The freshness of the breeze that was blowing as I walked my way to my hostel from the university library was a balm to my tired body. I had read for hours, barely taking breaks. Just to enjoy the moment, and ease my mind, I connected my earphones to my android phone and plugged into my ears — the rest was bliss.
I jived to the rhythm of the music that saturated my ears. The road was almost free of humans, and it was usual, for that time of the night — 11pm. The halls of residence always closed their gates by 12am. I left the library to make sure to beat the time. The plan was to continue studying in my room and sleep much later in the midnight. The next day was going to be a Sunday.
The hall gate was halfway closed. I entered while whistling and jiving to the song I was listening to.
“Michael! Michael! Jacko fun ra e!” The hall porter — Baba Jinadu, as we always called him.
“Baba! You sef dey whine person! O tan o. E don finish.”
“No be library you dey come from.” He laughed.
“Baba o.” I also laughed.
My head has been buried in books for weeks. I have heard a lot, and it was enough to push myself and study hard. I didn’t want to fail, so the option I had was just to study. Day in and day out, all I spent most of my time doing was studying.
“Chinedu, open door abeg!” I knocked door after my search for the key to the room was futile.
Jato opened the door as I was about to knock the door again, “guy! Small chill, you no get.”
“I don tire, guy! No vex.” I dropped my bag on my bed, climb the bunk stairs and I lay down on the bed.
Jato stood akimbo as he watched me. “Small small. No be like this una mates dey kill themselves o.”
“Where’s Chinedu? Where him dey?”
“No be you cause am,” he laughed. “Baba talk say he wan go read till day break.” We both laughed together, knowing how much Chinedu loved to sleep.
“Him for don sleep na.”
“Before, who go argue that one? I don tell him, na where him dey sleep he change, no be reading he go do.”
Jato went back to bed, within few minutes he was deeply asleep. I came down from my bed and went to my reading table. It was just my red shining Bible that was on the table. I picked it up and ran my hands through it. It reminded how I had spent hours studying the Bible in my freshman year. Each day in my second year first semester was just a subtle step away from all that.
While sitting at the table, I felt a deep yearning drawing to feed my mind with the letters of the scripture. Also, it felt like a force within me wanted exactly opposite that. I thought, “I am not done with all I have to cover on this course yet.”
Just one chapter, Michael.
I sighed. I picked up the bag I had dropped earlier on the bed to search for my notes. The plan was to run through all I had penned during my study that day. As I revised, my eyes couldn’t carry me any further as sleep bid me to come. With the intention of resting for a little while, I rested my head on the table.
“Ogbeni! Wake up jare!” Jato hit me. “E be like say na this room you wan do your Sunday service.”
I stretched as I woke up, “Oh my God! It’s 7pm!”
“No, time go wait for you na. Only God knows where Chinedu is.” Jato hissed. “Na where you sleep be this? Sha do small small o.” He shook his head.
In a rush, I prepared for church because I was late. I was meant to minister with the choir, I had joined the choir at the beginning of the semester.
The music director was vexed that I got to church late. He wasn’t taking any excuses, and he decided to place me on suspension for two weeks. I tried to plead with him but he’d not agree. He only allowed me to minister that Sunday.
As usual, everyone in the fellowship was exchanging pleasantries after the Sunday service.
“Sade, I need to get the songs we were talking about earlier.” I held as she wanted to go meet someone else.
“Take my phone, send them.” She wriggled her hand off my hold.
I slightly hissed as she left the phone, because I found out it had a pin lock. I had to call her back to input the pin.
“Just go to the music folder, that’s where the songs are.” She ran off.
Immediately, I automated the transfer of the songs. While I was waiting for that, I was going round different folders on her phone, until I found a folder that kept leading me to different other folders consequently. I got to a folder that was littered with a lot of files. I decided to open one of them only to find myself back in the cycle I had left years ago.
Join our whatsapp group for updates on this series, and more to come. Share the story. Share it. ❤️