She felt weird walking past them. They must be watching her. What does it matter. They were getting carried away anyway and she couldn't stay longer. It took her only a minute to realize that she wasn't pressed, she was just irritated. Why again was she irritated? Nevertheless, she had a quiet time until evening.
It was the noise outside that woke her up. She wasn't surprised to see that it was past six pm. They were back. Everyone was back and active. She squinted at her phone screen. Three missed calls. It was Màámi. Her face lit up. She had wanted to speak to her earlier but Màámi's phone had had low battery. And, she wouldn't be available now. She would be busy in shop. Seyi made a mental note to call her at nighttime. She turned to face the window and knelt on the bed, gripping the burglary proof. She could see people moving about. Most of them in groups. She would be going to the school tomorrow. She hoped it would be good. She wouldn't know anywhere but she'll find her way. Certainly.
She sat down and pulled her file bag out. Certificates, receipts, letters... And for the next ten minutes, she busied herself rechecking all she had brought. But just as soon she was getting in the middle of it, she heard the loud call.
At first, it sounded like a bell. It seemed as if someone was tolling it. She climbed again and looked out of the window. She could see a few students standing up and moving towards a direction. Then, many others stood up and watched. The sound kept ringing. It was a bell. She confirmed now. Just then, someone knocked on her room door. She scrambled up and opened it, her eyes large with questions.
"We have a meeting." The girl simply said and closed the door.
Meeting? Seyi wondered. Nevertheless, she packed all her things together and changed clothes.
Her head was turning over different questions as she walked down the long corridor. She went downstairs and saw where everyone gathered. Girls and boys chatting quietly, murmuring, and some, looking. A few sat on the kerbs around the pillars in front of the house verandah and some stood. There were other people standing far apart, sitting around the gate. It struck her now. House meeting. Okay, that wasn't strange in many student houses. She stood with the others, a bit uncomfortable though.
There was someone at the front of everyone. Or rather, seemed to supposed to be in front of everyone but was now surrounded by people so that he was at the center of a small circle while the larger crowd was in front of that circle. And circumstance flicks it's power against our faces. She murmured as she averted her eyes slightly from the speaker. She nearly laughed out loud. Phone guy- Dami; he was called, was holding a huge bell and talking to a few people around. Was he the one in charge of the house? She recognized Simeon behind him too.
Then, "Tshhhhh!" Simeon hissed loudly. As if controlled by a Soldier, everywhere became still. Seyi coughed a silent laugh. What is this? She wondered. She grunted.
The phone guy cleared his throat loudly. Then, he spoke;
"We know what happened last week." His voice sounded loud. Probably because everyone was quiet.
"But for the new ones among us;" She could see his eyes roaming over the crowd as if, she thought, looking for her. "The house was raided last week. And...em...NDLEA took four of the guys here." Seyi wasn't very surprised. People who did drugs could be common in hostels. But then, having top government agencies raid you wasn't something you saw everyday. She sighed. Dami paused then, he scratched his head. As if he couldn't continue again, Simeon stepped in his place.
"So we," He glanced briefly at the guys behind him "and Tee- Fee met Landlord yesterday. He said he put some people around and that they reported that we weren't following the rules and we almost put everybody in trouble." The crowd murmured.
"See..." His voice boomed out louder. "Gate closes by 10:30. All generators must be off by 11. No more than two people in a room except you're squatting or visiting for only a short while like three days. And if you do Gbanja, don't, don't bring it near the hostel. Nobody will be responsible if you're evicted. Landlord said we have to follow the rules strictly from now on."
"I'll be locking the gate again." Dami added.
A loud murmur erupted from the crowd. Dami hit the bell. And soon enough, the meeting was over.
Seyi sighed, tucked her hands in her pockets. It was cold already. She slowly climbed up the stairs. There were people all over. The crowd seemed to have decreased though.