As I race back to my class, I begin to calculate the impossible probability of the paper still being there. By ‘there’, I mean wherever I might have left it or rather, wherever it may have dropped. I even imagine considering the possibility that by some miraculous way the paper had found its way underneath the table and gotten stuck on one of the many disgusting gooey gums that have been left by some ghastly students.
I barge into the class and I am made aware of how embarrassing I probably look to the 13 pairs of eyes that immediately face my direction. I hear snickers and chuckles and I immediately take a look at myself and remember that I hadn’t completely changed before rushing here to find the paper.
Yes! I came here for the paper.
“I’m sorry.” I mutter nervously as I begin my frantic search around the class. I speed walk to the desk I had sat on and begin to look around the desk.
“Please would you kindly excuse us.” Says a voice (most probably the lecturer’s) behind me.
“Just a moment sir.” I say, taking one last look around, hoping to catch a glimpse of the lemon green note pad paper. I take a deep breath before I gather the resolve to check under the table, hoping that one in a million possibility might be true. I take a knee, saying a quick excuse me to the person sitting at the desk, before I put my head under.
The horror. Absolutely and by far one of the most disgusting sights my eyes have ever seen. Gum of many different, musty and faded colours spread oddly around the surface area underneath the table. I felt like my eyes needed to be cleansed after that sight. And to be honest, I felt like it was a good thing the number wasn’t there, because I might’ve left it there, too scared to touch one of the gums by mistake.
Alright, I won’t do that, but I would strongly consider it.
“Young man, you are distracting my class.” The lecturer says, turning slightly red in the process. While inciting a wave of hushed whispers and snickering across the class.
“What is he doing?”
“He has balls.”
It was then I realized for the second time how stupid what I’m doing probably looks, especially when you remember the fact that I’m in a sweaty and smelling tank top and shorts with tights peaking underneath.
I need to find a way. I thought as I made my way out of the class, making sure to give my best bow to the lecturer. I instantly begin to regret how terrible my social life has been these past 2 months, because if I knew at least one person, the person might know someone that knows someone that is friends with someone that knows the love of my life.
I know that calling her the love of my life may seem a bit far-fetched, but after hearing my dad’s story of how he met my mum, I am more inclined to want to believe in love at first sight.
I remember when he told me the story, we were watching an AFCON Final match between Zambia and the Ivory Coast, and then we started talking about ladies, and all of a sudden, he decided to tell me how he met his wife, my mother. I remember sitting up as soon as the story started, and it was beautiful.
Apparently, he was living in Lagos at the time, and one of his friends had asked my father to follow him to the village after which they would then travel cross-country to a party where his girlfriend’s university was. My father had agreed, because according to him he was just going to ‘preach’ and ‘spread the word’. I don’t know which gospel, and I don’t know what he was spreading, but I chose believe him. He had gone to preach.
Anyways, when he got to the party, he said he immediately caught my mum’s “fair, milk-like skin glowing across the room” and immediately knew “she was going to be my wife”.
Beautiful, right? Exactly, so no one is going to stop me from believing. Not even the likelihood of facing my mum’s beet red face this evening when I get home late. I mean if I put them into perspective: the heartache from possibly losing the love of my life or facing my mother’s pink rubber slippers. I think my decision is already made, and although the possibility of facing the slippers seems more daunting, the heartache is the one I can’t bear.
I make my way to the lecturer’s office, hoping I may get to ask him about the student group assignment. I skim the name plates on the doors of the lecturer’s complex -which is by the way a 15 minute-walk from the classes- until I find the one that says: Prof. Brown.
I take a deep breath and say a quick prayer, quietly gathering enough courage as I twist the door knob.