Diary of an Ibadan Girl: Entry 12
Last week, I met my future husband.
He was standing next in line to me during registration and I didn’t even notice him at first. I had been really tired and my whole body was coated with desperation from the whole unnecessary wahala those people were causing me. I just wanted to get out of the place. First week, second day and my life was already upside down. The main reason why I did late second day registration in the first place was because I cannot come and kill myself. When about 1,600 people were standing in front of me on a line, where was the hope that my turn would come? I actually did struggle for a while but it was when I became hungry and asked someone to hold my spot for me so as to get something to eat and I now came back to find the whole line scattered and I could not even find the person I was in line with that I gave up. But then, I made sure I started out early the next day. Because it was last day of registration and all of us were going to stay on the line whether I liked it or not.
Then the whole process was going on for about an hour and I barely even paid attention to my surroundings. Probably because, most of the people doing late registration were all these people that looked like problem children and me I did not want to feel among. Oloun maje. It was not until I now looked back for like a second and I swear, the electric shock that entered my body when our eyes first locked was mad. But as per, poker face mode always on. Steady ni! I looked away so fast that I had to later convince myself that it actually happened.
This boy was so fineeeeeeeee. Like fine fine. Like fine die o!
See ehn, I don’t know how to describe what I felt but I knew that, on that day, I wanted the both of us to die on the line together. Because it was the only way to assure myself that I had just met my own take home to mama. But do you know that this boy was legit behind me all this time but I could not even turn to say hi? I’m usually never that tongue-tied but on that day, I just couldn’t bring myself around to do it. Before they go and use somebody to do fipa. Fipa is when you’re intentionally ridiculed because of whatever you do. I was not going to be specimen X, not in front of all those people anyway. So I just kept my cool.
But trust NYSC, Like they were not already ruining my life before, they now decided to put us in separate platoons again. I fell in platoon 2 and he fell in platoon 3. All because, the stupid computer was doing arithmetic progression and he was right behind me. In my head, I was like, Hahan; what is all these now? Who send you people message tori oloun?!
I sha didn’t do anything that day and acted like, it was nothing. Instead of me to have shot all the shots that was inside me, I was forming ko matter. Do you know that since that day, I have not seen bros or anybody that looks like him inside this camp? I know we’re plenty at this place and people could really be hard to find especially now that they’ve even separated us into platoons but abeg, it shouldn’t be this hard to mistakenly jam someone in one of these places again now. After all, platoon 3 stays right next to platoon 2 on the parade ground yet I haven’t seen this guy.
There was even a day that I went to join platoon 3 and I nearly got into trouble because their Man O war leader started shouting at me that he has never seen me before that me I’ve been hiding for parade. Oloun lo yo life mi lojo yen.
Anyway, me I have made up my mind that he’s probably an Akuudaya or something. (Akuudaaya is the Yoruba word for ghosts that are always roaming about because they died untimely) Because which one is hide and seek bayii?
NYSC is pretty much worthless, by the way. The whole of last week when we first got here was like a blur. I mean, I don’t even remember who I was because everything was just scattered. That parade thing is not for me. When we wanted to do opening ceremony parade rehearsals and they went to put me in matching group kini, I wanted to die. It’s kuku not their fault, shebi it was me that was forming diligence. My mates were intentionally doing rubbish so that the camp commandant will not pick them to join first 11 squad, me I was doing serious gang. That was how he went to pick me because he said I was pushing my chest to the front very well o and that my about-turn was really consistent. For about 3 days, my legs were not even mine.
The worst thing now happened again. When we were doing final rehearsals a day before swearing in and it got to that point where the commander guy would say “remove headdress” so that we may remove our cap and place it in our shoulder as a sign of respect abi nkan. That was how the guy beside was saying “remove headdresser” instead o. Obviously, he was playing around but me I was like which one is headdresser again bayii? That was how I started laughing and the commandant guy now said that me I’m unserious and I was spoiling his work, that I should exit the squad. I was just like, Ehn? After all my wahala? E ma ya werey ni Sir. I said it in my mind that he is going to run mad and I don’t even feel guilty about it. That was how I sha stopped matching o which I’m glad for in a way. I was just really bummed that most of my effort came to naught but who matching don help, abeg.
Like that was not enough. I now met this girl again in my platoon that was doing the most. Apparently, she’s an international student and her name is Monica. Me I even thought that maybe she had graduated from Harvard or Princeton ni with the way she was acting not until I saw her school ID and found that she had actually graduated from that school in Benin republic. North America abi nkan.
The first encounter I had with her was during the time we were getting our kits and we had to write our names and sign before they gave us. This girl was behind me o so I passed the paper to her so that she may sign. That was how she started talking to me in one stupid accent that I have never heard before in my life. She asked me that why did my parents name me after a shoe brand because she thought it was only abroad people that did ridiculous things like that. I was just looking at her like, is this one normal at all? When she saw that I was confused, she now said “Nice name by the way, More Nike”. I was still confused so I just ignored her.
It was not until the next day when we were leaving the parade ground that she started shouting “More Nike! More Nike” Everybody was wondering what she was saying for like a minute. She now came to me and said, “isn’t that your name?” Apparently, she thought my name which is Morenike is pronounced like that as in actual Nike pronounced “Naiky”. As in Nike, the shoe brand o. I was pissed so much that I told her straight up to better respect herself and call me the right way. Isokuso oshi.
Camp is really somehow because me I don’t even see the point of what we’re even doing sef. I want to write about the time that I jammed one stupid boy inside mami market but they’re already ringing that useless biggle abi ki ni won pe. Parade, we advance oshi. Nonsense.