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ATWIED – NARCISSISM

CHAPTER 1: IN THE BEGINNING (CONT)

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It was evening by the time I was unpacked and settled in. Each room is designed to occupy four people, with a locker under each bunk where you could keep your stuff. My room had been empty for the better part of the day and there was no light. There was nothing I hated more than being bored and I despised just lying there thinking about my life. This guy came around that was also supposed to be my roommate. I was happy and tried to strike up a conversation with him but he was acting so antisocial, like a psycho. He barely responded to anything I said, and it felt like he was cornered as he eyed me and sized me up like I was there to steal all his stuff or do something criminal. What a weirdo. I’m just trying to start a simple conversation you retaŕded fùck.

Eventually I lock my bunk and leave the room to take a stroll and enjoy the evening breeze. So many thoughts ran through my head as I walked from the hostel to the Faculty of Management where my academic career was soon to kick off. I was determined not to let myself or my people down. I saw this tall, slim dude and walked up to him and introduced myself. He said his name was Olumafon and that he was a prince of royal descent from Modakeke or something along those lines. I found out that he also stayed in Block 8, and I was happy to have made a friend that could at least hold a conversation. He showed me around a few places. Maye Clinic, Love Street, girls hostel, Iya Aramide. You see, I resumed almost a month late, and I’d missed a few important things, but I was determined to catch up. By the time I returned to my room, all my roommates were now around. There was Farmer, Usher Toh Bahd, and Olorunwa.

Farmer was called farmer because he always wore those kinds of singlets that were so slack and of low quality, they clung onto his frail shoulders for dear life, his shoulders being the hanger. The mere sight of him was hilarious and I pictured him to be an actual farmer (only thing missing was his hoe or cutlass) so I called him that. Eventually, the name stuck. Usher Toh Bahd was another tall, lanky, dull-looking guy, but like some sick joke, he had this smoking hot girlfriend with a killer shape who was nuts over him. I always wondered how he got the girl, or who toasted who, because I could never imagine him opening his mouth to spit the right words to get her. Most likely she just happened to like him naturally and everything fell into place – for him. He was an usher in the school fellowship and was deep into all those types of stuff, so he was more than just an usher to me, he was a ‘bad’ dude, so that became his name for me.

Olorunwa was this “I can’t kill myself” kind of dude. He was short, stocky with broad shoulders and extremely lousy. I liked him immediately. I liked him more when I found out that he was also in the same department and level as me – Economics. The other two were in their sophomore year. When I inquired about the weird psycho dude I’d met earlier, they told me he had moved to another block entirely. When I asked why he did that, they all shrugged indifferently, but we all agreed that he was indeed psycho. We spoke deep into the night, and all that could be heard from our room was the sound of joy, laughter, and banter. This was the first day of the rest of my life, and yours truly was immensely pleased. I was going to leave my mark up in this bìtch.

The next morning, Olorunwa, Olumafon, and I got dressed and headed to class for lectures. Boy, was I excited. I dressed dapper as usual and sat in the middle row with my new friends. It was a few rows from the front, just enough that I could hear whatever boring shìt the lecturer was spewing, and near enough to the back that I wouldn’t miss all the lewd jokes the bad boys of the class were sure to throw. Shebi na book? We die here this time around. This dark-skinned girl was sitting not too far from me on the same row. She was beautiful in a decent way. Full chested, flat stomach, beautiful gap teeth you could see whenever she smiled. However these features never struck me as odd. What struck me as odd was the fact that she was draped in a wrapper, covering herself completely as she sat by herself. The weather was hot outside so I saw no reason why anybody would need to do that, unless something was wrong.

The lecturer was asking a question that no one seemed to be able to answer. I thought it was a fairly simple question so I raised my hand and answered the question before the man would start getting pissed. He was impressed, so he told me to stand up and introduce myself to the entire class as he’d never seen me before. I did so and sat down feeling like a Don Corleone. That was my intention, to grab a little attention. This school matter of a thing ehn, we die here. After the class was over, Olorunwa and Olumafon were getting into it, all play though. Those guys could be quite LOUD in capital letters. I engaged in the conversation for a bit then smoothly slithered over to the lady’s side. I had been watching her from the corner of my eyes. She had her head on the desk like she was sleeping, that dreadful wrapper engulfing her like a Yoruba demon’s demonic Agbada. I tapped her gently on her shoulders and she looked up at me with that her perfect brown skin, beads of sweat on her forehead.

“I’m sorry I don’t mean to disturb, but are you okay?” I asked with a look of concern on my face.

“Not really. But I’m trying to be fine.”

“What’s wrong?”

She told me some symptoms she was experiencing and as failed doctor wey I be na, I told her it could be malaria or something worse that she had contracted. I suggested we headed to the clinic immediately to get her checked out. She was surprised, but she packed her books which I carried in my bag, and off we went towards the clinic. We gisted and laughed like old friends as we walked on together. I was so happy I’d made a connection with someone else. I told her I’d only resumed the day before, and she said she’d been there since the first day of resumption. We got to the hospital, they ran some tests on her and gave her some drugs which would make the illness subside. Afterward, I escorted her to the front of the female hostel and bade her goodbye but not before we exchanged numbers. I warned her sternly to make sure she took her drugs as I never wanted to see a beautiful damsel such as herself draped in old women’s wrappers when she wasn’t Iya Basira. Like Orubebe, I told her that I wasn’t going to take that next time, to which she laughed.

I got back to my hostel room later in the evening to meet what I would call a hero’s welcome. Olorunwa, Olumafon, Farmer, and Usher were coincidentally discussing my matter when I walked in. As soon as I walked in, they all turned to face me, just the way an angry mob would descend on someone that stole a cube of Maggi. I had done the unthinkable.

“E never reach 24 hours wey you enter this place, you don get new babe (You haven’t been here long and you already got yourself a new girlfriend),” Olumafon thundered.

“She’s not my babe…” I was trying to explain.

“Shut up!!!” Olorunwa countered loudly, his mouth hanging wide open like that of a typical Yoruba somebody. “Abi you think say we no see you? Dem tell you say we blind ni? (We are not blind, we saw everything).”

“I didn’t say you were blind…”

“Wait, so you guys are really serious about this gist?” Farmer asked in wide-eyed admiration. “Me wey don dey find babe since (I’ve been looking for a girlfriend since forever).”

“If you see the way he carried her books and grabbed her waist ehn, you for testify,” Olumafon said.

“Easy with the lies abeg,” I said as I plopped myself on my bed and began taking off my clothes. I ignored the conversation as they kept harping on it over and over again like it was some really big deal. These people didn’t know me, but they would. Soon enough.

I noticed that as I was taking off my clothes and retiring for the day, these motherfùckers were excitedly showering and getting dressed and ready to go like there was some big party going down somewhere. I stopped pressing my phone and looked up at them. Curiosity had gotten the better of me.

“Abeg where una dey go like this with all seriousness? (Where are you guys going?)”

“Love street,” they all chorused like say na plan work.

Love street? That sounded interesting.

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