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FICTION: Paper Mache 4










Kenny’s Diary Nov 5, 11:18

I won!
Well…..not the Miss NYSC- at least not yet. But I will be representing my platoon at the competition. Aisha can go and lick her wounds…When I told Babe today he sounded happy for me. That’s the koko sha. Maybe If I won, he would take me out more… and all those jealous skanks in his neighbourhood would know that they don’t stand a chance.
Sade sounded really weird over the phone yesterday. She was like ‘How are you and Wale’ and I told her we were fine. Don’t know why she was asking though. She kept saying ‘nothing’. She even said she has not run into Wale yet. Na wa o, is their camp that big?
So this morning an officer propositioned me. He said he could make sure I am deployed to a good place after orientation camp if I am willing to cooperate. I am just insulted and baffled that he would think I’m that cheap- to sell my body for good PPA. I don’t know how some girls do it…
My bunky and I are no longer fighting. A girl needs a girlfriend after all….and she knows I could help her put in a good word with Samuel. Hehehe
We have lectures now.
Adeui! (Adio? Adeiau?)
Whatevs. No be my mama language hahaha

****
Facebook status update, Nov 7

Olawale Akinseye      22:10
 NYSC camp is tough, but its definitely fun
10 Likes    3 comments
Olawale Akinseye      22: 15
Friends to cheer you up in camp….
*Photo
20 Likes   5 comments
Olawale Akinseye      22:30
<3 <3 <3
12 Likes   4 comments

Wale groaned in frustration as he checked his Facebook wall. The photo showed Austin, Folake, and himself in a dimly lit space. He had posted too much nonsense the previous night. See the results of using your phone when you’re drunk. At least I didn’t send any text to anyone , he thought. He resolved to give Austin his phone to take care of next time. Then he suddenly realised how often their ‘hangouts’ at the Mammy market took place these days. It had become an almost daily affair, and he always woke up the next morning feeling like shit and mostly unable to attend the lectures organised for after the parade. When he was lucky, he skipped parade altogether.
Maybe I should join OBS, he thought.
He tried to delete the posts, all to no avail.
“Is this network??” He yelled. Some of the corpers that were tired from all the activities and were trying to nap, hissed at him. A few chuckled and some came up with rude, yet funny replies.
After several tries and ten minutes, he was able to take off the posts. He stretched out on his small bed and yawned in exhaustion. He was on the brink of falling asleep when his phone began to ring noisily. He checked the Caller ID- Kenny. He sighed in resignation and picked it up.
“Hello”
“Wale dear, how are you? Please call me back”
“Ok”
Wale hung up, put his phone on silent mode, and slept.


Preparation for the competition was taking up all of Kenny’s free time. She didn’t know that it would be this exhausting, yet she remained as determined as ever. She tried to convince herself that she had nothing to prove to no one, that for her it was just a hobby, a passion. Yet with each passing day, she became more and more aware of her insecurities and weaknesses.
There were nine girls in all. Most of the girls practiced the catwalk and the group dance with fervor, except a few who were doing it out of obligation to their platoons and would rather be anywhere else than pirouetting in stilettos. The chosen song for the group dance was Mayokun’s Eleko , even though some argued that the song was getting old quickly, the majority agreed that it was still very popular. They practised some of the questions they thought the judges could ask them- Current Affairs, History, and Geography. Stella, the representative of platoon five soon showed her lack on interest in that area.
“Y’all need to calm down. Its not like they could ask us where Timbuktu is”, she joked
“Mali. It’s a city in Mali” Idara, platoon three, said simply.
Kenny felt her headache go from bad to worse

****

The day of the competition, Wale called Kenny to help her prepare and wish her luck. The previous day, they had had a big fight over how he had been ignoring her lately. She had sounded deeply hurt and abandoned, and had taken him on a guilt trip so bad that he didn’t sleep much that night. Later, her would remember that night as the night he had made his decision to do the right thing for himself and for her.
Trembling in her red heels, Kenny held hands with the other girls, waiting for the Judges’ verdict. She had done well- she had answered her questions correctly without stammering even once. It was a miracle. Her stammer usually got worse when she was nervous.
“So here we have the results,” the MC stated as he collected the results from the Judges.”Wow Wow Wow! Are you ready to hear the results?” he said to the crowd of corpers that made up the audience.
“Yes!”, they chorused
“Okay lets go! In third place……..” Everyone was silent, their attention piqued “Kamsi Nwachukwu!” There was hooting, cheering and applauding all over as the girl came forward to receive her trophy. Kenny’s heart plummeted. She had thought she would have made it to third place at least. She adjusted her dress self-consciously, then composed her features into a wider fake smile.
“And the First runner-up iiisss” the MC tried to do a little drum-roll but it was an epic fail. Several snickers could be heard across the hall. Then he tried to tell a joke. “Why did the chicken cross the-“ His voice was drowned out in the loud booing from the audience. Many hissed in frustration
“Na wa for you people. Una wan chop me raw?” He laughed uneasily. “The first runner-up goes to Idara Williams!”
The girl came up to the stage, looking a little disappointed, but resigned. She smiled for the camera. By now Kenny was furiously blinking the moisture away from her eyes
 “And finally, the winner of Miss NYSC Shagamu 2016 –“ Suddenly there was a blackout

Seun Ajijala

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