‘Gloria’ someone called, trying to catch up with her as she was about to enter the Year 1 lecture room. She turned back to find the same guy she met that morning during the morning exercise. He had spotted her walking towards the lecture room as he came out of his, with his friends.
‘Hi’ she greeted as she turned back.
‘Hi Gloria, I see you’re a year one student
’ Yes, I am’ she squinted flipping her hair backwards, she switched her hard cover note to the left hand. ‘Where did we…’
‘You don’t remember me?’ he cut in, falling for her trick. ‘The guy who stays Hostel Block C, we jogged together this morning’
‘Oh!’ She exclaimed cheerfully. ‘Pardon me, you just look very different from the person I saw in the morning’
‘I’m the same person’ he chuckled, following as she walked into the empty lecture room. They took their seats beside each other and continued with the conversation.
‘When did the lectures end for today?’ he asked.
‘Two pm’ she answered. She placed her book on the table and brought out a pen and the school’s customized tablet from her bag.
‘Oh! You want to study?’ he asked a question with an already obvious answer
‘Yes’ she answered.
‘Maybe we’ll talk some other time then’ he said, getting up from the seat. ‘Would you give me your phone number?’ She stared at him awkwardly for a moment before she spoke,
‘I don’t even know you yet, and you didn’t introduce yourself’
‘Oh! Sorry’ he sat back hurriedly. ‘Forgive my manners please; I’m Jude, a final year student in this same institution’ She looked unimpressed as she received his offer for a handshake.
‘You’re a final year?’ She asked again.
‘Yes, final year’ he repeated. ‘I’m particularly one of the best students in my level’
‘Hmm’ she sounded indifferent. ‘Can you help me with my courses then?’
‘Yes’ he replied happily, ‘I will help you, just tell me the course or topic you want me to help you with’
‘This’ she opened her hard cover note and showed him a topic.
‘How far have you gone with this?’ he asked, moving his body closer to hers. He could perceive the fragrance of her perfume.
‘I’ve not started at all’ she answered with a note of sadness. ‘I resumed school late, the lecturer had gone far beyond before I was admitted in the third batch list
’ Ermmm… It’s kind of long o’ he gave a slight frown, ‘I cant finish teaching you if I start now’
‘I have a meeting by four pm with some of our professors’ he answered. ‘I’m one of the students that’ll be flying the Governor in John Obiano’s plane’
‘Oh! You’re really going to pilot the plane?’
‘Yes, I did with my partner during the several test runs’ he stated excitedly. ‘I can’t miss this opportunity to fly the governor’
‘Wow! That’s awesome. I really like the fact that students are in control of everything’
‘Yes, we are’ he smiled happily.
‘Some years back they wouldn’t have allowed us fly a Local government chairman talk more of the Rivers State Governor’
‘How come they are now allowing students do it now?’
‘They believe in us now, the professors are sure of what they thought us and can brag with their lives that we’ll deliver properly’
‘Wow!’ She continued excitedly, ‘I believe this will give you employment immediately you graduate’
‘Yes, I just need to finish my youth service and I’ll be employed immediately’
‘Congrats’ she offered him a handshake.
‘Thank you’ She stared at him in silence for some seconds,
‘I wish I could watch you fly that airplane’
‘Oh dear, I wish that was possible too’ he replied sympathetically
‘Can’t I be allowed to be one of the flight attendants?’ she pushed further.
‘No’ he answered sadly. ‘It’s only two of the best final year female students would be picked to do that job’ She looked depressed immediately, her countenance fell. She turned and faced the wall, backing Jude.
‘The only thing I can do is to take you along so you can watch the plane fly’ he tried to give another option. ‘But you might not be allowed to come close because of the security officials that would be with the Governor and Minister; you have to stay with other spectators and the journalists
’ Don’t bother, I just met you and I’m giving you too much troubles already’ she said turning back, she tried to fake a smile.
‘No, I’m not troubled. You have to be there that day to experience it’ he insisted.
‘Well, I’ll think about it’ she answered. ‘I’ll come if I’m chanced’
‘Please clear your schedule’
‘Okay’ she replied and placed her hand on her book. Suddenly remembering something, she turned to face him again,
‘Who is copiloting the plane with you?’
‘A final year student also, her name is Lovina’
‘Hmm, Lovina’ she whispered, nodding her head slowly.
‘I have to leave right n..’ he was saying as he got up from the seat, a Lady interrupted walking in noisily into the lecture room ‘Gloria, you’re not reading?’ she exclaimed, using her two hands to cover her mouth. Gloria got up suddenly and rushed to her friend, she covered the girl’s mouth again as the girl dropped her hands.
‘Don’t mind her’ she smiled at surprised Jude, still covering the girl’s mouth with her hands.
‘ She talks too much, you can go now Jude’
‘Okay, but not without taking your phone number’ he said, bringing out his phone from his pocket.
‘23480….. ‘Gloria called the digits, still covering her friend’s mouth.
‘Okay, I’ll give you a call’ Jude walked past the two friends, giving them a surprised look.
Gloria ensured that Jude was gone before she took her hand off the girl, her hand left ugly dark marks on the girl’s face.
‘Dummy’ she slammed at Aisha. ‘You didn’t use enough quantity of the powder and you didn’t allow it dry properly before walking under the sun’
‘I’m sorry Boss’ Aisha apologized, realizing that she almost blew their cover. She had used her hand to clean off the powder meant to disguise her face when she used her hand to cover her mouth. ….
to be continued