(Story) Farida – Part 22

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The new session kicked off. To maintain the academic calendar, the school jam-packed lectures every day. By April, the first semester was over. They were given only two weeks break and then the new semester began. The new semester came with so much revelation. Farida came back from lectures one day and saw a girl lying on her bed. She usually doesn’t like people lying on her bed but she had to learn to be accommodating. She dropped her bag and greeted the person on the bed. She was shocked when she looked at her closely only to discover it was Aisha. Aisha was also dumbfounded to see her.“What are you doing here?” she asked Farida.‘I should be asking you that” Farida replied.“My friend stays in this room. She asked me to wait for her here while she gets something” Aisha answered. “And you? What are you doing here?”“You must be talking about Monica. She’s my roommate. That other bed is hers” Farida responded pointing to Monica’s bed.“Who could have thought the cute bed would be yours” she stood up and moved over to Monica’s bed.Farida paid her no heed. She brought out stew from the fridge to warm. On the other burner, she put rice on fire. When she had them on fire, she proceeded to lay on her bed and read her notes. Not long after, Monica burst into the room. ‘Hi Farida. I am so sorry, I forgot to bring out the stew. Meet Aisha. She is a fresher and a student of Sociology”“I know Aisha” Farida answered offhandedly.“If you know her then it makes it easy for us. She is friends with my childhood friend Luke. He appealed to me to squat her for some time until she gets accommodation”“Didn’t you think you had to talk to me first about it before inviting her over?”“She is not moving in yet. She just came to see the place. Luke wants to get accommodation. The room she was in, they were seven of them there. He doesn’t want that. He will buy a bed space for her soon”“Well, it is something we will discuss in private. Food is ready. You can serve some to your guest”Monica sensed there was something wrong. The atmosphere felt tensed. She entertained Aisha and later saw her off. When she came back, she asked Farida why she was upset with her.“I really don’t want to share my space with that girl. I don’t trust her one bit. I can’t stop you from accommodating her but she can only stay here for two weeks maximum. Use your connections and help get her bed space. While she is here, she can’t stay on my bed or touch my things. She should stay away from me; we have a bad history together”“I knew something was amiss. Please take it easy. I will tell Luke I can’t accommodate her”‘If you do that, she will think I am getting back at her. Two weeks and she’s out. And please don’t tell her we are best friends”“Why?”‘So you can see her true nature”Aisha moved into the room. Monica read out the rules to her and even pasted it on the wall. Farida began to lock up all her belongings as she couldn’t trust Aisha.Aisha had found out whom Monica was. She knew how rich she was and wanted to be friends with her so she could benefit. Farida hardly spoke with Monica in Aisha’s presence. She knew that if she showed any type of closeness to Monica, it will expose them. Aisha would always show herself. In just three days she started.“This dress is beautiful; can I wear it to class tomorrow? I love your handbag, it will go with sandals. I will rock it next week. Monica wasn’t one to share items so she allowed her to use them and never collected them back. Monica’s cupboard became Aisha’s cupboard. She used Monica’s things without permission which was beginning to infuriate Monica. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was when Aisha told Monica that Farida was jealous of her. She told her she knew Farida and she was a cheat who cheated to get into university.The last straw that broke the camel’s back was when Aisha told Monica that Farida was jealous of her. Shto e told her she knew Farida and she was a cheat who cheated to get into university. for your life? She can poison you just to get all you have. They despise her in her area”“But you eat what she cooks”“Only when I am there when she cooks”“How do you know all these things? Did you live close to each other or what? You told me you live in Ogudu GRA so how did you know her?“This was when my father sent me to live with my grandmother for two years. Farida is not trustworthy. Just be careful. She is a ghetto. She would do anything to belong. Don’t listen to whatever she told you about me” “Interestingly, she has never said anything negative about you but you always look for an opportunity to bring her down. She allowed you to stay so you will not be stranded and this is how you repay her?”“I am telling you the truth. She is a pretender. She agreed so I will keep my mouth shut. Anyone seeing her will think she is from a wealthy home but she’s not ………”“It’s ok. I have heard enough”What Aisha was trying to do was to become Monica’s roommate through her connection. She couldn’t believe Monica didn’t fall for her antics. She looked for a way to get at Farida but it didn’t work until she heard about Wura. All the girls that moved with Wura were big girls. They showed off their affluence. They wore only designer outfits and looked good all the time. Wura had flunked out of Law and was now studying English language. She made her followers feel only big girls flunk and are reabsorbed into another department. Wura was carried away with life. Aisha wanted to belong. She did everything to get close to her.When she heard about the discord between Wura and Farida, she knew it was her best option to belittle Farida and get her out of Monica’s life. She fed Wura with falsehood about Farida giving fake details. Wura would do anything to disgrace Farida so she bought it. She also wanted Monica back as her lapdog. Monica had access to stupendous wealth which she wasn’t taking advantage of. And Wura liked her brother. She was one of the girls her brother had gone through. She thought they had something but it turned out there was nothing. He dumped her like a piece of trashed paper. She couldn’t have access to his house unless Monica was with her, they wouldn’t let her in. Sam used her once in 100l and never came back.Armed with what she thought was information, she and her gang members waited for Farida in front of Moremi hall. That was where the showdown was to take place. Aisha wanted to be absent but to her surprise, Wura insisted she would stand in front with her. This would expose her to Monica and Farida. She had to find a way of explaining it away to Monica.Farida was approaching the hostel when she was stopped on the way and informed of what was planned. “They are waiting for you outside”. Farida thanked her and called Monica on the phone.“I think you should come back right now to the hostel. Wura, Aisha and their gang are waiting for me in front of the hostel. I am not afraid but just in case it gets physical, I would want you to call security”“Wait for me Farida, I am on my way”They both walked together to the hostel. Monica wanted to know if Farida had a strategy but she said she didn’t and she didn’t need one. Both of them were shocked at the number of people at the car park apparently waiting for a showdown. Farida wondered if people hated her this much to gather to watch her being humiliated. Monica explained to her, “Every girl loves to watch the drama. Some are rooting for you, some are rooting for Wura while some are indifferent”Wura began, “Farida the saint! The most intelligent girl on campus. The holier than thou girl who doesn’t talk to boys. Monica’s ass kisser. Charity case. How are you?”Farida ignored her and wanted to walk past but to her chagrin, Wura dragged her back. Farida decided not to struggle. She just stood and kept quiet.“You are not going anywhere. So, ghetto bitch, I heard from a grapevine that you steal other people’s rich boyfriends through sex. I said it wasn’t possible but someone was willing to confront you with it”Monica couldn’t stand the humiliation anymore. She confronted Wura, “Why are doing this? Why are you always picking on Farida? She hasn’t done anything to you. She doesn’t even know if you exist. Why create a scene at any given opportunity?”“Monica, stay out of this” she turns to Farida, “as I was saying, what do you have to say about the accusation”Farida did not respond. She just stood there looking at her.‘I am talking to you and you are ignoring me bitch. You can not use your innocent face to wriggle out of this. You were proudly showing off you WAEC and Jamb result but you did not tell us you cheated to have such high score to gain admission”Monica responded, “Well, if she cheated to gain admission into the university that would mean she had potential. Right now who is the most outstanding student in Economic and Statistics?”A small crowd shouted in response, “Farida!”“If she snatches other people’s rich boyfriends, which is not possible, she turned my brother’s advances down. But I know some people who quickly gave themselves to him even with all my warnings. Who could that be?”Wura responded to Monica, “We didn’t come here to talk about me but about the two-faced bitch. She’s is a pretentious slut. Ask your brother; he must have banged her by now”“If you are going by what Aisha told you to attack Farida, let Aisha also tell you how she passed her WAEC and Jamb. She knows all she had to do to gain admission to study Linguistics. I investigated you. You do not live in Ogudu GRA but in Mushin. You stay with your cousins in Ogudu when in school claiming their home as yours. Farida has never been ashamed to say she lives in Mushin. I have visited her there and I know the amount of respect they have for her. If she snatched your boyfriend three years ago, get over it. If she cheated to gain admission, take your proof to exams and records so she can be dismissed from the school. If you have no tangible evidence, you can’t come here, gather a crowd and make a false accusation. Wura, you were a law student, didn’t you learn anything while there?”The ‘blows’ Monica released hit really hard. Wura wanted to respond but the porters felt the show was over and dispersed the crowd. Monica walked with a smiling Farida to the room.“You are very secretive Farida. Why didn’t you tell me all these things? Immediately Aisha started running you down where I was, I knew there was more. I had to go digging and I found out everything”“I told you Aisha will expose herself with time. I knew she couldn’t help herself. Concerning snatching her boyfriend, meeting Wale through Aisha was a mistake I do not intend repeating. It is not easy to be friends with boys but it was easy to be friends with him. He never asked me for anything. Aisha displayed the same drama she used Wura to display today in front of my house. Let me narrate the entire story to you then you judge” Farida told Monica everything. From the Jamb to the scene Aisha created.“Farida, how could you? Why would you let her stay even when she misbehaved? If you had told me, she would never have stayed with us. I can’t believe this. Over a boy? Why are girls like this? Anyway, she’s out of here” Monica put together Aisha’s things and left them at the entrance of the door. Aisha tried to sneak into the room late at night but Monica was waiting for her. She just pointed to her belongings she had piled up for her and showed her the door without saying a word. Aisha knew she had lost a chance. This was the second time she was defeated by Farida. Just like the last time, someone came to her defence without her saying a word. It was Wura’s reputation that ended up getting tarnished instead of Farida. She suspected Farida was not an ordinary being; she must have spiritual backing.The showdown made Farida even more popular. Most of the girls didn’t believe the cheating story. Some said she wouldn’t be the first to cheat but she had maintained academic excellence ever since. The issue of the boyfriend was funny to them. “How can you fight over a boy,” some said. “If the boy no wants, move on,” said another. “I don’t believe the story; I have never seen Farida with boys before”One person didn’t believe the story at all and that was Zara. Even though Farida was not a close friend, she was still someone she knew very well and she was incapable of what she was accused off. She told who cared to listen Farida was someone to emulate and not scorn. She gave Monica as an example. Monica was someone who wouldn’t have stood up to Wura in the past but she defended Farida very well. Also, Monica was amongst the top seven in her class after her friendship with Farida began. “Wura that dropped out of Law is picking a fight with a First class brain like Farida. How did she think she could win? Wura that is known as a club girl has the effrontery to challenge Farida; we are all not blind and dumb at the same time”300l ended quickly as the new session was to resume in six weeks. Farida went home with Monica when the school vacated. Monica claimed her father and stepmother asked her to visit. After exams, she went to stay with Monica for three days before going home. Monica’s house in Ikoyi was no different from the house in the village. It was massive with a big compound. The difference was that the compound here was like the house in the middle of a garden. It was a short walk from where the car dropped them to the house. They climbed a small bridge with a small stream flowing underneath with fishes inside before getting the front door. There trees and flowers well-arranged everywhere. Farida saw a peacock for the first time in her life. It was beautiful. Monica’s stepmother welcomed her. She offered them lunch and left to go about her business. Farida had a big bedroom with her own toilet and bath. The room was painted light pink. The bed was large with side stools. She had a big television on a television stand and a fridge. What surprised Farida were the bookshelves. They occupied one side of the wall. She had a reading table and chair and also a desktop. Farida had never used a computer before so she saw a good opportunity to learn from Monica.“Where do both of you want to spend the summer?” Monica’s father asked during dinner.“We haven’t decided” Monica responded.“You have to decide quickly so we can get a visa for Farida”‘I will have to ask my mother’s permission first sir”‘By all means please do”“Will she stop you from taking advantage of an opportunity?” Monica’s stepmother asked.“Yes, she can. I have to convince her” Farida replied.When Farida got back home, her mother refused her going on any trip.“Why are they being so nice? I suspect people’s every move. Why do they want to take you abroad? Do they want to sell you? I don’t like this life they are introducing you to. Please, my daughter, patiently wait for your time” Iya Farida insisted.“Maami, have I changed negatively in any way? I am travelling because of Monica. He asked us where we want to go. Just Monica and I. Believe me when I say nothing is happening mom. They are doing all this for me just to make Monica happy as she is the only female”“So, where do you and Monica want to go to?”“We were thinking of going to meet Monica’s stepfather in Germany. Her mother would be there too. It’s a good opportunity as her relationship with her mother will improve”“Even if I agree with you to go, you can only spend two weeks there. We miss you at home too. Stay with us for some time. By the way, my convocation is in a month’s time”“That’s true, we will celebrate”“Celebrate what? Going to school at old age? Please, I don’t want to celebrate. This is just NCE; when I get my degree then I will celebrate”“NCE is an achievement. From GCE holder to NCE and next degree. That would be next year”“So, I will go to school with these boys?” Iya Farida said referring to her twin boys.‘If it is any consolation, you will graduate before them”They all laughed. Her brothers had finished secondary school. Ahmad said he wanted to study Architecture. He said he would go to the Federal University of Technology Akure while Akram settled for Political Science. He had said he would attend the University of Ilorin. He wasn’t very studious and didn’t trust he would enter any other school on merit although he was an above-average student. Iya Farida finally agreed for Farida to travel with Monica. Farida was so happy she couldn’t contain her excitement. She had gotten her international passport in preparation for a yes from maami. The visa was applied for and within 72 hours, it was out. She had a week to prepare for the trip.“Don’t take more than four clothes; we will have the opportunity to shop over there” Farida wondered if she could afford the clothes. Monica’s father was treating her like his daughter which she appreciated but the amount he was spending on her was getting her worried. She knew she had to draw the line somehow.Iya Farida and the twins came to see off Farida. Monica sent her car to pick them to the airport. None of them had been to an airport before so there was so much excitement. To get into the airport with her family, a protocol officer from Monica’s father helped escort them inside. Iya Farida met Monica’s father for the first time. She was glad Farida convinced her to dress very well. Due to school work, Iya Farida had shed almost half her weight. She was agile and her height was now pronounced. She wore a purple kaftan and her covered her hair, face and neck with a shawl. She looked nice and respectable. Farida did not need to worry about her brothers; they were just like her.Iya Farida still did not trust Monica’s father. When he introduced himself as Chief Ekandem and the respectable manner he spoke to her showed he was a good man. So, what was wrong with the setting? Her gut feeling knew something was amiss. Then it struck her; she was losing Farida.

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