Saturday, 3 June 2017


Out of all the friends I had, one actually stood out; Goshen. He was someone I picked from the many due to his character and carriage. He was a tall, dark skinned igbo guy, who was about five (5) to six (6) years older than me. Handsome?; nah let’s just not talk about that. He had observed the incidence that occurred between me and Uche the previous day and as usual, called me to a private place at our lecture-free time to give me a talk (bullets as he called it). “Uche is a system man!, so whatever you are doing just thread with caution; he can be very dangerous!” Goshen warned loudly. I never really knew what being a system man is. “Who is a system man?” I asked anxiously. It was then I understood that Uche was a cultist. After all the bad things that happen to those guys, I just wondered why someone in his/her right senses would belong to such. I had then resolved that whatever the case may be, I’ll do my best to avoid Uche and his league of friends. The matriculation date was announced and I could feel the excitement within me. Everybody in class seemed to have a unique plan for that day. “My family will come in from the US to attend my matriculation”, that was Tessy; “I’m expecting my new car from my parent on that day”, that was Ezinne; “I’ll be travelling to the village to see my old parents on that day”, that was definitely Goshen. His own thoughts and plans; uniquely weird. My own plans were simple, my parents will not be available that day so I’ll just take pictures with my colleagues and then have a few bottles and then go home. I couldn’t help but observe Uche; he seemed to be the most excited. His voice could be heard from the four corners of the long lecture hall were we sat awaiting the lecturer. “Thank God that guy is not my friend” I said softly to myself. “He could easily lead you to trouble”. Lectures ended quite late on that faithful day (at about 07:10 PM) and I had parted ways with my pal Goshen at Oroko junction when suddenly I heard a lady’s voice, “Thief! Thief! My phone! The so-called thief ran past me and I was too shocked to grab him. “We just ended lectures about 20 minutes ago and this guy is out here embarrassing himself”. I felt really disappointed at him (Yes, you guessed right), Uche. Some of the chasers walked up to me and angrily asked why I did not grab the thief. I was scared at first by the way they approached me; but had to say something. “Honestly I did not see him coming” were the few words I could mutter. He had escaped today; what about tomorrow?
The “red letter day” finally came. The school was over populated on that faithful day. Cars were parked both inside and outside the university premises. Every caliber of person was present; the classy, the churchy, the slay queens, the oldies, etc. I felt a little bit disappointed my parents were not available; but that soon died out when I noticed that several other colleagues of mine were also in that condition. The matriculation ceremony was a brief one. It lasted for just about an hour and thirty minutes and everybody was off to the business of the day; taking pictures, eating, drinking, etc. I was still lost in the excitement when someone tapped me from behind; it was Uche. “I want to thank you for yesterday, I know you saw me and I know you had every opportunity to grab me; but you didn’t; thanks once again” he concluded. “You are welcome” I retorted and off he went. I had wanted to ask him some questions but I remembered I had to mind my business, so I just gave up. “Some things aren’t just right about this guy” I thought. It only took a few minutes and I was back in the excitement again. We took a lot of pictures that day, drank everything we could (beer and softs inclusive) and ate everything we could as well. While the whole excitement was still going on, I sensed there was some sought of distraction coming from somewhere not too far from where we were. It did not take time before the distraction became noticed by everybody around. We moved to the scene and observed that a guy’s face was covered in blood. Someone had shattered a bottle on his head and ran away. The guy covered in blood was Otedo, Uche’s very close friend. They had been drinking when a misunderstanding ensued. “We go visit that guy!” were the words that kept coming out of his mouth as his friends (Uche inclusive) rushed him to a nearby clinic. “Who should visit who?; the ‘wounder’ or the ‘wounded’”; I innocently thought.

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