My Summer Sojourn – a Personal anecdote

Truth Rating: 87.75%

These last couple of months have been pretty remarkable for me. Apart from the fact that I became more accommodating towards not reaching personal expectations; I learnt to reverse my line of thought on very fundamental issues and most especially had to accede to the fact that being juvenile comes with a little (just a little) touch of stupidity.

I clearly recall from unguarded comments I uttered yesteryears where I openly belittled the very idea of summer school. In my defense though, the rough idea I had about summer school was one that was run by some private universities in my country and I was made to believe students usually bought their way through. But I guess karma didn’t see it from my perspective at all; and as such, it didn’t take her too long to locate me in my freshman year at college.

My conclusion to remain for summer school was not one I hurriedly came to reach. Aside from the fact that most of my friends ran home as soon as exams finished, Ramadan was gonna fall in that period. One interesting thing about Ramadan here is the awkward times the sun rose and the times it decided to go back to sleep. In my home country, fasting lasted for 13 hours, but here, I had to endure 5 more hours for 29 straight days. Various legends also posited that the summer sun was a little parody of hell. Even worse: clouds, which usually provided a momentary escape from the sun were virtually non-existent. All one had was a vast stretch of blue and no running from the sun which sometimes peaked at 38 degree celsius.

But it sure takes more than Ramadan and some terrible weather condition to daunt someone whose GPA needed a desperate surge. I ultimately stayed back with some friends whom I guess offended karma like I did. I still had that one friend though, Zan, who for no valid reason decided to waste 9 weeks for a course he could have conveniently taken during the third semester.

Summer school was designed to be after a three-week break from the regular session and Ramadan started about that time. Aside from the time I left the dormitory (which I rarely did anyway), I was either mostly in bed, cooking, engaging in some spiritual upliftment, watching series or ultimately playing FIFA 15 with my awesome temporary roommate, Jad.

Just before summer school began, I got myself a proper pair of Ray Ban shades. Not that the sun affected my eyes in any way, it was my way of bowing to convention and to leave my eyes to the “goodies” of summer. It is common knowledge that shades have a way of reducing societal guilt to almost zero (if you get what i mean).

Two weeks into summer school, Ramadan ended and life pretty much got back to normal. I was taking two summer courses and tests were fast approaching but my confidence was still a few feet under. Some days later, we had first exams and I somehow managed to get enveloped by the gentle feel of inner peace. The “I m gonna ace this exam” kinda feeling. Everything was looking much easier and I occasionally cringed at how stupid I was some months back. Perhaps my diligence was starting to pay off? Or was it the influence of my friends Kif and Riz? Oh no, it probably was karma who took pity on me.

If anything mattered in my school, it was consistency. I know of someone who was well above the 90th percentile in a midterm exam and ended up with a DC in the course. So acing one test outta six wasn’t particularly worth the jubilation. But it was good news for my confidence. Even greater news was that none of my friends, Riz and Kif, was left behind. Our respective scores were way higher than the class average. Second exams were even better; we virtually had the same answer as the solutions released some hours later. We did it finally; being above the 90th percentile was a feat most gratifying. And doing it with Kif made it exponentially remarkable.

Another thing summer left me with was this bond I made with people I once termed acquaintances. I, who was a fan of solitude, started hanging out with them in their room just for the heck of it or for the internet router which they possessed. We also engaged in some kind of violent sarcasm; sarcasm so strong it could earn one direct punches if uttered to someone else. By extension, I also bonded with capricious Meban who never failed to objectively criticize whatever I write. Fate also made me meet Erda, a nice blend of beauty and brain who was in the same department as Kif and Riz.

The month of august was my month of firsts. I found out how much I didn’t suck at bowling. Clinching second place at two different games with three self-acclaimed experts is no small feat. I also got to use chop-sticks to eat sushi (rice, fish, avocados with an array of liquid sauces) with Ebru, a wonderful being in my department. I don’t know if it was my natural prowess or if she was just good at explaining how to hold the sticks.

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I got the hang of it relatively quickly (after 8 tries I guess). At least I was told I represented a few number of people who didn’t veer off in frustration after failed attempts at it.

But just like the famous conservation law or better still Newton’s third law which concisely discusses action and reaction; with all the series of good things that had happened to me for the past 6 weeks, it is only normal for it to be counter-balanced by a not-so-good stuff. Not to bore you with the details but I lost my phone in the mall when I went to shop for my family. After a decent search, I decided to let go. The phone already developed some fundamental problems so much so that my friend Riz termed it “the brick” whenever he wanted to get to me. I almost always wanted to respond with a punch to his face but the thought of him not having a face again was one I didn’t want to be responsible for.

Zan and I inadvertently booked the same flight to Doha. We found ourselves pelting hot sarcasms at each other all through the way to Doha. I eventually got to check our final grades right there in the airport and it was nothing short of awesome. After exploring whatever there was to explore at the airport, it was already time for Zan to board his flight. We shook hands and sealed it off with a warm embrace. Till September!!

                                                       WHAT A SUMMER!

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Crimson Sunsets- A Look at Juvenile Infatuation In Hindsight

Truth Rating: 63.83%

As I sat on my student-sized mattress, once again spiraled in the labyrinths of my thoughts; taking a retrospective glance at my juvenile years. I plunged deeper, allowing a sudden feel of uneasiness lance through my body. I intuitively knew I had struck that cord and exhumed that memory. I had exceeded the threshold and there sure as hell was no turning back. All I could see was her face fast-fading into the far horizons.

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Our paths intersected in my first secondary school and I got to know her barely after few weeks of my resumption. Of course, we were in different classes initially but after the first terminal examinations, the class order was rearranged by function of intelligence and we got to be in the same class.

By raw instincts, I knew she was gonna make it to my class. Apart from the fact that she had a resume which spoke volumes, she had a charm which I thought was enough to magically transform her grades and push her up the ranks. In my first year, as expected, I was just a lad trying to shatter his sibling’s academic records and soar to the acme of excellence. For this reason, I wasn’t ready to dine with distractions.

But things started taking a different turn when I reached my second year; I felt I could simultaneously kindle the embers of distractions and tend to my academics. It took a while to see that person that was worth it as well as satisfy my steep benchmarks. But then, I didn’t have to look so far for she was just a seat due east from me, I went for her and it didn’t take too long before my heart fell in sync with the fast moving pendulums of affection. “I must have really scouted well “, I said to myself. She was intelligent, friendly, possessed a kind of smile that obliterated sorrow from ones heart; and most especially she was a paragon of beauty. Although I was (emphasis on was) one very shy person; I started out with establishing a friendly connection between us.

I recall her being the narrator of ‘super-story’ series to me every Friday after she must have watched it the night before. Slowly, the quite solid foundation was built and I intuitively felt I had the green light to proceed. Day by day, the affection grew exponentially in my heart. We continued this way till third year and by then, the love bonds in my heart were already stronger than the foundation beams used for the Eiffel tower in France. I am not certain on how she felt about me all this while; but this was love in its unsullied form for me.

Throughout this period, her lifestyle became utopian to me. I happened to love everything about her. In fact, things got so bad that I started plummeting in my terminal grades that It took serious reprimands from my parents to put me back on track…I didn’t care anyways, all I wanted to do was be around her; to see her smile and see those pink lips and that beauty that even angels gathered to gossip about. While all these complex series of reactions were going on in my within, I surprisingly remained relatively stoic on the outside.

Some weeks later, we went on a terminal break and couldn’t let go of my thoughts for her not even for a second. She happened to be my all then. I eventually mustered enough courage to shyly ask her out one particular Thursday midnight. Although her reply wasn’t definite, the mere fact that she didn’t immediately hang up on me suggested great hope. Each time we spoke, I felt this unalloyed form of inner utility; the one no math textbook could give me. I know I was the personified version of ‘callow’, but one thing was as constant as the cardinality of the holy trinity; I was sinking in the quicksands of love and I knew it. Although no stone could depict how I truly valued her, I called her Azurite, an unconventional gem stone of copper origin.

I kept on this way and we became reasonably close and our closeness made its way round school in no time. I remember vividly how I feigned anger whenever I was teased with her name and how my heart felt the stark contrast. I also recall perfectly how we usually ‘browsed’ on the field every evening during holiday coaching and how her mere sight made my heart waft incessantly in its lonely place.

Few months later, we concluded our third year examinations and we had this very long break. On a blissful Friday, she eventually acceded to my request; and believe me, nothing was more important. I spontaneously began to radiate happiness at home and everyone thought I was overjoyed upon my completion of exams. I found this time really amazing because of how long we spoke on the phone; this also coincided with the time the “magic-number” promo was trending in my country (whereby you have unlimited time to call just one number). I am certain we were one of the reasons that promo was short-lived because the only time I remember hanging up was when my device got unbearably hot.

It was also during this period that I wanted to change my school; wanted to advance to greener pastures academically; but the mere thought of leaving her debilitated me to the very fabric I was composed of . The admission into my new school was pretty late so I still had an extra term to spend before moving finally.

For some reason, we practically avoided each other during this period because we both were unusually devoted to our books. We probably were too busy trying to make names for ourselves in senior school. However, during the Christmas holidays, we talked as usual and it was then that we promised to remain faithful to each other in spite distance. Some weeks later, I journeyed to the middle belt of the country to further my education.

Exactly seven hundred and fifty-nine kilometers from home and 55 minutes by flight was Abuja and my new school wasn’t too far. I adapted to the Northern environment relatively quickly, was not doing badly academically and of course, it was a co-educational school. During my first 2 terms, I used to look forward to going home where I would have time to share with her gists from the North.

Prior to then, I always went with the saying that distance made the hearts grow fonder; but distance in my case was tearing to shreds what remained of my affection for her. There was no more zeal to call her and the ebullience on my part seemed to have faded into oblivion. Not that I particularly preferred anyone there; none exceeded little crushes.

Day by day, the feelings were literally swept away until there was almost void in my heart. I tried consoling myself with those memories we had together; but it was like I got my brain formatted; I could only recall fragments and not a coherent whole. She tried to revamp the relationship during holidays but it turned out that I always had intensive home lessons which practically robbed me of time. Whenever I occasionally searched my soul as to why this was happening to me, two answers always showed up: I hadn’t seen her for close two years and that I might have been hypnotized by the girls of the north.

A couple of months after completing my final exams, one Wednesday afternoon, I received a message from her which she tagged as important. At night, she made it clear that she was fed up of everything and was wanted to call it off. My exact words were “sure, okay”. I made no effort to ask for her reasons before acquiescing to the request. There was obviously no point in trying to fight a lost battle, I thought.
For some weeks, I thought I could conceal the little sadness in me by trying to forget that she ever existed and this served the intended purpose but for a short period of time. When the effects wore out, I considered another relationship which only lasted few weeks and left me twice as depressed. I regrettably found out that I literally exhibited a circular motion with zero resultant displacement.

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It was only when I drank from the wells of wisdom that I yanked back to my senses and probably broke free from the massive hypnosis cast on me by the girls of the north. How would I have let such a gem slip from my hands? I had series of questions I personally couldn’t give answers to. This is probably medication after death; for I am almost sure she is happier with someone else. I equally have moved on; but sometimes, that forgotten corner of my heart finds a voice and my mind reverts to juvenile mode once more.