Chronicles Of A Wayward Lagos Corper – Searching for “The one” [Episode 24]
Story by WayWardPikin
The sound of the early morning bugle going off key forced me wide awake.
‘E be like say that man wey dey blow d trumpet dey sick o.’ I heard someone say.
We all gathered at the window to watch him where he usually stood. The man was frail, a far cry from the human being that used to blow the bugle with impunity at the start of camp. He held the bugle against his black, charred lips, and it sounded more horrible and grating than the first time. We all burst out laughing. Thunder fire am there. E be like say one of us corpers had finally done juju on the man so that he wouldn’t be able to blow the damned bugle well anymore. As if on cue, the soldiers stormed the hostel amidst shouts of ‘Move it! Move it! Move it!’
I dilly-dallied until it was just me left in the room with the usual suspect Ramsey Nouah. This time, I was determined not to go for the morning drill. It was the worst part of camp for me. As I sat on the lower bunk, waiting for the commotion to peter out, a soldier burst into the room.
‘What are you people doing here?’
I stood up and pretended to be dressing up. ‘I dey come abeg.’
‘You people should hurry up!’ The soldier screamed at the both of us. He stood there for a while before leaving, the shrill sound of the whistle between his lips piercing our ear drums. On second thought I decided to go to the bathroom and stay there till everywhere had quieted down. When it had, I came back to the room and had a very nice and fitful sleep. It was the best sleep I’d had since I got into camp and I wondered why I hadn’t done this sooner. The lights were out and the doors were slightly open to create the impression that there was no one inside. I was sleeping on a lower bunk at the far end of the room on The Island, the rotating fan lulling me to lala land. I don’t know how long I’d been asleep for, but when I heard someone open the door and switch on the lights I dove under the bunk with the speed of Usain Bolt. I had no plans of getting into trouble again.
‘Who dey here?’ The person asked as he walked down the aisle with rows of bunks on either side of him. When I realized that it was a familiar voice, I materialized from my hiding place like a living dead zombie resurrecting from the grave.
‘Blood of Jesus!’ A terrified Timothy screamed when he saw me. I laughed and mocked him endlessly.
‘Dude you need to have seen your face!’ I said with tears in my eyes. ‘I hope you didn’t wet your sanitary pad?’
‘Na God go punish you,’ an angry Timothy responded, still gasping for breath.
‘Una no fit just allow person sleep in peace for this room. I tire,’ Ramsey Nouah complained as he appeared from nowhere in the same room.
‘Guy you ma bin dey here? I think say you don go morning drill o,’ I said.
‘Wetin I wan find for there? Who dem epp?’
‘Ahn ahn so una plenty for here… na wa o,’ Timothy as he plopped himself on his bed.
The day broke and soon the room was filled up again, with the ensuing noise and pointless arguments in tow. I spent a better part of the day chatting with Sarah on WhatsApp. I still didn’t understand why she even bothered with me but I enjoyed her company immensely. I asked if she could join me at Mami market that evening for a treat but she said that she didn’t like going there as it was too noisy and stuffy. According to her, she liked to chill at the parade ground in the evening as there was plenty of fresh air and the serenity was to die for.
In any case she didn’t seem like the type that would be comfortable at Mami market especially if I introduced her to the committee of dragons so I decided that I would join her on the parade ground in the evening at an agreed upon time. In the evening when I was preparing to head out my side bunkie, Arinze, complained bitterly about how camp was so boring for him and how he never did anything except participate in the football competition on behalf of his platoon.
‘You dey go Mami market this night?’ He asked me.
I looked at my watch. I still had time for one or two drinks before I had to meet up with Sarah. ‘Yes,’ I answered.
‘Okay wait make I dress. I dey come,’ he said as he quickly dressed up. And off we went into the cold, beautiful night.
We got to our regular joint and occupied a table. Needless to say, some of my roommates were already there as we were official shareholders in this arena. I ordered for a cold bottle of orijin while Arinze ordered for a big stout. I didn’t figure him for someone that drank alcohol, and I looked at him with eyebrows raised. Our drinks came and we clinked our bottles, toasting to the good life.
‘Baddest guy ever liveth!’ I said to Arinze.
‘I still dey learn where you dey na. Na you ooo…’ said my friend from Jos.
As usual, Biggie was seated at the head of the table. There were two girls seated beside him – new girls. I had long stopped wondering how he always seemed to change girls like tampons. Every man get him own special talent. One was dark and the other was fair and somehow familiar. As a rule, I ignored the fair lady and was trying to have a conversation with the darker less pretty one but somehow the fair lady kept butting in.
Here is a tip for guys out there: If you are talking to a group of girls and you fancy the prettier one, always focus all your attention on the ugliest one of them and ignore her totally. The pretty one is going to try to divert all your attention to herself. Bear in mind that women are impulsively very competitive. They can’t help themselves.
That’s not to say that the dark lady I was talking to wasn’t pretty. She was fine in a simple way that I was very okay with. Subconsciously I have always avoided beautiful, fair skinned and flashy ladies because I negatively associate them with drama, high maintenance, heartbreak, chaos, confusion, destruction, entitlement mentality, mind games, mental manipulations, slay queen state of mind, hot cake syndrome and any other stereotype you can think of. Ironically, it is this type of ladies I mostly end up with. The sinfully beautiful types. It was a cycle I was desperately trying to break. And failing woefully from the look of things.
When it became obvious that I couldn’t have a decent conversation with the chocolate skinned diva due to constant interruptions, I turned to face the other lady and something clicked immediately in my head.
‘I know you…’ I said.
To be continued soon