Dooshima shifted her weight from one leg to the other for the 4th time. She was in Mr. Frank’s Office. He was writing something. He seemed very busy. ”Sir, maybe I should come back tomorrow when you’re less busy”, Dooshima said. Mr. Frank hissed “that’s the thing with you students, you have no gumption. You came into my office and saw that I was busy, but because you feel that what you have to discuss with me is more important than what I’m doing, I should just drop everything!”
“Stand there and wait till I’m through with what I’m doing. If you can’t wait, then get out of my office! Dooshima was getting upset. Mr. Frank was always rude to students. He seemed angry a lot. She calmed herself down and said “Sorry Sir, I wasn’t hurrying you up. I’ll wait. And wait she did, for almost 45 minutes. Mr. Frank seemed to round up his work and then looked up at Dooshima, closing the books. “Eh- Sir, Adokiye Good luck, My friend, I mean my Fiancé sent me. He said I should see you erm, that he spoke to you about me. She had the Lecturer’s full attention now. He looked at her for some seconds and said
“ and so what?” “ Erm so, It’s because I’ve been failing your course and we were thinking that maybe if you help to explain how I should answer the questions.
Mr. Frank stopped her from going further. ”Wait are you talking about exam malpractice?? Do you think I’ll give you the questions before you write the exam? Dooshima, couldn’t be calm anymore “What is all this stress about, Sir? Why are you so wicked? You kept me standing for 45 minutes! Who is asking you for that kind of help, ehn? Who? I have been reading and failing your course and I can’t understand why! I came here so you can help me to see where I blundered, but now I see there was no need!”
She adjusted the books in her hand and walked out.
Mr. Frank smiled as she walked out. This one seemed to be a fighter, he thought. He went back to his writing.
“I told you that, that man is mad! Can you imagine? even after I mentioned your name he was like, ”so?” Honestly, if I had a car I’d run that man down in a second! Dooshima said to Adokiye.
“ Calm down, Dosh. Frank could be a hothead sometimes. I’ll call him again. Maybe he thought you came to beg for marks”, Adokiye said kissing her on the lips.
“Leave me joor, I’m very serious,” said Dooshima
“I’m very serious too,” Ado said unbuttoning her blouse.” When you’re upset, it does things to me, keep shouting and keep driving me crazy”. Now, Dooshima was giggling and then laughing Adokiye would not let her talk. He was kissing all over her face.
Later on in the car, Dooshima asked where they were going. Adokiye said he was taking her to meet one of his Aunts. It was time she met another member of his family other than his siblings.
“ Ado, this place is far o”
“Not to worry,” Ado said, “We’ll be there in a jiffy”
Ado’s Aunty’s house looked like the front of a Church. It was painted white and had silver crosses on the gates and the main door.
Is she a Prophetess? Dooshima asked.
“Yes”, Ado replied. She called me out of the blues and said she had a dream about me at the beach with a woman. She asked if I had someone involved and I said I was. The next thing she said is that she would like to meet you”.
Dooshima’s face fell. Ado, I’m Catholic, you know I don’t subscribe to that kind of thing!
“What kind of thing? Are you not my wife? I have nothing to hide from you”. Come down from the car, my stash, let’s go in.
Dooshima didn’t like this.
It looked like Ado’s Aunt lived in the one-story chalet behind the Church building. They were met by a young man with dreadlocks. There were tiny silver crosses in his hair. He smiled when he saw Ado.” Uncle, welcome. Mama said you were coming. You can go up to her.
Ado’s Aunt looked like she was in her 50’s. She was dressed in an all-white garment with a scarf to match. She welcomed them both. Minutes after, she seemed to go into a trance. Her body jerked violently and her eyes were shut tightly. Dooshima attempted to go towards her to help. The young man with the dreadlocks said” Leave her, the Malaika is communicating with her. If you touch her, she will not come back on time”
After some minutes, Ado’s Aunt came back to the present and stared at Dooshima for a long time and said “Your mates were telling me things about you. They didn’t want me to come back on time” She laughed. “Mates, which mates, Ma?” Dooshima asked
“You want to say you don’t know that you are from the water?”
“Water?” No, I’m not!
Apart from Dooshima, Two students were left. Tinu and one Usman. It was on days like this that you wished your name was Abiola, Amaka, or Anabel. Tinu thought. As Tinu stepped in, she said to Dooshima “Sorry babe, I won’t be able to wait for you oh, I have another class in 30 minutes and I want to hurry and sort of something in my room”
Dooshima nodded. Tinu was out, then Usman. Dooshima was next. She was angry that her meetings with Frankenstein were always unpleasant. He looked up as he approached his desk. ”Ahhh!”, he said ”Our freedom fighter is here. Sit down” He was writing something down.
“Sir, I’m okay. I will stand”
Mr. Frank: I’m sure you would like to, but I insist.
Dooshima sat down pouting. “So”, said Frankenstein “What does Frankenstein want with you?”
It was a wonder how he knew that, that was the nickname students gave him. Dooshima couldn’t help but laugh. He laughed too and said, “Yes, I know that’s what you guys call me!” They laughed some more.
He looked at her and said “I needed to see you in person to apologize for a frosty meeting the other day. It was after my second chat with your eh…Adokiye that I remembered who he was. He is a jolly good fellow! My type of guy! Dooshima didn’t know how to react. Should she smile and be nice or keep a straight face. See Frankenstein talking like a human being oh! Even apologizing. Hmmm, she thought. She wanted to see where all this was going. She smiled the way the British do, it was a quick wide fake smile.
“Anyway”, Frank went on “there is something I need to show you”. When is your next class? It’s at 4,00pm Sir she replied. “Okay that’s fine I’ll be quick. Shut the door… and don’t look at me like that, I don’t do such things.
Dooshima’s head is full of alarm bells. She looks at the space in front of his table suspiciously but still shuts the door without locking it. She returns to find Frank digging into a pile of what looks like Exam answer sheets. He finds what he is looking for and then hands it over to her.
“Here, (stretching out his hand to show the name on the answer sheet) whose answer sheet is that?” he asked
Dooshima says “it’s mine, Sir!”
“Okay, so what’s the score on it?”
Dooshima turns the answer sheet to the last page and says “15”
“So” goes Frank, 15 is the same score you had on your test last year…and the year before that. If I had not done this….He brings out another answer sheet from his drawer. It had her name and exam number on it. He continues…” then you would have failed like you’ve been failing. So, I had to do it as a favor to our mutual friend. He takes her original answer script from her and begins to rip it into bits.
Dooshima is in shock. “Because of you” he went on “many of your colleagues benefitted from my benevolence”.
Your name is Dooshima isn’t it? I’d like to show you something else. Sadly, we would have to drive there. You can open the door now. I would like you to come with me. You need to see it” He spoke with much confidence as if he didn’t expect her to decline.
Dooshima is quiet. The visions of her graduation were forming in her mind. Was she ready to end the vision? She looks down at the floor and says “Okay”. He gets up and begins to clear his desk saying to her “My car is parked in the car park behind the buttery, it’s a maroon-colored forerunner.
Tinu shrugged her shoulders “Dooshima, me I don’t know – oh, I was surprised when I saw you in Frankenstein’s car on my way to a lecture. This story of you being a reincarnation of his late wife, I don’t get it sha! Just be careful”
Dooshima: Tinu, the resemblance is uncanny! He showed me her photographs!
Tinu: So, you look like his wife and that’s why you have been failing his course. Isn’t that a good reason to have given you a pass mark right from the beginning?
Dooshima: He said he didn’t know my name until this semester
Tinu: Well girl, my own is just careful. You know how lecturers use female students for a game –just for amusement. Don’t fall oh!
Dooshima: Fall how? I have no plans to be involved with Frankenstein. We are only friends.
Tinu: Okay oh, said the spider to the fly
Dooshima: You and your dirty mind. See you later Tinu, Ado’s coming to pick me up soon
Dooshima turned to Ado. Ado shrugged and said ‘’Babes calm down”
Ado’s Aunt went on “Shebi you have a sister following you. She has a mark in the middle of her forehead?”
Dooshima answered quietly “Yes… she does, but that was from an accident when she was little “
Ado’s Aunt went on “Don’t worry about that, I have seen you are a good one. You will live long and be happy. My worry is that because you are a Royalty, you have 2 husbands begging for your attention. I saw you wearing 2 rings from the men in the spirit world”
Dooshima jumped up. ‘Ado, please in God’s name let’s leave here”, she said getting up to leave.
Ado’s Aunt laughed, and said “ask your mother when you get home”.
“Ultimately you must choose between the 2 husbands”, was all Dooshima heard, as she made her way to the staircase.
To be continued.