A curse! It has to be a curse. Why else would this always happen on important days? Her mind wandered like a restless spirit till it finally found the memory she sought.
Three years ago, the preparation for her graduation in her school apartment painted orange and purple, cream colored tiles, brown metal door, standing air conditioner a few steps away from her wooden dressing table that had a mirror attached to it, adjacent to her beautifully carved wardrobe Bodun and Ariel in loose tees and shorts are sitting on the medium-sized bed covered with a Minion bed spread.
“Bee this is our graduation and I’ll be damned if I don’t make a huge deal about it”
Ariel says while simultaneously typing a critique of a fashion line on her phone
Bodun mutters something incomprehensible then says
“I’m not just excited, I mean a 2:1, I swear down those lecturers must have tweaked something I was just…”
“… 0.03 points away from a first class, blah blah blah, I know” an exasperated Ariel says mimicking Bodun.
“Oh my God!” Ariel exclaims, her eyes rolling like she’s calculating
“What?” Bodun’s lips come to a pout as her eyes squints trying to read Ariel’s expression
“I just realized our cases are so similar” Ariel’s eyes are wide opened as if she just made an important discovery
“How could I not have realized sooner, I knew our friendship was more than this”
“Well we are also distant cousins in the spiritual realm but I don’t still know what you are talking about” Bodun smirks
“I was 0.03 points away from falling to a third class, don’t we both have reasons to be grateful” Ariel says while dropping her phone, gasping and smiling in the most over-dramatic way
“And before you get all judge-y, I’m sure the lecturers tweaked it too, because I didn’t even dream of a 2:2”
Ariel states in a matter of fact tone that makes Bodun stare at her in an expression of the combination of shock, disbelief and humor. After taking a few seconds to process Bodun says
“Well yours was tweaked to your favor which is probably a result of a few random gifts and dinners while mine was tweaked to my detriment, I really don’t know what they stand to gain”
In a funny Shakespearean expression and voice Ariel says,
“o ye daughter of man, thou knowest not what the most high doeseth haveth in planneth…”
“Oh shut up!” Bodun cuts her off, they both laugh and a temporary silence settles. Ariel lays a hand on Bodun and in her pity-me voice she says
“Please come, I want you there, I mean you helped me through school, tutoring and all, we started together lets go out all grand! ‘You know warra’mean”
“I don’t feel the need to be there, my mom wont be coming because she would be TOO BUSY with work! And my dad wont be back from his honeymoon and I don’t want to see Michael!”
Bodun sniffs as she holds back a tear. Ariel holds her tighter
“Hey, you don’t have to worry about others, I mean you are so blessed, you have me! And if I’m not enough to make you frustrated and excited at the same time, then I’m afraid no one can. Take that to the bank baby!”
A cocky Ariel laughs then shrugs with an air of self-worth making them laugh.
“Alright I’ll go” Bodun gives in with a smile
‘But on one condition’
Ariel rolls her eyes, picks her phone and begins to type “what?”
Bodun states emphatically “I AM PICKING MY OWN DRESS,NOT YOU, ME!”
“What!” Ariel raises her head sharply, drops her phone and stares at Bodun with her eyes wide opened like she had just been betrayed.
“You heard me darling” Bodun is enjoying this moment and the look on Ariel’s face
“But…” Ariel gives a puppy look
“No buts, take it or leave it”
“Fine!” Ariel scoffs “Well I guess that’s better, I would have been helping you slay and I need to be the only one that slays so as to commemorate the glorious start of my fashion career”
Bodun laughs “I am happy you already have a path drawn out for yourself”
“I’m not joining you to use the B.sc Mass comm. certificate. Well I also have a condition of my own, I won’t pick your dress only if we go to the after party together”
“What? Did you really think you were off the hook?”
They both laugh as Bodun slides back to the present. She didn’t want to continue reminiscing, because it was sad. She never got to attend her graduation and the after party for the same reason she would not be going to work the entire week. She wondered who she offended in her previous life and concluded she was cursed.
Today made it the fourth day of her menstrual flow and after four shots of painkiller injections and some pills on the side, she no longer felt like she was in labor save for the occasional light cramps.
She got up from her bed and searched the room for her phone which she found on her shoe rack.
How did my phone get here? Bodun wondered having no memory of placing her phone on the rack.
With a bit of hope that she didn’t want to acknowledge, she unlocked her phone, a part of her wishing Kelvin would have tried to call or text her because she knew he would know the reason for her absence from work.
She went through her call log and whispered Nothing , then she opened her text inbox and whispered again Nothing, feeling scorned and ignored but trying not to jump to conclusions she put on her internet data and went through her Whatsapp, still nothing from Kelvin.
“HOW THE HECK DID I GET INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH SUCH A DIMWITTED, SELF ABSORBED SCUM BAG OF A SPECIES! “
Bodun was shouting, she felt like breaking something, and she was about to when she picked up her phone but dropped it when she realized she was acting like the girls in movies she would normally call stupid for breaking expensive stuff just because someone got them angry, so she whispered to herself “Calm down Bodun, you know your phone is too expensive for you to break it just because your deadbeat ex is being the deadbeat ex that he is…oh wait, now I’m talking out loud to myself.” Bodun sighed and smacked her forehead with her left palm.
Bodun was staring blankly at her shoe rack across her bed, but she wasn’t really seeing anything at least her brain wasn’t, she was absentminded. She realised she was missing someone, but she wasn’t quite sure who it was. The sudden ring of her phone jolted her to the present as she realised who she was missing, Ariel. She smiled and accepted the call, but the voice that came from her didn’t sound as happy as she felt.
“Why didn’t you call me since ehn! Today is Thursday and you are just calling, what kind of friend are you? I should auction you off.”
“Baby girl calm down na, I was at your place earlier, I knocked like a billion times… “
“Aunty stop exaggerating…”
“Shut up! I knocked and since I didn’t get a reply I figured the painkillers had kicked in and you were in your usual trance like sleep.”
“I miss you, so much” Bodun was teary
“Aww, don’t worry, in a few days time, let’s say Monday, when your flow would have been completely over, you won’t feel the same way” Ariel sounded like she was holding back a laugh
“Waka!” Bodun widely opened up her palm and stretched it to the phone
Ariel couldn’t hold back anymore, bursting out with laughter she replied “I’ll come over Monday evening, okay? “
“Babe make it Wednesday evening, I’m sure I’ve got a huge pile of work waiting on my table at work”
“Pele dear, see you next week sha, Bye dear”
The call ended and Bodun was feeling lonely again. She scrolled through her Whatsapp contact but because she didn’t have much friends, there was no-one to chat with.
“I need to make friends oh” She Sighed
Laying back on her bed and staring at the ceiling and Bodun tapped her fingers almost as if she was about to make a tough decision. Impulsively, she jumped off her bed, walked to her wardrobe and picked up a sanitary pad, a jean and an oversized Tee with the inscription ‘I am a proud foodie’ on it.
Bodun seemed to be in a haste, she rushed in to bathroom with the things she took from her wardrobe and in what seemed like a second she stepped out wearing them. She picked up her phone from her bed, car keys and ATM card from her drawer top and dashed out of the house.
Bodun sprinted to her car like someone who was late for an appointment, she was not thinking,well she didn’t want to, she was about to make a mistake, something she wasn’t supposed to do, she was giving into her desires and she didn’t want reason to stop her. She ignited her car and drove off, she was smiling and determined.
She was where she wanted to be, reason couldn’t stop her now, it was too late to turn back, she felt excited, a little guilty but she chose to think of the bliss she would soon experience. With a big smile on her face she walked into the building and she join the shortest queue of five people. She was so anxious and her legs were shaking from impatience. She knew what she wanted and how she wanted it so immediately it was her turn and the attendant said
“good afternoon Ma’am, how can… “
She interrupted “Medium sized Coconut flavoured ice-cream, with a slice of red velvet cake and chocolate cake…to go please”
“alright Ma’am coming right up” The attendant looked slightly taken aback
Bodun’s eyes dart about as she tries to contain her excitement, she was about to satisfy her long time craving. She had tried to be faithful to her healthy eating but with PMS making her hyper it was so hard to resist and she actually didn’t want to. Feeling like she was being watched she turned her head to the direction she felt the stare from and saw a lady from the next queue staring her in a way Bodun felt was odd.
“Your order is ready Ma, how would you like to pay “ the attendant requested her attention
The attendant brought out a POS, after which Bodun made payment and exited with her purchase.
Walking to her car, Bodun couldn’t wait to indulge herself, she was having happy thoughts of how she would finish off her ice-cream and cake when a voice interrupted her
“sorry please excuse me” a lady shouted from afar with the Lagosian way of trying to be polite to a stranger
Bodun turned her head and realized it was the woman staring at her from the other queue. She wondered what the matter could be, while waiting for the lady to catch up, she checked her pocket to make sure her ATM card was with her and it was. The lady caught up with her and approached with a hypocritical smile
“Good afternoon “
“Good afternoon” Bodun was getting impatient, she was this close to getting home and basking in the ecstasy of sweetness
“Sorry oh,not to be too forward but I observed what you bought at the mart”
Bodun looked and felt confused who sent this one? Why is she wasting my time? Chai, my ice-cream ohhh.
She felt like walking into her car and driving off but Bodun was too polite to do so, out of a lack of words to say Bodun mumbled “Ehen?”
The Slim lady wearing a crop top and leggings and holding a plastic bag filled with ice-cream of different flavours smiled with a sense of superiority and said to Bodun
“Don’t you think you are too fat for that? You need to watch your weight, it is Slim people like us that can eat stuff like that not your type. You understand? Don’t get offended oh you know we ladies have to look out for ourselves”
Bodun’s eyes were beginning to twitch real fast, a brief picture flashed through her mind where she beat the lady to death and got arrested for murder. She didn’t know what to say, she was so angry but she hardly got into altercations so she didn’t know the right words to use as a snap back, but she had to say something.
“Aunty hope you are not angry oh?” The lady asked still with the smile that was pissing Bodun off.
Bodun clenched her jaws and before she could hold back she blurted “you are the most stupid person who ever existed” then she walked into her car and drove off.
Now more than ever, she was determined to get into shape and get back at those who had body shamed her but Bodun told herself I will enjoy my ice-cream and cake first, before any slimming down. She hissed Their daddy! Nonsense and ingredient!