It had been three weeks since lectures commenced for the new students and I still walked home alone. A lot of other people were already walking in groups. I never find it difficult making friends just that I couldn’t fit myself in. There was still a longing.
Then one afternoon, I met Emeka. I was returning home from school on a Saturday evening and the sole of my shoe cut off. I needed to repair it but knew no shoe mender. Emeka stumbled on me, took me to a shoe mender, haggled out a reasonable price and paid for me. We went home together and from that incident became friends.
We returned from school together every day and he kept me informed. He took me to places I didn’t know how to get to. One day, after school, we decided to go to my hostel. We got talking and half way he changed the topic.
What’s your story? He said sounding very interested.
Story? How do you mean?
Why are you reading the law? Everyone has a story, a reason why they are here.
“Hmmm, how about you tell me yours first.
We were already at my hostel gate and he agreed.
“Well, I come from a very poor village he started, but we have lots of land, fertile land if I must add. It’s a close knit village and almost everyone have or rather had at least two plots of land. But people were coming in from the capital to strip us off the land.”
We entered my room and he slumped on the bed, heaved and continued.
“And it was just soooo unfair. No compensation, no replacement, no nothing. This continued and lots of us were losing lands. It was unfair but we were helpless and had no means of defending ourselves. Well, as the saying goes, you never get too concerned till you are involved. Then my family became a victim and the land was a major source of income. I met my secondary school teacher, Mr. Nteshi, he smiled at remembrance. A very nice man and a lot of people loved him. He said a lawyer, a very good one would help not just in the land cases but many other helpless cases I mentioned to him. There and then I decided to study the law, not just for my family though that was the force behind the factor but for my village that have been unduly deprived of their properties and various others out there going through illegal situations. I don’t plan to depend solely on my law career because I’ll be doing a lot of pro bono work. My life is pro bono anyways.”
“So, over to you.” He sighed.
I waved “Leave my case, there’s nothing there. I’m here because that’s where I landed. Nothing special, nothing motivating, no story, just nothing but that doesn’t mean I’ll love to leave, I mean wherever I go, it’s going to be the same.”
“Either you are not serious or maybe there’s another passion of yours he asked interested.
I shook my head.
“Wow, he said disappointed, that’s a first and that’s not good. You should have. Girls love that a lot. And where there is passion, there’s a higher drive, sounds like a problem to be fixed to me.”
“Yea, I shrugged uninterestedly, no interest in the ladies.
"That was just by the way and you don’t shrug off such things. Did something psychological happen with you? I mean, who just reads, marry, works with no drive for anything in life. Even panel beaters have desire to either end up owning their own shop or save enough to start up a better business.”
Maybe that’s what causing the longing I thought. Maybe that’s the longing. Maybe that’s what makes this place feel so different, everyone is aiming at something and I’m just passing by.
I laid down on the floor and stretched.
“Forget that please, i'm tired.”
“Ok o but work it out, you don’t just sail through life else it’ll be meaningless.”
That night I couldn’t sleep so I called my sister. She was young but well read and intelligent.
“I’m happy you are coming out of the push and pull lifestyle. I do tell you these things but you just act like all those rich white kids in our former school who just go around like robots whose life has been designed out and they are just following suit” she breathed into the phone. I kept mute and she continued
“When the purpose of a thing is not known, not only is abuse inevitable, it becomes useless. Maybe this is why dad sent you there, to get this longing, to have something to like, something that drives you, something you want to do”
So how do I get around it? How do I do that?
Well, you can start by reading some books I’ll send you names when this call ends and pray some times to your creator, consult him to tell you why he made you.
“Don’t! She said shutting me up, argue that with me. You asked how? I’m telling you how, prayer doesn’t bite, it works”
“Okay. Thanks, good night.”
I dropped the call and pondered on her words.
Same time next week.
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