It was nice hanging out with my relatives at Festac, 4th Avenue, Lagos. This is a short story my big uncle shared with me. After a long discussion about what students in my school look like and how boring the whole session went. Our discussion led into the career and relationship zone where everyone contributed..... even my little cousin who is 15, has a girlfriend and they claim to be in love.
I wouldn't have sapped the story out of my uncle's mind if I hadn't shared my suspected "gay friends" story. He was shocked and everyone kept asking me why I didn't report them to the necessary authorities. During the story, I noticed my uncle was not cool with the act and had this disturbed look on his face, finally he uttered a statement; "hey, those guys better stop such nonsense act. jail is real, you guys probably don't know.
We all laughed and I said, "In this country, if they are 'mouthed' they'll do it and nothing is gonna happen". This discussion bored Femi because he's a nerdy Robot Science Engineering graduate. He wasn't interested in such issues. We sat to eat dinner as my uncle shared with us a true of life story of one of his University friends that landed in jail.
It all started on the campus of the then University of Ile-Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. In the mid 70's as an undergraduate, my uncle, Oye, a student of Architecture part 4, had a roommate, a fresh student of the Petroleum Engineering whose name was Samuel.
As the first semester rolled by, Samuel learnt a lot from Oye academically, socially as well as spiritually. Samuel is brilliant and intelligent.
His first Sunday on campus, he went with Oye to worship at his fellowship, during the service, Samuel alongsides some people were welcomed as first time worshipers in the fellowship. Their details were taken and they were assigned to different executives in the fellowship for follow up and visitation. As if pre-planned, Oye was assigned to follow Samuel and other three first timers up.
He kept on being his cool-headed self until this fateful day came when Samuel went to the library to study at night, as fresh students do, when it's almost mid semester test period. At the library, everyone was seated, cubicles were occupied. The library was full. Oh! I forgot to tell you that He is a well built, tall, dark and handsome dude. He participated in sporting activities such as Badminton, Hockey, Lawn Tennis as well as Swimming.
All of these made him so popular even as a fresh man on campus, that's by the way though. The library was filled up, but the only empty seat available was beside a girl with a set of hands-free on, listening to Stevie Wonders hit music.
Samuel went for the seat, tapped the girl as her bag was on the seat.
Surprisingly, this girl happened to be one the people that were welcomed as first time worshippers in Oye's fellowship. So a conversation ensued between Samuel and Titilope. The girl is also a fresh student of the Medical Sciences Department and also became a chorister in the fellowship's choir eventually.
They kept talking for about an hour or more and later started studying for the tests. After studying for about 3 hours, Titilope felt tired and decided to leave the library for her hall of residence. Like all ladies do, Titilope asked, "Samuel do you mind walking me down through the dark, I'm scared?. Samuel, a coolheaded gentle boy packed his books and left the library with Titilope.
This story was getting interesting when Femi had a video call from his girlfriend Yinka from UK. Femi, my cousin always talked about Yinka anytime we chat, so he took me along to receive the call. I had the chance of getting to know Yinka, she's so beautiful. Femi got angry at the way Yinka and I got talking and laughing for long and the way I used my Egusi soup stained hand to hold his white iPhone6.
My Uncle didn't stop the story, but we joined the concersation after the call, at this point he was saying Samuel killed a big snake while walking Titilope down to her hostel,but unfortunately, Samuel was bitten by the snake on his wrist. Titilope ran to her hostel to inform the hall porters who were fast asleep, but her shout for help woke them up, one of the fat female porters, who was seated on her wheelchair, jumped up and ran out, she later remembered she was lame, she then ran back to her wheelchair and rolled herself out.
They helped him remove the venom locally, using an antidote, banded his wrist and took him to the school's health centre for proper medication. He was treated and discharged without wasting time. He explained the story to my Uncle...
Femi, interrupted the story with his lovey dovey Yinka, saying Samuel's story looked similar to that of his and Yinka's. They met at the restaurant in the UK, Yinka was indisposed from school stress, as a result, she fainted. He helped her, drove her to the hospital and afterwards cupid shot an arrow of love at them.
As per Funaab boy, we no dey carry last, I jumped in saying, "I had this close friend of mine that had similar experience too (Lol). My friend met his girlfriend at a church vigil, after the vigil they rested on a bench, while the girl was asleep, she had a dream in which a demon was chasing her, as a spiritual brother, when the demon was about beheading the girl, my friend woke the girl and saved her life and that was how love stole their hearts.... Don't mind me dear reader.
Titilope came by to check on Samuel after the test in the afternoon, she stopped at the mini mart to get him some stuffs and groceries. They talked about the tests which went well, as they were both brilliant and intelligent, they laughed about the snake bite occurrence and Titi commented on Samuel's bravery, how she had held on tight to him at the sight of the snake. They had fun together and enjoyed each other's company.
Titilope couldn't help commenting on how cute Samuel looked. Samuel was flattered and returned the compliment. Time after time, they became intimate friends, visited themselves, had hangouts, shared secrets and special moments together, everyone in the fellowship, campus and hostels including my Uncle noticed their romantic closeness, but it was nothing since they were all grown ups.
Love is so powerful, it steals your heart even when you think you're not gonna give in. As it was their first Valentine's Day on campus, they both had plans in mind to paint every moment of that day Red and White, they sent letters, pictures and gifts to each other and some of their loved ones.
In the evening, they went out to the pool side and later headed for the club. At the end of the day, while walking back to their hostels, they held hands, laughed, hugged, tickled and had heir first kiss. They could feel what was growing between them and it was beautiful.
They were both quiet for few minutes, Samuel was about saying something when Titilope raised her voice to say something same as Titilope. Samuel was like you go first....she refused though and waited for him to speak. Samuel made Titilope know what was going on in his mind, how he felt about her, Titilope happened to be the first girl Samuel fell in love with.
Tiitilope confessed how she felt as well, they were both happy as they went on kissing by the road side. Oye and his girlfriend walked by and saw them doing the whole love thing. Samuel explained the whole thing to Oye and he laughed as if he never saw them when he got to the hostel.
Their love continued to grow stronger and beautiful, academically they were cool, they lasted from their first year till Samuel's final year, because Medical Science students spend about six to seven years before they obtain their degrees,they didn't graduate together. It was Samuel's final year, part 5, first semester, Petroleum Engineering CGPA 4.05.
Oye had graduated and was working as an engineer at Guinness Nigeria, they still kept in touch and updated each other on things happening in their lives as they were more friends than room mates. As the semester went on, Titilope had an encounter with a pastor-friend who preached to her to re-dedicate her life to Christ, drop some habits and break her relationship with her boyfriend. Titilope was totally convinced by the pastor-Friend. Though the decision was so hard to make, she kept her distance from Samuel. All through their relationship they had kept the bed undefiled and remained faithful to each other.
Samuel noticed the changes in Titilope and kept trying to know what was wrong but she kept on keeping her distance and afterwards told Samuel they had to break the relationship for Godly reasons which she didn't explicitly discuss with him as the pastor-friend instructed her not to spend so much time with Samuel to avoid temptation. Samuel tried convincing her but all he did failed.
Samuel was devastated, he kept asking himself, if it was Godly to bring unhappiness into a happy and beautiful relationship? Was it really Godly?
His heartbreak affected him so much, he lost so many of his sport competitions, dropped some of his defended titles, He misbehaved in training sessions and the coach had to suspend him.
Samuel tried getting Titilope back but she already built her walls so high that no one could climb it. He discussed Titilope with all his friends and they gave him different advice which he couldn't try since she didn't even give him a chance to come close. One of the friends he discussed with, advised Samuel to invite her out, take her in and make love to her. Samuel had a Godly background and rejected the advice. Samuel's friends were angry and they told him they were gonna try to help out. But he already made up his mind to never go back to her if that was what fate wanted for him.
By Oyesomi Dotun (@Dottmannbricks)
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