This story is dedicated to Nigerian students who are newly admitted or about to be but generally, it is for all. Enjoy it and don't forget to share it.
This evening, I sat down at ARENA 92 enjoying the cool breeze which the place afforded me and couldn’t help but notice a boy and a girl holding hands in a lovey-dovey manner. I was enjoying my bottle of chilled Fanta alone, looking rather aloof. I smiled as I watched these lovebirds who, I suppose are students of this university, giggling at each others joke. The girl was tall, beautiful, elegantly dressed and a hairdo that fitted her perfectly. The guy who was obviously enjoying her company had a goatee; he was probably five feet tall and was putting on a well-starched white shirt and black trousers, with dark spectacles which was glued to his eyes, he looked like those law students who are either in their final or penultimate year. As for the girl, it was not difficult to guess which department she was from, their Purple shirt and Black skirt made it easier for identification. But, there was something remarkable about her, she was wearing the kind of hairstyle that Adura wore most of the time in our undergraduate days. Did I just say ‘our’? I mean her undergraduate days. I had to correct that statement because, although Adura is now a graduate, I’m still an undergraduate despite the fact that we were supposed to have graduated the same time.
When I boycotted the 45th convocation ceremony of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, I spent the whole evening crying my eyes out in a room which afforded me all the solitude I needed. It was supposed to be my convocation, a happy moment and joyous occasion but there I was blubbering like a child. And because I knew a lot of persons would be calling to ‘congratulate’ me, I switched off my phone because I didn’t want anything to remind me of how badly I had failed and derailed. I didn’t want to be reminded of the fact that I’m not graduating with my set. As my mates were at Times Square Hotel celebrating the victory of graduating from University, I curled up on the bed in my Uncle’s visitor’s room bemoaning my loss and playing blues. I choose to visit Uncle Soji at that time because I know that his house would afford me the kind of solitude I needed. His children were all grown-ups and outside the country except for his last child, Debayo, who is in Abuja in search of greener pasture hoping to get employed as an Accountant in one of the top-notch firms in Abuja. As for Uncle Soji and his wife were hardly around, I had all the time in the world to cry.
Having witnessed three convocations in my days as an undergraduate, I know how ecstatic and blissful the atmosphere can be but, on that convocation Friday, there I was at Motion Ground bemoaning the tragedy which had befallen me while my mates were having fun as they waited to collect a certificate that would certify that they had passed in both character and learning from the University. I felt really bad when on that night, I logged onto Facebook and saw pictures of my friends and classmates on their convocation gowns and well-tailored suits. I was ashamed of having failed myself and family.
After crying my eyes out, I sat down thinking about what really happened. Where did I get it wrong? What happened? Why would someone who started his academic pursuit on a GPA of 4.5 not graduate with his set? Then it struck me!
My problem was Aduragbemi (or should I say Karma?). My name is Adenola Michael, but was nicknamed "Book warm" literally because of my brains, I was of average height and was fair in complexion, I had a beautiful smile which showed off my perfect dentition, making many ladies swoon, adding to the well-cut hair which always looked sharp, and a well-groomed beard then adding my baritone voice to the mix, ladies verily thronged around me... By the first semester in the university, I had become very social. I attended parties. I had become adept at relating with people and wielding some level of influence. I was known by many. My name preceded my presence on many occasions. To me, it was magical. And as expected, it got to my head.
As expected, I had my fair share of intimate relationships with females. Sadly, the girls were at the bitter end. I lost the first because I called her a small girl who was scared of having sexual relations. She loved me beyond sex, but I felt otherwise.
I lost the second because I found out that she was only interested in my brain and had another student she was in love with who lived off-campus.
I lost the third because she complained I wasn’t given to buying suya and all those orisirisi that students did to prove love. My own idea of being in love was a fusion of rationality and emotionalism. I couldn’t fathom how a student would lay all her burdens on another student in the name of love. I lost the fourth because ... Well, stupid reasons, still.
By my second year in the university, I had lost all interest in girls. I wasn’t ready to commit anymore, that's when I met Aduragbemi at a later part of my second year in the university. She’s dark in complexion with a pointed nose that would make you think that she would be among the first to give up if God decided to reduce the oxygen in the air and makes it breath-in-as-much-as-your-nose-can-accommodate. She was in Biological Sciences and I was (or should I say, I am) in the Faculty of Arts? Then I met her, by a twist of circumstances. I had gone to visit my cousin and met her trembling on the bed above my cousin’s in Hostel C.
Turns out she was sick and couldn’t afford to go to the hospital. I told her to get dressed, took her to a pharmacist in town where she was examined and given drugs, among which were injections. Every day, I would leave my hostel and take her to the school’s clinic to make sure she had the full dosage. I never had any intention at first, I just wanted her to get well.
By the third day, l realized that I enjoyed her company. We’d talk and she had a peculiar way she smiled, revealing a perfect dentition that caught my eyes each time. By the fourth day, I wanted her as my girlfriend, when it comes to relationships with ladies, I shoot my shot straight, I told her by a heartbeat and intention one night over her favourite meal of fried plantains and beans, that I wanted her to be my girlfriend... She accepted to be my girlfriend without hesitation
Fast forward to 3rd year. Although I was no longer in first class, I was in a comfortable 2:1. I started losing grip of myself when she started spending weekends in my house. I loved her company and she enjoyed the commitment, the love and, of course, the money I ‘lavished’ on her.
Things became a lot more lively when Aduragbemi came into my life but my academic life began to suffer, a great deal. Put it this way, the joy that she brought into my life was the bane of my academics. I started skipping lectures and virtually abandoned my books when she moved into my apartment. I was so fond of her that sometimes when I’m in class I found it difficult refraining from thinking about her. This continued until my third-year second-semester exam, I failed a prerequisite course. Those in the Faculty of Arts, especially the Department of Philosophy would understand what a prerequisite course means; once you goof in them, it's an automatic extra year.
To make matters worse, Aduragbemi broke up with me in final year. I was heartbroken because she couldn’t give me any singular or cogent reason why she didn’t want to hang out with me again. She just said she was tired of being in a relationship and that she needed some time to think about her life.
My ex-girlfriend, Aduragbemi graduated with 2:2 in record time and was at the convocation. It was on that convocation night when I saw hundreds of pictures of hers on facebook that it dawned on me that I had not unfriended her. I had deleted her from my mind when I heard from a close colleague who knew her that she was engaged to the son of a politician. I became vindictive and vengeful when I heard a week ago that she would be getting married this Easter. However, what’s my greatest concern right now is to write this my carry-over and leave this environment for good.
Sitting down in ARENA 92, feeling abandoned and discouraged, and still not knowing what to expect from the carry-over course that I have on Tuesday, I was reminded of Aduragbemi again by those two lovebirds who were lost in the company of each other.
As I stole a glance at them, my prayer is that their love story shouldn’t end like mine.