I looked up at my new, young and fresh lecturer as he called my name to the front. He handed me a sheet of paper with my name on top, Adure Adaora, which I vaguely recognised as a bio-chemistry test from a few weeks past. “How’s your name pronounced?”he asked, tapping on the sheet. I used to get irritated being asked this question all my life, but I suppose I got used to it. Honestly its not that hard to pronounce, in my opinion.”A-dyu-rey” “That’s beautiful!” he said. “I know”, giving him a little wink. You might think that’s a little bold for a student in her second year to be giving a lecturer, but it was typical Nigerian weather and I was feeling a little daring. He didn’t seem to mind tho…..I suppose it’s because he’s young and all that. I hope its sha not because of some mixed signals, I must remember to steer clear of any summoning to his office.
Class was finally over! We had been asked to stay longer for an impromptu tutorial and it was already getting late. On my way to the hostel, a girl I recognised from class stopped me. “Adure! Guess what’s happening with these people again. Another strike is going to be effective from tomorrow and the VC ordered all students out from the hostels to show the government that they’re serious. You better go and get all your stuff cause it’s going to be locked down by midnight.” “Oh shit! I don’t have a place to stay……what’s wrong with these people na?” “You don’t have parents again?”she asked. “They’re out of the country. What am I supposed to do?? Shit….thanks tho” “No problem” She ran off, presumably to spread the word. But I’m really in trouble. I always stayed at the hostel during sessions and the apartment I lived in for holidays had its lease expire a few months ago. I’d been meaning to renew it but I hadn’t received my allowance in a while. By that principle I couldn’t afford a hotel without forfeiting food. I could try getting in contact with my parents to send money, so I can at least buy a room for the night. But before all that, to get some stuff from my room.
Standing outside my hostel, travelling bag in hand, I made towards a credit stand. I didn’t have enough credit on my mobile for an international call so I could just place one here. I got some credit and dialled the ‘in case of emergency’ number. “Sorry, this user is unavailable” Crap…..I tried again 4 times, same answer. Arrrrghhh, what am I supposed to do then?? I considered staying with friends but I’m not close enough to anybody to sleep over. Always been a very private person, so close friends are scarce for me. I sat under a street light with my head in my hands, feeling helpless and foolish. “Ummmmmm, Adure right?” I looked towards the voice.
A boy with light skin, half-cast skin, not that yellow igbo complexion that looks oily most of the time, with brown curly hair and hazel eyes was there. I recognised him, I think we have like one class together, but I never talked to him. His name is Lolu…probably. “Yeah?” “Are you okay?”he asked. “What do you care?” “Nawa o, forget I said anything. I just saw you alone and tried to be kind or smth. I mean with the whole strike thing again…” “Oh? Well thank you, Lolu. Lolu right? I appreciate your kindness. Eshey!”I replied. “Haha, you’re welcome. Will you tell me what’s wrong tho?” Now normally, I would have blown him off, but I was already close to tears and he was willing to be a recipient of my sorrow, so I just let it out and stuff. “I don’t have a place to stay!! This strike ish just hit me at the worst time possible and my parents are incognito” “Friends nko?”he asked. “I don’t have any that’ll be willing to take me in” “Hmmmn, that’s quite shitty, so will you be okay on your own?” At this I squared my back and stared him in the eye. “Yes, thank you very much. You can stop bothering yourself about me now.” “Easy, didn’t mean to offend your lady pride” he said with a smile. “And will you like to come home with me?” “What?”I said in surprise. “Not in any way like that, its just that I have this big, empty house, and you obviously need help, and I really don’t mind.” “Seriously?” “Yeah” He held out his hand, and I took it. It was probably a bad idea but what choice did I have?