I’m at the door to the dormitory now. I peep to see if Sinemile is in, and I see her lying on her bed, facing up, with one hand behind her head and the other hand tracing an imaginary line under my bed on the top bunk. I see her feet are not on the bed. One is on the floor, while the other is hanging carelessly in the air. I can see she’s shaking the hanging one in agitation –that’s what she does before she unleashes hell, which is, more often than not, directed at me.
Be strong, Ebube. Fear not those who can kill the body and not the…
‘Ebube come inside here!’
Oh my God, she knows I’ve been spying.
‘Come and stand here you useless pig!’ she adds.
I walk obediently into the corner. She sits up, abruptly, and looks at me with her three ugly eyes, yes, her dark scar makes the third eye.
Because I know what she needs me to say, I begin recounting animatedly the details of what happened last night. I do a secret wink at the inner me -she’s bold today, strangely.
After her awful threat and her near-ripping of my night shirt last night, I lost control and some pee came out. I know, it’s shameful, but I could not help it.
‘I swear, it was a reflex.’ I find myself stopping to say. She’s looking at me as if I were the crazy one. I continue with my story, nonetheless.
Because I was too scared of peeing on her bed and disgracing myself, I grabbed her hand and threw it off me, and then I fled. I had pretty much finished the urination by the time I got outside, but it was still more dignifying urinating on the way than on the bed. Quickly, I got a mop and cleaned the trail, shining my dim torch to see. Thankfully, Tanya was already asleep.
I feared that Sinemile will kill me because of what I had done, so I remained on the corridor till it was bright enough to take my bath and bolt. Oh, and once, I dashed into the room, grabbed the important things and didn’t return. My soap case is still there somewhere in the bathroom, along with my towel, toothbrush and slippers. I couldn’t bring myself to face her else my entire day would have been ruined.
‘You are mad o!’ she says to me, after I finish telling her the bearable parts of the story. ‘So what if those evil things had gouged out my eyes while you were gone? What will I have done?’
She’s on her feet now, looming over me like a deadly zombie. I want to retort and ask:
‘What if something evil had happened to me while I sat outside in the darkness and cold?’ but I manage to keep mum. Silence, at this juncture, is golden.
She keeps talking, walking to and fro the corner as though she is an actress in a stage play, but I can’t hear a single word she’s saying. My eyes are fixated on her left palm, I can see it twitching, impatiently waiting to land on something. It doesn’t wait too long though, as she suddenly lifts it and lands it somewhere across my face. I wince.
‘You good for nothing idiot. If you like run away tonight o, you’ll see what I’ll do to you.’ She says. She is pulling my hair now and twisting my ears till they’re on fire. She definitely knows how to multitask, the beast.
‘Today is errands day.’ She finally announces, taking her position back on the bed. I notice there’s no sheet on the bed. As if reading my mind, she says:
‘I have removed the bed sheet you peed on..’
‘Shut up, I don’t care. And the pillowcase, and then a few of my checks are dirty as well. My bras and pants and tubes are there too.’ She points to the laundry basket and my eyes follow her hands. I gasp in shock at how full the basket is.
‘Wash everything. I need many of them tomorrow morning so make sure they’re dry.’
I instinctively raise my hand to check the time. 3:54pm. Hmm…
I would have to perform a miracle. I pull my stack of buckets from under the bunk and make a dash for the bore-hole.
In the last few months that I have lived with Sinemile as her bunkmate, I have had some of the strangest experiences and a major downward spiral in my social life. This is what you get for having a psycho for a bunkmate.
The gist about her condition began to trickle into my ears some weeks after I compellingly became her bunkmate. It started when we were having normal ‘J-girl’ chatter in the room. I decided to share my experience at the Gbugbemi Hall social night episode and give my dorm girls something to laugh about. I was just getting to the part where she told me there was no missing ‘y’ at the back of her name when someone suddenly cut me.
‘Emily is your bunkmate?’ she sounded surprised and I wondered why. But first, I was wondering why she even got involved in the conversation in the first place. She was in JS3, she had a sister who was my roomie, and they were both discussing something that seemed pretty serious, but apparently wasn’t, since she still had time to poke her nose in our discussion.
‘Ehmm..I won’t exactly put it that way. You know her?’
Some of my roomies were already shaking their heads in disapproval. Nose-poker must be pretty ashamed, I thought to myself.
‘Oh please, you guys are in JS1, what do you know?’
No one said anything. I was a little disappointed.
‘Look, what’s that your name again?’
‘Ehen, you better find yourself a new Bunkie. Your Bunkie is not okay o’
‘But she’s not yet my…’
‘Your future Bunkie, whatever, is not okay. The girl is sick in the head.’
Fear was slowly crawling up into my insides, piercing my heart with its claws. I wanted her to explain better, but to my chagrin, she turned to her sister and continued with their ‘serious’ conversation.
I needed to know more. I was terrified, what had I gotten myself into? I told my best friend at the time, Bilikis about my concerns. Sadly we are no longer friends.
‘Ebube, maybe you should go and meet her and tell her you don’t want to do. Abi is nuh by force na!’
‘She’s a senior na, don’t you get it? She won’t listen to me.’
‘Tell a lie.’
She paused for a little while, hands on her tiny hips, mouth pouted, and eyes searching the ceiling for clues. I knew she was trying to think up something, but instinctively, I too looked up at the ceiling
‘Hmm..ok, I have an idea.’ She rested her hand on my shoulder and her weight made me sag a little, but I maintained a steady gaze at her face. ‘Tell her you are only staying for JS1 and JS2, because your family is travelling to the UK after JS2, and so you won’t be around to be her bunkmate.’
‘Wow! That should work.’
‘It will work. At least, she cannot force you to stay back in school now, abi?’
‘But when that time comes nko, and I don’t go anywhere?’
‘When we get to that river, we will cross it.’
I nodded in agreement. Bilikis was a brilliant liar.
‘We will cross it.’ I repeated, and smiled with smugness.
How wrong I was!