The line seemed to go on forever. People kept pushing and struggling to get ahead of the line. Others had secured their positions on the queue before going to God knows where.
Adanna remained quiet on the line, waiting patiently under the scorching sun. Well, her throat was parched so she couldn’t talk even if she wanted to and despite how desperate she was for water, she did not want to leave her spot on the queue. The most annoying thing about the queue was the fact that the NYSC officials were sitting in the office talking and laughing rather than attend to the corpers under the sun. The reason they were not attending to them was simply because Allowee collection started at 2pm and it was currently 1:48pm.
What was the difference? Adanna wondered. 12 minutes and it wasn’t as if the officials were busy. Despite all these, the queue kept getting longer and the area was generally rowdy.
“This is my spot.” A girl said to another girl, who was standing in front of Adanna.
“No it is not! I have been here since.”
“I was here!” the first girl insisted. “I was standing behind one tall and dark guy.”
“Where is the guy?” the second girl asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Okay now, it is not my business. I am not moving for you. Everyone has been jumping this line with this very excuse. I will not allow anyone enter my front again.”
“Ahan! You don’t have to be rude about It.” the first girl said with an eye roll.
“I wasn’t rude, but I will be, if you don’t respect yourself and go to the back of this queue.”
Adanna watched the drama unfold right in front of her. It was quite entertaining considering how tired and thirsty she was. This was a welcomed distraction.
Immediately it was 2pm, it seemed as if the corpers in that area had doubled. The people that had marked a spot returned and similar arguments like the one Adanna had witnessed ensued everywhere. She stood her ground unwavering, while praying for the money distribution to start.
Just as other NYSC officials started their money distribution, the woman in charge of the line Adanna was, stood up and left. Unbelievable! Adanna clenched her fist in annoyance, thereby crumbling the 200 naira she was to give as change to collect 20, 000 naira. She was very certain that if one did not have change, then it was a different problem with the officials.
After about 10 minutes, the woman returned and sat down and the line finally started moving.
“If you are not with a pen to sign, just leave the line now! Don’t come and waste my time here.” The woman said arrogantly.
Several people left the line to look for pen and Adanna used the opportunity to advance on the queue till she was next.
“Good afternoon ma.” She greeted and handed over her document, Tag and the 200 naira change to the woman. Without even looking at Adanna, the woman checked the documents, cross checked it with the tag and then pushed a register towards Adanna to sign. 20,000 naira was given to her while she was signing.
“Next!” The woman called out and snatched the register from Adanna before she could draw the last stroke over her name as was her signature.
The ‘thank you’ Adanna wanted to say got lost in her mouth as she walked away. It was no surprise the attitude of the woman. The NYSC staff acted as if they weren’t paid well, or like they hated their jobs. They were completely nonchalant about their work and acted disrespectfully to corpers. They were unnecessarily rude and generally seemed like they loved passing their frustrations on corpers.
Anyway, Adanna had collected her allowee, so she was free of them. For now. She walked away and headed to mami market where she was supposed to meet up with Bukky for a little celebration of theirs.
It was the last day at the orientation camp after all and they needed to celebrate their survival of the crazy drills, sitting in the hot sun, washing white on white, early morning waking up, ruined khakis. Yeah! A lot of khaki’s tore at the butt area doing Man-o-war exercises… regardless of all the craziness, it was a fun time at the orientation camp. An experience Adanna was sure to never forget. To add to her lovely memory was Jude. She smiled to herself as she thought about him and their kiss last night. To say she slept at all was a big lie. How could she? She could not think of any other thing but his lips on hers and how he practically set her body on fire when he had her in his arms.
“What is making this one blush?” Bukky nudged her and that snapped her from her reverie.
“Nothing!” Adanna waved a hand but that smile was still stuck on her face.
Bukky eyed her suspiciously “Man has entered your head abi??”
“No jor!” that only made her blush harder.
“Oya! Tell me!” Bukky said and dropped the bottle of coke she was drinking on the table.
“I said nothing Bukky.”
“Really? After everything we have been through in camp, after all the gist I have given you.”
“Okay fine!” Adanna went on to tell Bukky all about the captain. She was smiling all through as she told the story because whether she admitted it to herself or not, the truth was that she was dying to tell someone all about it.
“OMG! While we were busy catching fishes, you went to the sea and caught a whale. Well done o!” Bukky said.
They sat in a shop at Mami market and gisted a lot, recounting both funny and annoying incidence that took place in camp.
Soon, it was night and Bukky suggested they went to Nigerian breweries to see the party organized by the winning platoon.
“It is the last night right? Let’s go!” Adanna said and Bukky smirked.
“One kiss from the captain…”
“Two kisses from the captain” Adanna corrected.
“Whatever! Two kisses from the captain and someone is ready to attend a party. Hmmm take it easy there babe!”
Adanna only laughed as they kept walking. The whole Nigerian Breweries had been transformed. A lot of people were there, loud music was playing, people were dancing crazily, drinking a little too much and so many others were making out.
Adanna wasn’t sure she
was In Nigeria again but she was! She followed Bukky closely before shouting over the loud music!
“Are you seeing what I am seeing?”
“This one is even small, go to the parade ground and what you will see there will scar you for life.” Bukky laughed.
They kept walking, brushing against different people as they looked for a suitable place to sit. They eventually found seats at a nearby bar that faced the center of the party. Idly, they sat and watched the scene in front of them without participating, Bukky sang along to most of the Nigerian jamz playing and Adanna joined in the songs she really liked. Sometimes, they commented at the things other people were doing.
Bukky tapped Adanna and pointed to a guy sitting in the center of the party and a girl on his lap giving him a lap dance. “Hmmm this is serious o! The guy will never be the same again.”
Adanna laughed and pointed out another girl who took over from where the other girl stopped. “Seems like they are all taking turns to give the guy a lap dance.”
Adanna said to Bukky.
“Yeah I think so. But the guy doesn’t seem so into it.”
Adanna snorted “Yeah right. If he isn’t he should leave now, they didn’t tie him to the chair did they?”
It was shortly after that Bukky nudged Adanna again. “He is leaving, I must see who he is.”
Adanna rolled her eyes at her friend. “It is not necessary!”
“If I hear! Don’t you want to see the face of the guy that got so many lap dances?”
“Fine!” Adanna stood up with her friend and they quickly found their way into the crowd till they got a better view of the guy!
Adanna stopped dead in her tracks and gawked “Bukky lets go.”
Bukky followed her friend’s line of vision “That goat! Common let’s go!”
Well your guess is as good as mine. It was no other than Captain Jude Zambrang Bagro
To be continued…