you can toil with my friend’s heart and go away with it? God will punish you, idio…”
Mr Lanre: “Naya, is that you? When did you become this wild?”
Florence on realizing that it was Naya’s father calling returned the phone to Naya. “It’s your dad”, she told her as she handed her the phone.
Naya: “Ah, mogbe!” she collected the phone and brought it close to her ear. “Hello, daddy, good evening sir”.
Mr Lanre: “What is wrong with you, Naya?”
Naya: “I am sorry, sir. It was my friend that picked the call. She thought it was…erm…”
Mr Lanre: “What sort of a friend is that? Didn’t my number appear on your screen when I called? Anyway, remember to come home early tomorrow, your sister’s flight will land by 1pm, we should be at the park say around 3 when their bus will come in from Kaduna. You know how she hates to be kept waiting. And as for your friend and what she just said, we will talk about that when we meet”. He ended the call, as a retired military man, he had formed the habit of being brief even while talking.
Florence: “Hope there is no problem? Sorry, I thought it was Philip”.
Naya: “No, he was reminding me of the need to go home early tomorrow. Florence, can you follow me home? I have told my twinny lot of things about you and she is dying to meet you”.
Florence: “I am not sure about that, I don’t like being around military men like your father, they scare the hell out of me”.
Naya: “Don’t worry, dad is nice, besides, you don’t have to be around him, we have our own room”.
Florence: “Fine, if you insist. After all this place will be too lonely without you”.
Naya: “Great! We leave here by 10am tomorrow, remember it’s a two hours’ journey from here home so that we can rest before going to the airport”.
Question: Is Florence a good friend? Is Naya doing the right thing by taking her home? Is Philip as bad as she is making him appear?
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