**[Day in day out, week in week out and, month in month out these three always find a way to connect. The trio had gotten hooked on a life style of hanging out with men waiting for the next ladies they’ll be opportune with. However, the trio still take time to hang in with their academics as their entrant examination into the university is just some couple of months away]**
Tinu: *[As they sit on lawn grass underneath a tree at a park]* Mimi and Anniel, we seem to be having great fun beyond our wildest dreams and our bodies seem to be craving more. With four months to our entrant examination, I’m of the opinion we stop hanging out but start hanging in with our academics.
Anniel: I must say that God really spent a lot of time creating the three of us. Look at it – we’ve the perfect body, unavoidable beautiful face and, an active brain. Brain and beauty!
Mimi: If we keep our body and brain to our books these four months, there is no way we cannot make the cut off mark required for our respective choice of discipline.
Tinu: I really want to be the most beautiful and best lawyer ever known in town.
Anniel: *[Stands up and takes a walk of honor]* Both of you are before the future most beautiful and most enterprising CEO of my dad’s company in South Africa.
Mimi: *[She stood up pulled Anniel down and take her own walk of honor]* With a BSc in Linguistic Studies and a MSc in International Relations, this friend of yours will be the most beautiful and best ambassador the country will ever have.
Tinu: *[She also stood and pull Anniel down]* As the best lawyer to be, I should also take my walk of honor.
**[All three ladies seem to be fixated at this time on their future careers until they spotted some young men walk into the park]**
Mimi: Babes, is it just me? Can you see those guys that just got to the park?
Anniel: They are so fresh and handsome. *[Dreamingly]* Look at those physique. They’re to die for.
Tinu: [Irritated]* Hold it girls! We’ve just mentioned that we should keep our bodies and brain in our books. Where is this romantic impulse coming from?
Mimi: *[Defensive]* Tinu, maybe I should get you a cane so you can cane us. Reading our books does mean we’ll take our eyes away from what makes you feel the sweetness of our feminine self.
Anniel: Abba! Tinu, just talking about the guys will not kill our brains.
Tinu: Babes, I just don’t want the female attraction in us to get the better of us this moment we’re deciding on putting our heads to our books, that’s all.
Mimi: Ok, what will you do if the guys are not able to resist us and decides to walk over just this moment?
Tinu: No! Mimi you tell me, what will you do?
Mimi: I’ll just have one of them as my teddy bear to hold on to, chikena.
Anniel: Mimi is right. What is the use of been in a park looking at some bunch of guys and not having them as your head rest.
Tinu: In that case we better leave the park.
Mimi: *[Nodding in approval]* I agree let’s leave this guys burning in anticipation for what they’ll never have.
Anniel: *[Stands up coquettishly]* As you walk off the park, don’t forget to shake your blessing so as to put this guys a in state of shock.
Tinu: Whatever. Anniel, can we get back to your home I’m having the morning sickness.
**[At any rate the guys on the other hand have taking note of the three beauties but decided to play hard to get. It seem like a passion challenge as both sexes flaunt their natural charm. The ladies with a show of their most feminine selves with the guys making a counter show of their most masculine selves. This was going on as the ladies walked out of the park.]**
Guy 1: *[Raising his polo to flaunt his six pack]* You ladies think you’re the only ones with stuffs to flaunt. Check this out!
Mimi: *[Turning to face the guys, pulling down the neck of her top ]* That is nothing compared to these. I have seen eight packs so don’t fool yourself.
Guy 2: You ladies could have simply walked over so we can do rule our worlds.
Anniel: We don’t waste time with guys that do not own up to what they feel. Losers!
Tinu: Mimi, Anniel, why are you girls burning these guys? Mimi, you’re the one that announced their entrant into the park. Anniel, you saw their physique as something “to die for” *[Pulling on both of them]* You ladies just have to give it to the guys, they’re attractively built but we’ve decided.
Mimi: *[With a bow towards the guys]* We give it to you guys for the queen has spoken.
**[The trio walked off the park straight to where academics will make their dreams realities. ]**
**[Anniel’s father has a different plan for her. Anniel had to inform her friends of her father’s decision even though it may not go down well with the three. He demanded that Anniel comes over to South Africa to continue her studies. At this time Tinu who is already putting up with Anniel seem to be disturbed the most. Anniel is the host of their staying indoors to read for the entrant exam.]**
Anniel: *[Sitting pensively]* Babes, my dad had insisted I come over to SA to continue my education. I thought I could talk him out of it but he kept insisting.
Mimi: it’s good news but saddening. We’ll miss you so so much. Hmmm, the three musketeers disbanded just like that! So it will just be Tinu and I studying in preparation of our exams.
Anniel: Babes, it’s still one for all and all for one. My departure to SA does not break our bond in anyway. Don’t forget social media makes keeping in touch real time and distance is of no essence.
Tinu: *[Rather sad]* So I’ll be all alone in this big room that both of us share.
Anniel: *[Sympathizing with Tinu]* Tinu, you need not be troubled. You’re like a sister to me now. Since your incident, my mum has practically taking you as her daughter.
**[Anniel’s mother returned from shopping for Anniel’s departure to SA. The three beauties paid no attention that the door to the living room swung open and close.]**
Mother: *[Calling out to Anniel]* Anniel, Anniel I’m back. Please come help take these to you room.
**[All three girls dashed out of the room excitedly]**
Anniel: *[Hurriedly went for a particular shopping bag]* Mum, did you pick up those fitted gowns I mentioned to you? You know I’ll have to be attending those cocktails with dad.
Mother: *[With a stern warning index finger pointed at Anniel]* Now listen young lady, should I get any ulterior report from your dad, I’ll be right there to bring you back to Nigeria myself.
Anniel: Mum, I only meant that I’ve to represent you the best I can.
Mum: I am not asking you that favor. *[Turns attention to Mimi and Tinu who just stood watching the drama]* Tinu, Mimi never mind Anniel with her show. Mimi, how are your parents? Tinu, have you been able to speak to your parents after the incident?
Tinu: *[As if recoiling]* My parents have shut me out of their life’s. My mum picks my call occasionally but will not relate much because of my dad.
Mum: Not to worry my dear they’ll come round someday. Just don’t hurt yourself emotionally because of your condition.
**[The three quickly grab a baggage each and headed for Anniel’s room while Anniel’s mother walked to her room]**
Mimi: *[Tagging along]* Mam, we can’t thank you enough for your moral and loving support to our friend. How I wish her parents are as understanding as you are.
Mum: You girls don’t appreciate the pain you put parents through when you live the way you do. *[Another stern index finger pointed at Anniel]* Anniel, don’t you ever think that your staying away at SA will reduce my surveillance over you. *[Tapping Anniel’s should as she walks away]* I’ve got my eyes on you!
Anniel: *[Shrug her shoulders as she steps backwards]* Mum!
**[Both Mimi and Tinu had a grim on their faces. All three now left with the baggages in hand]** **[As they sat back in the room Anniel spared little or no time ransacking the baggages before Tinu came up with her concerns.]**
Tinu: *[Letting off the baggage as she sat back on the bed]* Girls, nothing will stop me from my university education, nothing! Not even my condition.
Mimi: What’s on your mind girl. Spill it out.
Anniel: *[Sitting closer to Tinu]* Tinu, even though you are young and not ready for it, I know you cherish your condition. I hope you’re not thinking negatively of it now.
Mimi: Let her talk.
Tinu: *[Stands up and turn around]* Look at me, it seem like my life is in a mess. I carry the guilt of the three of us.
Mimi: *[Placing her right hand on Tinu’s right shoulder reassuringly]* Tinu, it’s not ok for you to think and feel the way you do. It could have been anyone of us in your condition. *[Stands by side Tinu’s left shoulder]* Remember we’re all in this together so we’re all in this condition together.
Tinu: My friends, its really disturbing. A month after our entrant examination, I’ll be relieved of this condition. *[Pulling on Anniel and Mimi to sit on the bed with her]* My parents have abandoned me, Anniel is going away to SA, and I’ve to be in the university.
Anniel: I can appreciate how you feel, Tinu. In your condition you need your mum but she sparingly communicate with you.
Mimi: You definitely must go to the university for you’ve done so much not to actualize it.
Tinu: I’ve gotten enough saved up that can carter for my university education for the first two years but what happens after that is what I don’t know.
Anniel: Tinu, I promise I’ll speak to my mum so that she can arrange something with my dad. You might end up not even using up your savings at all.
Tinu: Anniel, your family have been wonderful to me since they allowed me move in with you. Truly, there hadn’t been any difference in the way they’ve treated both of us. And you want to bring this up with them again? I feel it will be too much.
Anniel: Tinu, leave that to. You just take good care of your condition.
Mimi: Tinu, you’ll be just fine. Be rest assured.
Tinu: It’s a big challenge managing my condition and it will be worse off when my condition changes from this while in the university.
Mimi: *[Stepping away from the two and tuning around]* Tinu, you’ll not have to manage anything worse if we can just come up with a very good plan.
Tinu: Do you have such a good plan?
Mimi: *[Tapping her temple with her fingers]* I can’t think of one right now. Why don’t three of us give some thought to it. Am sure our brains won’t find that difficult. Or what do you girls think?
Anniel: Perfect! *[Stands up]* Mimi, remember this Saturday it will be your turn hosting us to read. So we’ve got three days to come up with a plan.
Tinu: Both of you just made it appear I really will be fine. Thanks to both of you anyway. I must say that my head is void of thinking on any plan under this condition not to talk of a very good one.
Mimi: Don’t border. Just allow Anniel and I to do the thinking.
Anniel: Tinu, it’s friendship for good times and for bad times.
**[The trio did a little more reading before Mimi had to take her leave. As much as they read a little more, there minds were pondering what the “very good plan” will be. Even Tinu who thought she cannot give thought to it did ponder on it. They’ve gotten till there next scheduled reading rendezvous to come up with a “very good plan]**
**[Anniel and Tinu walked back from seeing off Mimi down the road after she boarded an Okada. Tinu was so full of thoughts and visibly worried]**
Anniel: Tinu, lately your condition has made you so withdrawn.
Tinu: Its not just my condition. I’m worried about home. I can’t stop thinking of how my siblings are coping, what my mum might be going through emotionally because of my not being at home in my present condition.
Anniel: *[Tapping on the gate to be opened and calling on the gateman]* Simple, please open the gate.
Gateman: *[Opens the door.]* Small maram, welcome. *[Anniel and Tinu stepped into the compound]* Umm small maram no vex, e don stay rong wen u give Simpre dash. I pray say make this change no change for your side. Nfat this your friend dey fine everyday.
**[Anniel and Tinu did not pay any hid to the gateman. They just moved on.]**
Gateman: Chai, this change don change everything.
Anniel: *[Focusing on Tinu]* Tinu, you’ve moved in with me for three months now and I can tell when you really which you can do something to help but ……….
Tinu: *[Cutting Anniel midway in her speech]* No Anniel, I’m feeling so guilty within me. My dad is blaming my mum for my condition but my mum have been protective of me.
Anniel: So why not call you mum and tell her how you feel.
Tinu: She is so scared of my dad that she won’t dare to talk to when my dad is at home.
Anniel: Then call her when your dad is likely yet from work. In fact you can call her right now, your dad may not be home as yet. It’s just 5pm.
Tinu: I’ll do just that right now.
**[By this time Anniel and Tinu walked to the back of the building to have some privacy. Tinu place a call through to her mother who picked the call just after the third ring]]**
Tinu: *[In a telephone conversation with her mum]* Mum, it’s Tinu. How are you and my younger ones? How is dad?
Mum: *[Tried to speak clearly but occasionally clears throat to hide her emotions]* They’ve not stopped asking of your whereabout. Dele keeps asking me *[Clears throat]* when you’ll come tell him stories.
Tinu: Is papa back from work?
Mum: *[Not knowing what to answer, she skipped the question]* Aduke is not back from hawking bread. Iyabo *[clears throat]*just went across the road to meet mama Obinna.
Tinu: I know Dele most be playing outside as usual.
Mum: *[Clears throat]* Folarin is fetching water from the well. The pumping matching got damaged. *[Clears throat]* Everyone in the compound is feeling less concerned.
Tinu: *[Anniel gesturing at her to express her feelings]* Mum, I know dad must be putting you through so much because of my condition. Please pardon me and dad. You have been a mum that have giving me the best of training but the part I choose have brought this condition on me.
Mum: Tinu, I don’t know where I went wrong as a mother but I know God will be with you. I have been pleading with your dad to allow you come back home. *[clears throat]* He keeps reminding me that your condition is shameful and a disgrace.
Tinu: Mum, God will be with you also. I will want to correct this shame and disgrace my condition has brought but it has not been easy for me.
Mum: God will bless your friend and her parents who have allowed you put up with them this 3 months already.
Tinu: *[Gesturing at Anniel]* Mum, I’say amen! on their behalf. They’ve truly been kind to me. They allow me use their family hospital for monthly checks. Mum, I’ll have to end this call now before dad returns from work. I’ll not want him to treat you insult you on my account.
Mum: *[Clears throat, tried to speak clear until the tone of her voice becomes tearful]* Your dad has been home since morning he only went out this morning.
Tinu: Is he on leave?
Mum: *[She sobs as she talks]* Your dad stopped going to work last month. His work stopped. *[sobs]* He only came back home with his months salary, no benefit after working for 15 years as a contract staff in the oil company.
Tinu: *[Almost dropping her phone]* Mum! You kept this from me all this while! *[She could barely hold her tears]* Mum, mum, mum why?
**Tinu could hardly continue with the conversation as her mum cried profusely at the other end of the conversation as much as she is on her end. Anniel had to take the phone from her and end the call.]**
Anniel: *[Consoling Tinu]* No Tinu, you have to come off it. You don’t need to handle this in your condition.
**[Anniel’s mother overhead Tinu crying and urged Anniel to brink her up to her room. Anniel’s mother quickly put a call through to their family doctor to come attend to her]**
**[Mimi got home just in time for dinner. The security man did not waste time commending her]**
Security man: *[As he opens the gate for Mimi to get in]* My daughter, I’m happy you don’t come back late anymore. In fact if you continue like this you’ll have my blessing.
Mimi: *[Hurriedly walkaway]* Baba, thank you sir!
**[Mimi met her father, mother and, elder brother on the dining table.]**
Father: Just on time! *[Beckon on Mimi to come to the dining]* I hope you ladies settled down to a good study for your university entrant exam is barely a month away.
Elder brother: *[As Mimi pulls a chair at the dining]* Mimi is becoming a good girl lately.
Mimi: *[Melodramatic]* Big brother Africa, please don’t get on my case.
Elder brother: It’s a commendation. You can at least say “thank you”. *[Mimi faced her palm at her elder brother indicative of ‘stop’.]*
Mother: That’s ok young man and Mimi stop the rude attitude.
**[Mimi attempted making a remark but her mother signaled her to stop. Their father Chuckles at the drama before him. All ate the pounded yam and egusi soup to satisfaction]**
**[After diner Mimi quickly cleared and wash up the dishes, hurried to take her shower before her favorite program on DSTV channel commences. Father went for a glass of wine at the bar in the living. Mother went to the room to recline awhile. Mimi’s elder brother had something else on his mind. As soon as Mimi finished having her bath, he did not waste any time registering what’s on his mind before Mimi gets engrossed on her favorite DSTV channel program.]**
Elder brother: *[knocks on the door to Mimi’s room]*. Mimi, can I come in?
Mimi: Yes big brother.
Elder brother: *[Takes a long breathe]* I’ve always like the aroma of this your body lotion.
Mimi: stop patronizing and go to the point of why you’re asking to come into my room.
Elder brother: *[Sits on the only chair in Mimi’s room]* Kid sister, you don’t even spare me. You forget I’m your elder brother. *[Gives a slimy smile]* It’s about your friend Anniel.
Mimi: What about her?
Elder brother: I think I’m interested in her.
Mimi: *[Not surprised]* I knew it will come to that. I see the way you clue your eyes on her whenever she comes visiting. Well for you information, by next week she’ll be leaving Naija for SA. Her father have decide to she comes over to finalize her education.
Elder brother: That should not stop you from connecting me. Who says it’s wrong to have a babe that’s in SA.
Mimi: I’m not promising anything. You can take your chance with her when she comes on Saturday. I’m hosting our reading rendezvous.
Elder brother: *[With feeling of excitement]* Awesome! You mean the other of your friend, Tinu, will also be coming in her condition?
**[They all had their personal time doing what they enjoy doing before going to bed]**
**[Its day break the following day. Anniel’s mother came over to Anniel’s room to check on Tinu]**
Mother: *[Sits beside Tinu on the big bed]* Tinu, how are you this morning?
Tinu: *[Yawning and talking]* Good morning ma. I’m very ok ma. Thanks very much. I hope I didn’t put you through lot of anxiety yesterday.
Anniel: *[Getting off the bed]* Good morning mum. You’re up so early.
Mother: Tinu got me so worried with the way she reacted at the phone conversation with her mum. Your mum will be emotionally disturbed too.
Tinu: I’ve not stopped thinking of her myself.
Anniel: Ok messiah girl, you have yourself to worry about. Whatever you feel, just remember your condition.
**[Anniel’s mother left to allow Anniel and Tinu wake up to the daybreak. Both ladies got to tidying up the home but Anniel makes sure Tinu does the minutest task. They also got breakfast ready]**
Anniel: My father had booked my mum and I flight to SA for Wednesday next week. My mum is arranging a sent forth party for my friends to attend. *[Tinu sat rather unresponsive]* Tinu, did you hear a word of what I said?
Tinu: It still has not registered on me that you’re actually relocating to SA. Wait a minute, if you and your mum leave on Wednesday I need to get somewhere else to stay.
Anniel: My mum and I have worked it all out already. My mum is only going to be away for two nights. *[Tinu brightens up]* My mum is so concerned about your condition that she had discussed with her cousin who leaves at the other side of town and she has agreed to have put up with her until my mum returns on Friday evening.
Tinu: *[As both walk to set the table for breakfast]* You mean your mum had arranged that already!? I really cannot thank your mum enough.
Mum: *[Steps out to the living room[*. Are you girls ready with breakfasts? I need to be out early enough to meet a client.
Anniel: *[Coming with the last dish to the dining]* Mum, please you can come to the dining.
**All three sat down to a breakfast of boiled yam and vegetable sauce. Tinu took the moment on the dining to express her feelings to Anniel’s mum.]**
Tinu: Mam, we Yoruba’s will greet “eku itoju” which means “weldon for taking care of me”. Anniel told me the arrangement you’ve made on my behalf as both of you will be traveling Wednesday next week. *[she knelt down on her knees as is typical in Yoruba tradition.]* Mam, I do not know how to thank you enough but I can only say that God will bless you for the love you have been showing me.
Mum: *[Urging Tinu to stand up]* Tinu, please sit back on the chair. You should not be doing that in you condition.
Tinu: *[Sitting back on her chair]* It’s the only way I can express the depth of my appreciation for all you’ve been doing for me.
Anniel: Mum don’t mind her she is doing like one village girl.
**[Anniel’s mum finished her breakfast hurriedly and left to meet up with her client. Anniel and Tinu took sometime to chat at the dining.]**
Anniel: Tinu what do you think, I intend to invite all our former classmates to my send forth party.
Tinu: It will not be a bad idea. It will be like a reunion after our final exam. Will you invite any of the guys that have been flocking around you?
Anniel: No. I want it to be strictly for former classmates. I’ll be telling Mimi when we get to her place on Saturday.
Tinu: *[Starts clearing the dining]* Anniel what do think, I really want to speak with my dad now that I know he has lost his job.
Anniel: *[As both clear the dishes to the kitchen]* I agree with you. Why don’t you sit down and make the call while I clear the remaining dishes.
**[Tinu dialed her father’s mobile number, it rang but Tinu’s father ignored the call till it rang off. Tinu redialed but this time her father switched off his phone.]**
Tinu: *[Holding her mobile phone out surprised]* I can’t believe my father just switched off his on phone me.
Anniel: *[Walk back quickly from the kitchen]* Tinu, don’t you start now. I cannot manage any crises like my mum would. So please do not brood over that now.
Tinu: Oh no Anniel, I’m ok. It just got me thinking how much my dad has rejected me.
Anniel: Hey! that reminds me. Remember we agreed we have to come up with a good plan with regards to you condition this Saturday.
Tinu: Well that’s an assignment for you and Mimi. My head is full at the moment and my condition is not making it any easy for me.
**[Tinu without notifying Anniel decided to call her mothers mobile.]
Anniel: Do think your dad could switched on his phone that you’re redialing him?
Tinu: I’m dialing my mum’s instead.
Anniel: Promise me you’re not going to end up crying like you did yesterday.
Tinu: No. I told you I’m ok.
**[Tinu mother’s mobile phone rang but her father urged her not to answer the call]**
Father: *[With a stern look on his face]* If that is Tinu calling you, you better not answer the call or else.
**[The phone rang off. Tinu redialed the number and her mother attempted picking up the call]**
Father: Woman, you’re daring me right!? *[He snatched the mobile phone from her and switched it off]*
**[Tinu was shocked at what just happened for she could hear the voice of her father at the background before he switched off the mobile phone.]**
**[Back at home Tinu’s mother could not take the attitude any longer that she almost reacted violently]**
Mother: *[Snatched the mobile phone from her husband]* What is the matter with you! Do not think because I’m keeping quiet that I cannot handle you. *[Angrily]* Yes Tinu’s condition is disgraceful and shame but it does not change the fact that she is our daughter. *[Starts dialing onTinu’s mobile phone]* I’m going to call her and if you dare snatch the phone from me again, you’ll get what I’ve been holding back on all this while.
**[As Tinu’s phone rang through, her father quietly picked up a shirt and went on outside. Tinu was relieved that her mother returned her call. She quickly picked up the call.]**
Mother: Tinu, ‘Adumaradan’ *[in Yoruba dialect]*, black beauty. How are you?
Tinu: *[Speak calmly]* Mum, I’m ok. How are you? Dad’s anger at my condition has not come to remission. I hope my siblings did not hear both of your out burst of anger.
Mother: Well they did. Your father is pushing this whole shame and disgrace too far. I can’t take it any longer. Tinu, please dail back. I’m prompted that my airtime will soon elapse.
**[The service provider dropped the call. As Tinu started dialing her mother, Anniel beckoned on her that they should get to the room.]**
Tinu: *[Back on the call.]* Mum please don’t loose your good nature on my account. You’ve been loving and respectful of my dad even in his excesses. That is a quality I’ve learned from you.
Mother: Don’t worry, your dad and I will talk things over.
Tinu: Mum, I’ll transfer some money to your account so you can add more articles of trade to what you can sell.
**[Their call ended this time with no exchange of cry. Tinu felt relieved after the call. Anniel and Tinu settled to studying their books.]**