For like two months now, I have been having issues with my stove. The wick always burns off for an unknown reason. All my efforts to rectify the problem was to no avail. I have changed the wick thrice and even changed filling stations where I purchase kerosene, just in case the kerosene has been the cause of the problem. Yet I still face same issue, and I couldn’t go to town again to get a new jack for my stove because I needed time to rest well.

Yesterday, I decided to go to the nearest place to school where I could get some items i needed, including a new wick. Before leaving school, I went to the ATM machine close to my hostel. There was a queue but it was soon my turn to withdraw. The lady in front of me who was next couldn’t withdraw because of some complications and then when it was my tun and I inserted my card, it didn’t dispense the cash I requested for. I withdrew my card and then got an alert that I have already withdrawn money whereas I didn’t. I didn’t fret but was a bit bothered. It wasn’t the first time such would happen.

I went over to the bank area. There, the ATM machines work virtually every time. But the distance was what discouraged me from going in the first place. And then, there I was, eventually going all the way to the bank. When it got to my turn on the queue at the bank, I inserted my card and instead of hitting on the ‘withdraw’ button, I hit the ‘balance’ button to check if truly my account has been deducted. I wanted to be sure the alert wasn’t real and that my money was still intact. Alas, it confirmed the bank alert I received earlier; money withdrawn! I pressed cancel and jumped off the line, ready to go into the bank to lodge a complaint.

Then i faced another line. The queue in front of the security cubicle -or whatever it is called- was damn so long. I turned to the security man nearest to me and told him what the problem I was facing was. He told me not to worry and carry on with another transaction as the earlier deducted money would be refunded within 24 hours. I let out a sigh of relief and turned to return to the queue. Sadly, It had moved and I couldnt join in again, so i decided to go all the way to the back. Some guys on the queue then said i should go ahead and use the machine before them. They had seen me leave earlier and knew my transaction was yet to be complete. I thanked them and then did what i wanted to and left, heading for town.

There was this guy standing in front of me on the queue to the machine before I jumped out of it to go into the bank earlier. We had exchanged a few words as regards how slow the transactions of the bank was. When i got out of the bank, I walked past him and then he said ‘so you’ve collected all the money in the bank abi?’ walking along. I smiled and told him I had a little problem which was what made me take longer than I should have. We walked on together and then we just started conversing. Talking about the first semester results and how a lot failed. When i mentioned the department I was in, he was quick to say I was enjoying that I have no problem at all. Then i shook my head and was like “no! The course isn’t a piece of cake. It’s more than what you think.” I asked of his department and when he said ‘Electronic Engineering’ I couldn’t help but say “Ahh, i see”. He smiled and said “you see?! Mine is tougher and they treat us worse.” He asked if I was staying in the school hostel, and I replied in the affirmative and he again reinterated that i was enjoying. “You dont have to go out of school or stress yourself”. “Well, not really” I said. I told him that I had been Ill and my stove had been giving me a lot of headache. I needed to go get a new one.

When we got to the park, he happened to be going to the same area where I wanted to buy the jack so we hopped on the same cab. We talked more about the results. I figured, from our conversation, that he must be a freshman. He said he couldn’t even tell his mom his result as he isn’t impressed by his performance at all. I told he neednt do such. No matter how long he delays it, the result won’t be changed so he had better let his mom know.

He spoke bitterly about how he and four of his friend all had the same score; 40 in maths. How could they all score the same if there wasnt more to the story on the part of the school? I laughed. I then told him I had even heard of worse cases; people that had all ‘Es’ in their results. He shook his head but couldnt say anything. “Even if a carpenter writes the exams, he would at least pass one course” I said.

We talked more about school and then soon, we were at our destination. By the time I got out of the cab, he had already paid my fare. I mumbled a “thank you” to him. He started looking around for a stove store. He told me he doubts I would find as he had never seen any since he had being in that area. I was optimistic but not sure myself. I told him i had seen one before but wasnt sure of where exactly.
As we searched he was swift in locating stores. Before i could locate one shop, he’d have located like two. We kept on checking around and I kept asking if it wasn’t a bother. I could figure it out myself. He told me his hostel was still far off and that it was okay with him.
We eventually found the stove jack at the 5th store we checked. Or maybe the 4th or 6th. Earlier, I had xplained what the problem with my stove was with him and to him, he didnt think it was the jack that was the problem. He suggested I change the wick rather than the jack and I explained that I already did a countless number of times before. All to no avail.

Eventually, after bargaining with the storewoman, I bought a jack and then we left the shop. I was to head back to the road and he, father down the street. I thanked him for he had really tried, helping me locate a place where I’d get the jack. – If he weren’t there I would have given up and put a call through to my dad. Like he was gonna shove a solution at me if I did. I just do not have the nerve for tiring searches like that one. – He smiled saying ‘Ah, you’re welcome’ then he hesitated. We had not exchanged names! So I asked him first as i saw it coming already. He said his name was ‘yusuf’ and i told him mine, Aisha. Then he nodded. He was still standing but I needed to get going. So I said “okay bye” and turned to leave. Then he asked, “we’d meet again, where?” I turned back and said “at the ATM!” and we both laughed and went our different ways.

I didn’t know this would take a lot of time to talk about. I hope you didn’t find it boring though…. Got to goooooo. Salaaam 🙂