Some lecturers can push you to the extreme, giving assignments that would make you do things that ordinarily, you wouldn’t dream of doing, for instance, asking people to help you with materials to do it or even going to their room to get it done before the almost impossible to meet up with deadline.
Such was our fate. My best friend, Chigozie, and I, we were battling with one of those really cosmic assignments, it consisted of drawings, lots and lots of drawings and the deadline of submission was almost upon us and we had not even neared half of it. We made up our minds to do the TDB, and not alone because we would have been hopeless, not knowing how to go about the work. There was only one option left to us – sleep over at someone’s room. Naturally, one would say visit a fellow girl but it is almost impossible, being in a department filled with boys, we were only three girls and the third girl lived far away off campus, I was not even sure she knew what to do, or if she hadn’t paid someone to get it done for her and have her peace. Now, that is what a good number of people did, pay people to get it done for them. Well, we have not even seen enough money to feed not to talk of paying people to do our work for us, and besides we would have been cheating ourselves because our exam questions were to be set from one of the assignments. We chose to get it done by ourselves and be rather independent in exams.
We slept for two hours in the evening and got ready for our sleep over. When my roommate asked where I was headed, I replied her, ‘a party, sleepover types.’ And she laughed and immediately composed a silly song with the fact that she was glad to be in a department that gave her some time and space for herself. I just laughed at her and continued my preparations, took my books, my drawing board, my mathematical set, my drawing instruments and not forgetting my flask of well brewed coffee. I know you are going to try and counsel me about the caffeine thing, but trust me, I know all about it, and I still use it for if I don’t, my grades are going to be screwed. I prefer the caffeine, actually.
We chose my friend, Octopus, he was nicknamed Octopus because of a wrong answer he gave in class and was proudly defending it till he realized that he was mistaken. He gladly took the name; he wasn’t going to be able to stop everyone from calling him that anyway, even if he didn’t like the name.
Going to his room was not much of a struggle to get my mind into, because he was one person I could trust to help us out without asking for anything in return. We had actually tried some people when we were new in the school, some would help us out only to ask us to draw part of their own in return, or even ask us to cook for them. Some even felt we were forever indebted to them and expected us to succumb to their every wish, but Octopus was different he had never asked for anything. He would play with us like he doesn’t help and he is not into the gender thing.
We started working some minutes past seven and it was going real good, this was the kind of work that didn’t really need much concentration hence we were discussing and drawing. When it was past nine, another boy joined us; he is in our department too. I didn’t bother because we did not go to him and I was careful to avoid asking him to help directly.
Chigozie’s cell rang. It was embarrassing, really. Her volume was just too loud and the song, well, I wouldn’t use the song for my ringtone. I had asked her several times to change it or at least reduce the volume but she was just as stubborn as I am, I guess that was how we were able to be good friends.
She smiled awkwardly and answered the call and from her tone, I knew it was her boyfriend, Philip. I had noticed a rift in their relationship recently; I think he doubted her or something.
My friendship with her doesn’t include talking about her love life, or mine. She prefers not to tell me and I like it that way, after all, the less you know the better. The most thing I knew about him was his name, I’m not even exactly sure I would recognize him if I saw him outside her room. Yeah! I know. It’s as bad as that.
From what she was replying, I deduced he wanted to come and see her because she said she wasn’t around and wasn’t going to be back till the next day. She was trying to explain that she wasn’t doing something surreptitious or wrong.
‘Baby, give me my boxers from the wardrobe.’
The unmistaken voice of Octopus came really loudly. He joked a lot, really too much that he even fails to notice when someone is serious and this was one of the times he took his jokes too far.
Chigozie tried to explain to Philip that he was just joking. She tried explaining that we were only doing assignments, we even echoed in her support that she was right and he disconnected the call.
I expected her to be angry with Octopus and threaten to go back to our hostel that night but she was calm, too calm that I became worried. She continued with her assignments and the discussions of before like nothing happened. I never knew her to be this calm. I wondered if she had been bodyswapped.
In the days that followed, I realized she was being moody, I knew it had to do with Philip so I didn’t ask her. once when I was coming into her room, she didn’t know I was there as she was making her call, ‘…assignments. Listen Phil, if you cannot trust me to believe I am where I tell you I am, then there is no point being with you. Let us just call it quits. I can not be with someone who doesn’t trust me.’ She disconnected the call and for the first time cried on my shoulder. I consoled her telling her that the campus was filled with boys and greater ones too, and she would just make another friend within the space of a short time.
What I got from giving her the speech was unexpected as she started, from that day, letting me in on her love life and it was boring actually. I didn’t listen most of the time!