Good morning, good morning We’ve talked the whole night through. my alarm ringtone woke me up. After my brief prayer, I did the way of the cross before alighting from the bed.
“Lydia” I shook her. “Lydia” I raised my voice higher. Instead she grunted and shifted further towards the wall.
Waking her was always a mundane task. It’s like waking up a six year old who slept late on a school night. Agitated by her. I yanked the cover off her.
“five more minutes, mum” she mumbled.
“keep sleeping but remember we have test today” I told her. I knew by now she was already awake.
“Dear lord, am screwed” she shot up and sat upright.
“We are screwed, we should have read when we the chance” I concurred with her.
Actually we had the chance to read but joysticks appealed to us more than reading about Socrates, philosophers and fallacies.
I took a towel and my toiletries, and headed to the bathrooms. On my way I promised offering burnt sacrifice to the gods. Only if I was lucky to get an empty cubicle. We never get what we want in life, no matter how big the promises are. All of the cubicles were full. I went peeking cubicle to cubicle, until I opened the last. I stood still my poor innocent eyes taking in the whole scene.
“Beat it. creep” the girl that was on knees shouted at me, the guy just stood there all tall and erect, with a smirk on his face.
I turned on my heels back to my room. What happened to the ten to ten rule. Where before ten a.m no visitation on the other genders rooms, and also after ten p.m they should be gone.
“That was fast” Lydia spoke once I emerged.
I strode over to Natalie’s empty bed, Harriet was asleep on the other side of the room. Since she wasn’t around we turned it to a laundry basket, and threw all our clothes on it. Lucky girl, she gets to shower on hot water and doesn’t have to share a bathroom with anyone except her boyfriend. Which I must say, I envy.
“I doubt I’ll ever want to shower in there again.”
“I guess you walked in on the shower couples” I looked up and realize Lydia was already dressed, reading; critical and creative thinking handout. Hypocrite.
I took my wet wipes and scrapped the dirt off my body. I guess I’ll shower in the afternoon when the bathrooms are empty.
“Have you ever thought of staying off campus?” I ask her dressing.
“Every single minute, but renting is a bit expensive. If only my scholarship covered my whole tuition fee”
I want to ask her, what if we share the cost. But she is quick to add. “Why do you stay in this hellhole while your father is one of the wealthiest men in the country?”
He is wealthy but am not, a fact he reminds me, at any opportunity he gets.
“Maybe, next semester” I lied.
* * *
“What about that spot?” I point at furthermost corner.
“They look like whistle blowers”
In the last ten minutes we have been, analysing perfect spots, where it’s easier to peep and copy during the test. All my life I have never copied in any exam. But there is always a first, it could still be part of my college adventure.
Tired she starts walking towards the last row.
“It’s a university common unit. It’s done by every single student. i am sure they don’t mark the papers” She retorts but you can tell, she also doubts the myth Harriet imposed on us.
Harriet assured us, that the lecturers don’t mark the common unit papers. They group the according to the field of discipline, then throw them in the air. If you’re lucky and your paper fall on an A, you get graded A. I know it’s a ridiculous myth, but she somehow convinced us.
“They look very smart, how about we sit in between them?” Lydia whispers to my ear.
There are two empty seats between two guys. One is wearing glasses, a baseball cap and has a facial feature that takes time to understand, but once you do. He is quite attractive in his own way.
“I’ll take him” Lydia jumps to sit beside him.
The other guy, has a preppy look. He is wearing a sweater on top of a polo shirt. His hair is in a clean cut.
“Hi?” I whisper before sitting beside him.
“Hi” he lifts his head from a big volume book he is reading.
Lydia is already doing what she excels at. She is in a deep argument with the baseball cap guy. Feeling left out I turn to the preppy guy.
“So, you are from which faculty?”
“Engineering” He does not bother to take his head from the book.
I wait for him to also ask about my school. That does not come. I decide to answer his unspoken question.
“i am from the faculty of Business” I speak.
This time he lifts his head with a murderous look. He is clearly irk by my attempt for small talk.
“I forgot to mention, that seat is taken”
I stare at him dumbfounded to see any sign of jesting.
“No, but you’re distracting me. Can you find another place to sit”
What a sour puss!
Just as I stand up to leave, the lecturer enters. She very cherry and sweet. her lectures are full of laughter. Her jokes never fail. I just hope her sweetness will also make her lenient on unprepared student like me.
My eyes wander around for any empty seat. Instead they land on histoplasmosis, he is staring back. I freeze on my tracks. Is he stalking me? He removes his bag from the empty seat. He expects me to seat next to him? No on this life or the next. What is he even doing here? He is a second year and as expected, he must have done his common units in his first year.
" Young lady, please settle down. Time is not our side” The lecturer speaks.
He smirks seeing that I can’t find any empty seat. His smile widens as start walking. I catch a flash of disappointment when I walk to the opposite side and sit on the first seat I find. I have always believed in trusting my intuition. Everything about that boy screams trouble. I just want to go through campus, without any trouble. A free trouble life means I ought to stay away from him, even if it means avoiding him.
“You have a spare pen? I forgot my bag on my bed” a slurry voice cuts short my thoughts.
You got to be kidding me. How can someone forget something big and essential as a bag.
I turn to look at my seatmate. He has red watery eyes, chipped dry lips and he looks all sweaty on a cold morning. someone is clearly high on higher education.
My father should be proud my addiction to computers is just bad. Otherwise I could be worse, like drug addiction.
I give him one of my pens. I watch him amused as he tries to write his name on an upside down sheet without even removing the lid. Irritated he turns to me.
“It’s not writing” his voice is high, forcing the Lecturer to warn us we are in a exam room.
I remove the lid and give it back to him. When he opens his mouth to say thanks, a mixture of rotten fish and dirty socks breath hits me.
This is going to be the longest forty five minutes of my life.
* * *
With luck I manage to dodge histoplasmosis, after the test ends.
Stay away from him. I remind myself.
“Let’s go to the cafeteria, am starving” Lydia speaks beside me.
“Me too” I agree with her.
We walk in a comfortable silence before she spoke again.
“I think I saw your knight in shining armor” Lydia speaks.
“Yeah. I just want to avoid him. Anyway possible.”
She comes to an halt where two boys are pinning some posters. I follow her eyes, I don’t see anything interesting.
“Is that not Leo?” she points at the fresh pinned poster.
I narrow my eyes in concentration, am more of a short sighted. I walk towards the notice board and his perfect face, is all over the board.
His face in the poster holds a small seductive smile but also a serious expression. His honey like eyes, sent unexplainable waves through my body. Bold letters LEO PÈREZFOR PRESIDENT are printed on it.
“Talk about double blessing. Handsome and now he’s running for school presidency. If you aren’t gonna ride him. I’ll volunteer and trust me I have no brakes.”
“If you put it that way....” A voice spoke behind us.
I whipped my head. Leo stood right behind us. He looked different. More hot, especially in the three piece suit he had worn. He must be God’s final copy of what men should look like. The rest were rough drafts. He’s Just perfect.
He moved to stand between us. My eyes met his in a quick manner. I had not had any physical encounter since the day he gave me his number. Him standing next to me unraveled something deep inside me. A feeling I welcomed.
“She jokes a lot” I defended Lydia and also myself.
“I get that. Do you ladies mind a coffee break?”