By Abdullahi O Haruna Haruspice
The things we do to feel among can be hilariously weird at times. I remember with biting nostalgia the times I had to deceive myself by lying to myself. We all are guilty of these flipping moments somehow somewhere. This is an anecdote of the time I borrowed the time that wasn’t mine.
It was the era in Abuja when the Lagos workers had to forcefully leave their abodes to the FCT, no thanks to late Sani Abacha’s martial directive. Overnight, the quiet life in Abuja was overtaken by the cantankerous nature of the Lagos entrants. Standards were set and thus began the fake expedition of men.
The bug caught up with me and I got my fingers severely burnt. Arike came with the aura of how a Lagos babe should be. I laid my trap and pronto she was on my web. But that wasn’t the issue, the problem was how I could always see her.
She lived in a fortified fortress of the popular CBN quarters in Karu. For those with the knowledge of that elitist layout you will understand my narration.
Arike smuggled me to meet her parents after a session of padded rehearsal on what to say to convince the dad I too belong to their class.
I gave my self up first when I said my dad was a director in CBN. And later added that we too were transferred from Lagos to Abuja. My albatross came, when upon inquiry, I told her dad we lived in Ajegunle!
ABU Zaria during our heydays was another fertile ground for living on borrowed class. Every student was a child of a rich family. Together we lived on deceiving ourselves to no limit.
I exhibited my own fake level when I took my guts too far. I excruciatingly succeeded in living up to a certain level that made Hajara believed that I was a loaded guy. At lest I didn’t disappoint in making sure she fed on Suya and fura every night.
The lamentable irony was that I never shared in these largess. While I survived on beans , bread and Tom Brown I spend my mop up token on her.
The school dam was usually the melting pot of every romance. Any lady that follow you to the dam, has wholeheartedly fallen for you. That means you have crossed the rubicon. I smarted up to take my Hajara to the dam after agreeing for a time out.
Then the bubble burst, she wouldn’t ride on Okada but in a honda car! Where do I get a car, I innocently asked her. And the yeye girl looked me in the eyes and said: ” I thought you were a big guy”.
Drama village was another place students deceive themselves. You can’t enjoy your stay at the theatre without having a lady by your side. And trust ABU girls for “Awof”. They can fleece you to your marrow.
I managed to raise some money, paid for her Okada and bought ticket for us. We had the best night as we watched in fascination the dexterity of the drama students.
The play ended and the heavens opened up. That was when Nkem hopped into a guy’s car and zoomed off, leaving me to trek back to my hostel in the rain!
I don’t know if that lady still sells in the Bakassi cafeteria . Nafisa should be her name . She has this infectious smiles that leaves you shaking in your knees. I nearly became a shareholder in her mum cafeteria for I was always eating there.
I had this illusion that her smiles were some kind of open affection for me. Even when I wasn’t hungry, I find my way to go eat in her place.
It took the intervention of my roommates who too were victims of Nafisa ‘s marketing strategy to open my eyes that she wasn’t for real after all. Hmmm, things we do to feel among.
Memorably musing By Abdullahi O Haruna Haruspice