SATURDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2000
7.45AM: Susan jerked her head up from sleep and started coughing dryly, in no time, the cough became so loud and uncountrollable. When Kike and Jumoke noticed how serious the cough was, they dropped all they were doing and helped her sit up. While Jumoke was giving her water to drink and fanning her with a book at the same time, Kike had already put on a top and a jean. She couldn’t pull up the zipper as soon as she saw Susan cough blood. Frightened, she quickly grabbed Susan, placed her on her back and ran out of the room as she headed for the hall’s gate, Jumoke hurried behind them as she struggled with her wrapper. Floor mates who saw them called on the others who cared to give some attention and they all hurried behind the trio while some ran ahead to pave the way in a noisy manner. Susan kept on coughing blood from her mouth and blood began to drop from her thighs, most likely her private part, soaking her pyjamas in an unfashionable manner. Just as Kike got outside the main gate of the hostel, Susan coughed heavily, remained still and silence gave in.
Susan, in her early twenties, 22 to be precise had just entered her final year; a student of pharmacy. She was the kind of happening girl on campus, balancing both social and academic lives not so perfectly but at least in a satisfactory manner as she held on to the second class upper grades. She’s from a comfortable family and is in a relationship but…the moment one dies, we begin to hear all sorts. Now, many stories on what caused her death, even many rumours from what each sect held.
What The Girls On Campus Said
It has been rumoured all around campus right from Susan’s third year that she was into runs and had been living on high income due to the fact that she was being paid for sex by rich men in the society. This rumour began to gain waves on campus when she was dropped by a Toyota Camry on Sunday, January 17, 1999 some meters from the hall gate. What made this Toyota Camry a subject to cast doubts was that instead of the usual plate number, it had “SENATOR 5” inscribed on the plate number and some girls who were very interested in her story back then noticed that the car was driven by a man in khaki uniform like that of the “zombies” that stood in front of Dodan barracks back in the 70s. It was from this day that she earned herself the name “super chic” – she was the reigning girl in town. On several weekends, different cars came to pick her at nights and dropped her in the mornings; one thing all the cars had in common was the plate number which had “SENATOR” and a number inscribed on it.
At the beginning of year 2000, one news that came in with the new millennium was the gist of money rituals which had been in town since the time of the election the previous year. Some campus girls were reported dead while some were reported missing and all fingers pointed to blood money. Some of these campus girls came and warned Susan to desist from doing runs so she won’t be a scapegoat for others but Susan, being saucy would ignore some and roll back insulting answers to few – it was her life, the girls thought.
Now that she’s dead, the girls that knew her as a runsgirl and those that saw senator’s chains of cars come drop her off were quick to tell those who cared to listen that she had met her waterloo – that it was time for the senator to collect all the money he had spent on her.
What The Girls In Her Clique Said
It is not new that when you’re in real trouble, your real pals will think light of the matter and help prevent a wrong story. When a robber is shot, his fellow robbers won’t tell friends that he died while stealing. So, the friends that introduced Susan to runs (I mean sleeping with big men for money) didn’t believe senator used her for money rituals simply because they were still alive, at least, few of them had had sex with senator before when they were still fresh in the eyes of the senator. Also, they had other men from senator’s league who picked them every weekends, yet they still lived.
Around 12PM, the news was confirmed that Susan was dead. In grieve, they thought of what must have gone wrong. Soon, Abigail came up with a reason which the other girls in the room believed and reasoned along with Abigail.
On the evening of Thursday, 29 June, 2000, Rosaline, a girl from another clique came and accused Susan of being a husband snatcher. She called Susan a witch after she found out that Susan was also going out with one Ade, a young rich boy who also clubbed at the favourite club where the girls hung out every Friday night when they felt like being with the young boys. Rosaline and Ade had been going out for a while until he met Susan after which he began to ignore Rosaline. The mistake Rosaline made that evening was that she came alone so it was very easy for Susan, with the support of her friends to beat her. In anger, Rosaline vowed to end Susan as soon as they resumed the following academic session as the current session then was already coming to an end.
In tears, Joy promised her clique mates that afternoon to visit her baba as soon as darkness fell and put an end to Rosaline too. “The battle line has been drawn,” she finally said as she downed the wine in her cup.
(to be continued)
More on “Rumours; The Story Of Susan” – what her room mates said, what the girls on the other clique said, what some boys said, what her parents said, what actually happened and the aftermath.
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