“My name is probably what Uc may have tweaked it into, let’s say Chris. I’m not a Danfodite. I’m a 300l English Literature student of the University of Benin, but have had a fair share of Morocco related experiences. In Uniben, we don’t call it Morocco tho. We call it Hotel D’Ebelebs which basically represents a site for lovers and social relationships. Please don’t try pronouncing it if you’re not from around here, I won’t be held responsible for any torn lip😃.
You see writing about Hotel D’Ebelebs and aiming to maximise its effects, would prompt one using some other slangs exclusive to just great Uniben students. So forgive me, if at any point in this story you come accross strange terms. But then, I’m my benovelent self today and would let you on the know of any of such terms I use.😊 Thus, let’s get down to business. This is the story of how a girl say Princess, who is not a Hall 2 girl did a number on my heartbeat.😥
I gained admission in late 2016 to study a course I had applied for. It was great news. Wonderful news. Everyone was happy for me, probably lesser than I was happy for myself. Parents got me the required materials I needed for school even before I mentioned it. I was ready to conquer Uniben just as I had, my secondary School. Hence, I resumed immediately the registration for new intakes began, and had settled properly in Block B, Hall 3 – A hostel I would come to dread (Story for another day) – before the final batch of the admission list came out.😬
I’d been quite the diligent student. I mingled with everyone while staying committed to my goal as an undergraduate. Intially, it all worked out fine until we got an influx of new students following the release of the last batch of admission.🤭
Princess was among. She was average height & with a set of dimples I was sure I drowned in with every state. Light skinned and had a curly hair, that I would come to mess around with. She was a Hall 2 girl kinda beautiful. In Uniben, a Hall 2 girl is what you call an extremely beautiful girl who might make your GP lesser than a 100l course unit and create a hole in your pocket.😂 So Princess was that beautiful, but if she was truly one or not was something I didn’t know then.🙂
She started at me. I was a popular student back then. So, I would get summoned by the lecturers for a demonstration or such stuff. That day, I walked forward to read from a passage. An English comprehension. Damn! Her eyes followed me every bit. It made me shy, so shy that my attempt to impress her by picking an accent only deepened my Igbo tongue. It was so embarrassing and unexpected that even the lecturer confirmed if everything was okay with me. What you get when those butterflies start creeping.🤣
After the class, I summoned the courage to approach her. She was almost leaving the class, before I called out to her:
She turned, smiled then stopped. ‘Hi!’
I extended my hand for a handshake. She accepted and I felt the warmth of her skin.
‘You’re Chris. You’re the Class Rep. You’re quite popular around here. I wonder how tho, after that presentation of yours.’ She teased, still smiling.
Maybe it was the smile. Maybe it was the novel emotions I was suddenly feeling. Maybe it was her beauty. Maybe it was the fact that she knew my name. Maybe because she had a sense of humour, but I suddenly felt an adrenaline rush to spill my intentions.😍
‘About that, I actually don’t know what happened. I’m not always that bad.’ I replied, even though the subscript read, ‘About that, I actually know what happened. You kept looking at me. You caused it, I’m never bad.’ But why would I want to ruin my chances with this beauty?😁
‘Don’t mind me. I’ve been there and you don’t even look bad. I don’t mean your looks tho, I mean you don’t look like a bad student. Like you look really smart, intelligent. Okay okay, let’s start over please. I’m Princess.’
She huffed, looking embarrassed that she had dropped the cool she was previously priding in. I did the smiling this time and it was from within, that she at least shared in my cold feet, and was as much as insecure as I was😋. We talked some more and eventually exchanged contacts. It still tops as one of my top ten blissful moments. That meeting, gold❤️.
From our conversation, I found out that she was Igbo. From my state and could speak the language unlike me. We drew closer in the coming days, meeting up whenever time allowed, and the times we compelled it to. We’d sit together in class. Spend free lecture days together at Nescafe Lounge – A fine cafe in Uniben – and ignore the gaze of SUG – A term that represents male car owner students, that are usually at the mercy of Hall 2 girls. Heck, people started calling us a couple.💑
I told her I wrote & she requested a poem. She got one & was floored by what she read. Even though it wasn’t the first time, I got an appreciation for my writing, hers was different. It was as though I had just become a Nobel Laureate.🙊
We had a very outdated method of communication. We’d go old school & send letters to ourselves. Handwritten notes.
‘Hey Princess! Wanna hang out at Hotel D’Ebelebs tonight?’ I teased once in a note I shared with her in a lecture.
‘Yes, I want to hang out with you – a boy at night in Hotel D’Ebelebs, so my sorry ass can be termed irresponsible and Parents would come for your head. Silly boy.’ She wrote back and it melted my heart. That was the first time an insult sounded so sexy.🙉
We shared chicken pattered scrawls too, but we always managed to read.
Then came the time I wanted more than what I already had. I wanted more visits, tighter hugs, fuller kisses. Those things I’d seen and felt only in movies and books. Cause we only seemed like a couple but we were not one, and I wanted us to be.🙈
I wrote my intentions in a letter, but she never replied. We met in class the next day, and I caught her sneaking out after the lecture.
‘Hey babe!’ I said.
Trust me, we were there already. Exchanging terms of endearment. So a rejection from her could be compared to the probability of getting a number higher than a 6 when a dice is thrown once.😟
‘You never replied my letter.’ I continued believing that what would follow, would be a convincing narrative of how the confession caught her off guard.😞
But No! It wasn’t. She mentioned another boy. One she already told that she wanted to move forward with. But there was a catch. He wasn’t based in the city we were at the moment. I tried using that but she didn’t budge. She made me realize that there was someone before me. Someone she’d gotten intimate with before me. I felt broken. Getting turned down is a rarity for me.😢
I still was convinced something was up. She after all led me on all this time, and never for once hinted that she had someone else. So I asked,
‘Why didn’t you say something all this time?’
‘I enjoyed what we had and didn’t want to ruin it. You kept me company, made me feel loved. All the things he did, before you came along.’ She answered.
‘So do you love me?’ I further inquired. ‘Or was I just a pillow to you?’
‘I love him. I’m sorry. But then, we could still be friends. Best friends even. Please Chris, don’t make this harder than it already is.’
She said, pulling the final trigger that made my heartbeat skip.
I didn’t know how to handle it. I walked out on her, and tried to make her go away in my head. I deleted all contacts. She tried calling. Heck, she visited my hostel once, but I locked myself up in my room and refused coming out. After listening to the vile what we call ‘Arrow’ from the lips of Hall 3 boys that I didn’t set up tho, it dawned on her that we were over. Whatever we had. Then she walked away. For good this time.
Two years now.😭😭”
PS: The names in the story are made up – Fictional. It is to hide the identity of the real characters in the story.
Question Of The Day (QOTD):
If you were in Chris’s shoes, would you accept to remain her friend?
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