“Baba God? Kill your babe?”
Prof muttered distortedly as he walked away, stopped abruptly then approached me again. This time making a mockery of the misunderstanding he created with his damning choice of words and infuriating me to the point of uncontrollable anger.
“It is sad to see you express so much unbelievable naivety at such simple expression of grammar. Pardon my choice of words and composition, your mind is naturally immersed in so much cankerworm-like negativity that the only thought that strikes your mind when I broke the unfortunate news is death.”
His incessant rant filled me with so much rage that I wanted to punch him. I made a fist while I gasped for air slowly, to calm my racing heart. Prof didn’t stop,
“I hope you find peace in the ultimate revelation that Tola, the undying but ill-fated love of your life has made it a duty of honor to exit the territories of this geographical location in search of a more peaceful atmosphere as against the brouhaha hovering over both of you while you battle for survival in this underprivileged hostel.”
He turned to walk away but I caught up with him before he took the second step. With a furious rush, I landed my fist on his forehead, sent him reeling helplessly towards a pole in the corridor while I painfully absorbed the cracks that my knuckles made. We had already created a scene, everyone in the hostel except Okoro had gathered. No one loves to hear the tale of a fight in the green hostel; if you aren’t present you will never catch the full gist. A fist fight between Prof and I was expected to be epic; the one who talks too much and the one who walks around with vain expressions. Who breaks such news in relation to a loss of life? Perhaps I overreacted, yet I readied myself for Prof’s counter. Like Warrior in the ancient days of Wrestlemania, he vibrated his leg effortlessly to synchronize with his head. He charged towards me and the rest is history, with bruises, swollen faces and silent curses. There was no referee and so no one told us when to end it. Green hostel occupants will watch on as long as no one gives up. After about 5 minutes, we were breathing heavily.
I felt bad for myself, breaking the code of the Sea Lion fraternity to fight a Jew over a girl. I was going to be sanctioned again, I figured. Okoro rushed into the temporary arena, screaming,
“The fight done finish? Ah! Round two must dey o, I no gree.”
Being very dramatic, he reached for a chalk in his pocket, drew a not so straight line between us and dared both of us to throw a new challenge by stepping over. Obviously, I had knocked some weakness into Prof and he had emerged a victor by messing with my brain box; I just kept wondering why Tola had to leave without pre-informing me. She was probably scared of the deadly Chucks, or she feared for her life. Had I known? I wouldn’t have given her the space she requested, I would have created more memories with her, pleasant ones. Then it crossed my mind again, maybe she needs to go for me to be my own man again. Before I fell foolishly in love with her, all I did was desired her sexually, what changed? It was a reality check that struck so hard, made me second guess the emotions, infatuation made more sense. Tola was gone, she had figured it out and she made sure I didn’t see it coming. Okoro wouldn’t stop,
“Prof, Chucks, una dey mad? Una no go fight again?” He crossed the line when he tried to pull Prof’s leg over to my side.
“Okoro, wetin be your own sef, shey na by force to fight? Free these guys now?” That was Sporto, the head of sports in the hostel. He is apologetically reserved but knows how to pick a fight on an ill day. Stubborn Okoro had it coming,
“Sporto, wetin be your own sef? How this one take concern you? Guy comot this background make I hear word.”
“Shey you wan come follow me fight ni?” Sporto roared at him with giant steps. Before I blinked both men were at it, rumbling away on the floor. It wasn’t a fair fight as Okoro had nothing on Sporto but a mark of his teeth on Sporto’s thigh, an act that further fueled his beating as dished out by Sporto. Prof never gets tired, to everyone’s disbelief he commented,
“This is an absolute display of the 21st century battle between David and Goliath, except that in this sardonic scenario Goliath stood his ground and put David in his place as the shepherd boy. What a match, an astonishing knockout in one round. All hail Sporto, we should have boxing chalked up to your measurable list of sports.”
I couldn’t hold back the laughter. Who would have thought he just got out alive from a fight? There is no killing his spirit, Prof the grammarian. Fuming Sporto bounced into his room while shameful Okoro faced the sky, with a blood clot in his eyes, and his white shirt torn and turned into brown. He later shared his regret from the experience, which was the first and last time he had the shirt on.
Prof visited my room later that night to offer a peace offering; noodles cooked with Suya, plenty pepper and eggs, both fried and cooked, just as I like it. He tried so hard not to smile but he failed,
“I couldn’t think of a better sacrifice to appease Chucks, the god of love and anger.”
We ate together and shared the smallest bottle of Regal Dry Gin afterwards. On his way out about midnight, he handed me a note and disclosed,
“Tola asked me to deliver this to you. Goodnight.”
Fear or anxiety? I didn’t know how I felt but my heart didn’t stop racing while I read:
I have been planning to transfer abroad to further my studies for a while now. Didn’t think it would work so soon and that’s why I didn’t bother to tell you. I am sorry for staying away from you in the past few days, if I could turn back the hands of time I would make every moment count. I will be travelling to the UK in 2 days. I wanted to see you before leaving but I just couldn’t bring myself to face you. I know I care about you but I am not sure I love you. The sex was always good and that’s a memory I will hold on to. Truth is, loving you is scary. You have a good heart but you aren’t a good man. How can I live with you knowing you are a killer? How do you live with yourself? If what we shared means anything to you, please take my advice and renounce cultism, and then I’d hope that our paths cross again.
No goodbyes, I am hoping to see you again.
I cried bitterly.
Same time next week