I’m the last person to wake up in the room. The other boys are ready for the competition. They’re reeling out words they’d spell but I’m battling another nightmare. This time, it’s daddy looking at himself in a casket. I shrug off the nightmares. “God is in control”, I console myself.
I speak to my family on the phone before dressing up in a white short sleeve shirt, blue trousers and matching black shoes. I’m nothing short of modest and I accompany my fellow contestants to Yaba Tech.
Students are thronging the roads with all kinds of faces, some looking studious, others looking rich and the others just there, living with the flow. I am eschewing faces because the thought of failure begins to overwhelm me. I’m unsure of myself for the first time in my life and I can’t help it.
I meet Cassius, my friend from school. He hangs around until the competition begins.
When it’s my turn, I climb the stage and before long, I’m knocked out.
It’s nothing out of the ordinary. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
Cassius and I take pictures and he leaves me at the gate.
I return to the hotel, speak to my girlfriend and family.
I walk down to the adjoining junction to get suya. I walk back to the hotel. I’m visibly knackered so I can’t take part in the chatter going on around me. I slumber off.