"Hey Annabelle." I tried to compose myself seeing her. If she had seen Peter and me together, that would simply be a disaster.
"Don't Annabelle me!" She snarled. "What was Peter doing here?"
Her question sent shivers down my spine. She saw us. She saw both Peter and me together. This was terrible! What could I say to cover up for myself?
"Uh..." Words failed me completely. There was really nothing to say.
"So now you've turned dumb? You have nothing to say right?"
"I'm really sorry Annabelle for lying to you." I apologized in surrender.
Annabelle shook her head in disgust. "So it's true after all. I can't even believe that you lied to me about Peter. I mean, you could have easily just told me he was your boyfriend instead of lying. If Gbemi hadn't..." She trailed off and I shot a quick look at her after she mentioned Gbemi's name.
"Gbemi? Which Gbemi?" I narrowed my eyes quizzically.
"Doesn't matter. The point is you betrayed me. To think I was even getting to like you." That said, she spun around and walked off into the house.
A deep sense of embarrassment flushed through me knowing that Annabelle had caught me with Peter after lying to her that he wasn't the kind of guy I could crush on. But in the midst of that, I also was curious to know which Gbemi Annabelle was going to talk about. With the way Annabelle sounded, someone apparently told her about Peter and me. Could it have been Gbemi? I doubt! Gbemi couldn't have done such a thing. Or could she? I made a mental note to confront her tomorrow to find out.
Judging from the deadly glare I got from Amanda when I entered into the house, it was obvious that Annabelle had told her about Peter and me. When I attempted to utter a word to her, at least to apologize, she hushed me flat out and walked out on me.
They were both mad at me and their anger was justifiable. I deserved every reaction I got from them. I should have simply just told them that Peter was my boyfriend when Annabelle asked for details of him, instead of pretending not to have anything to do with him. Now that I think about it, what was the worst that could have happened if I had told them he was my boyfriend? They wouldn't have been mad at me the way they were now. Look at where my stupidity has landed me. I could only hope they both forgive me and accept my relationship with Peter.
The next day at school after our first exam, I walked up to Gbemi to find out if she was the one who told Annabelle about my relationship with Peter.
"Hey Gbemi, how could you do that?" I stood in front of her, looking grim. It was all an act to get her to own up—that's if she was the Gbemi Annabelle mentioned.
Gbemi looked away from her seat partner with whom she was chatting animatedly and faced me squarely. She cocked one of her brows. "Do what Daniella?" She sounded befuddled.
"Don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about." I almost shouted.
Gbemi exchanged looks with her seat partner and gave me a puzzled look again. "I really don't know what you're talking about Daniella. I'm confused."
"What did you tell Annabelle?"
Immediately I asked, Gbemi squirmed in her seat, scratching her temple. "Excuse me Bose." She said to her seat partner, stood up and walked me out of the class to the corridor.
"Why did you excuse yourself?" I folded my arms across my chest once we got to the corridor.
"Some things are not meant to be heard by some people, especially not a gossip monger like Bose."
"Whatever. So can you now answer my question?"
"Well, yes I told Annabelle about you and Peter." She confessed like she was scared, after which she added immediately, "But I didn't know I wasn't supposed to tell her, I promise."
"Oh why! Why would you do such a thing?"
"I actually didn't want Annabelle or her sister to find out that I'm dating Peter because Annabelle has a crush on him."
Gbemi gasped. "Oh my! I didn't know that. You should have told me. I wouldn't have said yes when she asked if you both were dating."
"Was that how she asked— if Peter and I were dating?"
"That means she suspected we were dating and just decided to use you to confirm her suspicion."
"I guess." Gbemi shrugged. "But Daniella, you messed up big time. Why didn't you tell me Annabelle had a crush on Peter?"
"That's not the issue now. The issue is that Annabelle and Amanda know about Peter and me and they've both refused to talk to me. They've been giving me the cold shoulder since they found out. And the painful thing is that we were just getting close. Oh my life!"
"I'm really so sorry." Gbemi apologized for the second time.
"No problem. It's not your fault. I was so stupid to have lied to them in the first place. But wait a moment. How does Annabelle know you and how does she know that you're my friend?"
"You know I once told you that I kind of liked her and her sister before I knew they were both related to you. So let's just say we've been acquaintances for some time now."
"Oh I see."
The week passed away quickly and birthed the vacation week. Exams were over and it was Monday—the day of the school's Christmas Carol. All the students looked so cheery and in the festive mood. Most, if not all, of the students were putting on their school uniform with Christmas cap on their head. I didn't have a cap of my own, but Adam got one for me from the vendors in front of the school. Such a sweetheart!
Most of the committee members for the Christmas Carol were up and doing trying to arrange the school hall in preparation for the programme. I wasn't a member of the committee. I was way too busy at home for that. However almost all my friends were, even Adam who I thought had little or no energy for those kind of things.
Gbemi and Peter were also members of the committee. They were part of the choristers performing Christmas hymns. The programme commenced and the choir was the ones performing on stage at the moment. The females were dressed in a white blouse and skirt and the males were in white shirt and trousers. Each of them wore a Christmas cap. They all looked so... Andcoish. That's my word for uniformed.
Some specific choristers came out to solo each Christmas hymn, while the mass sang after the soloist. Gbemi and Peter were one of those that sang a solo. Gbemi had a rich and husky Alto voice that almost sounded like the voice of the popular soul singer, Adele, while Peter had a sweet tenor voice. I felt Goosebumps in my whole body as he sang and I couldn't stop blushing.
When the choir performance was over, Adam went on stage to perform his spoken words. He was amazing on stage, and his voice... So heavenly!
"Hey!" Someone called from behind me as I was sitting all by myself on a bench, watching the stage performances.
I turned back and saw Peter smiling toothily as he towered over me. "Hey." I said.
"You're the only one sitting here, yeah?" He gestured at the bench.
I looked at the empty space on the bench. "Oh yeah."
"Can I sit beside you?"
"Is that even a question? Sure, of course!" I adjusted a bit for him to sit. I caught a whiff of his mild perfume as he sat beside me and it sent tingles through my body.
"How are you?" He asked, snaking his arm around my shoulder.
"Don't forget we have students around." I said sheepishly.
"I don't care. At least, everyone already knows we're dating."
Peter hushed me with his index finger placed on my lips. "Just keep shut and let's enjoy the performance."
I nudged him and we both chuckled. "Did I mention you were amazing on stage? I didn't know you could sing."
"I can?" He quizzed, raising one of his brow.
"Silly question! Of course you can."
"Aw!" He cooed and placed his left hand on his chest.
"Stop acting like a girl and let's watch the stage performances." That said, I rested my head on his shoulder as I watched each performer come on stage with their different display. Needless to say, I was entertained.
The programme ended on a clean note and the following day, all the students were asked to come to school to collect our dossiers. I was a tad bit nervous about seeing my grades because I knew quite alright that I didn't really do well.
While waiting for the teachers to be ready with our dossiers, some of the ss2A students, including Charles, gathered in our class, ss2B to play a game called spin the bottle.
The chairs and tables in our class were arranged in circles for the game. Initially I felt reluctant to play because I had no idea of how the game worked and for the most part, because I was shy. But then Prudence, who brought up the game, gave a rule that anyone who wasn't interested in playing the game shouldn't be allowed in the class to watch. The few that weren't interested protested, but the majority that was, agreed with Prudence and they sent the uninterested ones out of the class. I would have left the class too but Gbemi persuaded, more like forced, me to play. She promised me that the game was going to be fun, so I eventually gave in. I gave in mainly because Peter was one of the many people who was interested in the game.
For the record, Adam was part of those that left the class.
The game started and Prudence was the first to spin the bottle. When the bottle stopped spinning, the bottom of the bottle pointed in the direction of Ayo, while the top shot at Prudence, which means Ayo was to either dare Prudence or ask her a question.
"Truth or dare?" Ayo asked Prudence.
"I'm not a bore." Prudence said, after blowing air on her fingernails. "So I'm gonna start off the game by choosing dare."
"Ooh!" and "Oya!" were the sounds that emanated from the students. Prudence gave me a smug look and I rolled my eyes at her.
"Okay I dare you to kiss me." Ayo said.
"What! Ew!" Prudence grimaced. A loud noise erupted from the student.
"Which one kon be ew?" Gbemi said in pidgin English. "I thought you weren't a bore. Better do it or eat pepper." She sniggered.
"Abeg do fast and don't waste our time." Someone else said.
"Can't I kiss another guy aside from Ayo?" Prudence emphasized the name with disgust.
To be honest, I would also have felt disgusted if I were in her shoes. Ayo was literally the ugliest guy in the class, if not the whole school. Asides from his dark skin and fat body, his face housed a mighty nose and soft big lips which made him look like a complete beast. Maybe beast was too severe a word, but you get the gist. He was really hideous.
"No!" Almost all the students shouted, including me. "Kiss Ayo!"
"Well, I'd rather chew pepper than kiss him." Prudence said and made her way towards the pepper on the table. A keg of milk and two plastic cups were also on the table. The milk was to relieve the effect of the pepper in one's body. One of the rules of the game was that: anyone who didn't meet up to the demands of the game was to chew pepper. Brutal right?
Prudence slapped her head as she chewed on the pepper. Most of the students laughed. I didn't. Not that I couldn't have easily laughed that my enemy was suffering, but I didn't laugh because I found the whole thing dangerous. What if she choked on the pepper and probably died? The game was sure too dangerous. I wonder how I got myself involved in such a game in the first place. Oh yeah, Gbemi forced me into it.
Prudence took milk after she had swallowed the pepper. Then she spun the bottle again and the bottom pointed in the direction of Gbemi while the top was to Charles.
"Hmm..." I mumbled under my breath.
"Truth or dare?" Gbemi asked Charles.
"Boring!" Prudence said in a singsong voice.
"Who amongst the girls in this room would you rather date?" Gbemi asked.
"That's easy." Charles smirked and looked at me. "Daniella."
All heads turned to look at me and the only person I could look at was Peter. Jealousy was written all over his face even though he was trying to mask it.
It was Charles's turn to spin the bottle. When the bottle stopped spinning, it landed on Gbemi and some fair girl, whose name was Tobechi.
"Truth or dare?" Tobechi asked Gbemi.
"Truth." Gbemi answered quickly.
"Why do we have cowards playing this game?" Prudence asked.
"You're the coward bitch!" Gbemi cussed.
"Prudence can you just shut the hell up!" Peter said for the first time since the game started. A loud rumbling sound erupted in the class, most of the people complaining about Prudence behavior.
Prudence rolled her eyes. "Abeg, abeg e don do. Boring people!"
"Leave us that way." I was the only one that spoke, causing Prudence to scowl at me.
"Who the hell is this one?" Prudence sneered.
"Can we just move on with the game already?" Somebody suggested.
"Here in our midst, who would you prefer to kill, marry and kiss?" Charles asked Gbemi.
"Sorry Prudence, but I can't stand you. You annoy me, so I'd kill you. I would marry Charles and I'd kiss..." She trailed off, her eyes searching the students in the class. "I'd kiss uh... Peter, yes Peter."
I cocked one of my brows at Gbemi quizzically and she sneaked a look at me.
"What?" She shrugged. "The fact that he's your boyfriend doesn't mean I can't kiss him."
"I didn't say anything. Now can you spin the bottle?" I said.
Gbemi spun the bottle and it landed on Charles and Prudence. Not Prudence again!
"Truth or—" Charles was cut off by Prudence quick reply.
"I dare you to give any guy in the class a lap dance for one minute."
"Thank you darling." Prudence said and sashayed directly to Peter. I rolled my eyes as she sat on Peter's laps and started to do her thing. Peter then raised both his hands and placed it on his head. It was a gesture that showed he was enjoying what Prudence was doing to him. Anger and jealousy eat through my blood and veins and bone marrow and all my body system. I couldn't even stand the mere sight of them, so I looked away.
"Bad guy!" Some boys hailed Peter and it got me the more upset.
When one minute elapsed, Prudence got off Peter's body and walked back to her seat, looking at me with a victorious smile. I rolled my eyes at her. The only thought on my mind now was to get Peter jealous just the same way he got me jealous. I was that petty.
The game went on like that for minutes, but the bottle never for once landed on me. I watched as students kept giving students lap dance. Students kept kissing each other. Girls kept twerking. Guys kept demonstrating their best sex position, as if they've even had sex before. In a nutshell, the game was dirty.
Ayo spun the bottle and it kept spinning until it finally landed on a guy called Michael and me. Though I had been waiting for this, my heart skipped a beat.
"Do the necessary." Michael demanded.
"Ooh feisty!" Prudence said sultrily. I rolled my eyes at her.
"I dare you to kiss any guy in the room for a minute." Michael said.
"That would be easy for her. She can easily just kiss her boyfriend Peter." Prudence whined.
Everybody ignored her and watched as I gave them the surprise of their life. I walked up to Charles, lifted him up and kissed him.