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Living alone as a student does have its advantages. You have your own space, you don’t have a roommate who is noisy, dirty or who, God forbid, snores like a thousand Yorkshire bulls. You also get to cook and eat your own food no matter how decidedly spicy or near life-threatening you make it without someone running a commentary on every morsel he shoves into his mouth.
The downside, if you’re me, is that it makes you kind of a snob even when you’re not and it makes it hard to get help when you need it the most. That is especially when you’re blind and you hate the pitiful looks you know are sent your way because you want to cross the road without being run down by a potential driver or a crashing plane: in whatever order either of those come in.
For me though, the benefits of living alone far outweigh the non-benefits. And I am sure you saw the part about being blind. Yes. I am blind. Been blind since I was six years old; childhood curiosity and all got me to that state. Anyhoo, I’m not about to throw a pity party for myself. My name is Clinton Marcus Oghenovo. I am 22years old and a 300level student of Classical studies at the University of Ibadan. I have a step sister who hates my guts and a stepfather who hates my guts even more and is currently serving a 25year sentence at Agodi Prisons in Ibadan. My mother on the other hand neither hates me nor is she in prison. She is, actually the only person I love and who loves me.
Despite how old I am, she still calls me her darling boy and pulls my cheeks as if she’s testing the elasticity of meat at Eti Odo, in Ibadan. We have been through a lot and we’ve both come out the better for it. If, in your opinion, this makes me a mama’s boy, you’re not wrong actually.
Now that you know a little something about me, I guess this is where you begin to know the real story I’m going to tell. As always, it has to do with a girl (Cue the eye-roll). When does it never have anything to do with a girl?
I live in a one room apartment in a residential complex that was built about twenty five years ago and it is quite close to the school clinic. So, it’s quite safe to say that the structure is still solid enough not to collapse in the near future. My mother got the place for me as she did not want me to stay in the hostel accommodation that was provided because, frankly speaking, that place is a dump. I’m not apologising for saying that.
I have a neighbour, a very rambunctious neighbour. Up till this moment, I do not know his name. He goes by several titles, each one weirder than the last one. Most notable among them is from a song taken from a musical collaboration by two of Nigeria’s supposedly biggest artistes. Honestly, I actually hate the titles and I just came up with one of mine that did not make me want to puncture my eardrums and rid myself of the audio/verbal sacrilege. I started calling him Baba D. It stuck and we silently agreed on that.
Baba D, like I said earlier is a rambunctious fellow; very energetic and hyperactive. He is quite active in nearly every area of student life. He came in as a Direct Entry student in the department of the Language Arts which means he started in second year. Before the second year was over, you’d have to have been living under a rock the size of Kainji dam to not at least know his name. The schmuck was that popular: in sports, pageants, student affairs even in politics. Hell, he was president of the Students’ Association of the Faculty of Arts and I must say he had a rather successful tenure.
Baba D had all manner of friends. There were those that would even stay over at his place. Even his department mates, and I mean both the dudes and non-dudes, made it a rather invasive habit of dropping in like flies around a ginormous pot of honey. He was like a magnet. There were long nights of laughter and just plain noisy behaviour which I had to admit to myself was kind of fun. I envied him that he had that many friends even though some of them were just leeches. But it was on this one occasion of invaders into my zone that led to me meeting HER.