Simferopol in winter, smelled like Obiajulu’s back-yard, the bad roads and the dryness of the trees, the smell of melted snow. The really cold wind he always told his mother “it’s from the black sea”, that sea I have never visited and my stay in Crimea is almost being threatened, the icy pathways always shone whenever a ray of sun hits. Every shop feeling warm inside, but having chilly doors. Obiajulu all 6.4ft of him enjoyed the feeling. It was nothing close the mini hell fire he was used to in Enugu. Before he left home, he really hated the sun and the effect it had on his skin, his skin, dark and shiny, but with the sun, started having cracks and his body cream would always dry up causing him to apply more each day before leaving home and then he sweats more.
On one of the days when the cream on his body had dried up, and his skin started to shine, he had one of the worst moments of his life in Enugu. He was on his way to Gariki to run errands, so two women started to argue about who has ruled the world better. It is Fidel Castro shouted the woman in front, he was not afraid of America and their evil tactics, the other woman with the raffia hat disagreed, it’s Muammar Gaddafi, he resisted the American demons until they killed him that year, now that my sister is the act of true leadership. It went on like this for two more bus stops, then when they got to Mayor bus stop the argument had become unbearable the two women who looked like they understood their own points vividly got into fisticuffs. Obiajulu was in the middle of the madness, so his already dry skin now started turning white as he took punches and nail designs on his face. He could have retaliated to owing to the age of the women and how respectfully he was brought up, he did not. By the time he got to Gariki he was looking the Jasper the character in the cartoon series of Jasper the friendly ghost.
It was always hot in Enugu except during the rainy season, when you would have rain and all. But during the dry season, Obiajulu was always forced to buy fan yogurt from the ice cream men riding bicycles that you see around every corner in the state to cool off. The prevalence of dehydrated flies too, did not help matters; Obiajulu got to know that even flies need fluids for survival.
Now it is summer in Simferopol Russia or Ukraine, he was still confused on how to call the place. Months after the Russians invaded and took Crimea, Obiajulu still does not know how best to describe his location. His university was out of session, and boredom beckons with the opulence of summer and sticky heat. Obiajulu left his family 3 years after leaving secondary school and after 2 attempts at gaining admissions into the University of Nigeria Nsukka UNN or even his own local University, Enugu State University of Science and Technology ESUT, he felt rejected then, so when the option of Ukraine fell out, he grabbed it with both hands and was ready to die on the line to make sure that deal was done with, thanks to God he got through and he has been enjoying the his time.
He plays by the book, he obeys the rules, he is a resolute young man, Obiajulu never questions his guts or caves in under pressure, he rarely expresses his emotions hence he comes off to some people as arrogant. All his qualities are always under scrutiny when it comes to issues concerning Urenna, Obiajulu’s Nigerian sensation, she was beautiful, Her hair was a rich shade of mahagony. It flowed in waves to adorn her glowing, porcelain-like skin. Her eyes, framed by long lashes, were a bright, emerald-green and seemed to brighten the world. A straight nose, full lips – she seemed the picture of perfection. Had she smiled, the world would sigh with contentment. Had she laughed, the world would laugh with her. And had she wept, the whole world would want to comfort her.
Once to her Obiajulu sat on a bus going from the main entrance of their University to “Meganom” ashopping mall in the city, the tension was palpable he could not bring himself to turn his head at least to take a peep at her face, sitting motionlessly he did, and then when he felt a hand on his shoulder, a wide smile escaped his lips and he turned slowly expecting to meet her face smiling too, only for him to see a Russian guy who was giving him money to pass on to the driver, Urenna had alighted already without his knowledge. He cursed the Russian dude in his dialect ” afo saa gbukwa gi” (May you never recover from diarrhea), but he was smiling all the way…
So away from home Obiajulu was feeling warm, Urenna was an added motivation for him. There has become a need to please her, her who does not even know his name yet or so it seems, her who barely notices him, it was still her that he was ready to make happy. Is it not difficult pleasing someone who does not realize what you are doing? I mean how do you do that? This was Okeoma, Obiajulu’s friend talking, question for your grandmother Obi answered strolling away happily after having an unintended 45 seconds conversation with Urenna who bumped into him and apologized…..
See you when we get to ELELE(2)