By Leoman Valloway
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So he turned and with steady, measured paces was walking back towards the boys. His face decidedly blank was ensconcing empty, faraway gazing eyes and to his waist were his hands rigidly akimboed.
This…he was pondering in bewilderment…was most and utterly unbelievable!….A girl like her he couldn’t enchant in a single encounter?.. It’s never happened before….not in a long long while. Could he really be this rusty? Could he be losing his magic?…No way!…it wasn’t that…It couldn’t be that…he was forever a star!…OK! she won this round but the next would be his! He would be leaving her floating among the stars…that much he owed her.
“Buddy! Buddy!! Buddy!!!…how did it go?” A gleeful smile was dissolving Frank’s features as his hand pierced skyward with palm flattened and upright. “Cool…no sweat,” he replied clapping his palm into Frank’s in a hi-five salute “What did you expect? She’s mine.” “Cassanova! Don Juan! Superstar!” Maurice was hailing in racking laughter. Toyin and Frank joined. He stared at them. Upon his face the wedlock of feigned perplexity and powder-puff crinkle of a smile was incongruous. “What? You guys don’t believe me?” “We do!” Toyin was incredulous “how dare mere mortals doubt the god of female hearts!… the retribution of eternal celibacy we ‘re too feeble to bear….” And as if pre-rehearsed the three of them reverently chanted in repeated bowing,“Superstar! Superstar!! Superstar!!!” Uproarious laughter reverberated throughout Moremi parking lot from all witnessing. “Idiots!…fools!” he couldn’t resist muttering through clenched teeth. Anticipating him turning away Frank grabbed his arm, “My lord supreme! My eternal master!…” he couldn’t have sounded more beseeching “…into thy skull hammered unworthy maiden a twelve inch nail…surely thou wouldst oblige thy loyal subjects privilege of extraction?” “Leave me alone!” his jab catching Frank violently across the jaw finally loosened his arm of the latter’s grip. “Ahh!” Toyin was to exclaim, “Thou hast wrathed our deity! Thou hast bestowed upon us calamity! Oh pity! pity!!”
Crackling in conflagrating ravaging anger he was briskly stomping away. The shout from Maurice of “Hey superstar! Please wait in the room. I need your Lab Reports,” he didn’t even hear. Utterly impassioned by fury and bitterness he was deploring his gross misjudgment. Had they ever really been to him true friends?…what senile gullible half-wit he was for not seeing through their fašade of genuine friendship. He was deserveful of this humiliation!…Of course! Why shouldn’t they be envious?….To end Maurice near record run of six girlfriendless semesters he it was who bequeathed one of his; any girl that timid spineless Frank ever laid claim he was mastermind; if that hysterically guffawing Toyin is wooing a girl then he was present coordinating...conducting...imparting confidence. Why won’t jealousy bedevil their ungrateful minds? Why won’t euphoria billow their inglorious hearts? they coveted his charisma, they craved his charm, they yearned his Midas touch, the bloody losers they were, begrudged his superiority! At his every stumble any reason jubilation mustn’t be theirs?….poor godforsaken minnows! Any day, anytime, he was their king! That can never change. They…
He had to swivel backwards before beholding his caller. “Hey Tony!…” his hands went aloft in apology “…you wouldn’t believe I didn’t see you.”
“What’s happening, man….are you okay? How’s Frank?”
“Nothing’s wrong...” He was brusque and caustic as kept trudging on “…Frank can drown in the lagoon for all I care”
He disappeared through Jaja Hall portal, climbed four flights of stairs, traversed three thresholds and was inside his room.
He was abed and unstirring. A grim and scowling countenance was brazen on his face. Suddenly a loud hiss vented his lips. Inside of him bitterness and indignation still raged. He was frothing with the urge to punish. By God! Didn’t Frank’s radio deserve smashing?!.. hurling their books into the incinerator is even better!…useless bastards! They merited being shot!….and to be sharing room with them how accursed he was!
He shot off the bed. Before both yanked open wardrobe doors he was squatted; stuffing his belongings into his suitcase. He was moving out!…there can be no telling their next mischief!…Devils must be avoided!
Snapping shut the suitcase he lugged it to the foot of his bed. Crossing over to the door he unbolted it and was once again retiring on his bed.
He was awaiting them…At their entry he was retrieving from them his loan and clearing out! Not a second more was he spending. Between himself and them it was all over. Yes! He was ready to ‘squat’ elsewhere till he secures another bed-space. That wasn’t a pill too bitter to swallow. Wait and wait and wait in fervid impatience he was to; all the while being tormented by the parade across his memory landscape of their every ill and transgression against him. Eventually sleep stealthily and beguilingly would seduce him. When he awoke his
roommates were sleeping fitfully on their beds. And it was past two o ‘ clock in the morning. Ruefully he would turn on his side and burrow back into sleep. At past eight o ‘clock he roused and realized he was late for class. He cursed and leapt off bed. The devils left him sleeping!
To the bathroom and back didn’t cost him five minutes. Hastily he dressed in un-ironed clothing and was soon hurrying towards class. He bothered no more than wave to acquaintances he was encountering.
Rounding the corner of Electrical Machines Laboratory he instinctively slowed. Ahead the entire class was assembled outside the lecture theatre. Some sat others stood but their every attention was on him. He needed not be told. Big mouths Frank and co. have bandied about his yesterday’s misadventure. Every face was harboring taunting eyes or a jeering smile or an amused countenance.
Damn them all! Their teasing and ridicule won’t perturb him! Nothing can stop him going upstairs to submit his course registration forms! To hell with them all!
Effervescing extreme unfriendliness his face was a mask of mean hostility as he approached. He was barely five strides from them when swarthy, amiable Tienne broke forward to confront him, “Big G! how ya doing?” he was offering a wide smile and an outstretched hand.
“Not bad at all.” cold and assertive was his reply as he skirted around the other and was continuing on.
He unshook hand still outstretched Tienne turned after him, “Mike you forgot to shake my hand” The whole class exploded in laughter.
As he was gaining the stairs their voices which on his approach fell conspiratorially subdued were rising again.
They were lampooning him!…they better be prepared because he would be very unforgiving….especially with the girls. Thank God he never once showered even an ounce of his attention on their ugliness! He would never….not while other faculties are teeming with heavenly beauties!
He attained the first floor. He crossed two doors and knocked the third. Upon invitation he entered. It was in emerging that he almost bumped into a waiting ever-smiling Tienne.
The rage contorting his visage as he glowered at the latter was petrifying.
“Mike, you ‘re my friend…..no matter what.” Tienne wholeheartedly offered. Mike was un-speaking.
“Look….so everyone’s having a little laugh from your unsuccessful wooing of a 200-level nonentity of the English department so what?….that shouldn’t breed malice.”
Mike gestured him to make way.
“Mike you can’t turn y--”
“Shhhh! When I ‘m ready you and them ‘ll. find out.” and shoving him aside Mike was strutting away conscious the other would be staring after him. For once that sweet exhilarating feeling only revenge can bestow he began to savour. This was just the beginning! They would gnash their teeth!
On the stairs he began his descent. There would be no lectures for him today. Rightaway he was heading for the Arts faculty!….hand in hand he intended to walk back with her! The last laugh would be his!
This time as he glided through their midst he was almost levitating. Their snipes and snickering were music to his ears: he was totally immune.
Stepping off the Arts block’s elevator on the second floor he strode to a lanky male student perched on the balcony railing.
-Did he know where 200-level English language students might be? - Mike asked
“Sure,” the other replied and pointed at the next classroom, “they ‘re taking a lecture.” “Thanks.” he muttered and clambered onto the railing beside the other “Mike” he offered a hand. The other shook it. “Justice.” A while of silence lapsed. . “You ‘re not of this faculty?” the other inquired. “No. I‘m here for a babe….Her name’s Helen. Tall, dark, gap-toothed.”
The other smiled. A wide amused smile.
“You know her?”
The other nodded. His face was now deadpan.
“She’s my girlfriend”
‘“Oh, really?…”forcing a smile Mike was in a tumult “…she’s a wonderful person. Man, you re damn lucky.”
“Thanks.” Justice beamed.
In a cavalcade the classroom began to empty. The lecture was over. She came out flanked by two pretty friends. As she reached them and tightly hugged Justice, Mike couldn’t help wondering how beautiful she looked. She didn’t seem to notice him. When Justice pointed him to her indignation first swept her face before blank hostility took over.
“Hi.” Mike stepped forward with a dazzling smile. His heart was almost pounding to explosion.
“Hi.” she was curt, cold and standoffish.
“I ‘ve never met your beautiful friends before…” he was already beaming at them and shaking their hands “…my name’s Koya. Mike Koya.”
“Bimbo.” one of them said.
“Yeside.” the other added.
“Great!..” he had reverted back to Helen “…and I bet they ‘re as brilliant and inspiring as you are . I was just telling Justice what a unique person you are.”.
He paused only for a moment. “Helen, I ‘m in such a huge rush and I need your help….” And he turned to the others with a placating smile ,“…I know you friends won’t mind allowing us a minute in private.” Before Justice could complete “Not at all, go ahead” he was already guiding her away by the elbow. At a distance well out of the others earshot he faced her.
Sighing heavily he began, “Helen…..to explain in a minute what sometimes can take a lifetime is a miracle. But I can, know why? Because yesterday I met an angel. My life which has been one big whirlpool of disenchantment and insecurity she promised to transform into a paradise of tranquil happiness….if all this sounds confusing to you, you don’t have to worry…I ‘m coming over to your room tonight to unravel it...all you have to do is remain the angel you are…I‘ll see you later,” and he was leaving her before she even could utter a word.
Reaching the others he hugged Justice and shook hands again with the
girls.“My exam is starting any minute…I ‘ve got to go,” he offered by way of explanation, “Thanks for everything”
“I hope we ‘re seeing you again.” one of the girls pipped.
“Definitely, definitely.” he was already hurrying for the stairs.
Whoops! He had done it again! He was the brightest in the firmament! His spell had her bound and nothing can be left to overcome. Her puzzlement, the reverent sparkling of her eyes as his words flowed, and her almost helpless surrender to his seducing personality were the bedrock of his conviction. Tonight he would go to her room, complete the wooing and return with her to his room. His jealous losers of roommates will thaw with shame! They would wish they were never born. And tomorrow she would come to meet him at the faculty and he would introduce her to all those stupid laughing idiots.
As he descended the stairs and was heading for the library never had he felt so relieved and carefree. In fact he was whistling.