The Elder’s Daughter – Episode 8
© Jennipher Duru
David, Esther and Angela arrived in the evening at the University Campus. David looked so excited. “Oh mehn! I am happy to be back here. I know I missed quite a lot but I will put in all my efforts in order to catch up. Joseph will definitely help me with the lectures” he said as they walked towards the main entrance, after coming out of the taxi. Before they could part their ways, David spoke to Esther “my dear Esther, can we meet at the usual place in the next thirty minutes? Let me just inform the dispensary that I am back then I’ll meet you there”. Esther looked at Angela. Angela smiled “What are you looking at? Go ahead!” She laughed, hitting her hand on Esther’s shoulder.
Esther and David laughed. They all parted their ways. Esther arrived in her room and found Naomi and Janet chatting and laughing. When she entered the room, they both kept quiet and looked at her. Naomi was the first to speak “Madam Pastor, where the hell did you go? You look happy”. Esther just smiled as she removed her shoes in order to wear a pair of sandals.
Janet laughed “Are you sure she did not go to see one of her boyfriends? Because this is the first time I am seeing her this happy. I guess you used the money to shower it on your boyfriend” she said. Naomi looked at her and tried to give her a sign to stop. But Janet refused to cooperate and continued “But I am telling the truth. Beware of men who ask you to be spending money on them. A real man should be the one to do anything to spend money on you, even if he has to steal to do so. Because the day he will disappoint you, you will feel the heat of the day”.
Esther was getting irritated and finally responded “Listen Janet, what I do with my money is none of your business. I am old enough to know what is best for me”. Janet laughed “Old enough you say? When you can’t even take decisions for yourself. Your father chooses everything for you, even the clothes you wear and you end up looking like an old woman from the village” she said.
Naomi shouted “Janet! Please stop it! Leave this girl alone for God’s sake!” Esther put on her sandals and left in fury, banging the door behind her. She walked furiously to the place where she was to meet David. She sat down on the rock and thought about what Janet had said. She felt like going back to grab her by the neck and hit her “Oh God give me the strength to overcome this anger” she said to herself. She was lost in her thoughts when someone touched her shoulders “Hello Madam”. Esther jumped up in fear. It was David. She laughed upon seeing him. “Hmm. What were you thinking about? You seem to be lost in your thoughts” David said as he sat next down. “Oh nothing much, I just get irritated by the behavior of my roommate Janet” Esther answered. David smiled “Oh I can understand perfectly well. It’s not easy to share the same room with someone whose values are completely different from yours. But you just have to be strong. Moreover, in the second year, you will have the possibility to change rooms. You can even decide to share the same room with your friend Angela” he said.
Esther: I can’t wait. That girl drives me crazy. Sometimes I just feel like leaving the room to sleep outside
David: Haha. I don’t think you can manage to sleep outside with the fear that you have. Any slight strange noise might scare the hell out of you.
David: True my dear! Anyway, let’s forget about the story of your roommate. I actually called you here to express my gratitude to you for what you have done for me. I must admit that this is the first time someone is really doing such a great favor for me. Ever since I lost my parents, I have always done things on my own, without much help from people. So it was a huge surprise to see the effort that you put in just to see me back at school. I pray to be able to show my gratitude in a grand style
Esther: Oh it is nothing, really. At church we have been taught to always try our best to help others out for a good cause whenever it is in our power to do so. You were the first person to welcome me here and I thought it normal for me to show my gratitude too
David: Thank you my dear. I promise to pay back soon. I just went to see the Officer in charge of the Dispensary and she told me that they will need my help during the blood donation and free medical checkup days that will soon be held at the campus. I will be paid quite a reasonable amount for the 3 days and I believe it will not only help me to clear my debt but also help my younger sister with some cash to buy some necessary food stuffs because of her condition
Esther: Oh, to God be the glory! By the way, how is she doing?
David: Oh, she is doing quite well. She will soon be sitting for her first semester exams. For the short time I was away, I was constantly visiting her and I think it really helped her pick up. Are you ready for the exams?
Esther: Yes I am. I know I will pass with flying colors.
David: Excellent! I trust you. It’s always good to have self-confidence. It allows you to focus on what you are doing, regardless of the present circumstances. I also believe I will make it despite the fact that I missed a lot of courses. But I had been studying every evening after work. Thank God for internet! I do my research online. Talking about internet, I have noticed that you don’t have a phone. Is it a personal decision?
Esther: Er-er-er. Yes. No. I mean, I do have a phone but I don’t use it for anything else except to call my parents back home
David: Oh ok. Well I respect your decision. But I would really appreciate if you could give me your number so that we can communicate from time to time.
Esther: You mean on MatsApp?
David: Hahaha. Oh my God! Esther there you go again with your comedy! You never cease to amaze me. It’s called WhatsApp. It is a platform that al………
Esther: I know! Was it not the one you were using to communicate with Angela?
David: Exactly! Since we are friends, I think we can chat frequently to keep each other abreast with what is going on
Esther: I wish I could, but my phone is not of the new technology models. It is a Nokia 3310 and can’t use WhatsApp
David: Oh! Anyway, then at least give me your number so that I can call you from time to time. And please start carrying it around. You can’t be keeping a phone inside your room.
Esther: Hmm. I will try to do so. My number is 4879669
The two friends continued their discussion which lasted for more than 2 hours. Esther felt comfortable to narrate her family life, especially concerning her father, Elder Barnabas. David laughed as she talked about how strict he was. It was finally time for them to separate as it was getting late and each one had to prepare for classes the following day. As they left, David held her hand and said with a rather serious tone “Esther, thank you for sharing with me things about your family. I must admit that I actually envy you. I wish my parents were still alive to show so much concern about my sister and I, but I guess it’s all part of life. The only thing I can tell you today is to continue being the respectful girl that you are. Don’t think your father is being too tough on you. I believe he does it out of love. It is true that we are not of the same generation with our parents, but I want to believe that they have a lot of experience and can see things that we cannot see. Continue respecting your father. Don’t listen to anyone that will tell you that you are old fashioned. Be who you are. As long as you are happy with yourself, don’t pay attention to anyone that would want to make you feel uncomfortable with yourself. You are still very young and you have a life ahead of you. Concentrate on your studies and once you are through, you can become whatever you want”
Esther felt like crying. She closed her eyes for a while and looked down. David laughed “Oh come on! Don’t behave like a baby. Just because I said you are young doesn’t mean that you are a kid. You are an old kid! hahaha” David said, as he tried to make her laugh. Esther burst into laughter “Thank you old David!” She said. They both laughed and each one headed to their rooms.
Esther found Janet and Naomi listening to music. As soon as she entered, Janet ran to hug her :”Oh, my own Pastor! I am sorry for making you upset. You know that you are my very own Bishop and I wouldn’t want to hurt you. My mouth is like a tap, as my mom says. I can’t seem to hold it. I am sorry my dear, ok!” she said, tickling Esther on her sides. Esther smiled “Ok. No problem I have forgiven you. Just try to watch your mouth at times. The words you use can really be hurtful” Esther said.
Esther went straight to her suitcase to bring her phone out. Immediately, she turned her back to face the other side, Janet looked at Naomi and made grimaces on her face to mock Esther. Naomi smiled and shook her head. Esther’s phone rang. It was David. The ringtone was quite loud so both Naomi and Janet looked at her, expecting her to answer the call. Esther didn’t know what to do. If she picked it up, the two ladies might want to know who it was and if she didn’t pick it up, David might think she was avoiding him again. She took the phone and ran outside. Janet went to block the door. Esther tried to push her off her way, but Janet stood there like a statue. Esther answered
David: Hi Esther. I was trying to make sure that you gave me the correct number. Have you arrived?
David: Ok. You don’t sound confident. Is everything alright?
David: Hmm, I think I know what it is. Your roommates are around right?
Esther: Hmm, Y-e-e-e-e-s
David: Hahaha. Ok, sleep well then. We shall meet tomorrow. Good night my dear
Esther was almost sweating as Naomi and Janet starred at her. Immediately, she cut the line, Janet shouted “Woooo! Someone has finally found herself a boyfriend! I knew it!”. Esther refused to talk. She hid behind the curtain that separated their beds and put on her night gown. Janet was still laughing “My dear, this is nothing to be ashamed of. Having a boyfriend is a normal thing for a girl of your age. In fact, you should even be proud of yourself. It’s a great achievement. It makes you a real woman”. Esther answered “I don’t have a boyfriend. He is just my friend, please”. Naomi and Janet laughed. Naomi slightly opened the curtain and looked at Esther, who was already feeling so shy. “Listen Esther. You don’t have to be ashamed of anything. We are all ladies here and we should be treating each other like sisters. You don’t have to hide anything from us. As a matter of fact, we can even give you some tips and advice on how to handle your relationship. We have been in this game for quite some time now and we have a lot of experience that we can share with you. Just be open minded and you will learn a lot” Naomi said.
Esther nodded her head “Ok. Thank you for your concern. I need to sleep now. Good night” Esther said. “Good night dear” Naomi responded.
Weeks passed by and students were preparing for their first semester exams. Esther, Angela and David had become the best of friends. They usually revised together, as David helped them with some questions in mathematics. Naomi and Janet were still partying in clubs every single weekend. One cold Saturday afternoon as Esther prepared to go to the Library, someone knocked at the door. Janet rushed to open. A tall elderly man, probably in his sixties came in. Janet greeted him “Hello, Dr. Albert, please come in. The man entered the room and touched Janet’s behind. Janet giggled “Oh sir, stop it!” Naomi stood up, hugged him and gave him a long kiss. Janet laughed, pulled Naomi from the man and kissed him too. The three laughed. Esther was watching from her end with total amazement. She felt disgusted at the sight of what was happening.
The man sat on Naomi’s bed and both ladies sat on his laps. “So how are my little sl*ts doing?” He said, putting his arms around them. Naomi answered ‘Very fine, especially that you are here. We missed you. How is your wife?” The man laughed “she is fine. She keeps getting bigger like an elephant. I travelled out of the country for my niece’s wedding and I was just too shy to take her along with me. She embarrasses me big time. I also missed both of you. When are we grooving?” he said
Naomi: This weekend, God willing. I would like us to go to the Buddha bar for massage before entering the main item.
Janet: Great idea! Meanwhile, what about our issue? Are you handling it?
Dr. Albert: Oh yes, anything for my two puppies. I have already spoken to the Head of your department. He will give you straight As, don’t worry about it. I gave him an advance then I will pay him the rest of the money once I see the results
Janet: Youpi! You are simply the best sir.
The man suddenly looked at Esther and said “Who is this good looking lady?” Esther was now in a hurry to leave as she no longer wanted to witness their ugly scene. She ignored the man’s question and continued packing her books. Janet then answered “This is our roommate Esther. She is a virgin!”
Esther couldn’t believe what she had just heard. She looked at Janet with anger. Naomi burst into laughter “Oh Janet!” Naomi said. The man stood up and went towards Esther, starring at her like a hungry lion “Hello young lady. Nice to meet you. I am Dr. Albert, the Dean of the History and Philosophy of Science department. I am also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the entire University. What course are you taking?” he said with a proud look. Esther picked up her bag and answered arrogantly “I am studying medicine”
“Wow, excellent! I can help you get all the best results you need my dear Esther. You don’t need to study!” Dr. Albert said. Esther was now getting nervous and irritated. She tried to leave the room but the man held her hand “Don’t be afraid lovey one. I can’t harm you. I just want to talk to you” he said. Esther pulled off her hand and left. Dr. Albert grabbed one of her buttocks with his hand as she left. Esther turned back and hit him on his chest “Are you mad? How dare you do such a thing?” She shouted. Janet and Naomi stood up. “Esther, what is wrong with you? How can you slap an elderly man? A Dean for that matter!” Janet shouted.
Esther left without saying a word and left the door wide open. Dr. Albert laughed “Oh, girls of today! They have no fear or respect for elders. Anyway, now that we are left alone, kindly close the door and let’s go back to our usual business” he said. Naomi and Janet giggled and closed the door.
To be continued