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Sunday, 15 April 2018

As he got out of the philosophy department’s new building, he saw her getting out of a campus cab. Toluwani Badmus was his secret crush. One whole semester almost gone, and he still hadn’t worked up the courage to step up to her. She was a skinny light skinned girl that knew what clothing best fit her size 4 figure, and stuck to it. She had great skin, and natural full sensual lips; even without makeup, she looked so mesmerizing. ‘What do you see in her? She has no boobs and a-s.’ He could remember one of his course mates telling him.

He stood there, watching her cross the road, and walk towards the school bookshop as her full poofy black hair bounced here and there. She had a body fitting, arm-less blue Ankara dress on, with a brown satchel bag swung around her shoulder. Almost like she could feel his eyes on her, she turned around, and he quickly looked away. When he looked again, he got a last glimpse of her as she disappeared into an old brick building.

“Grego!!!” Some shouted out from a passing car and it startled him. When the car stopped, Gregory saw Emeka jumping out of the backseat. He was dressed corporate; white crisps long sleeve shirt, tucked into black slacks, with formal black lace up shoes on his feet. Emeka was Gregory’s childhood friend from his old neighborhood. He was in the Law faculty, and Greg wondered what he was doing on this side of the campus. “Thank God I found you. I don’t have a phone with me.” The muscular guy said as he came jogging up to meet Gregory. “My Mom said I am to collect an invitation card from you.” He said when he was a few inches away from his friend.
“What?” Greg said; looking lost before adding, “Oh! Shoot! I totally forgot.” They greeted with a pound hug.
“What’s up bro! It’s been a while.” Emeka said enthusiastically.
“I’m cool.”
“You don’t hang-out at the arena anymore.” The arena was a place boys went to listen to amateur student rappers do their thing.
“Well, exams are coming up and all.”
“Hmm! Is it because of that or because of the girls? I heard a lot about you Art boys.” He said and winked at Gregory.

He chuckled before saying, “We need to go to the art building. My bag is back there, and the invitation cards are in it.”
“Okay. So…Vicky is really getting married?” Emeka asked with his hand around his friend as they walked out of the parking lot. They talked about how Gegory’s sister, who was only two years older than him, was getting married to a man eight years her senior. At twenty one, she was already done with school and working as a Youth Corper at a bank on the Island. Their parents had said no to the whole thing initially, but after months and months of pressure, they gave in.

The lecture theatre was scanty, with little cluster of people here and there. There next class wasn’t until 3pm, and it was just noon. Still talking to his friend, Gregory was walking up to the back of the lecture hall where he usually kept his bag when a tall dark skinned girl called out his name excitedly. She had on a white spaghetti top, with navy blue flare skirt. “Gregory, please come.” She said as she walked up to him and grabbed him by the arm. She casually flashed Emeka a smile in greeting, as she pulled Gregory over to where she and her friends were arguing about something. “Drake or Kendrick Lamar; who is the better rapper?” She asked and stood with her hands at akimbo as she focused on Gregory.

“Of course, Kendrick Lamar.” Gregory said and there was uproar within the girls. She gave him a hug and thanked him before continuing the argument with her friends. Greg smiled as he walked back to his friend, and apologized before walking off to get his bag. At the top of the hall, he pulled out a bunch of keys from his pocket, opened the top compartment of a metallic grey bench locker by the wall, and brought out a black backpack. He rummaged through it for a few seconds and pulled out a small cream colored rectangular shaped envelope. “Yep! That’s it.” He said as he handed the envelope to Emeka.

Emeka took the envelope from him, and looked around to make sure no one could hear him before saying, “Dude, I like that girl. Can you call her over?”
“What girl?” Gregory said with his head down, still going though his bag.
“The tall girl that pulled you to the side earlier…the Kendrick Lamar girl.”
“Sandra?” He said and looked down at where she was. Just at the same time she looked his way, and waved. He waved back with a smile, and then turned to Emeka. “Hmm! You like her?”
“Yes. Was I speaking Chinese before?” He said and Gregory chuckled. “I’d like to meet her.”
“Hmm! I don’t think…” He was about to look for something to say to discourage his friend, then he remembered his discussion with the professor earlier in the day, and he smiled. “You know what? Why don’t you let me talk to her first.”
“I don’t understand.” Emeka said with a curious look on his face.

“Let me bring you up in a conversation with her, make you look like a cool dude, then I’ll introduce you afterwards. That way, things will go smoother.”
“My man!” Emeka said enthusiastically as he gave his friend a hi-five. “So, till when?”
“Her hostel is actually next to mine. You can come and see me in the evening after lectures, and we’ll go and see her together.”
“Cool. That’s cool.” Emeka said with his eyes on Sandra. She was full of energy, and had a smile on her face the whole time she engaged her friends in a discussion. “Okay. Let me bounce. I got a class by 1.”
“Okay. I’ll walk you out.” He said and stuffed his bag back in the locker, locked it and started the decent down the hall with his friend.

When they got to the hall entrance, Emeka turned around and said, “No need to stress yourself bro; I’ll be alright from here.” He shook his friend before adding, “So, we see around…6pm later today?”
“Umm! Let’s make it like 7pm.”
“That’s even better.”Emeka said with a smile as he saluted his friend, before walking off excitedly. Gregory stepped back into the lecture theatre and sat on one of the seats on the front row of the hall. He pulled out his phone and was about to navigate his way to the dating app, Badoo, but shook his head and put the phone back in his pocket. He looked up at the white board in front of him and his eyes zoomed in on a quote written in green marker that read, “Love finds you when you stop looking.” He smiled. He knew his course mate, Wale was fond of writing stuff like that on the board, but still, it felt like the universe was passing a message along to him.

From the corner of his eye, he saw someone approaching him. He turned to look and saw it was Sandra. She packed her flared skirt together, sat next to him and crossed her legs. As he was thinking of how to start the conversation, she said, “Who was that guy you were with earlier?”
He turned to her with a curious look on his face before saying, “My friend. My friend Emeka from the law faculty.”
“Okay.” She said and looked away. But it seemed like she still wanted to say something, so he kept quiet. “Can you…”She was saying then stopped to clear her throat before continuing with, “I’d like to meet him.”
“Okay.” Gregory said, wondering if he was hearing right.

She smiled sheepishly as she said, “I don’t know what is happening to me…I’ve never felt like this before.”
“Like what?”
“Like having an instantaneous attraction towards someone.” She said and smiled at Gregory. “Don’t tell him I said so.”
“Of course I won’t” Gregory said with a smile.
“So…tell me about him.”
“Well…He’s actually coming to see me later today, maybe we can all hang out.”
“That would be great.” She said as her eyes lit up.

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