They drove back in silence. Each lost in their thoughts…of “what if” and the elevator kiss that nearly but never happened.
He turned off the engine…
“I hope you had a good time…”? He reached for her hand, takes it to his lips and drops a kiss to her knuckles. She pulls it away…
“Yes I did. Thank you Anthony… Good night”. She hides her blush and exits the car. He felt oddly strange.
He missed her. He was going to miss her a lot more. But he smiled.
“See you later”
He waited for five minutes as James comes out of Rose’s and enters the car…
“Sup dude!!! I trust you had a good evening with the pretty lady. She seemed shyer all of a sudden. Eyes to the ground. Did you…ahem..” he clears his throat.
“Don’t be a FOOL James. We just had a good clean time and I actually like it. I actually like her James and that’s no joke. So don’t say stupid things like that. It didn’t cross my mind one bit”.. Anthony turns on the engine.
James smiles shaking his head…
“Wow Anthony am impressed. Grace would make a good man out of you. Maybe a Pope, she a nun, while you both run the church. Oh heavenly places to be.” He clasps his hands, looking up to the heavens and waving. ..
“Halleluiah somebody. Anthony!! The ladies’ man. The player has been healed of his exploits and youthful exuberance. Praise Jesus!!! Marry the girl already. I approve… James punches his shoulders
“You are just a FOOL James. I swear ” … but he smiled genuinely, he liked the feeling and he couldn’t wait to see her the next day. It was a good thing the Victoria’s business was coming to an end tomorrow.
**** The next day.6pm after classes ****
Victoria’s house was filled to teeth. Music blasting. Drinks… small chops, and dancing.
She looked at her watch….” Where were they?” She comes out and takes a look, walks back into her room.
“They aren’t here yet. Where the Fxxk are they?” Bunmi and Sandra exchanged knowing looks.
She brings out her phone and then dials. . “Where are you?” Ok. Good. Just wait awhile. The night is still young”…
She throws her phone on the bed, and sits down. Tapping her feet impatiently… in another 3o minutes she sends Bunmi to check. She comes back smiling and say’s
“They just walked in”.
Victoria gets up, takes a look at the mirror, puts on a big smile, carries a wine and two glasses and walked out of the room, accompanied by her two guards. Joining the crowd of people dancing.
“Uncomfortable?” Anthony asked as he leaned, whispering into her ears.
“Don’t be” he continued; am here. She won’t do anything stupid” He replies, and nods as she nods.
“By the way, there are lots of witnesses… and she wouldn’t bring the mess into her house.” James joins in. He takes a look round the house and whistles. … “She is definitely rolling in buck’s mehn…”
Rose scoffs. “You really don’t want to really visualise how much rolling she does James. It’s disgusting. So don’t trip. I don’t feel comfortable either… Especially with everyone staring at me with the outburst she made about me and my mum. Am here for Gracey and because Anthony and you insisted. So let her come out already and apologise and we leave. This place makes me want to cringe.” Rose spat her irritation visible.
“Speak of the devil!!” Rose exclaimed.
*clink clink clink*!!!!
The music died down. Everyone gushes and turns. Victoria steps on her table making her higher than everyone.
“Typical, She is always the drama queen” Rose muttered under her breath. The four of them chuckled.
“Good evening everyone and I thank you all for coming. As you all know… my name is Victoria fondly called “Queen V” and I welcome you all to my home. .
And you all know that for a few weeks now the school has been buzzing with a little ruckus between Anthony and me and of cause Grace.
I know I have done pretty nasty things in my past but I stand here to say I am sorry to everyone I have offended. I am sorry to you Anthony if I have put you in a spot and I am sorry for saying such bad things about Rose. Who cares if she doesn’t know her father and her mother slept around? She was trying to survive in this messed up world and wanted a good life… ”
“But…I have no right to say such things and I am sorry Rose. We used to be best friends and I would love to continue back on that part.”
“Grace, sweet sweet Grace. You have an amazing personality and I wonder why I became jealous of you. I know… I have had a crush on Anthony for like forever and I can’t force him to be with me especially when he wants to be with you…plain grey Gracey. Who am I to judge you or hate you? So like I promised, this is me, Victoria officially and publicly apologising to Grace for hitting her and saying things about her and doing stuffs to her. I am sorry Grace. I really am. I am sorry Anthony, I have changed Turned a new leaf… it won’t happen again. You are my witness. I give in. Grace you win you have Anthony and all I can do is to be happy for both of you. I am sorry, really…” She faked a tear.
The room enveloped in an applause except for the four people who just stared at her, uncertain of what to make of her.
She picked up her wine, pours into both glasses,
“Let’s call a truce Grace, let’s drink to the past and let bygones be bygones. Let’s drink to the future and impossibilities. Let’s drink to peace and friendship and love… here… drink with me” Victoria beckons
Everyone turns to Grace, waiting.
“You don’t have to if you don’t wanna” Rose tells her.
“This might put an end to everything you know” James tells her
“Do what your head tells you Grace. I will stand with you either ways”…
“Go on Grace, accept it. She said she is sorry. “The crowd chanted.
She took for a second, then she nods…
“Let’s end this once and for all” She steps up, taking the drink and downing it.
The crowd cheers. Everyone claps. Victoria wraps her up in a big bear hug, still faking tears… Dropping kisses on her face. And hugs her again…
“Big mistake Grace. I know you were stupid. .but I didn’t realise you were gullible as well. “She whispered into her ears… she hugs her and kisses her again…
Graced blinked. Once and then twice… and began to feel giddy. Happy giddy. A warm sensation danced within her legs… crawling all the way to her bosom. She felt tingly .
“Let the party begin. Music !!! Dance. Eat and have fun everyone. Whooa! !!!!” Victoria bellowed . The cheers filled the room. Music increased and everyone got into the party mood.
“Ohkay Grace, C’mon Let’s go” Anthony pulls her down holding onto her hands.
“Why…the party just started… why do you want to leave already?” Victoria askes.
“Well we came here because you asked and because you said you wanted to apologise… and you have. So we leave”
“Okay, Thanks for coming.”She pulls Grace into a hug. She knew the drug had already begun working. She pulls rose into a hug too. She knew people were watching. She needed to play her part. She had a great alibi and a place of time. No one would trace it back to her, after all, everyone saw her drink the wine too.
She watched as they left… Bunmi and Sandra comes up behind her.., and hands her a gum. And gives one to Sandra as well. From the end of the room, you would assume they were sharing a gum… But Victoria’s was a gum. It was an antidote for the drug she put into the wine.
“What happens when you take an overdose of Spanish fly, Viagra and painkillers??”
“You won’t feel a thing when a horse rams deep into you…you might even enjoy it ” Sandra replies evilly.
“Poor Grace…poor stupid Grace ” Bunmi joins in…
“Let’s party girls. I would sleep peaceful tonight. Tomorrow would be a good night.”
*** Outside *****
“Why does it feel as though Victoria was mocking us? Her apologies felt like more insults than remorse…” Rose climbed into the car… “Waste of my dear few minutes if you ask me…”
“Well, as long as this Victoria saga has ended. Whatever she said doesn’t matter. We have exams by Monday. I just want to go home and sleep and forget the past weeks didn’t exist”..!
“Yes ma’am. Driver coming right up “…
They laughed as Anthony drove into the night….
Then they saw it… Two guys beating a third on the Streets. .
“What da hell?”
“Hey don’t pull over Anthony, they are probably drunk. Let keep going.”
“What if they injure him…? Two against one. You both should stop them…” Grace voice was filled with worry.
Anthony slowed down… winding down.
“Hey dudes, what’s the problem?”
They don’t answer. The smaller one was on the ground, folded as they ram into him with fists and legs.
He gets down. James followed behind…
“Stay here” he tells them.
“Calm down guys. I am sure what whatever he has done its forgivable. This is my school. My father is the Dean and I am the Student body present so why don’t we calm down, and we can talk about it. And if he needs to be punished for an offence, the school authority would handle it …okay?” Anthony drew closer to them, James behind him.
“Who your position epp… my friend get lost. This doesn’t concern you. We would beat him till we are tired.” The one with the white goatee said. His feet on the dude who hid his face.
“But am sorry I can’t let you do that. Let me just call the school authority and they can handle him okay. Come on. …”
“Yes mehn… The dude already knows he is in deep shit. How about it guys?” James joins in
But they didn’t see it. They didn’t see the fourth person come from behind with a plank, brushing James off his feet.
Anthony turns punching the guy in the gut. He groaned. The two and the third on the ground rushes in, covering Anthony and James. …
Two takes Anthony down, pinning him. The other two rams into James ‘ side. His face was bloodied already… as fists kissed his face.
“They emptied out their pockets, shoes, cloths… tying them up.
“Oh my god oh my god oh my god…”
Grace kept on screaming… “They are armed robbers… Oh God save us… Anthony… James… Oh God…”
It happened in a second… The third was at the door, pulling them out by their hairs and flinging them to the ground…
“Don’t touch them you maggot!” Anthony charged. He gets knocked down…. “I will fxxking kill you. Take what you want and leave them alone.”
“Don’t harm him you fool” the taller one cautions…
James groaned in pain. He couldn’t feel his leg…
“My father would find you and you would pay.” Anthony spat. “If you are a man… Untie me and let’s handle this one on one.”
He laughs, bending to Anthony’s level.
“I am not hiding my face. So look at it well. You don’t know me. In fact it don’t exist. But for that sharp mouth of yours… I would rip out your tongue. Rich kid huh? Am sure you won’t mind if we collect all your cash and take your car and maybe your woman. So which is she eh???”