The aroma of Tolu’s food wafted out of her kitchen into the nostrils of the other students in the block. It was a block of six flats occupied by students of the University of Lagos. While some students stayed on campus, some preferred to have a home away from home. They rented apartments outside which were close to the school campus.
Tolu heard the knock on her door as she prepared to settle down to consume the bowl of semovita and ilá àsèpò that she had just cooked. She knew who was at the door. There was no need asking. She ignored the knocks.
As she put each chunk of semo into her mouth, the intensity of the knocks increased. She got upset and walked to the kitchen to wash her hands. The persistent knocking continued as she strolled towards the door and opened it.
“Haba Tolu, why didn’t you open the door on time nau?” Feyi asked as her eyes searched round the room like a thief looking for something to steal.
“Ahn…ahn, so you are eating without me now? No wonder.” Feyi continued as she walked to the kitchen, washed her hands and settled down before the bowl of food. She dipped her hand in and began to cut the semo in large chunks, swallowing them in quick succession.
Tolu looked at her without a word.
The next day, Tolu walked into Feyi’s flat without knocking. She knew the door was always open during the day. It was locked only at night. Tolu cleared her throat to announce her presence. Feyi, who was lying down on the floor reading a novel looked up.
“Wassup?” Feyi asked as she dropped her novel on the floor.
“Nothing much. I came to pick up a few things.” Tolu said as she walked towards the kitchen.
“Ehen! You did not keep anything here.” Feyi replied as she stood up and followed Tolu.
Tolu had come with three big polythene bags. She opened the kitchen cabinet and started to empty everything she saw into the polythene bags. Garri, rice, beans, spaghetti, curry, thyme, maggi etc.
“Ahn…ahn…what are you doing nau?” Feyi shouted.
“I am packing the foodstuff we would need for the month.”
“What is the meaning of this?”
Tolu stopped and looked at her. “Pick one. I pack the foodstuffs we would need and you can continue coming to eat your lunch in my place or I poison the meal, so you can die and leave me in peace.”
Feyi’s jaw dropped. “Haba! It hasn’t come to this nau. You should have just told me that you don’t need my company during lunch.”
Tolu burst out into hysterical laughter.
“What is funny? Please just drop my foodstuffs. I won’t come to your flat again.”
“No ma. This is to replace everything you have eaten in the last one month. You can decide not to come again from today.” Tolu said as she began to walk towards the door.
Feyi stood in front of the door and tried to stop her from going out.
“Feyi, don’t try me. You know me from way back in secondary school and you know that I can redesign your face if I get upset.”
Feyi frowned as she moved away from the door. Tolu was known as “mama fighter” in secondary school. Feyi watched helplessly as Tolu strolled out of her apartment with all the foodstuff in her kitchen cabinet in the polythene bags.
As Feyi locked the door to her flat, she decided she did not want to die yet. It was better to stay away than get poisoned.
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