The Student

CHAPTER THREE

I sprawled out from the bed and yawned loudly, producing a croaky sound. One of my roommates glanced at me. He stretched out his body looking out through his bunk. I was already awake and the room was still dimly-lit. The morning sun that strolled in through the window brightened some parts of the room. I glanced across the room and most of my roommates were already wide awake. Someone was fixated on his phone, another was flickering his eyes and the other was hitting the laptop keys as the light from the screen illuminated his face. Bluish colour. Chinonso was lying beside me snoring lightly. I jumped out of the bed, walked to the socket and put on the light. I squinted immediately the light brightened the room. I would later be occupied with the whole activities I had to carry out before getting ready for class and after I was back from class, I would go to a company to submit my internship letter. The class turned out to be boring after all.

The lecturer arrived late to class. He walked in fifteen minutes after his time had started counting. The students had been walking around and chattering at the top of their lungs until he strolled in and everywhere became quiet. Mr. Oke strolled in with his potbelly poking at us. I noticed him staring at everyone. His belly hung in the air and his gait looking weird. He dropped his books on the front desk and glanced at the whole classroom. 

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He began to teach and students were ransacking their bags to bring out their notebooks to pen down some of the vital points. I would at times zone out in the classroom. I was pale, bored and stressed. I haven’t had enough sleep. The noises in the room during the night drummed terrible songs in my ear till the whole room calmed and I was finally able to sleep. That had been the usual method in the room; noises always rained torrent till twelve A.M and some days, after everyone had slept and I might still be awake. The light bulb that lit the room, always made me uncomfortable. I heaved slowly when the class ended and the lecturer was about to leave. It was the only class we had that day. Immediately the lecturer walked out, the whole classroom became lousy again. I stared at Seyi. Seyi glanced at me and didn’t say a word. He moved his eyes away and continued talking to a girl he was busy with.

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“Seyi,” I called.

Seyi turned and the flesh on his forehead wrinkled forming ridges. “What?” he asked.

“Can I have your note?”

“Err… Are you taking it home? I think I might need it. I want to read something tonight.”

“No worries. I’ll snap the pages,” I said and stretched out my hand at Seyi.

Seyi handed his notebook to me and I began flipping through the pages, taking snapshots of each page. I handed it over to Seyi and walked out of the classroom. It was noisy outside but the air from the Lagoon front sent chills down my spines. Lagos Lagoon bounded the institution and the buildings close to it got cool ventilation from the fast-moving air. As I walked through the faculty, I smiled at different people walking around the walkway wearing happy, confused and tired faces.

On my way to the hostel, a man stopped me at the car park. I was reluctant to stop but the man kept insisting. The man could sense I wasn’t in the mood to talk to him. His face became softer. “I am sorry for disturbing you, son,” he said.

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I nodded. My face wore out and I looked annoyed. He was prolonging my stay under the scorching sun. The sun could roast corn and occasionally it came with a weird windy air.

“Err—” 

The man’s head lolled to one side while he tried to talk. He kept biting and chewing words before he finally let it out. His expression went bland and his mouth began to move slowly.

“Can you help me with a little change? I am going home and I don’t have money on me. Anything?” he said looking weary.

I glanced at him. I hesitated before handing two hundred naira note to the man. The man’s eyes widened and he quickly knelt down thanking me. I became embarrassed immediately and walked away. I knew it was one of those liars who walk around the campus claiming they need money for something they don’t need money for. I could still hear the man’s voice singing praises to me as I walked away.

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