the painful departure of my love

I waited patiently as the phone loaded slowly due to the
poor network. Believe me, network is always very slow
whenever one wants to check result.
It was my third post UTME in the prestigious Obafemi
Awolowo University. My first and second post UTME result
was 168 and 199 respectively, i could remember vividly that
my mum (who gathered money from her petty trade of
fruits) said to me having seen my second trial result “If only
they were so nice to add one mark, you would have gotten
200″.
Well, she was very sad, but she still encouraged me (without
even talking about the money with which she obtained the
form for me). She just said that i should try more, she said ”
ti esin ba da ni, a maan tun gun ni” which means that; when
a horse makes one fall, we try climbing again. . .
I was so lost in thought, all i could think of was my mum
who had been struggling to make me someone in life. She
has been doing all these alone since i lost my father when i
was ten in a fatal accident along Lagos-Ibadan express way
(that was some 8 years back). Since I’m the only child, she
has only shown me so much care and affection, and i can’t
afford to fail post utme the third time. . .
All these was going through my mind, and my thoughts were
too crowded to notice that the result has loaded, and is right
on the screen staring at me. I snapped out of my thoughts to
discover that ‘the bridegroom’ is here, all i needed to do was
to ‘zoom’ on my outdated Blackberry tour that i bought
(3000 Naira, UK used) with my life savings. Trembling with so
much fear, i pressed the middle key, there came my result. I
looked at it, and behold. . . .
What exactly did he score?
Trembling with so much fear, i pressed the middle key, there
came my result. I looked at it, and behold, it was ‘255’.
I shouted so loud, that my mum heard my voice in the shop
“Thank you Jesus” I couldn’t believe my eyes, with a JAMB
score of 235, that is an aggregate (Jamb+postutme divided
by 2) of 245 which is enough to study microbiology (my first
choice) since the cutoff for microbiology the previous year
was 240.
I started rolling on the floor with so much Joy. My mother
(who had heard my voice earlier) came in. “Dapo what is it”
she enquired. I just gave my phone to her, then she saw my
result, no adjective can qualify the look on her face on that
fateful day, she was just too happy as she didn’t know what
to say. She opened her mouth, and what came out was “ose
oko mi” as tears of joy started rolling down her both chicks.
This means; “thank you my husband”. (This is how Yoruba
mothers do when they are very happy with you, they call
you “oko mi” which means “my husband”)
Well, I’m her husband, since she has lost her husband since
8 years and I’m the only one she has. “I knew you will make
it”, she said to me, hugging me tight with so much Joy. She
went to the market, bought life-chicken, killed and fried for
me. I ate the chiken with garri, garnished with sugar and
milk (that was the best meal i had that year). My mum was
so happy, indeed that day was the happiest day of my life.
All these happened August 12 2010, and by November, the
admission list was out and as expected, i was given my
course of choice- Microbiology.
For those in OAU, you will agree with me that OAU is a
university that gives you admission today, and then you
resume in ten years time (that’s just exaggeration o). I saw
my admission status in November, and we were to resume
June of the following year, because there was ASUU strike
then which disrupted the school callendar. Well, it’s an
advantage for me, since it would give my mum enough time
to source for my fees.
So my mum did all she could, and got the fees, what a
wonderful woman she is. Though that period appeared to be
so slow, because i had waited for years at home and can’t
wait to resume school. As long as it seems, the day drew
near and it was just a month to resumption.
Behold, it was time for online registeration, i couldn’t do it
on my phone because it includes uploading of scanned
WAEC/NECO result, birth certificate, signature and the likes.
So i had to go to the Cafe. So i went to ‘God’s Grace’ (A
famous cafe in Apata, Ibadan) to upload my WAEC result
which was full of C’s and just 2 B’s (It wasn’t bad anyway)
and other documents. When i got there i discovered that
there were 5 people already waiting to do that same online
registration. That was where i met Sandra
Since they all came before me, i just had to wait till they are
done with theirs.
I sat down with the other four people on a long bench. “How
much is the registration?” I asked the young girl sitting next
to me (who looked quite pretty), “good afternoon” she
answered. “Please pardon my manners, that should have
been my line.” I said to her. She answered and said, “No
problem anyway, i didn’t mean it that way, i just greeted you
because i felt i had to, there is no big deal. Anyway, the guy
said the registration is 1000 naira with printing.”
The price seemed quite much, but i didn’t want to create a
seen or be a nuisance since that’s what all others paid. So
while we were waiting, i just enjoyed a conversation with
that pretty young girl beside me.
Me: So you are here to do your registration too?
Girl: Obviously, what else would i be doing in a cafe?
Me: You could be trying to browse the internet or
something.
Girl: So if that’s what I’m here for, will i be waiting for those
guys to be through with their registration?
Me: That’s true (nodding my head in agreement ), since we
started talking, you’ve only asked questions. So, should i call
you miss question?
Girl: You don’t have to call me that, because i have a name
(smiling).
Me: So with this your beauty, your name must be princess.
Girl: (Blushing) Don’t wine me joor.(now smiling like
sobosobo) I’m not princess o, I’m Sandra. So what’s your
name, Prince?
Me: Prince ke, my name is Dapo o. Its nice meeting you
(stretching my hands to shake her)
Sandra: The pleasure is mine (shaking hands with me). .
We talked on and on, and she told me that she was admitted
to study philosophy. I waited until it was my turn, then I did
my registration. Sandra left and waved me, “see you in
school” she said. i waved her back, and she smiled from
afar. It was when i saw that smile that it occurred to me that
i should have asked for her number. But it was too late, she
had gone already. “I may never see her again.” I said to
myself. I just forgot about her since we have more than
25,000 people in OAU.
I finished my registration and went back home, preparing
for school.
Preparation was in top gear for resumption. My mum
surprised me when she bought ‘born-vita’ and peak milk. “I
appreciate your efforts but we don’t even eat this at home
maami, you don’t have to buy all this. We are not that rich
and you know it, the money you used for this provision, you
could have kept it for something else.” I humbly protested.
She replied immediately ” If i don’t buy this for you who else
will i buy it for? All my discomfort, is it not for your comfort,
i toil day and night so that you dont have to do that. Over
my dead body will you go to school without provisions. I
want you to be alright, i want you to enjoy life, “soo gbo oko
mi”, just try and understand me.”
When she had finished saying all these things, all i could see
was a mother who was willing to sacrifice her life for her
son, who was willing to sacrifice her happiness for her son’s.
I was so touched, and didn’t even know what to say, than to
say thank you ma. I drew closer to her gave her a hug, and
with tears rolling down my chicks i said “I will never let you
down maami.” She replied saying “I trust you son, i know
you won’t.”
Though my mum was so happy that i finally gained the long
awaited admission, but she still can’t believe that her one
and only son will leave her to go to Ile-Ife. But what can the
poor woman do, will she ask me not to go? Hell no! She
won’t do that, she was as happy as i was as far as the
admission is concerned. I thought for a while and then i
started having mixed feelings as regards the admission.
“Well it’s not like I’m going for life, i consoled myself.
The resumption date was clearly stated- 13th of June 2011.
Well, i had less than a week to go and i was so ready to face
the new life, meet new people, learn new things, unlearn
some things, teach people stuffs, correct wrong impressions
and become new.
People were giving me money from different angles. “Pele o,
omo ile-iwe gba koo fi se owo oko.” They were always
tipping me, and my mum won’t stop telling them about my
going to school. “Omo yin n lo school ni next week o” which
means: your child is going to school next week. Am i really
their child? No I’m not, but Yoruba people have funny ways
of talking e.g “se o ti ri aburo e.” This means: have you seen
your younger sibling, when you are probably from Ibadan,
and the person being referred to as your sibling is from
Kaduna. But i actually enjoy the whole stuff, because once
they call me someone’s child, that person must ‘shake
body’ (meaning the person must give me money). Since my
father is no more, “whoever gives me money is my father
jare” i said, smiling.
The day finally came, and all i had to carry was my ‘2 by 6’
mattress, the few clothes i have, my provisions, and some
food items (garri in particular). And i headed straight to the
Bus-Stop
Since we lived in the outskirts of Ibadan, i had to board two
different taxis to get to Iwo-Road (like the extreme end of
the city, where you get buses going to other parts of the
country). My mum followed me to Apata where i took a taxi
going to challenge, she waved at me and smiled with tears
(who does that). I waved at her and i rememberd the ‘ranti
omo eni to nse’ speech. This means: remember the son of
whom you are.
You guys know what I’m talking about, there is no one in
Nigeria that won’t hear this speech from either or both
parents when going to the university. These includes stuffs
like:
1. Koju mowe e o: face your studies
2. Ma ko egbe kegbe o: Don’t keep bad company
3. Ma kobirin o: Don’t follow girls e.t.c.
But since my mum knew me to be someone that doesn’t
really like ladies, since i don’t talk to girls in the area, only 1
and 2 above was applicable to me.
To cut the long story short, i got to Iwo road, and i gave a
small boy 100 Naira to carry my load for me with his wheel
barrow. I could have carried it myself, but i just felt that if
everyone should think that way, how will the poor boy get
his means of livelihood? “At least he is better than those
guys with no physical disabilities who beg around.” I said to
myself.
I went to the Bus, and seeing my load, the driver said briskly
“E maaa sanwo eru o.” Which means i will have to pay extra
for my luggage. I nodded my head in agreement, and asked
him how much that was, he said 200 Naira, after so much
bargaining, and so much chastisement by the other
passengers, he agreed to take 100 Naira, so with 400 fare,
that will be 500 all together. “Its not that bad.” I. said to
myself.
So we were waiting for the bus to get filled. You know those
guys now, they won’t move an inch until the bus is full. I sat
at the third row as the bus has five rows. I would have sat at
the second row but the driver had told us that three people
will sit on a row, except the second row where four people
will sit. Why he said that i didn’t know, and i don’t want to
know. Because i wasn’t really used to traveling, i wouldn’t
want anything that would cause me inconvenience.
On my row there was just one space left as we waited
patiently. One baba with bald head was already on my left,
“who will be my right hand traveling partner” I wondered. . .
There she comes, my sitting partner. As i saw her, i knew she
was also going to resume in OAU
Sorry, can you please shift a bit” the voice of this young lady
brought me back to the scene, because i was lost in thought,
as the sight of her made me wonder if she was a student to
be on OAU campus or not. I adjusted my back-pack closer to
me, giving her enough space to sit comfortably. Another
man came, and in no time, the bus was filled up. “E sanwo
o” A man came to the window, telling us to pay, and we did,
I just gave him 500, since that will save me the stress of
waiting for change.
The bus was ready to move, and it did move. I looked at my
left, i saw ‘baba apari’ (bald old man), i looked at my right, i
saw a damsel. “Should i start a conversation with this
beautiful lady or just keep mute “I thought to myself, and
concluded i was going to do the later. So i just minded my
own business, as i gently brought out the story book ‘Romeo
and Juliet by William Shakespeare’ out of my backpack. I
loved this story so much, though I’ve red it thrice already, i
don’t mind reading it again. As the sound of hooting vehicles
and that of moving cars provided the ‘sound effect’ for my
reading, I just focused, ignoring all other things.
“So guys read this too?” I couldn’t believe it was the girl i
wanted to form for that finally broke the silence. Well,
whether i believe or not, Its true, and i had to reply her. “It’s
not for girls only, so i see no reason why i can’t read it.” I
answered. “So you are also going to resume in OAU?” She
asked, When i heard the word ‘also’, i knew i cannot be more
correct in my thoughts.
Me: Yes you?
The girl: Same here. With this your love for literature, you
must be in the arts and humanities
Me: At all, I’m in the sciences, in fact, I’m going in for
microbiology.
The girl: Are you serious? I’m going in for microbiology too.
Me: So, i just met my first departmental friend (I said
looking straight into her cat eyes), so whats the name of my
FDF?
The girl: What’s FDF?
Me: First departmental friend of course!
The girl: You are so funny. Anyways, the name is Moji and
you are. . .
Me: Dapo
Moji: Really? That’s my younger brothers name.
Me: That’s great! Anyway, its nice meeting you
Moji: Same here. . .
We continued the conversation, and we were just choosing
topics at random. We talked about politics, the country, the
music industry and lots of stuffs. I’ve discovered that when
you have someone to talk to, journey seems to be faster.
That was how i met my second mate, and my first
departmental friend. “But wait o, how come i haven’t met
any guy?” I said to myself. Well, at the cafe, there were four
guys waiting to do registration, it was only the girl i talked to
and made friends with. “I have not even entered campus
and I’m already behaving like a girl-freak, if i enter campus,
what will happen? When did i become like this? I wasn’t like
this before!” I thought to myself.
To cut the long story short, we finally got to ‘Campus gate’ in
Ife. I alighted from the bus with my ‘FDF’, and took my load.
Carrying them was not so easy, so Moji offered to carry one
for me, but i told her not to worry.
I saw a large bill board that has “WELCOME TO OBAFEMI
AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY ILE IFE” boldly written on It, with the
motto “FOR LEARNING AND CULTURE” written underneath. I
was quite shocked when i saw the logo, it was the statue of a
woman, with book on her head. “Does this mean we will
have to read and cram like mad?” I said to Moji, who
laughed at me like i didn’t know what i was saying. “The
statue represents culture, and the book depicts learning as
the motto states” She answered, clearing my ignorance. I
was so surprised that she knew that, since we were both
‘freshers’, so i asked her how she knew that. “My dad
graduated from OAU.”She Answered.
We entered the school gate, and took a bus into campus. As
we were in the bus, i thought to myself, “I won’t want to
make the same mistake i made with Sandra. This one, i must
surely get her my number. So i gave her my (palasa) phone
boldly and said to her. “Something is wrong with my phone,
can you help fix it?” She looked at me like I didn’t know what
i was saying, collecting the phone from me. “What is it?” she
asked. Looking at her like ‘lucosade’, i answered and said.
“Your number is not in it”. She laugged hysterically, and i
joined in the laughter. Then she said “you are so funny,
simple ‘can i have your number will do the trick.’ She took
the phone, and pressed in some 11 digits.
Though, my phone wasn’t quite cool, all the keys were
functioning properly and i was so proud of it. I was given
bedspace in Awolowo Hall, while Moji was given in
Mozambique Hall. So i came down from the Bus before her.
Because there is still a turn before getting to her hostel. I
waved at her, and said “see ya” she smiled and replied
same. This is not like Sandra’s case where i wasn’t sure i was
going to see her again. Even if i didn’t take Moji’s number,
we were in the same department anyway.
I entered my hostel, it was quite crowdy, as people were
going up and down, dragging bags and lockers. Indeed,
school had resumed.
“Block 2, Room 109, Bed no 9, Upper Bunk.” That was written
on my accommodation slip, meaning; that was the room
allocated to me, Awolowo Hall is so Big that i almost got lost,
looking for ‘Block 2’, but after questioning so many people, i
got to my room. That was when i met ‘Nigga Black’.
‘Nigga Black’, whose real name was Emmanuel was a part 3
student of psychology. Seriously, i have never seen someone
so dark. You cannot see him and not notice his ‘darkness’.
We call him other names like: Albino, Kiwi Ambassador,
Black Maria etc. But he was just dark on the outside, he had
a pure heart. So calm, so gentle, never offended and easy
going.
‘Nigga Black’ took my load from me, and showed me to my
bedspace. I dropped my bed on it and carefully arranged all
my load in the cupboard that was assigned to me. It was
then that he started telling me stuffs about campus and
hostel. He told me the story of ‘Africa’, how he was
murdered in block 8. Fear gripped me, as he told me to calm
down, that the days of cultists where over in OAU.
So many other people started coming in, and here are my
room mates: Nigga Black, Mayowa (A part one student of
CPP), Matthew (A deeper life member, and a Direct Entry
student of Mechanical Engineering), Olu (Final year student
of accounting) Emeka (Final year student of Sociology) and
Abdul (Final year student of Agric Economics)
There were three bunks in the room, Nigga Black had been
in the room since the year before so he just stayed in the
room, squatting with us.
There was a party then called “Anglomoz Party”. (Anglomoz
is a place between Angola (A male hostel mainly for
freshers) , Awolowo and Mozambique Hall where people
(mostly boys and girls) meet to talk) It was organized by
Awolowo hall chairman for all fresh-men. So Mayowa
suggested that we attend the party, then i agreed since
lecture was yet to start. It was a night party
When we got to anglomoz, after we had stayed for about 5
minutes, enjoying the various activities, Someone just
covered my eyes with hands from the back. The last time i
did that ‘rubbish’ was when i was in primary 5. I didn’t know
what to say because i did not even know who it was, though i
have very sensitive sense of smell and i knew that perfume’s
smell was familiar. As i gently removed the hands, and
turned back to see who it was. 

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