The Painful Pleasure (TPP)
When we got to the class, what Abdul told us turned out to be true. We got to the class 7:55am, and the whole ‘lecture theatre’ was filled to the brim. Some people sat on the floor, while others were standing, holding their notes.
The lecturer was not around yet, so the place was so rowdy. People were walking up and down, looking for empty, unnoticed seats. Mayowa and I joined in the quest. This quest was for people who didn’t want to sit on the floor, or stand all through. As we were going to the front, looking around, someone was waving at me, it was my FDF (Moji).
I went to her, and she offered me a seat, right in the third row. I managed to ‘enter’, managing the space with mayowa “You kept the sit for me?” I asked her. “No, not exactly, I kept it for my roommate, who later decided to sit at the back with her friends, she said she doesn’t like sitting in front. When I just saw you, I decided to give my FDF the seat.” She answered. “That was thoughtful of you.” I said. “Yeah right!” She answered.
The lecturer came around 8:05am, and when he entered, everywhere became as a grave yard. You could literarily hear the sound of a falling pin. The man started by welcoming us to the university system, as he laughed at those sitting down on the floor. He told us he is also a graduate of OAU, and during his time it wasn’t that bad.
He welcomed us to the course ‘CHM101’, he was successful in planting the seeds of fear in our hearts after telling us the high percentage of people that do fail the course, and cases of people who had extra sessions just because of this course. He discovered that he had only succeeded in causing panic, he told us that it’s not that difficult, all we had to do was to study well, and everything was going to be fine. Now, everyone became a bit relieved, then he started taking the course.
Since it was the first class, he just gave us the course outline and recommended some texts. He talked about ‘readings’ and ‘errors’, and before we knew it, it was 9:00am already, and we had to end the lecture, as some students of ‘arts and humanities’ were already waiting outside to use the same venue for their lecture.
The lecturer ended the class, and everywhere was conjested, about 1500 people were trying to exit the hall, while about 750 were trying to come in. “You didn’t even call me at all, after I fixed your phone.” Moji said to me as we were slowly moving to the exit. “Why didn’t you call me too?” I shifted the blame briskly, I had forgotten that I didn’t give her my number. “You didn’t give me your number, it was your phone I fixed, you didn’t get to fix mine”. She said to me. Now it occurred to me that I didn’t give her my number. “Oya ma binu, I totally forgot.” . . This time, we had gotten to the exit. We continued the conversation, as we were going to the hostel. Mayowa wasn’t angry with the whole thing in anyway. in fact, he was joining in the conversation the little way he could. . .
The Painful Pleasure (TPP)
“So what have you been eating, all the while? Do you cook?” Moji asked me. “I cook a lot, but my foodstuffs have finished already, I only have small garri left. I don’t even know what to eat tonight.” I answered. “Wow, that’s serious. Please, flash me with your number.” I was surprised at what she said, I was telling her, I didn’t know what to eat that night, and all she could do was to talk about something else. “She is not my mother anyway.” I said to myself, and flashed her as she said, and she saved my number.
“Have you gotten your practical manuals?” She asked. “No I haven’t, I will get it from the class rep probably tomorrow”. I answered. We talked about lot’s of stuffs, and before we knew it I had gotten to my hostel, but we went through anglomoz and entered my hostel through the annex. So that we (Mayowa and I) walked her to her hostel. She really appreciated it, as we shook hands and went our separate ways.
As we were going into the room, Mayowa and I stated a conversation. . .
Mayowa: Dapo, I swear, that girl like you die.
Me: (laughing) why did you say that?
Mayowa: didn’t you see the way she was looking at you, even when the lecture was on going?
Me: I didn’t notice o. But guy wait, why you wan spoil my life, you say make I follow Sandra up, I dey try follow am, now this one again. What exactly do you want me to do, even if she really likes me?
Mayowa: don’t talk like that now, Sandra is just a street girl wey you go chop clean mouth, but this one na very good girl o.
Me: And Aramide?
Mayowa: Those church girls aren’t really what they claim to be, most of them are pretenders.
Me: Well, if there is any good girl among the three of them, I think it us Aramide and not Moji.
Mayowa: You fit no see girl wey go like you like this again o, I don talk my own o. . .
We got to the room, and Mayowa and I had minutes of argument, just because he said Moji is more beautiful than Aramide. Sandra is the most beautiful, no doubt about that. But Aramide is more beautiful than Moji. Well, beauty they say, is in the eyes of the beholder, and Mayowa isn’t certainly that beholder. I told him most of these things and he was just laughing.
I was running out of cash, and didn’t even know what to eat that night. I called my mum, and all she did was to complain to me about how ‘hard’ things were at home, how her fruit business was almost crumbling.
I sat on my bed, I was so depressed. I didn’t tell anyone what I was going through. In fact, only Mayowa knew I had lost my father. I was deep in thought, then my phone rang. Guess who it was!
Find out in EPISODE 18.
The Painful Pleasure (TPP)
To my surprise, it was Moji. That was around 6pm. “Why exactly is she calling me?” I said to myself. I picked the call. . .
Me: Moji, whatsup naw, so good to hear from you.
Moji: yeah right. Where are you please?
Me: My room.
Moji: Have you eaten?
Me: (getting curious)No, not yet.
Moji: I’m cooking rice now, and I was thinking, that if you won’t mind, I can bring you some.
Me: Seriously, that’s so thoughtful of you. I won’t mind at all. In fact I can’t wait to taste your delicacy.
Moji: (laughing) I will call you when the food is ready, you will come and take it at Anglomoz.
Me: Thanks so much Moji, I really do appreciate you.
Moji: Never mind, what are friends for. I will call you when it’s ready. Bye.
Me: Bye, thanks (she ended the call).
I told Mayowa about the whole ‘package’. “I told you she likes you, you were pretending you didn’t know. Anyway, me i go chop o.” He said. I answered and said, “you just said this girl likes me, what if the food she is bringing me contains love portion, I will eat alone o so that I won’t implicate you.” Mayowa answered immediately. “Let the love portion catch us together o, I don dey notice say I no dey love these days, it be like say I need love portion wey go ginger my ministry.” We started whining each other, as we both laughed. I was pulling his legs, and he was equally up to the task.
Some minutes after 7, Moji called me that she was waiting at Anglomoz already. I went there with Mayowa. When we got there, Moji was quite surprised to see that I came with Mayowa. “You and this your friend, you are just like the snail and it’s shell”. She said. “We are like twin brothers.” Mayowa answered. Moji handed over a cooler to me, in a black nylon. I opened it, it contained white rice, stew, and two fish.
“Moji, seriously you are a darling. Thank you so much.” I said to her and gave her a hug. “You don’t have to thank me, what are friends for? You know you told me in the morning, that you didn’t even know what to eat tonight. I can’t hear that and do nothing about it. That’s why I took your number so I could call you.” Since I told moji in the morning that I didn’t know what to eat that night, she didn’t forget about it and brought me food. “Maybe it was my dad in action (Yoruba beliefs).” I said to myself. I took the food, said ‘bye’ to Moji, and went back to the hostel.
We got to the hostel and saw Emeka. “You guys went to buy food?” He asked. “No,I went to collect it from Moji at Anglomoz.” I answered. “Who be Moji again?” He asked. “She is a girl in my department, I met her on the bus when I was coming to Ife.” I answered. The guy told me what just happened is called ‘cooler ministry’. For those of you that have been getting or giving food via cooler. What you’re doing is what Emeka called ‘cooler ministry’. It is not bad though, it’s totally good as long as it is done with a good heart, both on the giving end, and on the receiving end.
Mayowa and I ate the rice, Moji is such a good cook. The stew tasted almost like my mum’s. I felt at home for the first time, since I came to Ife, I had been eating ‘condition rice’. “What a wonderful girl Moji is”. I said to myself.
The Painful Pleasure (TPP)
EPISODE 19 &20
The next day was a Tuesday, and that day was bible study in my church. I didn’t want to go, as I could have just stayed in the room to read. Because that was a chance to see Aramide again. I wore my only and best pair of shoes, a white shirt with a black pant, and a red tie. I looked at myself in the mirror, and I looked really good. So I headed straight for church.
I got to church early, and I had to seat in front. The 2nd row precisely. In a service of about 800 people, how exactly was I going to see Aramide? The pastor really preached, as I could remember that he was going up, and coming down. My mind wasn’t in the service. I was just surveying the whole congregation. But I couldn’t find her. “Maybe she didn’t come at all.” I thought to myself. Aramide to me didn’t look like someone who would miss weekdays’ service unless she has to be unavoidably absent.
After about 1 hour 30 minutes, the whole programme ended and we shared the grace. I looked around, but couldn’t see any ‘lookalike’ of her. Well, I had to give up, as I was trying to show a strong resolve, though I was very sad on the inside. As I was on the main road looking for a bus, someone called my name. “Dapo!” I knew it was her, or let me say I wished it was her. But you know, wishes do come true. Indeed, it was Aramide.
Aramide: I looked around and didn’t see you, I thought you didn’t come.
Me: Really? I sat at the second row in front. (The reply should have been; same here, but I didn’t want to be forward)
Aramide: Hope you enjoyed the message?
Me: Definitely, I did. The man of God is just so blessed and anointed.
Aramide: Did you hear when he talked about the health center?
Me: Yeah, it was really profound. (I didn’t listen to anything, I just didn’t want to look like a bad Christian).
The buses were coming, but so many people were there, also trying to get a bus. Which means that one would have to struggle to enter the bus, since it was just some minutes to 7pm, I just continued my conversation with Aramide, and didn’t bother rushing for the bus. Aramide did same.
Me: So what church to you attend at hone?
Aramide: Yeah sure.
Me: So you are a redeemer?
Aramide: (Laughing) Jesus is the redeemer, and I’m just the redeemed.
Me: Wow, nice analysis.
We continued discussing, and it was getting really interesting. We just continued. . .
Aramide: Actually, to be sincere, I’ve been looking for you since I entered church. Because there is something I want to ask you, and something I want to tell you.
Me: (My heart beat became ten times faster, because the girl in question is a girl I liked since the first time I saw her. “Is she going to ask me to date her? or tell me she liked me? Or. . .” I kept wondering what she wanted to say as I prepared my big YES for the big question. I was keeping mute for too long, so I had to say something) You said you want to tell me something, and ask me a question. Which one do you want to do exactly?
Aramide: (Laughing) Both.
Me: (Now it seems like it’s what I was thinking, but I just kept calm) So let’s hear the question.
Aramide: The question is: DO YOU. . .
[The Painful Pleasure (TPP)
“Do you have a consistent prayer life?” She asked. When I heard the question, it was as if I had been dreaming all the while. What I thought the question would be was “do you love me?” But come to think of it, how can a girl I’m meeting for the second time ask me such question? My love for Aramide had probably affected my psychology. Even if she was so cheap, she couldn’t have asked that question so soon. Even Sandra can’t ask such question. She discovered that I was thinking for too long, then she broke the silence. . .
Aramide: Why are you quiet? You really don’t have a prayer life. Do you?
Me: (I was quite bewildered) Actually, I do have a prayer life. But it hasn’t been really consistent since I came to school. You know Awo is not really a place you can pray comfortably.
Aramide: Prayer isn’t about being convenient. Its a sacrifice you make in and out of convenience. As a Christian, prayer is very important. This is because God is our father, and without communication, we can’t have a good relationship with him. And the only way to talk to God is through prayer.
Me: That’s very true. You told me you both want to ask me something and tell me something, you’ve asked your question, what did you want to tell me? (Hoping for some ‘good news’.)
Aramide: You know what? For the past 3 days, I’ve been going to the sports complex to pray. And if you don’t mind we can become prayer partners.
Me: (I didn’t really like religious activities, but agreeing will make me closer to the one I love) Why not? I would really love to.
Aramide: If that’s the case, give me your number. So I can call you when I’m going.
Me: Alright then. . .
We exchanged numbers, and later on, we got a bus. Her hostel was Alumni, she got off the bus when she got to her hostel. “I will call you” She said.
I got to my hostel and told Mayowa the whole story. He made jest of me, and told me that he had warned me earlier about church girls. No matter what he said, I was still going to go anyway. If praying would make me closer to the one I love, I decided to become a prayer warrior.
The following day? Aramide called me as she promised and we went to pray together. We prayed for almost an hour. That was around 8pm-9pm. That became our regular praying time after which we will go to read. Aramide taught me a lot of things (not academics). I really gained a lot from being her prayer partner. We were always together from 8pm till 12am everyday. My academics and spiritual life took a new turn.
That made me love her so much, I was literarily burning with passion. “But what if I tell her and she decides to stop being my prayer and reading partner? How will I forgive myself? It is better to keep mute and not lose her, than to to tell her my feelings for her and lose her. If she should tell me “NO”, our relationship and closeness can never be the same.” I thought to myself.
So I decided to keep my feelings for Aramide to myself, and keep it strictly on friends basis. Though it was really painful, but I had to learn to control myself.
What next? Find out in Episode 21.