There was tension in the air. People laughed too quickly. We were all nervous. It was D-day. The day we’d all know whether our prayers, bribery or activities paid off. Or not. It was the day everyone would find out where they’d be spending 2017.
It was either Benin city or nothing else, for me! Everything happened in Benin only. And by virtue of works, I deserved an office at the centre of the most popular roundabout in Benin city. I freaking did everything!
Anyway, after the final parade (which I participated in) we were asked to go collect our posting letters from our platoon officers. My waist pouch containing my hostel clearance slip was with Dorothy and I needed to exchange the slip for the posting letter. I searched for her everywhere. It didn’t help that my phone was in the same waist pouch. You know how tension and frustration don’t mix? I was like a raving lunatic. I did find her in the end.
“1083!”, my platoon officer shouted and my heart skipped a beat or ten, I don’t exactly remember.
“Yes Ma!”, I yelled back trying to silence the pounding in my heart.
I received the letter and right there at the top left corner was written Idumoza Junior Secondary School, Esan North East L.G.A. There was no letter B anywhere. I had been scammed by life! It took me about ten minutes to realise that I was walking. I didn’t know where I was going. I decided to go to the OBS room. On gettimg there, I found out that everyone else had been posted to Benin or redeployed (some people just wanted to go back home). I left.
“They wouldn’t see me cry”, I vowed, “no one would see me cry.”
But they did. They saw me in the OBS room, in the empty boys’ hostel (my hostel was already locked), at the ATM gallery, in the bus to Ekpoma, in Bukky’s new house in Ekpoma (where I spent the night), in the NYSC Secretariat at Uromi… Everybody saw me cry and it was messy.
I lived, eventually. I did the registration, came to terms with Uromi, got on the next bus to Benin and later home, where I ate Afang soup for the first time in an entire month.
Photo credit: wallpapers13.com