“Janet, I will smash this your phone o.” Pheya yelled from her sleep. It was 7am that Saturday, barely an hour after they came back from night class or what some call TDB (Till-Daybreak). Janet reached for the phone. Her fingers were in a hurry to pick the phone but something fascinating was filtering through her sleepy eye lids. Her droopy eyes flipped open as the caller called again only pushing Pheya further in frustration.
“Pheya! A guy called Sticky Note is calling me” Janet finally found her voice
“How is that my biz…” She stopped mid sentence and shot up from the bed like one of those White Walkers in The Game of Thrones.
This was the third attempt she had missed. Pheya was eagerly waiting for Janet to pick it. Their third room mate who got filled in on the sticky note issue the previous evening warned her against picking it. For the first time after 10 minutes, the room was quiet for 2 minutes at a stretch. They had to weigh their options. Two voices were arguing in Janet’s head.
“You kept our Momma’s boy waiting for so long that he had to call you” Pheya envisaged.
“How did the contact get to my phone in the first place”, Janet seemed to be more concerned with that.
“I put it there” Pheya confessed with guilt.
“Don’t forget I memorized the matric number of everyone in our department. Just 11 digits won’t be a problem.”
“You don’t know my pattern. How did you save the contact?”
“Before taking the selfie yesterday. See, these questions are not even the point now. This guy seems so interested”
“Okay, if Momma’s boys drop notes and cultists and hooligans call, who drops a note and still calls?”
That question was tougher than the maths problems they solved all night. There was dead silence for a few seconds.
“A desperately interested Momma’s boy.” Pheya answered the puzzle with that “Eureka” kind of smile or rather, optimistically.
That sounded right. Janet nodded in agreement or consideration
“Or a Momma’s boy that doubles as a cultist or hooligan” their other roommate smartly suggested. Then, the phone started ringing for the fifth time. Janet won’t risk picking it. She switched off her phone and laid back on her bed. Sleepy Pheya dragged herself back like a zombie with amputated lower limbs, disappointed. Their other room mate left the room to do her laundry.
“Pheya, I have an idea” Janet announced but Pheya was already fast asleep. Janet turned to lay on her side, drew the duvet to cover a three quarter of her body and commenced the first stage of Non-REM sleep.
Few minutes past 12 noon, both girls woke up, had their bath, and set out for the library. They stopped at the cafeteria to eat. Both girls barely said a word to each other. Not because they were quarreling, but Pheya knew Janet so well and when she needed some space.
“Is something strange about that black car?” Pheya was forced to speak
“No. It was probably coincidence that it was parked outside our hostel when we left and it is also outside the cafeteria now. Someone obviously drove it there”
Her reply did not satisfy Pheya’s hunch. They finished eating and finally set out for the library. They had barely walked for two minutes that Pheya noticed the car behind them again.
“If two is a coincidence, what is three?” She asked, although she knew what the answer was.
“We are being followed” their hearts echoed at the same time. Before they could move another muscle, the car parked in front of them. The guy sitting at the passenger’s seat in front offered them a ride. Staggered, the girls shook their heads and turned into a path on their right and walked as fast as their feet could carry them.
“Janet, are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Pheya asked, unusually scared.
“I don’t even know what I’m thinking” Janet replied, confused.
Unlike the duo, they talked for hours in the library weighing options. Other users cautioned them a few times. They finally resolved to call James. James arrived in thirty minutes and met them outside.
“You look horrible!” Pheya couldn’t but observe.
“That’s because I’ve barely slept. You know I told you I won’t sleep until I get that question right. Your call woke me up” James answered.
“So, did you get it?”
“No, I slept off around noon. I’m sure that was not why you called me”
“Sticky Note called.”
“And what does that mean? I thought he wasn’t meant to call.”
“And then someone offered us a ride”
James was taken aback. He was new to this game but it sounded kind of strange already.
“We want to know who the mystery guy is.” Janet said
“So, how can I help?”
“Find the caller” Pheya replied
“I have shown you how to do that with Truecaller na. You don’t have to bother me with these small stuffs. When get some tough firewall to hack down, call me” James said and turned to leave.
“We’ve tried that already. The name is for a lady. Bernice something. We need more details. The SIM probably belongs to someone else.”
“Or maybe you have a lesbian on your neck. What do the rules say about LGTQs?”
“You are kidding me”, Janet was puzzled. This was a new twist.
“Of course I am. You approached the right person. This means you guys have to show me the solution to the maths problem.” He said with a cocky look and brought out his laptop from his backpac, cast a gaze at the ladies for their response. They nodded in agreement.
“Right here, I am into the library’s database. Let me search for the phone number.”
Pheya called it from her head before Janet could even reach for her phone. They both gave Pheya a look. James’ fingers danced on the keyboard for a while and then a lady’s picture was staring right at them. Her faced looked familiar. Aside from looking like the university’s fifty naira loaf of bread, the round face reminded them of something else, or someone. The close-u made the person look like a cashew fruits. Her head to body proportion was like that of a cashew nut to its body. Under the picture was then name Bernice Asemota.
“Lady Bermota?” the girls chorused. They knew the name was synonymous with trouble.
To Be Continued…