She said she was in 200Level. Na she be the only person wey I don talk to. The other two girls, I just dey greet them dey waka. But I knew that one of them was Emmanuella. Most times they do call her Nuella. And the other Bola. My guy used to call them by their names before he left. The next morning, I woke up in the empty room. As my guy don waka make he go find him destiny. As I stood up, it looked as if my whole body was hit with hammer. Body dey pain me. That’s the danger of sleeping on ordinary floor. I brought out my tooth paste, took the remaining sachet water left from the one I drank the previous day. I went outside to brush my teeth. I saw Adaobi. I greeted her and she was just hailing me. “Fresher! Freshest fresher,” she asked when the matriculation would hold, and I told her. “I know you will be missing bode(my guy that had left),” she said. I laughed timidly. She was trying to be friendly as we talked. She asked when I would start buying things into the room. Hmmm, I didn’t even know how to reply her. “How I wished she knew my predicament.” “Even the house sef, I don’t have money to rent it. I just dey stay come dey hope say miracle go happen.” Well I told her that I would soon start buying my own things. As we were just talking, Bola came out of the room, “Gbadebo fresher, you have landed! Welcome to Alabata,” Bola shout and we laughed. The first two weeks was very difficult for me. I was so worried about accommodation. I wanted to make good friends who could just help me out. I have heard that it was not easy getting some body to squat with. Though I had not been open up to any one. I can’t just go out and start telling random people my problem. I just want to make new and good friends I could confide in.” The empty house I was staying, the rent was nearing expiry day and I don’t know what to do. Adaobi was very helpful even though I was yet to tell her what I was passing through. When going to school, if I meet her at the mancot stand where the school costal big bus picks student to school. If we enter together, she would always pay for me. All that prompted me to open up to her one particular evening when she told me that the landlord of the house came and wanted to put new tenants. So they had asked me to vacate the place immediately since I wasn’t ready to renew bode’s rent.” Na so I begin tell her my challenges, how things be for house and I couldn’t even afford rent oo. Adaobi pitied and encouraged me. Infact she even gave me food that night o. I couldn’t even tell her to come stay with her. I felt it was gross. But she herself said she would have accommodated me but because of her boyfriend who normally comes around which won’t be good for their relationship. This particular Wednesday which was the matriculations day. I didn’t even have the N1000 to pay for the matriculation gown. Na so I just sit don for house. In the evening when Bola came to me and asked that I should give them my own matric package. I tell them say I no do anything ooo in terms of refreshment. Say money no dey. She said she was going to a friend’s own that invited her for matric party. She gave me her phone to help plug it when Emmanuella puts on her generator. And she left. Na so Emmanuella on Gen oo. Na only her get Generator since my guy left. I and Emmanuella, we no dey too dey talk. Its just “Good morning! Good morning” that only brings us together. As I knocked and entered her house with bola’s phone to charge it. As she saw me, na so this girl shout. Emmanuella – Saaahh, what is this Ilorin native doctor doing in my house. I began wondering who she was talking to. Na so I turn make I look whether anyone was at my back. But none. Na me this girl dey talk to ooo. She was referring to me as “Ilorin native doctor.” She started shouting and yelling at me and asked me to leave her room with my dirty, smelly, poverty cursed body. This girl come begin abuse me oo. She Said I am an insane destitute and looked like my sick mother in Ilorin. I wondered who told her that my mom was ill. I remembered confiding in Adaobi about my situation. So na so she go tell her. Na so water begin com out for my eye as I enter my empty room. I started thinking about my life. As I cried, I remembered it has been over a week I called my mom. I only had N400 with me. If that one finish, only God know were I go take get another money. I just wanted to hear my mom’s voice. Each time I was down she normally consoles me, encourages me even when I try to give up. As I was sitting inside weeping, I heard adaobi calling my name from outside. I immediately wiped my eyes. I didn’t want anyone to know I was crying. She immediately came into the room. I guessed she was just coming back from school. She asked why I was just alone inside the room. I told her I was just resting. Even though I felt angered by what she had done, telling emmanuella some few things I told her about myself. “Only God knew how many people she had already told”. I asked Adaobi if she could spare me a few minutes from her airtime to call my mom, that’s if she has. She graciously gave me her phone and I called my mom. Mom told me she was feeling better. I love my mom to the core. She had always been my best friend and I do confide in her. During the course of the call, I told her how someone (Emmanuella) abused a hell out of me. She herself felt my pain. She encouraged me. I also told her that I was broke. Mommy tell me say house just dey empty and nothing dey house. Even if say I come, I no go see anything collect. But how I go take see money even come sef! After the call, I gave adaobi her phone and also Bola’s so she can go help her charge it at Nuella’s room. My guy that left had always said that nuella was very proud someone. “Maybe because she came from a well-to-do family. She feels she’s better than everyone else.” Well na so I stay for my poverty stricken empty room. After a while, I went out and bought 3 bottles of soft drinks. “ I thought that In as much I was poor, I don’t have money that does not mean I can’t do things for people”. Adaobi dey try for me wella. Bola too is doing well too. I got the bottles of drink and gave to Adaobi to share among Bola and nuella. I was only left with N130. At least I don do well to celebrate my matric. Few minutes later, Adaobi returned Nuella’s drink saying she said she wasn’t taking. Na so me drink the thing. The next morning, I went to school a bit late. I met my departmental colleagues submitting one general course assignment to my Head of class (HOC). I had done mine but forgot it at home. Na so I rush come re-do the thing again. After doing it na so one guy see my procedures and answers. He asked how I got it because someone told him that the lecturer in charge had hinted them about the answers which was what I had. He said he had being going around but no one had gotten the exact answer the lecturer talked about except me. Me sef, I no sure say I dey class when the lecturer dey hint them answers. Na so this guy collect my book come do copy-n-paste. He copied what I wrote into his own booklet. He thanked me and went his way. The next day, another lecturer gave us another assignment to submit the upper week. The next week came and was about to submit my assignment to my HOC when I met the guy that copied my work the previous week. “Baba I don dey find you since,”… what is he looking for me for
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