Soon enough, she was in a similar situation one day and I was seated during a lecture. She asked if she could share my pew and when I made for her to seat in, she said "One good turn deserves another" with a broad smile. I gave up my edge seat. Weeks and years later, everybody would know us and refer to us as "Rice and Beans." LMAO! We stuck like glue, Siamese twins till the end of Uni ... and still haven't been unglued eight years later.
Tobi Ogundolapo was in the same department as I was, had a slightly different major from mine (Computer Engineering) which meant we took the same classes up until fourth year. Tobi and I joined the school's Ushering unit and then, realised we were almost neighbours back home, and had attended the same primary school. But there's no telling a Tobi story without an Adeolu Owokade. Weirdly, I don't remember first encounters for either one but I remember tutorial classes, ushering meetings, study groups, working and hanging out during SIWES, going home for the holidays, and the Agony Aunt sessions. 'Deolu and I have similar dimensions but with a different route. Eight years later, we are on the (long) road to grad school. Earlier this year, I became a resident at "GhostHouse" to reduce my commute hours to/fro work. My boy still looks out for me every time. He taught me how to drive (although I still put in my hours in driving school and started all over). Geez, he is that selfless friend that fixes his plans to accommodate mine, accompanies me to events where I need a plus-one, and makes my mum start asking me questions I have answered a million and one times.
Lotanna Egwuatu was the embodiment of a Barbie doll the first day I set eyes on her. She was freaking wearing pink trousers! Pink! And then she screamed in the middle of a lecture when she saw a lizard on the wall. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't stand the girl. Semester results came out and I found out the nonsense girl had brains. I managed to avoid her until sophomore year came and we were assigned to the same room for SWEP. I almost collapsed when I realised. It would be me, Lotanna, Ladun and Emilomo Longe in one room. Looking back, that was one of the best things that could have happened to my Uni life. During that period, I found out the girl was not half bad, she was smart, fun, godly, and introduced me to Praye's "Shordy." We embarked on some crazy adventures and escapades during SWEP, and I can say that I have successfully figured out the method to her madness. We got pretty close in third year, and by fourth year, I made my first trip to Abuja just to go visit the nonsense girl during the holidays. During my visit, her mum got me a summer job and that saw me relocating from my Lagos home to work in Abuja. Eight years later and today, Lolo and I have become female engineering enthusiasts, co-founders of Citewire, and we barely missed a shot at becoming sisters-in-law.
It was a windy Tuesday evening in June and the year was 2005. It was also a few days to my birthday and I was on the basketball court with the rest of the student body for some outdoor Tech Week activity. After much cheering, I started feeling funny - all of a sudden the wind felt painful against my skin and in a matter of seconds, I was shivering visibly. Laju Awani spotted me, took off his shirt and put it on me while another one of my mates (Festus Adibe) walked with me to my dorm to make sure I was okay. Who forgets such little acts of kindness? Eight years later, ... um, Laj, should we tell them?
Amidst some remarkably weird first meetings, some friendships were formed along the way, some lost mid-way, some kicked off after graduation, and there are those ones where we catch up when we catch up. To Mark Akpaibor, Jide Ayeni, Ifeanyi Egbe, Seyi Feyisitan, Tolu Ogunsina, Chris Ikeliani, Emi Longe, Toyin Agbebi, Patrick Akhamie. I take a piece of all of you everywhere I go. Cheers!