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CHAPTER 12- Red Carpet

Tracy Double Bee said in exasperation I have never heard about you until I saw you at Emeka’s party, you look so innocent and simple with your traditional hair style, bare face and natural amidst all those painted faces of the other girls that my heart went out to you and on impulse I could not just celebrating this original African beauty without artificial skin or make up” you know you are my African queen.
Beatrice felt flattered but the still persisted in her quest to know who the angry girl was. Tell me truthfully, who is Ceciline?She was my girl friend and Double Bee said why wasn’t she wit you at Emeka’s party Beatrice asked. Because we had a misunderstanding prior to that time said Double Bee. Care to tell me about it asked Beatrice. Double Bee replied I would rather not, unless you insist, because I would mean revealing other peoples secrets.
Beatrice who curious to know what it was all about but she felt it would be unsophisticated on her part to insist on intruding in other people’s primary so she tactfully channel the subjection to Double Bee relief.
I understand your parents live abroad “Beatrice said. “Yes’, Double Bee replied not knowing where this one was leading to and they do not mind your leaving alone” asked Beatrice. They know I would never go against the law or throw their names into mud. Double Bee replied. Moreover, I am not leaving alone, my grandmother and Steven’s mother who looks after her leaves in the main building. you mean Steve’s mother lives here” Beatrice called not belief her ears.
Double bee said “yes” and if you don’t belief me ask mum. And she cannot curb your excesses, Beatrice asked. What excesses” Double Bee quarreled “what have I done wrong. I mean the party said Beatrice and all this been staff.
Double Bee laughed “thank God, our family sees nothing wrong in taking Bear as long as it is not in excess if I may borrow your word he smiled, they are not like other Double faced. Parents who would not want their children to smoke or drink but who our busy along the some only for their words to go behind their back to practice their boys who after taking beer would rinse their mouth well then lick peppermint to curb the beer odour.
All the same I think, they are too permission reasoned Beatrice. Wake up Tracy, we are in the Monday time. Double Bee tensed, this is Lagos mind you and we are living in the jot age, by the way do you realize that we can take our parties to or metel where it is possible to misbehave but by being at home with the consciousness that our parents are within ear short is enough to curb any excesses. He smiled t the word again and make us behave, may he that accounts for our never having a roody part you know he said it so convincingly that Beatrice was forced to agree with him. After all I know little or next to nothing about Lagos life and party to judge by so reasoned. She then added “do they approach you of keeping girls in your quarters for what! double Bee looked at her quickly. They may approve our having parties but definitely not entertain girls in air quarters but in the moon sitting room and when we have parties girls must leave latest eleven ‘O’clock but mind you, we always find a way of wrangling out of this constraints. Boys would definitely be boys you know how asked Beatrice curiously. Double Bee said ‘we always make sure we fix our parties for when Stevens mum will be on night duty and moreover Laura knows the protocol.
“Like knowing when to come in and when not to come said Double Bee she was always well informed of Steve’s mum’ schedule. And what about the maid? asked Beatrice won’t she tell? oh you mean Ngozi? Double Bee replied ‘she and Laura gets on very well together, that’s Laura come in now and then to help her with the house had cores especially when Steve’s mother is around. Cleve Laura, said Beatrice She has family establishing herself into this family. I wish you will soon be too, Double Bee said hopefully.
Me, I still have a long way to go, replied Beatrice, Moreover, you people are all in the same category awaiting your results into the higher institution. But Steve and her started just like this, said Double bee. That may be true, replied Beatrice but then is no gap between Steve and herself but remember this is my first semester in SS1, you know. Does that make any difference question Double Bee “No, not really Beatrice said but are afraid about your going and all to live with your parents.
But I’ll send for you s soon as I start working but mean while I know we’ll now loose contact said Double Bee “no will be communicating after all. They were still talking and planning about the future when Steve came into inform Double bee that it was time to go and eat. They first made sure that the girls were looked in before going into the main building for their dinner. Laura’s friends had earlier left with a promise to come early tomorrow, Laura and Beatrice settled down to eat the semolina and Egusi soup that Ngozi has earlier smuggled in for them without Steve’s mother being aware of it.
The heavily padded window blinds striking them from the prying eyes of any intruder the rays of television serving as the only source of light in the room, the two girls talk in whispers as they enjoy the delicious food, the television also turned loud to deaden their own muffled voices. The serving of it role make sit exciting.
Beatrice asked when are your friends likely to be back as early as possible tomorrow morning I think Laura replied. At one time however Beatrice thought she heard of a stealthy step coming near the door, then a knock followed by the turning of the known. Beatrice drew in her breadth, Laura whispered relax, it may probably be the dog bingo or Audu the gardener and if its Steve’s mummy with her spare key? Beatrice whispered back in fear relax, she has no separate key Laura said the boys has seen to tic that, the farmer boy on the door was changed.
Beatrice then relaxed a little but her eyes kept darting to the door now and then to feed something to do she made to clear away the plates as soon as food was over but Laura restraint her that she might burn against something on her way to the kitchen and who knows the intruder may be outside waiting for any false move on their part.
Laura took the plates away only to come back later with a chilled bottle of rod wine and two glasses, she poured wine into one of the glasses and offered it to Beatrice who dedicated ‘I don’t take runs’ she said. Larger than? she asked Beatrice No, thanks I don’t take alcohol, said Beatrice. Laura raised her eyes browns in disbelief ‘you better start practice from tonight then she said or you’ll be the cold one out’
What do you mean by that I asked Beatrice Laura replied “Double bee’s people all take alcohol drinks and then you have to if you are going to be his wife or don’t you want to? It’s still too early to separate Beatrice said. But Steve said he’s dead serious about you and keen of marrying you. She rushed on and to be candid he has never gone as far as declaring a party for any girl since I have trained him, his belief is that, they are after his doc and doesn’t love him at all.
Beatrice just sat there looking at other girls mouth, Laura paused, she looked at Beatrice and said “oh I’ll better shut up, I think I am talking the much, she got up “I had better see if I can get you a soft drink.
As she emerged with an orange juice on her hand, the door also opens and the boys came in and locked the door fast after them sorry girls they said you were long in coming. Laura said “what kept you? Steve replied it was very difficult to tear ourselves away from groundmas’ clutches you know how she loves to talk, Laura smiled knowingly ‘we were lucky to escape because the night movie has just been announced Double Bee puts in.
somebody tries the door Beatrice said the boys looked at each other than Steve said it may have been my mum. Beatrice asked ‘does she suspect anything. both boys shrugged Steve said “I am sure she would have raved and rattle if she has he smiled I know that the roof would have come down by now but then who know. Beatrice was fontful “is she likely to come back then? please should we go, I wouldn’t like a scene at all.
There is nothing to worry about, said Steve. I think she has returned for the night. Are you sure ‘Beatrice was not convinced. Double bee said “that is true, her usual routine was to retire to her room after the network news with her night cap.
Night cap Beatrice said “what is that? “her bottle of big stout of course, Steve explains once she has seen to it that she compound is secured and properly locked, she would then retire inside with her bottle, that Steve said dramatically signifies the end of that for her, only grandma’s bell could ring her out before six O’clock in the morning.
And your grandmother, “Beatrice asked Double Bee said “you have nothing to fear about grandma, she’s on crutches so her movement is limited moreover, she is a television addict and nothing could distract her once she gloss her eyes to the tube she was known to have sometimes fall asleep in her chair till the next morning while the television is still on.
Yours is an interesting family “Beatrice remorse ‘some are worse replied the other. after the end of the late movies, Steve and Laura had goodnight and retire inside leaving Balowe and Beatrice in the living room. before the movie ends, however Double Bee has already fallen asleep, but Beatrice watched the play to the end after which switched off the tube an went to sleep on the softie. before the early hours of the morning Double Bee woke up and urged Beatrice to let them go to his room, this she declined saving she was okay where she was, Double Bee stood brooding over her for some time then he made to embrace but she drew away from him. “whey not Beatrice he allowed.
Because it is wrong “Beatrice said but we are going to marry ‘said the other. but that won’t come in a long while yet Beatrice replied ‘moreover it is logic in stealing what you know will eventually be yours that to me amount to foolishness.
Double Bee reluctantly left her, they both dosed off only to be awakened by Steve who told them that it was seven o’clock already. Steve’s mothers voice could be head asking Ngozi if the boys are awake, Double Bee asked Beatrice and Laura to go inside the guest room where he locked them in and kept the key in his pocket they then throw open their doors, open the windows and draw the curtains. Steve’s mother foot step could be heard coming towards their quarters, she put her head around the door and granted tehm cheerfully, her eyes sweeping all over the rooms but she went again asking the boys to come and help her get the car working as she has some shopping to do that morning.
By ten ‘o’ clock the boys friends started trooping in the girls were noble to take their bath once steve’s mother was out and move freely while they were eating, Bambi’s mother came to drop her and Beatrice was called out to be introduced to her.
Fortunately for them that night, Steve’s mother was on night duty so they have the entire compound exclusively to themselves, although since morning a beehive of activities has been going on as boys and girls came in to drop whatever they could lay their hands on.
It was as if the boys and girls has been waiting for Steve’s mother to leave the house for them as soon as her canter the compound they stated trooping in a large numbers, some on legs and other sin their parents cars. At nine ‘o’ clock, Ranti and Anne breezed in with a girl they introduced to Beatrice as Zainab and two boys Audu and Ahmed, they came in Ahmed’s father’s Benz 190E.
‘How did you make it? asked Bambi with all smiled. Oh lucky us, said Anne “fro Mrs. Camry to have gone down with ‘flu’ at this time. And you know her assistant in our ‘Pandy’ Ranti’s said scintilating I just went to her and told her that Anne and myself are going to Anne’s cousin birthday party and you know the rest of course. Bambi hitting her palms against Ranti and Anne’s palms said “and me-ney changed hands they all roared with laughter at their diverges their thumbs up for each other.
Beatrice was enchanting in he flowing black gown, every one commends her for her beauty. Double Bee’s head swelled up with pride as his friends praised him for his choice saying he reeled knows how to get the beautiful ones . But this one surpasses them all said one tall black boy enviously. I never know that we still have am so natural and innocent looking in this city you know.
a bottle of champagne was opened to toot the natural beauty and Beatrice was forced to take some amidst cheers. A fat frockled face boy full of wine said in a loud voice, that he was not at all tired by Beatrice’s demure, to me she is a village girl. A girl, who neither smoke nor drink or use make up me off, she-is-a-bush-r-a-t’. At first there was a dead silence in the room, the one boy went to the loud mouth bastard bastard and gave him a slap that causes his teeth to rattle before throwing him out.
Beatrice not knowing how to handle the situation did the first thing that came to her mind she took the nearest bottle at had and poured a full glass of the contents and down it, the liquid burned her throat and stomach but she managed to hold her head high. Steve quickly rushed to her side. “Where is Balowe Brown for God’s sake”, he said not knowing what else to say, he could sense the remark, really hit Beatrice.
Ngozi came to tell him that his parents were on the phone, Beatrice managed to tell him. Sit quickly here, I’ll soon be back ‘Steve said as he went in search of Double Bee but Beatrice could not sit still, she thought all eyes were on her so she went over to the boy who as serving the drink Give me a drink, she said the other asked her to name his choice, but not knowing what to ask for, she just pounced to one of the bottle.
She was on her third glass when Steve returned with Double Bee who went to her side, Steve childed him for leaving Beatrice all alone intermidated over with two incidents that just happened.
holding her close, Double Bee said with a concerned voice “you should not have taken that boy’s remark seriously, ‘he’s drunk you know. Beatrice stammared and it was difficult for Double Bee to wear what she was saying at first, “that foolish boy said I could not drink and I have being showing him that I can drink as well as every body else she lipsed.
Double Bee took a sniff at the glass in her hand and went over to the service boy what have you been giving Beatrice? he asked manancily. She asked for Vadoka Martin? “the other replied “Oh, my God, Double Bee was really mad at him, he has a mind of throwing his remaining content in the glass at him but a quick glance in Beatrice’s direction change his mind as he saw that she has already began to tumble so he went to her side and got her out before anybody could realize that she was drunk.
once outside, he found out that she could hardly stand on her legs so he has to carry her to his room, she just continued to giggle a he dumped hr on the bed. once she whine like a baby ‘I feel a burning sensation inside them. she started giggling again Double Bee helped her out of her dress and shoes.
Oh y-obe-h-a,m- cool, she giggled encouraged by her lack of protest, he went on to remove her undies the gasped at her naked smooth body and started to embrace her at first tentatively then as she does not protest still, more earnestly, the urgency of his own body urging him on coupled with few drinks that he himself had earlier on.
Even when he started to take off his cloth, Beatrice just lay their looking at the ceiling and giggling foolishly when he finally look her she was so far gone that she did not know were it not for the blood stain on the bed she you would not have known that she was a virgin, only when he first enter he did she mumble a weak ‘you are hurting me.
Double Bee himself did not remember how many times he had a go at her, all he realized was that he found her irresistible and not until felt spent and tired did he leave her alone to sleep while the girl, just slept on like a doll. putting on his cloth, he went back to join the party only to find the place deserted and Steve and another boy alarming things away ‘where is everybody he asked puzzles Steve explained that as the party wanted to turn lovely he has to ask the night guard in to dispel everybody.
“The boy that was thrown out came back with two of his gangs to spoil the show “Julius said “So Steve thought it best for everybody to vamoose and the guard came in with it to gun and ordered everybody out.
Thanks you Double Bee said gratefully he joined them in tidying up, the garden she wonder what explanation they would have given Steve’s mother if things should have gotten out of hand, where is Laura ‘he asked after sometime.
“On the old lady as sleeping like a bribe ‘”Steve said, she has had more than are usual rounder beer and fire tipsy.
It was around six O’ clock in the morning before the boys finally went to bed and by then the whole place looked clean and tidy only a broken flower pot and the leg of a plastic chair signified that a party has actually taken place there. Double Bee did not forget to thank the night guard for his divine intervention he also gave him two bottles of drink and two hundred naira.
When Double Bee got back to his room the cloth he has used to cover Beatrice was off and the girl was lying naked on her back, he felt himself stilling again later feeling exhausted, he laid beside her not bothering to cover either of them and was soon fast asleep.
Beatrice woke up an found herself naked beside her was double bee also naked, shocked she quickly got off the bed wrapping the cloth that lay at the fact of the bed round herself, she felt so disgust and shame wept over her as she surveyed her things strowed all over the carpeted floor. The horror of what has been taken place over when her, she gave a gasp and is shrill cry clutching at her breast with this awareness came also or surveying hatred for the man lying on the bed, looking around frantically she show a half bottle of wine on the dresser, she reached for it with the intention that she was going to smash it on Double Bee’s head but the later who had been woken up by her gasp but pretending to be still sleeping while watching her reaction, saw her reached for the bottle and quickly relied over as the bottle came down on the soft bed, he was soon on his feet, in a swift movement he has gotten the bottle out of the way.
Beatrice feeling quite helpless and however, began to cry it was a pathetic heart throbbing looking her entire body. Double Bee could not bear it, he felt so guilty “I am sorry Beatrice” he said gently moving towards the dejected girl who received from him “don’t touch me, I hate you, I hate you” said sobbed.
“I am terribly sorry” said Double Bee again. “But how could you do this to me” Beatrice asked tuning her tear stained face to him helplessly how could you? her voice was pathetic “you look advantage of me and you ra—
“Stop it Beatrice”, double Bee said “you are hurting me, you know I love and I would like to marry you in future. “But you rape me “Beatrice said mournfully. Double Bee protected “I did now such thing I found you irresistible and moreover what’s wrong with it, you take it so hard? Double Bee went on “afterall other people do it, look at Laura and Stone.
But I am not other people Beatrice put in “yes I know, sad Double Bee trying to placate her, I am sorry Beatrice, I didn’t know you’ll take it s---
The knock on the door interrupted them “yes, who is it? he asked. It’s me, Steve said the urgency in his voice could be easily noticed. Double Bee looked at Beatrice and opened it partially. Steve said “It’s time the girls have to know, you know today is my mum’s day off, she may be down any moment from now.
Okay, okay” Double Bee said as he closes the door on Steve, he stood learning on it.Thinking on the dilemma he has put himself in how would he ask Beatrice to go in her present condition?
But Beatrice has heard what Steve said, putting her things that were scattered all over the room, she went to the bathroom to wash herself. while dressing she was busy thinking of how she was going to smuggle herself into the hostel in the party dress, she was wearing them she remember the dress, she had come in the previous day, she went out to get it and met Double Bee watching her with a hot steaming cup of chocolate, size meant to side track him but he said pleading ‘Beatrice take this it would help to Strength you and please try to forgive me.
Beatrice did not answer but continued to look around the whole room after a while she asked ‘where is the dress I came in with double Bee went to his wardrobe and went and brought out a paper bag which Beatrice took from his hand and went back to the bathroom, she soon emerged with something more modest packing the other things into the bag she made for the door but Double Bee baricaded her way, he said sternly Drink this before you go or else I won’t open the door”.
Beatrice in defiance said them ill you. Double Bee said ‘go on and show, I won’t stop you Beatrice looked at him learning on the door, with a determining look on his face, then at the cup/she went over and took the cup from him. Double Bee said on to ou throw it at me I will prepare you another one, just know that you must take something before you leave okay”.
Beatrice noticed that she suddenly felt very weak and tired, she reached gratefully future cup and raised it to her mouth, she found out that it helped greatly. a knock came on the door again, Double Bee opened, it and Laura already dressed come in carrying a tray of two plates of toast bread and egg for her and herself.
After greeting them Laura said “Ngozi brought this, she said Steve’s mum is still sleeping and may be down any moment so we have to hurry setting down the tray, she look a toast bread and began to munch it, Beatrice suddenly found out that she was furnished, she reached out for one too, Steve came in with two mugs of chocolate for the girls.
With two cups of chocolate and toast bread in her stomach, Beatrice felt a little stronger although she still felt kind of funny inside, the feeling Laura told her was hangover you’ll soon get over it, said smiling ‘now let’s go.
Steve gave them some money which she accepted but refused to take anything from Double Bee but Laura asked him to give it to her. at the taxi park, Laura, chartered a taxi that would drop Beatrice in front of her school as the taxi moved, she throw the money she has tear from Double Bee into Beatrice lap and disappeared. Beatrice gathered the money to throw back, but the taxi has already gone far, so she had no choice than to keep it, it would seem foolish to throw the money out, moreover what would the taxi driver think of her she reasoned.

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