Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 10
Collette was seated up on the bed, staring outside the window when the nurse came in.
” Oh, you’re up already,” the nurse, a fat woman in her mid thirties walked in with a tray of food. ” You should have some rest, dear. You’re not strong enough to be up at this time of the hour.”
” I can’t sleep,” Collette replied, staring past her at nothing in particular. ” I’ve rested enough so I see no need to sleep anymore.”
” Oh my,” the nurse dropped the tray by the beside. ” Well then, have something to eat. The doctor will be attending to you very soon.”
She smiled halfway at her. ” Thank you.”
Before she left, the nurse spoked. ” Oh and by the way, there’s this young lady waiting outside your ward. She says she’s your teacher. She’s really nice and pretty. She stucked with you throughout the entire time you were admitted to the hospital. She says she wants to speak to you but I told her you’d be eating and wouldn’t want to be disturbed.”
She was talking about Vee. Collette narrowed her eyes and looked away outside the window, watching the cloudy sky and the birds souring in the air.
Her lips then moved. ” That’s fine. I’ll see her now.”
Moments later, Vee stepped into the room, slowly closing the door behind her.
The first thing she saw was Collette with her back turned against her.
Vee smiled. ” How are you feeling, Collette?”
Collette didn’t answer.
Vee smiled more and moved fully into the room. She bent close to Collette and tried to kiss her ears when Collette pushed her away.
” What do you want?” She asked, her voice hard.
Vee, seeing she was in a sour mood, sighed and sat on the only chair available in the room. ” I came to pay you a visit. How are you feeling?”
” Better without you,” Colette grunted.
Vee bite her lips. ” Dear, can we talk about this?”
Collette said nothing, she was staring past Vee as if Vee was the invisible one.
” Alright,” Vee continued. ” I’ll take that length of silence as a yes. Collette, I’m not happy with what’s just happened. I feel terrible about this whole thing. I know you’re upset and all about my engagement but you’ve got to understand that it’s not my decision nor my choice to marry that man. My mother wants me to take total control over the school when she’s retired. It’s my inheritance as I’m her only child. I have a great deal of responsibility for myself, my mother and the people I care about. Try to understand me, I never wanted it to be this way.”
Collette was still silent.
Vee licked her red lips. ” Collette, I don’t want to marry. Marriage has always been a problem with my family. You see, in my family, we girl’s all marry pretty early. My mother married at the age of seventeen. She was then divorced at forty–five. My aunt also married at eighteen but right now she has no husband and no children.
My grandmother lost her husband to another woman after giving birth to my mother and my aunt. So you see, I’m scared of marriage. I rather be single for the rest of my life than live with the insecurities of marrying a man–any man.”
She paused to watch Collette’s reaction but Collette was as deadpan as ever.
” We share a lot in common, Collette,” Vee drew nearer to her. ” You, me and the other girls. We all hated men. Men are scum, men are cheats, men are untamed animals. We believe in each other as a whole. We believe in being independent. For a long time way down the ages, men has been dominating the female folks. They see us as nothing but a*x relievers. They think we’re weak and our destiny is to end up in their kitchen and bringing forth kids in the world. That’s not what we were created for. We were created to be more out of ourselves.” She paused and her voice went deep. ” That’s why I created THE LILIES.”
Collette turned her eyes from the window and stared at her.
Vee smiled, watching those lovely eyes as it glimmered at her. ” THE LILIES was to empower we girls to become more dominating than the male folks. We women are more powerful than men think we are. We just don’t know it yet. That’s why I created THE LILIES; to bring out the best in us. When I met you, I instantly liked you, Collette.
I remembered I was still preparing for my West Africa Examination Council exams (WAEC) when you began your JSS.1 in QA. You weren’t the brightest of all students and you were soo small and innocent. I remembered a bunch of you girls at that time were struggling with your grades. I felt bad about that. After graduating from university, I decided to become a teacher in my mother’s school. I’ve mastered the art of power. I’ve had a taste of the power and dominating force men possessed and I desperately wanted you girls to taste that power as well. So when I created THE LILIES, I ensured you girls—my girls become the best out of themselves. It’s been working for the past four years now but I never expected to have my student’s to transfer some emotional feelings towards me. I guess I got carried away with it I let you all enjoy the liberty of getting intimate with one another. We don’t need men. We can survive on our own, get our pleasure out from ourselves, become great women in the future but….the last thing I ever wanted was to get you girls hurt. I love y’all with all my heart the same way a mother would love her children. That’s why I hated seeing you girls get hurt. I’m not perfect, Collette. I make mistakes but this marriage was arranged by my mother. I can’t disappoint her. Despite me not wanting to marry that man, I have other plans for the future of this school. QA is going to be well known the moment I take control. But first, I have to marry that man. When I’m made principal, I’d sign a divorce and become single again. I understand marriage really isn’t a thing in my family so I’d have to keep it that way.”
” What about us?”
Vee was surprised Collette finally spoke. ” What about who?”
” What about us?” Collette glared at her. ” What about we the girls—your girls? What about me?”
” You are all part of my big plans, Collette.”
” What big plans?”
” I can’t tell for now.”
” Collette, please—”
” Is there something you’re not telling us? Is there something you’re not telling me?”
Vee regarded her and she noticed Collette’s eyes getting wet. ” Dear, don’t start right now.”
” You can’t just come into our lives,” Collette was crying. ” Make us feel special and then just leave.”
” I’m not leaving you girls.”
” But you are,” she sobbed. ” All you ever think of was your inheritance, your mother, the school and the stupid old goat you’re going to marry. You never stop to think about us. About our feelings. About what will happen to us after graduating from high school. Soon we’d be gone. Gone to go find our way out in the world. Then what’s going to happen to the monsters you’ve created.”
Vee smiled bitterly. ” I never created monsters, Collette. I created a powerful group of women that are more dominating than men.”
” That’s true,” Collette clutched tightly on the bedsheet. ” But have you ever sat down to think about what’s going to happen to us after we all eave?”
” Everyone makes their choice, Collette,” Vee said. ” I’m not going to stop you girls from making life decisions for yourselves. I made my own decision never to depend on a man. I expect you all to make different decisions when you graduate out of this school. But so long as you remain a LILY, you are bonded not to date a boy until after graduation. It’s a big world out there. I want you all to discover yourselves and maybe find true love.”
Collette stared at her. ” I found true love with you, mom.”
Vee scratched the back of her head. ” Now you see, that’s the problem. Ofcourse I love you as well, Collette but it’s complicated. I don’t want to be devoted to anyone. I want a free mind. Relationship are tough. You’re a student and well… I’m going to become a principal someday. Even if you eventually graduate and become someone with influence later on in life, I still don’t see how possible it is to date you.”
Collette’s face went a shade red. ” What’s that supposed to mean?”
” It means, I can’t have you,” Vee explained. ” Collette, understand me here. We’re both women. You belong to someone else out there and that person isn’t me. Here in school you’re a different person but that’s because I want you to focus and become the best. But out there, in the real world is where you truly belong. I can’t have you. It’s not proper.”
” Maybe you should’ve thought about that before you made love to me!” Collette yelled.
Vee sighed. ” Point of correction, Collette. I didn’t make love to you. You did. But I guess I got carried away. I’m sorry it happened. This is the LILIES standard. Right here in school, we’re lovers but out there in the real world, we’re nothing more but women.”
Collette tightened her fists. The words stuck into her like a nail hammered into a wall:
Right here in school, were lovers but out there in the real world, we’re nothing more but women~
” I better be heading back to school,” Vee said, rising to her feet. ” I spoke to the doctor and he says in a couple of days from now, you’d be free to attend school again.”
Colette didn’t reply her. She looked away angrily instead.
Vee let out a deep breath. ” By the way, your roommate, Lucy kept asking about you. She’s dead worried ever since you were admitted here. You should thank her when you get back to school. That girl is a miracle. If it weren’t for her, we wouldn’t have found you on time, else you’d have given up the ghost.”
Collette was still silent.
Vee leaned over, trying to kiss her cheeks when Collette’s voice rang out with a strict warning. ” Get—out—of—my—room!’
Vee stopped then pulled back. ” I’m sorry, Collette.”
And with that, she left the room.
Collette remained on the bed, her face in her palm, sobbing with her body quavering.
” Idiot!” She cried, letting tears fall to the ground. ” You, focking idiot!”
Suddenly she started breathing heavily. Her asthma attack was back again.
Gasping for air, she jumped down to the floor and crawled to the table above her where three cans of her inhaler were kept. She took one can and began s-----g in the medicine desperately to make her breathing easier.
For the next two minutes, she was s-----g in the medicine until finally, her breath became slow and back to normal again.
Sighing heavily, she gathered her legs together and hugged her knees, holding her inhaler in her hand.
” I just want to die,” she spoke aloud, closing her eyes. ” But why I’m I still living?”
•••••••••••END OF AUTHOR’S POV••••••••
Efua made my life miserable. I couldn’t please her. Everywhere I went, there she was but I’d resolved to outsmart her by all possible means.
It’s been three days now and within those three days, a lot happened.
Efua’s ex roommate was right about one thing, Efua loves bathing a lot. She baths six times a day and she usually spend soo much time scrubbing her body to perfection.
I gotta give it to her, she was one neat girl, probably the neatest girl I’ve ever seen.
But she was a first class b*tch.
Whenever I did something wrong, she’d blast me with her tongue. The other day, during lunch, I’d missed my step and had crashed to the floor with my food tray spilling over.
Instead of this black witch checking out on me like many others to see if I got hurt, she stood by the corner and rained insults on me.
” You clumsy fool!” She yelled at me. ” Why can’t you watch your step, huh? Look at all these waste!”
Everyone wondered what I could’ve done to deserve such heart chilling insults from her.
I ended up washing the entire cafeteria floor as punishment.
And yet, throughout all those stuffs, I’d keep mute and kept my cool. I’d learnt the hard way to tame my tongue cause if by any mistake I replied her back, everyone around would think I was being disrespectful.
This was an advise Sharon gave to me. Now everyone thought I was the victim and Efua was the bully.
Back at the hostel, it got worse but I knew how to handle her. I always made sure her six gallons were filled with water. It wasn’t easy filling those gallons up and taking them all the way from the basement to my room but I had backups. Sharon and Mia had supported me with that strenuous chore.
My stay with Efua was tiring and weird and I observed something really strange with her.
It’s like a pattern.
She always sleeps very early and wake up at exactly midnight to study. I noticed she always study naked with nothing else but her battery Torchlight and four bars of chocolate.
I’m not against her studying but why the nakedness? It’s really creepy.
I mean, I’ve seen Collette study. Collette reads about four different textbooks at the same time and still plays chess for fifteen minutes, sometimes ten minutes. And yet, Colette never studies naked.
I guess everyone has their own way of studying.
Efua only needed to be naked with some bars of chocolate, Collette only needed peace and quiet.
Meanwhile, I suffered in Efua’s hands for she turned me into a slave. I don’t know why, but I began praying vehemently for Collette to recover and come back to school.
Aside me missing her, she was the only one who could save me from Efua.
Then everything changed one night.
It was on a chilly Wednesday night when news spread amongst the students that someone lost their parents.
Sharon was telling me about it during night prep. I felt terribly bad at that news. It became a topic of discussion between us as we read our books.
I knew what it means to lose a parent—yeah, I’ve been there.
After prep, we returned back to the hostel. For some strange reason’s Efua still hasn’t returned to the hostel. I was happy though. At least I won’t get tongue lashed tonight, I hope.
But just after I was preparing for bed, she rushed into the room looking like a deadbeat lunatic.
” Is my bath ready?” She asked, avoiding me.
I nodded and rushed off to the bathroom and opened it for her. From habit now, I always made sure I ran her bath warm and ready.
She looked at me for sometime, then undress into her towel and shut herself inside the bathroom.
The time was 9:20.pm and she was still locked inside the bathroom.
Man, she was late for lights out. Usually, lights out was by 9:30 but I was now used to going to bed ten minutes before the time.
Suddenly she called me over from inside the bathroom. ” Lucy?”
I was in bed, minding my own business when I heard my name. What does she want now?
Getting up the floor, I rushed to the bathroom door and answered. ” Yes, senior?”
” Make sure the door is well locked,” she said from inside the bathroom and I noticed she wasn’t yelling at me this time.
” It’s already locked,” I answered, waiting for another order but she didn’t say anything.
Returning back to my bed, the bell banged and electricity immediately was cut off as the room was plunged into darkness.
Efua still remained in the bathroom.
9:57.pm and she still hasn’t gotten out of the bathroom. I began to get really really really worried.
What was she doing in the bathroom for Soo long? It’s nearly 10:00pm. And it’s terribly dark.
Suddenly the bathroom door swung opened and I could hear heavy footsteps approaching me.
I instantly raised my face and looked up to see her.
She was clad in her large towel and I could see tiny beads of water gluing her skin as she stopped before me.
I had no idea what she was up to but by mere looking at her, I could tell something was wrong. She had that dejected look on her face that I’ve never seen before.
She was sad and broken.
” Umm… senior, are you okay?” I asked
She stared down at me from the darkness and then squatted before me.
For a while, nothing was said between us and I could feel my heart hammering against my ribs as I could imagine the slap I might receive next.
But she didn’t do anything, instead she bowed her head, her eyes misty and wet. I was shocked to see tears in them.
” Lucy,” she said above a whisper.
” Yes, senior?”
She paused for a while, then continued. ” I lost my parents today.”
And that’s when it hit me. I became heartbroken cause I instantly remembered how I lost my own father. No wonder she was Soo sad and heavy this evening.
” That’s terrible, senior,” I said with a broken voice. ” I feel your pain. I’m sorry for your loss.”
” They died in an car crash back home,” she said quickly and I realized she was struggling with an effort not to cry in my presence. ” I…I was in class when the news came to me. I’ve never felt Soo heartbroken before.”
A while ago, I would’ve been happy to see her suffer this way but by mere looking at her pathetic face, I felt nothing but pity for her.
” I lost my father once,” I said reassuringly with a smile. ” I understand your pains but no one can change what happened today, senior. Bad thing’s happens and you can’t do anything about it. You just have to live with it and move on.”
It sounded off, giving this mean witch some consolation even after all the sh*t she’s put me through but I wasn’t that sort of girl who laughs at other people’s calamity.
I’m emotional, I’m like a puppy. When everyone is happy, I’m happy. When everyone is sad, I’m sad. It’s that puppy character that’s stuck with me from childbirth.
” I understand you, Lucy,” she said, wiping a tear off her eyes. Then her lips moved. ” That’s why I want you to help me forget.”
” Eh?” I raised an eyebrow. ” You want me to?”
She stood up and undid her towel. To my shock, the towel fell to the floor, revealing her naked body to my face.
” Lucy,” Efua said, approaching me. ” I can’t bear the pains anymore without some redemption,” she bent close to me and touched my shoulder. ” Make me forget.”
Her hand felt cold against my flash like ice cube. I pushed her hand aside and crawled away in fear. ” Senior, what in the world are you doing?”
” I want you,” she crawled towards me as well. ” Can we kiss?”
” No, we can’t,” I tried to stand up but before I could move a muscle, she descended on me, her weight pinning me down to the floor.
I began struggling with her. ” What the hell is this? Stop it…. stop or I’ll scream!”
She was crying and I could feel drops of tears touching my face. ” I’ll be gentle….”
” This isn’t funny anymore,” I cried. ” You don’t think this is an appropriate thing to do to someone do you?”
Her hands began moving fast and she tore the buttons off my pyjamas top, revealing my pink bra.
” Knock it off,” I raised my voice. ” I’m serious. Let me go already!”
” I want you to look at me,” she whispered.
When I looked up at her, I was met with a kiss.
I can’t believe it, she was kissing me.
This is….this is…..this is….this is…..
” You,” I gritted my teeth, raising my hand in the air. ” JERK!”
My slap landed hard and loud on her cheeks, echoing round the room. It sounded like a dried stick got snap.
Efua fell off me from the impact of that slap.
She held her cheeks, glancing up at me with hurtful eyes.
” You donkey,” I glared at her. ” How dare you? Don’t you care about Someone’s feelings?”
She didn’t reply me and out of anger and frustration, I grabbed my pillow and futon bed and marched out of the room.
Slamming the door behind me shut, I made for Sharon’s room.
Sharon opened the door, surprised to see me. ” Why Lucy, what’re you doing outside your room at this hour and with that bed? It’s lights out already.”
” Please,” I placed my hands together, pleading seriously. ” Please, please, please can I spend the night in your room?”
” My room?” She was startled. ” What you’re asking for is impossible. What happened to your room?”
I looked at my feet. ” It’s Efua, she’s bothering me again.”
Sharon suddenly looked pitiful. ” Well, that’s bad,” she paused, looking behind me to check if anyone was coming. ” Alright, I’ll let you in but just this once. Promise me you wouldn’t tell Efua where you spent the nights. If she knew I let you in, she’d skin me alive. I’m going against the rules for you cause you’re my friend. Come in.”
” Who’s that?” Came a tiny voice from inside the room.
It was dark when I stepped in and I couldn’t see the girl’s face but her voice was clear enough for me to hear.
” Shhhh, quiet Sasha,” Sharon hushed as she sneaked me in with my bed. ” She’s my classmate, okay?”
” What’s she doing here with that bed?” Her voice became hard. ” It’s lights out, do you want to get us in trouble?”
” I’m in trouble with Efua,” I explained to the mysterious Sasha in the darkness. ” She’s my roommate, substituting Collette till she returns back. I just want to spend the night here.”
” Are you crazy?” Sasha got down the bed. ” That’s against hostel rules. If Efua finds out you spent the night anywhere else but your room, you’d be in trouble.”
” Don’t worry,” Sharon locked the door. ” No one is going to find out so long as she’s my friend.”
Sharon came to me and took the futon bed from my hand. ” You’ll hide in my wardrobe if they ever knock to search for you but in the meantime, I’m going to hide your bed under mine. You don’t mind us sharing the same bed, do you?”
I shooked my head. ” I don’t mind at all. I just want to sleep, that’s all.’
Sharon felt bad, looking at how tired and washed out I was. ” Alright, then but you’ll be gone before 4:30.am in the morning, okay?”
” Okay,” I held her hand. ” Thank you very much Sharon.”
Sharon closed her eyes and smiled. ” Come on, what are best friends for?”
Moments later, I was sleeping beside Sharon on her bed. Sharon and Sasha were gossiping about other stuffs but I wasn’t interested in joining them.
I gave them an impression that I was already deep in sleep but I wasn’t really sleeping.
I was wide awake—my mind busy with thoughts.
This was crazy…..first, Collette and now Efua.