I had called Sharon some weeks back to inform her of my visit to Delta state university Abraka. I had just passed my WAEC and needed to come make enquiry on alternative educational programs as I didn't take JAMB which would have catapulted me straight to year one. With the alternative program, I had to do one year before getting on year one of whatever course I intend to study.
It would be my first time at the University and I needed someone who is already in the system to be my guide. Sharon was a year one student who had spent quite some time on campus plus she was the only one I knew and she also went through Pre degree (An alternative educational program).
The sun was scorching and the serene was bright yellow. A masculine voice was calling on several locations from the speaker at the park, vehicles and bikes were honking both far and near. I had just alighted the bus and gave Sharon a quick call for directions so I don't take the wrong turn or go missing.
Get a bike and let me speak with the bike man Sharon said at the other end of the phone.
Ok, I responded and the line went dead.
I took a walk out of the park and saw a bike man signaling me with his hand, before I could respond with a nod, he zoomed off to where I was standing before his competitors hovering around will beat him to me. I told him to hold on let me call for directions. I dailed sharon again and she responded immediately, I put the phone on speaker and handed it over to the Bike man.
Hello? Yes what's your location? asked the bike man
Campus 3 behind the Redeem church, when you get there drop her, responded Sharon.
I entered the bike and didn't bother to ask for price as I don't want to be over charged as a first timer besides, I had already asked Sharon for the cost of town service to her house and she has given me the price also adding that it's fixed.
As we rode on the bike, passed several locations, I could sight Sharon from a distance as we approach the redeem church sign post. I immediately drew the bike man's attention and asked him to stop me where She was standing.
Babe how far? Sharon greeted me with a smile as I came down from the bike and paid for my fare.
I'm good babe, have you been waiting here long? I inquired smiling back at her.
Not really maybe like 5mins, I didn't want the bike man to carry you pass the place I had directed him to because some of them can be very funny. We hugged and she further said It's good to see you.
Do we get to take another bike to your house? I sort to know.
Sharon: No we don't we will walk down, there is a shortcut we will take.
Sharon took the lead and I walked behind her, soon we entered a compound that was not gated. In the compound was 4 upstairs containing about 14 rooms each and also a Bunglow facing the gate. It was a massive compound and despite the buildings in it, there was still space to accommodate like 10 cars without the compound feeling too crowded.
As we walked down to the Bungalow, I was really fascinated with the structures. I kept turning and looking back at each building and sizing the compound with my eyes. I had even done a quick calculation on the rent the landlord would be receiving every year and I said in my mind, people do hit the Jack pot, cool passive income, relax while your buildings generate income for you.
I was really far gone in thought and not paying attention then I heard a faint voice instructing, take off your shoes before entering the house please, I tried paying attention to grasp what I was hearing, then I realized it was the echoes of Sharon's voice which came off as if she was in a great distance, but that was just how far my mind had drifted.
The Bungalow has five rooms and was occupied by five students including Sharon. It has a parlor with no furniture except an old wooden drawer by the side. The parlor was used more like a walk way as it's the connecting center for each rooms. Sharon led me to her room and offered me a seat on her bed while she went on to change to a proper outfit for our school run. As I sat on the edge of her bed, I thought to call my parents to inform them I had arrived safely and will soon commence the order of the day.
I got done with my call and kept the phone right inside my bag. As my eyes wondered round Sharon's room, I caught a glimpse of her phone on top her bag which looked exactly like the phone I came with, same colour, same design just mine is a bit cleaner as my mom just got it.
Wow! Your phone is just like my mom's phone I said to Sharon as she came in to carry her bag.
Really? Sharon responded flashing a smile.
I immediately brought out the phone from my bag to show her and she jokingly said that makes your mom and I twinsies, we both laughed and made our entrance out of the house to go for our school run.
The school run was brief, every aim was achieved and we didn't consume as much time as expected but we got back really exhausted because we had taken a long walk back to the house as Sharon wanted to show me around and introduce me to some few friends who will be my guide when I eventually resume. I had followed Sharon back to the house to spend some time and relax as I still had few hours to spare before going back home. By this time I was already hungry and needed something to refill.
Babe I'm hungry is there anywhere around I can get something edible?
But we took a walk down and passed lots of Mini mart why didn't you get something then? Sharon queried
I wasn't hungry then so I didn't feel the need to I replied back.
Sharon gave a deep sigh and said, you just want to stress me. She collected the money from me and further said, whatever I get you, you will take it like that. I could not complain at that point and just prayed she gets something I can eat at least.
I was lying on the bed when she came back with a bottle of chilled Fanta and Sausage. The chilled drink was exactly what I needed to cool my temperature from the long walk under the scorching sun.
Few minutes later
I need to make a call for lectures tomorrow have you seen my phone? because I can't seem to find it anywhere Sharon said to me as she was searching her room.
I dropped the bottle of Fanta I was almost done with and joined her in the search. Are you sure you brought the phone back to the house? I asked her
But I did not bring it out while we were out, so how could I have dropped it? she questioned back
Ok then lets look for it, I responded calmly as she was already agitated. I collected her hand bag and turned everything on the floor maybe the phone must be hidden somewhere. The hand bag was empty but there was no phone anywhere. After searching the room for a while and not finding the phone, Sharon burst into tears and started wailing uncontrollably, before I could calm her down, two of her flat mate came in asking what's wrong.
Amidst tears, Sharon started explaining how she had kept her phone in her bag and now its missing.
Flatmate one: Are you sure you brought it back with you to the house because no phone has ever gone missing here and you know it.
I brought it back, I wouldn't have dropped it anywhere else because I didn't even bring it out from my bag while I was out Sharon responded.
Flatmate two: Who and who came into your room today before and after your outing?
No one, just my friend and we've been together since Sharon responded with a shaky voice as tears rolled freely down her cheeks.
At that point, there was no lead and we were all so confused. Then I suggested for them to call the phone if we could hear it ring. Sharon became a bit calm probably hoping the phone might ring out somewhere in the house. Flatmate one dialed the number and put it on speaker, all we could here from the network provider was, sorry but the MTN number you are trying to call is currently switched off please try again later thank you. And that was the last straw that broke the camel's back because Sharon went berserk. She ran out of the house, went to the middle of the compound, raised her gown and started screaming they have stolen my phone, Oh God! who would have done this? why me? where do I start from? all the information in my phone, my contacts, my sim card God why? she continued crying almost naked as she questioned God over her unfortunate incidence. In no distant time neighbors started coming out and people started trooping into the compound to enquire what's wrong.
I felt really bad and uneasy with the turn of event, for starters I was a stranger there, the only one who had been in the room and I had also seen the phone. By now I'm sure accusing fingers would be pointing at me I said in my mind. But in the midst of my worry, I ran after her and tried to console her. Everything is going to be ok, we will figure something out I said to her as I tried to rearrange her gown she had put out of place. Flatmate one was trying to control the crowd as people wanted to start recording with their phones.
Seeing how the matter has escalated, flatmate two started calling the rest flatmates to come that they've stolen Sharon's phone and she's out of control. We managed to calm her down a bit and took her to the house, some Neighbors followed us while others remained outside with the rest of the crowd.
In less than an hour after the call by flatmate two, One of the flatmate rushed in, he seemed to be the coordinator of the house. For identification purposes we'd call him Flatmate three
What happened? how did your phone get missing? where did you keep it? Flatmate three questioned Sharon, as he walked up to where Sharon and I were sitting on the floor in the Parlor. Sharon was still sobbing and occasionally hitting herself, she was in no position to respond to those questions so I narrated everything again to Flatmate three.
Did you at any point in time leave your bag unattended to? he questioned Sharon, I thought I could still respond on her behalf then I said No, I had forgotten she left it when she went for edibles. Sharon while still sobbing countered me immediately and said she had left the bag in the room with me to go get me something to eat.
I was surprised at her utterances, is Sharon thinking I stole her phone? A question I kept asking myself. I started panicking but tried not to show it. This is the more reason why they will say I am the one who stole the phone since she left her bag in the room with just me. I said to myself again.
Despite my clean consciousness, I was still scared that I might go in for the missing phone. Flatmate number three requested for my bag, I gave it to him. He dipped his hand inside my bag and brought out my mother's phone. He turned to the other two flatmates and their neighbors and asked, is this not the missing phone? they all gasped, but I quickly responded No! that is my mother's phone, I had come from home with that phone hoping Sharon would support me but she said nothing.
Next thing I knew, they started making arrangements for bikes as they said I would be going with them to the community deity to swear and prove my innocence. It is against my religion's doctrine to swear but at that point I could not object else I get mobbed.
I know my hands are clean but these deities don't take that into cognizant as most times, it is innocent people who they punish. I finally concluded I will follow them to the Shrine to buy me sometime but I will not swear as I believe in last minute miracles.
In few minutes, bikes were already packed outside to convey us. I started calling on God silently to come to my rescue, reminding God that I am innocent and that my hands are clean
We had come out to board the bike to the shrine, when the last flatmate stepped into the compound. For identification purpose we'd call him flatmate four.
I came in as fast as I could he said to us, why are there so many bikes outside? why are all these people in the compound? He asked further.
We are going to the shrine for this girl (pointing at me) to swear and prove her innocence, flatmate three responded.
Where did you keep your phone? Flatmate four asked as he turned facing Sharon, my bag, I kept the phone in my bag said Sharon in a teary and exhausted voice.
No you did not keep it there said flatmate four as he made his way to the abandoned drawer in the parlor, opened it and brought out Sharon's phone. The crowd went wild, the rest flatmates and the one wanting me to swear were dumbfounded.
I had come back from lectures in the afternoon and met the house unlocked, the last flatmate related. I entered and noticed Sharon's room was opened, I thought She was inside that's why the parlor door wasn't locked but when I called out to her and there wasn't no response, I entered her room and saw her phone on the bed and decided to keep it in the old drawer at the parlor.
I thought if I had left it on the bed and rushed back for my lectures, someone else might come in and steal the phone he continued.
He handed the phone over to Sharon and there was an uproar. I couldnt even hold my tears again as I started crying, I have never been so humiliated in my entire life. My mother's phone was handed back to me. Sharon on the other hand rushed to where I was and gave me a tight hug, but all I wanted at that moment was just to go home.
Thank you for taking time to read my lengthy write up.