Message received from tope
Nysc posting Yasmin- Abuja
Upon receiving this message I thought Lade, then I thought hmmm daddy won’t be fasting alone then I thought I’ll be without Shade in camp now that’s gonna be weird. I didn’t realise how far away from everybody I was gonna be until I got to Ife. There I saw that the acronym AB that Tope took to mean Abuja was actually Abia state. I wasn’t gripped with sadness or dread I just started laughing I felt like everybody else there lamenting about their posting and for that moment it felt good.
Alone finally dawned on me when my posting got changed from Abia to Lagos a day before camp. THEN the butterflies came out to play. I was gonna be in Lagos camp at ipaja. Nobody absolutely no one from my class or even my school was to be in Lagos which brought a whole new dimension to being alone. I arrived early the next morning saw people huddled in groups my family friend was merciful enough to make my mom wait at the gate. I reported my case to myToby who for some reason thought this was good for me. Coming late had its perks everything went smoothly there was no rushing of any kind but then it also meant we got the worst rooms which didn’t turn out so bad and we got the remnant uniforms now that was bad I was a size four and I got size fourteen uniforms and size ten shoes for my size four feet I mean how could anyone be so cruel or so I thought but then seeing that I was lucky to even get any I didn’t complain I just jogged to the tailor who felt like she had an easy job until she realised she might as well be sewing me a knew outfit.
Incidentally my family friend Dikko happened to be in the same camp. When I first saw him I thought cute trouble so one will expect me to stay away but I didn’t; I haunted him down first day saw that he had eyes for everyone and cautioned myself a bit- something that required a lot of will power. Being one who wasn’t a fan of two many friends I stuck with my roomy- Funke and in my platoon I stuck with Pelumi, a dude in my drama group (well more like he stuck with me all through).
Camp went by with me bonding quite a lot with my bed and the praying mat in the mosque. Toby kept me company through it all so it was bearable. Then came bonfire night, now that was a night I was so looking forward to considering I had heard great things about it from ex core members. Incidentally it coincided with the spiritual night at the mosque but I chose bonfire and paid for it.
I’d decided this was a day I was gonna let my hair down, dance make fund memories and even maybe turn a buddyluv into a romance (talking about cousin in law). But it didn’t even start out that way I spent most of the night looking for my supposed dates- Pelumi and Dikko. When Pelumi finally showed up he was brandishing a drink for me- it was alcoholic and I thought seriously? When I didn’t take it he disappeared again and didn’t resurface through the night but he was more like small chops so I didn’t bother much. My main dish surfaced at about twelve midnight he called and I thought at last my night was beginning but that thought was short lived he held on to me while his eyes roamed finally they found what he was looking for…another girl she joined the duo of us then the situation became more like I was intruding on the duo of them they were one step away from making out and he was actually making plans to go for a walk with her and this I took as my cue to leave my eyes welling with tears I sat for a while to gather myself gathered up courage in the form of a fellow roommate went out on the dance floor and danced a bit with no one in particular then returned to my room.
It was too late to call Toby so I settled for speaking with exboyfriend-cum-friend Lade the tears flowed as I spoke with him I was feeling too humiliated but couldn’t and wouldn’t admit it to him. I told Toby everything that happened the next day and how my self esteem took a big beating from what happened, he gave me a lecture on how special I was and admonished me not to forget it. It really sunk in and stuck and I was ready to believe every word of it because from the way he spoke it felt like he believed it too. This was my welcome into a very interesting service year even I had no idea it was gonna get as interesting as it did.