Chapter Seventeen:The Fifth And The Last Child

The next morning, Nina didn’t have any class till 12am so she decided to stay with Dennis meanwhile she hardly sees Dennis in school, they are in the same level yet she never sees him. Although the hall is usually crowded so it’s hard to really see anyone.
Dennis: hey, you’re up?
Nina: yeah.
Dennis; how was your night?
Nina: good, yours?
Dennis: it was nice. So what are we going to eat today?
Nina: what do you have at home?
Dennis: food stuff, if that’s what you are asking.
Nina: okay, what kind?
Dennis: rice, beans, yam…
Nina: okay, I’ll prepare rice then.
Dennis: I’m sort of tired of rice, even the guys. That’s what we’ve been eating for some time now.
Nina: okay, how about beans and yam?
Dennis: that would be great.
Nina: okay then, beans and yam it is. Where is the stove?
Dennis: it’s at the passage.
Nina: just outside the room door?
Dennis: yeah, sorry we don’t have a kitchen here.
Nina: it’s okay.
Nina wanted to belong there, she got her wish. She wanted to be treated the way Tony’s girlfriend was treated, she didn’t want to be the girl they didn’t like because she loved Dennis so much she did everything that would please his friends and him, by pleasing his friends anytime she cooks, she has to cook for his friends as well. She hasn’t really dated before so she didn’t know what she should or shouldn’t be doing. Besides she had to eat too, so what’s wrong with preparing a meal?

After a while, the food was ready, she and Dennis ate and she kept for the boys (his friends). The place was exposed that even goats move around the passage so she left a note telling them not to eat were the goat fixed its mouth and headed off to school…
Nina was still thinking she was in secondary school, she hardly does her assignment, because of the way people filled the hall she doesn’t get to see what the lecturer teaches due to her shortsightedness which she didn’t know at the time. And there was this lecturer that purposely talks very low in class so that students won’t understand what he is teaching, that way they would have to buy his textbook so they could understand what he was teaching and if they didn’t he would fail them.

All she knew was that she had to go to class whenever she has a lecture (which is every day) and see her boyfriend, sometimes her brother but still she wanted to get settled and get an accommodation in the hostel with eight girls in a small room since it was cheap and somehow safe, which she did. Normally the hostel is ten thousand naira but due to the fact that she arrived late, the owner of the room insisted on fifteen thousand naira. Since Nina was desperate and wanted to settle down that she had to pay the money…..
Nina: Hi, please I’m looking for Amaka.
Amaka: I am Amaka.
Nina: oh, okay um someone told me you are in charge of rooms here.
Amaka: who told you?
Nina: are you not?
Amaka: I am why? You need a room?
Nina: yes I do actually.
Amaka: your name?
Nina: Amanda.

Amaka: okay, someone told me you came looking for me and took my number. Why didn’t you call me?
Nina: I did but your number wasn’t reachable.
Amaka: yeah, I was in class. So how come you need a room now, it kind of late.
Nina: but not late right?
Amaka: let me see what I can do. I have a room though but the problem is ,it’s not free until next semester.
Nina: what? That’s a long time,I need  to settle down.
Amaka: I know but that’s the only available space.
Nina: oh no.
Amaka: look, first semester will soon be over and then you can move in. it’s actually my sister that owns the space and as the mayor I’m helping her give it out, she’s going for a church program and she wants to sell her space.
Nina: I don’t know, i have to think about it.
Amaka: okay, you have my number right?
Nina: yeah i do. Thanks anyways.
Nina wasn’t happy because second semester feels like a long time although she wasn’t that worried, since she’s already squatting somewhere and if she gets bored she can always go to her boyfriend place. She just told herself she could wait since it’s just some weeks to the end of first semester. She called her father and told him about it; he was really broke but he promised he was going to give her the money, because he was imagining how they were coping there. Her brother Richard was squatting with his friend Augustine and she couldn’t stay with him and thanks to her pre-science bunk-mate she’s squatting too.

Nina’s dad discovered school was important when he saw the way people started taking their kids to the best schools. One of his friend’s older children was a year younger than Nina and the minute he finished secondary school, he worked his son’s way into the university. Most of his friend’s borrowed money from him (Nina’s dad), he didn’t save, his family also disturbed him for money. Nina’s dad was busy taking care of his siblings while they took their kids to the best schools and he never took care of his own kids and his wife due to her illiteracy was helping to finish his money until he decided to open his eyes but by then he didn’t have as much as he used to but still tried to take the four (Sarah, Nathan, Richard and Nina) of them to school even if it was his last dime. Antonia was paying her own school bills; she was the only one schooling in the west.
Nina goes to see Evelyn…
Evelyn: hey girl, what’s up? I didn’t see you in school today.
Nina: I was there; I just went to see the mayor after lecture.
Evelyn: mayor?
Nina: hostel mayor.
Evelyn: oh, okay how did it go?
Nina: not good, she said I should give her fifteen thousand.
Evelyn: why? Is it not too much?
Nina: that’s what I thought and you know the worse part of it? It’s for second semester.
Evelyn: no now, that’s not fair.
Nina: i know! I just don’t know what to do.
Evelyn: and there’s no other place to check?
Nina: no, I’ve checked the old hostel, they said no space and besides I don’t like that place, it’s so stuffy and its opposite the architecture department.
Evelyn: does a beggar have a choice?
Nina: trust me in this case I do.
Evelyn: well I’m sorry about that but it’s better than the off campus rooms, they are quite expensive and you just have some weeks to the end of this semester before second semester. So think about it.
Nina: I know, I just wish I came earlier.
Evelyn: that’s what you get for coming late.
Nina: besides, why didn’t Richard check for me?
Evelyn: because he’s a guy and he’s not supposed to do everything for you.
Nina: ughh… I don’t know what to do.
Evelyn: for now you have a roof under your head so concentrate in class.
Nina: it’s not as easy as you say it.

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