By the time JAMB and Post JAMB had dealt with Peju and I twice, we finally let go of the beefs we’ve nursed for each other throughout our secondary school days and realised it just didn’t make sense at all. Peju realised her I’m-better-than-you-because-I-went-to-a-boarding-school attitude had unfortunately not got her an admission in Oxford, neither did my I-read-Grisham-and-Sheldon-back-to-back air got me one in Cambridge. Those seemed too far away anyway, because I had not even realised why Unilag “hated” me that much and Peju had not been able to figure out what was going wrong with her shuttle between Uniben and Unilorin; at least I knew mine was “hatred”.
I can’t even remember how we reconciled, we just suddenly started talking so well like it was before “boarding school” came between us. Peju would come to my room and I to hers and we would talk for hours about just anything. Just anything to take our minds off our predicaments with the institutions our parents forcefully wanted us to apply to for their selfish reasons.
My landlady who couldn’t understand why we drifted apart throughout our secondary school days could not hide her excitements when she saw us getting back together.
“Ore! Ore!! Two friends!” She would say excitedly, teasing us about our gossips.
“Let me be your third friend na, let me also join in this conversation,” she would tease in her thick Akure accent that was always in a hurry to stick its head out of her gapped teeth.
“It shows that they are growing,” she told my mum one Sunday evening, when she thought we were no longer paying attention to her.
“What were they even fighting over before sef?” My mum asked.
“Me I know? These children of nowadays and their weird ways of thinking,” Mama Peju replied, hissing after her statement.
“I had a feeling it was because Peju got into a boarding school and Detoun didn’t,” we heard my mum say and I could sense the shame that played on both of us at that moment; such a mundane thing to fight over.
“Haba! You think so?” Mama Peju asked, sincerely surprised.
“Well, I thought so,” My mum replied.
“But why didn’t you even allow Detoun to attend a boarding school?”
“Ah, I couldn’t o. My mind wouldn’t be at peace.”
“Hmm, I understand. Even if it were to be just me, I wouldn’t have allowed Peju too. I didn’t get to teach her so many things I would have loved to. You can imagine, Peju cannot pound yam! If not for her father, I wouldn’t have allowed o,” Mama Peju said as I gave Peju a teasing look that doubled her embarrassment, as her mum belittled her “womanliness”I .
“Detoun’s father too had wanted her to be in a boarding school, but me I didn’t want it. Even this higher institution she’s going to, I would make sure she comes home every weekend. That’s why I want her to go to Unilag…”
I was jolted by mum’s confession and felt cheated.I had always thought her insistence was based on laudable reasons. It was Peju’s turn to give me a face and she did give me that “you don enter am” face. That day, I earnestly prayed in my mind for Unilag to throw their “hatred” at me once again so I would apply to the farthest University in my next JAMB application and come home once in two years.
WATCH OUT FOR NEXT EPISODE!