With his two hands folded behind his back like that of a man regretting every on his actions, his blue shirt flowed recklessly over his long pair of trousers, his much treasured black trouser. His pair of suede shoes had been re-patterned by the random dusts the roads have graciously offered, sweat had made a mockery of the several hours he spent in front of the mirror before his famous departure, he had been Bancied.
The air around him screamed pain, his strides preached it, he was coming from somewhere, but where?
He walked in dejected like the last catch of a wearied eagle, slumped on his bed, our bed. With a deliberate effort at avoiding my gaze, he asked, “Please can I have a cup of Garri?”
“You just asked me for Garri?”
I asked as if his request was inaudible or unclear
“Yes” he responded.
He should have yabbed me in return, but he didn’t, I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t want to know, he had embarrassed me the last time I asked for same, for me, it was payback time.
“Have your parents disowned you, or did I tell you I was looking for a child to adopt?”
I said to deliberately mock him, but his response was unexpected,
“Please” he said.
I was shocked, he should have replied likewise to make it interesting, he understood the drill, but not on this day, he just did not, he begged, Segun had never responded like that before, he was always a match for anything, anyhow, and at any time, whoever killed his joy definitely did a good job; it wasn’t time for Aro, even a blind could see it.
“Segun talk to me, what’s wrong?” I solemnly asked again
He sat on the bed, removed his shirt which was unusual, he has a habit of forgetting to remove his shirt sometimes even till the next day. Just then I realized his shoes were still on also,
I said as I pointed to them. He obliged me just that, removed them, took our only pillow, laid it on the wall while he rested on it, looked at me and for the second time spoke,
“Phillip, am I not brilliant?”
his question was as satirical as unexpected, I wondered what he expected me to say, I didn’t want to add to his sorrow, but I didn’t know the answer that would do that.
“Why did you ask?” I enquired.
“Just answer me “he said,
he wasn’t ready for anything, not even mild jokes, the last time he was like this was when Bolaji turned down his proposal, his heart was toyed with, it was the first time he fell in love, and his crime, he fell in love with the wrong person. He had done almost everything a guy could think of, we even contributed for him to take her out on a date once, the lady only ate his food, spent the money we laboured to contribute and still went on to say NO, he took him two years to let go of her
“My guy, you are brilliant, one of the most brilliant guys I have ever known” I said.
While he was indeed above average, I had overstated it, I had lied to him. He had never led a course, neither had he won any scholarship before, he had always been next to brilliant.
“Yes, I am brilliant” he jumped,
“Yes you are” I nodded to sustain the tempo, he was at a point where almost everything he did needed encouragement, but even that didn’t work, like a deflated balloon, he came down almost immediately, sat on the bed again,
“but why is this happening to me, why is Obafemi Awolowo University redefining my fate, why is Ife doing this to me?”. He said,
“Redefining your fate, how?” I asked.
“Why is this school bringing me to a different low?” he screamed.
His eyeballs were rolling like they were searching for something, I was getting bored, babysitting had never been my strength.
“What exactly is wrong with you?” I unapologetically queried,
he looked at me again, “have you checked any result this semester?”
“Yes, I have “I responded”
“and how were they?
“My brother, we just thank God, when there is life, there is hope” I responded
“Any specific result you want to tell me about?” He said as he made it obvious that the former answers weren’t enough
“As usual ECN301 hadn’t repented, over 50% failed it this year again” I continued, “
but you didn’t fail?” he said,
I could sense what was happening, “that is the consolation, but when you add a D to a drowning CGPA, you know what happen automatically, that is my current fate my brother”.
“Phillip! Phillip!! Phillip!!!” he screamed,
“I can hear you” I responded,
“I saw four of my results today” he continued “two 4 Units courses, One 3 units, and another I Unit course”
“ehn en”, I said,
“they were disastrous” this he said with a trembling voice
I could see goose pimples forming strands on his troubled skin, his face had gone from oily to a refinery as he managed to deliver the disheartening news,
“I had an A in the One Unit Course¸ E in the 3 units Course, F in the two 4 Units courses, add those grades to a 2.19 CGPA”
Having stayed on campus long enough to understand when people do not need to be encouraged, even if that would happen, it would be later. He was at a critical point and at the same time was very hungry.
“Segun you requested for Garri right? I asked as my response to his barrage of troubles, he nodded continuously like a lizard that just fell from a wall,
“No, you aren’t eating Garri, wear your shirt?” he was stunned he didn’t understand why but did as requested, he wore his shirt.
“With what just happened, you need strength to pull through this ocean of life, we are going to New Buka, to eat Eba, and don’t worry, the bill is on me, it’s the least I could do to help”