THE EVIL THAT MEN DO SERIES- IF I COULD TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME……..
School was fun in those days. I went to the best university then, great Ife. School was free, we bought our food ticket for a month beforehand so that in examination period, nobody would complain of hunger. I was one of the big boys on campus then. My parents were separated. My father was in Warri while my mum was in Lagos. I had an uncle, a senior naval officer based in Kaduna and my elder sister was based in kano with her husband.
Anytime i was broke, i would travel from Ife to Kaduna to meet my sister. She would give me a lot of money and even pay for my return ticket to lagos. Her husband too would give me money again so i always had plenty in my pocket. On leaving Kaduna, i would fly directly to Lagos to see my mum. She was a trader in Balogun market. I would go to see her in the market and she would tell me to go home. On getting home at night, she would give me money to go back to school. I wouldn’t tell her i was coming from Kaduna and there was no GSM then, so there was no way my sister could have communicated it to her. I would leave for school the next day with plenty of money inn my pocket. At times, i could visit my uncle in Kaduna after leaving kano. I would pretend to be a good boy; wash the car, clean the environment and stuffs like that. My uncle would give me money for food, his wife would give me too. I blew all these money on shows, girls and food. We didn’t regularly eat in the canteen, we normally patronised the buka to eat ogunfe [goat meat].
Once it was past eight at night, we would take our turns in front of the female hostels, Mozambique especially during the October rush period. It was normal for every guy to ditch their former babe during the October rush period. I had a girlfriend then, Remi Apoeso. Very lovely girl, nice, beautiful and well-behaved. She loved me and i loved her. If i could turn back the hands of time, i would marry that girl. She came from a family of three, her eldest sister was a lawyer, her only brother was a medical doctor and she was studying to become a pharmacist. She lived and grew up in Ibadan, stayed with her parents in Bodija. She came from a well to do family. I visited her residence, met the siblings and they all liked me. I saw her mum too but she didn’t know i was going out with her daughter. I was like a big brother to her, always protecting her in school, helped her with registration, made sure she attended lectures, showed her around. Before taking any major decision about her life or any other thing, she consulted me first. Everyone on campus knew she was my girlfriend.
She was young and very innocent. She got to Ife at the age of 16. She was just too young. She believed so much in me and i was her first boyfriend. She had not known any man before me. We went to different shows and parties together on campus. At night, i would go to her hostel to wait for her and she would come out well dressed. We guys enjoyed the hospitality if the ladies then, not like in these days. Back then, a lady would have prepared dodo and beans for her guy in her room and so we never really visited the cafeteria. After then, we would go out to the cinema at night. There was always a show to watch every night.
Then, Remi found God on time, at that young age.later on in our relationship, she started becoming serious in fellowship activities. I noticed this and at times, played along with her. Later she became more consistent until she became an S.U. i was both irritated and disgusted. A whole me, going out with an S.U. it was too much for me to take so i kept my distance. But i contributed to it because at that time, i was no longer giving her attention. My eyes were everywhere. Her religious activity was an extremity. Her sister was a big girl, a trained lawyer. I wondered how her mum even coped with her.
But, October rush came and i found or discovered another girl, Ronke. She was not as beautiful as remi but she was wild in bed. And she was a new catch too.By then, i was in my finals while remi was in her second year. I would visit this girl’s hostel at night when i knew remi would have cooked and be waiting for me. Some of remi’s friends even saw me with my new girl in one of the halls sometimes and went to inform her. The following morning she came after me and said, ‘sola, i waited for you last night and didn’t see you, hope no problem’ and i would say ‘’nothing, am sorry about that. Again that night,the same action would repeat itself. She would wait for me without seeing me. Then, reality dawned on her.
It affected her so much that she became a shadow of herself probably more because i was her first love. She couldn’t concentrate on anything. Some of my friends even came with her to beg me and i blackmailed her. I told them that i had heard all their pleas but on one condition; that she would continue to do with me everything we were doing before. They said like what? I told them to ask her because i didn’t have much to say. She broke down in bitter tears and wept. I just walked out of the place.
I soon left school after this and after a while, i left my new girlfriend too. I couldn’t continue with her. Remi was far better and ahead of her in all ramifications both family wise and financially. Remi came from a good home, very gentle, nice and caring. Even my friends liked her. Ronke lived in Aba and at times i would be the one to sponsor her trip back to Aba for the hols. I helped her with finances. After a while, i got tired of the whole thing and dumped her unceremoniously. My friends kept on telling me about remi, how she never recovered from that trauma but i cared less. What was my concern with first love. To me she was history. But now, if i should bring out the record of all the girls i had dated and turn back the hands of time till that time, i would choose remi, i could have reformed her extremity a little and enjoy my life with her.
I got married two or three years after i left school. Then, i saw her again in 2002 since we left school. I went somewhere and someone just called my name. I turned back and it was her. She ran to me, hugged me, asked about everything, got my number etc. She was not married yet. Then, she started calling. One day, she called to inform me about her album launch at Airport hotel, Ikeja. I went alone on that day,saw her sister and mother. They all greeted me. I watched her display on stage and in my mind i was wishing…………..
When it was time for donation, i wrote a cheque for fifty thousand naira and dropped it but i had to put my name because it was a cheque. Being an album launch, many people were not there and with the calibre of people i saw there, i knew i was likely to be the highest donor. The next day, her call came in. She was asking why i left without telling her, she thanked me for the donation. Her sister also called, thanking me for the donation. I have not heard from her again because i lost my phone and couldn’t get her contact back.
But, how i wish i could turn back the hands of time…………..i should have married Remi