The Elder’s Daughter – Episode 3
© Jennipher Duru
Esther went to get some fresh air, and to obviously run away from the noise of her two roommates. It was a beautiful Sunday morning. The wind blew across the trees and made a beautiful sound. Esther was reminded of her hometown. She sat by a chunk of wood under a tree not far from the dormitories. She looked around and saw some students revising under the trees while others were discussing. A group of young men and women sat watching something on the laptop. She could hear them laugh and clap their hands.
“Lord, Are you sure I am going to survive in this place? Is this what University life is all about?” she said to herself. David, who had seen her from afar, came to meet her. “Hello Esther, how are you doing today? I hope you are feeling much better” He asked, as he sat next to her. Esther felt a little awkward, as she was not used to sitting with boys that are strangers to her. She imagined what her father’s reaction would be if he saw her in such a situation. She moved away a little bit to create some more space between her and David. “I am doing much better, thank you” she answered.
David laughed “Don’t worry my friend. I don’t bite. I can see that you are trying to keep a distance from me” he said. Esther felt ashamed.
David: So, are you ready for classes tomorrow?
Esther: Yes, I am. I can’t wait to see how it works. I am a little bit nervous though
David: You don’t have to. It’s almost the same as Secondary school, although everything will have to be dictated and you take down the notes. So you just need to pay attention. Your department is a good one. Many of its students are quite disciplined, so you won’t have to worry much about slay queens
Esther: Slay queens? What do you mean? Are you telling me that there are cases of murder around here?
David stood up and laughed so hard. He put his hand on his stomach and laughed uncontrollably. Esther sat down, looking at him and wondering why he was laughing.
David: Oh my God! Esther you are the funniest person I have ever met in my life. In fact, I need to be around you anytime I am angry so that you can make me laugh. This is just unbelievable.
Esther: Well, what did I do or say that makes you to laugh?
David: Slay queen is simply a slang word used to describe the so called “sexy girls”, party girls who think they are celebrities. There are many of them here. I actually saw you with one of them yesterday at the Dispensary. She took you there.
Esther: Oh you mean Naomi? She definitely is a sexy girl, together with Janet. So you know them?
David: Who doesn’t? I mean, they do all sorts of things to attract men’s attention. But not just any type of man, I mean rich guys both in and out of the campus. They are known to be big time party freaks.
Esther: Sure. I just met Janet this morning. I actually had to leave the room to get some fresh air and escape their nasty discussions.
David: I feel for you my dear. Living in the same room with those girls is a nightmare. They had another roommate who eventually became a drug addict and was suspended from the University. She used to go to class high on drugs and would insult the Lecturers.
Esther: Oh my God! How can one do such a thing?
David: Welcome to the campus. You’ll probably see even worse than that. You just need to be very careful, because such girls have a very strong negative influence on people around them. Last year, I knew a very decent girl who became totally indecent in less than 3 months.
Esther: Now I understand why dad was warning me. May God help me!
David: Your dad was right. You are even lucky that you have parents that care about you. Some of these girls don’t even respect their parents because they don’t really care about what they do here.
Esther: I am not surprised. Janet called her dad a puppy this morning. That is just so wrong!
David burst into laughter again. He looked at how serious Esther’s face was and shook his head in laughter “Oh Esther. You are amazing”. He looked at his watch and said “I am sorry, I need to leave now. I need to go and pick up some drugs from the main hospital in town. I’ll see you later”.
Esther thought about what David had just told her. She hoped for the strength to be able to survive in such an environment.
The first day of her classes was quite good. Ether enjoyed the introductory courses that she had. It was lunch break and one of the students, a short young lady with spectacles went to meet her as they packed their books “Hello there, my name is Angela. Are you getting ready to go for lunch?” she said. Esther was happy to see that someone paid attention to her “Hello Angela, I am Esther. Yes I am going for lunch. Do you want to come along?” she answered. “Yes, sure. I am new here and I feel awkward to walk alone” Angela said.
Esther laughed “That makes the two of us. I am not only new to the Campus, but new to the city also” she said. They both laughed and went to the dining hall. It was filled with hundreds of students. Esther and Angela lined up on the queue to be served. They were served rice and beef stew and they looked around for empty seats. “Esther, there is a free seat here” someone shouted. Esther looked to see who it was and saw that it was Naomi. “Oh Angela, come” she said. They arrived at Naomi’s table where she sat with Janet and a few other students. “Oh thanks, but I am with a new friend Angela, and we will need two seats” Esther said.
Janet laughed “Come on Madam Pastor, she can find another place. Sit down here and join us” she said. Esther felt embarrassed. She looked at Angela who was feeling rather ashamed and insulted and said “Oh no thanks. We’’ll just find another table with empty seats. Thank you”. Janet replied “Whatever! Suit yourself baby!”. Naomi and Janet laughed, while Esther and Angela left to find where to seat. They sat down and ate their food quietly. Angela was also a very decent girl. She was from a city not far from the University. She came from a well to do family and her father was a renowned Doctor at the University Teaching Hospital.
Almost a month had passed since Esther’s arrival at the campus. She was enjoying her classes. Elder Barnabas called her every two days to know how she was doing. He was happy that she was enjoying her classes and as usual, warned her constantly to be careful. She had found a friend in Angela as they both seemed to have similar behaviors. It was a busy month. Esther had classes till 7pm. She always went back to her room, feeling very tired. Janet and Naomi get her a hard time to rest. They were constantly smoking and listening to loud music, even in the night. Esther was contemplating on finding another room. She wished to be in the same room with Angela, who testified of how calm and quiet her room was as her roommates were also quite mature and studious.
One night, Esther, left her room because of the smoke of the cigarette that her roommates were smoking. She went to her favorite resting place and sat down, feeling very frustrated. David came to meet her. Esther felt somehow happy to see him as it had been a month since she last saw him. He smiled as he came. He looked quite tired and his head and beard were unshaven.
David: Madam Esther. Good evening
Esther: Good evening David. I haven’t seen you in a while. I guess you have been so busy with your studies
David: Oh not really. I actually had some issues I needed to sort out so I was not around. I just came in this evening. I wanted to get some rest after a long journey, but it seemed impossible because there seems to be so much noise in the dormitories. Most students are preparing for the annual get together party to be held next month. So I decided to come here and I was also hoping to find you here.
Esther: OK. I am also out here for the same reasons. It is impossible to have rest when my roommates are busy smoking and chatting. And what issues could be so important that you miss classes for an entire month? Are your parents aware of it?
David: Well. First of all, both my mom and dad passed away when I was only 15 years old. And secondly, yes the issue was very important
Esther: Oh my condolences David! So sad to hear that. Would you mind telling me what it is all about?
David: Well, if you insist. Like I just said, my parents are no more. So I have been living with my father’s brother together with his family. I have a younger sister, who is about 5 years younger than me. We were both living with my uncle and we’ve gone through hell under the authority of his wife and children. My sister has sickle cell anemia and constantly falls sick. However, because of the hatred that our aunt has towards us, I need to make sure that I am there with her whenever she falls sick otherwise nobody would take care of her. I was informed last month that she has just been taken to the hospital, so I had to rush to be there with her. She spent almost 3 weeks in the hospital and since we had bills to pay, I had to do some work at a construction site in order to raise funds. That is why I am actually looking so fluffy right now. Hahaha
Esther kept quiet. Her heart was filled with sorrow. “I really don’t know what to say David. I am really sorry to hear this. My heart aches. I hope your sister is feeling much better now” she said
David laughed “Oh don’t worry my dear. It’s part of life. Yea, she is back on her feet now, except that I feel quite bad that she has missed out on quite a lot of things at school. But I managed to raise some money to pay for a private tutor for her. I believe she will catch up. She is a very intelligent and strong girl. I also have a lot of catching up to do. How are you finding your course? I hope you are happy?” he said
“Yes, it’s pretty interesting. I have also found a new friend. Her name is Angela. She is quite decent and studious too. We spend most of our time together, reading and revising” Esther answered. “Wow. I am happy for you. It’s good to know that you are enjoying yourself. I wish you all the best” David said
The two discussed for about half an hour and Esther, who was really feeling sleepy, decided to go back to her room to catch some sleep. David looked at her as she was about to leave and gave her a warm hug and said “I am really glad to see you”. Esther’s heart was beating fast. She had never hugged any man in her life. She softly pushed him away and walked away. David smiled “You have nothing to worry about. It’s just a hug to tell you that I missed your company” he said.
Esther hurried to her room. She was happy to see that both girls were fast asleep although the room was filled with the smell of cigarette and beer. Esther covered her nose with her head tie and fell on her bed. She couldn’t stop imagining what had just happened. She couldn’t believe that she had just hugged David. “If my father knew this, he would kill me” she thought. But somehow, she felt so good. She couldn’t explain how she felt. She also thought of what David had just narrated to her regarding his family. Once again, she was filled with compassion. She couldn’t imagine being an orphan. She loved her parents so much. “Now I know why dad is always asking us to thank God for everything we have” she thought to herself. Finally, she slept off.
To be continued