Read the previous part here
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? “ – Jer 17:9
“The evil that men do”– Unknown origin
“Live to fight another day” – Unknown origin
“Though the vision tarry, wait for it, it shall surely come to pass” – Hab 2:3
“All is well that ends well” – Unknown origin
First semester results were out and everyone rushed to the notice board to know their fates. My results wasn’t as spectacular as I had hoped it would be. Nothing to write home about. Stanley on the other hand was the name on every Engineering students lips, both old students and Jambites. Even non-engineering students were in tune with his academic exploits. Being the only Engineering student in my set with a clear cut 1st class G.P, all and sundry wanted to associate with him. I was genuinely happy for him, I even threw him a surprise party to celebrate the excellent result.
A week later, Stanley’s dad sent his personal driver to school with a brand new black 2007 Toyota Camry, appreciating his boy for making him a very proud father. It was identical to my black Camry (although his came with leather seats, a definite step up over mine). Everything was perfect for Stanley. He decided to come rent an apartment off campus in my building, making us neighbors- as the beef from his roommates as well as neighbors in the school hostel was choking him. The gap between us had finally been sealed; not only were we now neighbors, we were now better than we used to be and I was genuinely happy for him and him, me.
On the other hand, Idy and her boyfriend were not on talking terms as she had asked for “space” (a nicer term for ” breakup”). That paved way for me as we got closer than ever before *winks*. Our news was all over school. There was no point denying the chemistry and connection between us. Even then, I still kept asking her the mundane question and eventually, she accepted and said “YES”. Oh yes! After my long wait, she accepted to be my girlfriend. I wanted it to be permanent, confirmed and affirmed by both God and man, so I told her to let her boyfriend know it was truly over and that she had moved on. Looking back at it, I think that was a bad idea. As he wasn’t the type that could handle news like that or let go. She told me she told him and she had moved on over the phone and that he was like…
“I love you with all of my heart Idy, and uh.. I guess the lucky guy is John… Hmmm.. Uhm… You don’t need to answer that, I already know, ok. If being with John truly makes you happy,… then I’m cool with it and wish you the best of luck, my love. Just try take good care of yourself and know i’ll always be here for you.”
On hearing that, I didn’t know if I was to be happy or scared with regards to his response. I kept expecting a call or text from an unknown number threatening me or something. The fear of the unknown consumed me plus I knew she felt bad for hurting him by ending things like that – he was a “pro” at using reverse psychology to win her over.
After 3 weeks of complete silence from his end, I let my guard down and accepted that Idy was my girlfriend and nothing was going to come between us. The worst was over (well, so I thought). Time passed by faster than normal, first semester exams had come and gone. It was the weekend after our last paper, so I planned a romantic surprise weekend getaway for Idy and I somewhere in Benin (Vichi gates GRA)– away from school and nosy busy-bodies. Stanley on the other hand, moved into my apartment as he’d already sent his things home and being that my things were always in my room either during the session or hols, it made his stay more conducive as he was always in tune with BET’s “106 and Park”.
On my way to Benin, I heard my BB beep but being that we agreed not to touch our phones that weekend, I ignored it. Our stay in Benin that weekend was so much fun. I had the time of my life. Idy was glowing and beaming with smiles. I finally decided to check my BB and read my mails. I saw 10 text messages, over 30 pings and about 60 missed calls. Still shocked as to why I had gotten so many notifications. The first message dated back to the day I left Okada (the day my BB beeped in the car).
“So you think you can do whatever you like and get away with it?” 0805xxxxxxx
“Guess you’ve learned your lesson” 0803xxxxxxx the next day.
Worried and scared, I glanced through other messages with my heart pacing all the while. The other messages were normal unimportant mails, except the one from a close friend, Charles (da whiteboy- popularly known as “face of Igbins”) and it read…
“Sup man? Where the hell have you been? We’ve all been trying to call you but you never pick. Heard you’re not in school now. You need to get down to Okada asap. Stan has been badly wounded. Pls come immediately!”
The missed calls were mainly from Charles and some other close friends.
On getting to Okada, I realized that the security was tighter than the one at the airport after the Nigerian-wannabe-bomber experience some time ago. Policemen had put up roadblocks at every 200meters like it was a war zone, searching cars, including mine, like I was a die hard criminal in disguise or something. I eventually got hold of Charles, who told me the full story.
The day I left Okada, was the day it went down. That night some unknown armed guys went to my apartment, “machetted” the security guard badly as he had tried to hold them back till he bled to death. They used baseball bats to shatter the windscreen, headlamps, tail lights, back glass, and all 4 windows of Stanley’s car, alongside puncturing his tires leaving kinfe-holes. They turned my apartment upside down and beat Stanley to a pulp even though he told them he wasn’t John, that it was a simple case of mistaken identity. Stanley was stabbed 3 times and left on the floor to die. They scattered the place and stole a couple of things to make it look like it was a case of armed robbery and before leaving they fired shots into the air a couple of times. That’s what alerted people who called the police (when the culprits were long gone of course) and rushed Stanley to the teaching hospital closeby.
Stanley had been transferred from the teaching hospital in school to St Nicholas Hospital in Lagos. He was in a very bad shape and state (intensive care unit) fighting for his dear life. I was stuck in Okada feeling forms, writing statements and later transferred to the police headquarters in Benin for more statements as they looked into the case.
All attempts to reach and apprehend the prime suspect, Adebayo proved abortive, as he was no where to be found. Idy was equally probed like a common criminal for statements and all what nots. Her parents had to intervene for her to be released and for peace to reign. My parents stepped in and soon the police plan to implicate me in the fiasco as a suspect (knowing fully well that Adebayo’s location was unknown) in the case died a natural death. My business was out in the open and the news was all over school as well as home, as the hols had begun.
One thing about Igbinedion University Okada (IUO) is the fact that there is always a new story. There is always something new to keep the tongues running like wild fire. So I was sure they would forget about the incident in a short while. By the start of the second semester, Idy and I were back to school. I was to start my IT. Stanley had recovered but was using a wheelchair in the mean time in order to regain full function of his badly damaged limbs (still in casts). His dad had already worked his transfer to another school in Ghana. We heard Adebayo had been caught at the airport trying to smuggle hard drugs out of Nigeria and was equally implicated in a couple of 419 unsolved crimes (you know how Naija peeps are, once they catch a thief, they blame him for all atrocities they can remember even ones that took place before the thief’s birth). Idy and I were stronger than ever after the whole shebang, we were there for each other through the whole experience. She was the girl for me and I, her.
I started my IT in Lagos, and during one of my field events, I had a little accident on the construction site and had to be rushed to the teaching hospital. That was were I met an old friend, Joseph. He was one of the medical students assigned to my case. He was all grown up now, although, he still had a baby face. He had always been a brilliant student back then in secondary school, so I wasn’t surprised when I learned he would soon graduate as a doctor. We got talking about our experiences during my weeks of admission there. He said my prognosis wasn’t good, that the accident had damaged my lungs and that I was gradually heading to something called “Multiple Organ Failure” – I didn’t know what he meant, all I knew was that things weren’t good and would ultimately end in death. He kept assuring me all the way that I would make it and we’d party hard when I get discharged. He even went as far as contacting Idy. Seeing him every day with Idy by my bedside gave me hope as I knew I was truly loved. I got to know no one called him Joseph anymore but “Cee Jay” (weird if you ask me, because I don’t know where the “cee” part came from or stood for) he said he was a contributing writer for www.360nobs.com and that I should try view his articles and drop comments when I got better.
Things weren’t looking bright for me, I knew it within my soul and I knew the d-day was coming. I begged him to run my story on the site he talked so much about if something bad happened to me – changing the names of the characters in order to protect the identity of my loved ones.
And that, dear reader, is how I (Cee Jay) fulfilled the last wish of a dying friend- telling his story like it was mine, so you’ll feel what he felt all through his UNIVERSITY DAYS. He passed on 2 weeks after I promised to run his story.
REST IN PEACE MATTHEW.
“Merry Christmas and Happy new year” – Cee Jay
Pls follow me on twitter @ceejay_da_baoss
READ THE SERIES OF UNIVERSITY DAYS HERE.