The Elder’s Daughter – Episode 7
© Jennipher Duru
Three days had passed since Angela and Esther went to see David. Esther was really getting worried, because she thought of how much of his course he was missing. She thought of going to his work place, but she had absolutely no money, as her father had not yet sent anything for her. She also wished to find out from Angela how he was doing, but she felt ashamed to do so. Finally, she gathered some courage to ask as they finished the course for the day.
Esther: Angela. Have you heard from your friend David since we left the cement factory?
Angela: Ah, that guy is just something else!
Esther: What do you mean?
Angela: I sent him some chats the evening of the day we went to see him, but he did not respond. I tried to call him, but he was not picking up the phone. So I assumed that he was busy. The following day again, I sent him messages on WhatsApp. I could see that he had read them, but refused to respond
Esther: What do you mean you could see that he had read your messages, as if he was with you?
Angela: WhatsApp allows you to see if someone has read your messages. When I called him again, he cut the line and sent me a message saying that he really appreciates my friendship, but that he doesn’t want me to stress me because of his situation. I told him that I was not stressing myself. He later said that there are certain things he cannot do in life, so it’s better he stops communicating with me. I tried to send him a message, but he blocked me
Angela: I tell you my dear! I was shocked, but I guess he has his own reasons, though I don’t understand what he was trying to say. I believe that he has a girlfriend somewhere and he’s afraid that she suspects both of us
Esther: You really think so?
Angela: Yes I do. And if that’s the case, then he’s really a good and loyal person. Because if he was a bad guy, he would just date both of us
Esther: Were you planning to date him?
Angela: Well, not really. I just enjoy his company and all that and I don’t think he saw me as his girlfriend anyway, otherwise he would have asked me out since the day we discussed at the Dispensary.
Esther: And if he asked you out, would you accept?
Angela: Hmm Madam Detective. I don’t know. It’s true that he’s handsome and all that and he makes me laugh a lot, but somehow I feel he’s not the kind of guy I would want to marry
Esther: Hmm. Why?
Angela: My mom can never allow me to marry a poor man. It’s not because I love money or anything, but my mom always tells me that I need to concentrate on my studies so that I can become someone in life and eventually marry a rich man. My parents cannot spend all this money for my education just for me to end up with a poor man. Impossible!
Esther: Wow! I am surprised that such words are coming from your mouth. And what tells you that David will never be rich one day?
Angela: Hmm, well he might be rich, but I think it will take a lot of time. For instance, he has been away from school for 3 whole weeks. How do you expect him to pass his exams? It means he will have to repeat classes. And I can’t be with a failure.
Esther couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She kept shaking her head in astonishment. She couldn’t believe that Angela could say a thing like that. They both went back, each one to her room. Esther found Naomi listening to music. Naomi moved around the room as she danced to the rhythm of the song. Esther smiled. “Hello Naomi” she said. Naomi raised her hand to greet her and continued dancing. After a while, Naomi’s phone rang. She reduced the volume of the music player and answered: “Hello…Oh hi darling. I am doing just fine thanks…Hmm, I miss you too baby. Oh really! Oh my God! Thank you so much honey. I knew I could count on you. I’ll go to the bank tomorrow morning….I love you” she said. She jumped up and down “Yes! Yes! Yes!” she screamed. Esther smiled “Have you just won a jackpot?” she said jokingly. “Oh my dear Esther, this is more than a jackpot. My new boyfriend just deposited close to 900 Dollars in my account. I lied to him that I needed to pay for my school fees and he sent it right away. I need to completely change my wardrobe. Too many old clothes!” she said.
“But you just bought some new clothes last week when that man gave you money” Esther asked. Naomi laughed “My dear, as a lady you need to be constantly buying new clothes. Fashion is moving at a fast pace and I need to be up to date. But anyway, you are also right. I have quite a number of new clothes, but I just asked out of greed. I really don’t need this money; after all I still have change from the money Big Joes gave us. Hahaha” Naomi answered. She picked up her purse and said she was going to have dinner.
Esther sat on her bed, thinking. “Can I borrow some money from Naomi so that I can help David to pay off his school fees? But these girls’ money is dirty money. My father would kill me to know that I am borrowing money from my fellow students. Let me just leave it. Am sure David will find money” she thought to herself. She lay down to rest a bit and thought about David. She smiled as she remembered David’s jokes. Her eyes were filled with tears when she remembered how he carried heavy bags of cement on his back. “I know that David really loves school, but circumstances beyond his control won’t allow him” she thought. Suddenly she rose up “I can’t allow him to suffer. I will ask Naomi to lend me some money. But how much will he need? I can ask Angela, and I don’t care what she will think. David is my friend. He was the first person who welcomed here when I arrived” she said to herself. She quickly wore her sandals and hurried to Angela’s room.
Angela was surprised to see her
Angela: Are you alright? You look nervous
Esther: I am ok. Did David tell you how much he owes the school?
Angela: Hmm, why the question?
Esther: Please just tell me and stop asking me silly questions
Angela: Hmm, Esther you are scaring me. Anyway he said he owes about 300 Dollars. But why are….
Esther did not allow her to finish. She turned back and started running towards the dining hall. Angela shook her head and went back to her room.
Esther searched for Naomi until she found her sitting at her favorite place with a couple of other students. “Hi Esther, have you also come to have dinner?” Naomi asked. “No. I would like to talk to you” Esther answered. Naomi looked surprised “Hmm what is it? Is everything ok?” she asked. Esther asked her to move a little farther from the table.
Esther: Naomi, I am really sorry to disturb your dinner, but I really need your help. I am in need of 350 Dollars. I promise to pay you back in instalments
Naomi: What! That’s a lot of money Esther. What do you intend to do with it?
Esther: I have an urgent need that I need to sort out. It’s confidential. I promise I will pay you back, by God’s grace. Please I beg you, just help me.
Naomi kept quiet for a while then finally responded “Hmm, ok. No problem. I will give it to you when I come to the room” she said. Esther hugged her in excitement. “Thank you Naomi. I really appreciate. God bless you” she said. Naomi just smiled and went back to eat. Esther went to her favorite hideout under the tree. She smiled at the thought of seeing David again crossed her mind “God, thank you for making a way for my friend. He really needs to be in class”. Suddenly, she saw Angela walking towards her. Esther began to be nervous again. She thought of the response to give to her. Then she suddenly remembered that her father had always said the truth sets free and that no matter how painful the truth is, one just has to say it out. Angela sat beside her and said softly with a smile “Esther, you cannot lie to me. You have known David before I knew him, but you lied to me. I don’t know why you have been hiding this information, but I just want you to know that I am your friend and you can always count on me. As friends we need to tell each other the truth. So tell me, what happened between you and David?”
Esther felt like cold water had been poured on her body. She felt ashamed that she had lied to her friend. Slowly, she explained everything that had happened between her and David as Angela listened quietly. “…..David is just my friend, but I really cherish his friendship. I was wrong to accuse him of being a womanizer. I shouldn’t have listened to those ladies” Esther said as she concluded her story.
“Oh, I am really sorry my friend. But I think David is not holding any grudge against you. He is a good person and I am sure he still wants you to be his friend. Hmm, now I understand why he kept looking at you when we went to see him. You clever little girl!” Angela said, pinching Esther. Esther laughed “So you are not upset with me then?” she asked. “Of course not. You and I are friends and I’ll do anything that makes you happy” Angela answered. Esther also informed her of her decision to ask money from Naomi. Although Angela thought it wasn’t a good idea, she finally thought it was for a good cause.
After discussing for a while, the two ladies went back to their rooms. Esther was about to enter the room, when she heard Janet talking “How can you lend money to someone who despises what we do? Esther is not a small girl. If she wants money, then she needs to work for it too. Or she thinks we pluck this money from tress? Does she know how many rounds of sex we have to endure in order to have it?”
Esther entered. Immediately, Naomi whispered “Shhhuuu” in order to calm Janet down. “Esther, welcome back. Here is what you asked from me” Naomi said as she gave her an envelope. Esther wanted to refuse, but she thought of the golden opportunity to bring her friend back to school. She gently collected the money and put it in her suitcase. Janet looked at her with an angry face, but Esther did not mind her and went to bed.
When Esther and Angela arrived at the cement factory in the evening after classes, they found the workers leaving the site. Upon seeing them, David wanted to run away to avoid talking to them. Esther called him “David, David, please don’t run away. We need to talk”. David stopped and looked at them quietly. He had lost so much weight and looked extremely tired.
David: hello ladies. I really appreciate the fact that you both care about me, but you have to understand that I don’t want you to be stressing yourself. You cannot be leaving the campus at this time of the day just to see me. It is not fair. I will soon be back at school and I promise to see you both. Now, you need to go back and concentrate on your studies. Let me take you to the main road, because it is getting dark.
Esther: David, you don’t have to worry about us. I have already explained to Angela that we have been friends even before I met her. I am really sorry for all the accusations I raised against you and for treating you coldly. Please forgive me.
David: Oh Esther! I have nothing against you my dear and I am glad that you decided to tell Angela the truth. The three of us can be good friends. Now let me take you girls to the main r….
Esther: Before you do that, please have this. Don’t ask any questions please and just take it. Use it to clear off your school fees.
David refused to take the money and walked away. Esther ran to him and begged him. “How do you expect me to receive money from a girl, a mere student for that matter? I am not selfish. Yes I need the money, but I can’t be going about collecting money from people, money for which I have not worked. I really appreciate this gesture, but I cannot take it” he said.
Esther held his hand and begged him to take the money “David, if you don’t take the money, I will kneel down right here to beg you” she said.
“Please, don’t even try to do such a thing before people begin to wonder what is going on. Just understand me, please” David said. It took Esther and Angela almost 30minutes to convince David to take the money. When he finally accepted, he asked “Where did you get such an amount of money?”. Esther was figuring out what to say. “Er, er. It is my own money that I got from selling some vegetables in my hometown. I have had it since I came to this place and since I am not using it for anything, I thought of lending it to you. You can pay back in instalments” she said. “Sure, I will. I don’t even know what to say. Only God will be able to pay you back” David said.
Esther: When do you intend to go back to school?
David: Oh, I will just take a bath and then rush to take a bus to the campus. I am staying with a friend, whose room is not far from here.
Esther: We can wait for you to freshen up so that we can take a taxi and go back together to the Campus
And so David took a bath while Esther and Angela waited for him at a nearby public garden. He came back with his clothes carefully packed in a plastic bag and they all went back to school. They al laughed as David told funny stories of his work at the cement factory.
To be continued