CHAPTER 9- Night Party
Bambi laughed “sit down, there miss you then she suddenly stopped laughing “wait I am coming she said, leaping off her bed. She went towards her shelve of drawers and started imaging inside. She came back with a paper bag in her hand and some clothes, Beatrice was by now sitting on the edge of her bed with legs dangling waiting for the magic Bambi was going to perform for her.
Bambi opened the paper bag and brought out a wig while Beatrice continued to watch silently as the other arranged the wig and the folded clothes artistically on her bed, when she finished, she stood back for Beatrice to see what she has doe.
Beatrice was stunned because the overall effect of what Bambi has done with the wig, the folded dishes and her pillow was that of a girl sleeping peacefully on her bed and you cannot mistake the girl for anyone else. “You, you, you, Beatrice stammered as she struggled for words” You mean this is what I always see on your bad when you are somewhere else eh! wonders shall never seize.
Bambi laughed and laughed as she went on to remove the dummy she has created “but will just said just now that you can swear that I never leave my bed now “Beatrice could say nothing more, she just sat there as if give to her bed. “Now are you coming or not” Bambi persisted, a very body doos and you should not be on exception “B-u-t. I don’t know,” Beatrice tries to find an excuse, moreover, I don’t have a party class.
Bambi eyed her “you are just trying to course yourself, but you’ll find out if you come along that you have been cheating yourself out of the funs the others are having this is part of the host life you know, after all school life they say is the best why not enjoy yours while you are there”.
“Honestly, said Beatrice, you have aroused my curiosity and I would have loved to attend one only this once but as I have said I have no party dress or wig to make a dummy”.
Bambi interrupted her “what is really now important is your willingness to go and every other thing would be taken care of, she lifted up her mattress, Bambi came up with a folded wrapper inside which was a beautiful gown, this she handed over to Beatrice “see I have never worn it, it’s new, Beatrice took it and examined it, the dress was beautiful, it was flowered pattered and nicely cut. “Try it on; Bambi encouraged, it was given to me as a present by an admirer but unfortunately I already have something similar, I have a golden purse and slippers to match which you can use if your are interested.
The frock fitted snuggly to Beatrice’s body as if it has been made specifically for her and the slippers was just the right size, the overall effect was enthralling “which you are beautiful’ sound the girl sleeping on the bunk under Bambi who was just coming in then “I didn’t know you are a little Cinderella, she laughed; beautiful to behold at night but please don’t turn out to be an ugly duckling by morning” she pleaded mockly.
Bambi said” Beatrice was just showing me her new dress and I told her I have something similar, she give Beatrice who was about to protest a look shut her mouth instantly. The girl said “ at first, I thought it w as yours but now I can see that this one looks relatively new and moreover the pattern is more broad.
“Isn’t Beatrice cute? Jane said “yes, said Bambi to the other girl who went over to the she later drop the things in her hand then laid on her bed and was seen first asleep.
Bambi went over to her drawer and brought out the use and the golden slippers, she whispered to Beatrice, this was given to me on valentine day by an admirer. “Oh I promise to be careful with them” Beatrice said reassuringly.
Oh no, Bambi said whether I give you is for keeps I am not taking them back, they are a tokens of our new found friendships. “No, no, Bambi” Beatrice protested weakly” what would your mummy say if you started given your things out to people? “My mum didn’t know about this Bambi said so she won’t miss them.
“Wells, well” Beatrice hesitated, I will still have to return them after use because Uncle John’s wife must see on me”. Bambi asked” How would she know that they have been given to you and that they are not yours? because she bought my things for me, “Beatrice replied and more over she periodically search my things under the protext that she wanted roses what other things I might need but I know she wanted to make sure that I did not have any of her things in my possession except those she has given me.
“What nonsense, Bambi hissed can’t you protest” what for? asked Beatrice I count my blessings and I am grateful to her for the little she was doing for me. “Oh you are so simple hearted and naïve” Bambi said but anyway you don’t have to return this you’ll keep them in the hostel when you are going convocation every other girl does so too if they don’t want to take something home so that there parents would not ask questions but thank God that I am not in that category or bondage.
“What bondage, asked Beatrice, Bambi told her that she has stopped her mother from buying her things for her a long time ago so she can’t question her about how she has come about some certain things.
And moreover, one of the advantages I enjoy as a result of my parents separation is that I can tell mum that it’s dad who has given me money for such things and vice vassal”. Oh! I how lucky you are, said Beatrice enviously. Don’t you worry Beatrice, Bambi assured her, now that we are friends you too will soon be able to boast of expensive things.
“Me? where will I get them form? Beatrice asked “not to worry, this is just the beginning” Bambi yawned “Please pack your things into her own closet” Good night an thanks again” she said but Bambi has already turned out to the other side.For the rest of the week, Beatrice was unable to think of any other thing except Friday and the coming party, her feelings was really mixed up she was both existed and appearance. Several times she would wake up in the middle of the night to peep at the dress, there was a time she removed it from her drawer and put it under her mattress so that it could be easily received if she should want to look at it again.
In the almost four years that she has been in Lagos, this would be her first real party apart from occasions at home when Uncle John hold a new year party for his associates and the time when a joint birthday party was organized for her cousins but then she has served more than enjoying party.
When Friday arrived at last, Beatrice find it difficult to concentrate upon any of her lessons even literature which she usually enjoys became boring that day, the poem she always enjoy reading sounded heavy in her mouth. she was unable to get a single line pronounced correctly.
This made the teacher ask “Beatrice is anything the matter? she feigned a headache and she was exempted from further needing but this further worsened the situations she now has guilt to contend with.
As the bell goes for the change of each lesson, Beatrice would glance behind her at Bambi in the third now, she marveled at how things could remain so calm and unruffled. She signed in relief when the bell finally sounds signifying the end of the last lesson for the day at last. At the end of the closing prayer for the day, Beatrice could hardly wait for tier class teacher to have the class room before hurrying to Bambi’s side “when” she whispered Bambi replied “I’ll let you know when we have concluded.
That means all the twelve sisters are going there Beatrice asked feeling highly elated to be counted among them. “The fewer, the better, Bambi replied and only about four of us are going anyway but means while I wouldn’t wants us to be seen together, see you later tonight and she moves off. The second of it all only serve to highlight Beatrice’s excitement and she could not want for the night to come.
“What’s brewing? asked the girl who sat next to her during lunch at the dining hall. Beatrice was shocked as she replied “what do you mean? The girl looked her straight in the face and said “I say what’s cooking split it, Beatrice only Stan at her mouth agape while the other girl continued: I can feel it that you are up to something you look so excited and fidgety, so tell me what’s up.
Beatrice managed a smile and said “ I’ve just read an interesting novel and I feel I was part of it, I didn’t know it shows on my face I still can’t over come it.
The other girl toughed, it some she was satisfied with the explanation and she said “so you too have retorted reading romantic novels, you beetle be careful though.
Beatrice did not utter another word but bent her head busily over her plate “I must be very careful she thought ‘else I’ll let the cat out of the bag. Then something hit her heard in the pit of her stomach, “Oh God, she thought because of this part I have told several lies already, oh no! she was alarmed as she remembered the moral that she has been taught that bad friends corrupt good manners than she secretly swore to herself that this was going to be the first and last party she was going to attend while in the hostel.
When around nine ‘O’ clock that night Beatrice hasn’t seen Bambi yet, she concluded that probably they were not going anymore to the party. She was both relieved and disappointed. then she glanced through the window. Bambi coming towards the study room in which she was, her eyes lightened up and her heart beats in the room to collect a book without even glancing in Beatrice’s direction which almost made Beatrice weep in frustration but she braced up and started reading her back when ‘light out’ was finally announced at ten ‘O’ clock to signify the end of the dago activities for the boarders and bad type she managed to crawl to her bed like a wet cat full of pity for herself.