The following day, Esther woke up in the morning to register for the new semester. Classes had not yet started and many students were just carrying out some administrative duties.
She was glad that her roommates were still sleeping as she did not want to undergo any investigation. She could hear Janet snoring. She tiptoed as she walked around the room to prepare herself before she finally left. As she passed through the Dispensary, she noticed that it was open. She didn’t know whether to pass by and say hi to David or not. “I am sure David does not want to have anything to do with me because as a friend, I could not even inform him about Jacob. And after the humiliation that Jacob made him to go through, I just don’t think he would even like to talk to me” she thought to herself.
She walked passed the dispensary when suddenly someone called her name “Esther, Esther”. She recognized David’s voice and her heart beat so fast. True enough, it was David. He ran to her, smiling.
“Madam Esther, how are you doing?” he asked, Esther looked rather surprised. “I am fine David and you?” she answered shyly.
David: where are you heading to this morning?
Esther: To the admin building. I want to register for the new term.
David: Oh great!
Esther: And you? Have you done so?
David: Yes I have. I did that yesterday.
Esther: That’s great, I am happy that you got the money
David: Hahaha, Yes my dear, I did. The Ministry paid me quite a handful and I used it to pay for the whole semester, gave some cash to my young sister and I have also invested the remaining amount in a small business.
Esther: Oh my God! God is good. I am so happy for you David. You deserve it
David: Sure He is! I also got a gift for you. I was waiting for your arrival in order to give it to you. I also want to congratulate you on your engagement. I must admit it came by surprise, but I am happy for you. I was a little jealous when I saw both of you. Hahaha Anyway, don’t mind me. I guess the gift I bought for you will be a pre-wedding gift.
Esther didn’t know what to say again. She had mixed feelings: a feeling of sadness and that of shame. She looked at David and said “Thank you David. I can’t wait to see the gift” she said. David smiled and said “Well, let me leave you now. By the way, Angela said she will be coming in two days’ time”. Esther felt relieved. She definitely missed her friend and was impatient to see her. She also felt relieved that David was not upset with her. “He is such a wonderful person” she told herself as she walked across the small green grass.
When she arrived at the admin block, she found a small number of students. Among them was Brian, the guy she had met at the motel.
“Hello Brian. How are you doing? I hope you had a safe journey” Esther said. “Esther! Yes I did. I am glad you arrived safely too. How is your fiancé doing?” Brain answered. Esther hesitated “He is fine, thanks. So, have you already enrolled for the second semester?” she said, trying to change the topic. However, Brian seemed to enjoy the conversation “Yes I have. So, has your fiancé gone back to Gemba?” he asked.
Esther got upset “Sorry Brian, let me please go to the Cashier’s office. See you later” she said, pretending to be in a hurry. Brian gave her a strange look as she went. He shook his head and left too.
Once Esther was through, she went back to her hostel. By this time, Janet and Naomi were already awake. They were both having breakfast in the room. “Come and join us Esther” Naomi said. “Yes, please join us because, thanks to your handsome fiancé’s generosity, we are having this wonderful breakfast. He gave us some cool cash yesterday, remember” Janet said as she recklessly ate the sausage. Esther smiled “No, thank you. Enjoy your breakfast” she said. Janet looked at her and said “So, Esther tell us, how did you two meet? We are really anxious to hear the story, because none of us can actually believe that you can even look at a man, let alone, become a fiancé” she said.
Esther was thinking of what to tell them. She felt like leaving the room, but then she knew that she had to deal with it once and for all. “Please, I would really appreciate if both for you can just stay out of anything that concerns me.
Do not think, for one minute, that I have forgotten what you did to me a couple of months ago. What happens in my life has got nothing to do with any of you. So please, let us just respect each other and mind our own business” she said. This response got both of them shocked. They could not believe that Esther could give them such a harsh answer, and she looked so courageous.
“Hey listen to me. It’s not because you have a man you are sleeping with that you have to treat us this way, you understand? We are not your mates, so next time know how to talk to us, otherwise..” Janet said, Esther interrupted her “Otherwise what! Otherwise what! You are going to beat me the way you did last time? Well, in that case I am asking you to go ahead and do it. But just be aware that this time around you will not get away with it. Both of you will spend your days in jail.
If you think that you can be scaring me with your gangster life, you are very wrong. I am no longer the same Esther you saw last semester. If you try anything stupid with me, you will regret it for the rest of your lives” she said, swinging her small bag. Janet and Naomi kept quiet as they starred at her in amazement. Esther started unpacking her bags as she carefully arranged her clothes in her locker.
Her heart was beating fast, but she did not want her roommates to notice, so she started humming a song and moved her head to the rhythm. She couldn’t believe that she had managed to talk to them in such a manner. She wondered where the courage and boldness had come from. She also wondered what was going on in their minds as they had suddenly become so quiet.
After a few minutes, someone knocked on the door. She went to open it. It was Jacob. The strong and sweet smell of his perfume filled the room immediately she opened the door. As usual, he was smartly dressed. “Hello baby girl” he said, giving Esther a hug.
Esther was not very excited to see him. Before she could even ask him to enter, Jacob entered and found his way to Naomi and Janet. “Hello pretty ladies. Bon appetit!” he said. Janet stood up from the bed and hugged him “Hello Mr. nice guy, You look amazing” she said.
Naomi also stood up and gave him a hug. Esther felt like leaving the room. She was disgusted at this scene. She looked at Jacob and said firmly “Can I please talk to you outside?” Jacob looked surprised. He wondered what was going on. He stood up and followed Esther outside.
Janet and Naomi tiptoed slowly and put their ears on the door to hear the conversation. However, Esther knew just how curious they could be and decided to take Jacob to her favorite spot, under the Eucalyptus tree
Jacob: Hmm But you know that I respect you too baby. What have I done?
Esther: No I don’t think you do, because if you did, you would think twice before displaying some kind of behaviour.
Jacob: Will you just go straight to the point instead of beating about the bush?
Esther: You see! This is exactly what I am talking about. You have no consideration for me. The only thing that matters to you is yourself and nothing more. You never take the time to hear what is on my mi…
Jacob: Ok then. I am listening, I am all ears!
Esther: I don’t like the way you behave in front of my roommates. I mean, you hardly know these girls, but you behave as if you’ve known them for years!
Jacob: What do you mean? Is it because I gave them money yesterday? Come on! You need to understand that I am a very generous guy and every time I feel like giving, I can’t hold myself.
Esther: I am not condemning your giving. I just don’t appreciate the way you behave so familiar with them. These ladies are prostitutes!
Jacob: What! Are you kidding me?
Esther: I know what I am saying. Not only are they prostitutes, but they are also gangsters. Last semester, they beat me up until I bled. Had it not been for my fellow students who rescued me, I could have sustained severe injuries.
Jacob: I can’t believe this! And……did you report them to the police?
Esther: No, I just left the matter in God’s hands, even though David asked me to do so
Immediately Esther mentioned David’s name, Jacob’s face changed. He didn’t seem to be interested in the conversation again. “I hope you understand me Jacob. They will try by all means to frustrate me by being close to you” Esther said. Jacob did not say a word. “Jacob, I hope you’ve understood me. Jacob!” Esther repeated. “Yea.
Whatever! Do as you wish anyway, although I don’t see anything wrong with being kind and generous. I actually think that it’s just an issue of jealousy and envy. You don’t have to envy anyone in life” Jacob said. Esther looked surprised “I don’t understand. Who is envying who?” She said
Jacob responded “Listen, I do understand what you might have been going through being a local girl in the midst of town girls. I know they dress in such a modern and sexy way that it would definitely make you to be jealous. But don’t worry.
The next time you come back home, I will buy you so many sexy clothes. I am actually planning to ask your dad to reduce the number of years we have to wait before getting married. I want us to get married next year. I can’t wait. And I know he will accept. I will make sure you continue your studies even then”.
Esther looked at Jacob. She was speechless. She couldn’t imagine that a normal human being could respond in such a way. She sighed and held her silence as she didn’t think there was anything she could do to have a normal conversation with him.
As Jacob continued talking jagons, David passed by. When Esther saw him, she felt weak. She wished that she could hide but it was too late. David waved at them as he passed. Esther waved back while Jacob just looked at him. “I have noticed that you are quite close: you and this young boy” Jacob said. “David is my friend. He was the first person to welcome me when I got here” Esther said. “Well, just make sure he doesn’t get too close to you.
Most of these poor boys are only looking for something to snatch from innocent people like you”. Esther stood up in anger “Stop saying such things about him. You know nothing about him. David is a very good and serious person” she said.
Jacob laughed “You can be very naive my dear! But I don’t blame you. You’ve stayed too long in the local community that your mind isn’t open yet. But I am very sure that you will soon wake up from your slumber” he said. “I have had enough of this.
I am going back to my room” Esther said as she tried to leave. Jacob held her by the hand with a lot of force and said “You aren’t going anywhere. How dare you walk out on your fiance like this! I need to inform your father about how disrespectful you are ever since you came to this place.
I know that if I convince him, he can decide to remove you from this place and take you to the college in our region. I can just tell him that I would pay for it. Now let’s get into the car and go to town as planned” .
Esther’s heart skipped a beat. She tried to analyse what Jacob had just said. Tears ran down her cheeks as she thought on these things, Jacob didn’t seem to care.
He forcefully held her hand and made her to enter the car. Esther was still shedding tears. “How will I ever escape this? I wish my father could know just how much I am suffering all in the name of dignity” she thought to herself.
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