Saturday, 13th May 2017, I awoke to the sound of chickens crowing and squawking. Chaii!, these fowls can be very noisy and their cage just had to be close to my window. The poultry was owned by our neighbour, Mama Adaku, but am the one who helps her in taking care of them( she pays me for it with food).
I got out of bed, lazily, time was around 6:45am. I felt better than I was the previous night, I had managed to dismiss my fears. Well, I guess it’s true what they say, that joy comes in the morning. After dressing my old bamboo bed with my wrapper, I strolled to my dad’s room, mehn!, the man was still in America, snoring heavily, his body language in the bed was as usual, disturbing. His neck was slightly curved( that’s why he always have neck pains), his left hand was splattered on the ground, legs bent in awkward manner. Nawa. I went over to him and made sure to balance him properly, put a pillow in his head and covered with the blanket which was already lying helplessly on the floor. I love this man more than life itself, one could hardly believe he’s not my real father, except I tell them.
I proceeded to open our wooden front door and was welcomed by the usual smell of dirt and clay, which I have grown so used to. The grounds in this area of Enugu-Ezike town were muddy and slippery. The main slums area for that matter. I sat in a stole right outside our old zinc and wooden house and started whistling. My exam was scheduled for 1:30, so I still gat all the time to relax.
“Ifeanyi”, I heard Mama Adaku call, in her usual tiny voice. I stood up and ran towards her one room apartment. “Ma, good morning ma”. I answered as I stood in front of her. “Morning dear”,she replied. She gave me the keys to the fowl cage and I proceeded to bring them out for their morning strolling………
At about 11am, I was ready to go. Don’t ask me why am 2hrs 30 minutes early oh. Well y won’t I be when my it’s my JAMB D-day for that matter, I want to avoid stories that touch and besides I’ll be trekking the long distance to my centre. My centre was a government secondary school in another nearby town, same with my friend’s, Prosper. I took just 2 copies of my JAMB e-registration printout, a pen and 50naira note just in case I get hungry or tasty. I looked at my printout and smiled… yes!. Imsu was my first, second, and third choice( like am seriously not even interested in any other school). Then my dream course Economics. I breathe in and out heavily for a few seconds just to ease my new found nervousness.
I strolled to his house where he lives with his grandma. I knocked and he opened the door for me to come in.
“Guy afar na, you quick ready oh”, said prosper, I looked at him critically. “See you, so you never still baff sef, nawa for you oh”, I said disgustingly. Prosper was one hell of an individual, a fat dark boy, very lazy, the guy was too damn unserious. This would be his fourth time of writing JAMB( he village people nor wan gree leave am). He was always failing, yet he wasn’t showing any sign of repentance. Always working about toasting girls, he likes girls too much unlike me, I’ve never had a girlfriend in my life. Am the one always forcing him to study. At least he should feel sorry for his poor grandma who’s doing all she could to see him through higher institution.
“See this one oh, for exam wey wan start in about 4 hrs time, nai u don ready, see you, you Tinx say Na 1:30 gon got nai they go take start. See ifeaz, na tell you something, I know the way Jamb be, I get experience pass u( hitting his chest), nor be this one be your first time to write. Dem go talk say na so so time but dem go start late. As I dey here so, before I go Comot for here na 2:00pm.
I just hissed, I wonder how I manage to remain friends with this guy. No need to press the issue, coz he won’t give in, so I just changed the topic. “Eh eh, before I forget, I wan borrow that your blue Palm sandals, you know say na only bathroom slippers I get, and I can’t wear that”. “Hehehehehe, Fyn boy, you wan borrow 2day, wetin touch you, you nor dey gree borrow before oh”. “Nna Eh, prosper forget that matter, just give me abeg”. He went into his small room and came out with the sandal. “As I dey give you so, make sure say nothing happen to am, if not you go replace am”. “I hear, give me” I took it and put it on. “I nor fit wait for you oh, I dey go now”. I said. “Eh go naa, na go back to my sleep joor, you tinx say dem go quick start, mtcheeeeew”.
I left Prosper’s house in a bad mood. The guy nor just get joy at all. On my way to my centre now my apprehensiveness has returned, exam fever now fully charged to 100 percent. Make God help me oh, am not a church type or an ideal believer, but in a situation like this, am slowly becoming one.
I said a short prayer as I walked down the lonely path that leads to the T-junction.