The Elder’s Daughter – Episode 5
© Jennipher Duru
It had been three weeks since Esther had an argument with David. David was nowhere to be seen. Esther had tried to sit at her favorite place thinking he would show up, but to no avail. Sometimes, she also passed near the dispensary to see if he was there, but David seemed to have disappeared. Esther was missing him and his jokes. She wished she had not treated him the way she did. She regretted her behavior. She was ashamed to share this with anyone, including Angela and she felt too proud to go and check on him in his department.
One day, Esther and Angela were seated in class waiting for the Lecturer. One of the students shouted “fellow students, please be informed that our Lecturer will not be coming this morning because he is not feeling well. So you have two free hours before the next lecture”. The rest of the students cheered in joy. Some students left the class immediately while others stayed in class. Angela and Esther were chatting, when Angela finally spoke ‘Esther, do you remember that guy you chased from our table some weeks back when we were having lunch? I think he told me that his name was David”.
Esther’s heart skipped a beat. She swallowed her saliva as she tried to hear more “Yes, what happened to him?” Esther answered. Angela continued “Well, it’s been almost two weeks now that I have not seen him. I was wondering if he is alright”.
“Well, since you are friends, you should know where he is” Esther said, looking so paranoid. Angela laughed “Well, he is not really my friend per say. I just like how funny he is. I met him like twice after that event in the Dispensary and he seemed to be a nice guy. I was wondering if you can escort me to his department so that I can check on him” she said. Esther was getting even more nervous. “So you two have been talking since that day he met you in the dining hall?” she asked. “No of course not. I just met him coincidentally at the dispensary when I went for my eye checkup. We did chat a bit, as I was waiting for my turn” Angela responded.
“And what were you guys talking about?” Esther asked. Angela looked at her in wonder “Esther, why are you asking me all these questions? You are scaring me” she said. Esther felt ashamed “Nothing my dear. I just wanted to know. You know that I am a curious person. Come on now, let’s go and see if he is at his department” she said.
They arrived at the Economics department. It was quiet as most students were in class. They looked around to see if they could find someone. Two students were passing down the hallway. Angela approached them “Hello, excuse me. Please do you know where we can find the second year Economics’ class?” she asked. One of them answered “Yes. Just go down the corridor and take your first turn to the right. You will see a small library just at the corner. The second year classes are right in front of it.” Angela was happy “Thank you very much” she said as she pulled Esther by the hand. They arrived at the indicated place and found a group of students seated outside the class. Angela asked them if they knew David but none of them did. However, one of them asked her to ask the Librarian as he seemed to know every student from the department. They both went to see the Librarian.
Angela: Hello sir, we are looking for a guy by the name of David who is a second year student studying Economics
Librarian: Hmm. There are a lot of students with that name.
Angela: Er, er. This particular David is quite tall, has big eyes and very handsome
Esther looked at Angela when she heard those words. The Librarian laughed
Librarian: You are a funny lady. Are you trying to say that all other guys are ugly?
Angela: No, but this one is really handsome. I mean he has a good physical appearance and very joyful
Esther was getting really upset, but pretended not to.
Librarian: I think I might know who you are talking about. Is it not David that works at the Dispensary?
Angela and Esther shouted at once “Yes, he’s the one”. Angela looked at Esther and laughed. The Librarian then further said “Ok, Mr. Lover boy. Many ladies like him because he is really kind and funny. He’s a very good guy too. He’s one of the few students with whom I have never fought. When he borrows books, he brings them on time. Well, he is out of the Campus for some time. I pray he comes back soon” Esther looked perplexed. She wanted to ask why he was away, but feared the reaction of Angela. So she waited till Angela spoke
Angela: But why? Has he been suspended or what?
Librarian: Well, it’s the right word, although it is not what you think. He has been suspended in some sort, but not because he did something wrong. But anyway, who are you two ladies?
Angela: Er, er, er, I am his new girlfriend.
Esther was shocked. She wanted to pinch Angela, but Angela stepped forward, drawing closer to the man
Angela: You know, I had travelled to see my parents, but when I came back, I couldn’t find him again. I lost my phone in the bus during the journey so I couldn’t reach him. I am very worried. Why has my David been suspended? What did he do?
Librarian: Oh, I am sorry to hear that. Well David has not paid his end of term school fees for last year. And since we have entered a new year, they have asked him to bring the money before he enters the class.
Esther felt like crying. Both she and Angela became quiet. Angela then said “Thank you very much sir. Please, do you have his number? I never memorized his number and I need to call him as soon as possible” The Librarian was kind enough to give Angela his number and they both left.
“Oh my God! This is really sad. Maybe his parents can’t afford to pay” Angela said. Esther, who knew that David was an orphan, refused to spill out the truth. She walked quietly as Angela spoke. Angela took her phone and decided to call David. “Hello, David. This is Angela, I don’t know if you remember me. I am the girl doing Medicine. You remember we met at the dining hall, when one of my friends chased you?” she said. Esther was getting upset. But Angela continued “Oh I am happy you remember me. I have not seen you for a while and I thought I should check up on you. I went to your department and someone gave me your number. I am sorry I had to lie to the person that I am your girlfriend because I wanted to know why you are out of school and I was told that it’s because of lack of school fees”
Esther could hear David laughing. She smiled too as she remembered how funny he was.
“I am really sorry to hear that. I hope you come back soon. I will be praying for you. Yes… yes… hahahaha…. David you’ll never stop being funny….hahahaha. really? Oh I am blushing right now. Thank you so much….hahaha….I’ll call you soon. Ok I will.. Byeeee” Angela said. Esther’s mood had changed as she listened to their conversation.
“Ohhh David! Such a funny man! Anyway he says he will be back soon. He is actually saying hi to you” Angela said. Esther looked at her “What did he say about me? Hope he’s not upset because I chased him that day?” she asked. “No! He said “pass my regards to your Soldier friend”hahaha” Angela answered.
Esther felt so stupid and embarrassed. They both went back to class. Esther was still thinking about David. She felt so sorry for him. She imagined what he was doing and how he was going to raise money for his school fees.
In the evening, Esther was seated on her bed, revising her notes. Janet and Naomi came in, swinging the door open with so much noise. They were both in a hurry. Both of them went to their suitcases to get some clothes. Esther was wondering what was going on. Janet undressed and put on a very short red dress, while Naomi wore a pair of tight jeans. “Where are you going?” Esther asked. “My dear, today is Friday and you know what that means: It’s party time. Tonight we are rocking it at one of the best night clubs in town. I can’t wait to shake my body” Janet answered.
“Let’s go together Esther. It will be a good experience for you my dear. You need to learn how to enjoy life because you only live once” Naomi said as she applied red lipstick. “No, thank you ladies. I have a lot of reading to do as to prepare for my first semester exams” Esther said. Janet laughed “Semester! We have only done 2 months and you are talking about semester exams? Esther you are too serious. This is not how life is. You are such a beautiful lady. If only you could…”
Janet was about to finish her sentence when someone knocked at the door. Esther went to open, hoping it was David. But it was a short dark man, probably in his mid sixties. He wore a flowery shirt and a blue jeans with a cowboy hat. He had a big belly and held a huge IPad in his hands. His perfume filled the entire room. Janet jumped and ran to him, hugging him so tight. “Oh baby I missed you so much” she said as she kissed him on his lips. Esther couldn’t believe her eyes. Naomi quickly packed her bag and headed towards the door “Hello Big Joe” she said as she gave him a hug. The man put his hands around Janet and Naomi and they all left at once.
Esther sat on her bed trying to convince herself that it was a dream. “This can’t be true. This man is old as my father. How can he be going to clubs with young ladies?” she thought to herself.
To be continued