The Emancipation of Nwamgbeke – 1
‘How dare you wear my blouse?!!!!!!’ Georgina yelled.
‘Solly,’ Nwamgbeke said. ‘I not know is your own.’
Georgina thrust her palm to Nwamgbeke’s face. ‘Next time ask questions before taking anything in this house!’
‘Georgina!’ April called.
Loveth sprang to her feet at once, her eyes and lips wide open.
Nwamgbeke held her slapped cheek, her eyes on Georgina. ‘Na srap you srap me like this?’ she asked.
Georgina hissed and turned away.
Nwamgbeke grabbed her.
And the fight began!!!
As they twisted this way and that, their bodies entwined, April and Loveth ran round them, beating their hands about in the air and screaming, ‘Stop! Stop! Oh my God, stop!’
Loveth would want to move close and then suddenly she would back away again.
‘Stop!’ April continued to scream. ‘Stop! Girls stop!’
But the fight only got rougher. Hands and fingers twined round each other, pulling at hair, scratching skin and twitching ears.
Georgina’s wig came off first.
And then Nwamgbeke’s followed.
‘Oh my God!’ Loveth continued to scream, running round them and flapping her arms about in the air like a bird.
April ran into the bathroom and ran out again with a bucket of water.
She threw the water at the fighting girls and finally they stopped and detached.
Loveth quickly bent and raised the mattress to prevent it from soaking up water spilled on the carpet. Then she picked the two wigs on the floor and held them to her belly.
Both Georgina and Nwamgbeke were wet, breathing fast and glaring at each other.
Someone pounded the door then, diverting their attention.
‘Who is that?’ Loveth screamed.
‘It’s us!’ returned a loud female voice from outside. ‘What is happening?’
‘Go away!’ Loveth screamed.
‘I said go away!’
‘Ok o!’ the voice said, retreating.
Georgina slapped Nwamgbeke again and the fight started again.
‘Please come in o!’ Loveth screamed. ‘Please o! They have started again!’
The door burst open and the girl called Araba and two other girls flew into the room.
Araba herself being someone that is experienced at fighting, knew well how to separate one.
And she did it entirely by herself.
She’d slapped Nwamgbeke first, hard on the back, and then Georgina and came between them.
And that was how the fight was separated.
When Araba wanted to start asking questions, April put up her palm and said, ‘Thank you so much, dear, I will take it from here.’
Araba and the other two girls left and April turned glaring eyes to Georgina.
‘Georgina,’ she called, ‘I am mad at you because you slapped Nwamgbeke first.’
‘The animal wore my blouse!’ Georgina said.
‘And now you’ve lost the blouse and another too,’ April said.
Both Georgina and Nwamgbeke’s tops were badly torn.
‘Of course she will pay for them,’ Georgina said.
‘No,’ April said. ‘She won’t.’
Georgina continued to pant, face swollen in fury.
April turned to Nwamgbeke. ‘Mgbeke, now apologize to Georgina.’
‘Why am the one to aporogize?’ Nwamgbeke asked.
‘You wore her blouse without her consent.’
‘But she srap me first na?’
‘Your fighting back has annulled that blame,’ April said. ‘She slapped you and you’ve fought her back for it.’
Nwamgbeke said nothing, just scowling.
‘Now, the apology,’ April said.
‘Solly,’ Nwamgbeke flung out.
Georgina blinked hard and clucked.
April looked at her. ‘I’m sorry, my dear, but that’s just all you will get,’ she said. ‘Now both of you go change and come clean this place!’
Georgina walked into the bathroom.
Nwamgbeke picked the wrapped polyethylene she’d come in with and entered the kitchen.
Loveth stood there with their wigs, gazing stiffly into the air.
Inside the kitchen, Nwamgbeke washed the apples she’d bought and put them in a plate.
She came out and extended the plate to April.
April picked one green apple and said thank you.
And then Loveth, now sitting on the chair, picked one too.
Georgina came out of the bathroom. She’d gone to wash her face.
Nwamgbeke extended the plate to her.
‘Who bought the apple?’ she asked.
‘Me,’ Nwamgbeke said.
And just then, something melted in Georgina and she took the apple and muttered thank you.
The next morning was Saturday.
Georgina got up at around 6 a.m. to pray.
She tapped April first. April let out a small grunt and twisted to the other side.
She tapped Loveth and Loveth slapped her hand away as if in anger, yet her eyes were closed.
Only Nwamgbeke got up to join her. Though not exactly because she only just sat on the floor there, her open eyes straight-stiff into the air.
Georgina tapped her after she was done.
Nwamgbeke still did not move.
Georgina tapped her again.
She waved across her eyes; she did not blink. But she was breathing.
Georgina pushed her gently and she fell back to the bed and continued her sleep.
Later in the morning, at around 10 when all the girls have woken up, April asked Georgina, ‘What was that you wanted to tell us before?’
‘When?’ Georgina said.
‘Yesterday before the fight.’
‘Oh,’ Georgina said.
But before she could start, Loveth waved and said, ‘Georgina, wait!’
They turned their eyes to her.
‘I think April has something to tell us first,’ Loveth said.
April gave her a look. ‘What are you talking about?’
‘Before Georgina walked in, you came back from school with your face all crumpled like someone that got cancelled on after spending several hours in the bathroom shaving and exfoliating.’
April shook her head, her lips puckered. ‘You are sick.’
‘Call me whatever you like,’ Loveth said, ‘but you have to talk to us first before Georgina.’
April stared at Loveth, saying nothing.
Georgina looked at both of them and waved in unconcern. ‘Oh please,’ she said. ‘Who goes to that school in this sun and returns back the same?’
‘My dear, ask her!’ April said.
Loveth had opened her mouth to say something when Georgina threw out:
‘There is a pool party at Danotel next week! I don’t have the IV’s yet, but before Wednesday I will.’
Suddenly something whistled across the air above.
April pulled back into the bed sheet and Loveth turned back to the book on the table before her.
Nwamgbeke who had been sitting on the floor all the while with her legs crossed, back to the edge of the bed and eyes fixed on her phone, showed no reaction at all.
‘What?’ Georgina said.
‘What?’ April returned.
‘You guys are not excited?’ Georgina said.
‘Why do you think we should be?’ April said.
‘It’s a classy party organized by some of the biggest girls in town!’
‘I’m not interested!’ April said.
‘Me too!’ Loveth joined.
‘All the big boys in town are going to be there,’ Georgina said again.
‘Still not interested,’ April maintained.
Now Loveth turned back to Georgina. ‘Which day exactly is the party?’ she asked.
Georgina’s lips curved slightly. ‘Next week Saturday.’
Loveth turned her face to April. ‘April?’ she called.
‘It’s on a Saturday.’
‘We can easily—’
‘Why?’ Georgina said.
April pulled slightly out of the sheet. ‘Maybe you both need to be reminded that we are still yet to scrub off the scars of the last party we went to! With you, Georgina, and at that same Danotel!’
‘Oh come on,’ Georgina said. ‘Josh is dead and one bad experience doesn’t mean everything else has to be bad.’
‘Well, my no still stands,’ April said.
Georgina winked hard at Loveth to say something.
‘April?’ Loveth called again.
April put up her hand. ‘Loveth, no. You and Georgina can go, I’ll be home with Nwamgbeke.’
‘Me I going the party o,’ Nwamgbeke said, yet her eyes didn’t leave her phone. She was pressing at it as though the phone is trying to cheat her of something.
Georgina smiled an awkward smile. ‘No, my dear,’ she said, ‘you will not go. The party is for classy people.’
Nwamgbeke looked at her. ‘I not crassy?’
Georgina turned to Loveth with her lower lip pushed out.
‘I not know what you people taking me for o,’ Nwamgbeke said. ‘I have see things in this rife o. Better things o.’
‘That’s very nice to know,’ Georgina said. ‘But this party is beyond your level. Don’t worry, Theresa is celebrating her son’s first-year birthday in two weeks’ time in this lodge, you will attend that one, you hear?’
Loveth burst into laughter.
‘I will only go on one condition,’ April said.
‘Name it,’ Georgina quickly said.
‘That Nwamgbeke will go with us!’
Georgina stood. ‘I’m going into the bathroom to have my bath!’