I had a funny dream and it reminded me of someone I lost and an incident that occurred when we just became friends.
During my second year at Uniben, I met a man at the faculty of pharmacy library and I was instantly fascinated by him. He had graduated from the faculty with a B.Pharm degree in the 1990s and he was enrolled in the three-year PharmD conversion programme at the time.
And so we talked about his programme, I was very irritated by the ‘extra’ year it was going to give me. I’d planned to be out of school in five years when I choose pharmacy. He changed my mind about it and made me even excited about it. If Uniben had used him as part of their pitch in selling that degree to NUC and PCN, things would have moved much faster.
Looking back now, I can only laugh at the delicious irony of my thinking that six years in school was too long. What did I know then though?
The programme was run on weekends and he came into Benin-city from Port-Harcourt and stayed in a hotel for the weekend before going back to his base on Sunday morning/afternoon. I asked how much he was spending on hotel bills for the weekend and it came to about twenty thousand naira for lodging and feeding.
At the time, my uncle was paying a hundred and twenty thousand naira for a semi-detached three-bedroom house near Uselu and he thought it was too expensive. This my friend liked to stay around Ikpoba slope and he could get a three-bedroom flat at the time for about half of my uncle’s rent.
I berated him for ‘wasting’ money when he could save most of it by renting his own place, the money he spent on feeding was negligible, it was staying at the hotel that was ‘finishing’ his money. He explained that it was more convenient for him to stay at a hotel and he didn’t want the hassle of renting especially because of neighbour wahala.
It was a standoff, I was totally convinced I was right and he was just wasting his money. He on the other hand was amused by how fiercely I wanted to safeguard a stranger’s money but he didn’t concede I was right. He said I would understand one day.
Sadly, he isn’t here anymore to tell me I told you so. I would do the exact thing in his position even now in my broke state, unlike him who was even running a thriving pharmacy in Port-Harcourt and had his fingers in many business pies. Who wants the hassle of getting a house ready for occupation for only one weekend a month? Not me.
I remember that incident when I’m faced with people who try to tell me how to run my affairs when they have no understanding of the circumstances of my life. I also remember how arrogantly I was yarning dust when I see some people do the same – especially on social media.
Unlike my friend who had the grace to engage an imperious teenager nearly half his age, my mother’s only daughter doesn’t have that kind of energy. I pretend to think for a minute and then, I say ok.
It is not me you will kill for Onyeomachi.