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CHAPTER 10- Countdown

Beatrice woke up with a start, she felt an hand touching her in the darkroom. She was afraid but before she could roast the hand toward her mouth and she called recognize Bambi’s voice whispering in her car ‘wake up Beatrice it’s time to go, “she was tempted to say she was no more going but when she remembered the cloth and that this would actually be her first real party. she instead reached for her touch under her bed to look at her wrist watch “but Bambies” she said it’s ten thirty already.
“Yes” Bambi agreed”, it is time to ‘septly, softly Bambi cautioned” now is the best time to go” “and when will we be back”. Four “0 of course” replied the other ‘that’s one hour before the morning bell goes off”.
Beatrice started to remove her night but Bambi restrained her, where will you say you are going if anyone woke up to challenge you she asked, ‘please give me all your hinges and follow me gently. Beatrice gave Bambi everything she wanted to put on for the party while the other put them in a scarf, then Bambi went on to arrange both beds in such a way that it seems as if they were still lying on them, Beatrice just stand their transfixed as she watch the other girl, when Bambi finished she said ‘tie your wrapper it and your night dress and let’s go.
But where are your own things Beatrice said. They are out already, said Bambi, I ought to have asked you to get your things ready in the morning anyway let’s go next time you’ll have been properly informed.
Beatrice shock her head swearing under her breath that there wasn’t going to be another night escaped like this forever. They were seen tiptoeing along the corridors towards the luggage room where all their bores and bags were kept, past the toilet and the bathroom and they were soon out through the backdoor of their dormitory. They went past the general that towards the brook where the well that serves them when top water wasn’t forth coming was situated.
Bambi flicked her touch on and off to show the way and to worn Beatrice of the obstacles in the way Bambi stepped near a flowering shrub to retrieve a polybag in which her things were and they soon came to a very small opening in the wall that was used to fence their school compound. Bambi gave the things in her hand to Beatrice’s held while she carefully bent down to remove two blocks and the gap become a big opening which they could just manage to squeeze through into the open air outside.
They came to an uncompleted building and Beatrice was surprised to find too girls already there waiting for them, one was still busy dressing while the one who was already dressed was making up her face with cosmetics, they all exchanged greetings and went on with their cores.
Once outside Beatrice could see the others to clearly now and she realized that they were her serious, she locked at Bambi for help but one of the girls was asking Bambi if she brought any present for their host. It was then that Beatrice realized that she knows practically nothing about this party she has been invited to anyway she shrugged her shoulder. The deed is done and it can’t go back now moreover since we are two on our way, I will soon find out.
“But” the girl in SS2 was saying “Do you that it was wise to bring her. Indirectly, Beatrice do you think she would fit in? Beatrice was rigid, her mind flashing back to Uncle John’s wife, this was exactly how she spears when her children indicates their willingness to have Beatrice follow them to a party. But the other girl who was the most senior seeing Beatrice’s reaction retorted angrily. If Mbamie did not thinks, she would not have brought her near so please keep quite.
The girl who has been asked to shut up gave Beatrice a nasty look that shows clearly that she does not bring to their group makes Beatrice to fit in no matter what. They soon arranged on the major road and their a car was waiting for them, the man sitting beside the driver said impatiently we have been hero once is quarter past ten, what kept you ladies? we thought you aren’t going to make it anymore.
But we promised to be here not a quarter to eleven now” said the SS3 girl “light out is at ten and watch towards a little before venturing out. The driver said “now that you are here, hope in girls and let’s stop wasting anymore time. the girls crammed themselves into the back of the seal Toyota starlet. Beatrice kept muttering to herself silently “I am going to make sure I fit somehow somehow.
The party was in full swing when they gotten the celebrant was about to take the floor, this was temporarily interrupted, the girls arrival was announce amidst loud others, their host hurried towards them with a welcoming smile and an outstretch hands “have ladies, I thought you aren’t coming anymore. When it was Beatrice’s turn, he said who do I have the privilege of meeting please? Bambi quickly introduced them.
Their host said “I bet this is not first appearance in any of our parties “because I don’t usually fact seeing a face. Beatrice felt exposed, she did not know how to answer this, she was quite grateful to Ranti, the most senior girl of her group who quickly came to her aid by taking their host that Beatrice has been to too or more parties which the host has been unable to attend.
The girls were ushered to their seats and the M.C. came over to them, after the exchange of greetings he took their orders, the girls all agreed to have freed rice and turkey while Ranti asked for a bottled stout to go with hers, Bambi and Anne ordered for red wine and Beatrice asked for coke but a bottle of malt was brought for her instead.
The M.C. protested about the malt business but Ranti put her foot down saying that’s what Beatrice proffers for now. When it was time to dance, Beatrice was grateful that the record on the turn to be was one of the few ones that they have in Uncle John’s house which she has been able to listen to again in and again while secretly practicing the dancing steps when no one was there.
Although she was a little but nervous as she moves to the floor, she was however grateful to her partner who was a way good dancer, he was able to carry her along and they flow together perfectly well to the music. “You done beautifully? he said.
Thank you, you are good to” Beatrice replied. “seeing that you are a friend to Bambi” he asked puzzled “how come we have never met, I am very sure our path weld have across somehow, somehow. Beatrice stated fishing for something adequate to say, then an idea struck her “Bambi and I has just met” she said.
“No wonder, I would have remembered seeing you at Bambi’s party last semester”, the boy said “I was the D.J. there you know, by the way what’s your name? I am Balowe Brown, double Bee for short. Beatrice replied ‘and my name is Beatrice Adams’ please to meet you Beatrice”, said Balowe as he bowed over Beatrice’s hand and as I have already said “babe you are beautiful.
Beatrice felt flattered, she believe she has to say something as she has often seen them do on the television when watching the movies, she therefore replied adding a little agrees to her voice, eye brow raised provocatively” thank you, you are not a bad dancer the too yourself. Do you mind if I call you Tracy Double Bee asked Beatrice.
Beatrice wanting to fit in and fearing not to she but of tune said, she did not mind at all she thought it was part of the city life to have one’s name shortened. Moreover, the way the boy pronounced the last part of her name sound even tantalizing to her own cars. By the way Treccey “Double Bee asked “what class are you?. I’m in SS1, replied Beatrice and you? “A wanting result”, the boy said with an air of importance. Treccey I feel as I’ve known you for years, you are so way to talk to, Double Bee said “mind being my friend Beatrice replied after the manner of the super stories ‘UK are already friend”.
You know what Tracy Double Bee said” I think we are going to hit it well together, we have the B things in common, already no wonder you and Bambi struck it together too, you are both B-B’s and he laughed and Beatrice smiled authority for example, the teachers can then come to our rescue because of the favourite girl because no teacher with her salt would want to be a party to ruining a destroying the future of girl who is academically sound, this has always made us to get away with a lot of this because no school authority would want to loose a promising student, but mind you we try to be careful too and avoid brazen acts that called tarnish the schools image outside at all cost.
The first thought that came to Beatrice mind was to be angry with this cheeky girl and her manipulating friends if think she has been allowed into attending this party made her inside to turn with shame but this does not last for long as another thought came to her that if has was really honest with herself, she has actually been crowning for an opportunity to attend one of this secret part and now she admitted that she has not only enjoyed herself but has also secured a party in honour of herself what an achievement she purred to herself like a cat that has just had a bad of milk and also she even has some gift from the boys who gave her cash commending her for being natural.
In a single night, her status gap has drastically changed. she no longer see herself as the village girl but a member of the city life a belle of the city to be peers. Beatrice was dazzled by all the glamour of the city of Lagos that she believed she has finally arrived. She felt very proud of herself that during the course of single outing she has not only distinguished herself but she has also out show the regular girls at their own games.
She has secretly thanked Uncle John’s wife for hawling her into the boarding house where all this are believed would work for her good. She was announced that if the woman had not bated he she would not have done so. She doubt if she would have ever been able to attend any party not to talk of having one organized in her honour.
Beatrice turned to Bambi and asked her the question that has all while been bothering her what will Balowe brown get the money to organize this party? “Double Bee’s parents are flithly rich said her friend, anyway they want him to finish his secondary education here firs before joining them, there is more discipline here than in the school over there, they believe.
Is he their only child then? asked Beatrice ‘no, there are other three besides him”, replied Bambi but he is their only son”. “But how could they allow him to stay alone? Beatrice asked. Well according to the grape-vine she was first leaving with an uncle of his but that one I think was too strict for Double Bee’s liking beside other thing anyway it was rumored that Double bee wrote his mother telling her that the Uncle usually divert the money sent to him to other things and for paying his own children’s school fees while Double Bee was sent out for non-payment of school fees.
“But could that be true?” asked Beatrice. Bambi shrugged her shoulders “who knows, what can people not do because of money, on anyway. Double bee is now leaving in his parents house with a widened Aunt and his invalid grandmother.
What will people not do to get money indeed! Beatrice agrees, thinking of all she has gone through in the few years she has stayed in Lagos, how Uncle John’s wife has been stinging with the money released to come home for an open day because that would means giving her extra money when she was going back neither would she pay a visit to the poor girl unless the visit was engineered by her husband and this was not often because of the man’s busy schedule.
To crown it all, she would never give Beatrice enough provision for the three months that makes up the term, even though she collected more than enough money from her husband to buy all this necessary items but thanks to how Hawan and her sister who always supply Beatrice with toilet soaps and sanitary pads. Thy never allow her to lack anything.
It was not that Uncle John does not give his wife enough money to provide these things because his usual practices was to ask each to bring his or her list for the term and having done the costing together in the presence of his wife, she would then count all the money to her to assist them in buying their needs but madam always tell Beatrice to manage the little she has given her telling her that she would soon come to visit her in the hostel but she never does and the two times that Beatrice has danced to come home she has nearly chapped her head of.
Beatrice who was not a tale bearer was trampled one day to tell her uncle what has been going on but she valued so much the friendship with her cousins that she know that they would not feel happy with her if she were to be the cause of any raft between their parents, anyway she believe that one enemy is more than one when the camp than to go searching for others.
It was as if her cousins realizes her sacrifice and love because each of them usually gave her a token out of their own pocket money to manage. She however thank God that no matter how busy uncle john was be usually find time to procure their text books, she wonder if Aunt Aisha would not have diverted her own share of the money for something else.
As the day for her party drawn nearer Beatrice was getting worried because she does not know how she was going to make the party or what she was going to wear, left to her she would gladly have put on flower patterned frock but Bambi had said no. She has soon suggested to Bambi that they could go and get something with the little money she was given as the best dancer in the lat party but the other declined saying the money was only sufficient to buy only poor quality material, “you must not present yourself as a very choop you know” she had sound. but what then am I going to do? Beatrice asked perplexed, I must after all wear so melting since you said I am not to repeat the other frock, what else is there to wear?
‘Don’t worry” the other said ‘something small be done and they had left it at that. But as the days draws nearer, Beatrice become apprehensive and worried “I won’t be able to make it after all She concluded within herself” so I might as well forget about the party and concentrated on my studies. When it was about the days to the D-day Bambi called Beatrice and told her “you have to start forging that you are ill from now on. Feeling sick” Beatrice asked? “I mean why? what for?
Bambi replied “so that you can be sent home”. But I don’ want to go now. Beatrice protested, but you have to daft to enable you to be at the pity and to welcome to the party, it won’t speak well for you the celebrant to arrive at the party late after the guest might have been sitting or work still to be about.
You are not serious “Beatrice laughed” do you think Aunt Aisha would ever allow me to go to parties? Even if Uncle permits and I am quite sure he would be very much against night parties so giving home is out of it my dear friend?

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