I’m not feeling good.
I try to respect her privacy and all but it’s hard to totally stay off. I can’t believe she said no to me. I can’t remember ever been told ‘no’ by a girl. I am not sure I should be flying but my health leave is over. I stare at my wristwatch unseeingly for a moment when someone hits me with a trolley. “I’m sorry.” The person says immediately. I turn to the person and she gasps. “Tom stiles.” She says with wonder in her eyes and drops her bag and trolley. I hate that name but that was what Americans could call. “Can I get a picture?” She asks.
“Sure.” I reply, giving my best smile for the picture. That’s how it is for ‘celebrities’. I’m feeling sick to my guts, my heart is twisting in my rib age, I’m not in the best mood but I still have to be polite and give my best smile . The life of a star.
“My friends are gonna freak!” She says excitedly, hugs me and rushes off. I walk away from the spot because according to previous experiences, they usually go and call a ton of people to come meet you just to prove that they were not lying. The pictures should do. I find a quiet spot and call Tife again. I just want to be friends. Is that a crime? Why does every think I am the wicked person? Or a playboy? Even Ronke called me to warn me off. I knew My mother was going to call her. No one me. OH WELL… I board the flight despite my misgivings. I bought two first class seats because I don’t want company. A lady smiles seductively at me from accross the aisle but I don’t return it. Instead, I close my eyes, rest my head against the headrest and breathe in deeply. It occurs to me that I should call her again so I fish for my phone and dial but she doesn’t pick. It probably is for the best. An air hostess tells me to switch off my phone and stash it which I do. I smile at her then glance across at the lady across the aisle but she is scowling at me. I rest my head back and close my eyes against the uneasy feeling in my stomach. When I open my eyes again, for the faintest of moments, I see the worried face of an air hostess above me. It’s so hard to breathe. I want to loosen my tie but I can’t even raise my hand. I let darkness envelope me again. At least, I won’t feel pain.
He tried convincing me but he failed.
I deserve a medal for it. I did something ladies my age wouldn’t consider. I put my brain over my heart. I chose reasoning over love. I am not okay but I will get over it. I will get over him. If he will just stop blowing up my phone. At least, he respects my privacy enough not to come over to my place. Now, that I think of it, it’s been four days since he called me. I’m not even sure he is still in Ife. I can’t believe I am almost a graduate. Just three weeks left till the first semester exams. I can’t believe how much I have grown in the space of two months. I think differently. I am calmer. I have foresight. Feels like my previous life was a sham. Like I was existing but not living. Not truly. Today is a Saturday. I have laundry to do and even though it is my least liked chore, it is a necessity, I don’t subscribe to giving my clothes out to people to wash except it needs professional care, then, I give it out to a professional launderer. I am about to start when I hear shouting in front of my hostel. I peep out through my window but can’t get a good look. I want to ignore and start my washing machine when I hear a loud bang. Now, normal people would probably make sure their doors and windows were locked and go hide themselves somewhere, making sure they are as close to the ground as possible but the fighter in me won’t allow. I throw on a short and creep out. I won’t allow death to come and meet me in my room. I’m creeping slowly towards the source of the noise. I notice a small crowd has gathered directly in front of our gate. These people may be looking for a scapegoat o but what happened? At this point, I don’t know what I will do. I can’t go back to my room and wait for this mob to get me and I can’t also possibly pass through the gate. The crowd is getting angrier and a part of me strongly refuses just as another part is considering it. I don’t have a choice. The fence at the back of the house should be lower. I hope these people don’t notice me. I am about to slowly turn when I see an occupant of my hostel at the front, shouting incoherently at someone. You know that one guy in the hostel that is the self acclaimed hostel chairman? Yep. That’s him. Stanley. He is from the eastern part of the country but he speaks Yoruba more than the true Yorubas. I am not even sure he can speak Igbo. I retrace my step as I realize we are not in trouble.
“No! We can not allow it! We should be good citizens of this country.” Stanley is shouting.
I have started to notice other members of my hostel. I was wondering where they all went to. “What is happening?” I ask one 100L guy that just resumed and is staying in our hostel. I can smell greenness coming off of him. His eyes are greedily lapping up the scene before him. I am sure he counts it as one of the experiences of university life.
“It’s NEPA people o. Senior Stanley went to report Maryann Bamidele hostel that they are tapping light.”
Senior Stanley. LMFAO. “Haba. Why would he do that?” I ask rhetorically and he shrugs. “He should have just minded his business. It’s not kukuma affecting us. NEPA insurance will cover it Na.” I continue.
“Feyi, no NEPA insurance will cover anything. They allocate a certain amount to an area and they must get it at the end of the month. So if some people are using power and they are not paying for it, it’s the surrounding houses that will be charged. You can ignore but we will not ignore.” It was Stanley’s live-in girlfriend that was talking. What’s wrong with this one? For the first time in her life, she made sense.
The 100L boy has turned to her. “So, you mean that’s why they overcharge us?” He asks.
I turn to the unfolding fight in front. The self acclaimed chairman of Maryann bamidele, which is the opposing hostel, has started to throw punches at our own. His girlfriend rushes over. I get the idea of taking one for the team but right now, I’m emotionally bruised. I refuse to be physically bruised too. I carry my leg waka go my room. I am not even a batch into washing my clothes when I hear a knock on my door. All I want this beautiful Saturday morning is to be able to wash my clothes before the power goes out! I squeeze the clothe in my hand and throw it in a bucket. “I’m coming!” I shout as I close the washing machine with its lid and walk to the door. Wow. This is unexpected.
“Anu, what are you doing here?” I ask, bewildered. Anu is never around during the weekend.
“I was bored.” She replies.
“No. I mean why are you still in Ife?” I clarify,
“Nowhere to go this weekend.” She replies.
“Where do you even go self?” I ask.
“What is happening outside your hostel? People are fighting outside.” She evades.
“Stanley went to report Maryann Bamidele to the NEPA people.” I give her the substance of the gist.
“That what?” She asks, irritated. She hates Stanley.
“That they bypassed.” I say.
“What is now his business? I swear I don’t like that guy. We should do and graduate from this school abeg. Upon all his over sabi, he is struggling to enter two-two.”
I laugh. “Actually, this one is our business. I just heard that they allocate a certain amount of energy to us which has its worth. An amount they must get at the end of every month no matter what. If a house is not paying it’s own share, others bear the brunt.”
“Well…” She flounders. “The guy’s over sabi self is still too much.” She is unrepentant. I laugh again and walk to the bathroom as the timer goes off. “I heard that they will release our result on Wednesday.”
“Really?” I ask, excitedly.
“I wish I could be as excited too.” She says and I try to diffuse my excitement. “What are you doing?”
“I’m washing.” I say after I set the timer again and walk out.
“Oh okay.” She says.
“Where is Tito?” I ask.
“How do you expect me to know. Is she my handbag?” Anu has this outward thing going on for her but she is the soft one. I’m sure. It’s Tito I really get worried about.
“I just hope that she makes two-two you know. She deserves it.” I say, good heartedly.
“Yeah. Well.” Anu replies noncommitantly. “That’s not what I want to discuss. You have been pretty evasive about this topic and I’m not sure why. You should be shouting about it on rooftops. You struck gold men. It’s like dating Chris Brown. Only richer? And maybe more presentable. Instead, you’re cosying up to Priye.” She says. “Priye?” She stresses with theatrical disgust, I almost laugh.
Sigh. If only she knew. “You don’t even know what he is doing in Nigeria. You don’t even ask questions. You just want me to date him because he is Tom stiles.”
“Trust me, the only reason I am not all up in that b**** right now is because I love you.” She makes a kissy face at me at the last three words.
“I’m not even sure about what is going on with him.” I say reluctantly. Seriously, I need someone to talk with. I’m so full, I’m burstin. “There was something going on between us..”I’m in full mode that when she pops the question, I answer without actually realizing what I was doing. “Er, yes. We had sex.”
She gasps dramatically and I roll my eyes. “Did you enjoy it?” She asks.
My face would have turned crimson if I was fair. My throat has clogged up so I know I can’t talk. I try to nod in reply but she has gotten her answer before I attempt to. “Wow. Your first time? Babe, my first time, the dude’s dick was so small it slipped through my vagina. I thought I had lost my virginity until I met Kingsley and I realised the first guy didn’t even touch my hymen. It was that small.”
Anu’s experiences are always so comical and unbelievable that sometimes, I wonder if she is just making it up.
“Is he sick?” She asks.
I see it before I can ask.
Tom Stiles NBA Career Comes To An End Due To Illness
I literally hear the gunshot accompanying the resultant bullet that pierces my heart.