The exam pressure was getting too much. Her eyes were tired of reading, her body needed to be in another position except sitting, she needed fresh air. So she decided to take a stroll through the Love Garden that evening. As she got to the road, she saw Alex, her jovial funny course mate. He was the type of guy who made everyone laugh. He was standing in front of his room, wearing his usual t-shirt and shorts with a blue rubber slippers.
She shouted his name and went to meet him.
Wondering why he was just standing outside alone, she asked “why are you outside na? You no go go read?”
He looked at her like she had asked him a silly question.
After giving her the bad eye, he held her arms and started moving to the road “Oya come dey go your house, come dey go…..who tell you say I never read?”
She laughed…he looked like he was going to strangle her for laughing at him….which made her laugh harder.
“All these girls, una be distraction….I wan do night vigil this night abeg..i no need any girl to dey around me. In fact, I dey fast.” he continued.
She laughed so hard at this till passers-by looked at her like she was going crazy. Those who knew Alex simply grinned and walked past. It wasn’t like Alex does not read or go to church. He was just too playful that even when he tried to be serious, it didn’t work.
“Ok na.” She replied him. “Let me go and collect material from somebody in front”.
She felt lighter as she left, grinning broadly as she walked.
She had collected the material, photocopied it and was on her way back to her room when she spotted a familiar red shirt. She took a few steps back and saw Alex in a bucateer, a plate heaped with beans in front of him. She had never noticed the bucca before. A big pot of beans was cooking on firewood right outside the door beside the entrance, guarded by a fat woman with christian morther arms, sweating profusely as she turned the pot. She went inside. It was like she had entered a male gym with all the sweating and grunting except they were all eating huge plates of beans instead of lifting weights. They all looked up at her as she walked in like she had grown horns. She started to wonder if there was an unspoken rule forbidding girls from entering the bucca. It seemed the bucca specialised in beans, all the plates in front of everyone was heaped with beans.
She sat down accross Alex and he looked at her in surprise. “Didi, you mean say you dey enter this kind place? To come eat beans..” he laughed.
“Na here your fasting and night vigil end abi?”
Didi retorted as she collected a spoon and tasted his beans. It was delicious. She took another, then another. He picked up his, and soon it became a competition.
He paid the attendant who served pure water.
They tore it open with their teeth and drank, the cool water brought relief to the burning sensation in her chest.
As they went outside and started back, she heard a small sound. She frowned in concentration as she tried to place it. It came again. She turned to Alex. He looked uneasy.
“Why did you fart na? You’re polluting this environment.” She covered her nose with her hands even though there was no smell.
“Na this beans oh. Anytime I eat this woman beans, e dey purge me.” he replied.
Her mouth opened. “Nain you no tell me before I start to eat?”
“Na so you go take chop poison one day. Since you like to put hand for my food, I wan teach you lesson today.”
Already, her stomach was rolling. They began to walk faster, ignoring all the friends they encountered on the road. Alex’s farts became more and more dangerous, the sounds got louder and louder. As they got closer to his room, he broke off in a jog, holding his buttocks so tightly clamped together his steps became awkward.
She laughed inspite of her own discomfort. He entered his room and closed the door with such force it’s hinges rattled.
She was still laughing when she felt her stomach move. She broke into her own jog, the laugh forgotten.