Though he used antibiotics for his upset stomach, he doubted he’d have been able to do anything else had his roommate not suggested he drank Garri (processed cassava grains soaked in water), the Ijebu variety notorious for its sour taste, without sugar which the latter brought from home to supplement his meals as provided by the camp kitchen. He wasn’t much of a fan of drinking garri, definitely not of the Ijebu variety, though he’s more disposed to garri when made into the stiff dough by soaking it in hot water, popularly called Èbà, which when eaten with any kind of soup and lots of meat and/or fish remained his favourite delicacy.
He was beginning to think of asking that he be replaced as drummer for the cultural group, that was expected to perform later that night at the variety night and pageant show, but as he appeared to get better from drinking the sour Ijebu Garri as dusk approached, he decided to put up an appearance. He attended the last practice session, where he learnt that not only will he be handling the drums but at some point will also switch to the gong, as the person to man that hadn’t been heard from all day, and it will be difficult to find someone to learn the routine in the time available before the Variety Night.
By 8pm that night, the hall was already filled to the brim though the event proper was meant to commence an hour later. The cultural troupe practiced behind the stage, to put finishing touches to their game, while in between rests he talked with his sociologist camp girlfriend, who appeared extraordinarily giggly that night. He got his dance troupe attire of a white T-shirt and a wrapper of Ankara material and within minutes was on stage with the rest of the group drumming with what energy he’d managed to recoup since recovering from his upset stomach, to herald the start of the nights’ events.
After the performance by the cultural troupe, members waited behind for photo shoots before dispersing to join the audience for the main event of the night, the beauty pageant.
He couldn’t be concerned about that as he hurriedly whisked the sociologist away from the hall and headed towards the makeshift camp clinic, while the main act of the night, a fellow youth Corp member and artiste popularly called “Osama” dazzled the audience with samples of rap music from his yet to be released album. The barrister had already asked to be allowed to use their room, and asking her if they could go to hers would be akin to showing he really had no plans for the night, hence not as hard a guy as he’d always made himself out to be. He found the clinic empty as expected, unfortunately it was locked and he had no idea who had the key, and even if he knew or called to find out who did, he’d have to walk back to the hall or wherever else it might be, while precious romantically quiet time could be wasted in the process.
He decided to exploit the quiet, and remoteness the night and the surrounding provided, moved her to a bench nearby, under a tree before digging into her piece of clothing to rummage parts of her with his fingers, while locking her lips with his in rounds of kisses, to which she favourably responded in her characteristic licking of her lips each time she came up for air. That night, they explored each other’s bodies right there under the skies in many ways but that with which coitus is consummated, for a few hours, till other Corp members began returning from the show in the hall, though before that, a couple who appeared to have come out of the ground like zombies caught them in the act, oozing of copulation fluids, advised them to go get a room, while trudging away in the direction of the hall.
With night crawlers back on the prowl, and the clinic now open, he walked her in and they talked much of the night away before sharing one of the beds meant for patients in each other’s arms till dawn. While they were together he’d thought he felt something with her that made him think there could be something between them, he therefore resolved to push this as far as it can go, to see how things pan out. The next night once again would hold promise of a great time, as it was meant for partying and revelling around a huge bonfire. He spent the most of that morning in the clinic sleeping his head off, legs hung up after walking the sociologist back to her hostel.