Today is the day my ship touched down. And since I can't pass you cakes and drinks, I have written something specially for your reading pleasure. I hope you enjoy it. So, happy birthday to me! #Widegrin#
Although it was late afternoon, the school premise was rowdy as students, both old and new, went about the payment of their school fees and course registration. It was already two weeks past the beginning of a new session, at the Delta State University, Abraka and everyone wanted to get the important things done. Not even the drizzling rain could stop them.
Alice Ogunnabi, a light skinned girl in her early twenties; slim and about 5ft plus, held an umbrella over her head as she made her way to the faculty of arts building. Having paid every other due, she had only her faculty due left to pay. Her oval face had full eyebrows, full lips, and big nose. She wore a weavon that reached to her shoulders. Her outfit was a simple, white t-shirt and blue jeans trouser.
"Good afternoon ma." She greeted the secretary; a middle aged woman with an oval face, thin lips and full nose. She was reasonably plump and dark complexioned.
"Yes? What do you want?" The secretary asked rudely, while putting her phone away
"I want to pay f..."
"I didn't do it! I swear I'm innocent. I'm innocent." A distressed male voice interrupted her.
Both women looked up to see a young boy, about 19 or 20 years of age, being pulled by two bigger boys, into the dean's office. He begged as they went in but all pleas seemed to fall on deaf ears.
"Are you going to watch them all day?" The secretary asked, irritated. "Or are you going to do what you came here for?" She snapped.
"I'm sorry ma. I just got carried away." Alice apologized.
"I understand. You youths go through school getting carried away by unimportant activities. In the long run, you forget why you even came in the first place."
Ignoring her sadistic nature, Alice brought out money from her bag and stretched it to the woman. "For my faculty due." She said. The secretary snatched the money from her before bending low to write a receipt to that effect.
Alice waited patiently to collect her receipt. Although she was new, she had heard stories about how rude some non-academic staff could be. Since her arrival on campus, she had met a few of them. One who didn't understand would think the staff didn't like that students were in school.
"Take!" the receptionist ordered, carelessly pushing the receipt into her palm. Afterwards, she returned to her phone, almost as if nobody was in her office.
Alice kept her receipt and sighed, before looking up to face the secretary again. "Please ma, where can I submit my course file?" Alice went on to ask. "I have filled the forms and attached all of the photocopies."
"Drop it on the table, I will attend to it later." the receptionist replied without looking up from her phone. It was obvious she was chatting with someone.
Alice shook her head in disgust and walked out of the office. She felt better keeping her file to herself, for safety reasons obviously. At least, until the so called secretary was in a good mood to attend to it. She had heard too many stories about missing files, due to the secretary's carelessness. Unfortunately, those with missing files, through no fault of theirs, had to pay extra money if they were to graduate.
Alice walked out of the faculty building and headed to the nearest business center so as to make photocopies of her faculty due receipt. In Delsu, it was always good to have a photocopy of your documents, in case something happened to the original.
She had finished with the photocopy and was well on her way when sudden commotion at the front of the faculty building, caught her attention. The boy who was dragged into the dean's office earlier, was been beaten mercilessly by the same boys who took him in. On lookers gathered while some boys moved in to try to save the day. Soon, three security men arrived. On sighting them, the poor boy's predators took to their heels. Others didn't want to get involved so they ran away too, leaving the boy to struggle for his life. The security men took pity on the boy and made moves to help him.
"Can we take him to the health center?" Alice suggested as she joined them. "It is the closest place he can quickly get medical help." She explained.
"Yes. That's where we are taking him." One of the security men replied.
The next thirty minutes met them at the health center. The doctors and nurses rushed the injured boy into a room and did their best to stabilize him. As soon as he was stable, they gave him a sleeping pill, so he could rest. While he was asleep, the nurses cleaned out his wounds and bandaged his head and right hand.
Alice sat on a chair by his bed side, impatiently waiting for someone to come for him. Earlier, they had placed calls to some of the contacts in the boy's phone. Those ones in turn promised to inform his elder brother, who they said was also a student in the school. Four hours passed and still, no one came. Alice sighed in frustration. She would have long been home, resting. But she couldnt leave the poor boy all by himself. Sometime during his sleep, he had woken up, groaning in pain. However on seeing her, he had put his pain aside and begged her not to leave him alone.
"They want to kill me. I know they want to kill me." He said, fear taking over his expression.
"Who wants to kill you? And why? What did you do?" Alice asked, startled.
"I don't know who they are and I don't know what I did. They set me up this afternoon. Now they'll come and finish me."
"No they won't..."
"Please don't leave me. They will kill me if you go."
"I'm not going anywhere, I promise. By the way your brother will be here soon."
"Really?" He asked, relieved.
"Really." She confirmed.
"Thank you. Thank you very much." He said with so much gratitude. He then lay back on his bed, relaxed. Soon, he fell back asleep.
Alice sighed. Who could want to hurt him? And why? What was the dean's role in what had happened? She thought. Unfortunately, there was no answer to her questions. Her stomach made an angry noise instead. A sign that she was indeed, very hungry.
"I better look for something to eat." Quickly, she went out to buy snacks, and then used the opportunity to get some fresh air. The clinic air was full of drugs, sick people and injections and she badly needed a break from it.
On her way back, only a short distance away from the injured boy's room, she saw a young man go in.
"One of the assailant!" She thought, with eyes wide open. "Maybe he has come to finish him off. Oh no! No." She ran into the room shouting "Don't you dare! I will call security on you if you..." her voice trailed off as she stared into brown eyes that held nothing but sadness. His hair was a neat low cut, matching the neatly shaved beards on his chin. His clothes were a blue, below-the-knee short and white t-shirt. His fair skin gave away his real emotion as red patches on his eye lids revealed that he was crying, silently.
She recognized him. He stayed in the hostel opposite hers but they never talked to each other. They each pretended like the other never existed. "You! What do you want?" She asked, regaining her voice and ignoring his tears. For all she cared, he could be pretending. "They sent you to finish him off? Well I won't let you. And if you don't leave now I will call security on you."
"Thank you." He said instead, ignoring her threat while looking down at the injured boy with so much pain in his eyes.
"Thank you?" She asked, startled.
"The doctor told me you came in with the security men. And you've been here ever since. You don't know him but you stayed. I really appreciate your help."
"And who are you to him? If may ask?"
"I'm his brother."
"Oh!" she said, feeling stupid. "I'm sorry. I thought you were someone else. I have been waiting for you to come, so I can leave. Any way, the doctor said he is out of danger. He will live."
"Thank you for staying with him." He said again.
"You are welcome.... please there is one more thing."
"Your brother is scared ...that some people want him dead. So you have to be very watchful."
"Ok," He said, biting his lips.
"You sound like you know something about it." Alice accused.
"Yes I do. They've been sending me threat messages."
"Who? Who are they?"
"It doesn't matter. If you don't know them you won't get hurt. And frankly, I don't want you to get hurt. You have been too kind to my brother."
"On this campus, there is war against indiscipline. Hope you know that?" Alice asked. "If you know who these people are, you should talk to the police. The earlier you tell them, the better, at least for your brother's sake."
"I know. I will talk to them tomorrow."
"Ok then. My work is done here. Good night."
"Good night." He replied, without looking up from his sleeping brother.
Alice picked up her bag and walked out of the room, straight to the lonely reception and out into the cold night. By then, the time was 8:35PM.
To be continued...
©2015 by Karo Oforofuo.All rights reserved