Diary Of A Shy College Kid – Episode 10
By Kayode Odusanya
Second semester kicked into full gear about two months after resumption and everything started moving pretty fast; Back to back lectures, evening lectures, standing for hours when lecture halls were filled to capacity. The euphoria of being a Jambite of the university of Lagos had now been replaced with a constant feeling of stress.
Some days, I would be so tired after classes I would just lay in bed listening to Brilla FM till I dozed off. The sports radio station had just begun broadcasting that year, and used to play a lot of music to attract a wider audience. Being a music lover, I would say they always played the latest songs first at the time; add this to the fact that most of my roommates were football lovers. We kept the dial on Brilla all day.
One day, I had fallen asleep tired, and woken up real early the next day around 6 am to see Joshua, one of my roommates leaving the room. Just as he was about to exit the room, another of my roommates asked if he was going to watch Channel O again, and he said yes, with a smile. And then they both bust out laughing. As I thought of what was funny about watching Channel O, I slipped back into sleep.
During lectures the next day, I kept thinking of what was had made my roommates laugh and couldn’t wait till I got back to the hostel so I could ask Joshua what Channel O was all about. I was sure it definitely wasn’t the same music channel on DSTV we all knew, because no one would wake up that early just to watch music videos.
Towards the end of lectures, I started feeling really weak, and by the time I was in the cab taking me back to the hostel, my temperature was through the roof; I was boiling hot. Sope noticed something was wrong when we were walking back from the park to the hostel as extremely quiet. After telling him how I was feeling, he suggested I take Alabukun. I had heard about the fast relief from fever and headaches the drug gave, and it always scared me, so I turned down the offer.
After dozing off at 8 pm that night, I woke up in cold sweats at midnight, shivering. I had the top bunk, and as I came down from it, I almost tripped and fell. I regained my balance, and rubbed my right kneecap for a few seconds before using my right foot to locate my leather slippers underneath the bunk; I needed some air. We had three double bunks in the large room, one directly opposite the entrance, and one on each side of the room. Sope and I shared the bunk on the right side of the room.
Everyone was fast asleep, some snoring, but as I turned around at the door, I saw Sope awake- his eyes wide open like he had not even been sleeping at all. He asked how I was, and I lied I was feeling much better but needed some fresh air. He nodded and went back to sleep.
I stood at the balcony and looked down from the two-storey building, marvelling at how quiet the whole place was compared to how noisy it normally is during the day. The hostel had four corners, like a rectangle. The two long sides were filled with rooms, and the short side to the right was were the staircase, entrance and porters lodge was while the bathroom and toilet were on the other end. I went back inside after a while, really feeling better, and fell asleep immediately I got in bed.
I woke up just in time to catch Joshua heading out in shorts and t-shirt- I guessed he was going to watch Channel O. I wanted to ask him what exactly he always went out to do in the mornings, but my mouth felt so dry and I just let him be.
After classes the next day, I decided to go to the hospital. I was feeling a lot better, but I had the feeling I would get a fever again at night, and thought it was best to get to the root of the problem. My mom’s workplace clinic was in the same Yaba suburb as Unilag, and I still remembered my card number. I got to the place at 5:30pm, an hour before they closed. After seeing the doctor, and being given drugs, I went off to sit in the corridor of a section of the clinic.
It was an old section of the clinic, and was linked to the new place by a small pedestrian bridge. The ward had about 5 rooms for patients, and 2 rooms for nurses; all rooms in one straight line. There was a toilet at the right end of the corridor that gave the ward its ‘L’ shape. I was seated in the middle of the quiet corridor, dressed casually in jeans, and t-shirt, trying to get my mind off the fact that I was going to get a needle stuck in my butt any minute. I was lost in thought when I heard the toilet door open. I almost jumped off my seat when I saw the girl. She was about my age, dressed in aquamarine blue t-shirt and white shorts; lanky with braids. She was walking towards me slowly, holding a drip stand, with the pipe from the drip fixed to her hand. It was just a creepy sight to see her walking slowly, holding the drip stand in one hand, and her second hand in a position like a waiter holding up a tray. I guessed it was to enhance the flow of the liquid from the drip into her body, but it freaked me out.
“Hi.” She said and as she walked past me. I replied her with “Hey” without looking too long at her. I quickly looked away when she turned around before walking into the nurse’s office. Seconds later, the nurse, a rotund lady in her early 50s called me in. She was having a conversation with the strange girl as she stuck the needle in a small bottle and sucked out the liquid by pulling the plunger back. From the way they related, I guess they were mother and daughter. “Please pull down your jeans.” The nurse said and I hesitated for a while, embarrassed that the nurse’s daughter was just across the room from us, and was going to see my butt. The nurse didn’t seem to care to ask the girl to go out, and girl had an expressionless look from where she sat. It was clear she had seen people getting injections so many times it was nothing special to her anymore. I guessed that was why she was comfortable walking around carrying her drip stand earlier.
I reluctantly unbuckled my jeans, pulled it down a bit with my boxer shorts, revealing an ample portion of my right butt cheek as I turned to face the window. The nurse stuck the needle in my butt and as she slowly pumped the liquid into me, the daughter said, “How come you didn’t flinch?” She was talking to me, but I didn’t have an answer so I just said nothing. “You didn’t feel pain?”
“Ijeoma, Leave him alone.” The nurse said as she pulled the needle out of my butt and threw the syringe in the bin beside her. I rubbed my butt a few times, pulled up my jeans and buckled it. I had a smile on my face as I turned around to face the girl. She had a strange look on her face for a while, as if still wondering why I handled the situation so calmly, and then she smiled back at me. “Go home and rest. You will start feeling sleepy soon,” The nurse said to me as I headed out the door.
“Okay ma.” I said, and as I was about to step out, I turned around and said bye to Ijeoma. She had a beautiful smile on her face when she said bye to me.
I fell asleep as soon as I got back to my hostel room, and woke up at about 6am the next day. It must have been Joshua leaving the room that woke me, because when I looked at his bunk bed, I didn’t see him on it. I was really curious to know what Channel O was all about, so I got out of bed immediately, and was lucky to see him just going down the stairs as I walked out of the room.
He headed to the back of the hostel when he got downstairs and walked towards the wall. I saw a few other guys by the wall and wondered what was going on. I was just recovering from Malaria and my brain was still a bit fuzzy. When I was a few feet from Joshua, I noticed something that made me stop approaching, turn around and walk back into the hostel. There were round holes in the walls and guys peeped at Unclad girls bathing outside the female hostel that shared a wall with ours. Channel O turned out to be a real life channel o.
To be continued