#Article (Archive)

The things we did in college

Dec 8, 2011, 2:44 PM | Article By: Isatou Dumbuya

Now I am being dumped at my new college gate by my mother, she helps me get my things down from the booth and hurriedly closes it and comes to the other side of car to give me a hug. My final hug till the semester ends.

“Give me a call whenever you need anything, and do take that aspirin whenever you catch the cold, Oh I am five minutes late for work,” she says.

I want to speak, but my throat suddenly goes air-tight.

She goes to her side of the car and opens the car, she paused and for a moment as if remembering something she blows me a kiss and says almost inaudibly, “I will miss you.”

If I do not know my mother, that much I would believe that she means it. But to be honest she is glad to have me off her back. I have career parents who concentrate more on their work than me.

She waves goodbye and the car keys clinks in mid-air.

I walk to the student affairs office and the lady I meet in there gives me a stony glare before showing me to my hostel room.

She knocks the door and minutes later the door flings open. The girl who opens the door doesn’t wait for an introduction. She says, “Hello, Sarah, we have been expecting you. I know you will be beautiful the moment I heard your name.”

The lady from the student’s Affairs office, eyes glisten, and she walks away rudely.

The girl at the door giggles and says, “Come in.”

I already like this girl, I tell myself. She is a sturdy girl with short kinky hair that she combed upward.

I already feel like I like this girl.

She leads me into the room, and there I meet two other girls.

“Meet Suzie,” Suzie jumps from the bunk bed and offers her hand to me. I feel like I am touching smooth velvet when my hand fastens around hers. She giggles and reveals a perfect set of teeth. I give her a grin that is bound to break her heart.

“Meet Binzie,” says Suzie. Binzie gives me a stony glare and when I think that she is finally never going to say hello, she says a dry, “Hello,” through muttered teeth.

“Don’t mind her,” says the first girl, “She is not her best today.”

“Oh I see,” I finally say.

Binzie’s eyebrows slowly crawl to her forehead, and she walks out the door.

“What is your name?” I ask the first girl.

“Oh excuse my manners,” she says and slaps her forehead.

“My name is Janine, but my friends call me Jane.”

The corners of my mouth curve into a smile and the three of us hit it off like we have known each other for ages.

The days turn into weeks and weeks into months, and I became infatuated with the president of our Students’ Union for reasons I cannot even fathom.

The college organizes an end of year ball. I have no difficulty in getting dressed up; I have a range of clothes I can always choose from, thanks to my parents. This time I choose my green stilettos and knee-length sea-green suede dress. I sweep my shoulder-length hair into a tight bun, and I do my make-up myself.

When I enter the dance-hall, all the young men want to dance with me. But I am choosy, waiting for the one I want to dance with. And by some sort of chance, he walks in and asks me for a dance. I cannot believe my ears. I bat my long lashes and swallow my spit. I want to say yes, but my throat suddenly goes air-tight. I nod my yes, and he whisks me away into the middle of the dance-floor.

He places his left hand on the small of my back, and a chill runs down my spine. With his other hand, he clasps my hand, and we dance to a waltz. I forget to breathe. I place my head lightly on his shoulder. I could have stayed there except that the music stops, and we are forced to separate, and I from my reverie.

He walks away when his friends call him without saying good-night.

Sometimes when we meet on campus, he would look at me intently like he knows me from somewhere and when I finally muster all the courage I have to say, “Hello, remember me? We danced together the other day,” he would turn his face.

My mouth would turn into a silent O and I would try to swallow the words that have come to the tip of my tongue.Maybe our dance means nothing to him, I tell myself. Maybe he sees me as one of the many girls he could have asked a dance from. I nearly pinch myself for being stupid, but I cannot deny that that moment means a lot to me, and when I sleep, it replays itself in my dreams again and again and again till graduation day.