Sissy woke up very early the next morning feeling refreshed after a long night sleep. She quickly went through her morning routines of praying, meditating, making positive declarations and studying notes from the previous class. Then, she got ready for school. Not wanting to disturb Tommie who had only just arrived from her night shift where she worked part time, she left the room quietly and locked the door when she stepped out.
When she got to the faculty, she skipped on the stairs straight to the fifth floor where her department was. She went to check the notice board for possible information about the mid-semester tests. She found nothing and she made to go to the lecture theatre. As she climbed down the stairs, she bumped into Gina.
“Hi Sissy,” Gina smiled.
They hugged and exchanged pleasantries. Sissy thanked her for wishing her a happy birthday two days before and invited her to her room to get the cake she had kept for her. Gina was excited. She gave her directions to her room and they both parted ways.
The rest of the day was so busy for her that she barely had time to check her phone. She got back to her room later that evening very tired and exhausted.
“You came back unusually late tonight. What happened?” Tommie asked her.
Sissy just shook her head, breathing through it.
“You look spent. Freshen up, I will make you dinner.”
Sissy looked at her with so much admiration and smiled.
“What? It’s just noodles, aunty.”
“Better than nothing. You are such a nice lady.”
It was Tommie’s turn to smile. Although Sissy liked to think that her roommate could be a pain in the neck, she admired her for one thing – her niceness. She was nice to everyone who crossed her path. She was matured too. She handled situations well. Sissy really admired her.
“Gina was here. She said you asked her to come for some cake. I gave it to her. I hope that’s fine?”
“Sure, it is. We met at the faculty today, so I told her to come around. I did not know I’d arrive this late.”
Minutes later, Sissy was in her sleepwear and Tommie had made dinner ready for her. She ate and before long, she dozed off.
The following day, she woke up late so she had to rush so as to be in time for her morning lecture and a test. She got to the lecture theatre just before the lecturer stepped in. As she settled in her seat, she exhaled deeply knowing that it was going to be yet another long day for her.
The day ran faster than the day before so she did not feel the workload as much as she did the day before. Luckily, the lecturer who was to take the last class at 4 p.m. sent a message through the Class Representative that he had a staff meeting to attend, so lecture was postponed. She was so happy. Usually, she went to the library on those days she closed early from class but she chose to go to the hostel today. Only the living reads, she mused one of her roommate’s ‘words of wisdom’.
Exhausted, Sissy slumped in her bed the moment she got to her room. Tommie had not returned from class. Her stomach churned and then she remembered she hadn’t had any food all day. She was too tired to cook so she decided to call her roommate to see if she would be coming back to the room soon enough. Just then, it dawned on her that she hadn’t used her phone since the day before.
When she took her phone from her bag, she saw ten missed calls and two messages, one was from her dad, four from her mum and the other five were from Pally. Her father had a culture of not calling more than once. He believed that if the person was available to answer calls at the moment, the person would have done so. Her mother was the panicky type. She would not stop calling until she answered the call. Pally, on the other hand, had called twice the previous day, and thrice that day. A smile toyed at the corner of her lips, but she cautioned herself. Why did he call me repeatedly, she frowned.
She opened her message file to read the messages. Both messages were from Pally – again? She clicked on his number to reveal his messages. The two messages were short.
“Hi Sissy! I have called twice today. Hope you’re good?” (9:08:34pm)
The second message read:
“Now, I think I’m beginning to get worried. You did not take your calls yesterday and I haven’t heard from you till now. Is everything okay? Please, call me as soon as you can.” (3:01:02pm)
Sissy couldn’t help but wonder why he worried for her. She, however, decided to return his calls – all her missed calls. It was the courteous thing to do. She forgot why she picked her phone in the first place and oddly, she dialled Pally’s number first.
He picked on the first ring.
“You were expecting my call?”
“Good evening, Sissy?”
“Pardon, good evening. I was wondering how come you answered the call before it could even ring.”
“I was studying on my phone when your call came in. What happened to you?”
“Why? You weren’t answering your calls and I was beginning to get worried.”
“Worried? Why would you be worried?” She sounded amused.
“I’m sorry, but it is not funny. What should I have been when I could not reach you after five dials? I even called late last night.”
“Hmm, thank you for your concern. I’m fine. I had a very long day yesterday, so I went to bed almost immediately. I did not check my phone and I couldn’t have heard it ring because it was still on silent mode. Today, I had to rush to class. I did not check my phone all through too. I only brought it out now to -”
She remembered that she had picked her phone to call Tommie.
“Hello! Are you there?”
She sighed. “Yes, I am. I just remembered that the reason I picked my phone was to call my roommate. I want her to help me buy food from the Main Square on her way from class. She must have left that area now.”
“Oh! I’m sorry about that. You don’t like to cook?”
She shook her head. “I’m too tired to cook.”
“Okay. I will go off the call now. Try to call your roommate; she may still be around the place. I’ll call you back in five minutes’ time.”
The call went off and she called Tommie. Unfortunately, she was at the hostel basement. Exactly five minutes later, Pally’s call came in.
“Is she still there?”
“No, she’s not. She should be climbing up the stairs now, in fact.”
“So sorry. What were you going to ask her to buy?”
“Beans and oven fresh bread.”
“Okay, see you soon.”
The line went off. She looked at her phone questioningly as though it could answer the question on her mind – what did he mean by ‘see you soon’?
Tommie walked in just then cutting her thoughts. They exchanged pleasantries and shared how busy their day was.
“You are luckier. Our class was supposed to end at three but the lecturer said he would spend an extra thirty minutes to which a lady hissed. He asked us to present who hissed but no one did. I was not even aware of what had happened until the drama unfolded. Guess what the man did.”
Sissy looked at her with eyes that said she could not guess.
“He asked all of us to write Charles’ Law a thousand times and dared us to leave the class until we had finished writing.” She paused for the effect.
“Two hours later, he sent a senior student to collect the scripts with an accompanying message that it would cover ten per cent of our continuous assessment. Thank God say I write something. I was on the five hundred and fifty-sixth number when the guy collected our scripts.”
Sissy rolled in laughter. She was laughing so loudly that Tommie just stared at her. When she wouldn’t stop, she threw a pillow at her. This made Sissy laugh the more. Whilst she rolled on the floor in laughter, her phone rang.
“Hi. Will you come down to your hostel basement, please?”
“Don’t you ask too many questions?”
There was silence.
“Sissy? Okay, I’ll be waiting for you at the basement.”
The line went off. She looked from her phone to her roommate.
“Who was that?”
“Pally, the guy I told you took me to dinner on my birthday.”
“Wetin he talk?”
“He said I should meet him at the basement.”
“Ehn, go na. Why you come dey look like say na ghost call you.”
Sissy shook her head. Her roommate obviously did not understand the reason for the expression on her face.
“I’ll be back.”
Tommie nodded as she lay in bed facing the ceiling.
She found him under one of the shades in the basement browsing through his phone.
“You called.” She asked questioning him with her eyes.
He ignored her looks. “You said you were hungry and tired. So I got you your order.”
She was unsure whether to smile or frown. She left her face bland, making it difficult for him to read her emotions. She couldn’t hold back the smile for too long, though. The smile stifled its way through the right corner of her lips and she looked around as she stretched her hand to collect the package.
“Thank you,” she managed to say. She felt uncomfortable owing to the way she had talked to him on the phone earlier.
“You’re welcome. I shall take my leave now. You should go in and enjoy your meal and also get refreshed. I will call you later tonight, if you won’t be going to bed early.”
“No, I won’t. I have an assignment to submit tomorrow. You can call at ten.”
“Okay. Talk to you later then. Bye.”
“Bye. Thanks once again.”
He smiled and nodded as he left.
Back in her room, she opened the plate of beans and to her utter amazement, he also bought some pieces of plantain and fish. She shared her meal with her roommate and settled to do her assignment minutes later.
Pally called as he had promised and they talked late into the night. She wondered how he was able to spend long minutes on calls with her. However, she was beginning to enjoy his company and it was the beginning of better days.
Hi there, My name is Faith Ijeoma Ezenwere. I am a Broadcast Journalist/OAP and a teen coach. I am passionate about building a community of impact driven Teens and young adults in all spheres of life. In simple terms, I help Teens/Young adults live their dreams. Welcome to my World!
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