Diary Of A Shy College Kid – Episode 16
By Kayode Odusanya
A Rude Awakening
After the party incidence at my house, my parents delayed their usual Christmas trip to the village. They had a lot of work to do; the other neighbours didn’t like the fight that happened at the party, as that was the first of the kind in the fairly new neighbourhood. My parents had to do a lot of apologizing to a lot of the other landlords, most specially the landlady that got her bread stall destroyed during the melee. We also got a lot of scolding from our parents, but we knew we deserved it.
They eventually travelled to the village two days after Christmas. We the kids had the house to ourselves for a full week, but there were no more stunts to pull; we had done our worst with the party, so we just stayed in doors most of the time. My friend, Fola practically moved into my house during that period. We still had a lot of drinks, and fried chicken available, so every day was like a party, but just within the family. My cousin, Salewa and my friend, Fola, started developing feelings for each other during that short period. My cousins finally travelled back to America the second week in January, and everything went back to normal.
The same week my cousins left, I got a text on my mom’s phone from one of my course mates informing me our results were out. At this point, I had not seen any exam results as a student of the University of Lagos, as our first semester results were never released. Now, the first and second semester results were out and I didn’t know what to expect. I started doing mental calculations in my head of what I thought I could score in some of the courses I knew I didn’t do so well in. The next day, I couldn’t take the anxiety anymore, and I told my parents about it. My mom said she had to do something around Yaba area that day; so she suggested I drop her off before going to school.
My heart was beating irregularly throughout the drive to Yaba. After I dropped my mom off at Yaba and headed to Akoka, my palms became sweaty and I almost couldn’t sustain my grip on the Camry’s steering wheel.
At the school gate, my hand shook uncontrollably as I stretched it out to collect the red rectangular plastic gate-pass. Apart from a few cars, and a few people walking around, the whole campus was quiet.
I parked at the back of the art block building. A couple of my course mates were parking their cars at the same time, and I quickly reclined the front seat of the Camry, so they wouldn’t see me. No way I would want to check my result with other people beside me.
I got out of the car after I was sure they had left the car park. Instead of going up to my department, I walked all the way to Unilag lagoon front, sat on a concrete bench and watched traffic on Third Mainland bridge- all the while praying that my results turned out okay.
After about forty-five minutes of sitting idly at lagoon front, I decided to face my fears. I got off the bench, sighed and began the walk to the art block. I saw a few of my course mates on the way; most of them had smiles on their faces. It got me a bit optimistic. On the stairs up to the fourth floor of art block, I saw a one of my course mates who didn’t even stop to greet me. He just gave me a thumbs-up and kept descending down the stairs; that made my heart start beating fast again.
When I finally got to the board where our results were pasted, I was glad the names had been ripped off- there were just Matriculation numbers left for identification of results. My eyes went all the way to the bottom of the first long sheet of paper, and I found my Matric number- 039. As I moved my eyes vertically to the right, to see my results, I almost passed out. Footsteps approaching and familiar voices made me quickly pull out my pen and paper to write down my twelve results real quick. I walked off just in time to avoid seeing them. They were three stairwells to go down the art block building; I took the path less taken, on the extreme right of my department floor.
When I finally made it to the comfort of my car, I pulled out the paper from my jeans pocket and looked at my results again; what a rude awakening it was. I had twelve results in total- seven departmental courses, and five General Courses from other departments. I had failed all the general courses. I passed all my departmental courses, and even got 5 in one of them, but I knew that wouldn’t mean anything with those 0’s from those damn GST’s.
After doing the math, my cumulative GP came down to 1.59. It was miracle that I ended up graduating with a second-class lower; which was largely thanks to my results from my second year.
After staring at the paper for endless minutes, I folded it many times till it could fit in my small jeans pocket. I tucked it further down the pocket, started up the car, and drove out of the car park.
On my way to the school gate, a couple of people were waving me down opposite the school bookshop. School wasn’t in session and there were no available campus shuttles, so I stopped to pick them up. Most of them dropped mid way to the school gate at New Hall bus stop, and there were just two girls left at the back seat. They tried to get me into a conversation, but I was in no mood for that so I just answered with monotonous answers. One of them started playing with the power window switch in the back seat, winding the window up and down. The other one, who appeared a little chubbier and older hit her on the arm and asked her to stop. And then they started play fighting and giggling in the backseat.
When we got to the gate and I stopped for them to drop, they asked where I was headed. I told them Yaba. The girl that had been playing with the car remote said they weren’t going that way, but that they would love to hang out with me before going home. I just smiled, wondering why the universe was messing with me. Maybe under different circumstances, these girls would become my friends, but right now, I was thinking of my life.
“I’m sorry, I’m going to pick up my mom right now.” I said, and they reluctantly got out of the car. After they shut the right side back door of the Camry and waved me goodbye, I sighed deeply, put the car in gear 1 and zoomed off.
Diary Of A Shy College Kid Year 2 comes soon