BY OKUMU KEN

Six o’clock in the morning and my roommate knocks on my door. I’m not sure there’s anything as annoying as someone halting you from your dream. It’s worse if the dream had some sensual part in it. Like bro, do you know how bad it is to take someone from cloud nine to cloud zero?

I get out of bed and yawn and sneeze the hell out of me. The sneeze just like it always does every morning, smells of bad habits. I’m calling it bad habits because the smell is usually an awful one. It is mornings like these that I usually think that the smell would have been better had I been a friend of the bottle. The smell of whisky and cotch would have come out better. But you see, I’m not moneyed enough to afford such luxury. And then again, alcohol is never sweet. The facials the people who partake of it draw when it’s going down their throats is synonymous to the facials someone makes when in the loo and roughages didn’t do their work well. I don’t know about you, but personally, that’s a struggle I’m not willing to take.

“Okumu, our morning run was supposed to begin today, get up we are getting late,” he says. “Chill bro, I got you covered. A promise is a debt,” I shoot back. Furthermore, I think I’m the one who needed it more than him. Look, when you have a girlfriend who keeps on touching your stomach to have a feel of it, you have no options really. You don’t put extra effort and she’ll leave you for a man with six-packs. Folks, I’d rather lose her to a man with more money. There’s nothing much you can do about someone being more moneyed. Oh, there’s something; cry yourself to someone else’s heart.

I wear shorts, a t-shirt, a hood, some rubber shoes and off we go. The sun had already started giving hints that it’s rising. I’m not sure why girls don’t borrow a leaf from it. We keep on giving hints that we are interested and some don’t usually get it. And then you’ll hear someone say that they have no one. My sister, you are the problem. You see, there’s always something about the rising and setting of the sun; it leaves behind an afterglow. The kind that brings satiety. The kind that improves someone’s mood.

So we continue jogging with this guy uphill until we suddenly stop. The hill was running as rugged. Personally, I had begun getting stitches. That stitch reminded me of the day that the cops ambushed us because of a demo that we had organized. I recall running myself to the limits but adrenaline couldn’t hear any of it. So I pushed on until the cops were not on sight. Heck, if I survived that day, then I fancy I’ll see the next decade. I looked at my friend and wished that I could reciprocate those ‘powers’ that had come out of nowhere but I couldn’t. My friend was panting as well. He of the fragile body. It is then that I dismissed the ‘I am slim so I am fit’ mantra. Utter balderdash. Slim guys; you can’t be slim and still be unfit, choose a struggle.

I was in a stupor as we were walking, my t-shirt drenched in sweat. I was as well having difficulty in breathing because of the run. “So mguys, what’s up after school?” that question not only halted my musing, but also slapped reality inside of me.  “To be honest mguys, I don’t know,” I answered. Mguys is a slang that we use to call each other. That question stirred up our ‘what’s up after school’ conversation. We continued with our running as we conversed about the topic.

“Mguys, this is the time to buy quality official wear and shoes. We might not get another opportunity,” he reiterated. “Mguys, at least you know someone who knows someone. You are not badly of. I know no one,” I shot back. Campus afterlife is always a nervy topic to discuss because life for most of us is like lemonade. Perhaps even more bitter. It doesn’t come with a menu either. You get served whatever is available. And…wait for it, it is always cold!

We continue running until we stop once more. Being fit is something to be proud of. It had never crossed my mind. It got me wondering why I had never come across someone who bragged about being fit. The only ones I’ve come across are the guys who thump their chests that they are more moneyed. I have to admit that they are an annoying bunch. So annoying that I wish I could smash their faces and tell them that money is not everything. Or is it?

“Mguys, what do you think will happen to these girls who use all kinds of drugs?” he asked. It took me a while before I could answer that. “Well, they have four months to drink for the whole year mguys,” I answered back. And we laughed. Poor folks.

It’s four months remaining now. Campus afterlife I’m told, is never easy. I’m not sure what will happen but freaking hell, whatever happens happens. What I’m sure however, is that most of us will need a shoe with two soles, for obvious reasons.

 

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