It is graduation time at A level College, anxiety and excitement pollutes the air that we young teenagers breathe, the awe of experience is written off by youthful exuberance. Prematurity prevails regardless of time.
The final results for the A level year 2008 at Totley College have been released, graduating students and friends; Austin, Segun and Jermaine who all applied to the same University (Kings College London) have been granted Unconditional offers of admission, as they all made an Average grade of B, except for Austin whose Overall Average grade was an A. They also all applied to study Engineering, with Austin opting for Software Engineering, Segun opting for Telecommunication Engineering and Jermaine opting for Aerospace Engineering.
‘Good Morning’ the security guard (Jude) at the gate greets as I (Austin) responds ‘Well Done Sir’ as I turn back to wave goodbye to my Mother who had just dropped me off at the college compound. Austin’s mother is of South African heritage, while his Father is of Nigerian Heritage. His father Mr Obi has achieved huge Success in the Steel business both locally and internationally, some may say the tides of his financial river are not rising till Kingdom come. ‘Thank You’ my brother as Jude says smiling down at the crisp minty note of 1000 Naira.
Time is 9:35am Monday the 25th of June, 2008 on a typical tropical morning. It is certificate collection day at Totley College Ikeja, Lagos as I arrive at the administration hall. Looking down the entrance hallway was Segun and Jermaine stood leaning against the wall beside each other. ‘Boss!’ they both screamed to the top of their voices which was the nickname given to me by them, one which I never accepted but could not do anything about how much the word had spread amongst students in Totley college like starting up a fire on a hay barn. They both looked decent in their English suits, Nothing but fulfilment and eagerness for celebration was at the pinnacle of the moment, as graduating students who were present exchanged certificates, grades and comments were been murmured in the background, Parents who were present posed to take photos with their children as they were embarrassed with pride. It was the last official event of the year at Totley College, as this was proceeding after the Graduation Ceremony, so it was particularly a solemn and sentimental event for both Parents, Staff and students.
Looking up to my line of sight, was Sasha as she walked towards me Hurriedly with a huge smile, and her arms wide open, as I hugged her, carrying her and spinning her round for a minute, my head feels light for a moment. Sasha was my girlfriend at Totley College and we had been in one too many confrontations and altercations with staff and some students that we were short of nothing but glad to be graduating. The radiance from her eyes never failed to trigger a smile from my face, the beauty of her skin disguises with the weather, always smelling good it marvels. ‘I would always be glad at the thought of you that I met this light skinned beauty’ as I said to her while still carrying her in my arms. Then she replied with a kiss on the lips, saying ‘Aww Ausi! Stop flattering me and drop me down’, as I laughed humorously as she kept blushing. I am not an expert per say to comment or judge on teenage relationship, but I for one can say that I and Sasha have good understanding. Sasha is of Kenyan heritage and has applied to study Medicine at Szeged University, Hungary. So for the both of us it felt like a peak moment in our lives such as that of a life cycle of an insect, when the pupil grows within and bursts out of the Larva. We are taking different routes in life but we still feel attached.
My Phone rings, and it is my Mother Calling, Mrs Tabeth Obi. Mrs Obi is an Architect by Profession and a very successful one at that. Ever since Austin was enrolled at Totley College, Mrs Obi was always prompt in picking him up from college at 4:00pm closing time. Mrs Obi is a prominent member of the schools board of Directors, and is also the P.T.A (Parent Teachers Association) Chairperson. I have to now say goodbye to Sasha, Segun, and Jermaine as we all speak and plan a rendezvous for the night out as it is common tradition in all colleges in the state and across the country during this graduation period. Some even go the extra length to hire public Celebrities such as music artists, actors etc. to grace whatever occasion is planned. I also proceed to say goodbye to my fellow beloved teachers, My Engineering Mathematics Tutor Mr Tunde Adewale, My physics Tutor and Principal Mr Michael Mills and my Computing Tutor Mr Isaac Afolabi and also appreciate them for their sacrifice and hard work and how it had impacted on me. Off I go, heading towards the gate as I hail my Oga Jude, before hoping in the car as my Mother Drove off.
We are about 10 minutes unto the main highway linking us to the Island in this Toyota Highlander Jeep. I’m in the front passengers sit, as my Mother takes on the steering wheel, my phone beeps once again, but this time around it is a text message from Sasha saying ‘we all meet at Jermaine’s house on the Island’. I then pick up my phone to reply the text, and my mother starts lashing out saying: ‘You this Austin boy self I don’t even understand what you have become nowadays, I mean a whole you that has never been late for school even once, you made me drop you off late today’. Why didn’t you sleep early? She can no longer put up with the Indiscipline. I reply saying ‘ahn ahn! Mummy I thought we came early today’ She interrupts saying; ‘what do you mean?! Don’t you know the difference between being punctual and late?! What time were you supposed to be at School for your Certificate? I answered, ‘9:00am’. Then she continued saying; ‘Austin I am not happy with you oh! You know, schooling abroad in another man’s land is not a joke oh, you have to be very very disciplined, I don’t want you to go over there and I start hearing stories oh!’ I answered ‘yes Mummy’ cheekily as I tried to reply to Sasha’s text in hiding. I could Afford Ignorance, as I felt my grades were the end of the matter. One big misconception that reflects common sense being uncommon.
We have now arrived at home, as I walk into the house, my Dad is in the lounge watching the 7:00pm news, as I greet him, ‘Good Evening Dad’, he responds ‘Austin how are you?’ then I say ‘Fine Dad’, and run upstairs to my Room hurriedly to undress. It is now 8:00pm As My Mother serves Dinner on the Dining table, and yells ‘Austin! Dinner is served’ and I respond ‘Okay Mum I am coming downstairs’. On getting to the dining table, I am immediately confronted with this issue of Indiscipline; my mother begins to highlight the previous disciplinary cases which I was involved in at Totley College, which almost lead to my expulsion. One for example was when I and Sasha were caught having sex in the dining room during school hours. The real incident that occurred was that we had already finished having sex, and we were walking out of the dining hall hurriedly as we heard footsteps in the hallway, but it was too late, as the principal Mr Michael Mills had already closed in on us. He said; ‘what are you people doing here by this time of the day?! As he brought us back into the dining hall noticing the used undisposed condoms on the floor, it was an alarming situation, as they had to summon both our parents in order to come to an amicable solution. But for the truth to be told, not much of the punishment exercised by the disciplinary panel, could be exerted on either of us, as both our families together, combine to make the financial stronghold of the college, as it was just an upcoming College and only been running 5 years from September 2003.
As I took in, spoon by spoon from my Diner plate, looking up to my Dad, as he looked down on me whilst listening to what Mrs Tabeth Obi had been saying all along. My Dad is not always around, as he operates a very busy schedule internationally and nationally, except when he is on leave or during the holidays. So he doesn’t get to hear much about my escapades at College. Now that it has come to his notice, there is cause for concern. Noticing the grin on his face, I start to feel unrelaxed, and begin to reassure him by saying; ‘Don’t worry Dad, I am always going to do my best to make you proud, my A level results can speak for itself’, ‘Thank you so much for everything’. As I stand up from the dining table to wash my dish, while Mrs Obi kept eying me, and Mr Williams Obi said; ‘I am proud of you Son’, ‘but always remember to be careful’ and I replied ‘Yes Dad!’ As I rinsed the plate and hurried upstairs to prepare for the night out. Being the Only Child, my Dad has always cherished and always cautioned me with the highest consideration. I do love and Respect him dearly.
It is not long before it is 9:30pm, as I am now ready and dressed up for the night coupling up with the fact that I just recently got my Driver’s License as I just turned eighteen, so I was pretty much overwhelmed with excitement, and it was Jermaine’s Birthday today, he was also turning eighteen. I also had to stop by and pick up Sasha along with some of her friends, as her house was just within a 1 mile radius from mine. I am doing 120km/h on the way to Sasha’s, listening to the Song ‘Don’t dull’ by Wizkid. The music of being young and dumb is deep rooted, Ignorance is dominant as I want to rule the night! We want to rule the Night! I have just approached Sasha’s House and picked her and her friends (Aisha and Tutu). We are now four on the road, not even having a slight thought that I’m in this Toyota highlander jeep. We set off for Jermaine’s, upon approaching the house, we meet them standing outside the gate. Segun yells ‘Baba Nila! Abeg make I handle this steering Na!’ as I turn off the keys in the Ignition. Then I remembered and replied, ‘Ahh! Baba no be my car be dis, it’s my Mum’s and you no go repair the thing if something happen’ as they all got into the car and we sped off for the highway.
It is exactly 00:00pm as we just arrived the club, taxing on the right wing of the road waiting to park. Looking through my side mirror, Sasha suddenly yells ‘Blood of Jesus!’ I find myself in the hospital upon waking up, the weight of the cast on my right hand was overwhelming as I tried to get up. The nurse rushes in the ward as I scream! ‘Sasha! Jermaine! Segun! Aisha!’ as the nurse tries to calm me down, I screamed ‘Tutu!’ Stretching my vocal point sobbing in tears as I look behind the nurse seeing two police officers stood behind with Handcuffs dangling on their waist.
It is now 2 months to the day Monday the 25th of June 2008. My name is Austin William Obi prison inmate #33879 sing hill prisons.