This is what you get for failing to show up on the 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 unfamiliar, do I make sense?
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.
And I thought I was done with mean girls back in high school
I could not blame her I looked like those commissioned salespeople. who stand 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 out, she also walked past me but realized she had earphones on. So I ran after her.
"Excuse me" I shouted patting her back. She then removed her earphones.
"yah, what is it? " she spoke rolling her tongue on her bubble gum.
"I'm... I'm lost, uh could you please direct me where olem...." I struggled to pronounce.
She quirked her eyebrows. Then spoke.
"oh, you mean ole-moiyoi, no wonder you are lost, we call it OML and I'm even heading that way" she spoke mockingly.
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 earphones on again.
"Here were are, next time you won't get lost," she said turning to face me.
I almost slapped myself when the whole time I had been passing here looking for it. I took out my timetable to confirm the hall number.
"where exactly is your class," she asked.
"What a coincidence, me too. Which year are you? "
"The first year" Isn't it obvious I wanted to add that.
"Are you sure it's the exact hall cause I'm a second year"
"Yeah, I got the timetable from the school website"
We silently took the stairs to the second floor. A smile crept up my mouth when I spotted the hall number. This was it, finally what I always dreamt of I was pursuing my dream course, business and economics, no more uniforms, homework, and I could walk out of class when I felt like 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?"
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 took the nearest seat.
"No, no, come here at the front there are plenty of empty seats"
This is where I take back all the beautiful pictures I imagined of how college will be. I fought with possibilities of running out of the class like a possessed madwoman or better I could say NO and continue sitting where I am. After all, it is the college I can do as I please.
"Please do hurry, stop stealing precious time from your fellow students"
The coward in me found herself navigating through disarranged seats. I struggled with my backpack, I remembered my mother advising something like 'you are now a grown girl, you should start carrying handbags, purse.. ' I can't remember much because I zeroed out.
The student's eyes traveled with my movement. Oh! Lord let me die now before I get to the front row. I offered a small petition. 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 looking at me.
I tend to get shy when someone stares at me, it makes me self-conscious. It's not like I'm ever guilty of anything I just find myself looking away. The lecturer continued to look at me as I struggled to find unused books.
"what was I saying?" it was more of a whisper which I'm sure the ones from behind didn't hear.
" I was explaining before we got interrupted the features of histoplasmosis....."
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 announced.
No doubt I was in the wrong class
And I made the mistake of raising my head to face him he was looking directly at me.
"yes you, would you remind us of what histoplasmosis is? "
I turned to look behind pretending to search for whoever was being addressed.
"It's you latecomer"
Someone better shoot me now.
I swear the main purpose of this lecturer 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......
"Histoplasmosis is a lung infection caused by breathing in droppings of owls or birds" a husky voice spoke beside me.
It was a guy that was seated beside me. He turned to me and winked. I quickly turned to face the front hoping the lecturer had not seen that.
"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 getaway.
That man ruined my college dream.