Some students really liked returning home after a stressful semester or even tried to go home during, while some dreaded going home at all, and I was part of the latter. I had the kind of African parents that it was easier to love them from afar. It was like there was this sweetness and understand they offer when you just aren't so close to them. But, the moment you move back into the house, 'see finish' would ruin everything for you and you'd just want to go back to where you were coming from.
I had left Fareedah's place quite early the next morning, so Inoma and I could head home together. Fareedah and myself didn't really get the chance to talk again after the last night. It was like there was this tension between us, that hadn't been resolved. I didn't want to bring it up anymore, and Fareedah was obviously never going to bring it up. At some point in time, it seemed like I was the one holding the tension, while Fareedah acted how she normally would. I honestly knew I had more time to spend with her, but I ran away instead. It seemed like a better thing to do, as my mind began to wonder if she was going to stop talking to me or maybe dislike me. But then again, she seemed pretty fine.
"You don't seem completely fine," Inoma said as I laid down, facing the under of the bed above us of the bunk bed. "Kedu ihe mere? (what happened?)"
I shook my head in reply, lifting my legs up so I was pushing the upper bed. Our room was empty. Our roommates had returned home. Some went earlier, while the rest left that morning. Inoma and I didn't want to rush, so we didn't get stuck in traffic or the rush.
"Who are you shaking head for?" Inoma asked as she sat on the bed opposite hers, tucking her legs beneath her. "Wetin do you? Unu abuo oguru? (Did both of you fight?)"
I shook my head again, thinking of how to turn the situation into words without it sounding like I worried too much.
"Then what is it? Family ish?"
I shook my head again, but then quickly accompanied it with a reply, "I think I might have kind of hinted her that I like girls," i said to Inoma, staring blankly at the upper bed. "And I don't know if it is just me, or she didn't handle it well."
"What makes you think she didn't handle it well?" Inoma asked me as she stood up from the bed and went to lock the room door, then back to sitting.
I shrugged, before I explained further. "So, we saw a movie together. And, the movie was about two girls. Fareedah proceeded to ask me what I thought about it, so I told her love is love. And that the heart wants what it wants." I paused, sighing before I continued, "And then she went silent. When I asked her about her opinion, she changed the topic. And then we haven't spoken about it again. I can't help the feeling that something might be off. What if she knows I like girls and then hate me? What if she stops talking to me? What if..."
"What if not?" Inoma cut me off. "First of all, I don't want to tell you you're overthinking things, but there are people who are referred to as LGBTQA+ allies. I feel her mind might go there first, before it goes to your sexuality. Also I feel she didn't want to speak on the topic, because of some personal reason. Not even one can freely speak on the topic, it is quite a sensitive topic to some people, you know?"
I immediately began to see things differently, I felt like I was worrying over nothing. I nodded in reply. "Thank you," I muttered.
Inoma chuckled. "Ehn? You said?"
"I'm not repeating myself."
"That is not how to be appreciative."
I chuckled as I closed my eyes, finally relaxing a bit since the matter happened between myself and Fareedah.
It was already almost evening, when Inoma and myself decided it was time to finally start going home. We got a in-school cab from New Hall, which took us to the school gate. From their park, we walked to the school gate, the only bag we were taking home in our hands or hanging on our shoulder. "I just know we should have gotten a ride," I muttered to myself as we walked, causing Inoma to chuckle.
"I know right. This is the time of terror," Inoma said with a smile.
I sighed. "I hope as we get there, we'd just see keke (tricycle)."
Inoma smile again.
"Sorry excuse me," we both heard a male voice from behind us, and both ignore it. As we stopped by the road, where keke riders usually parked, I hoped that voice wasn't planning to talk to any of us. But then, the voice was closer to us the next time we heard it. I also sighed out loud. "Can i speak to you for a second?" it was directed to Inoma's direction. I hated my situation that very moment.
I moved a bit, so I wasn't in his was, but still close enough to hear him.
"Hi, my name is Marcus," he said, "I think you look really good."
"Thank you," Inoma replied.
"Do you study here?" he asked Inoma, the same moment a keke arrived and people began to rush it.
I sighed loudly, so Inoma could sense my slight impatience. I didn't mind her being hit on, but it just honestly didn't feel like the right time. The longer we stayed, the more possibility of us never getting a ride home.
"Yes," Inoma replied him.
"What course? Let me gues-"
Inoma didn't let him finish before she said, "I really appreciate, but I am kind of a rush here, so..."
I turned to look at them. Inoma was smiling warmly, while the guy nodded. "Can I have your number then?"
He was a brown skin boy, almost fair. He was average in height, had a stud on his left earlobe and actually good-looking. I was feeling happy for Inoma, when she shook her head. "Thank you."
Luckily for both her and myself, a keke arrived right in our front and we got in. I didn't even waste anytime to ask her, "Why didn't you give him your number?
She shrugged. "I wasn't interested."
"But he look good."
"And that's why you just can never know where it would lead to. Maybe things would then turn out well."
"I am okay."
I squinted my eyes at her, before chuckling. "Okay..."
She nodded. "I already have someone I like okay? So..."
I chuckled. That was news to me. I only knew she was flirtatious with Christopher, but apart from that she would often shut guys who hit on her and tell them she wasn't interested. "Hmm...who?" I had asked.
She laughed, clapping her hands as she said, "What made you think you would know the person?"
I shrugged. "Known eat other since birth," I said, counting my fingers as I spoke. "Same course, same friend group, often hangout together. So..."
Inoma chuckled. "We are in public," she said in a low ton, "I will give you run down later."
I chuckled in reply as I nodded, then we began talking about other things and sometimes complaining about the exams we wrote and how some of our lecturers suck.
We got to Bariga in no time, and there we entered Ifako.
By the time we got home, we were both worn out. We stayed in the same compound, the same compound we were given birth to. Inoma immediately went home, after telling me she will come and say 'hi' to my mom tomorrow, while I told her same of how I was going to say 'hi' to her mom tomorrow too.
"My baby," my mom said in excitement when she saw me walk into the sitting room, "You are back."
I nodded in reply, smiling.
"Eiye, see how you have lost weight," she complained, turning me around and looking at me up to down. "This school want to finish you for me. Ewoo."
I chuckled. "Mama I am fine," i told her. "And besides, I ate a lot. Inoma ensure that."
My mom smiled with evident excitement. "Eh ehn, my daughter. She has done well. Where is she? Has she gone home?"
"Good Good. I am sure Ngozi can not wait to see her daughter," she said, referring to Inoma's mom.
I nodded with a smile.
"Eh ehn, Cee, quickly go and drop your load in your home so you can help me wash those plates in the kitchen," my mom said with a warm smile as she stood up and left for the kitchen.
It hadn't been seconds, and I already knew I was home.