LAGOS, NIGERIA. WEDNESDAY, 13TH DECEMBER. 11:00am.
Somewhere in Surulere.
”Listen, listen, will you girls just listen! Haba! For the last time, I am not bragging, I am going to be the queen of the prom. Am I not beautiful enough in your eyes? Or are you girls blind?”
”Why are you girls moping? Are you all dumb? I said, Am I not beautiful enough to win the crown?”
The silence persisted.
Tomi was tall, her long straight legs reached to the heavens. At seventeen, she easily attracted men her father’s and grandfather’s age.
The students of Apostles Gem Secondary School were preparing for their prom night for outgoing seniors. The weeks leading to the day of the event had been busy with students doing nothing in particular but gossiping and quarrelling and bickering about who was going to be crowned king and queen of the prom.
It meant everything to the students, especially the posh girls who acted as queen bees and their followers. For the boys, everyone already knew who the king would be—Joseph Chukwudi James; popularly referred to as C.J.C by his admirers, but the search for the queen of the prom was far from being determined. It was to be decided by votes. Major nominees were three: Tomi Oluwasope, Aishat Dasilver and Dinah Jacobs.
Tomi Oluwasope was the typical queen bee among her friends. She carried herself like Nefertiti, queen of Egypt. Tomi was tall, her long straight legs reached to the heavens. She also had a lovely shape that complimented her height. Though she did not have the most beautiful face, no one could resist her presence. At seventeen, she easily attracted men her father’s and grandfather’s age. It was rumoured that she had an aristo*. Her peers knew about it and it brought her respect and secret admiration from other female students who would not dare such liaisons.
Tomi needed the crown to consolidate her position as the overall queen bee.
”You bitch, answer me!” Tomi was having a heated argument with her two loyalists, Dami and Rachael. Not that they dare argue with the queen bee, but on this occasion they just could not support her assertions. Tomi wanted her loyalists to assert that she had no competition to the crown. Dami and Rachael hesitated and incurred the wrath of the queen bee.
”Err, T-Baby,” Dami tried to pacify Tomi. “You are beautiful, no doubt, but Dinah Jac—“ She was cut short when she mentioned Dinah’s name.
”Enough! Rachael, please talk,” Tomi commanded.
”You will win but—“ Rachael was also cut short.
”No buts!” Tomi shouted impatiently. It’s obvious you two fools have not learnt anything from me. You don’t use your eyes for what they are meant for—to see!”
“T-Baby, we are not saying—“ both Dami and Rachael tried reassuring her, but were cut short again.
“That’s enough! Just continue working on the votes, make sure everyone votes for me!” The queen bee breathed out her last instructions as the three left the back of the seniors block.
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The anticipation bore semblance to that of Obama’s election and swearing-in as America’s first black president.
The hot Lagos sun was blazing in the skies. It threatened to emit fire and brimstone as if Lagosians have reprised the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. The heat of the sun could not deter the students from running to and fro in anticipation of the great day—the prom night. It was slated for the fourteenth, which was the next day. The students could not wait. The anticipation bore semblance to that of Obama’s election and swearing-in as America’s first black president. This was so because a lot of students knew that the well-mannered and extremely pretty Dinah Jacobs was their choice. Though they envied Tomi for her courage and carriage, Dinah’s beauty had grace.
Great Reads 2016: Breathtaking inspirational true-life stories “of courage, hard work, never giving up and having hope where there is hopelessness all around.”
© Bankanthony N. David