My neighbour takes open air baths every evening. So by 6 p.m., say I am walking around the compound looking for Simba’s stray poo, I run into her, just like that. It is awkward, I’ll say “Sorry’’, she’ll say ‘Sorry, I’ll then say ‘’Thanks’’, she’ll reply ‘Oh!’ On evenings like this, I hear the sound of water splashing, I can’t see her but I know what it means.
On evenings like this, I stay indoors and write.
I met Itunu in Christ the Redeemers International Secondary School, Akure (to be referred to as CRISSA from now on). I joined CRISSA in SSS 1 from Federal Government College, Odogbolu. Itunu joined in the same year from some private school. We, new students, experienced a culture shock. The rules were just too many-Don’t sag, morning and evening devotions, then there was that long Bible verse you had to quote after every service. It was like an OSUU student transferring to Covenant University. Hell.
We were bunkmates. We spent many evenings reminiscing on our former schools- how the grass was greener and the mattresses softer.
We quarreled a lot. He slept on the upper bunk and always stepped on my mattress when climbing to his bed. Two things: 1. Why the need to ‘climb’ to a top bunk? Just jump. 2. Who steps on another person’s well laid mattresses (wearing slippers sometimes) Ritualist Behaviour.
We became buddies. Secondary school kind of buddies. Go to the Dining Hall together, go late for assembly together. The kind of ‘If you’re looking for Tafa, look for Itunu’ partnership. A popular scene in CRISSA was two of us in sweat stained singlets, swinging cutlasses. We were always getting punished. At a point, we just went into hiding. Then the Vice-Principal made the prefects bounty hunters; ‘Get me Itunu and Tafa! They still owe me punishment’. Hell.
After secondary school, everyone goes their way. Not us, we kept in touch. During semester breaks, I would go to Itunu’s and take his T-shirts. He schooled in Bowen University where casual outfits are not allowed.
I don’t see Itunu that often again, everybody dey find bread. But we hook up, every now and then.
Why this reminiscing? Yeah, Itunu is leaving the country. Masters things. It’s a bit sad. We won’t see for a while. It makes me hyper. That’s progress. It brings memories. We’ve come a long way.
I have to take a break now. Simba is screaming at the door. He says no respectable dog owner serves dinner for 11:40 p.m. I fear he will soon file for adoption.