So I have started working on my next manuscript. The work in progress (WIP) is titled; Ghost of the Past. This is just the very rough first draft, so expect a lot of typos, grammar errors, etchetaram. Also, names are subject to change, places and settings are tentative, and a lot of cleaning up will definitely take place before this even becomes a manuscript. But if you want to observe and partake of a writer's journey, come with me. Please your feedback is very much a part of it and will be really appreciated. Thank you.
10 years ago. A small university town, Nigeria.
Ijeoma Oraka arrived at the lecture hall just in time because as soon as she sat down, the lecturer strolled in. It was Dr. Okafor, the BUS 201 lecturer. The man was a truant, coming to class only as he liked. The only favour he did his students was to give them the course outline and his lecture notes.
As usual, he went straight to the blackboard and wrote out his course and the topic for the day. He then turned back to the class.
“How many of you have read ahead on this particular topic, Entrepreneurship?”
Nobody answered and he began a long tirade that always took up half of his lecture hour. Finally he started on the real lecture and seconds later, Ijeoma was lost in a doze, oblivious to the bustle in the hall as the lecture went on. “You! Tell me what I just said now,” Mr. Okafor shouted in rankled tones. Ijeoma started awake but couldn't understand what was happening till her friend pinched her and she looked directly at Mr. Okafor to see him staring under glowering eyebrows at her. All sleep quickly fled from her eyes.
“Young lady, what did I just say?” He repeated slowly as if speaking to a dim-witted and recalcitrant child.
Ijeoma stood up lost for words, “Ehm ... Sir, you see... ehm... ehm...”
“Yes? Go on...” Mr. Okafor encouraged with utmost sarcasm in his voice. “You were speaking on a sole entrepreneur, sir and you said...”
Before she could complete the sentence, the whole class burst out in wolf whistles and catcalls as one of the ajibo girls sneezed loudly. Some of the boys shouted “rendered homeless” while others stamped their feet and clapped their hands. “What is this noise all about?” Okafor asked looking around perplexed. A bold guy stood up at the back of the class and replied “Sir, millions of bacteria have just been rendered homeless and we were just trying to kill them before they could contaminate us,” he ended.
“You are all sick,” Dr. Okafor declared with an air of amusement. Packing his books he declared, “ Well... since I don't want to be infected too, I beg to take my leave.”
This last was said with the air of somebody who had been asking for something and it had been handed over on a platter of gold to him.
Some of the backbenchers continued whistling, but for a different reason, as the lecturer took up his books and left the class.
“That man is a real truant,” Nneka complained to Ijeoma as they left the class soon afterwards. “Imagine just leaving the class for a silly thing like that”
“I was lucky, don't you realize that girl let me off the hook?” Ijeoma asked in reply.
“But really Ijeoma, what were you even thinking about? It is not like you to be absent minded in class,” Nneka stated.
“My dear, the fact is that I wasn't just absent minded, I was dozing,” Ijeoma replied. “You don't mean it! Nneka admonished.
“I am very serious. When you left the library last night, Ngozi persuaded me to read till dawn, you know now, TDB.” Ijeoma told her with a yawn. “And you didn't sleep a wink?”
“Exactly, you know me now, once reading I can't fall asleep,” Ijeoma replied, “but trust Ngozi, she fell asleep once it was midnight and didn't stir or wake up to read again till this morning when we had to return to the hostel.”
They both burst out laughing as they walked to their hostel. That had been their last lecture of the day and Ijeoma knew that once she got to her room, it was straight into her bed for a very long siesta.
“The unseen swot,” Nneka mocked, “I don't think I can deceive myself like that.”
“It's really good if one can read throughout, but my friend, the demerits are just too much for my liking, sleeping in the class for one.” They both burst out laughing again.
ps, the Cupid's Risk series will debut on March 10th, get ready. Anybody interested in contributing for this season should me an email. myne @ mynewhitman.com.