LEGAL OCCUPANT By Emmanuel Ibezimakor (Zimackos)

Totally exhausted after a long day, I dragged myself all the way up to the third floor of Block 1, Awolowo Hall.

I perceived the scent of dried-up urine mixed with the stink of soapy mud water. I overheard the ranting of excited Awo boys as they played aro* on an innocent girl passing by. I didn’t stand to watch them on this particular day. I felt my shirt glued firmly to my skin by the dense sweat oozing from my body. But the least of my concern was looking good.

I threw open the door to the last room on floor 3. With the last breath I had, l crashed on the jagged, iron bed in my corner of the overcrowded room. My heavy bag pounced on the floor. My feet cried for fresh air but I was too weak to take the shoes off. The loose tie on my neck threatened to strangle me at every slight turn I made. Yet, I was too spent to hassle about health and safety. I just laid on my jagged iron bed.

I had gone through the most strenuous day of my life yet, simply because I was striving to preserve my empty integrity as a punctual, front-desk student. I was in Ajose Lecture Theater by 6:30 AM. Then off I was to Amphi Theater by 9:30 for the 10:00 AM class. On and on and on, by evening, I joined the ever-conscious Students’ Union on a rigorous walk from the senate building, through the halls of residence and then the 2-kilometer march to the school gate and back. By 8:00 PM, I was at the religious ground raining down fire on my enemies. Little did I know I was my own enemy.

My comfort was this little jagged, iron bed. Though on an empty stomach, I still laid, knowing strongly that if I made any attempt to prepare a meal, I’d be dead by the time it was ready. So, I whispered to God, “I’ll be wiser next time. I promise. Right now, Give me just a little something to eat.”

He answered.

I picked up my plate and joined the short line waiting to be served from a steamy pot of ewa (beans).

“You are number 5,” the woman with the serving spoon bawled at me.

“Yes, number 5,” I nodded, “Number 5,” I repeated, trying not to forget. Number 5 meant there were four people before me. One has been served. Three more. I was brewing in excitement when a hand struck my thigh trice, rapidly, bringing me back to reality, sluggishly.

A tall figure appeared before me, with amplified bass voice and said to me, “Ogbeni, this na my bed space. I wan sleep, stand up!” Waving a paper at my face.

As I rolled out of the bed for its legal occupant, I overhead the voice of one of the numerous squatters in the room say, “Yea, na bed number 5 be that.”

Emmanuel is a final year student of geography from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He is a writer with a unique style.

Showing 14 comments
  • Zimackos
    Reply

    Thanks for publishing

  • Ajallys
    Reply

    Lol. Ogbeni next time before resting your bone careful verify, if the bed belongs to you.
    We can’t blame the guy, him com clime him right. Kudos, you just Chinuaed the story. I like it.

    • Zimackos
      Reply

      Lol. Thanks, Ajally, for reading. It a a pleasure to have “Chinuaed” this story

  • Manicl
    Reply

    Number 5. Lol. Can’t stop laughing. Nice one bro. More of this.

    • Zimackos
      Reply

      Yes o. I’m hoping for more. (particularly now that I don’t have to worry that it could affect my “academics”. Lol)

  • Jimoh Sarah
    Reply

    Nice!

  • Ajallys
    Reply

    lols. Keep writing.

  • Orifunke Lawal
    Reply

    Looooool. Great! I like the twist. And the originality.

    • Zimackos
      Reply

      Such compliment from a great writer like you are? I feel good. Thanks

  • Samuel
    Reply

    You killed it men, I like your style… Kudos! More please

    • Zimackos
      Reply

      Thanks man. I ‘preciate. I’ll share more with you

  • Luvama
    Reply

    It’s awesome, wonderful

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