Of course, I got to lectures late. What self respecting big boy like me comes to lectures early? That’s for all those silly efficos that carry textbooks bigger than their heads with authors whose names they can’t pronounce. Yes, those same effico that will still be counting ceiling boards in the exam hall. Me? I have my systems. I know how to get by. For today, as every day, I had to spend extra care to make sure I was looking good. I had to visit the barber to make the mohawk sharp and dye it a bit so I could look tight. I was going to make a killing today. That girl, that course-mate of mine that I had been trying to bag since the start of the year? She would have to agree to go out with me today.
As I sauntered into the lecture hall, the lecturer, a young, hungry man paused to cast me a withering look, that look that says “I see you, continue wasting your life, ehn? You’ll see me in the exam hall na.” before continuing the lecture. I quickly scanned the hall for an available seat. My fellow bad guys waved me over from the back and indicated an available seat among them. I was just about heading in their direction when I spotted it. An empty seat close to the front of the class. You may be surprised at that, after all, wetin concern big boy, concern front seat for lecture hall? But it wasn’t the seat that was the attraction. It was the person that was occupying the seat beside it. Angel, the object of my Mohawk sharpening and hair dyeing. I normally avoid seating close to the front of the class (as all well known big boys do, only silly efficos and empty brained girls occupy the front seats) but today, I had to make an exception. I was going to seat beside Angel.
I mustered my swag and sauntered to where she sat.
“Is this seat available?” I asked in my most polished yankee accent, indicating the obviously empty seat.
She barely glanced at me as she said, “Yes.”
I settled into the seat gently, dropped my one notebook (that I rarely ever write in, ever) on the writing surface and took my pen out of my pocket, the look on my face serious, like I was about to learn quantum physics. I heard she likes brilliant guys. Well, she would have to deal with my brilliant guy act today.
I had just opened the notebook and written down a few chemical equations (it was actually a physics class but when you want to form brilliant guy, you have to make do with what is in your head) when my problem started, a slight twinge in my stomach. I adjusted a bit in my seat. Must be the heavy breakfast that I had eaten trying to digest. I added a few figures to the chemical equation that would have made the chemistry lecturer call my parents and ask what I was doing in a university when I should have been learning a trade. Well, at least, it looked like what an effico would write.
The twinge came again, this time a bit stronger. Then pressure, that kind of pressure that comes when your system is about to get rid of gas began to build up in my system. No way! I thought to myself. There was no way I was going to pass this gas beside this girl and kill my opportunity to ask her out. Why now of all times did my body decide to start getting rid of waste gas? With that decision, I concentrated and suppressed the pressure. The gas felt like it had gone back into my digestive system. Good.
No, bad. Even worse. After five minutes, the pressure came again, this time slightly stronger. Again I suppressed it by force of willpower. I was not going to allow my body fall my hands today. The third time the pressure built up (stronger than the previous two times) I realized one thing. This wasn’t gas pressure. This was go-to-toilet pressure, but of a special kind. The kind you get when you are purging.
My goodness, no! Not today! Not on this blessed day that I got the opportunity to sit beside Angel. I had already mapped out the questions I would ask her to explain better at the end of the class that I would use to drift into other topics, topics of a more personal nature. No way! No stomach problems were going to prevent me from taking this God-given opportunity today.
The pressure continued to build inside me and after five minutes, I felt like I was going to burst. How was it that the human body could make the human so miserable (the closest I have ever come to thinking about biology)? Now my stomach began to make small funny noises that I hoped Angel wasn’t hearing. I was forcing my intestines to stay closed because they were threatening to burst open. Chai, what kind of problem was this. Inspite of the fact that the fans were on maximum speed and the windows were wide open, I broke into a sweat.
Angel may not have noticed my initial effico act but she certainly noticed my discomfort.
“Are you alright?” she asked.
“Yes,” I answered too quickly, a wide obviously fake smile on my face. “Wonderful. Thanks for asking.”
Her look lingered for a second before she turned back to the lecturer. The smile instantly disappeared from my face. I had to go to the toilet else I would burst. Angel was still a student; I could talk to her at any time. Right now, I had to settle issues with my stomach. But even that was a problem now. It now felt like if I made any move from my current position, I would soil my boxers.
No, I did not soil my pants, thankfully. Neither did my system let go of a cache of toxic gas. It was the contents of my intestines rearranging themselves, very audibly indeed. Unfortunately, Angel had heard and assumed the noise came from the very part of my body I was doing my best to keep from discharging unwanted items. She looked at me with disgust and moved well away. Then to preempt any unsavory smells, she held her nose with one hand and fanned with the other.
Fortunately, I didn’t care what she thought anymore. What I cared about was getting to the toilet ASAP. Couldn’t this lecturer stop yapping and get out of the class already? His period was over.
“Well, what lecture are you having next?” the man asked.
“CHEM 101,” the course rep replied.
“Okay, I think I’ll continue till your lecturer arrives,”
I only realized the shouting voice was mine when all eyes fell on me. The lecturer’s hawk like eyes fell on me.
“Young man, is it that you are so averse to learning that you can actually voice your displeasure at my presence in the class? Stand up!”
Wahala dey, I thought to myself. If I stood up here, everybody in the class would hear it from my excretory system. I did the best thing. Sat and looked resolutely at the lecturer, sweat still pouring down my face like a Christmas goat.
“Will you stand up young man?”
Na here trouble dey na, I thought, still seated. Something would have to happen to save me from serious trouble. Thankfully, something did. In the shape of an Okada man that contrived to ride too close to the lecturer’s ancient Honda car which was parked outside the window, leaving deep scratches on the already faded paint.
“You bastard!” yelled the lecturer, running out of the lecture hall to hurl more insults at the retreating biker with better accuracy. With a subdued “brrrrrrrrrp”, my system re organized itself and I felt a moment of calm. Time to make a break for it. I grabbed my notebook, left me pen and fled the lecture hall.
“Bike!!!!” I yelled before I even got to the road. Three Okada men stopped and I leapt on the closest one. “Hostel, fast!”