***** The elevator door opens *****
Girly laughter feels the room.
Three girls trotted in, dressed to kill as they surveyed the area…
“Oh…that dude had what was coming to him. He couldn’t stop singing” Bunmi says, chewing a gum as she dug in her purse for her mirror
“Oh you are such a bad girl. In the bathroom, don’t your body hurt??” Sandra asks her.
“I don’t do yoga just for fun sandy. And to answer your question…No it doesn’t hurt. But he won’t forget me.” She laughed. Sandy joined her.
“Pay up. We don’t have all day misses” Victoria stretches out her hands..one to each girl..
“C’mon…mama is waiting”?
They both roll their eyes, pulling out a few naira notes from their bags, each counting out an agreed sum and giving it to her. Victoria counts each, smiles and nods.
“Lovely. ” She opens her bag, bunmi and sandy ‘ s eyes popped.
“B-but… you have already. And I know you didn’t take turns. ”
“Sweetheart, I have a commission for supplying you girls to the best bods in town. And I also take a commission from both of you as well… After the deed. It’s business. ” .. she shrugs
“But that’s unfair, why would you take from us too. If you are already paid a percentage on our heads. Ahn ahn Isn’t it too much. Why do you need to collect from us too are we not your friends” bunmi interjects. Sandra pinches her.
A slap, Bunmi blinks. Sandra gasps. The music was loud… no one noticed. Bunmi blinked back hot tears as she held her face.
“Dare to question me? Me Victoria who practically made you… brushed you and gave you the luxurious life and the privilege to be in my closed team. You dare to question me? Maybe I should take all of your money?
“She is sorry Queen V… she didn’t–
“Shut up sandy and am talking to this ungrateful b**ch.” Victoria cuts Sandra. he takes a step closer to bunmi.
“Should ? ”
Bunmi shakes her head… ” Am sorry Queen V, am really sorry, it won’t happen again ” bunmi drops her eyes to the ground. Her face burned.
“Good. Now wipe that tears from your eyes. It’s irritating. ”
Victoria’s phone buzz’s… she turns away to answer it.
“Yes. Good. Fantastic. You know what you should do. No mistakes. Wonderful. We would rendezvous at our spot.. After it all. Fantastic. Ok.!!
Sandra looks at bumni…
“Are you stupid?” You know how she gets. Why did you go and ask her now. You dey crase??
“We sleep with the dudes. They pay her for bringing us and then she still collects from us again. She is stealing from us. HABA! !! It’s annoying na. ”
“Ssssshhhh bun. Shhhhhh.!!!” Sandra puts a finger to her lips..
“Do you have a death wish?? What if she hears you…??? Shut up naw”..
“Abeg!” Bunmi wipes her eyes…”She fxxking slapped me!!”
“And she would again. Maybe something worse. Don’t forget that we get good grades because of her. They fear her, they fear us. That people can’t talk to us anyhow be because of her. We go where she goes. We own fantastic things, great cloths and money baby. I mean, just because she took us under her wings…and see the fun we get. So what’s little change if she takes it from us eh. Don’t be stupid. Don’t question her again. Chill!!! Sorry okay. Be smart. Victoria is the best thing that has happened to us in this Uniport. I mean, who would stay at home and read boring books we don’t understand for exams when we can party, club, make money and while she serves Mr Bamidele for hers and ours. C’mon. We have it good. Don’t ruin it for us. Okay?? ” Sandra touches her chicks..
“Cheer up. !!!
“Shall we girls?” Victoria drops her call and turns…
“Let’s go get us some popcorn. I love it here. Tarzan starts in 5 minutes”
They nodded and followed behind her, as she pushed her way to the front of the crowd waiting their turn.
“See?” Anthony watched as she savoured it in her mouth, they were seated in the cinema. Tons of people began to file in.
“It’s sweet right?” He asked as he turned to her. If he had waited a second still staring at the door, he wound have seen three girls walk in with the crowd of people.
Grace nods ” Oh wow!!! It is . I wonder what they put in it aside sugar..” She looks at him.
“Oh…milk and butter, genius creativity right?” He pops some into his mouth and chewed loudly. He liked to see her smile.
And she did.
“Ssshh sshhh…The movie will start in a few” A finger to her lips, she didn’t want to break out in another feats of laughter
“Don’t make noise…else they would throw us out of here…because your laughter is like an earthquake waiting to happen, here….stuff all this in your mouth…. it would help”
He dug his hands into the popcorn, carrying a handful and tried to fill up her mouth. She turning from side to side didn’t help. She was laughing and dodging and he was enjoying every moment…
“Please please..haha hahahaah I will kill you Anthony. …please…” and then she did the same thing to him.
Both of them had each other’s hands on each other’s mouth. Both faces turned away to avoid each other’s hands to fill their mouth with popcorn. Both of them were laughing hard and neither of them wanting to surrender nor give up..
“Oh get a room! This is a cinema! someone in the dark room bellowed.
“Leave the love birds alone” another person screams..
“Ssssshhhhhhhhhh “! Grace and Anthony exclaimed to the crowd… fingers to their lips, laughter in their eyes, a chuckling held inside… the room was dark safe for the motion picture about to begin in the screen.
Another “Ssssshhhhhh!!” Followed as everyone joined in. Anthony puts his hands over her neck and pulls her in…Closing her mouth.
“Oya…stay here and be quiet. I don’t have strength to protect you if they all come and beat you. “She winked. She laughed in his hands, removing his hands from her mouth. She flicked his jaw.
“It wold be your fault”
He smiled down at her, she didn’t realise that he liked how comfortable she felt in his arms. She didn’t pull away. Surprisingly and he loosened his grip but didn’t let his hands drop from her shoulders.
Anthony felt uneasy. Very uneasy. As she continued to stare at him. He pulled her nose instead, and points to the screen…
“Watch …Tarzan has begun. Stop staring at fine man”…
Grace tuck out her tongue. But quickly turns away to hide her blush…
“Sweet Jesus!” She bites her lower lips.
“What’s happening to me?” She muttered under her breath.
“Damn” Anthony swore under his breath. Away from her ears…. “Anthony, this isn’t even funny. ” he shook his head. Baffled with himself.
***** A few rolls of seats away*****
“Annoying sets of people. Can’t they take the noise outside” Sandra says, turning to see who was causing the ruckus.
“Asin eh. Don’t they realise that they aren’t the only one here?”
“I would personally like to gag the offenders. What insolence. “She strained her neck. Quickly scans the room, it was dully dark to make out a face in the groups of people…
“At least the movie has started. They would shut the hell up”!!
The room grew silent…as everyone was glued to screen.
*** two hour later***
“Thank you!” Grace walked beside Anthony as they left the cinema room, heading to the excavator, passing the elevator
“Nah…Thank you for making my evening. .” He squeezed her hand.
Sandra came out of the bathroom, adjusting her skirt. Bunmi rested by the door watching Victoria sweet talk a hunk for a guy. Bunmi rolls her eyes.. Pushes herself from the wall and helps Sandra with her skirt.
She dugs her hand into her bag and brings out her mirror and flicks it open.
Checking her makeup…and flicks it shut.
Her expression changed as her eyes grew big she flicks open her mirror again.., not checking her face again, this time at her back ground.
“Isn’t that….Anthony and that newbie Grace?” She flips her mirror shuts and spins around. Beckoning to Sandra to get her attention as though she was flagging down a cab. Sandra comes… Victoria had said goodbye and came towards them, curious
“What?” Sandra and Victoria asked
Bunmi points at a direction…
Anthony looks up just then, sees the trio and someone pointing at him. In one quick motion, he grabs Grace’s hand, and pulls her into the empty elevator a guest just walked out from. Disappearing from view.
“What bunmi?” Victoria asked. Looking at the direction in which bunmi was pointing at.
“There. They were right there. Just now. “She turned away…Opening her mirror and looking into it. Closing and turning back…
“I swear I saw them standing there just now??”
“Who…what… who was??” Sandra askes too.
“Ant–” She stops herself as she notices Victoria’s countenance had changed. ..
“Who did you see bunmi.. ?”
But they were there just now. Or was it someone that looked like them. ? She just got slapped. She didn’t want another slap for false information.
Bunmi shook her head…
“Er nothing… nothing. Don’t mind me.” She replied.
Sandra shooksher head, Victoria stared at her, nods and walked away.
“Let’s go. Am tired”..
“Why did you do that? What’s wrong?” Grace asked, her chest beating. He had pulled her into the elevator, she was pressed back to the elevator wall and he in front of her… as though shielding her from something…or someone…
But there was space. Enough space. They were alone. But he remained there… she swallowed because she was staring up at him and he was down at her…
“What is it Anthony?” She asked again. Grace could literally hear his heart beating really fast as she felt it. Her hands were on his chest… She wondered if he could hear hers too.
It took only a second for the atmosphere to change and they didn’t break their stare and little by little he bent his head towards her. Grace couldn’t move…or maybe she didn’t want to.
They were few inches apart now…barely touching…lips to lips…
For the first time…. Grace longed to be kissed. Not by anyone but by Anthony… So she closed her eyes and waited for it…
And for the first time… Anthony felt something he hadn’t felt before…and Grace was the reason… and so he closed his eyes… Knowing kissing her would be heaven…
A breath away…a few breaths space apart and then..
The elevator door opens.
To be continued.