DANIEL: You know that awkward moment when you don't know if anger or joy is the right way to express what you feel on the inside? Should I foam in anger that my mother had kept such an important detail from me that Joyce is my cousin, or should I count myself lucky to have such a giant in our army?
"She is your what?"
I questioned in a whisper. She didn't say another word; instead, she asked to see the doctor.
"Joyce, I'm so sorry for asking you this question right now".
“What is it?" Nadia interjected.
I wasn't ready for the distraction. I tapped Joyce and asked;
"What is your mother's name?"
She didn’t even look at my direction. Nadia signaled me to let her be. I was just about to stand up and probably ask God for an inspirational answer when she answered;
That's progress, but that's not the name I was expecting to hear.
"No Joyce, I mean her full name."
My demeanour changed immediately.
"What's wrong?" Nadia asked.
Answering her question wasn't an ideal option at that moment. I paused and swallowed my inner burning fire. Without saying a word, I went in search of my mother, but I was told she had gone home.
NADIA: Serena was still in coma, and there was nothing I could say to get Joyce attend lessons. She stayed at the hospital through out, just as I had presumed. The president came to see her; he was wheelchair bound. I could clearly tell he only had few days before he joined his wife.
I greeted him, but he didn't answer; not because he didn't want to, but because he couldn't see the person who had greeted him.
Daniel disappeared from our midst; he left me all alone there. I missed his presence. How could he ever leave me just like that?
Finally, Joyce shed some tears. I never knew painful tears could mean a thing of joy up until that moment. I was actually scared she could go insane.
When she was through, she turned to me and said;
"Nadia, my mother's plight can't go down the drain just like that. All I have done so far is to prevent the attacks from my enemies; all I have done so far is find a way to repair the damages they have caused. But Nadia, this time they went too far, and I am taking the fight back to them."
Her words sprang up fire in my system.
"Are you with me?" she asked.
Is that even a question? Does she even need to ask?
"But you know say I no get level oh?" I teased.
I expected her to at least smile, but the girl’s eyes were red.
"You've got Daniel and his influence, make him fall for you; but don't fall for him and loose focus!"
"Me? Fall for Daniel? That can never happen. Don’t you remember our number one thumb rule?” I interjected with a cute frown.
Shortly after my statement, my mind pinched me with this one word, "Liar!"
I just lied. I was finding Daniel interesting already, although I knew he was a flirt.
On our way back to the academy, I received a text from Wilson.
"Baby, I’m sorry for all the pain I’ve caused you; I was forced to do so. You won't understand right now, but I still love you.”
He added, “Even my marriage to Brenda was not based on love, It's you that I love. I’m so sorry baby. In no time, you will understand that whatever I did, or will do, isn’t my fault at all."
I hibernated the phone for a minute or two, before I rebooted to see if the text was meant for me. It was really meant for me.
What is all these? Is he trying to get me confused, or is there another person underneath this twisted story? A story that started with the love for food.
I read the message over and over again, till I could recite every single word of it.
“No! He is trying to deceive me. Which love?”
I scoffed at it. Although one part of my brain wished I had Wilson back to myself, I knew it was nearly impossible to do so.
We got back to the academy to meet Brenda teaching her 5th lesson. We had been absent for almost a week.
"What are you doing here?" she questioned both of us.
For the first time, she had the guts to question Joyce, especially now that Serena had been hospitalized. I could tell the hatred she had for me had grown to a different level. Wilson must have fed her with bags of lies.
"You both should get your bags and leave this academy. You’re expelled!”
Sometimes, there are situations that can do the impossible for you, when you least expect it. This was one of such moments. I watched the authority with which Brenda’s command faded to apologies when a woman corrected her statement from a distance; Daniel following from behind, it became clear when she drew close.
"Who are you to expel these two? Who gave you the authority to do so?"
It was Mrs. Olutayo. The whole hall went into a state of shock; murmurs and whispers arose from different corners. Many had to kneel and greet.
You should have been there to see Brenda on her knees, stammering like there was hot yam burning up her tongue.
"I’m... I’m... I’m so sorry, Ma!"
There and there, I found out that this war had taken a different form and shape.
Continued on next page...
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