I arrived at the lecture twenty minutes late. He was staring at me again. I gave up counting the many times he stole glances at me or when our eyes met by ‘accident’.
Backdoors are a saving grace for latecomers like me who roll with the motto ‘There is no hurry in Africa.’ This time I was genuinely late, no laziness or side hustles involved .
I sat on a chair and looked around the hall as the professor drew a chemical structure on a white board. He was still staring at me. That was uncomfortable. He did not look away when I looked at him, instead it seemed to motivate him to keep his stand.
His name is Mark. The creepy Mark. He seldomly speaks to me and when he does it is a feeble ‘Hi’then he rushes by. He was the first coursemate I had the pleasure to greet the day I arrived for my first lecture as a sophomore. I wonder what I did to him to make him creepy and heartless towards me.
After three months,it was time for an academic trip to the heart of Imenti Forest, Meru-Kenya. A place I found courage to approach him:
“Hi,” I greeted him with the widest smile I could afford to plaster on my face.
“Hi, Gloria,” he replied in excitement.
The conversation between us was awkward for it felt more of a questionnaire than a ‘get-to-know-you’ talk as we walked along the footpaths in the undergrowth . I finally got bored and spurt out one thing I wanted from him, an answer.
” Why do you treat me like an enemy? ”
He wrinkled his face in disapproval. As he was about to answer, his friend came in our midst and spoilt the moment.
During the whole trip, he kept avoiding and dodging my every approach. I gave up.
Weeks later, the harsh treatment of ignoring, dodging, staring and cutting me short while talking with him, escalated. I could not take any more of his inhumane behavior, so I stopped trying to make things right and made other new friends.
One thing he never stopped was staring at me, whether it was at the campus cafe’ , during lectures or when we meet at the streets. He was a sore sight to see.
Until one day,after the final semester exams, I received a text from him:
Hi Glo, I know I have been a jerk towards you. I do not despise or hate you. It’s just that you are very beautiful. That day you greeted me at the lecture hall, the first time I saw you, that smile was…. WOW! I had a crush on you instantly. Yes,… I admit, you are my crush . I am sincerely sorry for the hurt I have caused you . Can we start over?
“HELL NO” seemed to be the most appropriate response. This time he will have to work for my attention.