Chief, as everyone referred to him, was typing a message, arranging a rendezvous for the weekend. His wife was pretending not to know what he was doing as she searched for a direct flight to Rome.
The crickets resumed their noisy business as Chidera padded as quietly as he could down the hallway, using the semi-darkness and the chirping as a mask. Halfway through the hall, he came to an abrupt stop at a classroom door and placed his palms against the cold metal. Sighing, he peered in through the door’s glass panes and smiled at the brightly coloured room.
Chidera walked up to the girl seated at the furthest desk from the door in the library, and smiled. She was hunched over a pile of books, some opened and others with bookmarks sticking out, but he quickly observed the voluminous thesaurus she appeared to be poring over wasn’t the object of her focus, but was simply covering up a much smaller notepad she was furiously scribbling into.
Nwando had never liked white people. Even as a sex worker or runs girl, or hustler, whatever they wanted to call her, she had little patience for white people and steered clear of them. The stories she’d heard of how they often had bizarre and kinky sex needs, sometimes stiffed girls or underpaid them didn’t butter her opinion of them either.
Loud, old-school hip-hop music blared out of the speakers, positioned at either end of the small canopy that sheltered the different groups of people, who sought release and entertainment after a long week. Some were drinking, laughing, and seemingly having a competition to determine who can raise their voices highest above the surrounding music.
Jide sat up in bed, welcoming the thoughts he’d discarded the moment he inhaled her intoxicating perfume. He glanced at the woman, and then returned to drink in her figure clad in sheer nude lingerie, peeking through her black nightdress. One look at the child-like peace on her face, which age hadn’t won over, drew out a calm sigh from amidst his riotous thoughts.
A flickering light bulb struggled to cast its glim glow on the people in the dark room, and the stench of sweat, blood, burning flesh and urine made the already too small room hard to breathe in. Mr. David, the cleaner, was bound to the one metal chair in the room, shivering, bleeding from every visible surface of his body, and visibly struggling to breathe.
Sola lay sprawled on the living room carpet, legs propped up on one of the sofas, typing on her phone and laughing when Yinka barely managed to walk in. As usual, she was home alone and lost in her phone. Yinka couldn’t help but wonder who she was always chatting with that made her giggle so much and kept her completely engaged.