She was slim, no, couldn't be described as thin but she wasn't fat either. In fact, she could be described more as "small". She was short too. Almost average heighted but still, a bit short. She had her mother's small, dainty figure and, just as she was hot-headed, she had a huge appetite. She ate nearly a whole one portion more than her size seemed to tell. The only good thing, brother Dayo used to say, was that she had a disciplined stomach. Seyi could stay a whole day without eating anything and often had a small appetite while eating out. But when in her comfort zone, Seyi's typical breakfast could feed a grown man.
She looked at the plate she had just used. She was too heavy to stand up. Huge breakfasts was her thing and she made sure to stuff herself in the morning as her appetite usually waned as the day grew. But now, she regretted eating so much. Or drinking so much too. She continued staring at the used plate and pot. She wasn't a neat freak but dirty dishes irked her. And dirty floors too. She didn't care much about other cleaning routines. Sighing heavily, she stood up and reached for the plates but realized with a mixture of anger and fatigue that her water was exhausted. It wasn't really a far way down but she didn't want to go. But she had to.
It was Sunday, the hostel was quiet. The excitements on Sunday usually came around evening time. But presently, everyone was probably in church or sleeping or doing something else. Seyi walked down the dark corridor where only small patches of light fell through from open room doors and corridor windows. She wouldn't be long. There was most probably no one there. She'll just take what she needed and hurry back in no time.
She didn't notice them as she walked alone through with her bucket or, maybe she didn't pay attention. Like three guys hung around the corner and she wouldn't still have noticed them had it not been for the fact that she recognized one of them. That was the guy who gave her his phone to call her mother! He was engrossed in some talk with the other two guys. She'll probably need to get his attention. She had to thank him again. That would be the right thing, wouldn't it? And it would be polite and proper. But really, she didn't feel like telling anybody anything. If only she could just scuttle past unnoticed. But she doubted herself if she had the courage to do just that. As she neared them, she wondered what she would say. "Excuse me..." "You're the guy who lent me his phone." "Do you remember?" She hoped he remembered. Please, let him remember. She didn't like to talk too often to strangers and it might be awkward especially with the other two there.
Deliberately, it seemed, her bucket slipped from her hands to the floor. Oh, right! Shaky hands. Shaky hands. Seyi nearly facepalmed herself. And of course, it brought the guys' attention to her. She nearly sank to the floor.
"Uh...hi." She said unpremeditatedly. Like a reflex... And she wondered if those were the right words. Luckily for her, her stars were in her favour.
"Heey," the phone guy said immediately he saw her. Oh, he still recognized who it was. "How are you doing?" He asked immediately after, much to Seyi's relief. That was a great diversion.
"I'm fine. Thanks a lot for the other time." There it is! Easy!
"Oh, sure, sure. I didn't know you stayed here, you know..." He said, nodding while he talked.
"I do." Seyi said with a warm smile.
"Then, you're new. Where do you stay?" He asked.
Seyi groaned inwardly. The other guys might be offended, they were talking before. She just wanted to get her water and go. But, they didn't seem to mind. Her skin crawled with discomfort. Somehow, she felt the need to ease herself. Besides, her empty bucket disturbed her. She didn't feel like staying behind to talk. But she knew it was because she just wanted to get her water, go back and sleep.
"Uh...yeah, I'm new around here. I'm with Katherine." She wondered if she should have mentioned Katherine's name. What if she was also new or they too. Why would she even think that they would know her? She came to regret that.
"Ouuuu! Katherine." The guys said together. "Wow." "Cool, cool." "Hmn.." They said talking at the same time.
"Katherine na boss." The phone guy said. Oh, Seyi knew what that meant. Katherine was one of the "big" girls. Yeah, it was obvious. She hoped that she could leave now.
"Sorry, I didn't even ask your name. I don't know your name." Then, he laughed. "I'm Dami." Seyi sighed. "Seyi."
Then the other two guys stretched hands to shake her. "Dola." "Simon"
She smiled forcedly. She was standing. Did the guys even notice her fidgeting? "Great to meet all of you.
I have to-"
"Is Katherine around?" Dola cut in. Seyi sighed. "Um..no. She left yesterday."
"Oh." "Yeah, I think she said something like that-" "She was leaving then-" They were talking together again.
"Uh- I have to go-" Seyi tried again but Dola cut in. Ugh!
"You two know each other right?" She was fretting now. "No. I'm just getting to know-"
"Oh, you guys don't-" It was her turn to interrupt now. "I just want to get some water!"
The three guys paused. Dami's eyes went to the bucket in her hand. Then, they looked at one another.
"Yes, yes. Sorry. Sorry."
The other two muttered their apologies too.
Seyi nodded and walked briskly out. Thank goodness! She had wanted to fetch some water but most importantly, just then, she thought she had also needed to ease herself.
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