Driving on strange roads searching via the map in our hands for Agura village; the one that has the special soil topography that we seriously needed for our Social science final year project. We drove past where we could recognize. Did we even verify the originality and authenticity of the map in our hands? How careless were we!
“O boy, how come this car didn’t show sign of faultiness before us left campus now. Ahhg, and I ran a check on everything this morning, jeez!” Wande exclaimed.
Myself and Ebere, exhausted from the wahala of getting a small network bar to make phone call, hissed up and down as we worked around the dreadful bush by the road side. Our hands were still clutching in the cold air as we matched around like soldiers parading on Independence Day. We were hoping for a droplet of network from our phones’ service provider. Nothing showed up for real. My head ached in waves.
“Shayb you said na my own car fit spoil? See wetin yours don put us into now,” an anxious Ebere couldn’t keep her calm any longer. She snapped at the beleaguered Wande who offered the service of his Honda accord for the project trip. Himself was disrupted in disbelief.
Understandably, Ebere, being the only lady amidst us didn’t make things easier. Standing beside her, it was easy to smell the warm blood running through her veins. Ladies don’t get mind; she was getting more scared by every second that went by.
“If I die here today it’s you Wande that will give account…..,” she continued her rants at Wande, until I interrupted with my usual calm voice.
“calm down, dear” I said.
“Tony, leave me jur” she moved off my hands from her shoulder.
The three of us were practically confused at the same time. Ebere shouldn’t feel she’s the only one who wanted to get out of the thick bush we found ourselves.
For the records, the map in our hands showed that we are still miles away from Agura village.
Dr Steve, the mischief maker, the reason why we travelled this far, isn’t just another brutal, vile and egocentric lecturer out there who is capable of heaping hot coal of problem on students’ bare head. He also has an ‘extra’ to every oil of wicked attributes he possesses. Almost everyone had passed through the steel edge of his wrath in one way or the other.
The slay queens and runs girls do not have issue with Dr Steve though; he loves to have them for the weekends in return for A and B grades. But on his worse day, He could murder any one’s university career with his wicked assignments and project works.
Having previously failed Dr Steve’s 3 units course and countless assignments in the past: myself, Ebere and Wande, the three partners in crime, couldn’t afford to jeopardize this last chance that our supervisor, Dr Steve gave us. The man spelt out the danger of not doing the assignment correctly right before our eyes in his office. We were the most unserious element in the whole world in Dr Steve’s eyes. Probably, it’s the more reason why he gave us the hardest of projects – “Bring soil samples from Agura village for analysis.” He said.
How I wished that day there was enough courage to say no. I kept my cool though, watched as Dr Steve molded an unpleasant journey and placed it in our hands.
“Young guys and lady, Fail this course and project, then forget graduation” he said; the man couldn’t keep his worrying words to himself. But we got his message right away – even though the look on our faces suggested that if possible he should just disappear and stop making our lives miserable with every itch of his aged principles. He could have considered us; probably assign us to a proximal site to collect our soil samples.
He knew our predicaments.
As business minded students who have family’s financial burdens to carry, we couldn’t have all the time for books. The three of us school and feed our poor families. It was always difficult to participate consistently in lectures, assignments and tests; the same rituals you must perform if you don’t want to cross the red lines of our mysterious lecturer.
Here we still stood confused of our bearing to Agura village. No iota of network to make a call. No sight of a human being to show us the way.
The rough road on which our car broke down looked dry and silent as we peeped forward.
Droplets of water from the surrounding tall grasses spited on our faces. We couldn’t lick.
Birds with sonorous voices filled our ear with their danceable music; yet we couldn’t dance.
Strange voices filled the background, we heard rumblings like that of a beasts’ roar. My body hair stood – fear grabbed it, adrenaline flew out from its vesicle; it filled my veins with fear.
To be continued…