Not a Dot (Part I)

By Niena and Cecil

I am writing at my desk. If my parents knew what I was writing, they would be so outraged. I look behind me and watch them watching the television screen so contentedly. They must be thinking that their son is so hardworking. Should I tell them that I may be failing a lot of my classes and that I may not be graduating when I am expected to like a lot of my classmates?

My teacher gave us an essay- one of these political-kind-like essays where I think she expects us to show her some understanding of some political theories or something like that. The first time that I read the question, I thought to myself, ‘Who cares?’ Now, I am typing away at my computer trying to explain to her the reason I think nobody should care about the question.

My best friend thinks that I need some exorcism. He doesn’t understand why I cannot simply go with the flow like everybody else- just pretend I care and agree with the rest of the world. That is how to survive. I think I can do more than survive. By default, I appreciate more what matters to me, what I think, what I want to do and what I want to say. It’s hard to go with the programme where you survive and chale, it dey bore in an environment where politics is about the game of power than the concerns of the people; a place where the laws and constitution only apply to some.

Really, who should care about any of it? I know what she expects and I can easily impress her but I need her to understand that students need to put their efforts into something more beneficial beyond the classroom. Some people say, ‘If you don’t like the current situation do something about it.’ What if I genuinely don’t care about the situation? Obviously, I do not care about politics or this essay.

My parents, as much as they are loving and want the best for me their “help” sometimes becomes a burden. My father already signed me up with an extra studies class a week before the term started. My mum insisted I join the choir or the instrumentalists during their rehearsals on Saturdays even though that’s the only day I get to take a break from my usually tiring week.  Anytime I try to object to her ultimatum, she emphasizes, ‘It will help your growth with God’. Deep down, I think she’s a bit worried about the Muslim company I keep during my leisure. She knows they are very polite, humble and well nurtured. Why would she be worried?

My phone rings. I cannot help smiling when I see the caller ID. It is Rachael, the soon to be ex-girlfriend of an acquaintance. I remember that the first time that I met her, she was introduced as the girlfriend of that acquaintance. Rachael, that girl! She is a very beautiful shapely thing with a beautiful character. I decided at that moment that I was going to charm her away from her boyfriend and I have done it. To hell with morality and the feelings of her boyfriend! She may not want to admit it but how would you interpret the actions of a girl who calls you at least twice a day to complain about her life and to tease you? I am lagging behind even in relationships. I have to simply tell Rachael, ‘Be my girlfriend’ and she will run into my arms. These girls! They should learn to fight for what they want for once. I want her to break off her relationship and tell me, ‘I want you’ but until then I am going to be pretend and play along with her.  My best friend is right. I really need to be exorcised. I pick up the phone and greet, ‘Hello.’

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