Of course as Utat updated her facebook status with, I’ve arrived Jos safely, she kept on watching it but no one had liked it.
Sitting on a wooden chair in a little room, she looked at distance through the window and then watched two sky scrapers, federal and state buildings, in a haze, one ash, another red.
That was the first time she saw them because she came here for the first time and she would continue to see them as they were spectacular in this corrupt era of slums.
When her friend’s younger sister came and greeted her, her friend introduced her to her as Kasam, a university student.
After a few minutes a boy entered shyly and greeted her too. And her friend introduced him to her too as Emma, their last born who was still in secondary school.
When Utat said, “How are you Emma?”
He put his face down and said, “Fine.”
If their father returned home, Utat would see clearly that he resembled his father.
But because their mother was inside the kitchen, her friend demanded they should go to greet her.
As Utat heard it, her heart pounded as it usually did whenever she was to meet unfamiliar people. It coupled that that was the first time in her life time to live for a week in her friend’s house, as her conscience started to teach her or rather as she started to teach herself in her conscience.
“Whatever”, the voice said, “Utat, no one is seeing you the way you think you look, so keep your face normal. If your friend’s mum ask you a question, answer it well, if she doesnt, don’t talk. Your friend who brought you here will talk on behalf of you.”
And so it went.
As they walked out, they followed a passage and have to enter the parlor before getting into the kitchen through the dining room.
Utat saw a tranparent plastic cross in the middle of a well polished glass table and remebered since in school, her friend was a catholic. And as she remembered she forgot to remove her shoes, she wispered to her friend but her friend also had shoes in her feet and said no problem.
But as that voice in her said it can’t be possible, she wondered why it wasn’t a problem to enter someone’s sitting room with shoes in her feet. Is it not a disrespect? If her mother said take your shoes out for we don’t enter a sitting room with shoes in our feet, how would she feel? She rather become shy than offend someone?
After this thought, she did not remove the shoes but with her friend passed through the dining room, entered the kitchen and found her mother sitting on a plastic stool.
The time her friend greeted her mum before she did and after that, she remained silent as her conscience had recommended, for no need of saying reasons since she didn’t bring herself.
As an introduction, her friend told her mum that utat was the friend she told her and her father about and that they were in the same university, in the same level and in the same department.
And her mother said: “You are welcomed my daughter.”
As she went on telling her that her friend would spend a week here and that her name was utat, she said to Utat, “You’re really welcomed.”
And so it worked.
Walking back to the little room, passing through the parlor, she saw the cross again in the middle of a well polished glass table. Back home on her dad’s glass table were milky glass cup and newspapers.
In the room, after changing cloths, her friend left a white vest that covered her cute breast and Utat did the same.