Feyikemi was the sort of lady you will like to describe as a maverick-always taking her decisions and actions in solitude. For her, the slogan of the English premiership club-Liverpool: “you’ll never walk alone” must mean next to nothing. She was a lady of not too many words; ever thoughtful and never cheerful. There were some who thought she had some speech impediment and therefore was scared to make a public disgrace of herself.
Despite all these uncomely attributes, one thing was indisputably interesting about her and that was her physical appearance. My people, that girl fine no be small: long and pointed nose: oval-shaped face; light and clean skin; immaculate and well-cut set of teeth, etc. You will like to see her for yourself to appreciate the level of beauty being described. No wonder guys won’t stop hovering around her like birds, hoping to court her favour or get her to be their friends. The good news is that they always come back with a bad news. That girl is a no-go area, they will say. Looks can be deceiving.
Emeka’s experience with her happens to be the most hilarious yet pitiable. One fateful evening, just outside the faculty library, Feyi was descending a wet and slippery staircase with both hands clutching a heavy set of books (it just finished raining). All of a sudden, she missed a step, lost her balance and landed on the tiles. Emeka who “unfortunately” happened to be close-by ran to her and and made an effort to lift her up. She instantly rebuffed his kind gesture, fixed a piercing and irritated look at him and screamed did I ask for your help? from thence henceforth, we nicknamed Emeka “the unfortunate good Samaritan”.
How a loner like her ended up settling for a course dominated by guys was still a mystery to many. Electrical-electronic engineering (elect-elect) was her course of study at Unizol. In a class of 80 students, she was one out of 10 females. When the class splits into study groups, she will isolate herself and choose to study on her own! During Prof. Kokori’s group work, she showed up once out of five times the group met. Even when she came, she only did so to fulfill her financial obligation. She had all the textbooks yet performed poorly. It was only by a stroke of luck that she passed Mech 205 – the easiest course for that particular semester. Why not check-out the tutorial the class arranged for tomorrow? We are going to be treating relevant past questions, Dipo, the class governor would enquire. Thanks, I’ll be just fine was her usually response.
Like the sages say, there is no smoke without fire. Every action is birthed from a response or reaction to something. Feyikemi didn’t make up one fine morning and decided to lead that kind of life. She was only a victim of various unpleasant circumstances which mostly arose from the home front.
Growing up, the lovely Feyi was used to episodes of ugly family dramas. Many a night, her father, who was an alcoholic, would come home and descend on his wife and beat her to a pulp. She had to be rushed to the hospital on different occasions after suffering severe injuries from her husband’s beating. To make matters worse, the man never takes responsibility for his children’s welfare – from school fee to feeding. It was therefore solely the load of Mama Peju, Feyikemi’s mum, to carry.
Right in the middle of this crisis, Mama Peju suffered a terrible blow to her trust-base. A woman she saw as her best frined chose to do the unbelievable. For a long time, they’ve been pulling funds together in order to establish a small business venture. Due to the trust she had in her, she didn’t see any objection to keeping their common contribution in her friends account. Mama Peju woke up one morning only to discover that her supposed friend had grown wings and went off the radar.
As if that wasn’t enough, two of Feyi’s elder sister had suffered from a heartbreak. The men in their lives just came to a sudden realization that they couldn’t continue with the relationship after many years of professed love and show of commitment.
All of these separate circumstances had sowed a seed in Feyikemi’s heart. It was that of bitterness and distrust. She had come to believe in the wrong opinions of no one can be trusted or all men are the same. So upon gaining admission to the university, she determined to lead a solitary life.
Although a Christian, she felt it difficult to admit the fact that she was going in the wrong direction. She keeps struggling in her spirit with the truth of God’s word. Yes, she knew strife, wrath and hatred were works of the flesh yet chose to maintain her status quo. Scriptures like Eph 4: 31 or Heb 12:15 didn’t make much sense to her. So much damage had been done to her emotional life and it affected other areas.
However, things took a positive turn for her the day she eventually accepted Toke’s invitation to a special program in her fellowship. It took Toke a great deal of persuasion and subtle coercion to get her to agree to come.
The venue for the program was at one of the schools conference room. It was a cool Wednesday evening in August. The first thing that caught her attention was the sitting arrangement – u-shaped with a chair in front. Once they were done with the preliminaries of opening prayers and praise and worship, the moderator sat on the chair upfront and intimated his audience about the nature of the meeting. People were encouraged to come forward to share their experiences/challenges and how they handled and overcame them. Feyi was shocked to discover that whatever she considered to be her challenge was a mere child’s play when compared to those she listened to. She came to realize how people made strength out of their weakness and rose above their challenges.
She broke down in tears and called on God to heal her heart and make her capable of loving and believing the best of/in people. She opened up to Toke who herself was a caring and committed believer. Toke extended a hand of friendship to her; encouraged her and helped her begin to see things from God’s perspective.
Things stopped been business as usual for Feyi. She has learnt to let go of her past; believe the best in others; make friends of like-minds and is now doing great in her academics.