~ Femi’s POV ~
I replied her with an emoji. She persisted.
“Do you have a girlfriend?”
“Why do you ask?” I texted.
“Typical response of an African man. You should do better.”
“Sorry, how do you mean?” I replied.
“Why should you answer my query with another question?”
“Oh! My bad. Forgive my manners.”
“It’s Okay. Never mind.”
“Are you sure? Hope you’re not angry?”
“Femi, it’s fine. I’m good.”
“I doubt if you’re.”
She didn’t reply again. Instead, she kept my last text unread. I didn’t bother texting her further. I didn’t want to look desperate.
The following day, I got back to classes. I met Julius, one of my close coursemates. He told me I missed only two lectures the previous day. I asked for his lecture note which he gave to me. Julius’s handwriting was neat and I didn’t strain my eyes to see what he had written.
Later in the afternoon of that same day, we had another class, but this time we went to another faculty. Taking courses from other faculties means we have to go over to their faculty building. If you’re lucky enough to go on time, you get a seat. If you’re not, you’ll have to choose between standing inside the class for the duration of the lecture or standing outside the class for the duration of the class.
The perk of standing outside is that you will have enough time to chat with your fellow coursemates who are also stuck outside.
The lecture hall was not always accommodating a large number of students. Some late comers end up attending classes just to make sure they don’t miss attendance and tests, knowing that, they would not learn anything that day.
Let me share with you a few tips on what it seemed like being an ‘UIte’ (A name used to describe a student of the University of Ibadan).
When it comes to lecturers, I’d like to divide them into two; the knowledgeable and non-knowledgeable ones. Students are in the right position to differentiate the aforementioned category of lecturers just by attending their classes.
Aside from these two types, you’d still meet some lecturers who are so caring. I call them the motherly/ fatherly type. There are also the angry ones and the promiscuous ones who extort money from students. This type always believed students have money. Barely did they know that the myth that ‘students have money’ is simply a misconception. Some of us had little and tried to survive to get our certificates.
There are also lots of interesting places to visit at UI. The likes of the zoological garden, the botanical garden, Awolowo stadium, and others.
Biola didn’t call me often after some days, and I was glad she wasn’t calling frequently. I needed maximum concentration to come out to the top as I had wanted. But then, Seun seemed to become another hurdle to jump. She was literally a threat; a threat in the sense that she was always texting and wanting me to do this or do that for her.
Maybe I was wrong for helping her out in the first place. People like Seun are the reason why people detest assisting others because they would be asking for more thereafter.
I did tell her I was single and she was constantly texting me. She gave me several green light to shoot my shot but I wasn’t willing. She got this “you owe me” kind of mentality. She was always in need of one thing or another. I once sent her airtime but she wouldn’t stop asking for more whenever she was in need. To the extent, I was beginning to doubt if she was actually doing business in school as she claimed.
Though the good part of Seun was that she always call me on the phone and we would talk for a long time without her being bothered of her airtime. I knew she wanted us to be more than just a friend but I wasn’t ready to take another step I’d regret. I had to counsel myself not to accept any further distraction. I recounted the number of girls I had mingled with, starting from Agatha, Bukola, and Biola. There was no need giving Seun any space in my life. Biola’s pregnancy was enough responsibility and I didn’t want to add more.
~ Biola’s POV ~
Two weeks later, Femi fulfilled his promise. He credited my account with the sum of ten thousand naira. He said that was the least he could spare from what his father sent to him. He said he had other things he needed money for. I was really thankful he kept to his words.
Meanwhile, my brother, Gbenga recently sent some money to me. With their support, I was taking care of myself and my unborn baby.
My major challenge was classes. I missed a lot of important lectures and sometimes impromptu tests. It was already dawned on me everything would reflect on my result. I didn’t want to think about it, because I’d get depressed.
Not everyone was nicer to me just because I was a pregnant student, that’s for sure. I got plenty of judgment and downright nasty comments said to my face, trust me on that. But for the most part, I actually found that the majority of my lecturers in my department were completely understanding and even nicer to me when I told them I was expecting. One professor let me go home during class when I couldn’t stop throwing up, and another worked with me on my request for clinical placements that would be more accommodating for pregnant students but at the time, I was having horrible morning sickness and actually losing a lot of weight from throwing up so much, so it made a huge difference to know I could do my rotation.
~ Femi’s POV~
Weeks later, I decided to join AFAS press. I didn’t join because I know how to write or perhaps I wanted to become another Wole Soyinka. I simply joined because I needed a place where I could stand for something and discover more about myself.
Finding something I love and using it for a purpose was worthwhile. And fortunately, AFAS press provides these and more.
At AFAS Press, you not only become better in writing, you learn some other things that could benefit you in your everyday life. Well, that is if you keep up with writing at least one article and/or one news story per week or every two weeks writing. Every week is not easy sometimes because of school loads and tests.
One of the things you learn that could benefit you is time management. At AFAS Press, the deadline for submission is officially 3 pm on Friday but unofficially extended till 11:59 pm on Saturday.
Now, you could decide to write more than is required of you, but that’s on you. But the real test is when you have been really busy during the week and didn’t have till the weekend to start preparing your article. For a guy like me, it’s really difficult sometimes.
On a regular Saturday, I do my laundry and then go out to watch one or two Premier League matches. Besides, there are some assignments and term papers I sometimes put off till the weekend.
But in the middle of all doing the laundry, choosing the Premier League matches to watch, and doing the assignments, a voice is constantly whispering in your ears that you have an article to write for AFAS Press.
One fateful Friday evening, my phone rang while I was seated in the hostel. Seun was the one calling.
“Femi, how are you?”
“I’m good and you?”
“Fine. I’m in your school.”
“Wow! Really? What did you come to do?”
“I’ll tell you when we meet.”
“I guess you came to deliver something.”
“Maybe and maybe not.”
“So, where are you?”
As soon as she hung up, my phone rang again. And this time, it was Biola calling. I quickly picked up.
I was expecting her response but instead, Biola mumbled incoherent words. And before I could say, Jack, she started crying. The noise from the background seemed like that of a hospital. My eyes were as wide as an owl’s eyes. My heart almost stopped.
To be continued…
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