She only wanted to be Campus normal. To stroll down the FASS pavements in wedges, exaggerating her height. Book in hand and wallet in another hand, sky high skirt slit that raced upwards, threatened to let the whole ass drop to the ground. She wanted to sit at the front in the lecture halls and preen like a peacock, whenever the Professor dropped his felt pen. She wanted to giggle like other girls do, loud and wild as they occasionally poke into their bags of fries with toothpicks, recalling the vulnerability of last night.
‘’Mike is an asshole’’,
‘’Oh, so he is? You wouldn’t say that before last night, would you?’’
‘’I don’t care, he is an ass’’
‘’So what did the most eligible bachelor in campus do to warrant such a scathing nickname?’’
Giggles, giggles and more giggles.
She wanted to be like other girls. To talk about last night, how high they were, and how low they bent later on in the night. But you would never let her be, would you? You, son of peasant, how were you to buy her pricey jewelry? How were you to make her normal, like other girls her age? You could not, so you let her go, you let her become normal in ways only she could tell.
Years later she is now only a girl you once knew. Torn and weather beaten you can hardly call her queen anymore. Everyone knows where she’s been, the murky waters she sunk her innocent beauty into. But no one wants to speak about it, ‘’She was a good girl’’ is the closest of breathes that come close to mentioning her.
You too know where she has been. Your recall takes you to very painful freshman days, when you both were young and in love. You were the envy of most of your new-found friends in campus.
‘’I can bet you two will get married’’, Samuel’s voice is still fresh in your mind, etched at the top of the indelible list in your mind.
Each time Sam’s voice haunted you, you would pick up your phone and dial her number. Late in the night, everyone asleep you would be taken down memory lane by her ring back tone. She had never changed it ever since you two separated. Your eyes willingly dropping a tear for her, you still weren’t sure if you wept for her or for you. Then she would pick at last.
You heard everyone and everything around her but her, the loud music, wild normal girls shouting the night out and the frenzied interaction of beer bottles. You did not hear her voice.
You would then hang up and sob softly into your pillow, poor boy.
But now she was back, and this time she wasn’t alone. Three years of being normal, she wanted her life back, and only you she claimed, could give her this life.
Last week you called Sam and asked him a question, he hasn’t answered till now. So you wait, a poor judge you are.
‘’Talk to me’’
‘’Do you still think I’ll marry Halima one day?’’
‘’You heard me man, answer me’’
‘’Well, I’m not so sure about that bro. Why you ask, You want her back?’’
‘’Nope, she wants me back’’
‘’You didn’t answer me’’
‘’I’m not sure I want her back’’
‘’She wanted to be normal, but now she doesn’t want to be normal anymore. She wasn’t sure of herself, you are not sure of yourself. Only you know where you’ve been my friend, some decisions you’ll have to be a man and make yourself’’
Sam has been your friend ever since Halima happened, was there before and after Halima. If there is a friend you ever had, it’s Samuel. There is nothing in campus that you two haven’t done. From cheating in exams to forging Mess receipts, Sam has been a daredevil friend. But on this one, he leaves it to you. He wants you to man up, the best way you can, and probably call him later in the day and tell him,
‘’Hey brother, I’m normal’’
So as you wipe the mud off your shoes to go on a date with Halima, this date that might be the last between you two-or perhaps the first of a new old relationship, ask yourself,
‘’Just how normal am I?’’