It took every last ounce of his discipline to get out of bed, the others were still fast asleep. It was a cold morning and they’d all slept late, but he had a lot to do. There was Amaka’s assignment that had to be submitted early that morning and he had an 8am class to prepare for.
He rushed down to the bathroom, turned the tap and let out a ‘yes’ when water gushed into his pail. He rushed back to the room to get his toothbrush and paste and just kept scrubbing away at his teeth until the bucket was filled with water. The bathroom ritual was ‘in-and-out’, there was no time to bathe properly; scooping a few bowls of the cool water on his body, he was out, and in seven awkward minutes, he was fully dressed and heading to the reading room which was populated by more sleeping people than those actually interested in reading. He settled for an empty seat in the corner of the room, and quietly began working on Amaka’s assignment.
Chiamaka Maduakor was a first year student of International Relations in the Obafemi Awolowo University. Tall, slim and beautiful, she’d just won the Miss Inter-Rel Beauty Pageant and was the hottest thing on campus. She was the perfect ‘dream girl’ sought after by the ‘movers and shakers’ of the students’ community. Even some lecturers in her department were rumored to have been passing amorous advances towards her, but she prided herself in her ability to handle the challenges that her pretty face brought her way discreetly.
Tunji Adeleye was a 300 level student in Amaka’s department. A brilliant, friendly and generous fellow, Tunji was the ideal gentleman. He was handsome, and he had brains. Ahead of the pack with the highest CGPA in his class, Tunji was a guy sought after by males and females for reasons more academic than friendly; and Amaka happened to be one of that lot.
Having heard about him from senior colleagues in the department, she approached him to help her out with her schoolwork and being the simple person he was, Tunji gladly agreed. Over time however, Amaka’s true intentions were made known when she began to offer Tunji money and gifts in exchange for him helping her out with assignments and class projects; she even dared to ask him to impersonate in a test!
Tunji initially refused the payment, but coming from a very humble background, and realizing how much he needed the kind of money Amaka was offering, he eventually succumbed-though he refused to sit for tests in her place, explicitly explaining the dangers inherent to her. The deal was struck and that was it, he committed himself to helping her out each time there was an assignment, even if it meant he had to forfeit what he was doing at that particular moment to make the extra cash.
That was exactly what led Tunji to the reading room as early as 5:32am that morning. He had abandoned Amaka’s assignment up till that moment because she didn’t give him a precise date when it was to be submitted but she sent him a text at about 11pm the night before demanding for it the next morning, and that meant he had to scribble something on time or his extra source of income would be at stake.
After about an hour and fifteen minutes of working on Amaka’s assignment, he switched to his own books to refresh his memory. When it was a quarter past seven, he made for Moremi Hall, where Amaka resided. He tried her number severally but didn’t get a response from the other end. He didn’t bother too much as he expected her to be having a bath or preparing for lectures too. After a few minutes of standing in front of a female hostel when others were busy walking to and fro to either fetch water or go to their respective classes, he tried her number again, and there was still no response. He checked his time, it was 7:38am! He had a class to attend, and Professor Awofisibe was a very principled lecturer. He never arrived late and he forbade that anyone come in after him. Asides that, Moremi Hall was quite a distance to his class, and that meant every extra minute he wasted was dangerous.
The thought of disappointing her came to mind, but then he remembered that the assignment was to be submitted that morning, and also, his effort would have been wasted, and Amaka would not forgive so easily. He decided to wait a few more minutes. He sent her a text, asking her to come for the assignment as soon as possible, but still there was no response from the other end. Frustration began to set in when he saw his classmates who resided in Moremi, come out of their rooms and head to class, leaving him there. At about 7:53am, a brown Infiniti Jeep pulled up just in front of the Moremi parking lot and Amaka alighted, all smiles and waving back at the driver who drove away almost immediately.
“Amaka!” Tunji shot out, with tender anger in his voice. “I have been waiting here for over an hour. Didn’t you see my calls and message?” He challenged her, struggling to contain his anger.
“I saw them, but I didn’t want to throw you into panic. I’m just coming from Oshogbo. I even had to hasten my friend up to bring me down because of you.” Amaka replied, using the sexy tone that always mesmerized her men, including Tunji.
“I hope the assignment is ready?”
“Ye…ye…yes, it is.” He replied, still confused about what reaction to show towards her lackadaisical attitude. “Have it…I have a class, and I need to rush now. We’ll talk later” he said and handing a pamphlet which was expected to bear the assignment to her, he turned and raced away.
“I have something for you Tunji” Amaka called out, but he was far gone.
Tunji continued running as fast as his legs could sprint. He got to his department and looked in the parking lot to catch a glimpse of Prof Awofisibe’s car; and there it was expertly parked. He doubled his speed and climbed the stairs, in his eagerness, he bumped into a guy and lady who were chatting as they descended the stairs and would have had the lady tumbling down the stairs but for the timely intervention of her partner.
“Sorry please!” He shouted, neither stopping nor looking back to see the damage he almost caused.
He ran into the class, just a few seconds before his lecturer, sweating and panting heavily. His classmates looked at him in amazement, but they were all further taken aback by the Prof who came in, walked up to the centre of the class and said,
“Tear a sheet of paper, write down just your matric number, and today’s date…you are having a test!”
The dumbfounded Tunji looked into the books he was carrying with him for the first time since he left Amaka, and staring at him directly was the assignment! He had given her the wrong pamphlet.
To Be Continued Next Week……
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