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Tale of a Nigerian Student

It is the second time this week that this particular lecturer has been marked absent in class, and as usual the lecture hall was boisterous with various discussion and gossip here and there.

I managed to plug in my headphones as I listened to music from my favourite artist—Billie Eilish—on the highest volume: “Everything I wanted” was on repeat.

The next class that we were supposed to have by 12pm also didn’t hold as the lecturer wasn’t around. We had heard a rumour that lecturers were having a meeting at our school’s senate building.

I proceeded to the faculty bookshop to buy a textbook I needed for a test we were to have the next week. After buying the textbook, I walked to the bus park and boarded a shuttle to my lodge, off campus. I was already tired and hungry from a wasted day at school.

On the second thought, I was unenthusiastic to go home because there was nothing left to eat in the house; I had taken the last garri I had with groundnuts for breakfast before leaving for school. My mom had promised to waybill foodstuffs for me and my sister from Abuja the next week.

When I got home, I drank a lot of water, took to the bathroom, had a cold bath and tried to sleep in order to quell hunger biting my stomach.

********

“My guy, did they say results are out?”

“Yes bro, course rep told me yesterday,” he replied blatantly. My heart skipped a beat the moment he confirmed my worse nightmare—results checking.

It was a norm that we’d assemble behind the door of our course adviser’s office and wait for our names to be called, to enter one after the other to check our results.

The first girl entered, then the next; they came out of Dr. Mbah’s office with faces that left no expression of whether sad or happy, like people that were returning from taking holy communion in church.

I managed to mutter a prayer under my breath as I heard my name yelled from inside our course adviser’s office.

He confirmed my matriculation number as he searched through the thick lenses his eyes carried, to match my name with the grades on the grade-sheet he was holding.

My eight courses were good except for one course, an elective, I had an ‘E’. Then I remembered what must have made a bright student like myself to have a dent in the last semester’s results.

That Thursday in class, the lecturer had emphasized on how we couldn’t score more than an ‘E’ without buying her textbook no matter what we wrote.

I hissed angrily, closed my book and marched towards the door to take my leave.

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