…. I quickly jumped out of my bed at the sight of the notification. I dialed the number and listened to Efya’s track, “the little things that you do make me love you more”. The caller tune was interrupted by Nana Ama’s voice. But unlike the previous day, she sounded dull. Ah well, maybe she was still in bed, I thought. “Hello, please this is Stanley. I missed three calls from this line last night. May I know who’s speaking?” I pretended. “Awwww Stan, This is Ms. Dawson. Why did you do that to me? I really wanted to talk to you last night”.
I smiled and confessed to her how I had waited for her call most of the night before falling asleep. “It was mutual dear” she said. I consoled her and promised to call her every night before sleeping.
We had a 7:30 lecture and so she suggested we meet after the class to talk more. “Take care Stan” she said in the most caring voice. This was unscripted and so I was speechless for some few seconds before finally responding, “You too dear”.
I hurriedly prepared for class within fifteen minutes, cutting off some inessentials like bathing and resorting to POD. When I got to the class, I reserved a seat for her in case she comes in late and needed one.
I didn’t see her enter but when I finally spotted her, I realized the pressure on her to finish her assignment the previous day had swallowed one-third of her elegance. She was fairer and her red lipstick matched perfectly with her colour. Moderate make up, simple dress. My perfect lady!
That day, I paid attention to the wall clock and Ms Dawson more than anything/anyone in the class. At long last, the two hours of boring lectures were wasted and I walked to her seat. She appeared more excited to see me than when we spoke on phone. We walked out of the hall, hand-in-hand and headed for nowhere.
She eventually suggested we go to her room to do some reading before our next lecture at 3:30 pm. Oh boy! I am dreaming right? As if possessed by the Greek god of Eros, I followed her slowly to her room.
When we entered, I knew it was a place I will be visiting very often and considering it was a single room, it will be OK for me to even spend the night with her.
She asked that I give her ten minutes to get something from a shop in the next block. I wish I could follow her but I was enjoying the AC in the room so I stayed behind. In her absence, I admired the stock of books beautifully arranged on her bed and shelf. I went to the bookshelf to check what kinda books a pretty lady like her will reading – Every Woman; Think like a man, act like a lady; Woman, Thou art loosed, etc.
My eyes caught a silvery writing pad with the words ‘Dawson’s Diary’ inscribed on the back. It had this warning, “Please don’t read this Diary without my permission”. I wish I had obeyed. Glancing through the Diary I realised she was very consistent with her writings and so as an anxious lover, I quickly rushed to the last page to see what she had told her Diary about her first meeting with me the previous day.
11th May, 2012: “Dear Diary, today seems to be a lucky day for me. I met a guy who fits perfectly into Okailey’s description of an academic mugu. He helped me finish my assignment on time and I am not planning of letting him go, at least, not until we complete school. He is very cute and calm and I believe I will be able to ride him around. From the look of things, he is weak at heart and has started nursing the desire of replacing my ‘Daw’ with his ‘Thomp’. Maybe I can get some cowries from him for our next party. He is Lionel, the Son of Thomp………….”.
At this point, my whole body began to tremble. Out of anger and disappointment, I dropped the Diary and walked out of her room. Five minutes later, her call came through but I ignored it. After several failed attempts to reach me via voice call, she sent me a text, “Please I hope you are ok? I miss u”. I replied “Sorry Ms. Dawson, I am not. I read your Diary!!!”
Early the next morning, while I was still sleeping, my phone rang. I picked the call only to realize it was Stanley. “Ah, this boy paa. After refusing to pick my calls the previous night, he was here disturbing my beauty sleep this early morning”, I muttered to myself. I put on my sweetest voice and told him how much I had wanted to talk to him the previous night. He also went on talking about how much he was expecting my call yesterday but he fell asleep and promised to call me every night before going to bed. We ended the call with the intention of seeing each other during that morning’s lectures. “The cheek of it”, I said to myself as I put my phone down and got ready for lectures. Who told him I wanted to talk to him every night?
So I went for lectures. Right after the lecture, Stanley approached me and said hi and before I knew it, we were walking hand in hand out of the lecture hall. This wasn’t what I bargained for and I so wasn’t enjoying it but I managed a smile and carried on with the conversation he had started. I suggested that we should go to my hostel to study before our next lecture because I wasn’t willing to follow him to his hostel and he had no idea at the moment where to send me. He readily agreed. Of course, why wouldn’t he? I had him wrapped round my fingers now. Once we got to my room, he made himself comfortable in one of the chairs and smiled. I realized how he kept looking round the room and I wondered what was going on in his mind. I didn’t have any drink in my fridge so I excused myself to buy some drinks from the next block. That was the mistake I made that cost me.
I came back with the drinks some minutes later to find an empty room and wondered where Stanley had gone to. I picked up my phone and dialed his number but he didn’t answer. A glance across the room made me realize the reason for his absence. I found my diary lying by the side of my bed and it was opened to my most recent entry about how I had met a guy who I was going to use to achieve my academic ambitions. And that guy was Stanley. Then it dawned on me that in my absence, Stanley had rummaged through the books I had neatly packed on my bookshelf and had eventually found my diary, the diary I allowed no one to touch. Every single thing that happened in my life was in that diary and it was safely tucked away in a corner where I believed no one could get access to. How Stanley managed to find that diary, only God knew.
I got angry and felt sorry at the same time. Angry because he touched my stuff without my permission and sorry because it wasn’t a very nice thing to see mean things written about you and I felt bad for him. I called him several times and finally resorted to texting Nana. His response was brief and it shocked me. “Sorry Miss Dawson. I read your diary!!!”
I felt bad but dismissed that with the fact that he read my diary without permission. The time for the next lecture arrived quickly and I contemplated on whether to go or not. I eventually settled on going, reminding myself of how tough I was. I arrived a bit late for lectures and scanned through the lecture hall to see if I would get a place to sit since all the front seats were filled. My eyes fell on Stanley and he quickly looked away with a glare on his face. “Like I care”, I said under my breath as I spotted an empty seat at the back of the lecture hall. I adjusted my bag on my shoulder and put on my signature walk as I glided my way to the seat.
Getting to the end of the lecture, the lecturer announced “I have an assignment for all of you to work on during the weekend. It’s due on Monday and make sure you all submit it on time” and walked out of the hall. My heart skipped a bit since the one who would be helping me out had just found out my “wicked” plans for him. I grabbed my bag and walked out of the lecture hall, thinking of how I was going to complete the assignment. Just then another guy in our class, who most people knew to be a shark, crossed me and extended his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Nana and you are?” “Nadia”, I replied and flashed a smile as I cast my mind back to the conversation I had with Okailey some time back. “And trust me, they will come in their numbers. Just be smart”, she had said. She couldn’t have said it any better. Well, one down, many more to go.