SCHOOL: Amaka walked into the mall directly opposite the university gate. It was a busy Thursday afternoon and the sun was mercilessly accelerating past the horizon.
Finding herself inside the mall, she sighed and readjusted her handbag before walking towards the attendant who was smiling at her.
“Good afternoon Madam!” The attendant greeted nicely. “You’re welcome to Vitality Supermarket. Which section would you like to visit?”
Amaka beamed with smiles. Maybe it was the way the attendant greeted her or the fact that she called her Madam. Freaking madam! 😂She was bubbling with laughter inwardly, ‘Madam! Who dash me, madam.’ However, outwardly, she returned the attendant’s smile and said casually, “I’d like to check out your body lotion. Have you restocked your Nivea products?”
She spoke in Queen’s English. Excuse you, she just defended her project at the University of Nigeria, so as a fresh graduate, she had to show off her speaking skills. It wouldn’t be right for her to suffer for four years in UNN and now that she’s graduated, no one gets to hear her grammar, would it? school
The attendant’s voice woke her from her stupor. “Yes, we have. Please this way.” The attendant led the way while Amaka followed suit. She was serving hot catwalks as she flung her hair from side to side. It’s not easy for a fresh graduate to be led around a mall.
When they got to the cosmetics section, the attendant stopped and pointed at a stalk of Nivea products. “There they are, Madam”
Amaka followed her hand and her eyes immediately landed on the actual product she was looking for. Nivea Even and Radiant! However, she didn’t get to see the price because she was standing a little far, so she moved closer and grabbed the body lotion examining it. It was new, clean, full, caps on, and…… Boom! Her eyes landed on the price. N2,980! She shook her head, disbelief apparent in her eyes, then she turned to the attendant who was standing behind her and asked, “How-how much is this? ”
“It’s N2,980! Madam”
“I can see it!” Amaka screamed, a little irritated. “Why is it this expensive?”
The attendant’s smile didn’t falter. In fact, it increased, irritating Amaka the more. “Madam, I don’t understand… ” school.
“What don’t you understand?,” Amaka raged. “I bought this lotion N2000 at the Ogige market the other day.”
“Stop calling me Madam! I am not Madam. Ha! I am just a student at UNN here,” Amaka railed, unable to control herself anymore.
Actually she couldn’t understand why she was so angry. She had bought that lotion there at the same price but that was two months ago.
That was when Daddy sent her money for every little need. Oh! Those good, old days. Then, she could buy anything at any mall without batting an eyelid.
She even had a ticket that allowed her to know about new orders. She frequented all the eateries on campus. Hello? She was a big girl. School.
Now, it looks as if things have changed and it’s probably the thought of this that scares her. Her lifestyle was about to experience a shift that would hit a deadly blow to her big-girls.
So as she stomped out of that mall in anger, it wasn’t the past that scared her but her blurry present. She knew she had to make some serious adjustments if she would survive at least until she gets a job. This was the reality of leaving school.
Amaka is an ex-student, every ex-student is Amaka. We must all make adjustments, we must! SCHOOL.
AUTHOR: ROSE JONATHAN OY