I was washing my plates around past 8pm in front of my hostel room, the first time I spoke to him. However, that wasn’t the first time I saw him. The first time …
The first time I saw Oluchi, we were to have a meeting with about 8 other people in attendance. She came flashing her 1000 watt smile I’ve come to love. There were lots of hellos and hugs being exchanged but when she got to me she shook my hand!
I shook his hand because prior to that meeting, I hadn’t met him and I didn’t consider it appropriate to hug a guy I had never met.
Back to washing plates scene…
I saw him and hollered a hi. By this time, we had seen each other in subsequent meetings and he had steadily become my acquaintance.
That night, I was going to a female friend’s room when Oluchi accosted me. Yes, accosted! She queried me on who I was coming to visit in her hostel.
Did we forget to mention that we were in 100 level at the time?
I told her I was going to see a friend. Her query caught me by surprise. I remember thinking at the time – “isn’t this the babe who practically snubbed me the other day at the meeting? Granted, we were becoming quite familiar but …. Did she want me to come pay her a visit?”
At the time, I wasn’t fishing for a visit. I actually just wanted to tease him and see his reaction. He laughed and smiled and looked quite uncomfortable as if he was caught doing something illegal. “So, this is how you visit girls in Moz? You have been coming here without saying hi to me? Hmmmm. This life ooo.” He stammered looking for the perfect response.
Of course, I was speechless. I didn’t quite know how to respond. Finally, I managed to get out one response. “haba… I don’t even know your room number. Why are you accusing me?”
“Well, learn it now and don’t forget it.”
I learnt it and never forgot it – W5.
That night, he stopped by on his way out of the hostel. I was surprised because I was actually not really serious about the visit. He came and stood outside my room and we exchanged pleasantries. I remember that the conversation that night ended with his disbelief of my place of birth.
I didn’t believe her ooo. She said she was born in Athens. I thought she was “forming” but it turned out to be true. She had documents to prove it which she showed me when I came for a second visit the following evening.
Our chats became longer and more interesting with me not wanting to let her go. We became so close my friends began questioning the state of my head. After all, she wasn’t the most beautiful girl on campus. On that premise, I had no argument but I couldn’t deny I was attracted to her. Maybe it was her white set of dentition….. maybe…
Over the past 6 years of dating and 7 years of friendship, ‘Kunle has joked about how more beautiful I have become under his care. I often smilingly scoff at this statement but I cannot deny that he has indeed been the wind beneath my wings.
I remember when I asked her to be my girlfriend. It was after due consideration. I didn’t want to become hooked to a babe at 17 but I couldn’t imagine a life without Oluchi’s smile. You could call me naïve and perhaps not very wise at that age but I really had no other viable option. You see she had called me for a meeting (yes! a meeting) and asked me to define our relationship.
I had to ask him. My friends were asking me; “Oluchi, what is going on between you and Kunle?” “You can’t say you are just friends.” “No guy is just friends with a girl.” You better know what you are doing.” In fact, I can still hear Tope’s voice in my head.
So, I had to ask him. More for my sanity than anything else. God knows I really liked him and I wanted to be sure of what my heart was getting into.
My heart darn near broke when she gave her ultimatum. She said we had to define what we had. We were almost inseparable between lectures and in the evenings. I would go to her hostel and stay there until it was time for guys to leave. We would take really long walks around Africa’s most beautiful campus. So, I kinda understood why she wanted clarification. This meeting took place on the 30th of March, 2008. By this time we were in 200 level. I shed some tears that night and we didn’t come to any valid conclusion. The ball was in my court.
I, very well, couldn’t ask him. I mean… I would if I could but I couldn’t so, I didn’t. it was up to him to decide our fate.
April 4th, 2008 at around past 8 pm, Adekunle mi called me. I was preparing for a test the next day. So, I was reading in the Oduduwa lecture theatre 1. He called me and asked what I was doing. I told him I was reading for my chemistry test. He, then, told me he wanted to see me later. Who does that?
After much consideration, I decided to ask Oluchi to be my girlfriend. I had nothing to lose but everything to gain instead. She didn’t agree to me seeing her later but insisted I come and say whatever I wanted to say because she wouldn’t be able to concentrate. I did a little dance in my head – I could still distract her!
About 1 hour later, he came bearing assorted biscuits and La Casera. I gladly accepted them. We exchanged pleasantries and the air went still. He obviously had something to say.
However, I didn’t know how to go about it. I thought I had mustered enough courage but in front of her I was rendered speechless. The words were forming in my head but my mouth wasn’t making any sounds.
“Yes, you wanted to see me?”
“Well, I have a question to ask you?”
He was sitting in front of me. I could see his face by the light from the candle I was using to read.
“Would you do me the honour of being my princess, my queen?” There! I had said it.
I maintained the straightest face ever which I’m sure he didn’t expect.
I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t smiling.
“Was he asking because he was under pressure or because he really wanted to be with me?”
I asked him some questions about his readiness, state of mind and intentions. He responded favourably. Then, I said yes!
I didn’t decide that day in the lecture theatre. I had decided before that evening and after the ultimatum was issued.
6 years later, we still call each other names like booboo and sweet potato. We are finished with school and working. Oh yes! There have been issues ranging from tribal misunderstandings to communication gaps. Through it all, we have resolved to stay together. No quarrel has ever crossed over into the next day!
With plans to tie the knot in the coming year, we can say that what we share is a gift from God.
Editor’s Note; I believe I am the Tope mentioned in the above story. LOL
Moz – Mozambique Hall. A hostel for 100 level female students in Obafemi Awolowo University.