” Grace, didn’t you lock your room before coming for class this morning ?” Rose was in front of her, staring at the door knob to Grace’s room.
“What??” Yes I did why??” Grace was fishing for her room keys in her bag,. She only looked up when Rose didn’t answer.
“I think someone is in your room..because I hear voices ” .
“Whats that now??” Grace asked in awe. She dipped her hand in her bag and searched for her pepper spray. She was sure she had it in her bag this morning. She never went out without it. The life in Lagos had taught her to be security conscious. But it wasn’t there.
Did she misplace it somehow, ??
“Oh crap!” She muttered .
Probably when her bag ripped. It must have fallen out and slipped into anywhere..a hole , the gutter. She sighed, now she had to get another one
But who the hell had the mind to break into her room in broad day light with students lurking around. She placed her ears to the door but could only hear giggling and girly chatter.
“Grace, let’s go. We can come back later ” . Rose had a feeling she knew who was in there. They sounded too confident and relaxed. Like they had a right to be there. She tugged at Grace’s sleeves.
“Grace C’mon. ..let’s go …”
“Go where?? This is my room. I need to know who is in there. No am not leaving” she said with her stub-bone chin set. Her mother always said she could be difficult when she wanted to be. And this was her room. She pushed the door open slightly, and then all the way..
Victoria sat cross-legged on her bed. Sandra and Bunmi graced her two chairs. Her room was in disarray as though she had just been robbed and someone helped her to trash the place. Cloths everywhere and broken picture frames. Grace and Rose walked in slowly..
“Oh welcome. Glad for you to join us. I thought you were neat when I first saw you but your room speaks a different language. I hope you don’t mind but we took a few pictures for the student blog. It’s just gossip!! And everyone loves a good story .”
“This is low, even for you Victoria ” Rose said, bending to pick some things from the ground. Grace didn’t move. Her eyes glistened.
“Am sorry is someone talking.??” She looked at Bunmi and Sandra, asking.
“No. I just hear a fly buzzing. Do you hear anything Bunmi?? Sandra looks to Bumni
“No, just the bickering of a mad woman. ” she shrugged .
“I believe if you both have brains, you would realize that what Victoria is doing is darn right unfair.. but no you don’t. So you follow her like rats waiting for her left overs and prowling on unsuspecting victims. Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves.? “.. Rose fumed.
Victoria laughs, unperturbed.
“You are just an angry bitter girl who has been holding grudges because I didn’t make you one of my girls.”
Rose scoffed. ” Don’t be silly. I rather be no one than be a sorry excuse for your clones ” …Rose folded her arms.
“But do no get me wrong Rose. I can and will deal with you. So don’t assume my quietness for laxity. You know I only pity your poor mother selling worms in the market to fend for a twart like you. So you better shut up or else I would shut you up. And you don’t want to test me.”
“Don’t you dare call my mother” Rose points at her , anger in her eyes.
“Or would you prefer I call her some other name more befitting. ?? Or you can tell me who your father is and we can call it quits and I will leave Grace alone??”
Rose kept quiet. Her eyes fell to the ground and she closed her fist. The only thing Victoria knew about her. The only thing that made shame wash all over her. That was her weakness. Her past. Her life. Her beginning.
“Good. That would shut you up.”
Victoria turned to face Grace, “Ooh… Looky Looky here. Poor lil Gracey is about to cry. Poor baby…”Wahhh-Wahh-Wahh” . She placed both hands to her eyes and did the crying baby gesture. Bunmi and Sandra followed. A tear dropped from Gracey’s eye.
“How dare you? What did I do to you. I don’t even know or talk to you. This morning I got slapped. Wasn’t it enough despite I had no reason to be. And now this. What did I do to deserve this hatred. Can’t I be left alone. I don’t see Anthony here…what is wrong with you!!” Gracey cried. Her bag had slipped to the ground.
“Oh, she has a sharp mouth doesn’t she??. I like it. I love to put a knife to it. And for what you did. ..? I don’t know let me see…
“Anthony hasn’t looked at any girl, well not that I know off, until you walked into class today.
And not just that, in less than two hours he had you in his arms. My boyfriend had you in his arms.. how dare you ask me what you did??”
“He was helping me–
“Shut up. Can’t you see she is talking. Are you daft??” Bunmi nudged her to the side. Sandra poked her on the other side. Rose came behind her..
“Don’t touch her”
“What can you do…fight us??
“Maybe she is joking ” Sandra and bunmi pushed Grace again. Staring at Rose. Daring her.
Rose knew she couldn’t fight them. She knew she couldn’t go up against them and Grace seemed too soft. But she knew Victoria had people lurking around at her beck and call. That’s why she was able to come in here and trash the place.
Rose wished Anthony was around. He seemed to be the only person who could stand up to her properly.
“This here is just a fair warning. Stay away from Anthony . If you see him coming. Run the other way. If he talks to you. Act dumb. Okay??
” I just wanted to come by personally to give you the message. I usually just send someone to deliver it for me but…for some reason I wanted to see the look on your face…and I must say I love it. It’s epic!”
“Just leave her alone Victoria. Grace isn’t interested in your “Anthony ” neither is he interested in her. It was a bloody misunderstanding . Let it slide.” Rose held on to Grace, she wished she could protect her from this vile scums of the earth standing before them.
Victoria absentmindedly reached for a pen on the table, and ran a deep line on the bag on the bed… Then she gets up, laughing.
“Well let’s us just take this as a pre-warnig proper shall we??” She walked through Rose and Grace, hitting Grace ‘ s shoulders
“C’mon girls. Let’s leave them to themselves. Am sure they have much to do.” Sandra and bunmi laughed following her.. Victoria pauses and speaks over her shoulders..
“And oh…sorry about your first semester. You would pull through. And I hope you like my present? ”
And they were gone.
“Look at the mess. Just look at what they did. How ..how..??” She burst out in tears. Rose gathered her in her arms..Grace pushed her away. She was angry, she was really really angry. But mother always said two wrongs doesn’t make a right. Her bible teaches her to forgive. Not to curse or fight. But she really really wanted to lurch at Victoria and pull her hair out of their roots and scratch her with her nails, calling her all the names that would make the virgin Mary gasp. She so wanted to.
But all she did was cry as she bent down to pick up her cloths… Rose bends down beside her to help her out
“Let’s clean this place up. ”
Grace pauses then she asked “Why did she leave her bag here, and what did she mean about my semester? ?”
“I don’t know what she meant by that. Victoria is crazy. Sometimes she speaks like one who isn’t in touch with this world. Don’t mind her. ”
Grace had walked towards the bag, lifting it up while Rose talked. In another minute, tiny-brownish curly things fell out spreading over the bed, moving. she screamed and ran out of the room…dropping the bag.
It took only a second for Rose to understand what had happened as she fled the room behind Grace.
The bag was filled with worms
******* the other side, off campus****
“I have to deal with this Victoria’ s obsessiveness over me. I didn’t realize how bad it was until today” He paced up and down his room. James watched him .
“Dude, you haven’t really cared what she did with the other girls. ”
“Well I din’t . Yes. I never got details anyways. I only hear bits and pieces but I really never liked to listen to small talks or jist. Especially when it concerned her. I only get to know some girl either leaves or gets transferred or never shows up in school again”. He stops and then began pacing again.
“But now it’s a problem??” ..James already knew the answer to his question but it didn’t hurt if Anthony admitted it.
“Of course it’s a problem. I had to witness firsthand her madness. And poor Grace had to bear the burnt of it. Of course it’s a big problem that needs to be dealt with.”
“Are you just saying that because you sort of like this Grace girl or because you would do it for any other girl” ?? James asked, sitting up from the bed he was lying on. ‘”Wait before you answer that , you should think carefully. ”
Anthony eyed James, shaking his head.
“Yes for any other girl”!
James ached an eyebrow..
“Yes!! I will act and defend any other girl.!!”
James ached the second eyebrow.
“Ok fine. Maybe I won’t. I don’t know “… he stopped pacing and sat on the arm of his large chair. Facing James. .
“There is something about Grace. Something that intrigues me about her. It’s not just her beauty. In fact it’s the silliest thing.
Her eyes, the dangling of a lock of her hair over her eyes while she was writing… her clumsiness and even her stubborn chin when I was putting the ice to her forehead and face……I don’t know. There is something and I must admit I think I would love to know her..a little bit more”
“Just admit you want to sleep with her. I will get it”
Anthony turns to him..
“She isn’t that type of girl and don’t be stupid. For the first time I wasn’t exactly thinking about sex when I was with her. So that’s not it.”
“So you like Grace??”
“I don’t know”
“You do realize that Victoria is going to make that girl’s life miserable. And it won’t be pretty.”
“That’s what I am saying James” he gets up and began pacing the length of his room again.
“I need to deal with this Victoria’s thing for me so she doesn’t harass Grace. I felt like breaking that arm. But I could never hurt a lady. Well, not physically “. Remembering the few hearts he had broken.
“But for the main time, I need to pacify Grace. She accepted to have a drink . Oh well…a water with me tomorrow ” he was smiling.
“A water???” James laughed.
“She doesn’t drink. That was my best option”…
“Nice Anthony. “..
“C’mon, let’s play …I need to kick your ass in FIFA!”
Anthony grabbed a pad and threw one to James. Putting on his PS game. Their eyes glued to the TV .
****The next day***
Anthony was in class on time. James beside him. Their lecturer was running late but Grace and Rose were nowhere to be seen.
“Aren’t they coming to class??” Anthony looked around..
“Hi Anthony. That colour looks good on you..
He smiled at the pretty girl. He remembered how soft her buttocks was. But her breath was bad. He shook away the memory. Turning away. His eyes didn’t stop searching every passing figure .
Victoria strolled in, Sandra carrying her bag and bunmi beside her. She went for Anthony. ..
“Queen bee…incoming. bitch incoming ” . James muttered under his breath, only to Anthony’s hearing. Who laughed.
“Aww my baby is happy to see me”…Victoria purrs as she leaned towards him, pouting to place a kiss on his lips
He turned away. James scoffed. Some people laughed. Sandra and bunmi gasped.
“You aren’t transparent Victoria and you are blocking my view. I need to see the door way. ” he pushed her way from him.
Victoria’s face didn’t changed. Her smile didn’t waver. A shoulder of anger danced in her eyes but she didn’t show it.. she straightened up and looked around..
Sitting down beside him.
“Don’t be difficult baby. I hate the way you treat me.”
“And I hate the way you treat innocent girls .”
Her expression darkened ..
“Are you referring to that twart??
Anthony’s jaw flexed. James tapped him. Anthony breathed.
“Don’t call her that. She has a name Victoria and I would appreciate it if you seize from bugging her. ”
“She is a twart and more. Haven’t you seen the gossiped blog today. Everyone is taking about it. She is as dirty as they come, even her room breeds worms” she laughed
James and Anthony turn …
” What gossip blog. Worms. .who..Grace? ?. Victoria why are you sarcastically evil. You disgust me. Please can you move. And leave Grace alone. ”
“But it’s the truth. And I will as long as she behaves and you look at me and no one else and what I said? it’s the truth.”
Anthony looked up when someone walked in. His heart sinking when it wasn’t Grace. Victoria snarled..
“Don’t bother waiting for her. She is probably busy cleaning out the worms that she lives with”
She brought out her phone and opens a page ,
“Look, if you don’t believe me.”
“What have you done Victoria? ” James asked.
“Nothing, I just told you what I woke up to this morning. The gist is everywhere and a lot of people have something disgusting to say about her. I really didn’t do nothing”
Anthony slowly went through the phone, his hand closed in a fist. His jaw flexed and his lip thinned..anger in his eyes
He got up, pushed his way and walked out.
Victoria’s laughter ringing in his ears..James followed him out, calling his name. Stopping him just outside the classroom.
‘Wait Anthony, what was that. What did you see. What happened to Grace.???
He caught up with Anthony who stopped but punches the wall instead. Fuming.
“Victoria fxxking happened !!!!!”
“Do you know where she lives…or have her number. Anything.??”
” who? ….erm No!!” James shakes his head. “No I don’t ”
“Fxxk!!!” Anthony swore again
“I need to find Grace “..
To be continued… Next episode to be posted next friday.
Click Here to read Walk Of Shame – pt 6
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