Year is 2014. I was lucky enough to escape Matiangi’s wrath. Did my last paper, Physics Paper 3 and finished it half an hour earlier. Of course it was the excitement that caused this. That hysterical excitement that builds up over the fourth year and bursts out when you’re about to clear high school. Ready for the world and whatever it tosses at you. Older guys have told you about the life in campus and you can’t wait to get in. The freedom. The women. The weed. The sex. The clubbing. Debauchery all packed up in a 4 year package. You can’t wait. You simply can’t.
So I’m sited. Swinging back and forth in my chair. I’ve confirmed all the answers. They look right. It seemed like an easy paper but you can never be too sure with exams. Sometimes results come in and prove you otherwise. And you’re heartbroken because of the hope you’d invested in it. It happens and you hate it. I see the invigilator jettison stink eye at me. I can see the his thoughts through his sneer. “Little bastard thinks his momma’s marking his paper. You’re in for a shock little man!” No worries though. I’m stoical at this point. In half an hour, I’ll be out of this place forever. I decide to repeat some experiment. Just to be sure and pass time faster. Throws me back to those lazy Tuesday afternoons after eating upsettingly copious amounts of rice and I’m in an even lazier Chemistry class. I’d sleep what felt like an hour only to wake up and look at my watch with utter exhilaration to see ten minutes had passed. And I’d curse out aloud in frustration.
I’m not even done halfway repeating the experiment when voila, the bell rings. You could choke on the bliss in the air. Invigilator takes the papers. Throws another malign look at me and walks out. I hope he doesn’t cross paths with any of my papers. There are geometrical sets everywhere, books strewn all over, pens weeping ink from being crushed by overly excited (ex)students. It looks ugly. Messy. Nasty like an orgy aftermath. And all that to prove a point; that we were done. Or the thirst for education had finally been quenched. All that could save you was your parent coming early for you so you don’t get belabored by the deputy to clean up.
Papa came in early. Saved my ass from possible back pains from picking litter. Put my stuff in (no puns bana) and drove off. I was finally out. No more waking at foul times. No more smelly rooms from a cubemate that wets the bed. No more fraternizing with teachers and prefects. No more relentless horniness. And best of all, no more random checks that would find you with earphones and get you flogged for three straight hours. We were walking into heaven; pearly gates at Kikopey, heaven was your room at home.
Like everyone says soon after they’d stayed home for a while, it gets boring. Reality creeps in slowly into your life. Like a lifestyle disease. Cancer. First, it starts with the serious lack of cash. You can’t go out. Not even for 20-shilling mutura outside your house. You’ve started acting like a 35 year old Githurai driver drowning in debt; ducking calls from certain people and joyriding with the few that offer you free booze and marijuana when all you bring to the table is your gregarious nature and dry wicked sense of humor. You’re a lost case. Then the loneliness comes in. You’ve watched everything that you had accumulated through the year. All the movies and shows that iMDB had ranked over 85%. You’ve watched them all. Re-watched some too. And only one and a half months have passed. Luckily, festivities are coming up. Ads are starting to leans towards Christmas offers and “Don’t drink and drive. Life goes on without you.” The latter being more of a threat than an ad. At least now you’ll break from the routine you call life. One you loathe with blazing passion. As usual when Christmas comes, you pack up and go to shagz. Uncles try to introduce you to the tipple. The milk of the gods. They finally see you as a man who has hair on his gonads. You like it, the seat at the table of men, not the hair. You can’t help but laugh though; the fact that they think they introduced you to alcohol. For all you remember, you had your first sip two presidents ago. You drink cautiously, like you’re listening to the melody of bubbles burst in your mouth.
In all these merry-making and inebriation, you can’t help but think of the nine months remaining before you join campus.
What the hell am I going to do in nine months? Get pregnant? Si it fits in perfectly? Oh no…wait. I don’t have the necessary ‘paraphernalia’ for that. Shit. I have to do something. I can’t just stay home. Or can I? NO! People have died of boredom. I know. So I should… ICDL! Yes, ICDL. I don’t know what it means but I can do it. Hell, I did Biology in high school. What could be harder than that? Then after that, do driving. That’ll kill like four months. I’ll figure the rest after that.
A week past new year, you pitch the ICDL idea to your folks. They love it, the fact that you want to go to school. Words like ‘mature’ and ‘self-driven’ around. You feel good. You feel mature and self-driven. You finally dealt with the boredom and loneliness. You’re the man. You have hair on your gonads.
You immediately enroll and begin classes on an awkwardly bright yellow sunny Monday morning. Well-furnished room with new-smelling computers. You love it. You could live like this. Until the instructor comes and starts bickering about MS Word and its indentations, something you learnt at primary school. So you decide to sit behind, alone, using the WiFi as you wait for exams. A few minutes later, there’s a knock at the door. A soft knock, like they feel for the door. Then she enters. Well-filled rugged jeans, crop top, free flowing hair, sexy purse and just like that you’re smitten.
She walks towards you, and in the sweetest voice and prettiest smile, asks “Is this seat taken?”