Author’s Note: This is the first part of this story. I do not know if I will ever get to write the sequel.
Well…let’s leave things to the hands of fate.
Before you read:
The events narrated in this story are a mixture of facts and fiction.
So, 99% of the references to any person or character, living or dead,
Are definitely intentional, while the fictional parts are mere creative coincidences.
Therefore, the author has no intentions of apologizing to any offended person(s).
You have been warned!
Happy “Rollercoastalistic” Reading…
Ayoola Adesewa Boluwatife…
The dazzling damsel with the dazzling personality
That never ceases to dazzle me.
May the translucent glows of your smiles
Never dim untimely…
With all love,
I would like to tell you all my love story.
Afterwards, I would really appreciate it, if you could help me make a very important decision.
So, please sit tight and pay ultimate attention.
How do I start?
Or rather, when did it all began?
Probably, during the CLA107 classes…NO!
It all began way before that time…
I guess I have always noticed her ever since our first class in the University of Ibadan.
Now, before these emotions-torturing adventures I am about to recount, I must let you know that I have never been a fan of love stories. I knew love existed somewhere in the universe, but I have just been rather unlucky…or lucky to have not encountered it. But believe me, the first time I saw this girl, I instinctively knew that my “story” was about to change.
My name is AbdulwahabRamon. I do not need to tell you my family background, it is not really necessary. All you need to know about me is that angel Gabriel must have taken the light away when God was creating me, which is why even the blackest charcoal “beefs” me, because of my overwhelming dark skin. And less I forget, I think I am a Muslim, or am I not? Though a contemporary one. Also, I am a member, and I must tell you that I am proud to be, of the prestigious Excellers ’14 of the department of Communication and Language Arts.
How it all began…
So, I guess my story really began during the first CLA103 (Fundamentals of Speech Communication) class. Uncle BisiCrown was our lecturer. I remember the “old” man, dressed like an “early” teenager, coming into the class and introducing himself flamboyantly as the lecturer-in-charge of the course. Afterwards, he asked everyone in the class to step forward, one after the other, to give a brief introduction of themselves…and that was my first glimpse of the personalities of each member of my would-be academic and social family, the Excellers ’14, for the next four years.
Everyone came out and introduced themselves. Some were interesting; some were hilarious; others were just “normal”; some were so boring; one was weird and another was simply “attention-catching”. The interesting introductions were those of OkunsanmiAderoju, BalogunMariam (our class rep.) and so on. The hilarious ones were those of Samuel “Shawonje” and Gabriel(these guys were ‘real’ from the start). I cannot even remember whose introductions were just “normal” and so boring, however, two of these myriad of introductions will always “stick” to my brain as long as I remain a C.L.A. student. Those were the weird one and the simply “attention-catching” one.
Lo and behold, one tall, slim and fair guy with dark bushy hair that would compete favourably with that of the forest of “Zik” hall and a steely frown that even the Idanre hills envy, stepped forward and proceeded to give his personality introduction.
He said something like:
“My name is Adesanya Emmanuel, but I’d like to be
Called MacDarLor’D…and I am complicated.”
After he said this, half of the class hissed at him (trust the ladies), the half of the other half just jeered at him, while the remaining one-quarter stared at him as if he was a life-form statue made from kryptonite. Even Uncle Bisi laughed and commented that his statements were just fallacies. However, I am more than two years old in the University of Ibadan, and I must confess that what the guy said on that day turned out to be true after all. Mac is one hell of an ocean of “unpredictabilities”.
Not quite long after the kryptonitical introduction, this girl stepped out to introduce herself. As if on cue, the whole class became silent. Her presence alone commanded a form of mild respect that would, in the later days, turn out to be uncommon among my class mates. She was dressed in a fitting knee-length black skirt and a multi-coloured flowery blouse. She was averagely tall and healthy looking, with a skin colour that rivalled that of the fertile earth. Her oval face lit up with a smile that would have sent the sun, in all its glowing majesty, on its heels. With captivating eyes that shone brightly of raw intelligence, she grazed at the mute class before she spoke.
“My name is AyoolaAdesewaBoluwatife…” She said in a voice that was wedged between that of the innocence of a pre-teenager and the lustrous quality of a full blown woman. Right from the moment I heard that voice, I knew I was definitely hooked. Till the end of that day, my thoughts focused on only one object – Her.
A Step up the Ladder
I really cannot remember how we started talking. All I knew was that I found myself beside her in almost every class we had together. However, we only discussed the basic things – assignments, group works, projects and the likes.
One of the major landmarks in my acquaintance with Sewa were the CLA107 (Introduction to Photojournalism) classes. Uncle FemiKuti was the lecturer-in-charge. I remember being delighted when I discovered she was taking the course too. It afforded me more opportunity to observe her personality and daydream about her. Thanks to the requirements of the course, we all had to buy a picture camera each, and that was how my first “child” came into existence – my Olympus camera. Trust me! I took the pictures of this angelic figure at every opportunity I had and before I knew it, the space on my phone and laptop were seething with her pictures.
Fortunately, Uncle Kuti asked us to split into groups and gave us a project-assignment. Each group was to buy photo films and practice taking creative pictures with the manual camera he loaned us. Afterwards, we were to take the exposed films to the photo-labs and produce them. A big thanks to BalogunMariam, my class rep., who in a feat that could only have been influenced by fate, placed Sewa and I in the same group. There were no words that could describe the joy that I felt when I discovered this arrangement.
The manual camera was just one and it took a while before it got to the turn of my group, which was the fourth one, to use it. So, on that fateful day, virtually all the members of my group gathered and we all went on a “picture-taking” tour around the campus. Through another fortunate act of fate, every person in the group took their pictures and left, leaving Sewa and I with the camera and the remaining unexposed films. I took my own pictures quite easily, but she was almost unable to take hers. At that time, she did not really understand the mechanisms of a manual camera. Believe me; I was just too glad to take the pictures for her. That day, my friendship with Sewa entered another realm.
Toheeb: An Eye-opener
Later that day, around 8:41pm in the evening, I was in my room editing some pictures with my laptop and whistling happily away when I heard a series of knocks on the door.
“Who is that?” I queried.
“Please, is Ramon in?” A voice asked behind the door.
“Yeap” I replied, “Come in.”
The door opened and my friend and classmate, LanlehinToheeb, stepped into the room.
“How far guy?” I greeted him, extending my hand to him for a handshake.
“I’m cool” He replied, dropping down on the bed, beside me, “Is your group done with the camera?” He asked.
“Yeap” I answered, “Are you in group five?” I queried.
“Yes. My group members asked me to retrieve the camera from you, earlier today.” He replied.
“Alright…” I said, standing up to remove the camera from where it was hanging on a nail on the adjacent wall, “Here is it. Please, handle it with care.”
“Thanks. Have you removed your film?”
“When did you finish the assignment?” He asked.
“Late in the afternoon” I had already replied, but I did not know, at that moment, what prompted me to add “…with Sewa” to my statement.
Instantly, Toheeb looked up, his forehead creased questioningly.
“Sewa…” He repeated, smiling knowingly.
“Why are you smiling?” I queried.
“Nothing” He replied simply, looking down at the camera he was holding. However, I could still detect the traces of that smile in his face.
“Why are you smiling now guy?” I asked.
“Ah-ah…I said ‘Nothing’” He replied, laughing softly.
Still wondering what I had said, that brought the knowing smiles; I sat down on the bed and directed my attentions back to the pictures I was editing.
“That girl, Sewa” He voiced suddenly, “You like her” He stated.
“Uh?” I exclaimed, raising my head sharply.
“Yes, you do” He reinforced.
I paused a little bit before I answered him.
“I…just have a crush on her…that’s all. You know, she’s beautiful, intelligent…” I replied.
“This is not a crush Ramon”, He replied, cutting me off, “This is more than that. You like Sewa. You really really like the girl.”
“But…” I said, starting to object.
“No ‘buts’ Ramon. I am sure of this.” He interrupted me, “Even half of the class already know about you two.”
“What!” I exclaimed.
“Yes” He simply replied.
I did not know what got into me; I just started laughing at that moment. His statements had no elements of humour in them, but I knew that the gradual realisation of the fact that Toheeb’s statement were stark truths was what caused my heart to burst out in joyful laughter.
The birth of Primus Media
After my laughter had died down, I told him about my encounter with a lady who requested that I cover the pictorial aspect of her birthday party.
“Really?” He asked.
“Yeap” I replied, “In fact, I’m still a bit surprised myself. I was walking towards the departmental building yesterday evening, with my camera hanging around my neck, when she called me. She was sitting with two of her friends on that short wall that demarcated the main faculty building from the staff car park. I walked up to her. She asked me if I was a practising photographer. Trust me, I said “Yes” and I did all I could to “hype” my skills. Long story cut short, she invited me to cover her birthday party. Even the hosts of hell couldn’t have stopped me from agreeing with her.”
“Wow!” Toheeb exclaimed, “So when is the birthday party?” He asked.
“Next week Tuesday” I replied.
“Next week Tuesday” He repeated thoughtfully, “Ramon”He called suddenly.
“Why don’t you start a photographic business? You know…taking pictures and…” He said.
I listened attentively to him and we started sharing ideas on his suggestion. Primus Media, my photographic business, came into being that night.