DANIEL: Listen, my situation in this academy was getting very complicated. What was really happening? Firstly, how do I get out of this girl’s room without anyone noticing? Secondly, Joyce claimed Brenda is some kind of terminator. Thirdly, I’m yet to confirm my real father's death. Finally, my uncle’s plan to end my life is still a question mark to deal with.
Nadia was busy conducting an interview that didn't really solve any of my problems. The alarm was how do I get to my hall?
NADIA: "Trust no one; not even your supervisor."
The mysterious old lady’s words reverberated in my head once again.
"What really happened?" I asked Joyce.
"She confronted me because we were chosen to represent the inter group competition."
It didn't make any sense to me.
"I don't understand, because she was the one who chose us to represent the group."
Daniel quickly butt in.
"Please ladies, don't you think I need some help here? Come on, you girls can talk about your whole fantasy later."
I ignored him.
"Unless she didn't select us on her own accord; unless someone ordered her to," Joyce suggested and picked herself up to pace.
"Why would she attack you?” I asked. “Joyce, as far as I know, we both don't know how to cook, remember? We are the ones learning."
Daniel had his eyes shut and raised his head to heaven.
"Ahhhhh! Women, I am here! Remember?"
He had to remind us, I guess. I understood now that he was in big trouble.
"Take these; wear them!"
I handed him my clothes.
"Oh! You must be kidding!"
He laughed it off. But I knew he understood there was no other option on the table. I made an attempt to withdraw my clothes; "OK... OK... Let me have them!" he said.
We couldn't help but giggle as we watched him fit into my bra. He added some clothes to his ass and chest to make him look more like the lady he feigned. I had to take pictures for further blackmail, just in case he decides to misbehave.
Minutes later, he was safely out of my room.
"Dress up and let's go!"
I drew Joyce out despite her reluctance to go. I wanted to get to the root of all this issue once and for all; but little did I know that this was way bigger than my own imaginations.
"We have banga stew and banga soup. Both are prepared the same way, but with different ingredients," Brenda paused when she noticed Joyce and I.
She averted her eyes and went on with her lessons as usual. I tried my possible best to try and interrogate her with my eyes, but still, she didn't fall for it. She was free; no sign of fear or guilt. What was these all about?
“Did she really attack Joyce?” I asked myself, “Did Joyce frame all these up?”
It didn't make any sense to me at all; Brenda has to be the one at fault here.
"Nadia, please... enlighten us on how to prepare Banga stew."
I was startled.
The number of eyes looking at me made me realise I was asking a very stupid question.
I didn't want to fool myself again, so I just had to stick to the truth: "I don't know how to..."
They all burst out laughing.
"You are to represent us in the inter group competition. What a shame! From the look of things, I can tell you might probably disgrace us."
Her words sank deep into my head, but before I could pick offense, I brainstormed to understand that she was trying to make me look like an infidel before the whole school. That's why she picked me to lead the team, so that I would never be nominated for the real competition. She wants me to fail, even before I start. And guess what... The competition was just a day away!
I brought my gang together and filled them with the latest information.
"We've got to work together and figure this out."
"But how…?" Jessy had to ask. "None of us can prepare any of those dishes; there is no point deceiving ourselves."
Valid point! But I was out to prove them wrong.
"I will learn how to prepare Banga stew by tomorrow.” I said to them, “Just follow my lead."
I could see the doubt in their eyes; but for the fact that their leader had spoken, they just swallowed hard and nodded to my suggestion. I could clearly tell they were already planning the best possible ways to conserve the disgrace that looms the next day.
That night, I went straight to mysterious old lady and explained my plight to her.
"It's simple. What's your favourite song?" she asked.
"Rara by Tekno," I hurriedly replied. I was in a haste so her question didn't really make sense at that moment.
“Good, go ahead and play it.”
She handed me an earphone.
I loved the song, so it didn't take me minutes to start swaying my waist to its rhythm.
"Pick that pot. Hum the ingredients with the song you are listening to."
I danced and cooked at the same time as she had instructed. Slowly, I began to understand; I was really having a good time.
"Roll out your dough!"
She threw the dough at me, I was quick to catch. She filled her hands with flour and bathed me with it.
"I laughed and retaliated, as we waited for the Hawawshi to bake.
Next, the Banga stew!
“Think of your favourite food," she said.
I was quick to suggest;
"Toasted bread and egg. Oh! I can kill for those."
"Sssshhh... Right now, your favourite food is Banga stew,” she countered. “You wouldn’t want to ruin your favourite food, would you? Create that picture in your mind; see this Banga stew as you bread and egg."
I did, and went back to work, whistling and humming to the bass the earphone was emanating; tapping my hands and squeezing the juice off the nuts at the same time.
In an hour, the dish was ready.
My eyes went wide when the taste sent my tongue drenched in salivation.
"Did I cook this?"
"A cook prepares her meals with her mind, not her hands."
I hugged her and lifted her up with the last bit of strength in me.
"What are the ingredients?"
Before I answered, she suggested, "Hum your song."
As I did, the ingredients re-appeared fresh on my mind.
"So are you ready, aren’t you? Nadia Serena...!"
Without hesitation, I answered with that taunting confidence, "I am so ready!"
Continued on next page...
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