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That day was just such a hectic one, we’d had lecturers back to back from early in the morning till 6 pm. I wasn’t smiling at all. I branched at Iya Aramide’s canteen which was located a little inside girls hostel to get some grub. The good thing about eating there was that you got to see a lot of girls come down there in very flimsy wears just to buy food. You would see pointed nìpples pushing through thin-fabric t-shirts like flashing headlamps. Boòbs and àsses of all shapes and sizes on constant display. Needless to say, na guys dey go buy food for there pass anybody (guys were the major customers). Today, however, I was blind to all of that. I was on the verge of death. Iya Aramide was wasting my time, I didn’t care that there were a lot of people milling around trying to place their orders. When I saw she was about to attend to some girl who I was there before, I shouted:

“Abeg I go scatter this place o! I look like say I come here come play? (If you don’t attend to me right now I will scatter this place!)”

“Ahn ahn, you just stand there na, you no talk anything (you’re just standing there not saying anything),” Iya Aramide protested, collecting my money immediately. The woman shook because I was usually so calm and collected, but hunger is a bàstard.

After devouring the food in world record time, I began the slow trek to boys hostel. I was determined to be very serious with my academics, especially in my first year. I wasn’t going to leave anything to chance as I had a point to prove to myself and my people. But especially to myself. I could only picture my bed as I walked through the boys’ hostel entrance when I heard a familiar sound that made my heart sink immediately.

“Not again…” I muttered under my breath.

It sounded like a party was going on as loud music could be heard blasting from the distance. But that wasn’t what it was. Excited shouts and screams signifying that some people were having a really good time filled the air and only got louder and louder as I made it to my room. I opened the door with a frown on my face and once again, just like I feared, it was a full house.

I ignored the few people that greeted me and made my way through to my bed. I asked the people sitting on my bed to get lost and then I sank deep into it, my bones aching from the grueling day I’d had.

“Why was it so hard to get some quiet around here?” I thought to myself.

What was going on, you might wonder. Well, for some reason, it seemed like everyone between Blocks 8, 9, and 10 had come together and decided that my room was the perfect place where the general public could hold impromptu freestyle sessions whenever they deemed it fit. This guy, Gareth, who was a music producer, would just show up with big speakers, plug the auxiliary cord to his laptop or mobile phone and begin playing any of the many musical instrumentals he cooked up on a regular. Once he did that – voila! – everyone and their fathers who thought they were dòpe rappers destined for greatness would come around and jump on the beat and that’s how they would start freestyling for hours on end!

Shouts and screams punctuated each punchline, and the noise only served to attract more and more people, and in my constant state of paranoia – potential thieves! Two guys always grabbed my attention. One called himself Yung6ix and the other one went by the name Jerriey the Boy Wonder. They always stole the whole show and took center stage. Even I had to admit that they were both really good. I was more a fan of Jerriey though, plus he was my guy. That didn’t change the fact that I hated the way they always crowded my room. I told Farmer who was captivated by the whole proceedings to watch my phone while I quickly went to shower. When I got back, someone new had taken center stage and was now rapping. Someone who I had never seen in my room before. Someone who had dominated my thoughts for the entire day with the merciless beat down he had administered on a clueless fellow just this morning. I did a double-take on sighting him. What the fùck was he doing here?

It was the gremlin… the one called Daddy.

My thoughts immediately went to my phone and all my beloved properties that I had left unguarded. I quickly put everything inside my bunk and locked it. I took my Nokia C3 and almost ran out of the room. The sight of him suddenly made me feel unsafe. I headed for the room of my new rival, Ken. I loved playing games on my phone, especially Pro Evolution Soccer, and so did he. Only just recently we discovered that we could play against each other by connecting our phones via Bluetooth, which was hella fun! I didn’t know much about Ken, only that he seemed like another troublemaker. One time, he’d almost gotten into a fight with another block mate, Wale, also known as Mr. So Fresh and So Clean. It all started like a joke before it quickly escalated into a big thing, but thankfully, just before they started throwing blows we separated them and even had to lock one of them inside a room so the whole matter could die down. Another incident that occurred was one night like that when I think Ken’s phone almost got stolen, his precious Nokia Express Music. The whole place caught on fire that night.

Nevertheless, I liked Ken. He seemed like a cool and simple guy and we got along great. However, I couldn’t help but feel like he was the type that trouble followed around, no matter how hard he tried to be a peace-loving youth. I wasn’t a troublemaker, the only thing about me was that I, absolutely, completely loved getting shìt-faced drunk and high in ways and manners that you would not believe. I got to his room and met him on his bed, pressing his phone with all seriousness and shaking one leg restlessly as he always did.

“2go master!” I called out with a smile on my face. I went over to check what he was doing and sure enough that was what he was doing – 2go. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why he was so obsessed with that damn app.

“Dem don chase you comot for your room abi? (They have chased you out of your room again),” he said without looking up. He knew how I hated crowds, especially ones that always invaded my personal space.

“You know every na (You already know how it goes). Oya stop that rubbish you are pressing. It’s time to whoop your àss,” I said as I opened the game on my phone. He sat up immediately.

“I like know how you wan take win. Maybe na sleep I go dey sleep when you dey play me. E be like say bomb dey your head (You can never defeat me),” he said. I laughed as he said this.

“My sure pùssy, I go fùck your nyansh wella tonight (I’m winning this game).”

“Less talk, more action. Show me what you got,” Ken fired back.

We spent the next few hours playing, while I waited for the unwelcome crowd that had taken over my space to dissipate. A couple of games later and Ken’s face was red. Every time he lost he would curse angrily under his breath and begin tapping one leg vigorously on the floor. He would adjust and we would go again and I would beat him much to my heart’s content. Seeing him in that state got me laughing so hard and my laughter only served to infuriate him the more. When I could no longer hear all the noise and rancor coming from my room, I knew that everyone had packed up and gone back to their respective rooms. It was time for me to leave. I stood up slowly and importantly, feeling like a king. I had whooped this motherfùcker’s àss yet again.

“My sure pùnna (I always beat you),” I said, smiling.

“Na your papa be sure pùnna (You are mad),” he said, a serious frown on his face.

“It was fun whooping your àss mehn, as usual.”

“You just got lucky. Next time you won’t know what hit you.”

“I’ll believe it when it happens. Good night, 2go Lord,” I said, still smiling.

“I swear you don’t know what’s about to hit you next. Good night, motherfùcker.”

I went back to my room feeling mighty triumphant. My roommates were gisting animatedly, as usual, arguing about who had the dòpest punchlines between Yung6ix and Jerriey. I ignored all of them and went to the sanctuary of my bed. My thoughts drifted to my past, present, and future. I suddenly remembered that there was the mother of all shows going down the next day, and then I remembered Folake. My sweet, sweet Folake…

The thought of her put a devilish grin on my face as I drifted off to sleep. Tomorrow was going to be a good day.

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