My mind drifted back to Njideka again. Was a temporary life of glamour more important than a lifetime of true love and happiness? If she had the opportunity to choose between happiness from true love and happiness from glamour, would she have made the same choices?
I was so sure JiJi did not take part in the ‘October Rush’- the season where fresh students are admitted into the university and older boys scramble to ask the new girls out on a date. At that time every sitting area on campus will be filled with lovebirds chatting away into the night. The boys will visit the girls in their hostels and some would stay way past visiting hours, until a porter sends them out. Every stage in life is very important because it steadily moulds one into the person they become.
JiJi thought having a campus boyfriend was a waste of time, Maye made sure of that. My sister said all they did was hold hands and stroll all over campus; they didn’t have enough money to spend on themselves talk less of another. As far as she was concerned, there were no benefits from campus relationships, and so she had her eyes on the bigger fish-the Aristos. These men drove into the campus in the evenings with their flashy cars, some few hours after lectures might have ended. This gave the girls just enough time to put down their books and freshen up for the evening.
If you came into the female hostel at that time, the sight that hit you would be a lineup of state-of-the-art cars like you were in an open air automobile shop. Then you’d see young girls sometimes standing beside men that were old enough to be their fathers. Just when you thought they were having a father-daughter moment, you see the girl’s hand reach out to rub the man’s potbelly while he giggles as he clasps his hands behind her waist. The foreplay of wantonness commences for a few hours on campus grounds and terminates in any hotel or guesthouse of their choice.
Sometimes, the girls got more than they bargained for in their quest for snagging the biggest fish. When a hot rich single guy comes along to join in the fun, he is more highly priced in their circles, because they know that if they were able to impress him and hopefully ignite an unforgettable spark, he’d be theirs for keeps. A hot rich single guy would end up putting a huge wedding ring on their finger as seal to authenticate a life of wealth and comfort for them, whilst shutting the door of lack and poverty on them forever.
A week after JiJi’s fall from Springwood’s balcony, Maye met one such guy. He was tall, handsome and always crisply dressed. He introduced himself as Kevin, a staff of Spiff Oil which was one of the most lucrative multinational oil companies in the country. He drove a Toyota Prado jeep, his English was impeccable and he had very gentlemanly manners. Maye decided that dating a guy like this was much safer than aristo chiefs, politicians or military men. Maye met Kevin one of those nights he came to drop his younger sister off at school during the beginning of the semester. He had sighted her walking into the hostel lobby and called out to her.
When Maye saw him standing beside a dashing damsel, she wondered what he wanted with her until he quickly told her who she was and what he was doing with her. That evening, he invited her out for drinks. His sister had respectfully declined, giving the excuse that she was tired from the long journey and would love to unpack, take a bath and go straight to bed.
Kevin was a charmer and he wasted no time in telling Maye he wanted more than just a friend who would share a drink or two with him. He wanted a serious girlfriend and Maye was the one his heart chose he said. This arrangement suited Maye just fine. Who wouldn’t want a guy as dashingly handsome as Kevin who also knew how to spoil a girl silly?
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Story Written By: Peace Ben Williams
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