There is always that one person who slithers in the shadow of another. It may be due to shyness, low self-esteem or the need to avoid attention. However in boys hiding in plain sight in the shade of the most popular guy is a highly advantagious occurrence. Camouflage is used by animals in the skill of hunting, even the mightiest king of the jungle is lucky to own fur that blends in the tall brown Savannah. So what about human beings? . The lion and the boy in the shadows are one. Both lie still in wait for the perfect prey to waltz in their way and “swoooosh! “,..snatch them for keeps. My story begins with this timid lad I knew as Rollins……..
Sophomore year was the hardest phase in my adult life. Transition was never in my personal dictionary let alone it’s closest relative ,”change” ,unless it was used on food or location but not on matters concerning social relations. I had just reported into freedom last week on Wednesday and it felt like I was stirring in a real life show.
The morning lecture had ended 2 hours ago and the next one was thirty minutes away from commencing. The three A4 exercise books I held were exaggerating the pull of gravity on my hands. They felt like the 10kgs of maize flour I had laboured each holiday to drag from the mill to the kitchen. Students had crowded the entrance door of the lecture room into the corridor, armed with single arm seats that were a sure ticket of sitting next to the lecturer’s feet (… Or bossom if possible 😂).
The building in which the lecture was to be held was incomplete. The stairs and the floor had not been tiled,walls were unpainted and rough with numerous tiny projections that could rub the flesh off the bones if one dared to slide on them. The first floor balcony had no rails or a “stay away” sign to ward off careless strollers who would have unintentionally discovered a shortcut to the next life or to the hospital bed. Anyways I cannot judge the university for finding ways to reduce the population of rowdy students who had once staged the worst violence-filled strike that made headlines for three days,early in the year . If I were the chancellor, I would have staged a more sufficient annihilation strategy which could not point back to me.
I squeezed myself into a corner next to the balcony with my faithful friend blocking the view to the corridor with her gigantic body. She was flirting animatedly with a rugged young man. Her hands rested on his chair where with cunningness, graduated to playfully moving his books to and fro on the seat. Their conversation was frequently punctuated by her high pitched laughter and giggling that steamed nearby students’ tolerance into irritation.
“Hey, ” a base boomed into my ear, making me turn. ” Hi, ” I replied.
” You look serious “, he made a sad face. I hate that statement 😬. It is unfair that just because i wear spectacles it is obvious I am serious. I was a bit bored before, but he made it worse. I faked a “no” and smiled.
He smiled back. The stranger smiled back. “You are Loria, right? ” he squinted his big eyes that stared directly at my mouth. That was weird.
“Yes I am.” I studied his face for a moment to verify whether he was really a stranger or just a forgotten face. ” Do I know you? “.He opened his mouth to speak but I cut him short. ” If it is a ‘yes’, then am sorry for not doing a good job of recalling names or if it is a ‘no’, then it is nice to meet you. ” I smiled widely causing my glasses to move further up to my eyes.
“No,” he looked at me, “You don’t know me though I know you.” He grinned and moved away to a group that he seemed to have departed from.
Now that was confusing……😕