DESTINED – Episode Two: Elusion

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Swimming Pool; Students’ Union Building Complex

Coughing out, I opened my eyes minutes later. I looked round and discovered I was lying at the edge of the pool, surrounded by people. The only face that registered to my memory was that of Rebecca, who held my hand tightly.

“Precious!” She called with fear and panic decorated boldly on her face, “Are you okay? Can you hear me?”

Breathing in and out slowly, I gave her a nod and she gave a sigh.

“That was close!” She exclaimed.

Those surrounding me helped me up to sit on a chair and I calmed down, as I was finally able to think about the near-death experience. I did not know what exactly happened or how it happened but I recalled that I was standing at the edge of the pool about to dive in and I probably slipped; then the next minute, I was in the pool, fighting hard not to drown. Clutching my head tightly with my right hand, I tried to flashback to when I was struggling in the pool and when someone came in to save me. I tried recollecting the face of the person but to no avail. No matter how hard I tried to think about it, all I could remember was a blurred face.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Rebecca asked, noticing my disturbed look.

“I think I’m fine.” I managed to reply.

“Do you have your Jaja card with you?” One of the men, a lifeguard, standing in front of me asked and I shook my head.

“I know her Jaja number.” Rebecca replied quickly as she covered my body with the towel she was holding.

“Good. Let her relax a little before you take her to Jaja and make sure she changes out of her swimming suit.” The man ordered before leaving.

“Thank you Sir.” She told him as he left before turning to face me, “Will you be able to walk to the changing room?”

“Of course!” I replied almost immediately. She certainly was not expecting me to change where I was seating.

She helped me up few minutes later and we walked together towards the changing room. While we walked, almost every student present at the pool greeted me. “Sorry” and “Hope you’re okay?” was what they kept on repeating. I did not stop nodding my head in response; I did not like the attention, but it was all I could do to be polite for their seemingly kind gestures.

Before we entered the changing room, I searched around frantically, hoping to get a glimpse of the person who saved me. However, how could I? I did not even see his face clearly in the water. How then would I be able to recognize him even if I saw him?

I sighed, wondering if he had left already or if he was still around. Nevertheless, even though I did not get to know who it was, I was grateful to him for saving me.

“Thank you.” I told no one in particular as I disappeared into the changing room with Rebecca.

 

Niser Park

“Did you see the face of the guy who rescued me?” I asked Rebecca as we walked down to Jaja. At least, if I did not get the chance to see him, she would have gotten the chance to.

I was rather disappointed when she told me that she did not register the face of the person.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yes.” She replied, “I cannot remember what he looks like. He jumped in so fast, rescued you and walked quickly away before I could process his face. Besides, I was too focused on making sure you were okay.”

“Oh.” I sighed. “That means you won’t even recognize him if we run into him now?”

“Errrrr…” She thought about it, squeezing her face a bit, “Not really. If we run into him now, I might be able to recognize him…errrrr…but wait, you should be able to.”

“As in? How?”

“Of course!” She exclaimed, probably remembering something suddenly.

“You remember the guys that were splashing water on us before we walked away?” She asked.

I nodded.

“He’s one of them.”

I tried recollecting that moment and I could remember shouting at two guys to stop their childish play. I was so annoyed with them because I was about giving Rebecca my sisterly “lecture” when their rude watery interruption came in. I could only recall the face of the other guy in the pool since his face  of the person.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yes.” She replied, “I cannot remember what he looks like. He jumped in so fast, rescued you and walked quickly away before I could process his face. Besides, I was too focused on making sure you were okay.”

“Oh.” I sighed. “That means you won’t even recognize him if we run into him now?”

“Errrrr…” She thought about it, squeezing her face a bit, “Not really. If we run into him now, I might be able to recognize him…errrrr…but wait, you should be able to.”

“As in? How?”

“Of course!” She exclaimed, probably remembering something suddenly.

“You remember the guys that were splashing water on us before we walked away?” She asked.

I nodded.

“He’s one of them.”

I tried recollecting that moment and I could remember shouting at two guys to stop their childish play. I was so annoyed with them because I was about giving Rebecca my sisterly “lecture” when their rude watery interruption came in. I could only recall the face of the other guy in the pool since his face was directed towards us but I could not recall the face of the other guy who stood, backing us.

Approaching Jaja, I sighed again as I thanked my lifesaver one more time, hoping I would be able to recognize him when I see him.

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University of Ibadan Bookshop

After Monday morning lectures, I went to the bookshop with one of my hostel and course-mates who wanted to get a book. Going through the shelves, I picked up a book I was interested in and walked up to the counter to pay for it.

“Good afternoon Ma.” I greeted the cashier, dropping the book on the table in front of her.

“Afternoon.” She replied checking the price tag, “It’s #900”.

“#900?” I asked, checking my purse. I did not plan to buy anything when I followed my friend but I had I in mind to buy the book and seeing it there was an opportunity for me to get it.

“Errrr… Please excuse me Ma.” I told her as I scanned around to look for my friend. Spotting her beside the shelves containing files and tags, I walked up to her.

“Hey!” I called. “Do you have three hundred naira change with you? I’ll return it when we get to the hostel.”

“Let me check.” She replied.

“Ah… Nada… I don’t have up to that again”, She said, raising her head to look at me apologetically, “I’m sorry.”

“No problem”, I replied, reassuring her, “I understand.”

I walked back to the woman at the counter.

“Excuse me Ma, I don’t think I will be able to get the book today. I do not have enough cash on me to do that. I’ll come back another day to…”

I had not finished my apology when to my surprise, she handed back my money and the book to me.

Reading my surprised look, she smiled.

“Someone already paid for the book.” She told me, still smiling and my puzzled frown only deepened.

“Who?” I asked knowing it could not have been my friend.

“A guy.” she replied. “He paid and left just now.”

“A guy?” I questioningly repeated.

“Yes”, She replied, “He was watching you the whole time when you were trying to garner money to pay for the book. When he came over to pay, I assumed he was probably an acquaintance of yours…”

I turned back as she was talking and noticed a guy walking quickly down the stairs away from the bookshop.

His Afro hairstyle looked faintly familiar.

“Thank you Ma.” I said to her quickly before rushing out.

Getting outside the bookshop, I looked around to see if I could trace the guy I saw earlier. I saw him standing not too far away. I smiled, knowing he would not be able to get away without me seeing him. I kept on smiling as I walked towards him and before I knew it, he flagged down a cab and he entered it without looking back.

“Excuse me! Hey!” I called as I walked faster to catch up with him but the cab sped off before I could get to where he stood.

“Ah…seriously! That was close!” I exclaimed.

I had a feeling it could be the guy who saved me from drowning at the pool on the previous Saturday, but I was not too sure if he was the one. ‘But then, why would someone pay for my book and storm off like that?’ I thought as I walked back to the bookshop before leaving with my friend.

 

Manuwa Drive

“This one that you’re going early to fellowship today is surprising o.” Rebecca teased me as we walked towards SUB.

“Twenty minutes to the time is early? Or are you forgetting that we are walking down to Chapel? My friend, walk faster joor!” I playfully snapped back at her.

Laughing, she increasingly fastened her steps.

“Did you see Lizzy today?” She asked.

“No. Why?”

“I guess she has something for you. You guys would probably meet after fellowship.”

“Oh. Tomorrow is Thursday right?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay. I think I know what it is.”

Looking left and right, we crossed from the walkway by the tennis court to the walkway at the other side beside the SUB car park. We barely resumed our walk on the walkway when a tall fair guy stopped in front of us, giving Rebecca a puzzled frown.

“I’m very sorry for interrupting”, He apologized, “Errrr…actually, I kind of know you somewhere.”

“Really?” Rebecca asked.

“Yeah. You were at the pool on Saturday right?”

“Uhm…Yeah.” I replied, trying to decipher about why his face was familiar to me too.

“Wait…” Rebecca voiced, remembering him, “You were the guy in the pool splashing water on us, right?” She questioned.

“Something like that…” He answered, rolling up his eyes.

“Wow!” She exclaimed, “Precious”, She called, turning to me, “It was his friend that saved you on that day.”

“Really? Wow. I was wondering why his face was familiar.”

“Well. Yeah. Hope you’re good?” He directed at me.

“As you can see, I am. Thanks to your friend. Sorry, please what’s the name?”

“Anthony.”

“Nice name. I’m Precious.” I told him before he turned to look at Rebecca.

“Rebecca.” She replied, as I took a quick glance at the time on my phone.

“So, how is your friend?” I asked.

“Well, he’s fine.”

“Do you mind giving me his phone number?”

“Phone number?” He repeated, squeezing his face.

“Yeah. I would like to thank him for what he did.” I replied.

“Well… I’m not too sure about that.” He said.

“Why?”

“He’s practically going to kill me. He doesn’t like people getting his phone number from anyone with his prior notice”

“But I just want to thank him. He’s not going to know if you do not tell him you were the one who gave it to me…”

“Yeah… But…” He interrupted me.

“And I’m not going to tell him either.” I continued pleadingly.

After much persuasion, I was able to get the phone number from him.

“Okay Tony.” I called saving the phone number he gave me on my phone as ‘Life saver’. “Thanks a lot.” I said.

“You’re welcome. Are you guys off to somewhere?”

“Yeah.” Rebecca replied.

“Oh. Okay then. See you around some other time!”

 

 

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One thought on “DESTINED – Episode Two: Elusion

  1. Very nice piece… If a bit intensive. I’d advise the writer to cut down on the intense emotion before either the writer or the characters are burned out prematurely.

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