TYPING: It’s called living on borrowed time. You knew your partner was about to give you the boot, they didn’t know you knew they have decided to give you the boot. They were stalling. And in their moment of indecision, you did all you could to fix things.
“Heyyy,” I uttered in part surprise, part confusion as I entered my hostel room to see Maya sprawled up on my bed like she was some athletic piece of thing.
“I know right.” She responded still finding the ceiling remotely interesting, “I’ve got myself in a weird angle, haven’t I?”
That wasn’t the problem, and she knew. But it was a week since she found out Raymond, my oversexed roommate, might also be boinking her worst enemy, my very own personal stylist. And stating bluntly that she was in the wrong room, in the wrong bed, I was afraid, might send her into a crying mess. It wasn’t like Maya, a girl who held life by the balls (and practically every other boy's) would ever be a crying mess.
“Yeah, you have,” I answered, making an attempt to sink into Raymond’s bed till she shot up to sitting position, and yanked me so hard, I was on her, chest-to-chest, genitals-to-genitals, speechless looking into the depth of her serious eyes. “Maya?” I finally found my voice, wondering if she’d fallen into a trance as much as I had.
“Kobby, I’m asking this in confidence,” She spoke, her voice was dense with worry.
“Would you totally fuck me if you had the chance?”
“The F-word, Maya.” I reprimanded only to realize the gravity of her question. I wasn’t sure what my answer would be. OK, so perhaps it might have been a ‘yes, I would definitely f-… do whatever it is I would do to you’. But I couldn’t—not because I hadn’t read any manuals on how to begin, you know, the nasty—because it was this same bed my roommate had given her multiple orgasms as I sat over my desk completing nail-biting assignments.
“Kobby?” She questioned again, annoyed I hadn’t answered by now.
She quickly shoved me off so I fell onto the empty side of the bed, and slammed a hand on my chest as I made an attempt to get up. “Stay.” She ordered. “Your personal assistant and me. What do you think she has that I don’t?”
“Maya, really, is this where, this is going——“
She slammed her hand on my chest to get me choking mid-sentence. “You are not to read into anything, just answer.”
“Right then.” I said, recovering from fits of coughs. “She has a fine arse, you do not.”
“The truth, Kobs.”
I winced as she threatened in grave undertone. Everyone knew Celeste’s arse were as bony as the normal human feet. “But I wouldn’t tolerate you calling her my P.A, she’s my Personal Stylist.” With another deadly expression from her to my ceiling, I knew I should start talking. “Frankly, I really do not know.” I answered honestly. “But sometimes, we boys chase after other girls for reasons we’d laugh out to if we ever considered them.”
“Kobby, really.” She sat up on the bed, tying her hair into a bun. “Who’s talking about boys chasing other girls?”
Her smile was wide and sweet, and very innocent as well as fake. And I knew that moment she was in denial. I had to propose something to fill her time besides my philandering roommate. “So, I have been embarking on this campaign,” I progressed very carefully considering the request I was about to make. “You know, a campaign to help out a very good, hardworking, diligent, strong-willed—“
“I’m not helping you campaign for anyone.”
I was alarmed. It wasn’t like I’d even had that in mind. At least, not framed the exact way she had been envisaging. “The thing is, the elections for Social Sciences faculty president are today,” I pulled out the poster of my favourite political aspirant out of my bag, and stretched it out to her as I spoke, “and I was wondering if you could——“
“He’s hot.” She studied the picture in the least critical way I’d expected. He looks capable, determined, and honest, wouldn’t have been bad compliments for someone running for a position. “Sorry, Kobs, I’m just not helping you campaign. But hey, you think he has a thing for submissive women?”
I frowned, knowing this line of questioning was pertaining to Celeste (—dominating) and her (—“I’d spread my legs even before you ask.”) “Yes,” I answered with my most charming smile, snatching the poster from her grip, “he’d smack you around for asking that question.”
TYPING: How do you know if you were living on borrowed time?
“How could you be living on borrowed time when God gives us enough hours in a day?”
Really, I thought to myself in annoyance as I reached into my pocket. This cab driver certainly had no analytical streak. He could go on about the dire state of the economy, fuel prices, currency deficiency rates, but I certainly didn’t want one cabbie who knew nothing about relationships to run the country. I paid him and walked out.
The Social Sciences Faculty was a rectangular four-storey courtyard building. I was heading through its labyrinths, passing the endless queues of voters when I met Celeste. She immediately spun around so we could walk towards the same direction.
“There’s always a fashion angle to everything.” She responded when I inquired the reason she was at my faculty, “Elections might not be that big, fashionable event, but politics is. Besides, I could gain a client or two by just prompting the right person to vote for.”
“Kwame Nkrumah, right?” I mentioned the name of my favourite candidate as though it was so obvious.
“Kenneth Sappong.” She answered with such air of confidence it threw me off.
I stopped to stare at her. She stopped, turned and stared back with a vacant expression as though she hadn’t just dropped a bomb. “You are not campaigning for THAT guy.”
“Why?” She shrugged as though my question was in the same line of asking why she wore real fur (——“I just like to rid the world of wild creatures.”)
“Celeste, my candidate is competent. I was thinking you’d go for the people with more brains less style.”
“You see, that’s where you are wrong,” she pointed out as though she was about to say the most objective thing in the world, “a fashionable leader makes fashionable subjects.”
I stared down at her outfit and noticed a picture peeking out of the sequined petticoat she was wearing. I stepped forward to rip it open. “Oh no…”
“Yes,” she spoke to my horrid expression. “Do not be misled by this pagan to good style.” She read out from her t-shirt under a picture of my favourite candidate. “Do spread that around for me.”
“I won’t. Who would even fall for that?”
“Honey,” she said with a sardonic smile, “then you know nothing about how fashion sways the masses.” She sashayed away, leaving me gaping at her back and blinking in shock.
I needed to bring up a counter-campaign quickly before Celeste’s message sunk the minds of electorates. But I had to endure a two-hour lecture (—so much time for Celeste to ruin my candidate) before I could.
The taxi driver was right. God gave us enough hours in a day. But forgive me for wishing, o’ God, that you’d cut Celeste’s hours short? That perhaps the ceiling would cave in on her or something more effective so she could lose her life.
TYPING: How do you handle living on borrowed time?
I was perspiring. My knees were shaking. My mind was just not focused on the lecturer going on and on about Victorian poets. Oh, Alfred Lord Tennyson could go screw himself and write a poem about it——Pause——OK, that would have gained my interest even in Iambic Pentameter(!).
Why was there always some oppression since history when one wanted to exercise their franchise or political rights? Abraham Lincoln should have turned over in his grave by now after hearing the lecturer downgrade campus politics as the biggest hullaballoo ever, running second place to the Greek system.
OK. Perhaps my worry was not all attributed to the fact that my lecturer was being an arse. I was on the edge of my seat because of a) Celeste (might she have more of those awful t-shirts going around?) and b) you might be reading about your new faculty editor (if my fave candidate won) c) Jackie, a friend of mine in class had whispered to me the irregularities of campus elections going on and on about lots of rigging. And she was sure by now votes were being tampered in favour of the guy Celeste was campaigning for. Why was my self-imposed personal stylist always up to no good, or in support of anyone that was up to no good?
I hadn’t heard the lecturer announce the class was over——could you blame me? I was growing a bulge beneath my jeans because all the excitement was making my bladder incapable of being effective——but, once I saw the whole class rise in synchrony, I picked up my books and headed for the polling grounds at the basement of the faculty.
“Kobby.” Jackie shouted for me as I joined the queue. I quickly beckoned her over before a guy came behind me.
As we waited for our turn, we discussed the possibility of our candidate winning (“Very, very high considering he’s a looker.”) and the possibility of our candidate biting the dust (“Very, very high if this EC was corrupt as all the other years’.”)
Finally, our turn came and we sat on the designated laptops to vote.
Thumprint, checked. Choosing of favourite candidate, checked. Confirm choices… Oh, shoot me, why was the network so slow? I could have walked with inflated testicles and I would have made more progress!
“Kobs.” I turned my face to the pale Jackie who had strands of her caramel hair (wig, of course) blowing over her face. “Over there.” She chin-pointed a girl by her on the next computer who’d left her seat right after the system had ordered her to confirm her choices. And shockingly, Jackie and I gazed as the member of the electoral commission was encouraging her to leave because that was the last step. “The link would load in your choices soon.” We heard him say. But the moment the girl was up, we furtively watched him race for the mouse, made a few clicks and called in for the next person.
Jackie and I, as though controlled by a simultaneous impulse, jerked our heads to our PCs to find out you could click a button that said ‘Previous Step’ and substitute your earlier choices for others.
“Aren’t you done already?” A guy on the EC’s team, overseeing my electoral process demanded.
“Almost,” I said more to myself as Jackie and I exchanged horrid expressions.
We had figured out what was going on. And it was already midday. Perhaps too late for our favourite candidate to recover all the votes he’d been robbed off?
But of course, the fierce Jackie wasn’t willing to give up. And so was I.
I spun around people, I barked in their faces, I went on my knees to tell them to vote for Kwame Nkrumah if he was their favourite and made sure to confirm their choices before they left. Except everybody gave me the attention they’d give to someone from the afterlife who was simply being a nuisance. “Hear me out, you fuckers, they are rigging the elections…” But my protests went on deaf ears. Then again, with how temptingly I put my request, how could they resist?
I spun someone around. “Please vote for Kwame…” My voice went blank seeing it was Maya already wearing some of the ‘I Love Kwame Nkrumah’ t-shirts that were circulating just as fast as Celeste’s were.
“Oh, hi, Kobs.” She said breezily as though she had every right to be here.
“You were very clear when you said this wasn’t your faculty.” I said pointedly as my eyes darted over her shoulder to glance around the basement carpeted with trimmed grass; people screaming out Kenneth’s name, people screaming out Kwame’s name, the odd few pissing on the very absorbing grass when no one was looking. Then my eyes fell on a jewelled petticoat laid over a black t-shirt. And I knew why Maya was here.
Before I could confront her, Jackie moved over to draw me away with pressing matters asking how many people I’d convinced to vote for Kwame Nkrumah. But just as I looked over my shoulder among the throng of yelling crowds I watched Maya head over to Celeste, and that was a sign. A sign things were about turn highly competitive.
And I still was, however, only referring to the polls.
TYPING: Is there ever a way to prevent living on borrowed time?
“Ugh. Sorry.” I spun around quickly when I encountered a couple hugged against each other against a pillar. I knew I mustn’t have let Jackie convince me to go search for people out here in the dark corners of our faculty’s basement. “Guys, have you voted already?”
I whirled around immediately, then quickly looked away once more after remembering the two weren’t robed. However you labelled it, watching was voyeurism and it was very distasteful. And whoever leaked Clinton and Monica... I wouldn't want to have a look at the 'preferences' section of their OKCupid profile (—ew!). “Raymond!” Except my roommate is the only person in the world who doesn’t give a damn if I watch because even if a terrorist activity was to cause everyone to evacuate the building he’d still be shagging whoever like it was no big deal. “You are absolutely disgusting!” I screamed at a wall I was staring at. “This isn’t your faculty for crying out loud, would you quit sleeping around everywhere!”
“Sure.” He answered brusquely, his voice background to the girl’s moans as though he ever paid heed to a word I said. But I refused to care where my roommate’s man-ho tendencies took him.
“Has she voted already?”
“She would come in a sec, just relax——"
I hated that my roommate was always right because it really didn’t take more than a second and the girl was screaming so loud you’d think someone had paid her to butcher Witney Houston’s “I will always love you” (You could also tell my roommate was the kind who could get the toughest girl confessing And sheeee-eeee-eeeee, would al-ways loo-ve hiiiiiii-m. And me, being Simon Cowell with a stick up my—or Paula Abdul’s, or preferably my best friend’s wife’s— arse, as always, would mutter something dismissive like, ‘Bleurgh, bloody off tune.’)
I watched in disgust as the girl walked by me with her clothes on (thankfully!) and inform me that she was now going to vote (what a relief!). I turned to my roommate, about to give him the yelling off his life but quickly looked away. “Oh, bloody get your clothes on!”
“So you could teach me some manners? No, not a chance.”
I wanted to tell him that I knew he was being serious with Celeste and about to break up with Maya, but while at that could he not give himself a few moments to sympathize and not go sleeping around? What was most annoying: I heard him laugh as I huffed and walked out the space. The guy had no soul!
Oh, to kill a mocking boy. Preferably the only way to end all this living on borrowed time?
TYPING: How do we realize we could put a sock into all this shit about living on borrowed time?
I’d walked all around the faculty (staying clear of the dark places, of course) looking all around for people to vote. I’d already given up. Besides, time was already up. And I do not think all those people I’d somehow managed to convince (by letting Grannie-Grandma twerk vigorously wearing a t-shirt that said ‘I Love Kwame Nkrumah’ on its back) would erase the effect the EC had on the earlier electorates’ decision.
I rolled my eyes when I stepped out into the basement seeing Celeste twerk sporting an ‘I Love Kenneth Sappong’ tee with——not surprisingly——a lot more crowd. But of course, she didn’t have that much arse to match Maya’s who was also break-dancing with an ‘I
Love Wanna Fuck You, Kwame Nkrumah’ tee. How
diplomatic these two were handling their hatred for each other. Could the Israelis and Palestines learn a
thing or two or… you eventually lost count of how many turns their arses
Over at the polling site, where a queue of waiting voters were seated as they were treated to the view of World Wars(e?) Three, I saw some confusion sprouting, I flicked off So You Think You Can Steal My Boyfriend And Get Away With It and trudged carefully on the lawn to the scene.
“What’s going on?” I inquired from Jackie who was already lifting her voice up to be heard through the cacophony. She then narrated a tale in which one of the ECs was a villain claiming to cut the line short and prevent the late-arrivers from casting their votes.
I got slightly annoyed, and moved in further into the circle of people to watch the member of the faculty’s Electoral Commission obstreperously wedging himself in the queue and preventing all those behind him from passing through. God did he have an awful stench!——I’d find out later that was reason enough to prevent people from getting in closer to plead their case.
I stepped forward, I stepped closer, stretching out my limbs to this man like I was some kind of saviour. Jesus came for us all, you sinner, I was hoping to communicate, but in a split of a second, before I could voice my thoughts that he wasn’t being reasonable—
A slicing pain cut through my cheek as a sour taste sunk into my mouth. I couldn’t see anything at first, then all I could hear around me was silence and everyone staring aghast. And I was amazed at what I saw next…
OMG, was I seeing the light? Was I seeing Victoria Justice all draped in white, beckoning me over to come to TheSlap.com?
I might have been having the most profound moment in my life, because all around me I believed I could see in a fourth dimension. And was it everyone’s thoughts or the stinging sound of the slap ringing in my ears?
I saw Maya, and Celeste still shaking. Twerking sure did need some reforms, because not everyone was an arse-lover. I registered how pathetic they both looked, competing for a boy who was at the moment looking over my shoulder with the gravest expression ever known to man. Is that what a slap did? Made all your brain cells rearrange to what was most important? I thought as I found myself moving past Raymond who remained still staring over my shoulder and headed through the crowd who were paving my way to the two. Then before I grabbed the two by their hairs like two insolent urchins (—I did have some Victorian poetry in me after all), I turned to the shocked-silent crowd who were expecting me to do something to the offending EC behind and yelled, “We love Kwame Nkrumah!”
Now although everyone stared at me like some sad boy and went back to doing whatever they were doing before, I pulled Maya by the arm to a corner of the basement. “It’s not worth it.” I said to her.
And thankfully, this time, she didn’t go launch into denial mode. She just stared as though she was exhausted herself.
“Sometimes, it’s just good to face the situation and move on.” I went with an advisory tone. “You are one nice, charming girl and everyone would want to be warm buddies with you—“
“Including you?” She questioned reservedly.
I smiled, taking her hands in mine. “If I do say yes, would it mean no?”
She nodded. “And it would make me happy.”
“Great elections, isn’t it?” Of course, there was Celeste to interrupt our private moment. “So, are you going to give up all too soon?” There was something about her voice I found extremely irritating, as though she meant that line as a double entendre.
“I always win.” She said to Maya and walked away.
“Gimme a sec,” I ordered and wormed through the crowd before Celeste’s head got missing amongst the throngs’.
“In a rush to defend your bestie?” She spun around, as though she sensed someone on her tail.
“I knew you set Yaa up to play the scorned ex so you could reveal to Maya yours and Raymond’s secret.” It was the first time I’d confronted her with the secret I’d discovered a week ago.
“So,” she shrugged unconcerned. “Maya, was bound to find out Raymond and I were sneaking underneath the covers.” She shook her head with a mean laugh I knew she had in her but just hadn’t watched her use against me. “Let’s face it, Kobs, your candidate is a second year student, mine is a third. Mine is winning. Yours is losing.
Why don’t you tell your candidate to wait for his year?”
I was partly annoyed that she’d swiftly changed the subject and rendered me feckless. “And you,” I stabbed a finger at her to berate, “you should wait for your period!”
Her gasp was the reward I needed, I wasn’t yet content. I needed someone to vent my anger at. And who better than the jackass who’d whacked my cheek?
Except when I looked around I wasn’t spotting him anywhere. But my eyes did fall on Raymond, walking onto the grass from one of the dark corners of the basement.
He was massaging his knuckles.
TYPING: It’s called living on borrowed time. Time between decision and indecision when you want to salvage your relationship even though you know it’s all… over...
I stared down at the basement from one of the balconies of the floor above waiting out for the election results to be projected for all to see. I was shivering in anticipation as I held on to Jackie to ease her anxiety.
Would Kwame Nkrumah win? Would Kenneth Sappong win? were the questions on everyone’s lips as they stared in silence.
Raymond, Maya and Celeste were amongst others on the basement lawn, with their gazes fixed on the balcony above on which the results were about to be displayed
TYPING: But after much deliberation, you begin to ask yourself, if living on borrowed time is all worth it, if facing the situation and getting it over with might be your only hope for a better future with your partner…
My phone chimed in my back-pocket as I waited with everyone for the results. I took my hands off Jackie to take out the device.
“Maya?” My eyes raced around the basement lawn to see her with her phone pressed to her ear and moving away from Raymond.
“I’m going to ask him.” She said in the phone bravely.
“No,” I responded hastily, shaking my head down at her. “You can’t do that now. Not with Celeste around him…” I didn’t want to add that it would hurt her more if he gave the answer she wasn’t expecting.
But Maya ignored me.
“Maya? Maya?” I watched her slide her phone into the breast pocket of her blouse. I didn’t hear the disconnection tone and from the crackling line, I knew she hadn’t hung up. I pulled away from Jackie and rushed down the ground floor, taking the stairs two at a time. I was going to prevent Maya from making a fool out of herself.
I broke through the basement, losing sight of her as I pushed through the crowds.
“Maya? Maya?” I called in distress into the phone as I edged closer.
“Hey, Ray,” I heard Maya’s voice down the line as I split apart tons of people to find way through, “are you ending it with me?”
Raymond’s answer was cut off by a loud shrill from the crowd. I was already smiling when I turned to see the results glaring on the wall. Exhilarated, I spun to air-kiss Jackie from below.
Twice we’d defeated Celeste.
TYPING: ... and sometimes, you find, it isn’t all you thought it to be.
Author's Note: This post is dedicated to my very own new Social Sciences Faculty President, Kwame Nkrumah.
I hope you reward me for all the hours I campaigned for you! Social Sciences Faculty editor has a nice ring to it. But hey, no pressure. I'd be whoever you want me to be. As long as its editing the faculty's magazine!
Enough of me and my healthy ambition. Thank you all for sticking with this series till it's tenth episode! More excitement to come, (I hope).
Catch Sex And The City Campus on this blog every Saturday. I would love to read your comments or feedback your at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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