The drive to rabbi’s house was fun and full of laughter, Chinwe could not hold back the laughter most of the times.
Rabbi obviously was not from Akwa Ibom and he made sure of
mocking everything about them, from the
ladies to the housing to the accent and
Davis made sure to remind him he used to
think the same way about him, coming from Abia state himself, they talked and made fun of each other on the short drive.
When they arrived, Davis helped her with her bags and Rabbi led them to the small
apartment at the back of the building they
parked in front of, he opened the room and she was surprised at the ambiance and the cool decor. The room was small but had everything in place.
“I know, I arranged everything because I knew you will be coming” he said before Davis could say anything, which made them burst into another bout of laughter. Obviously,
he was not a very tidy person, but he kept everything orderly because of his friend, they must be close, Chinwe thought as she sat on a
plastic chair, one of the 2 around a plastic
Her eyes traveled to the arranged books in the corner of the room, almost all were
computer books, she looked at the TV and the CD collections, all were seasonal movies, all of which Chinwe had watched herself.
They both disappeared through a door at the side of the room; Chinwe pulled out her phone charger and plugged in her phone and rested back on the unusual plastic chair.
When they both came back outside, Davis had a cup of water in his hands and said they were cooking too.
“What are you guys cooking?”
“Rice I guess,” he said as he sat on the second chair
“Can I help?”
“Just relax, we got this” he was not sure how to start a conversation with her that could lead to knowing more about her.
“Dave!! Abeg come” Rabbi called from the kitchen
He stood up and she stood up with him,
following him to the kitchen
Rabbi was in the process of opening a Geisha can and he had a knife in his hand
“Babe, don’t worry about a thing, I am still the better cook between the 2 of us, you have nothing to worry about, oh maybe pepper sha because I eat a lot of pepper” he laughed
“I can’t just sit still, let me do something”
Chinwe said as she moved into the tiny
kitchen and collected the knife from him, she opened it with ease and poured the content out, before long, she was asking for the next ingredients as both men talked and reminisced about their university days.
They all went back to the room and Davis
offered to put on the TV; Chinwe, who knew she could be the topic on the local news, quickly asked for one of the seasonal movies to be played. Rabbi was happy to oblige her.
They watched and she checked the food
which was ready, she served the 3 of them and when she came back, Rabbi had gone out to buy ‘something’, Davis informed her.
She ate slowly and watched the movie while Davis watched her instead.
She was so natural in the kitchen and even though she appeared to be relaxed on the surface, a little bit of tension is still lying on her shoulders, giving her a vulnerable look.
Davis wondered what he could do to help her relax more. He could try reassuring her that she could stay as long as needed, but that
would be left for Rabbi to determine, even
though he knows Joseph would gladly take her in, but would she be willing to stay?.
Rabbi retuned with a pack of orange juice for them and he went in search of glass cups for them to drink it with.
They ate and watched the movie, when they were done eating, Chinwe wanted to pack the plates but they both stood up and asked her to sit, they washed the plates and they returned to join her in front of the TV, with Rabbi
sitting on the tiled floor, Chinwe and Davis on the plastic chairs.
Davis looked at her and when he looked up, he saw his friend looking at him with a
bemused look on his face, they both laughed softly and Rabbi went into the narration of one of the characters.
Chinwe picked up her phone and called Clara, her number rang this time.
“Hello, Chinwe, I am so sorry, where are you?” she said
“I am in a guy’s place, where are you?”
“On my way to the place I asked you to wait for me, where is the guy’s place, I could come to pick to pick you there”
“Hold on, Rabbi, please where is this place?”
“Give me the phone” Chinwe handed the phone to him and listened as he gave a description to his house, they seemed to agree on a place and he handed the phone back to
“I will be there shortly, the house he
described is not too far from the gate I asked you to wait, and it is not too far from my apartment also”
She ended the call and thanked Rabbi
“It is your first time in Uyo, right?” Rabbi asked
What have you come to do?”
“I came to look for a job”
“Ahah, you left Lagos for this place in search of a job, what kind of job are you looking for?”
“Any business management job would be fine” she replied smoothly.
“You read business management?”
“Ahhhh that is big o Ebere, Masters. Why did you not stay back in Lagos?”
“I have tried Lagos and nothing came up”
“This friend of yours is she working or
something, that is, is she likely to fix you up somewhere?”
“Something like that sha” she lied smoothly.
“Because, ordinarily, you are not from here and unless your father is connected to some of these big shots, you are banking on the
long thing” he said with a smile.
“I know, but hoping is all I am doing at the moment”
“Davis, do you know you guys would be
starting lectures soon?” he turned to his friend who could not take his eyes off Chinwe
“Soon as in when?”
“Soon as in Monday, as I heard”
“No problem, as long as they don’t stress us”
“Is there any university in Nigeria they would not stress you?”
They talked at length about the school system and she came to understand that Davis was in Uyo for his Master’s degree in some computer studies. Her phone rang and she was glad Clara was outside the apartment waiting for
She jumped up and picked up her bag as
Rabbi and Davis followed her out, Davis was scared he might not see her again and he stayed close to her as Clara stepped out of the
They watched as she pulled a young boy by the hand out of the tricycle and Chinwe ran to them and picked the boy up and hugged her friend tightly. Both guys were however shocked when they both started crying, the tricycle honked for him to get paid, forcing
them to let go of each other as Clara paid him off.
Rabbi asked if they would like to come into the apartment for some time, but they declined, she said they would walk to the end of the road where they could get a tricycle to her house. Rabbi went inside instead and came out with his car keys and Chinwe’s charger in the other hand.
Davis went into the car with them and
unconsciously picked up the little boy, who did not seem to mind, both ladies sat at the back of the car, while Davis held Clara’s son at the front seat.
They were not talking, but Chinwe was still sobbing quietly at the back of the car and Clara was also wiping her eyes as she directed Rabbi to her apartment.
When they arrived her house, Davis came
down and pulled out Chinwe’s bag and Clara’s son, waiting for them to be led to the right apartment. Rabbi parked the car well and came to join them at the gate as they were led to the first apartment in the compound.
They followed them in and she offered them refreshments, which they declined, Chinwe went to Davis and thanked him before moving to Rabbi to thank him for his hospitality too, she asked for their numbers and promised to
Davis was so happy he got her number and asked her to call him anytime she needed something. After they left, Clara undressed her son and made him something to eat before she asked him to seat in front of the TV to watch his favorite cartoon.
When they eventually had time alone, Clara turned to her friend and asked her solemnly…
“Why did you do it?”
“Why would I not?” she replied with a shocked expression.
“Clara, I did the right thing, I would not be able to look myself in the mirror if I went ahead with it, I only regret I could not get a flight out of there yesterday. I regret saying I do to him in the church”she started crying
again“I wish I had kept my mouth shut, I swear, I wish I did” Clara said softly wiping her own tears
“I would have hated you for if you did, you did the right thing”