Eleven Years Ago
Mofe looked around the exam hall, the students were nervous. This was a four credit load paper and the lecturer was a mean one, known for setting the toughest questions. This was the second semester of the final year, no one could afford to fail this one, it would mean a definite extra year aside from bringing down one’s aggregate scores.
For Mofe, it wasn’t a problem as it would be a piece of cake for him, he knew. Computer Algorithm was nothing to him, he could comfortably create algorithms of his own and write pretty good code. It was why he’d been nicknamed Bill Gates; he was great with math calculations and software programming. When he wasn’t washing or doing some other menial job for a living, he could be found behind his laptop, headphone in his ears, fingers flying rapidly over the keyboard, coding.
“Bill Gates, I dey your back o!” He turned back to see Ray, a course mate, he smiled nodding at him.
Paul another of his course mates seated to the left of him, spoke up ” I dey your side o!”
“No wahala!” he replied them, knowing it was all a joke, the three of them were the best academically in the department. They tried to outdo him but Mofe had kept ahead of them, he would be leaving with first class honours, that was a definite.
“Alright,” The lecturer spoke up as the papers had been passed around to everyone “exams began at 8.30 and will end at 10.30 am. Turn your question papers over and start.”
Forty minutes to the end, he was done and just going over his work again when he looked up to see her walk in. He wasn’t the only one who had noticed her late entrance but was the only one who cared enough to gasp in shock.
Zinny, the general’s daughter was an hour and twenty minutes late to a final paper. It was just barely forty minutes left, she would never finish in time.
“why are you just arriving?” The lecturer asked angrily.
” Emm… Sir, I…wasnt feeling too….”
” Save it!” he said curtly, cutting her off mid sentence, he handed her the papers “unserious! You will fail!”
She took the papers and made her way to an empty seat two seats to his left, just after Paul’s. She really didn’t look well and ten minutes after, he could see she hadn’t been able to put anything much on paper.
He felt sorry for her and wanted to help but wasn’t sure how because he didn’t want to get caught. He had to be smart about it. Just then Paul got up to leave and he saw an opportunity as his seat was now vacant.
Soon as the lecturer was distracted and wasn’t looking, he took over Paul’s vacated seat, moving fast and as inconspicuous as possible.
She turned to him curiously, a frown between her perfectly arched eyebrows, obviously wondering what he was up to, or that he’d probably lost his mind.
He nodded at her paper and showed her his in a gesture that he wanted them to exchange sheets. Her eyes widened as she understood and its expression changed. She glared at him unbelievingly, her light brown eyes seeming to if he’d suddenly gone crazy.
‘Yeah,’ he sure as hell had ‘he was crazy about her.’
“just do it!” he ordered in a whisper and that seemed to get to her, jumping forward, they instantly they switched papers.
He began scribbling quickly, as fast as he could over her sparsely answered sheet, managing to keep his writing legible while she was going over his paper, he wasn’t sure if she was really going through it or if it was just pretend. He wrote until the lecturer said ‘pens up’. Then they exchanged papers back as they filed in a line to submit, she muttered a small ‘thank you’, not able to meet his eyes. He guessed she was embarrassed at him, the paid help writing her paper for her.
He’d smiled, if only she knew it had been his greatest pleasure, he didn’t mind being of help to her anytime, the things he’d do for a crush.