By Olayiwola, Faith Adedolapo


‘Life is not a bed of roses’, they say. But you think you are lucky. You got accommodation again in this where female accommodation is like applying for a visa. You went to church and community shared testimonies. Everyone shouted three hallelujahs. You went back to your seat with your face beaming with smiles and hoped on what the experience was going to look like. Probably, like a house of paint and structured value with a room for four or three individuals. Thus, it makes it spacious enough and ready to be occupied. You would have roommates who enjoy ‘efo riro’ and love freebies. They would have no boyfriends. That way, there would be no ‘jealousy and possession’s’ fight.

You were favoured! They were just exactly as you wanted-wild life, party fantasies, bookworm, music lovers, nerds and gluttons. What else could you ask for!? Your room was the life of the floor. You were the craziest in your hostel. But that night, you stayed awake while you gist silently with your roommates turned sisters about the peaceful living condition in your greatest University unlike the rest whose educational standard were like your foundation. You smiled and continued in that manner until you heard them scream from afar. Your heartbeat stopped. ‘Why are girls like this?’ your roommate asked. You tried to press harder on the words that came through the large windows. ‘The hall is being robbed! ‘I heard they are being raped!’, ‘They are coming here as well!’

You did not know how some fluid unrestrictedly came out of you in sweat and fluid form. Fear gripped you while you grasped harder for air. You ran suddenly to the door and tried to lock it but were stopped by someone who came in suddenly and locked the door behind her. Your heart died until the person ran inside and shut the door. ‘Bisi!’, you screamed. ‘Do we have a padlock? A big lock for security. Guys’, she began to pack her clothes into her box. ‘I can’t take this again! My life is not save anymore. We are living here not knowing what might befall us tomorrow’. ‘Sussss’, you tell her. Then you switch off you light and fan while the four of you hug one another tightly as you prayed together.

But that did not last long. It was as though, they knew you expected them. They pushed the door till it was forced opened and annoyingly dragged the four of you to the centre of the room. At this point, you could identify every particle and chemical in the air. Your heart sang ‘life billows in the sea…’ It was not you. No, it was you but you were not sure. In few minutes, your phones and laptops joined the large quantity of gargets in front of the hall. You sat there shivering in fear and speaking in tongues until you hear the cries of victims like you outside. You join them outside. You curse them, the porters and then, the university management. They come to you and sympathise with you. They did not promise to get your properties back neither did they not promise. You go back to you rooms with great hope, saying, ‘they promised to get the thieves’. But that does not mean they would get your properties. You say, ‘when they get the thieves, you will get your properties’. You made a silent prayer for the injured victims and hoped that none of them was your friend.

One month later, you heard screams and shrieks across your hall. You shook in fear and forgot psalm 23. ‘You are becoming paranoid’, your mind told you. ‘Yes, I am’, you finally admitted to yourself; for the sake of sanity. But the noise was not from your vicinity. It was from the South-eastern district. The voices were more audible. This time, it was not you. You breathe in deeply and said, ‘thank God!’ Later, you thought about your experience. You walked down the lobby and entered your course mate’s room. You find a group of gossipers on her bed and joined them. You realised that you were luckier than so many people. You did not experience anything; you had given in voluntarily. You had not struggled at all. They showed you some marks from their knives and scratches from their fingers. You felt pity and kept saying ‘sorry’. You could not think of what else to say. You watched one talk about how she had kept her laptop underneath her bed but had to release them when she felt the tip of the knife against her skin. Another spoke of how she got few blows and a kick because she had neither an android nor an iPhone. You wanted to ask for what she had but you stopped when you saw her hand.

You walked back to your room as you surf the internet. You read of how the post graduate hall was filled with terror and machetes. You call one of your “momsies” to be sure she is safe. She tells you of how she went to a friend’s room on the last floor just before the incidence occurred. You said again, ‘thank God! It’s the lord’s doing ma.’ But deep down in you, you pondered if it was the Lord’s doing that the rest should be injured. You felt guilty but your ‘momsy’ said, ‘I know, right? We thank God. If you see how this people were being injured, my sister, thank God I prayed last night. If I didn’t, how would the Holy spirit have directed me to my friend’s room?’ You wanted to ask her if the Holy Spirit was not living in the victims. You swallow your thoughts and said, ‘hmmmm. May God save us all’ ‘Amen oh, my sister!’, your “momsy” said. Your “momsy’s” friend joins in the conversation and spoke of how she was affected. She said that it was for the better and God took it in order for something better and greater to come. You smiled and wondered if it was right to continue with that conversation. You hung up suddenly. If she had called you again, you would have told her you airtime got exhausted. After fifteen seconds, you dropped you phone on your study desk and jumped on the bed. You noticed your roommates move slightly.

You felt fear; fear of the unknown. You could not tell where this terror would go to next-your friend, your sister, your brother or you school spouse. You stare hard into nothing. There’s no one to rely on. Was it Abefele; whose existence is nothing but a telephone number; the University management, whose promised are as realistic as rapture, or the portals whose lives are fragile and unsecured? You thought of how you could save yourself or better still how you and the other students could come together to save yourself. You saw yourself alone and then, the sly, the weak, the religious, the nonchalant, the unaffected and the pessimists. You breathed slowly and closed your eyes; only to wait for another day.



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