1. In which i got lost
If we are brave enough to say goodbye, the world will reward us with a new hello. Paolo Coelho.
I stood confused as I stared at the blue and cream-yellow building. 'such odd colors to combine. Bold blue letters 'Postmodern Library' hanging on its walls. There was a familiar cool breeze that emanated from the small fountain in front of the library. It immediately dawned on me that I had walked past it twice in the last ten minutes.
I lifted my hand and brushed my temple, physically I was beaten and had to remind myself to sign up for the gym.
I exhaled looking around.
This is what you get for failing to show up on orientation day. I condemned myself.
I checked my wristwatch, eleven minutes past eight. The class was supposed to start exactly at eight. I tried to trace my way back to the main gate where I had seen the geographical map of the University. I couldn't find it. Everything looked familiar and oddly unfamiliar. The identical pavements of this university never made any sense.
I looked around everyone was trying to get somewhere not realizing there was a stranger within them. I tried to muster up the courage to ask any of them where ole...., I couldn't even pronounce the name of the lecture hall without looking stupid.
A petite girl dressed in what looked like a skirt made of feathers walked in my direction. I tried to force a smile on my ever-frowning face, I opened my mouth only for her to walk past me like I was invisible.
Maybe I was invisible, always had been in high school.
Either way, I could not blame her. I looked like those commissioned salespeople. who stood by the roadside handing out flyers in my buggy jeans, converse, and a hand full of books. It wasn't long before an equally confused girl passed by.
"Excuse me" I called her out, she also walked past me but realized she had earphones on. So I ran after her.
"Excuse me" I repeated, patting her back. She then removed her earphones.
Her brows furrowed as she ferociously chewed her gum momentarily distracting me.
"yeah, what is it? " she spoke rolling her tongue on her bubble gum and snapping me back to reality.
"I'm... uh..." I stammered, and she seemed impatient as I struggled to find my words "could you please direct me where ole...." I tried to pronounce it.
She quirked her eyebrows, perplexed by what I was trying to communicate but seemed to understand fast.
"oh, you mean ole-moi-yoi?" She asked and I nodded praying to the mighty deity that was the correct building.
"No wonder you are lost, we call it OML. It is easier that way to remember." Her lips moved slightly amused by my misfortune. "I'm even heading that way" she added.
I checked my wristwatch again at 8.40. This was supposed to be my first class. I woke up early to make sure I was less anxious and comfortable in class when the lecturer arrived.
"By the way I'm Prudence" I introduced myself as we walked.
There was a stretched silence then realized she had her earphones on again.
"Here were are, next time you won't get lost," she said turning to face me.
I recognized the tall building. I almost slapped myself because the whole time I had been passing there looking for it. I took out my timetable to confirm the hall number.
"where exactly is your class," she turned to face me.
"hall 9" I replied.
"What a coincidence, me too." She threw her gum, "Which year are you?"
"The first year" Isn't it obvious I wanted to add that?
"Are you sure it's the exact hall because I'm a second year" She gave me a skeptical look?
"Yeah, I got the timetable from the school website" I was confident of myself and probably one of us ought to have been wrong.
It wasn't me.
We silently took the stairs to the second floor. A smile crept up my mouth when I spotted the hall number. This was it, hello college and goodbye high school. No more pleated skirts and blazers, no more mother superior, and I could walk out of class when I felt like it with no consequences. Walking inside that class signified my freedom.
"we will walk through the backdoor, trust me you don't want to be roasted in front of hundreds of students for being late" my nameless friend warned.
As soon as we walked in my newfound friend disappeared while I was left stranded at the door.
"Do you belong to this class?" A husky voice roared.
I slowly turned to face the lecturer when I realized he was talking to me and at least a thousand eyes staring back at me. Without thinking I sank into the nearest seat.
"No, no, come here to the front there are plenty of empty seats" The lecturer wasn't done with me yet.
That was the point I should have taken back all the beautiful pictures I had created of how college would be. I fought with the possibility of running out of the class like a possessed madwoman or better I could say NO and continue sitting where I was. After all, it was college I could do as I please. That was the beauty of college as I had been advised.
"Please do hurry, stop stealing precious time from your fellow students" He added further.
The coward in me found herself navigating through disarranged seats. I struggled with my backpack, I remembered my mother's words 'you are now a grown girl, you should start carrying handbags, not backpacks like a child'.
The student's eyes traveled with my movement. Oh! Lord let me die now before I get to the front row. I prayed. After what seemed like an eternity I managed to fix myself on the front seat.
"Okay, now that is solved let's continue" The lecturer spoke, his eyes fixated on me.
I would grow shy whenever someone would stare at me, it made me self-conscious. It was not like I was ever guilty of anything I just found myself looking away.
"What was I saying?" it was more of a whisper which I was sure the ones from behind did not hear.
" I was explaining before we got interrupted the features of histoplasmosis....." The lecturer finally went back to teaching.
Was that supposed to be a business term? It could be a more advanced type of ledger account.
"Before we continue, let's remind ourselves what histoplasmosis is, you must have come across the term in your first year" The lecturer carried forth.
No doubt I was in the wrong class and started to panic.
And I made the mistake of raising my head and accidentally met his dark eyes which stared directly back at me.
"yes you," He pointed to me with his pen. "would you remind us of what histoplasmosis is? " And the bomb dropped.
I turned to look behind pretending to search for whoever was being addressed.
"It's you latecomer" He wasn't ready to let me off the hook easily.
Someone better shoot me now.
I could swear his main purpose was to embarrass me. I stared at the door calculating the steps and time it would take to run out of this class. After all, if I made a fool of myself. I was in the wrong class and there was a possibility we would never meet again. It was now or never...1,2...
"Histoplasmosis is a lung infection caused by breathing in droppings of owls or birds" a hoarse voice spoke beside me.
I swiveled my head to the source. It was a guy seated beside me. I hardly took notice of him when I initially sat there. His long face made him very attractive.
He turned to me and winked at me. I felt my body heat up. I quickly turned to face the front hoping the lecturer had not seen that.
He was the kind of guy my father warned me against.
"Seems like our time is over so I will leave you to research histoplasmosis and we will discuss it in the next class."
I didn't wait for the lecturer to finish his dismissal I was already at the door wanting to get away.
Once outside, I sighed gladly I had survived my first-ever college class even if it was the wrong one.
"Hey..." I turned to the source and found it was the guy that was seated beside me and saved me from embarrassment by answering.
"Why the hurry? " He flashed me a smile displaying his perfect teeth.
I remained silent staring at him wondering why he had an interest in me, to begin with.
"There is a party tonight at The seeker's hostels and I am inviting you." He was straightforward.
Here was a guy I met just minutes ago and he was inviting me to a party. I had read about guys like him at Wattpad. Harry had a bet with his friends to take Tessa's virginity.
"I don't know you and no thank you," I said as I started to walk away. I was hoping to thank the girl that had helped me earlier, however, that seemed impossible at the present.
"Alright, just trying to be friendly." He gave up quickly which made his motive more suspicious. "If you change your mind, The seeker's it is." He winked and rushed downstairs.
And I decided to also do the same.