1) You’re sitting in one of a few fine shirts you own. Looking nervous but arrogant as the waiters walk by. You wonder whether the water you are drinking will be enough to hold the table while you wait for her to show up. The restaurant isn’t very busy. You’ll be ok. She comes in. You look up and smile charmingly like you practised at the mirror last night. Hopefully this date will go well. She has a friend with her. You struggle to keep your smile. You had not planned for this. They walk up. You say hi. The friend is unpleasant. She’s only here for the food anyway. You know the type. You hate her instantly. She jumps straight into the ordering while you try to make conversation. Fried rice, salad, turkey, with a side of Fries and Ice Cream. Damn. You wonder if you can afford to eat after this. Would it seem cheap if you just kept drinking the water while they both ate? Should you walk away now? No, you’ll eat and laugh and make jokes while an entire week’s allowance is squandered in half an hour. Cold Streets..
2) SUG Fresher’s welcome party. You’re definitely not the best dressed here but you have quite a few moves. You show off, moving seamlessly from azonto to etighi. You even break out the Lock Up*. A group of cuties dance closer. One has the boldness to come dance with you. She dances well. The DJ bro-s you with a cool song. Limpopo. She likes it. She’s even letting you touch her. She turns her back to you and moves closer, grinding on you like Sean Paul’s back in style. Bliss, that’s what this is. Song changes. A slow song. She turns again. Hands around your neck. Looking in your eyes. She smiles. You think you should kiss her. You wait to be sure. The moment passes. She says she’s tired. You shrug thinking she’s about to leave but she holds on to your hand and drags you off to a quieter spot so you can talk. She’s laughing at your jokes and obviously is in to you. She says she’s thirsty. There’s a shop close by. She didn’t bring her wallet. She asks you to buy her a drink. You’ve no money. She walks off to find her friends. You curse your brokeness. Cold streets.
3) It’s 200 level and you’ve just managed to move off-campus. There are 6 of you in the room and it’s more a cupboard to be truthful but those are just facts. You’ll get by anyway. All that P you couldn’t set last year on account of no room is now available to you. Most girls would be tired halfway into the odyssey from your hostel to the nearest bike-able junction but again those are just details. Months pass by and all round the P count is still zero. Someone raises the idea that you should go clubbing. That’s where the fun girls are to be met. Two hungry weeks and some borrowed clothes later, you finally have enough to go. N1k for transport. Quite a bit of trekking but you’ll leave early. Cabs are overrated and you always said you needed to exercise more anyway. It’s 11pm, you are at the club. It was tricky getting in but one of your roomies knows the bouncer, not in the cool I’m-a-regular-here way though. A waiter comes over, he says you can’t sit at a table if you don’t buy a drink. He offers you a menu. The cheapest drink is N6000. Baileys. That’s more money than you have. You consult with your friends. Together you fork up the money. The waiter returns with the bottle. It’s the smallest one. The one that goes for 800 bucks outside. You can’t believe your eyes. You just spent N6k on a tumbler of alcoholic melted ice cream. You walk away too angry to drink it. Cold Streets.
4) 300 Level. You’ve managed to find yourself a girlfriend. She’s sweet, cute and nice. When she laughs her eyes are the prettiest things you’ve ever seen. Her birthday is coming soon. There’s this gold watch you saw in a shop. Rose gold with crystals forming a D on the face. D for Diana. She’ll like it. It’s a bit pricey, 12k but you’ve been saving up.
It’s the day. You pick up the watch and gift wrap it. You decide to go see her in the evening. 7pm. You take your time dressing up and applying cologne. It’s 7:30 when you get there. She’s hugging some guy at the gate. You’ve seen him before. It’s that bestie who always sends her credit. The hug lasts a second too long. You don’t trust the guy. You probably shouldn’t bring it up today. It’s her birthday. She walks him to his car. One more hug. He leaves. You go in, gift held behind your back. She’s unwrapping an iPhone 5. That’s what the dude gave her. An iPhone 5. The watch seems useless at this point. Again you curse your brokeness. Cold streets.
5) Exams are done you’ll just chill in school a bit before going home. Walking down to the bus-stop, you stop to check out a pretty girl. Pretty face, mad hips and the booty is a ghenghen*. You just stand there staring. She gets in her car and drives off. The car looks familiar. You forget about it. Her Dad’s probably a senator or she’s dating one anyway. Out of your league. You board the bus. It’s warm inside. The ride takes 20 minutes. You’re going to see a friend. You used to room together back in 200 Level. A dreadfully tiny box of a room with way too many boys in it. Good times.
You catch a bike and get there. He’s doing well these days. It’s a 3 bedroom flat. Fully air-conditioned. 50 inch flat screen plasma TV. Remote controlled generator and an inverter system. Tastefully painted and decorated. He greets you at the door. “It’s been a while, man”. You catch up. Talking about the past. Reminiscing funny events of a few years back. Sounds from the kitchen. Someone else is in the apartment. You get on the PS3 and play a few games. He still hasn’t learned to play FIFA properly. You whip him mercilessly. 7-0. The other person is a girl. She calls to him. “Baby, do you know where I dropped my phone?”. She comes to the sitting room. It’s the girl from earlier and she’s dressed in only in a towel. You know why the car was familiar now. It’s his. He introduces you. She sits on his lap and they make out for a couple of minutes. You just sit there awkwardly. She’s his girlfriend. You take a moment to think. This could be you. This could be your life. Cold Streets.
* The term cold streets was coined by a hostel mate (Sammy, for some reason known as Sammy Lash. You may draw your own conclusions from that.) to describe the atmosphere in the hostel in last few days before alawee comes in.
* The Lock Up is a two person dance move invented by two of my friends (Messrs. Momoh and Godwins,2009 patent pending).
* A booty maybe said to be a “ghenghen” when the sound track to the double take when you see it is straight from an action film.