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[STORY] LIVING WITH MY GRANDMA (Episode 11)

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LIVING WITH MY GRANDMA Story by Frank The Writer _ AllNaijaEntertainment
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Episode 11.

Meska and I went three rounds before daybreak, and that really sapped my strength that morning. I got up before him. When I knelt to say a quick prayer, the scenes of the previous night clouded my head. Voices were accusing and judging me—that was my conscience pricking me. “What made you think your prayers will be answered?” I was there motionless and I couldn’t even open my mouth to pray. Damn!

Meska was still asleep. I glanced through my phone, it was 7:12 am. My phone battery was running low too. I hurriedly brushed my teeth inside his bathroom. Water was running, so I took my bath too, and hurried out of the bathroom. I was wearing my clothes when Meska sluggishly opened his eyes. Our eyes got locked in contact, he smiled but I didn’t reciprocate. I wasn’t excited. I had this feeling God would punish me with a poor result with what I just did. Those were the kind of thoughts that conflicted in my head. I even tried recalling some of the Physics formulas I crammed last night but I couldn’t seem to recall even one. Chill bumps!!

I wore my clothes absent-mindedly. “Good morning, my love,” Meska broke the awkward silence. “Good morning,” I murmured. Meska noticed my countenance wasn’t all that friendly, so he quickly fling the duvet and rose from the bed. He moved towards the wardrobe where I stood, almost done dressing in my blue gown. He wanted to say something, then came a knock on the door.

“Yes. Who’s there?” He turned, facing the iron door.
“Emeka open door abeg!” came the voice from outside.
“Who you be?” Meska turned the doorknob and the door got opened.
“Hwfa, help me with toothpaste.” A tall skinny dude walked in.
“Come, you no fit buy toothpaste?” Meska teased with a half-smile.
“Thunder fire you! No be you use my own finish?”

They both laughed out loud at his joke. I needed nobody to tell me the dude was probably his neighbor, and maybe his friend too.
“Na your sister be this? She is fine oo.” He turned to me. I just chuckled and sat on the bed.
“Yes. Na my sister. You wan marry her?” Meska answered.
“If you give me I go collect. Hope say una bride price no cost shaa?”
“Idiot! C’mon get out,” replied Meska.

The dude left giggling after he collected the paste. Meska locked the door and hastily turned in my direction: “Ziggy you don’t look happy,” he paused and stared at me. “Why should I? I have exams by nine and I’m very weak and tired now.” I scowled my face. He needed no further explanation to tell him what I meant, so he started apologizing. He said he couldn’t help it. Meska blamed his sensitivities.
“Well, I need to start going now. I don’t want to take any chances. It’s almost 8:00 am and you know the exam is by 9:00 am” I brought out my bag and arranged my clothes neatly into it. I planned to go home immediately after the exam just as I promised grandma.

Meska quickly brushed his teeth and washed his face. He wore a jean and a shirt before finally, we dashed out of his apartment. I didn’t know the venue, so he lead the way and I followed him. When we got to the back gate, Meska beckoned on me to join the rest aspirants who were heading to the exam venue. Meska said he had an important assignment to submit before 9:00 am. He embraced me and wished me success.
He turned while I proceeded. Candidates were trooping in, so I joined them. I turned at intervals to catch a glimpse of Meska. I did so until he was far from reach.

***

Unfortunately, the Post utme didn’t commence at the stipulated time. We waited outside and got tired of standing. It wasn’t funny that year. Unlike the previous years when the screening was done using paper and pencil type. Unizik moved to Computer Based Test (CBT) and we happened to be the first set of aspirants to test the torture. Yes. It was a big one. That was in the year 2015.

These people weren’t fully prepared for what they exposed most of us to on the first day of the screening test. I can never forget in a hurry the endless pushing while we queued outside. Or, should I talk about the scorching sun that almost gave me a fever? Some candidates even turned to play, pushing one another while they shouted “Forward! Forward Ever!”

It got to a time some aspirants resorted to fainting, and those who fainted were rushed in for immediate treatment. And that really served as a saving grace for them. The rest of us stood there while waiting for our turn. Those who managed to go in complained about poor systems and its slow operation.

Funnily enough, the medical team brought back the ambulance used in evacuating fainted victims and kept it on standby, perhaps they guessed another candidate would still faint. All my life, I never knew what it feels like to faint. Instead, they stained my gown and threaded on my legs. These people nearly broke my toes but God saved me that day.

Sad to say, some of us eventually ended up not sitting for the screening exercise that day. Despite the hard pushing and scorching sun that feasted on us. The management asked us to come back four days later for the screening exercise because other subsequent days had been fixed for candidates of other faculties to sit for the exam. I was so pissed off at my bone marrow. Other aspirants complained bitterly. Some said they came from a far distance and had other engagements on the new date.

I was just tired and confused. After the whole struggle. It was so pathetic but we had no option. It was 5:15 pm when I checked my wristwatch. My phone was completely down because I couldn’t find anywhere to charge it. I earlier hoped to do so at Meska’s apartment that night but the light lasted barely an hour.

I contemplated whether to go home from there or perhaps go to Meska’s apartment and eventually leave as early as possible the next day. But first of all, I looked for a canteen to settle my rumbling belly. I hadn’t eaten since sunrise and my stomach was giving me all manner of kicks. People were buying one or two. The place was crowded with aspirants, so I waited patiently for my turn. About three ladies were attending to candidates. When it reached my turn, I bought snacks and a cold soft drink. I found an empty seat and did my business. The snacks weren’t enough, so I bought more till I got replenished.

At 5:42 pm, I was at the back gate. I trekked from inside the school downward. The distance was quite long. Should I go home from here or stop by at Meska’s apartment? I stood there a bit confused about what next to do. I held my bag firmly because I was told crazy things happen at Awka as of then. Anything was possible including attacks from cult boys. I was extremely watchful. My phone was inside my bag since I had nothing to do with it at the moment.

Finally, I made up my mind to stop by Meska’s apartment and leave as early as possible the following day. I took that decision because I was scared of the unknown. Like, what if I was unable to get home on time like it happened while I was coming to Awka?
So many “what if” questions actually made me change my mind.

The good thing is, Meska’s was not far. It was easy to recognize and locate too. I could easily trek to his apartment, but I was exhausted. So I stopped a bike.
“How much?” I asked when I announced the name of his lodge.
“Your money is two hundred naira,” he answered.
“Ah! But it’s a hundred naira.”
“You go pay #150?” he said, his eyes roved in search of other possible passengers to pick up.

I understood that gesture. He had several options because of the numerous candidates that stood waiting for means to go leave the school domain. He would simply leave me if I continued to bargain, so I climbed and he zoomed off.

It was less than fifteen minutes and we finally arrived at Meska’s apartment. As usual, students here and there, going about their businesses. I climbed the staircase, hopeful to meet my guy. I’d have called him but my phone was down.
I had walked halfway through the corridor to the second floor where his room was. You wouldn’t believe what I saw. Oh! My God. I sighted Meska coming out from his room, and by her left was a random girl whom he hung his hand around her waist. Damn! I was frozen. I had seen them before Meska looked up and saw me there motionless.

I couldn’t believe this was happening. Meska’s countenance changed the moment he spotted me standing there like a tree. I felt like my intestines were been sliced with scissors. My heart thudded against my ribs. Words can’t depict the way I felt that evening.

Meska’s walking step suddenly changed and the girl knew it had something to do with me standing there, and when they walked to where I stood, shockingly they passed me by. Meska didn’t say anything to me. He just started and passed by. That was the height of it. Did this guy just walk past me? I turned, he turned but the girl dragged his face to the front and they walked down the staircase.

Every part of me stopped. My heart literally felt like it had shattered and I felt like Mike Tyson in his prime walked up to me and sucker punched me. Nothing felt right in my mind at that moment. Breathing seems to choke and I felt like someone had kicked me repeatedly in the stomach. Nothing made sense to me as I stood there.

To be continued…


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