The Stupid Zone Episode 8 - WELCOME TO OFFICIALLY NAIJA INFOMEDIA.COM.NG

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Stupid Zone Episode 8

The Stupid Zone
Episode 8
I watched Richard walk away from me the day he came to collect his results and I knew that was the end of our story. I thought if I avoided him and tried to date other people, I would eventually forget and get over him but that didn't happen.
He was like a tattoo that could never get erased and so I suffered in pain silently. I had been advised by some friends to make him jealous and that was the only reason I got together with the guys I did.  All I wanted was him but I was apparently not good enough for him, otherwise he would have asked me out.
When they stuck the results on the board they used to stick grade 12 results on, I was the first person to go and check and I was more than happy when I saw Richard's name on top. I had known he was going to do well but 5 points, I hadn't seen that coming.
I had planned to jump on him with a hug when he came but he only casually said hi to me and so I pretended not to care just so I could feel less hurt. Richard checked his results and left without bothering to get into conversation with me. I missed him so much, it hurt but there was nothing I could do. I believed a man should hunt and I was trying hard to show him I was available game but he never got the cues.
Richard had earlier told me he was going to the United States of America to study and even though I was sad to see him go, I was happy for him. I knew there was no future for us anyway.
The day he left, I booked a taxi to the airport and stood at a distance as I watched him hug his family and check in. I went to the stairs that allow you see those boarding the plane and I saw him look back just before he entered as if he had seen me pining for him. It was too far anyway and he couldn’t have seen me, there was no way he could have.
I went back to the taxi and cried before asking the driver to drive off. He kept looking at me in the view mirror but he didn’t say anything and I was glad he didn’t because I was in a very bad mood. That day I broke up with the other Richard I was dating and determined I would make myself better so my Richard would regret having not chosen me when he returned.
I studied extra hard and the year seemed to move at snail's pace, maybe because I was still hurting and everything around school reminded me of Richard. The year finally came to a close and I wrote my grade 12 exams.
During the holidays, I got a job as a shop attendant close to home and I made a buck or two extra that I saved in an account my mom had opened for me in her name. I wanted to buy a car by second or third year of college and I was determined to work towards it. My mom was impressed with my determination and she and dad said they would sponsor half the amount for the purchase of the car.
The results came out and I had scored 8 points much to the amazement of everyone including myself. I applied to a number of schools within the country and I was selected at three of them. I chose to enrol at UNZA in the school of Humanities and Social Sciences.
I pursued a degree in Economics as my major and Public Administration as my minor. Throughout my stay at UNZA, I never heard from or of Richard and I never bothered to reach out or search for him. In my third year of school, I already had a car and I had established a boutique in school and employed someone to run it.
In that very year, I also met a guy who came to pursue a masters in Economics on distance learning. I had stayed on campus after we closed for the vacation that holiday because I wanted to catch up on studies, monitor my boutique and I was doing internship close to school.
I sometimes used to attend distance learning classes just because I could. Because I was not a registered paid up distance student, I would sneak in and sit at the back of the class although the classes for the distance students were not as big as ours.
It was during one of those classes that I met Robert a guy who had a striking resemblance to Richard such that I thought it was him at first. I was sneakily walking into the class so the lecturer could not see me when someone tapped my back.
“You are not that late you know. You don't have to sneak in, he won't send you away.” The guy who had tapped my back said softly.
I got startled and actually screamed when he taped my back such that I alarmed everyone in class.
“Miss are you part of our class?” the lecturer asked me.
I stood up straight and looked everywhere but at the lecturer. I did not answer him either. “What's your name?” the lecturer asked again.
“Naomi,” I responded, head bowed.
“Naomi are you part of our class?” he asked again.
“No ma'am, I mean sir,” I responded and the students laughed.
“Then what are you doing here?”
I didn’t respond.
“Didn’t you hear me miss?”
“I did.” I said my head still bowed.
“And?”
“I am a 3rd year full time student.” I said.
I had no idea why I said that or how it would get me out of the mess I seemed to be in but in that moment it felt like the appropriate thing to say.
“So an under graduate thinks she is smart enough to attend a post graduate class? Is that what this is? An experiment?” the lecturer asked.
I could see he was losing his temper. I did not respond because I did not have anything to say.
“I will see her out of the class.” The guy who had tapped me said.
It was then that I looked at him. Oh my God this man was beautiful, there was something awfully familiar about him and my heart warmed up when he smiled at me.
Before I could say anything, he took my hand and led me outside. I kept looking at his face then it struck me, he looked like Richard. The shape of his mouth, the way his cheeks would wrinkle when he smiled and the eyes, oh my God it was Richard. My heart thumped and was almost finding its way out of my chest.
“Are you ok Naomi?” he asked me.
‘He knows my name, oh my God it is him.’ I thought.
“Are you…….?” I began.
“Robert,” he cut in.
“Huh?”
“My name, its Robert,” he said.
“Oh,” I said disappointedly.
“You sound disappointed.” He said his smile reducing.
“Ah no, I’m just a little disoriented.” I quickly said.
“I can imagine. Doctor Zulu is a mean man. Don’t take what he said to heart.” He said.
“Thank you.”
“For what?”
“For getting me out of there. For a moment I thought I was going to pee myself,” I said then regretted it immediately.
To my amazement Robert burst out laughing.
“Yeah I noticed,” he teased and I eased up.
“I think you need to get back to class,” I said.
“Nay I can miss this one. I will catch up. Would you like to have a drink or meal with me?” he asked with a smile.
“Oh my God Richard,” I thought.
“Say what?”
“Nothing.” I quickly said when I realized I had called out Richard’s name loudly.
“So is that a yes or a no?” he persisted.
I smiled at him widely.
“I take it that’s a yes?”
I nodded and we walked away from the lecturer hall.

To be continued

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