MOROCCO 101 WITH EMELIFE UC
© PEN PRESS UDUS

DOUBLE JEOPARDY – OLOKOOBA’S STORY

My name is Olokooba. I’m a 200l student of Law, Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto. No! I’m not a playboy. I am simply an opportunist, who tried to clinch two awards in a contest for one. So, if at any point in this story, my actions betray my stance, shake off the idea that I’m a playboy and accept that some doors are better left closed. An advice that I never took tho. Let’s cut to the chase, this is my story:

 It was my first year and my first GST class in UDUS. The Science Lecture Theatre was brimmed with law and FAIS students alongside. As always, the hall was insufficient and late comers were forced to stand while receiving lectures. A devoted jambito like me, had a whole seat to myself. What you get for coming to an 8AM class by 7. It hadn’t been long since the Lecturer began his lecture, when two girls walked into the hall elegantly.

‘Damn!’ Hakeem said from behind. ‘See osheres (Fine girls)’. I’m not one to pay attention to Hakeem’s testimonies, but the two girls in question were really beautiful. Something stood out about one of them. The way she walked, one step at a time, like she knew she was effortlessly beautiful, and knew that the beholder thought same. I would be lying if I said I understood one bit of what the lecturer said that day. All the while, I kept staring at the effortlessly beautiful girl that if my eyes shot lazer bullets from staring, it’d have drilled her dimples.

After the class, I summoned the courage from God knows where, to approach these damsels. Okay, maybe Hakeem made me to, after he promised to woo this crush of mine, if I wasn’t fast enough. I walked up to them, specifically the one that caught my attention most.

‘Hi. I’m Olokooba’ I said, while standing some kilometers away, because we never can tell violence from the face. ‘Hello!’ the other replied, with a strange friendly smile. Maybe all the while I was staring, she thought she was the one, because that would be the only explanation to why she was smiling this large to a stranger. I never intended starting a conversation with this one, but seeing as she mistook my greeting for hers, I had to play the gentleman card.

‘I’m a law student. What department are you from?’ I continued half-hoping that my crush would sense that this was meant for her, but no, she was so busy with her phone that she didn’t even look up to see who her friend was talking to.

‘I’m Rukayyat. Linguistics’ Her friend again replied. It was now obvious that my crush was not interested in having this conversation with me, so I decided to engage Rukayyat who from the look on her face was beginning to fall for me. We talked for several minutes on various topics. I was beginning to enjoy the conversation, but seeing my crush beside her dogged in operating her phone, sprang up butterflies in my stomach. The only time she looked at me, was when she stood up to answer a call and gestured a ‘Meet me outside’ to her friend. I and Rukayyat ended the conversation on a good note, more than I cared to admit, and even exchanged contacts.

‘How did it go?’ Hakeem asked me back in the hostel. ‘Horrible, man.’ I replied, then explained to him how the meeting went. Hakeem laughed, and laughed that at a point, I felt like punching him, but put aside his playfulness and ‘oloshoness’, he was my only friend at the time.

‘Ask her out nau’ He said, after bringing himself to control the laughter. ‘Ask Rukayyat out sharp sharp, the babe like you.’ He continued. Ask Rukayyat out? Is he serious right now? I thought to myself. This was definitely a Hakeem move, not something I’d be interested in knowing more of, but my curiosity got the better part of me.

‘And why would I do that?’ I asked.

‘When a girl likes you, you don’t have to like her to date her. Basic dating 101, boy.’ He replied, then walked out of my room, leaving me dazzled by his words

I didn’t expect that the words of someone like Hakeem would’ve that much effect on me. Hakeem who had 8 girlfriends, and told each that the other was his cousin. Who would believe any nugget on relationships, he drops no matter how seeming wise he cloths it in? I became that person that would, when I allowed the comfort of being the one at the receiving end of an affection, get into my head. ‘Rukayyat will not even agree. We just met.’ I kept telling myself.

The night I asked Rukayyat out and she agreed after straight five hours of wooing, Hakeem was very proud of me. I’ve never seen him prouder. Not even when he stumbled upon my UTME result that carried, 283.

‘You’re getting there.’ He kept saying in a wide grin. Getting where? I wanted to ask him, but the euphoria of Hakeem for something that happened to me, was a golden sight, and I didn’t wanna ruin such sight for anything. So I smiled along, and allowed him tease me all he wanted. If Hakeem was a bad friend, I didn’t know. Or maybe I did, but was satisfied with the knowledge that ‘a beautiful girl I don’t like, likes me, and now we’re dating.’ Crazy right?

It was all good and fair between I and Rukayyat. We hung out after classes, spent hours walking the nook and cranny of UDUS like two love birds, eventually extended our meetings to late nights at the popular Morocco ground: I Block.

See, don’t get me wrong, Rukayyat was a darling. She loved me so much and didn’t care if she was showing it too much, and believe me when I said I tried to love her back, but it just wasn’t working. Every effort I made to, backfired as a reminder of how lovely it’d have been if she were her friend – my crush. Our pseudo-relationship continued for months, till I woke up to a text message.

‘Hello, I’m Khadijat, Rukayyat’s friend.’ was all the text message said. Where did she get my number? I feigned to myself that, that was my only bother, but some where inside me leapt for joy.

I consulted Hakeem who has proven to be the worst relationship counselor ever. Surprisingly, he asked me to let it go. To not reply the text, now that ‘You and Rukayyat are already dating.’ he said. What do you mean by that? When did you turn into a faithful partner to tell me that? You who has 8 girlfriends? My rage almost made me let out, but I held back myself. You know how you’ve made up your mind to do something, but still want a different party to suggest the same thing? That’s what I wanted from Hakeem. At least, his acquiesce would reduce the guilt, but not getting that pat from the back, didn’t stop me from replying the text message. This was my all time crush. The only girl I ever liked. Hakeem won’t understand. I said to myself.

My innocent, ‘Hello!’ reply developed to a love confession from Khadijat. She told me she had always liked me, but was ashamed to admit it. She added that it broke her heart, that it was her friend I liked, not her. She lamented that each time she saw I and Rukayyat together, she felt like killing herself. ‘What the hell is going on here?’ I tried to wrap my head around the messages. The same Khadijat that snubbed me when I tried striking a conversation with her, the same girl I had still loved, suddenly loved me back.

Again, I brought Hakeem into the picture, and this time he strongly advised me against revealing my feelings to her.

‘Bro, what you have with Rukayyat is rare. Let that Khadijat girl go. The oshere no worth you.’ He said. But I didn’t listen. The last time I listened to Hakeem, I ended up in a relationship I didn’t want. Why listen to him again? I consoled myself with this thought.

‘I love you too…’ I replied back to Khadijat, and added a willingness to date her if she agrees. Which she did immediately.

I was co-dating Khadijat for weeks. But online. We’d see in school, and pretend to not know each other, then bond over the phone and social media. I did it so perfectly that even Hakeem didn’t know I was cheating on Rukayyat with Khadijat. I was getting there as Hakeem earlier remarked, and I was liking the movement.

One Morning, I woke up to a text message from Khadijat. It was a fresh semester, and we had not seen each other in weeks because of the holiday. In it, she narrated that she misses me, and would like to see me and have a nice time together. She said she was tired of hearing my voice through the phone, and wanted to see my ‘luscious lips’ move as the words come out. Maybe she mistook my lips for Hakeem’s because mine are far from ‘luscious’. But then, the text message made me blush, so hard, that till today, I have a red stain on my right dark cheek. We agreed to a venue: Behind ETF 3 and Time: 3PM, and I was impatient for 3PM to come.

As soon as it clocked 3, I was already behind ETF 3 but the sight that welcomed me, made me doubt if I were truly there.

Rukayyat. That’s who I met there. Not Khadijat, but Rukayyat. I didn’t know what to do. My legs began to wobble, and every effort to speak proved abbortive.

‘Rukayyat!…’ I tried to continue, but Khadijat’s voice from behind, cut in.

‘Olookoba, ogbonge playboy! I hail o. So you think you can date my friend and date me ehhn?’ Khadijat said mockingly, standing beside Rukayyat.

I didn’t understand what was going on, or the explanation to derive. My head began to spin, and my wobbling legs grew worse. I wanted to understand, but speech became an impediment. I’m surprised I didn’t faint.

As if they read my thoughts, Rukayyat continued from where Khadijat stopped.
‘I knew you didn’t like me from the outset. But I thought you eventually did. I mean, after all, you’re the one who asked me out.’

It’s not me. It’s Hakeem. I wanted to say, but what good would it have done? My messing up slowly began to dawn on me.

‘Then you think you can date my friend too, without me finding out?’ She continued, and looked at Khadijat, as a cue for her to continue like a baton race.

‘Well, just so you know. I never liked you. I told my friend you are a playboy, but she disagreed. So we decided to act a page out of your own play book.’ Khadijat said and they both walked out. From ETF 3 and from my life. 😭😭😭😭”

#Morocco101.

PS: Some of the names in the story are made up – Fictional. It is to hide the identity of the real characters in the story.

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Questions Of The Day (QsOTD):
1. If you were in Olokooba’s shoes, would you have agreed to dating Khadijat?
2. Is Hakeem a good friend?
Reply in the comments.

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