“I did it” Esther muttered under her breath.
“I did it…..” She repeated, this time louder.
Anita rushed to her side, yanked the letter from her hand and read it aloud with excitement. Her high-pitched voice jerked a sleeping Monisola awake.
“You did it! I knew you would! Oh my God!”
Anita happy danced around Esther who couldn’t express her overflowing happiness.
She repeated to herself multiple times she did it, she was vindicated and would be allowed to remain at the school. She was thoroughly reproofed, but was let off with a warning, furthermore her case of hypnotism would be investigated further by the school authority.
She felt immense relief and was delirious with joy.
“I’m really happy for you Esther, we should celebrate!” Monisola beamed
“I agree” Anita concurred
“Guys that’s a great idea, but it’s quite late” Esther pointed at the wall clock
“Who said anything about going out? We’ll do it right here!” Anita yelled and Monisola clapped her hands together, coinciding with her.
Anita ran to get her boom box and played one of Davido’s song
“Uh…excuse me, but isn’t that like the wrongest choice of song right now? Shouldn’t you be playing sign of a victory or that stand up for the champion song” Monisola raised an eyebrow.
Anita paused the music before she answered
“True, but I don’t have either song so we have to make do with what we have available” Anita resumed the music and sang at the top of her voice while Monisola sang along too. They both danced round the room in celebration.
Esther watched her two roommates revelling and her heart swelled with gratitude. They were the only people that stood by her through her difficult moments while every other person evaded her like a plague.
“I can’t thank you both enough really, I’m eternally grateful for everything” Teary-eyed, Esther moved to hug them both. Her tears flowed freely down her cheeks.
“Hey, don’t cry the worst is over” Anita wiped the tears off her face with a handkerchief.
She was right, the worst was over, but Esther wouldn’t be fully satisfied till the culprit responsible for what she went through is apprehended.
Her scandalous picture was taken down from the internet, but some certain people still had it saved on their phones and that’s a permanent issue Esther would have to live with, all thanks to the perpetrator.
She hoped with all her heart that the school would investigate like they said they would.
Until then she would work hard on her project and study.
The next day she was up from bed before Monisola and Anita, she wore a flattering outfit and walked to class with her head held high, she wasn’t going to bow her head in shame anymore. She would strive hard to be the best version of herself.
Heads turned as she walked into the lecture hall and silence followed. They had all heard the news of her vindication.
A few people approached her to welcome her, most of them had felt she would be rusticated from school and they didn’t hide that bit of information from her.
For the following months Esther focused on only school related matters. She went straight back to the hostel after classes, worked on her assignments and project and avoided extracurricular activities.
The week dedicated to finalists soon arrived. It was an activity filled week that involved sports, jean carnival, cultural day, movie night, bonfire night and a few others. Esther managed to avoid most of them despite pressure from a few of her coursemates.
By Saturday Anita and Monisola were chatting about a final party that was going to take place on Sunday, the following day. Esther pretended not to have heard them till Monisola asked her “Esther are you going?”
“Huh? no” Esther said
“You’ve not attended any all through the week, let’s blow off some steam and go to this one, all three of us just to celebrate. Project is done and dusted and we’ll be leaving this school soon enough, and it’s on a Sunday so definitely they won’t tarry in closing plus no touching of anything they’d serve there. We would go along with our own drinks. Non alcoholic” Monisola said and Esther was surprised because like her Monisola wasn’t much into parties.
“Someone tell me to close my mouth, Moni you really want to attend tomorrow?” Esther asked her
“Yes, just for an hour or two. My university life has been pretty boring, so I want to attend this one so I won’t feel completely socially inept”
“Wow, I’m still shocked. You of all people. I have my inhibitions and you both know why, but I’ll come along for an hour and be back to the hostel. Only an hour” Esther said.
Monisola and Anita yelled happily in unison to her statement
“I’ll come back with you whenever you’re ready to leave” Anita said
“We would all come back together” Monisola chipped in and Anita nodded.
They spent the next few hours picking outfits for the party, they changed in and out of different clothes and accessories till they finally settled for their preferred choices.
The next day all three of them looked ravishing dressed in their various outfits. Monisola had on a flower patterned thigh-length gown, Esther had on knee-length orange jumpsuit that complemented her chocolate skin tone and Anita wore a body hugging red mini gown.
As they stepped into the party Esther silently prayed she won’t regret her decision to come along with them.
The party hall was bristling with energetic finalists dancing to the tune of the disk jockey.
Like they planned they came along with their drinks and also included a few snacks to chew on.
Esther stood still sipping her drink while Anita and Monisola danced, they had tried to force her to dance but she vehemently refused.
She thought of what had happened the last time she danced at a party. She had felt she would be comfortable at this party , but she wasn’t. She couldn’t wait for one hour to be over.
“Hello” Esther heard a baritone voice say beside her, she turned towards the voice and saw a tall attractive male smiling at her
“Sorry?” Esther glanced around like she wasn’t sure he was referring to her, but no one was standing beside her
“Hi, I’m Bamidele, chemical engineering student and you are?” He flashed her another smile and Esther was confused. No one had really spoken much to her since her picture incidence and here this stranger was trying to start a conversation with her. She wondered if he didn’t recognise her or he had an agenda.
She looked away, ignoring his question.
“I saw I wasn’t the only one not enjoying the party so I decided to approach you, my fellow comrade” He added with a laugh
Esther scoffed and kept her silence
“Sorry to bother you, we’ll do this again some other time when you’re in a better mood” He smiled warmly at her and walked away.
As he receded Esther’s gaze followed him wondering if he was really oblivious of her, but that was doubtful. The whole school knew her.
“Hmm who’s that?” A smiling Monisola approached her and asked, she was followed by Anita
“No one” Esther answered
“What did he want?” Anita enquired
“Nothing. He said hello” Esther said “By the way I don’t mean to ruin your fun, but it’s almost an hour” She added
“Okay, let me say bye to a few of my friends, I’ll be right back” Monisola’s pace was swift as she walked
“How about you, no one to say bye to?” Esther asked Anita who rolled her eyes in response
“And leave you here by yourself? no way” she added
Monisola soon returned and asked them to be on their way.
“On a serious note you both can remain here while I leave, you don’t have to come with me”
Esther smiled at them
“We agreed we would all leave together, so let’s go. I’ve had enough fun, at least now I can tell my kids my university life wasn’t entirely boring” Monisola grinned and they all laughed as they exited the party hall.
That night while Esther laid in bed, she briefly thought of the stranger that had approached her, but quickly dismissed the thought.
She was thankful the finalist party hadn’t gone awry and that was all that mattered to her.