It’s one of those evenings when you feel bone-weary and dead tired. The evening when you wonder why schooling was compulsory. Evenings when you felt like going ahead and quitting school. Yes, I was that tired. I just finished lectures for the day and was already looking forward to the weekend. Whoever drew up my timetable for me is really a sadist. 8am-6pm lectures virtually every day and I have only one hour of break daily. Damn, my school is just ‘weird’ like that. Well, maybe it’s because I’m a fresher and, I was not really expecting this.
I’m the last-born of my mother and I was born with a silver spoon. But, I was neither over-pampered nor spoilt. I gained admission immediately after college, so I feel I’m of the privileged ones. I thought I was going to a private university, but my dad wanted me to experience the real university life. I’m not regretting it though, because I’m enjoying this place except for the rather too hectic academic schedule. Physically, I can say I’m beautiful. And, that has not made me lack suitors.
I just had my bath, and I am lying down on my bed, reading a paperback novel. Not my choice though, I’m hungry and someone is using my hot-plate to cook. Before I go further, let me explain that I reside on-campus, in my School Hostel. It’s divided into male and female hostel, with six students per room or eight students per room depending on how much you pay. My room is the 6-students per room type and the occupants are a mixture of all levels. 2 freshers, 1 sophomore, one 300-level, one 400l and one 500l.
My room is a community on its own. There are three types of roommates, the church-going ones, the ‘runs’ and party ones and those in between. I fall in-between because I know that, I create time to attend church service, and I tend to party, but not too much. My closest roommate and my best friend in school is my bunk mate who is also a fresher. Her name is Dunni, but I always call her ‘Bunkie’- a common nickname for bunkmates. She’s beautiful, tall with nice carriage, in her 1st year, and we are in the same department- Microbiology.
My Bunkie is in the next room gisting or rather, gossiping. My remaining four roommates were all inside the room. Two of them are dressing up, awaiting their boyfriend to pick them up and the remaining two, preparing for night vigil. Going to church is also on my mind, but I know that going for night vigil, without eating is suicidal. I could just faint during service and they would think I was in the ‘spirit’.
Deeply engrossed in the novel I was reading, the door suddenly flew open and my Bunkie came rushing into the room. She scooted straight to my side, excitement was clearly written on her face.
“Helen, Helen”. She said breathlessly. By now, I was really getting annoyed; hunger combined with tiredness is not a state in which I love suspense on any kind.
“Catch your breath and talk when you are balanced.” I went back to reading my novel. She plucked it out of my hands and said “Tunji called me.” I was like ‘so’? “He called you, so what? ”
Tunji is a very popular guy in school, a classic example of TDH. So, I was only trying to dampen her mood because I really had the hots for him. Curiosity took the best part of me.
“What did he say?”
“He just wanted to greet me. And he wished me a happy weekend”.
“Just that? By the way, how did he get your number?”
She looked confused, then she shrugged “I don’t know. Obviously, he went a long way to get it.”
My other roommate in 500l, Oyinda, looked at her with concern clearly written on her face. “You better stay clear of that guy. He is a womanizer, and he breaks hearts for fun.”
Dunni retorted, “is it just that, or were you hoping he would one day ask you out?”
I gasped, “Haba, bunkieee!!!!”
Oyinda simply shook her head and went about preparing for church.
My bunkiee was clearly angry and she beckoned on me to follow her outside. Sighing, I dropped the novel, adjusted the bum short I was wearing, wore a slippers and I followed her outside half-willingly.
“Can you imagine what she said? I knew she never liked me, but to speak evil about someone you never met, haba. May God forgive us”. I kept mute and we passed through the corridor in silence. We got outside and she turned to me. “Tunji said he is coming to take me out and I said ok”.
I turned in surprise, now my turn to get angry, “Why did you say he just called to greet you? Why did you lie?”
She looked at me with sorry eyes “I did not mean to, I did not want to say it in the room”.
Nodding without understanding anything, I paused and asked, “Ok, where are you going to and are you coming back tonight?”
“It all depends on him, he only told me to get dressed.” I looked at her, considering the implications. I told her “are you sure you are safe with him, remembering that you don’t even know him.”
She replied “Since you will be with me, he wouldn’t try anything funny.”
Looking surprised, “Who said anything about following you? What makes you think I don’t have plans?”
She looked at me with pleading eyes. “Please, just this once. And I will be indebted to you”.
“Ok, I will follow you. But, next time consult me before scheduling anything for me.”
We went inside to have our bath and change our clothes. In the bathroom, I looked at the mirror and told myself “I hope this turns out for good.” I changed into a tank top and a jeans. Applying little make up, so as not to over-shadow Dunni in terms of beauty, after all, it was her date. I was barely through when Dunni came into the room and told me Tunji is around.
We both went out, met Tunji by the car and I was surprised to see that he came with a friend. My brain started thinking up some possibilities, but I ignored it and exchanged pleasantries, Dunni said, “Hello Tunji, meet my friend Helen”. We shook hands and he introduces me to his friend. “Helen, Dunni, meet my friend Mayowa.” Shaking hands again, we exchanged small talks to lighten the mood. Then, Tunji asked, “Are we all set to go?”
I answered. “Please give us a minute.” Pulling my Bunkie away, I asked her “Did you know he was coming with a friend? And, did he ask you to come with a friend?” Looking fugitively, she nodded and said “I’m sorry. I did not know how to tell you. Please don’t be angry.”
I shook my head and we both went back to meet them. We trooped into the car.
I looked out the window and saw an array of lights as we passed by Tunji drove the car while Dunni sat at the passenger side. Mayowa & I were sitting in the back. My mind kept wondering the hell am I doing here I should be back at my hostel eating dinner or lying on my bed reading a very nice novel but here I am; in a car with two guys I hardly know.
“What’s up” Mayowa said snapping me back to the present. I turn to look at Mayowa. I can say am surprised it took him this long to talk to me because the two in front already hit it the moment we entered into the car. “I’m good” was my instant reply to him. I looked at him and I said to my self “He really is good looking, nice chiselled face with nice teeth and a lovely dimple.”
“Don’t worry we will soon get there” He said in a low voice out of the corner of my eyes. I saw Dunni laughing heartily without any care in the world. I turned my face back to face the windows. I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t notice that the car was slowing down. The car finally stopped at the front of a club that seemed to be bubbling since it was a Friday.
“A club seriously” that was the first thought that came to my mind now I know I wouldn’t eat again today.
We all came down from the car and advanced towards the club Tunji paid for our tickets as we entered the club. Mayowa held my hand and I felt the warmth exuding from him. The club was really banging people were dancing frantically to the latest club banger my eyes were automatically scanning for the safest place to be because I don’t want to be boxed in a bad place I looked at my room mate who was totally oblivious of my predicament and was literally fawning all over Tunji. I left her alone and making my way to where I think is safe enough for me. Mayowa didn’t hesitate before he followed me.
“Hope you are comfortable?” I nodded my head and he asked “what should I get for you?”
“Smirnoff Ice.” He left for some few minutes and he returned with a Smirnoff Ice can in his hand. “Are you not taking anything?”
“No, I don’t drink alcohol.”
I was surprised. My curiosity kicked in, I started probing. “Are you a Muslim?”
He said “No.”
“So why don’t you take alcohol”?
“Nothing really, I just don’t really fancy it.”
Whispering, he said “don’t tell people. Most guys make fun of me because of it.” I laughed and told him “I don’t gossip, so, I can’t tell anyone.” In my mind, I was wondering if that ‘anyone’ included my Bunkie.
I felt dizzy a little bit, but I continued drinking thinking it would steady me. I looked around for Tunji and Dunni, but they were nowhere to be found. I let the thought of what might be happening ease off my mind and I continued enjoying myself.
He asked me to dance and I obliged willingly. After about half an hour of dancing, I felt real weak and I begged off. We went back to sit.
I had a nauseating feeling, and next thing, I literally saw stars. Everywhere was going around in kaleidoscope and I had this feeling of moving in and out of time. I held on to Mayowa and it was then I lost consciousness.
I woke up in a room, on a bed. My mouth tasted bitter and I started having hazy recollections of what happened. It was at that point that I noticed that I had nothing on me. I was stark naked!