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The Senior ‘ Science Student ’

Senior ‘Science Student’
You do not tarry under the first Obalende Bridge, the one near the Postal and Telecommunications (P&T) building in Lagos. There is no bus stop there.
But some do. They wait for the commercial minibuses or tricycles making a turn around the canal.
If the driver is fearless or is in the traffic police’s good books, he slows to a trot and the passengers hop in. Otherwise, the warden swings his cane – whack – on the conductor’s back.
Last Tuesday afternoon, I did not tarry. I crossed the road and made for the Lagbus Park a few metres away.
“Bros,” someone said, tugging at my shirt.
I turned. It was a young man, going the other way.
He was partly discoloured by the dirt on his face. He dropped the big ‘Ghana must go’ bag in his right hand. There was a transparent yellow nylon folder containing documents in his other hand.
I peered into his face, he smiled awkwardly, embarrassed and turned shifty eyes away.
We shook hands.
It was … I’m going to call him ‘F’.
F’s shiny dark complexion was distorted by dabs of dust and dirt on his hair, face, down his brown long sleeved sweatshirt and grey trousers.
His dark lower lip protruded, like it had been forcibly pulled. There was a whitish blob on the reddish inner part, like a healing wound. It put me in mind of someone who had injured the lip by chewing on it.
Totally dishevelled, F seemed to have been sleeping rough. Frankly, I thought he could be going mad. I pretended not to notice though.
“O boy, how far na? Long time”, I said, smiling.
“I dey o, bros. Bros, I don waka tire,” F lamented in that same smooth voice, trembling, but coherent.
He kept stealing glances at me and then away, whenever our eyes met.
“Where you dey go?,” I asked.
“I dey go (…). I wan go see (…). But I no get money. I don go that police barracks wey dey there,” he points in the direction of the Nigerian Police Force Microfinance Bank on No 1, Ikoyi Road.
“I don beg the policemen wey dey there make them find me transport, dem no answer me. I tell dem say I be (… …). I even show dem my result,” he shows me his folder.
“I tell them say I attend police school. But dem just dey pursue me comot for there.”
He shook his head, cut to the quick that members of a profession our families were part of for decades had turned their backs on him in his time of need. But his was a special kind of need that transport fare could not satisfy. And it seemed to have multiplied since 2016 when we last met.
I glanced at his dusty shoes.
“You dey go 1004? Where you dey come from?”
“I dey come from house.” He averted his eyes again. “I dey come from …..”
“Ah!” I was shocked. If he was telling the truth, he would have walked over 27 kilometres to get to Obalende. I must have misunderstood him.
“And you still wan waka go 1004?”
“Bros,” he said, turning away again.
I glanced at his folder. A photocopy of his school certificate was clearly visible among other documents. They were probably his only proof of identity, his claim to legitimacy.
“You get phone?” I asked.
He shook his head. “No.”
I wondered how I could help.
“Ok, make I assist you with wetin I get,” I said.
His eyes lit up as soon as the paper touched his hand and he almost touched the floor in appreciation.
We parted.
As I walked away, I wondered if there was more I could have done. I felt a burning desire to turn around. But I wondered if he was staring, so I walked on.
Knowing him, I couldn’t help but wonder what he was going to spend that money on. He was obviously starving, but I imagined he was going to get his usual: a wrap of marijuana, a bottle of codeine or whatever hallucinogen he could be on these days.
He was, after all, a senior ‘Science Student.’

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Posted by Dollyspyz On March 7, 2018

Categories: Joke

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