Who are you? No, the right question should be where do you belong?
My mother always said, there are only three kinds of people walking on this earth, the one percent, the one percent of the one percent and the rest of the ninety nine percent. It's cool to be one of the ninety nine percent, the best bet is, you're really poor or you just escaped poverty a little bit, or you could actually be poor but playing rich, if you're a part of the one percent, chances are you're really rich, you're part of the Elites of your society, you could be considered an invitation to popular events and you could have your face on billboards and magazines here or there, but the one percent of the one percent, if you're a part of this group, you rule the world . You practically have the world revolving on your little finger, anything
you want, anything you really want, can be yours when you snap your fingers but I don't believe in any of those things.
Hi, My name is kora. Kora Obidi, I'm seventeen years old And I believe that there's only so much money can buy. I really don't mind if I'm among the ninety nine percent or one percent, all I want, all I really want is to be happy, to be at peace forever and money doesn't always make provisions for stuff like that.
I live with my Mum and her new husband. Emphasis on New and no, this is not my story. I mean it is, but not all of it. There are a lot of other people in this story, People like me. People with stories similar to mine. We are all connected. Each of us, owners of our own stories, victims of our own stories. I know the world tells you that when you have so much money, or you're born into a family with so much money and affluence, ninety nine percent of your problems automatically go away but trust me, having so much money is ninety nine percent of every rich man's problems.
Where I'm from, we don't do much. All we do is relax and let the grown up's do all the work. We are just rich kids with our own problems but we mask it up so we don't look like it. We hide our feelings and fears in designer outfits, luxury cars, rich parties, expensive vacations and all that. We were thought to believe that we ruled the world, that we are the future of the one percent or the one percent of the one percent. You'd get to to see some of us in the news and on Instagram if you're lucky while some of us just prefer staying low key for several reasons. Reasons like mine. People like me and my Mum.
I waited patiently in the football field for him,
It had only been thirty minutes since I got my letter from the National Arts University. NAUN for short. Don't worry, the last N is completely useless. I still could not believe those people screwed me over, again. I could still remember how much I had cried the moment I opened the letter and my tears had brought me to the middle of the almost empty football field where I hopelessly sat in the grass with my twenty-one k fashionova Jeans, waiting for him. Waiting to see him.
I didn't bother to turn when he called me because I already knew who he was and I knew he was going to find his way to me eventually. To be honest, I wasn't entirely in the mood for anything but the moment I felt his presence drawing closer to me, I pretended to smile a little so he didn't have to guess what the problem was immediately.
I could hear his unsteady breathing as he sat down right beside me. Leveling his head so it could on the same level with mine.
"Hey, what's up?" He said. "I came as soon as I got your text."
What's up? Everything was up. Everything including my sanity. Three times. Two years. That's how long I've waited to get into NAUN. That's how long we have both waited. That's how much we had both failed the entrance exam. Or should I say me. This was the third time I failed and low key, I hope he did too. I know I wasn't supposed to feel that way but going into NAUN with the love of my life had always been my dream since I was fourteen. Our dream.
Luke and I met twelve years ago at this birthday party of the son of this really rich family his family worked for and we clicked at that instant, we became friends for a while, really close friends but then again after six years, we lost touch. We found each other again three years ago after my mum and I had relocated to the federal capital and I just knew he was the one. My future.
Luke and I, our story was like every other romantic story out there. Kind of basic. First, We started as friends, and then best friends and then I asked him to be my boyfriend.
I know you don't hear that often, you don't get to hear that the girl asked the boy out first, it's abnormal to a lot of people, especially in the continent I'm from but luke was really shy about most things and I really liked him, I wanted us to be together and I was tired of waiting for him to ask me. It took a lot of mental strength from me but eventually, I mustered the courage to tell him and trust me, asking Luke out was the best decision I had ever made because, look at us now. Look at me now? I'm happy and I can brag that our love flourished every single day and we've been by each other's side ever since, even if Luke wasn't as lucky as I was to have grown in so many rich homes.
Unlike me and the other kids in our neighborhood, Luke didn't own any designer outfits or maids at his beck and call. He was just regular. Simple and less complicated. My kind of man. His mother used to be a refugee from Ethiopia and his father used to work as a Gardner for that really rich family that lived close to mine I talked about earlier. After his father died five years ago, he and his mother had to move to the federal capital and move in as regular workers into their oldest daughter's home. Their sheer kindness was the only way he was able to see through secondary school till the point we're both stuck at right now, NAUN.
I know you'd be thinking, why NAUN? What's so great about this university that we both hadn't just given up and schooled somewhere else. Don't let the name deceive you. Just like everyone knows, NAUN is the last resort for people like me. Rich kids with no direction in life. Don't get me wrong, it's a great school but.... it's complicated.
You know how some kids wake up one day with dreams of being doctors and enroll into Harvard or Bowen? Or any of the government universities in their country? Well, NAUN is the extremely opposite of all of that. I have no idea how it's remained as number one on the list of top ten universities in the continent. Anyway, it's what we rich people want the public to think but deep down, no parent really wants to see their child in NAUN but they put their kids there anyway just to hide the truth that their kids are complete dull heads.
Not all of them anyway. Us rich people, rich kids, we don't really care about where we school. We were born to inherit. We live our lives how we want because we know our parents are doing all the hard work for us already. So even if we school in Harvard or NAUN, in the end, we're just going to burn our certificates and take over our parents' wealth one day. That's kind of why everyone chooses NAUN.
A school where you get to show off just how rich and influential your family is, walk your way through everything and still be recognized internationally with its certificate. A school where you don't have to worry about your grades since you're still going to be a king in the end although getting good grades was kind of a plus. A school where everyone was a king, And even if you do or do not take schooling seriously in NAUN, you're going to be just as recognized as someone with a first class Harvard certificate. Why? Because it was NAUN. Because as crappy as I've made the school sound like, our parents have put all their all into making sure it's not below our standard or expectations both locally and internationally and that's why Luke wants in so bad.
Four years at NAUN could change his whole life. I'm talking about connections, a straight scholarship to Wharton for his masters if he passes the sponsor exams and a job recommendation the moment he's done from Wharton. He could get the good life we've both dreamt of. That was his reason. The reason he chose NAUN. The reason many third class people worked their assess off for a NAUN scholarship. It was like a shortcut to their success.
Getting to choose NAUN is one thing though, passing the exams is another, you'd have to have a specific level of connection to be in it and that's why only rich people ever went there, and getting to pay the fees is the hardest of it all especially to people like Luke. That was why there were really few third class students in NAUN.
Like I said, many people had their own reasons they chose NAUN and my reason is; my boyfriend. Call me stupid, call me clingy but I just want to be where he was and spend every moment of my life with him. Every moment. Plus, I've not really been a bright kid at school. My Mum says I have an empty head and I believe her. NAUN is my only chance of living how I wanted, and learning at my own pace, without really caring about the outside world. Plus I get to be with the man right beside me.
"Kora." Luke snapped his fingers right in front of my eyes just so I could snap out of whatever zone my imaginations were taking me. I looked at him weakly and then exhaled. I know I didn't get into NAUN, it didn't have to mean I had to let him see me so miserable.
"Here." I handed him the paper I had already folded into a ball and let him unwrap it himself. I could see how extremely anxious he was to see what was in it. He was confused too. "I didn't get into NAUN." I made it easier for him.
I could hear him let out a tiny exhale, not even bothering to look into the paper anymore. I had to show him I wasn't upset. I had already predicted my fate even before I had taken the exams. He should have known I was probably going to fail again.
I let out another exhale, trying to lift my spirits as I turned to him, a wide smile finding its way across my lips.
"You don't have to worry about this." I took the paper from him hurriedly and folded it back into a ball. I threw it as far as I could. "I mean, it's not the end of the world is it?" I turned back so I could have a better look inside his eyes. His coal black eyes. I always loved looking into his eyes. Hard enough to see my reflection in them.
"We can always try again next year isn't it?"
Luke exhaled. I watched the frown on his face worsen.
"Kora, I got in." He told me. "I got accepted into NAUN."
"Huh!" I had no idea how that came out so loudly but the next thing I knew, I was standing on my feet again. I couldn't believe it. The way my eyes opened wide were just proof of how shocked I was. I watched Luke get up too, dusting the grass off his trousers right before he helped me dust mine off.
"I said I got-"
"I heard what you said." I was so quick to cut him off the moment he was standing right back in front of me, looking at me. "I'm just- I just-"
I just wanted us to get into NAUN together that was all.
"I know how surprising this must be for you. Disappointing too. I know how we always planned on going into NAUN together."
Took the words right out of my mouth.
"I've waited for this moment all my life. We have waited for this moment all our lives." A small smile covered his lips. He couldn't hide his excitement anymore. I could see it. "And I finally got the chance to live up to my mother's expectations. Kora I have to take this chance. I have to accept it."
"Y-you're going to leave me behind?" I still couldn't believe it. I still couldn't believe how surprised the news had made me.
"N-no." He stammered, slowly reaching for my hands. "I'm not leaving you behind." He squeezed my hands. "I could never leave you behind and you know it. I just- I need this. We need this. This is a chance for me Kora. A chance for us. This is the only way I can be deserving of you. The only way I can love you and won't feel guilty for it. I can finally live up to your expectations."
"But I don't expect anything." My voice was shaking now. "I'm okay like this. We are fine like this."
Luke shook his head. I knew what he was going to say. I knew what he wanted to say and he didn't even have to say it. I knew I should've been less selfish but I couldn't help myself. This was not about me, it was about us.
"I can live the dream for the both of us. I could go now and then you could apply again next year and get in. I'm sure you'd get it next year. But please, I need to know that you're with me on this. That you support me. That you want what's best for me. I won't be able to go to NAUN if you don't tell me it's okay."
"It's okay." I squeezed his hands back. Forcing a smile on my face. He was right. I knew how important this was for him. How could I be a good girlfriend if I robbed him of his chance to achieve his dreams. "I mean, I was never meant to sit in a classroom all my life anyway. I'm probably never going to get into NAUN. There's no reason why you shouldn't. " I drew in a deep breath and then widened the smile on my face. "Besides, I can always
try again next year isn't it? We don't have to get into NAUN together. You can go first and I'd just meet up
eventually. We could still get to be together isn't it?"
"So go." I closed my eyes. I couldn't believe I was saying this. I opened them again. "Just make sure to always text me everyday."
"You can't forget about me Luke." I could hear my own voice cracking.
"I won't." He rose my hands to his lips and then kissed them. "I promise, I would never forget you."
A tiny scoff escaped from my lips. I was getting overly emotional already. And I hated to be too emotional. Luke rose his hand to my eyes and then cleaned the tears from them even before I could.
"Thank you." He whispered to me, settling his hands on my right cheek. "I love you so much Kora."
He pushed me close so he could hug me tight. "I love you so so much."
I believed him. I did because I loved him too. With all of my heart.