"Cleo Mensah! My dearest sister, you know you won't die if you look for my whereabouts right?" my younger sister questioned from the other end of the line.
"yes I know, Bella. Are you calling from the boot?"
"Nope! One of those seized phones the house mistresses are using as their call operating business." Oh I had been there before. The hustle of a boarding school.
"So next two weeks is my visiting, please come."
"Have you called mom?" I asked already knowing the answer.
"Yea. You know her Cleo, sometimes I wonder why I still try" she spoke in a monotone voice.
Mom was always busy; she didn't have time for us especially when she's not on a leave. She worked as a matron in Newmont, one of the mining companies in Ghana and only visited at home or school when her work permitted her to do so.
"Alright, do well to remind me a week before! Hope you're taking studies seriously"
"Yes dear mother, I am. In fact, I excused my studies to deliver this important message and will certainly get back to it as you please"
"Alright Bella see you soon"
"Send me some money if you have extra! Thank you in advance, bye."
"I am not-" and she hanged up on me!
I had just finished from the gym feeling extra hyped from all those weight lifting and cardio, checking the time I had spent 1 hour: 30 minutes. God your girl was fit!
With my gym bag drooped at the left side of my shoulder I strode out the cardio area heading to the gates. A crowd of hot rich guys by stature were on the basketball court which led outside the sports complex.
Upon seeing them I grew conscious of myself. What would they think when I pass in the midst of them? Oh look! The fat girl came to the gym! I could already imagine the mock looks on their faces and off course their hurtful words. That won't be the first.
Taking a deep breath, I plugged my earpiece in my ears pretending to block every offensive words. I took few steady steps amongst them already reaching the gates before a male voice sounded very close to me. My heart pounded very loud in my chest and fear was the only pillar. Wielding myself, I took off the earpiece and turned to his direction.
He was a little taller than Felix, black and very masculine. He was just hot standing shirtless with his six packs. My eyes quickly scanned his body before setting on his face.
"I said you done for the day?" he asked smiling down at me. Casting a swift look at his friends who had now taken interest in our conversation I hesitantly nodded not sure of what to come next.
"uh- I, sorry yes" I replied returning an uncertain smile.
"cool, will see you tomorrow?"
"Alright, take care" I nodded dashing through the gates. Wow that was unexpected! Did I lose weight or something?
I had returned from the library exhausted, it felt like my head was about to explode with all the theories and basic approaches. With a quick knock I entered my room a little surprised to see Vera. She hardly was available on Saturdays.
"Cleo!" she called out frantically
"what, God Vera!"
"H-have you heard?" she asked breathing heavily almost scaring the hell out of me
"Heard what!" she pulled me to her bed space immediately giving me the left side of her earpiece
"Listen!" she commanded. I complied without questioning.
"By-standers say they didn't expect her to behave in such uncalled for manner, if you're streaming live on Facebook you are probably seeing the lady we're talking about. Cleo Mensah a year two Missy majoring Sociology" said a male voice on the radio
My heart literally paused for a brief second.
"It is quite interesting what young girls' of nowadays are willing to go an extent just for a guy! I mean stooping that low to accuse your fellow female for what? Stealing your man! Sources even say the guy never proposed to her!"
"You don't have to listen to the rest" Vera's gently voice sounded next to me. I shook my head wiping the fallen tears with the back of my hand.
"This is focus F.M, if you're just joining us on Filla-gist today, it's all about the trending news on campus this week. Would you fight your friend for a guy? He paused playing a prelude.
"She's pretty enough to get herself a man" a female voice sounded.
"Well, what can I say, she's not my type though. Too fat if you ask me" he paused before the sounds of laughter were heard.
Keep sending in your messages on the matter. From Nico he says- "I never thought of her in such way, I always thought she was nice and reserved. Well you can't judge a book by its cover indeed"
from Ella- "you would see her on campus compose, I can't believe I admired her" the male voice read.
"That's enough!" Vera wrenched the earpiece almost hurting me in the process. But the look in her eye poked the already fragile heart of mine.
"Cleo?" I shook my head vehemently biting my lips to stop the sobs from escaping.
"I'm fine" I chocked on a sob trying my possible best to keep calm, maybe I deserved this. Who the hell am I to fall in-love? Cleo who? The fat girl, the ugly fool who thought her life was some sort of the cliche e-book people loved to read! I might have looked like a clown confessing my feelings to him.
Cleo!" Vera shook me hard on the shoulders pulling me from my thoughts.
"What are you thinking about! Don't feel sorry for yourself, you are not what those hungry wannabe campus journalists say, they know nothing about you Cleo Mensah. I Vera am your friend and roommate, so believe me when I say you are beautiful, worthy and a wonderful soul please"
I nodded wiping the silent tears that seems to fall heavily every second, my body looked calm compared to how tangled my mind was.
"Come to think of it Vera, I'm fat and ugly. I guess that's the reason I studied a lot, at least I would be recognized for something" I smiled at her feeling my heart squeeze a little at her teary face.
"You know the funny thing about this all? I'll tell you" I involuntary wiped a tear threatening to fall.
"It is me Vera, why was it so hard to realize I was never meant to feel loved, or special in the first place! Maybe, just maybe if- I wiped my face frantically, frustrated I couldn't control the cursed tears!
"If I had learnt from my first relationship- oh wait, that wasn't an actual thing. So apparently I have been single my entire life!"
"Cleo?" I could detect the concern in her voice. Did she think I was going crazy? Maybe she didn't understand all that was happening, the truth that seems to unveil itself. I was just a walking being. No self-worth or the sense to be valued or loved.
"erm, I'll just go for a stroll outside" I said taking my sweater
"Should I come with you?"
"I want to be alone- for now please?" she nodded occupying her previous position.
The cold air brushed my face slightly making me regret my decision, but I needed the walk to clear my mind and think straight.
For almost five-minutes I seems to blur out my surroundings and the thought of where I went wrong clouded my mind. Maybe I should have continued to wish than to act. I wanted nothing than to be given the permit to cry, wallow in sorrow till my heart was empty. Sadness drained through me traveling through every cell. Streaming tears washed my cheeks blurring my vision.
I wiped at my eyes but the tears came anyway, when an involuntary whimper escaped my lips I couldn't hold up any longer and as more tears came, more thought whirled through my head.
"Hey, how was the walk" Vera asked immediately I entered almost scaring the heck out of me.
"Lord Jesus Vera! Sitting there like some god in the dark?" she innocently smiled at me as I turned on the lights.
"well-I guess I needed it" I said getting ready for bed.
"It already happened, I mean what's the worst that could happen?"
I had never felt this naked my entire life. Every look and hush whisper that came my way ripped me of every decency I had left. Wielding myself I entered the LT already feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. I could make out a few hands pointing my way and I wanted nothing more than to vanish under their eyes.
"Don't stress, I think nobody knows. I don't think people have time for campus gossip" Vera whispered when we took our seat.
The class went on peacefully and for the first time I didn't want class to end. At some point I lost total concentration as my thought drifted from one problem to the other. A gently tap on my shoulder drew me to the present world.
"Cleo?" I turned to Vera feeling guilty I had missed half of the lecture.
"Yea?" she stared blankly.
"What are you waiting for? Let's get going already" I took notice of our surroundings before realization dawned on me. Class had ended. We had made it to the exist of the lecture hall when I heard my name from afar.
"Cleo! Wait up!" my body stilled, just like a movie scene before me, everyone begun to halt in their movement. One by one their head turned to my direction and the look in their eyes confirmed my suspicion. Yes, this was the Cleo! fat, ugly man snatcher!
The level of anxiety was becoming unbearable leaving me in an excessively paranoid state.
Taking a deep breath, I quickly scanned the hall for the voice, there he stood. My heart stilled taking a look at him, and for the first time in forever I felt numb. My heart seemed to be too hollow for any emotion. It was as if I didn't have the will power to feel anymore. He had taken a greater part of me, and that was the will to love again.