My phone began to burst with calls and romantic text messages from Elizabeth. Each time I saw those texts I would laugh bitterly before deleting them. As for the calls, I kept rejecting them. I was not a type of guy that would insult a girl on phone.
On one occasion I didn’t have the time to delete the messages she sent throughout the day. Summing up the text messages during the night, they were up to fifteen. I showed them to some of my friends and they burst out laughing. They said she’d come to know my value since I started going out with Sharon.
Meanwhile, over the period of our relationship Elizabeth wouldn’t call me or compliment me with a text, except when she needed money or voucher. I had been the only one doing the calling, and if she ever called, that meant she wanted to tell me she had received the voucher. She once told me she loathed night calls. Although, after we departed I overheard her friends saying she wouldn’t sleep overnight, calling her rich boyfriend. The height of her arrogance to me was really competing with the sun level. I wondered why she wanted me back when she’d started dating Badmus a.k.a Sixty-degree. He was one of the topmost boys on campus.
A week to our exam Elizabeth came across me in the library, and immediately our eyes met I noticed that her body shivered like a bird that was just beaten by a heavy rain. The book in her hand fell on the floor and she hurriedly picked it up. I did nothing, but regarded her like a mere stranger.
It seemed she was afraid to have a physical interaction with me. She was reading on the row of chairs next to me with her right palm supporting her jaw. I had thought she would ask me why I wasn’t receiving her calls or replying her text messages. She must be very shameful.
I let my mind assume that she wasn’t around, so my mind was completely swallowed by the book I was reading until I heard a librarian’s voice somewhere around. She was questioning somebody with gravity in her tone.
“How come the surface of this textbook is soaked with water?” She demanded again.
when I revealed my face I realized that the woman was addressing Elizabeth.
“I’m talking to you.” The woman insisted; although in a low tone.
Elizabeth had now buried her jaw in her two palms, while her head bowed over the book. She sat still like a statue.
When she eventually showed her face, the woman’s forehead furrowed with alarm, and I wondered why. It was then I saw Elizabeth’s tears-misted face, and another drop of tear began to crawl down her right cheek.
“Why the tears, my dear?” The woman’s voice fell with sympathy.
Elizabeth’s face diverted towards my side, and I quickly lowered my head in my book just in time. I heard the librarian ask Elizabeth if looking towards my side was the response to her question.
The librarian’s voice suddenly fell into a whisper in my ears. I guessed she was trying to know the reason behind her tears. Perhaps she thought she was bereaved. I couldn’t tell why she was weeping either.
She muttered something to the woman. I tried to listen, but my ears failed me completely. The next word I heard from the woman was, “Don’t think about that. May his soul rest in peace. Make up your mind, it would only distract your studies.”
With that, the woman left for the next aisle to further her supervision. I wondered what she must have told the inquisitive woman.
Afterwards, I decided to steal a glance at her to see her reaction. It was too late. Our eyes clashed like two live wires that were struck together. And she threw back her face in her book before I could escape my own eyes.
She soon packed her books and walked feebly out of the library. She was a tall girl who had the stature of a model. Her pronounced hips had always swayed proudly whenever she walked, but now it appeared rigid. Her fair skin had become pale, and I could see frustration etched on her pretty face. When we were still together I had been a slave to her striking beauty. If anyone had told me that her love would vanish from my heart, I would have doubted it. However, Sharon’s beauty and modeling stature was much more stunning.
The following day was Saturday. I was playing football with my friends on one of the fields on campus. We were just catching fun by raising the ball and passing it without letting it kiss the ground. Four of us were staying at different angles. My other friends were arguing over the previous day’s match between Arsenal and Chelsea. They were all seated under one of the colossal cashew trees that flanked the football field. It had been a shrill argument between them that each team surpassed the other in skill.
But suddenly silence fell in their midst. I was wondering what caused the abrupt quietness. When I looked towards their direction, I discovered that they were still arguing, but in a low pitch. A shocking look spelt on their faces and some mouths turned agape like that of roaring lion. I was just thinking about going to join them when they all beckoned to us from afar. On getting there, one of them asked me if I knew what happened overnight in the female hostel.
“Wetin happen?” I asked them.
“Are you aware that your Ex-girlfriend, Lizzy, was rushed to the school clinic last night?” One of them asked.
“Wetin concern me about that one?” I said, spreading my palms apart.
“According to wetin me I hear,” said another, “she collapse when she dey climb the staircase to her block.”
“Na God save am o,” retorted another person beside me, “If not for somebody wey dey her back, She for crash pata-pata.”
“So, guys wetin be your point now?” I said, “why you dey tell me. Me be her boyfriend?”
“The doctor confirmed that the girl is three months pregnant.” The first speaker added, “and according to the report, the dizziness was not because of the pregnancy. It’s because of excess brooding.”
My heart hammered against my chest, and my body shook to the force of it. Three months pregnant?
“And so what!” I said, feigning carefreeness, “Sixty-degree should take care of that!”
“The belle na three months old o!” Somebody emphasized behind me,“ I just dey pray say no be you go get am. Na only you she dey follow up and down like chicken around that time.”
I said a big AMEN to the prayer within me. Elizabeth had refused to use protection with me twice. I asked if she was on contraceptives, and she answered YES. Maybe the contraceptives didn’t take any effect after all. ‘Oh, no. I am certainly not ready for this. Not now!’ She must have been sleeping with Badmus ever since then. I prayed that the medical test should just indicate Badmus; not me.
I assured my friends that the pregnancy was not mine. I asked them to gather information about the further medical test.
I was fretting, turning up and down in bed during the night. What would become of me if the pregnancy was eventually mine? And according to further information, Elizabeth had once consulted a doctor outside the school. The doctor advised her not to abort the pregnancy as it might claim her life. The information was linked by my friend who was dating one of her roommates.
“Oh, my goodness, what do I do about this?”
It was my phone that answered the question from the corner of the bed. The ringtone was certainly for a call; not a text message. I fumbled for it under the pillow. It was Sharon. I cleared my throat, and composed my voice to hide the emotion.
“Hello, sweetie.” I said to the receiver.
“He-e-llo, Festus,” she said hurriedly, “Please, I need your attention at the back of the old hall.”
“Hope nothing is wrong. You are not sounding alright.”
“Nothing. I guess it’s because of the cold.”
“Okay. Give me a minute,” I said, glancing at the wall clock. 11:45pm.“ What are you still doing on campus at this hour?”
“I just left my friends’ hostel. I need to see you. it’s urgent.” Her voice shivered.
I quickly dressed up. Collins and Dayo were not in the room. I locked the door and made my way downstairs.
When I reached the back of the old hall there was no trace of anyone. The place was dark, but the whole campus was lit up. The hall had always been alight except when the light tripped off, and it rarely did.
“All the florescent in the hall are off. Why?” I asked myself.
The whole streetlights around the hall were also dead. Although, the place was not entirely silent. I was still hearing voices and shuffling of feet here and there; obviously from students going for tutorials. I thought I needed to call Sharon. Maybe I didn’t hear her right. “She can’t just be here.”
When I was about to place the phone on my ear I heard heavy footsteps. Looking back was too late, a heavy rough object blew my head off.
Everything went blurry. Indistinct and wavering sound of laughter. Blank out.