“I dare you to…” Michelle started. She paused and looked at everyone’s expectant faces starting from Nicole’s and ending at mine.
She cleared her throat and said, “I dare you to stand in front of the class on Monday morning and shout: ‘My name is Natasha and I’m a very poor girl who is attending a school I’m not supposed to attend. I’m nothing but a piece of garbage, a scumbag and a pig.’ ” she said with an evil glint in her eyes and an evil grin on her face.
I stared at her in shock, anger and bewilderment all mixed together. What kinda absurd dare is that? I glanced at the others and I could see that all except Amy and Nicola were as shocked as I was.
“It’s Natalie not Natasha and I’m surely not doing that,” I said when I’d regained my composure.
“You are and it’s final or you’ll have to pay the fine,” Amy put in.
“How much is the fine? “I asked. Secretly I wishing it would be something like a dollar.
“A dol…” Nicole started but was cut off by Michelle.
“Ten dollars,” Michelle said.
I deadpanned. Ten dollars? Like approximately 3,620 naira, 1,110 yen? She’s gotta be kidding me.
“That’s an absurd amount of money,” I protested.
“Your problem not mine,” she said, with the evil glint and grin still in place.
I stared at her in anger and wished I could just wipe that stupid grin off her face. I was contemplating where I’ll get the money, perhaps I’ll have to sell my dress, when Nicole spoke up.
“Um Michelle, isn’t ten dollars too much?”
“And how’s that your business?” Michelle shot at her. She shot her a glare that made Nicole flinch. The glare was so deadly and coming from Michelle’s large eyes, it was extremely deadly. “Mind your business and stop poking your nose in mine.”
“Fine, fine you can do whatever you want,” Nicole said.
“So, choose one. The dare or you pay the fine.”
I thought for a while. I was about to tell her that I’ll pay the fine but it seemed as if a light bulb switched on in my head.
I had an idea. “Well Michael, I’ll do the dare.” I said with a fake smile pasted on my lips. I had called her Michael on purpose in order to infuriate her. And I could see I’d succeeded because at the moment, a mixture of shock at my agreeing to do the dare, and fury at being called a male name, were on her face.
Like no girl likes to be called a male’s name.
I smiled in triumph.
“You sure about this Natalie?” Claire asked in her tiny voice.
I nodded. “Yeah I’m sure.”
There was a moment of silence as everyone stared at me. I’m sure they hadn’t expected me to agree to the dare.
If only they knew what was running through my head. I thought with a smile.
“Are we going to stare at each other throughout or continue with the game?” Veronica asked.
As if her words brought us out of a trance, we continued with the game.
The SG actually agreed to do the dare? That girl’s got some wit. I couldn’t wait to hear the student’s laughter as she embarrass herself come Monday morning.
We played the game for about an hour and I ended up with two simple dares. One was to stand on the couch for a minute while the other was to remove four things from my body. I removed my belt, wristwatch, hair clip and earrings.
“Oh em gee! I’m so tired,” Nicole exclaimed. She stood up, placed her hand over her mouth and yawned while stretching at the same time.
“Bed time,” I put in as I did just as Nicole had.
“It’s only 8 o’clock and you guys are already tired. Lazy bones,” Michelle scolded teasingly.
“Why don’t you bring out the sleeping bags and we’ll lie down and play an oral game like ‘In my travellers bag’ until we fall asleep?” I suggested.
“Good idea,” Alexa said. And others including the SG nodded in agreement.
We stood up and started clearing the things we’d used for the game away.
So far, the evening had gone well apart from at the start when the SG was behaving precariously and the confrontation between Michelle and the SG.
Veronica replaced the table to its normal position with the help of Claire.
We picked our bags and followed Michelle through an hallway. We stopped in front of a door which I guessed must be the visitor’s room.
We entered the room which was about twice the size as the one we’d had the party. It was painted blue and white. There was five bunk beds with blue duvets. The beds were arranged in a straight line. At the far end, a hammock stood. To the left was a door I was sure led to the bathroom.
“Drop your bags here,” Michelle instructed.
We dropped our bags, took turns to take our bath and brush our teeth. Then we put on our night dresses.
Mine and Nicole’s were white with pink flowers printed on it. Michelle and Amy’s were blue and yellow. Veronica’s was black and white. Alexa’s was red and white, Claire’s was a beautiful sky blue while that of the SG was hot pink. I couldn’t help but admit that it was beautiful.
“Gather around girls,” Michelle announced.
We gathered around her. “I would like to allocate where each person would sleep.”
I looked at Michelle and I could see that glint was back.
Michelle O’Connor was up to something.
“Isn’t everyone supposed to just sleep on whichever bed of their choice?”
“Well I and Amy would sleep on the first bunk, Nicole and Nicola on the second, Alexa and Claire on the third while Veronica would sleep on the fourth,” she said with finality.
Everyone moved towards where they were allocated except I and Michelle. They didn’t even realize that Michelle had omitted the SG. I’m sure she’d done it on purpose.
“What about her?” I asked pointing at the SG.
I looked on as Michelle allocated the beds to the others and omitted my name. I was sure she’d done it on purpose.
I knew she was up to something but I assure her she won’t succeed. Gentle Natalie has been relegated to the background. Not-so-gentle Natalie was on stage.
Others apart from Nicole or Nicola went to where they’d been allocated. Not minding that I wasn’t told were to sleep. Nicole or Nicola asked her about where I’ll sleep. I noticed that she’d avoided calling my name.
Was my name kinda a dangerous name or something?
Michelle looked at me as if she’d just realized I was standing there.
“Oh my. Natasha I forgot all about you. Well Natasha ‘dear’,” she said with emphasis on the dear. “You’ll sleep on the… ”