AN M2 STORY -episode one - My School Aid


AN M2 STORY -episode one

Everywhere smelled so different. Not bad, just different. I had never been in a hostel before; I guess that’s why everywhere was so strange and scary. My name is Jeffery, and I’m a very shy kid. I had just gained admission into the University of Uyo (Uniuyo) at age 16 and this was literally my first day at school; I was walking behind my cousin, John, a final year student of Accounting in the same University, and we were headed for his room.

I felt very nervous because I barely knew John. My parents had said a lot of good and bad things about him, so I just didn’t know what to expect; and to think I was just meeting him for the first time and was already following him to his room was enough reason for me to be a little shaky, but what could I do about it? He had said that Uniuyo was “the hustler’s land”, everybody had to find a way to hang on for as long as it took to get that certificate and this was me, hanging on –I was practically walking into a new life, a new world with no idea of what I was going to face.

We walked into a room filled with a lot of people and about a thousand pair of eyes looked at us –or rather, at me. I was so nervous that I couldn’t look back. I just shuffled after John to a bed in the inner part of the room. My brown box was already resting chiefly on the well-spread bed, but my school bag was nowhere to be found. I suddenly realised John was talking to me, “…my space. This is my locker” he pointed to a tall wardrobe with a grey, wooden door “that’s where you will be keeping all your stuff. For now, just go through your box and take out anything you might want to keep in the locker so that we can keep the box up” he pointed at the space in between the ceiling and the top of the locker, some boxes were already lined up there.

“Okay”. I responded immediately. This was not a time to ask questions; I made a mental note to find out where to keep my towel and sponge after taking my bath. I sat on the bed and this time, I really started to take cognizance of my environment. Some boys at the other end of the room were making jokes with John, repeatedly using the word, “squatter” which gave me a creepy feeling that they were talking about me. I counted the bunks in the room; they were a total of 5, which meant there were only supposed to be 10 people in the room. How come there were so many people? There were 10 lockers, some halved and some full, but one peculiar thing about all the lockers was that none of them was good looking; they all looked worn out, like generations after generations of people had used them repeatedly, without stopping –some were even divided into three, the top half being a small, rectangular compartment with a bolt, the middle being a larger rectangle with another bolt and the third was just a pathetic square that had either come off or was of a different colour of wood!

“How far, you bring sype?” I heard the question two full minutes before I realised the short, fair guy in front of me was talking to me. “Sype”, he repeated “You bring sype?” I looked around, wondering what to say to this guy that was looking at me with a gaze I would rather describe as haughty.

“How him wan take bring sype?” John had come to my rescue. “Person wey never sabi wetin hungry be, wetin wan make am bring sype?” Okay, this new word, “sype” was something a hungry person would have, that meant I didn’t bring sype –I still had a substantial two thousand naira in my pocket and some cash in the bank. I shook my head at the short fair guy and he grinned mischievously, and then said again “Sha, you go show boys love. No fresher fit come this room, no show love”

I was confused. How was I supposed to survive in this place with all these people speaking bad English and looking very intimidating at me; what was John thinking to have brought me to this rough place to stay? How am I supposed to get along with people that are not willing to get along with me? How… “You no for like go baff?” It was John, he was smiling at me from the other end of the room and I felt a little warm.

After spending the next 20 minutes trying to put all my stuff in one place, I was finally shown the bathroom. It was not as bad as I had anticipated, in fact; it was way neater and smelled really nice. There were even showers! I carefully walked from one bathing stall to another, looking for the most suitable one to take my bath in –most of the stalls did not have doors, and the ones that did had broken showers in them. Finally, I saw one that was pitiably able to combine the two: an old, rusty door and a good shower and I walked in, took off my towel and started taking my bath.

Many thoughts began to go through my mind as the water rushed down on my head; cooling off the tension and making me feel better. “I’m finally an undergraduate, life don start”

No comments: