He needed nobody to tell him she was from
a very wealthy home
He saw her at the Faculty, in front of his
She was wearing the hairstyle called
"a million braids"
She was sporting a brownish yellow leopard
She was carrying a black bag
She looked like his wife!
That was his first thought
"She looked just like my dream wife"
None of the administrative offices in the
department was open
The time was about 8:30 AM
The students came around to sign course
forms and pay departmental fees
He was also a student
But he wasn't even sure if he wouldn't
forfeit the admission
The school fees was way too much!
The moment he saw his name in the newspaper
under the list of admitted students
He rejoiced and cried bitterly
Where would he get the school fees from?
How would he cope?
His mother was a petty trader
His Father was dead!
He was working at the records office of the
postgraduate school of another University
His duty was to search for student's records
and files when needed
He was earning fifteen thousand Naira
The distance of his office to his house was
about forty-five minutes walk
This was the journey he took to and
every day so as to maximize his savings
His mother had told him under no
would anybody borrow a kobo from his savings
The savings was exclusively for his education
He was extremely disciplined
He made sure he ate well before leaving home in
the morning and does not eat anything until he
returned home at night
He often put in for overtime, helping
files were missing or mixed up to locate it
Sometimes the students would give him
thank you gift for a job well done or an
motivate him to do the job
He had no scruples
He needed the money desperately
In all, he was only able to save seventy-three
Naira before school resumed in October
His mother raised the acceptance fee of
He spent some money on getting a file, forms,
passport photographs, and so on
He knew it was never going to be enough
The school fees was One hundred and
He didn't eat anything tangible
He went to school with three buckets of
custard and some milk
He would mix the custard and prepare it in such
a way that his stomach would be as if he ate stones
once he was done with it
The department opened for business by 9AM
Student queued up to get their course forms
and sign after their names
He joined the queue
When it got to his turn he was told he had to pay
another five thousand Naira
He paid, collected his forms and started
The cash he had on him had been reduced to
sixty-eight thousand Niara and he had not
paid the main school fees
He started walking towards the hostel
He needed to talk to himself frankly
He had been told he could defer the admission
till the following year
By that time he would have raised at least two
hundred thousand Naira which would
go a long way
As it is it felt to him as if he was trying to climb a
palm tree without any safety belt
Failure was inevitable!
He heard a patter of feet behind him
It was the lady, "his wife", the beautiful
She said "Excuse me, are you not offering the
Students were going to sign it now, the lecturer
is on seat"
He had not even filled the form!
He asked her which department she
was admitted into
She told him. Coincidentally, they had been
admitted to study the same course
They got to the Lecturer's office, he filled his
form in a haste and they signed up for the
From there they went around the campus,
signing course forms together
When it was two PM, she told him she needed
to go to the bank and get her bank draft
He also wanted to get his bank draft
He told her he had Sixty-eight thousand Naira
and was still waiting for the balance to
be sent to him
But he liked her company and would
joyfully go with her to the bank
The queue in the bank was so long
It took her two hours to get to the bank teller
When she got there she beckoned
him to come over
She said "You shouldn't waste two hours with
me here only to come and queue again hen your
money is ready, fill the teller and give
me the cash with you! I will borrow you the
balance and you can return it once your
money is sent to your account"
He gave her the sixty-eight thousand,
she counted it
and asked him if he had any other money!
He said No!
She gave him eight thousand Naira out of the
sixty-eight thousand Naira he gave to her
She said "You might need to buy something
and you definitely need to eat"
In all, she paid One hundred and fifteen
thousand Naira to balance his school fees!
When they left the banking hall, she handed
him the bank draft
He shook his head
He said "I don't know when I will be able
to repay you this money,
I am not expecting money from anywhere!
I don't want to collect this from you
and promise I will repay you when
I know I will not!
You can keep the bank draft for next
session and repay me the sixty thousand
you have it! I plan to defer
my admission until next year"
She laughed and gave him the bank draft
without a word!
He didn't know whether to laugh or cry!
It is always wiser to lack and be at peace than to
borrow and lose one's peace of mind!
He didn't pay in the bank draft until the final day
Even then he paid it because the school
announcing that there will be a late registration
She acted as if nothing transpired between them
They were just normal classmates
Sometimes they would sit together, at other
times they would sit apart
They weren't particularly close in any way
He really liked her but it was difficult for
him to show her
She had her clique of friends in the class
Guys and ladies of the same social class wearing
designer clothes and oozing money
He had nothing in common with them
She didn't make any attempt to break him
into her fold or
break herself out of it to be with him
They get to talk once in a while but
A class assignment, a group project, a chance
meeting at the library and all
He knew she wasn't interested in him the
way he was in her
He made several attempts to get close to her
but two things checked him
The first was a consciousness that they
would soon write
their final examinations and return for
the second year
He didn't want her to think he was cosying up
to her so that
she can pay his school fees
The second was her dismissive attitude
He sometimes felt as if all the attention she
paid him were
like the attention, someone pays a cute puppy!
Real but not
leading to anything concrete!
He didn't hear from her throughout the holidays
On the day they resumed the 200 L, she came to his
hostel and handed him a bank draft
She had paid his school fees again
As usual, she didn't say a word!
She just sashayed her backside away from him
with a smile
He didn't know what to make of it
He was grateful for the enduring mercies of God
The school took in some direct entry students
One of them was a beautiful girl who took to him
They became friends with a promise of
He liked the lady too but he knew he was
walking on a tight rope
He tried very hard not to reciprocate the amorous
intentions of the lady (openly)
He wasn't so sure whether the gift he was
unspoken conditions or
if it was free as it looks
He didn't want to rock the boat and then
have to stop his
During their long break after 200 Level,
his mother advised
him to find his benefactress
and say thank you
He called her and told her he wanted to
come and see her
She said "No!"
He said he just wanted to come and
say thank you
She said "NO"
He stayed put
The day they resumed, she came to his
hostel as usual and
gave him the bank draft
He assumed she was really doing it for God
and thanked her
When the other lady resumed on campus, he
told her how he felt
They started a relationship
They went to the library together, went to
together, became a campus couple
The relationship was barely one month old
benefactress saw them together
at the cafeteria, playing pinch and laugh
He saw her face and his heart stopped
She was not angry, she was not sad, she
The look took the oxygen out of their play
Later in the evening, his benefactress came
to his room
She said "We need to talk"
He followed her timidly knowing he would either survive the storm or sink
"Are you dating so and so?" She asked him
"No!" He replied
"Are you sure?" She asked him again
"Why are you asking?" He asked her
"I cannot plant for another to eat, I am not stupid"
He calmed her down and said
"What do you want me to do?
I have loved and desired to be with you
since the first moment
I saw you at the department when we were
in 100 Level, but you
do not want anything to do with me!
You ignore me in class as if
relating with me is a shameful thing,
It is true that I do not come
from a rich background but I am still a human being!
I tried several times to get to know you but you have
erected a China wall between us!
I am a human being, I need your help now and
I am toeing the line
but have you ever considered that a day will soon
come when I will not need your help again?
You might make me feel guilty a little but what would
that accomplish? You are so proud, so demeaning and
dismissive that waiting for you to make up your
mind seemed not to be worth it! I love you,
I can say it anywhere
but do you love me? Can you say it?
Can you introduce me to your
friends, can I be a part of your world?
The issue here is not with me!
It is with you! I can always tell anybody that
is in my life to walk away
but I don't want to be alone anymore!
I want to live and enjoy my life too!"
She stood there looking at him as if he
had spoken out of turn!
They were both there for a while
Then she abruptly shook her head and left!
He didn't know what he said wrong or
perhaps it was how he said it
He stood there for a long time considering his options
should he go to her hostel and beg her?
Should he trust to hope that things will
continue as he was hoping?
One thing was certain, his relationship with
the other lady was dead
But what about his benefactress?
He still had one year of school left!
He went to her hostel, he had done so several
Usually, she wouldn't respond!
She would keep him at the visitor's lounge until
he got tired of waiting
She never for once apologised for being like that to him
This time she responded within five minutes
It was a very good sign
He apologised for the way he talked to her
She said it was okay!
Throughout that night he tossed to and fro on the bed
He didn't know what came over him
"Failure at the edge of success syndrome"
Why didn't he wait until his final year when he
wouldn't be at her mercy
And he suspected all along that she wouldn't take
kindly to him having a relationship
Why risk it? Why poke the bear?
The next morning, she was standing with her notebooks
in her hands when he got to class
As soon as he sat down, she walked over and
sat down beside him
For the first time, she brought heaven to him!
That was how they did until they graduated
She was with him everywhere
His babe, his girlfriend, his fiance, his wife-to-be
He served in Kaduna while she served in Kogi State
She got a job with a Pension management company
He got a job with a leading manufacturer of biro
They got married in 2012
PS: She said she didn't see him that way
until she heard he
was in a relationship with another girl
The news triggered a panic button within her
It occurred to her that she loved him and
somehow strangely didn't know it
If he had told her earlier that he was
interested in her she would have adjusted
She didn't know she wasn't giving him the
room to express
himself by her actions and mannerism
When he said his mind, she went to her room
to weigh his words
And she decided he had said all the right things
They have two children and are expecting a third