Gigiri University: Episode 1: Freshers Part 1
The day was a clear sunny day, leaves falling down from our lugwat tree next to our apartment steps. I couldn’t concentrate in the house, so i took my books outside, sat under the steps and tried my best to concentrate. My hands were sweaty, constant tension inside my nervy body. Tomorrow was KCSE Paper 1. I was not prepared…well, i was, kinda. Just that today i couldn’t remember anything.
I shook my head, shifted a bit and squinted at my notes. Focus, George, i told myself.
Then i heard them. The faint, steady and increasing steps of high heels. Click, click, click….
I couldn’t resist. Who wears stilettos on a Sunday? I looked up slowly, knowing that i’ll probably see an old lady in blocks, or the beautiful neighborhood girl everyone wants to date. South C was a good place to live, there was so much diversity. But what i saw i never expected to see.
Scarlet red stilettos. Brilliant shiny and pointy. And most importantly, they were small sized. I slowly looked up those legs, taking in every move, my already nervous heart beating more and more and a slight sweat on my nose. Her skirt was long and before i raised my head further:
It was Sandra!
I couldn’t help think how hot she looked. She was not in uniform, but she was dressed to kill. Her outfit could kill an army. 10th Wonder of the World. What is she doing here? She had never visited me before.
“Sandra! Hey, Whats up?”
I moved sideways, and made way for her. Without missing a beat she was seated as fast and stared directly into my eyes.
“I need help G, tomorrow is Paper 1. Will you help me with some questions I’ve brought?”
My mind was now settling fast.
“Yes, sure, shoot”
She removed a bunch of papers from her handbag.
“I just cant get anywhere with these ones” she said, leaning over ever so slightly.
It must have been my first time to be so close to a woman. She smelled so nice….focus G!
“No problem. I’ll help you”
My mind was alert as timber. Without missing a beat, pen and paper in had, i answered the first two questions without missing a beat.
“Oh, that’s why..” she murmured, serious as ever, focused on my handy work. “How about this one?” she asked.
“That one is simple” I said without even knowing the answer. Thinking faster, i worked it out in 30 seconds.
“You see…this works out to this..and this. I”m sure you got stuck here” I illustrated confidently, inwardly happy i solved the problem that had evaded everyone in class for so long. I must be a genius, i thought.
“wooow, thats awesome! oh my God, you solved it!” She gave a look that melted my heart.
We spent the next 15 minutes answering the remaining questions. Then all of a sudden, very matter of factly, she gathered the papers without saying a word, stood up, looked at me with a smile from heaven, and walked away. She didn’t even say thank you, yet i didn’t need to hear those words. That smile said it all. She must love me.
“G! Come here! what did you do in the kitchen? Can you osha hizo vyombo saa hii. Sijali kama una exams!”
My mum was tough, she took no prisoners.
Sheepishly i stood up, and went back in. I couldn’t concentrate anyway. But now there was something different i was feeling. I did the dishes slowly, reflecting on what just happened. I had never felt so happy. I couldn’t place a reason to it.
I must be in love, i thought while washing the second plate.
The next day, in class, seated and waiting for the paper, i said a prayer and waited for it. I had given it my best. Let it come, i thought. Kaa mbaya, mbaya.
The green paper came, the invigilator looking so mean, i thought this must be a sadist.
I slowly opened the paper. Question 1….what! The very same question Sandy came with the day before. I better answer it fast before i forget anything. I started writing and everything flowed. Question 2…what!! Another “Sandy” question. This must be my day. On i went, scribbling my heart out. After question 6 i was no longer excited. She has brought me all the questions to the paper. I was torn: worried, scared, the evil side of me happy i got lucky, guilty and i couldnt help but ask myself: where did she get all those correct questions. 6 out of 10 questions was too much luck. Something was going on.
The next day i was more nervous than normal. Kiswahili was never my strong point. I hated the damn language. Yet this was it, Insha. And all i could think of was “Sandy”. The insha question itself was crazy:
Soma Maagizo haya kwa makini.
Andika insha isiyo pungua ukurasa moja na nusu juu ya kichwa kifuatacho: umeshinda dola millioni moja kastika mchezo wa bahati nasibu. eleza venye utakavyo tumia pesa hizo
I would spend a million dollars in Las vegas! Onwards went my imagination and i gave it my best.
The last day came. Maths paper 2. This must be easy. I opened the paper, anticipating yet confident. Overlooking the questions..1,2,3,4…i can do those..15..16..this looks easy. I looked at the watch, said a short prayer, and gave the paper my all.
Its over! Its finally over.
I ran home, couldn’t wait to hug my mum.
Two months later, mum calls me from the bedroom.
I ignore her.
“G! Wacha ujinga. Kuja hapa. Results zimetoka!!”
I rushed out of the room faster than Flash…hmm…maybe just a tad slower than Zoom.
“Starehe Girls ndio number moja, Racecourse High School ndio number two, Braeburn High number tatu ikifuatwa na..” on and on and on went the presenter, solemnly presenting the results. My heart was beating as i waited with baited breath. Finally i heard it, my school was 15th countrywide.
“Mum, nipe 250 nibuy gazetti please?”
Mum: “chukua kwa kitchen, lakini osha vyombo kwaza!”
Urgh…i washed the dishes, then ran to fetch the paper. Walking along Rumi road reading the paper, i realized our school has performed well. So what was my own performance? I agonized as I just had to wait for the ultimate SMS from the examinations council.
The SMS took 10 hours to come.
“Beep. Beep” my tiny over used phone vibrated. I woke up and read the words Results…and sat up immediately. God let this be it.
“Your results: Maths: A, English: A, Kiswahili: A”…by this time i was beyond myself! i had stood up on the best, one hand holding my head in excitement, the other holding the phone.
Awesome! I’m going to Campo!!!!! I didn’t sleep that night, and not for the next 3 nights. I was too excited. Yet i had to wait a year.
Success was sweet.
This was it.
Mum was holding back tears. She didn’t want to see me go, so we struck a deal. I would be a day student in my 2nd and 3rd year. For my 1st year i would board since this was the only way to get a Higher Educations Loans Board loan. For my 4th year i would board to focus and read for exams. Sounded like a logical deal and i knew i would miss home so much, so this was the best of both worlds.
Driving to University of Gigiri was nothing new. Getting inside was a totally new experience though. I drove slowly inside, savoring the building and the students moving about. Everything looked awesome. The Main Campus building was imposing, majestic in its architecture, with a fountain worth talking about. This must be the best place for the brightest minds. I was beginning to feel at home as i climbed the steps.
In the hallway students milled about the registration hall. I went in. Everyone looked good, looked busy looked smart. The only problem was everyone minded their own business. There was no group of friends. It seemed to me no one knew anyone.
“Hi” i said meekly to a guy nearby. Ignored. Shit. “Hey” i said to another guy with a form. Ignored again. Shit!
“Hey” i said to a smartly dressed lady near me at the back of a group of students milling around the registration desk.
“Hey” she said turning back slowly, her clear wide eyes looking me directly in my eyes, yet facing the other way somehow.
“G! its you!” She said turning fully towards me. My mind raced. I didn’t know anyone this cute. Wait…
“Sandra! Hi!” I gave her the hug of my life.
To be continued next Friday