I stared at the lecturer in front of me. All i could see was his lip moving but not a sound of his voice. My mind was lost, Friday’s party was still vivid in my mind, one detail dominated, hot bartender. At some point even the lecturer face transformed to that of the bar tender. I was demarcated from my addled world when Lambo Wong was whispering my name.
“What?” I raised my eyebrows.
“Shut your mouth, you are drooling” she answered.
Lambo Wong was an exchange student from China. Our misery brought us together, lost and alone. When she sat beside me, the first time. I did not expect her to talk to me. After all she was the only Chinese student in our class, making her very conspicuous.
She turned out to be very friendly and funny without trying. We shared two units, since she was in first year, second semester.
I patted both my cheeks and chin, true to her words i was drooling. Embarrassed, i wiped it away. I noticed her usual recorder on the table. She was the laziest when it came to writing notes. She would come to class and record the whole lecture session.
Monday’s i always had one class from eight to ten. I just couldn’t wait for it to be over. I intended to pretend i was passing by annex. Maybe i could spot Leo.
yeah, i asked his name around.
When i told Lydia about Leo, she told me to woman up and approach him. I told her i was shy and could not do it.
Without a single trace of humor she said Harriet is shy, but am far from that, i am just an introvert.
“....that will be covered in your continuous assessment test which will be next week”
That’s when i now heard the lecturer voice. Confused i looked over to Lambo Wong, crossing my fingers that she had been recording.
This would be my first test in college. I couldn’t risk failing it. I knew all the test and exams i would ever do in my entire four years, would be used to classify my degree.
I took out my past half life phone to check the time. It was already ten. That was the expected time the lecture was supposed to end. I even started packing my books in my bag pack.
“Let us now move to chapter three”
There was murmurs and booing, mine included. People banged their heads and book on the tables.
“We have another lecture” The class representative said.
The girl had nominated and elected herself as the class representative. Since she was the only one thrilled by such position when the Lecturer asked.
“Yes” “We have other assignments” Now everyone was talking.
Hello, Hello anybody out there? cause i don’t hear a sound
My phone started to ring, as i fished it out among my disorganized books. I hoped it was my Father, he had promised to buy for me a new phone. I frowned when i saw Lydia’s name. Instead i rejected it telling her i was in class.
“Silence, i confirmed with your department and i know today you only have one lesson” the Lecturer retorted.
“You are aware we are behind schedule”
Meh, As if that was our fault. This the second time he was coming to teach since the start of the semester. It was two months already!
Lydia’s name popped in my screen again, this time it was a message.
′Are you walking in reverse, I am growing old here’
The patience of this girl was always wanting. She was like an hungry infant.
Keep calm i replied.
Lydia: I can’t keep calm__
"okay settle down and listen” The lecturer instructed.
The murmurs did not stop. It was ironic despite not been a fan of the lecturer, his unit was my favorite. It was one of those subjects that even in my sleep i could solve. Accounting to me was one of the easiest subjects.
The class had nicknamed him ‘punday’. That’s how he pronounced Pandey referring to Pandey’s Financial Management book. Moreover he did not entertain puns especially when one referred him to Mr. Joshua instead of Dr. Joshua.
“Those of you who think, it is a waste of time can walk out now. I remain with those that want to study” Dr. Joshua spoke after the murmurs had seized.
It is like everyone was waiting for such option. Noise filled the room as people stood packing their books and leaving. I glanced over to Lambo Wong, she too had stood up. I was still seated, part of me was yet to accept the freedom that came with college. Like right now the lecturer was giving us an option of walking out.
“Don’t tell me you are remaining?” Lambo mocked.
I looked around and i was among other five to eight student seated. The lecturer stood watching the students walk out. I really felt sorry for him.
Joining the rest of rebellious students i walked out of the class.
“I can’t believe i walked from an ongoing lecture” i squeaked.
“You did it” Lambo congratulated me.
Lydia was standing outside the Business department. She was dressed in her infamous impatient expression. In fact the poorly painted building matched her impatience. It is like the painter just wanted to get over with it.
“Finally, what took you long?” Lydia asked.
“I told you i was in class, but now am here”
There was a moment of silence.
" Anyway Lydia meet my friend Lambo Wong, Lambo meet my roommate Lydia” i introduced both of them.
Lambo was the first to offer a handshake, reluctantly Lydia obliged. I knew Lydia would afterwards find something to talk about Lambo. One of her flaws was talking about someone behind their backs. Most times it would make me wonder if she also talked about me in my absence.
Did she talk about how disorganized i am, with Natalie or Harriet? Did she comment about my ever unmade bed? Or my unfolded clothes in my closet?
I could not help but wonder if she did the same, whenever Lydia would whisper of how Harriet was gaining weight each morning. She would also gossip with disapproval about Natalie staying with her boyfriend.
“Are we still going Leo hunting?” She asked excited.
“What is that?” Lambo asked
“Nothing” i responded before Lydia could answer.
“It is soul mate hunting, you should come” Lydia suggested.
Lambo stayed silent for a moment then declined the offer, shaking her head. Honestly i was glad she refused, at least it will be one less person witnessing my folly.
“See you on Thursday, i am heading to the Library” Lambo said waving.
I knew too well, she was not going to study. She just wanted the free wi-fi to watch cat videos on You tube.
We both watched as she walked away.
“She is friendly” Lydia said.
“Yah” i replied signifying end of Lambo discussion.
We walked in silence towards a mini gate. The university had placed it for security purpose.
It separated the hostels, school of engineering and Economics from the main university compound and offices.
We handed over our school Id’s as the security guard scanned them. Placed our bags in the small basket, passed through the metal detector. It beeped but the guard ignored it and allowed us through.
“When we find him, how am i supposed to introduce myself? I asked.
“Normal like, hi am Prudence please don’t shorten it to Pru or worse to Prude....”
“What is wrong with Pru? It is cute”
“Can’t you hear yourself pronouncing it. What the hell is Pru?”
When i heard Lydia say it loud, i realized how funny it sounded. I had to laugh.
As we neared Annex i noticed how clean the place was. It is like there was never a party there on Friday. The place was quiet, outside groups of student sat, some with laptops, tablets and few with books.
I almost tripped on my feet, when my flip flops hit a stray stone. I looked down and realized that one strap had broke.
Just call it Karma’s luck.
"What now, don’t tell you can’t walk?”
Instead i pointed down at my broken flip flops. She raised her eyebrows as her forehead wrinkled.
“The strap broke” i spoke on realizing she didn’t understand.
“You are such clumsy, we are already here. I think you will manage”
That’s when i saw my object of desire walk out. He stood for some minutes accessed his surrounding, then walked towards our direction. He was yet to notice us.
“Well, well are you seeing what i am seeing?” Lydia spoke eyeing lustfully at Leo.
“That is Leo” I said. I wanted to add ‘Ignore every twisted idea that maybe developing in your head’, but thought otherwise.
“You are kidding, right?”
“I kid you not, he is Leo”
“Damn, he is type that tempt me to believe in this soul mate thing”
Leo was already near us, but i could tell he was yet to notice us. When his eyes turned to us, there was no recognition in as them as he walked past us.
Lydia’s elbow nudged me, whispering that i stop him. I had never proven myself to be more than a coward, so i stayed silent.
“You soul mate is getting away, stop him” Lydia insisted.
“I can’t” i answered nervously.
" Leo......Leo” i slapped Lydia’s when i realized what she was doing.
He turned at looked at us confused. He pointed at himself asking if we were calling him. And Lydia made a Mistake of nodding. He started walking back towards us.
Confused and unsure he asked if we were calling him.
“Yes, ain’t you Leo?” Lydia asked.
“Yes, do i know you?”
“No, but you know my friend. She came her to see you” Lydia answered
I stayed silent and angry at Lydia for calling him. He didn’t even remember me.
He closely studied my face, he went further to access my body.
“Have we meet?”
At that moment i wanted to crawl and hide away from the face of the earth.
“Yeah, on Friday at Freshmen party” Lydia answered.
Stop talking Lydia, you are embarrassing me more.
"I met a lot of people on Friday, i can’t remember every single face”
I wished my flip flop wasn’t broke, by now i would have already ran into hiding. What a fool i was. I wasted my entire weekend day dreaming of a boy who had no idea i existed.
I should have just stayed in class and listen to Dr. Joshua talk more about his boring youth days, instead of teaching financial management.
I looked down at my feet, praying for the awkward moment to pass, when he excuses himself.
“Since already you both know my name, how about we formally introduce ourselves” he suggested.
There was silence, i knew i was expected to say my name. It is like i had swallowed glue, i could not open my mouth. Lydia nudged me again.
“i am...a...am Pru...Prude”
I mentally slapped myself, i even heard Lydia gasp. What a disappointment i am.