J.J.C

2
67

My heart leaped for joy, the moment my eyes flashed at the inscription: ‘FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COLLEGE, ODOGBOLU.’
Two of the other students’ passengers who noticed the expression on my face giggled and remarked simultaneously: ‘JJC!’
The bus alighted at the parking lot and so, as I attempted to carry my ‘Ghana-must-go’ bag, the zipper tore wide open thereby spilling some of its contents on the ground.
‘Ose Igberagan!’ the girls jeered and walked away without offering any assistance.
‘Those girls are bad-mannered.’ Maami’s anger was rising.
‘They are not madam.’ The driver explained in a matter-of-factly. ‘Students usually use that slang to describe the period at the beginning of term when most students show off their fresh provisions.’
‘Is your daughter’s new here?’ the middle-aged man continued as he joined us to pick the fallen items.
‘Yes.’
The administrative block stood right in front of the park and just as we were on the verge of asking questions, we saw some other students entering there. I joined a queue which indicated my admission number. Occasionally, I stole a look at Maami who sat at a corner and I saw her dabbing her eyes with a handkerchief as if she had ‘Apollo’.
Afterwards, I passed several other queues and registration points where I was finally assigned to Niger House.
Finally, it was time to say goodbye. Maami hugged me several with tears streaming down her eyes. I blinked back the tears and tried as much as possible to wade off stare from other students with an impromptu confidence.
*********************************************************
The next one hour saw me settling down fully as a full-fledged occupier of Niger House.
After the whole novelty had worn off, the hunger pangs began its protest on my intestines for the several hours of neglect. Fortunately, my pack of cornflakes came in handy to temporarily appease my appetite. Afterwards, I lay on my bed reflecting on the eventful day so far. Before I knew it, I was already dozing.
Gbagaun! Gbagaun!! Gbagaun!!! A deafening sound rudely woke me up.
‘It’s time for supper.’ Senior Temilade announced. ‘Everyone move to the dining hall.’
I yawned and rubbed my eyes. It was just  a few minutes after six and yet it seems as if it was already 8.00pm! The stamping of feet from the other students from my dorm and the adjoining ones intermingled with the sound of the bell.
Feeling slightly dizzy, the challenge before me was on how to descend from my bunk.
‘Are you deaf or something?’ Senior Temilade blared at me. ‘What are you still staring at?’
‘I don’t know how to descend from here?’ I quivered from the effect of the fan coupled with the cold weather.
‘Who lifted you up there in the first place?’ Her eyes moved towards the short ladder attached to the bed.
Before I could get over from my drowsiness, she turned off the light and banged the door!

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