Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 19
Sitting opposite Collette on the study table, I bent my head over my book, studying my chemistry note.
Collette was leaning back on her seat, reading a novel with a yellow HB pencil tucked at the back of her ear.
We hadn’t spoken anything to each other since we returned from Efua’s room.
It was already light’s out but Co llette and I had a deal and that I was to study with her every night.
But I was getting boring. Studying was hard work and I could feel my eyes getting heavy.
I groaned. ” By what time do we to sleep? We have class tomorrow, you know.”
It was ten minutes to midnight, alright.
Collette flipped to the next page of the novel and moved her lips. ” I don’t know. Just keep studying.”
” Easy for you to say,” I yawned tirelessly. ” This is boring and I’m feeling sleepy. How do you even stay up this long at night to study? Is there some kind of pills or coffee or—”
Collette took off the pencil behind her ear and marked something on the novel. ” Discipline. That’s all it takes. Stop being lazy, Lucy.”
” I’m not lazy,” I cried. ” Just that, I’m not really used to this. Come on, if I don’t get a goodnight sleep, I’d be dozing off in class.”
” Take your time, Lucy,” she said in her quiet remote voice. ” I’m not asking you to be like me. I study ten times everyday. It’s part of the trainings we received in the LILIES. Also we only get four hours of sleep every night.”
” That’s bad,” I nearly exclaimed. ” Four hours sleep? But doctors recommend we humans get eight hours of sleep to stay healthy and strong.”
” They’re right,” she said setting down the book and turning to face me. ” An average man sleeps eight hours per day. The billionaires, great men and women, presidents, military commanders, scientists, astronauts, movie stars, name them all, they don’t sleep eight hours per day. The average man sleeps eight hours per day. People like me, I am not average. I sleep four hours per day.”
” Because great men make use of their night. During the peace and calm of the night, while others are asleep, these great men and women are awake, using the night to their advantage. A successful man’s success is being worked over in the night. Work in the silence of the night, let your success and hard work speak in the daylight.”
She strucked a word in my brain.
Work in the silence of the night, let your success and hard work speak in the daylight~
” Is that what you were taught in the LILIES?” I asked.
She frowned and returned back to her novel. ” That’s the key path to success, Lucy. Take it or leave it. You want to pass your exams, discipline yourself. Sleep is good but you’ve been sleeping your whole life. Make the necessary sacrifices to deny yourself sleep and I assure you, you’ll see good result.”
I stared at her for sometime then without thinking, I rose to my feet, headed into the bathroom and washed my face with some really cold water.
When I returned back to the bedroom, she was going through my chemistry note.
” What are you reading?” She asked, s------g her face in a mask of disgust.
” My note,” I replied, retuning back to my seat.
She remained silent then she tossed it back to me. ” This won’t do you any good. You have to mix up your studies. Read more of SS.3 and SS.2 work schemes.”
That was exactly what Efua told me.
” How on Earth am I supposed to understand what I’m reading? I haven’t been taught these stuff yet,” I lamented.
She let out a deep breath. ” What do you think I’m here for?”
I giggled. ” Sorry, I forgot you were my private tutor.”
She brought out a sheet of paper and a pen. ” Still feeling sleepy?”
I shooked my head. ” Nope.”
” You ready to study now?”
” You’re sacrificing your sleep for your exams?”
She nodded and began. ” You’re ready. Let’s start. Alright, first of all, let’s start with some SS.2 work. There this stuff called titration….”
One hour gone, two hours, three hours and we were still wide awake.
Colette was a marvelous tutor. It was quite very easy to understand her better than any teacher. She wasn’t rushing things and she made sure I understood a subject before she switched to the next subject.
By the time it was 2:43.am, just when we decide to crash for bed, I began talking.
” Say Collette,” she was climbing her bed.
” What is it?”
Lying on my bed with my bed covers up to my chin, I stared at the ceiling. ” I want to know. Do you still like Efua?”
I didn’t hear her say anything.
” Following what happened yesterday in the evening. After my meeting with Efua, I noticed you were crying silently.”
” I wasn’t crying,” she replied and I could tell she was pulling the bed covers to her chest. ” Go to sleep, Lucy. You have class tomorrow.”
” Well, they do look like real tears to me,” I said. ” Was it because of what she said? About you and MÔM?”
” Look Collette,” I knew she was listening to what I was saying. ” I don’t know what caused you and Efua to become bitter enemies. I can’t say how much it breaks my heart to see you two fight. Whatever Happened to your friendship?”
She was still silent. My heart was pounding in my chest that I feared she might be hearing it as well.
” Efua needs you, Collette,” I began. ” She’s going through a lot of pains. I know you don’t hate her and all but the fact you ignored and abandoned her wasn’t fair to Efua. I think she deserves an apology from you. Don’t get me wrong, the girl’s a creepy witch but she wouldn’t have turned this bad if you’d not shut her out of your life.”
” I just….” I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath. ” I just want you and Efua to come back together— as friends. Just like you always were.”
I raised my head and glanced at her bed. For crying out loud, was she snoring.
She was snoring lightly but I knew she was still wide awake. She was just giving me the hint that I had class today and a sleep is what I needed.
Feeling disappointed, I rolled back on my bed and covered myself once again.
” Well, goodnight.”
She didn’t reply her either. And that was how we remained until the first c--k crowed
” You’ve been quiet of lately, Lucy,” Sharon said, sitting opposite me on my desk after maths class.
I was focused on the book in my front but my mind was busy. I was thinking about Collette and Efua—again.
” I was thinking, Sharon,” I said suddenly. ” Do you think Efua and Collette would ever become friends again?”
Sharon was scribbling something in her book when I said that. ” I don’t know, Lucy. Those girls have a long history that’s never going to be rewritten again.”
” But what if there’s a possibility?”
She shrugged. ” I doubt it. Let’s leave those girl’s to settle their differences. Look Lucy, you’ve got to take things easy. You care too much.”
She was right. I care too much. ” It’s not my fault, Sharon. I can’t help it. Collette is my roommate and Efua is … well, I just feel bad about their long rivalry with each other.”
” Hey,” Sharon tapped me on the shoulder. ” Get your head out of your a$s, Lucy. Those girls have no less than a year to spend with us. Soon they’d be gone after graduation. You’ve got your own life to think about, Lucy. Look girl, you failed your C.A test. You got a lot to make up for. Stop overworking yourself with those ice queens. They’re intelligent and brilliant and they have rich parents too. Let’s be focus on what we are here for, alright?”
I hide a smile. ” Now you’re sounding just like Collette.”
She dropped her pen and gave me that questioning look. ” Lucy, can I ask you a question?”
” Go ahead.”
” Hey, I need an honest answer,” she poked me. ” You gotta tell me the truth.”
” I’m listening.”
She waited as I returned back to my book again.
” Are you in love, Lucy?”
I started in my seat. Shooting my head up at her, I gaped at her. ” In love?”
She was smiling foolishly at me. ” Just tell me the truth. Are you in love with someone?”
I returned back sharply to my book. My face was turning scarlet and I could feel my cheeks burning. ” W—where is that even coming from all of a Sudden?”
” It’s something I’ve been observing of recent,” she cocked her head to one side, watching me closely. ” Gosh, Lucy are you blushing?”
I stood up and pushed her away. ” What’s your problem?”
Laughing, she edged her seat away from me. ” Oh come on, you were looking all lovey dovey just now. So it is true. Lucy is in love.”
I was wondering where she was getting all that crazy idea from. ” That’s enough, Sharon. What’s gotten into you?”
” Then stop blushing.”
” I wasn’t blushin—” I paused, looking away. ” You got it all wrong!”
Sharon was laughing now and I noticed some of my classmates were staring at me.
I became even more red in the face that I sat back and rested my face on my desk.
Sharon was right about one thing. Why am I even blushing?
Are you in love, Lucy?~
She said those words and my heart became more warmer and quick. It was the same feeling I get whenever I’m with Collette.
Was this how being in love feels like?
” Lucy Williams?” The class captain of my class announced.
Glancing up sharply from my desk at her, she narrowed her eyes, apparently bored. ” Miss Vee wants to see you in the art room, now.”
I was surprised. Sharon turned to look at me. I’ll bet she was also asking questions.
Miss Vee? MÔM, My guardian?
The art room was a small house which was crammed with many art stuff; Potrait paintings, ceramic hardwares, raffia mats, potted flowers and some museum artifacts the school must’ve bought.
Vee stays alone in the art room all by herself cause she was the only art teacher in the entire school. Now majority of the students in school were science students. Only a few were interested in art and culture.
Inorder words, the art room was usually quiet and lonely.
But that wasn’t my problem. Vee rarely ever calls for me. Sometimes I wonder if she even knows I’m her ward. We hardly see each other and I’ve been Soo preoccupied with my school work and Collette to even think of her.
I wondered what she was calling me for. My first thought was my mother but something at the back of my mind told me otherwise.
She was seated in her little office and I could see she was busy painting on a canvas.
She didn’t see me come in and I noticed she was lost in whatever she was working on.
I moved over to my right where I could see her canvas fully.
She was painting a face potrait of a school girl. It was soo life like and beautiful. But there was something familiar about the girl she was painting.
Something told me this girl was someone I know.
” That’s a really good painting, MÔM” I said over her back.
She became alarmed and with a rush that I’ve never seen from her before, she took a cloth and covered the painting almost immediately.
Then she stood up and turned to glare at me.
Seeing her angry expression, I became scared of her. ” Oh, I’m really sorry, MÔM. I didn’t mean to intrude. I should have knocked.”
Her face suddenly relaxed and I thought I saw relief in those eyes. Then she gave back her Charming smile.
” It’s alright, little Lucy. You can come in at any time you so please.”
I looked over her shoulder at the covered canvas. ” You must’ve been pretty busy.”
” Yeah,” she placed her hands on her waist and glared at the canvas. ” But it’s top secret. I have to finish it first. No one must know about it untill I’m done.”
” Sounds like you are planning to gift it to someone special.”
She returned her eyes back to me and smiled. ” That’s right. How did you figure it out?”
” Well, it’s quite obvious.”
” Have a seat, little Lucy,” she waved to a chair. ” There’s something you and I have to discuss.”
The way she suddenly switched off to a whole new topic surprised me but okay, let’s get down to business.
I sat down before her desk and she returned to her seat.
” Umm … is this about my mother?” I asked.
Vee shooked her head. ” Actually, it’s about you.”
” What about me?”
” Lucy, is it true you failed your C.A test?”
I saw it coming didn’t I? Only I didn’t pay much attention to that thought.
Bowing my head over my chest, I answered. ” It’s true.”
Vee became sad. ” Mrs Cooker called me in her office a while ago and laid some complaints on your bad performance on your C.A test. She even called your mother and threatened to drop you out of the school if you failed your first term examination.”
I didn’t say anything.
Vee continued. ” I spoke to your mother an hour ago. She sounded bad about the whole thing. She wanted a word with you but I decided against it. I told her not to worry. I told her I’d talk to you first.”
I waited for her to say more. My lips were as dried as a desert sand. I could just imagine the disappointed looks on my mother’s face.
Vee regarded me closely. ” Lucy, I want you to understand something. All my wards are very intelligent girls. The Council president Collette is my ward, Temi the hostel captain is my ward as well, not to mention other girls of mine who are doing outstandingly fine. The fact that you’re my ward makes it unbelievable the day you failed your C.A test.”
I wanted to say something but she interrupted me.
” I pleaded with Mrs Cooker to give you some time to adjust. I knew I failed as a guardian. I should’ve checked more on you but I was too busy with a lot of stuffs at the moment. My forth coming marriage and other stuffs kept me off school work for sometime. But now I’m back,” she paused. ” So do you mind explaining to me what exactly is your problem. Go on, talk to me, don’t be shy. I’m here to help you out.”
I hesitated but after a while, I told her everything I was going through. I told her about my struggles with studying, the boring teachers and my emotional issues.
I didn’t mention Collette nor Efua though. I made sure I kept our affairs off Vee.
Vee said nothing until I was done talking. She was staring fixedly at me and I became uncomfortable with the way her eyes kept holding mine.
Then she rose to her feet and sat on the desk, gazing down at me. ” Little Lucy, did you dump someone?”
I was startled. ” Dump someone?”
She took in a deep breath. ” What I meant was, did you break up with … You ditched someone didn’t you?”
I was still confused. ” I’m sorry, MÔM but I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
She got up and wandered towards the opened window not saying anything.
I waited for her cause already, I was feeling lost.
It didn’t take long before she broke it to me. ” You and Efua were dating, weren’t you?”
I stiffened. Now I see what’s going on here.
” I wasn’t … she and and I never dated. We’re both girls.”
I didn’t know when she came over to me and before I knew it, she was leaning towards me, her hand Cupping my face in her palm.
For a moment, we stared at each other in silence.
” Two girls in a relationship,” she said suddenly. ” That’s cute but dangerous. You do know that, don’t you?”
” I told you,” I said, thinking she was just too close for my liking. ” We never dated. She was … She was the one forcing herself on me.”
Vee immediately left me and returned back to her seat. I realized I was running short of breath. Her closeness had nearly suffocated me.
” I spoke with Collette today as well,” she said, taking a pen and scribbling on a paper. ” She told me she was tutoring you.”
” That’s right.”
Vee frowned then smiled again. ” I think it’s a good idea. You stick with Collette but … I kept thinking about Efua.”
” What about her?”
” She’s depressed,” she said. ” But I’m not asking you to go apologise to her or do anything stupid. What I’m saying is, do be careful out there. Don’t play with people’s emotions. I heard what happened between you and Efua. I know it’s not your fault but … I’ll say this here and now. The next time you feel uncomfortable with Someone’s feelings towards you, just turn them down flatly. Stop trying to help them in sympathy. You’re only hurting them the more.”
” I’ll keep that in mind,” I Said.
” Remember Lucy,” she became all charmed again. ” My door is always opened. Whenever you need something? Let me know and I’ll help you out, okay?”
It was as much as I could to smile. ” Thanks, MÔM.”
On my way back to my classroom, I passed by a lonely path which would in turn lead me as a short cut to the SS.1 block.
My mind was busy with a lot of thoughts rushing in and out but I couldn’t give myself time to sort through it all.
I needed to focus on what I was here for. My meeting with Vee pointed to that.
Suddenly I heard voices nearby.
” Why did you call me here, Adaobi?”
Wait a second, I know that voice. It belongs to Collette.
Turning around, I searched for the direction from which her voice came from.
Then I saw them.
They stood under a big tree ten steps away from me. I immediately hide behind the tree and took a peek.
Collette was standing in front of a girl. One look at the girl and I immediately got the hint she was a junior student. She had that SS.2 looks on my face.
Which meant she was my senior only a class older.
I was certain about one thing. And that was I’ve never seen this senior since I began schooling here. What was she doing with Collette in this lonely path?
Adaobi was fidgety. She kept tugging at her short skirt and I could see she was sweating.
Finally she got hold of herself and balling her hands into fists, she glanced up and met Collette’s serious eyes.
” Senior Collette … s-sorry this is Soo sudden. I–” she paused.
Collette’s eyes narrowed. She waited patiently, her face set and hard.
” I’ve always…” Adaobi paused again.
Collette’s juicy red lips tightened.
Adaobi could’nt hold it much longer. closing her eyes, she voiced it out. ” I’ve already liked you, senior Collette. Please be my girlfriend.”
That’s it? I felt myself changed colour.
Still having her eyes closed, she waited for the unexpected to happen but nothing happened. There was nothing but an awkward silence that hung around the environment.
Slowly, she opened one eye.
Collette was staring down at her with unbelievable round eyes. Collette seemed surprised but her composure didn’t give Adaobi much hope.
She bite her lips hard, watching Collette as she kept staring at her.
Then Collette spoke. ” Are you drunk?”