(January 14th, 2013. University of Calabar)
Patrick Onoriode watched as the car drove away, leaving him in front of his faculty. He straightened his rumpled shirt and turned around to behold the massive hulk that was the faculty of law, University of Calabar.
Low-hanging trees cast soothing shadows to reduce the January heat, and as Patrick made his way into the faculty, dried leaves crunched underfoot.
He wasn’t glad to be back.
He remembered the faculty all too well. He had only last seen it two months ago, after all, after defending his final year project and leaving the school building. Who would have thought he would feel this much loathing for the building when he came for his clearance?
Walking briskly to the departmental office, he was all nerves, hoping none of the girls saw him. He had a rather unsavory history with them. He quickly entered the office and shut the door behind him. Phew. No girls from the past.
He celebrated too soon.
Directly across from him, seated quite primly, with her legs crossed at the knees to show off a lot of fleshy thigh, sat Minnie. Patrick’s heart jolted for a minute – so much that he involuntarily lurched to catch the fleeing cardiac organ.
“H-hey”, he croaked through cracked lips.
Minnie smiled, tilted her head, and waved at him. Patrick took the easy route – he ignored her and went into the inner office.
He saw Mrs. Ediong. The lady with the breasts, as he had once described her to his friends. She had a harried look on her face, as she sorted through file after file.
“Good morning, Mrs. Ediong,” he began. “I’m here to begin my final year clearance – “
“Leave my office and return some other time”, she interjected without looking up.
“When, ma?” he inquired in his best good-boy voice.
Glancing up, she had an icy stare “How about when hell freezes over?”
She didn’t look from sorting her books as a dejected Patrick made his way from the office. Luckily for Patrick, Minnie had left. Problem evaded.
He sat ponderously in front of the faculty, his head in furrows. He couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t count the number of times he had relieved his sexual tension thinking about Mrs. Ediong. She had been a secret crush of his since his first year, and the first time he got to talk to her, she treated him like a piece of shit! Like…like filth!
He was in a rage. But he bottled it.
While he was deep in thought, a lacquered fingernail lifted his chin, and he found himself staring deeply into the eyes of Minnie.
“Rick Loverboy”, she called him by his nickname, “how have you been?”
Patrick smiled a watery smile. “Hey you…been good so far. You?”
She sat beside him. “Same here. Came for the pre-NYSC clearance?”
“Yep. Pretty much.” Then he relapsed into the awkward silence he was famous for.
Minnie smiled again. Patrick’s pants’ fronts raised ever so slightly, and Minnie noticed. In the view of hundreds of students thronging through the entrance of the faculty, she pressed her left hand firmly against it.
“Wowie, what have we got here?” she cooed. “A semi.”
Panicked, Patrick could only mutter one word. “Please. Not again, Minnie. Please.”
“Is it still . . .the way it is? Your little dickie, I mean? Does it still want to do nasty things?” she laughed deliciously, and tears sprang to Patrick’s eyes.
“Minnie. Please. Stop. I beg you. I’m sorry about last year.”
Minnie blinked innocently. “What happened last year? Beats me.” Then she instantly withdrew her hand. A much-feared professor was approaching.
Making a show of glancing at her watch, she shrieked “Oh my. Look at the time. Gotta run. How long are you in Calabar for by the way, Patrick?”
Numbly, almost automatically, Patrick responded : two weeks
“Oh good. Phoenix is in town, baby. You’re well and properly cooked.”
As he bleakly watched her tight bottom sway as she walked away, he could only mentally replay the last words “Phoenix is in town.”
Tears flowed down his cheeks in public. And he didn’t care, not one bit.
(That night, two women died. They died in unusual ways. It is strange how uneventful a day can be, only to be followed by another day agog with ghastly tales. Calabar’s tales had just begun, and the major players were not even aware that life had already handed the script, and was screaming voicelessly: Action)
To be continued…