She was confused again. All Pheya said contradicted all her mum told her before she left for school. However, whoever was right was the least of her worries at that moment. The lecturer skimmed through up to 10 slides while they were conversing. Janet looked up puzzled. The whole topic just got jumbled up in her face. She always hated the fact that they had to learn mathematics using a projector. But what more could be done in such a large class that brings about 3 faculties together? She looked at the question again, her right index finger tapping unconsciously on her notebook. Seeing the confusion, a whiff of guilt glossed over Pheya’s mind as she did not really need the class to learn mathematics.
As commonly seen in public tertiary institutions, the lecture theatre was packed. The heat was probably drying up cerebrospinal fluids. The only surviving antique air conditional rumbled at one corner of the hall, competing with the noise from the side talks. It made too much noise to let out such little cool air. Some once likened it to their SUG President and his “audio promises” during campaign. The A/C was, however, better than its long-lost brothers that now served as platforms for bags during examinations. The air reeked of a bad cocktail of colognes, hot pastries, halitosis and body odour.
The lecture soon ended. The students hurriedly packed, relieved of the intellectual torture and mostly confused by their life choices. The press at the narrow doors soon built up as usual. Janet and Pheya’s would habitually wait behind till the pushing subside before they leave.
While they waited, Janet tried recovering some of what she could not get during the lecture, thanks to the chatterbox she pitched her tent with. They were seated at the edge of the bench somewhere in the middle of the 500-seater, 200-standing and 100-outside capacity lecture theatre. As the rowdy students passed by them, a hand stuck a sticky note on their table. They reflexively turned to see who it was but the hand was immediately lost in the crowd. Pheya quickly picked it, stared at it for a while and smiled from one corner of her lips looking up at Janet.
“What?” Janet asked softly in suspicion, eyes fixed on Pheya.
“It’s for you”, Pheya replied amidst a giggle. They both knew what it meant to get a sticky note in their school. Janet collected the note in shock and between anger and blushes. The note read “Janet, call this number …”, She hissed, chewed the paper and spat it at Pheya managing to maintain her smug face.
“Eww, gross!” Pheya said, slapping Janet softly on the thigh. She scribbled something on her note before she signaled to Janet that it was time to leave the now-deserted lecture theatre.
James popped out from behind the doors. He is reputable for always lurking around corners in wait for them. Now, James is that perfectly friend-zoned guy with two ladies as best friends. They walked away from the lecture theatre together, sieving through other students standing outside the hall. James was usually always the first to bring up a conversation with some geeky tech ideas or new discovery. How this changes to gossips would remain a mystery content for Discovery Channel. However, this time, Pheya could not wait.
“Janet got a sticky note today”, she divulged.
“Really? It is a really cool learning aid. Can I see?” James requested. His naivety was in play again. The girls gave him one look from the corners of their eyes in disgust, although not surprised. James was vast in knowledge but entirely socially uninformed. He got accosted by the school‘s cultists to many times for using the wrong slang or showing up in school in the “wrong dressing”
“No, not that! A guy sent her a note – stuck it to her table.” Pheya would not give up.
“Why would someone do that?”
Okay. Pheya was losing patience. She sighed.
“See, in this school, if a Don Juan, chronic hooligan or cultist likes you, he gets your digits one way or the other and calls. If you innocently pick it, you must give him a chance at least for his effort. It is a like a rule sef. If you don’t, his gang will frustrate your life. Although they would most likely not hurt you physically, you’d wish you let him. If a guy parks and offers you a ride, he is an interested Yahoo Yahoo boy. If you get a sticky note with a phone number, it’s from a rich shy momma’s boy.”
“So those of us that don’t fall into any category for this code, I guess we are not allowed to date women in this school? And, let’s assume I understand why I must give a Don whatever, hooligan or a cultist a chance to date me, Janet, what did you do with the note?” James asked.
“What do you think? I chewed it”, Janet confidently rebuffed.
“Good” James sighed, relieved.
“You are also party to this single-till-24 movement?” Pheya said, disappointed
“You both know my mum made me swear on her bosom” Janet replied with droopy helpless eyes,
“I don’t know why I move with you guys”, Pheya said before she dashed ahead, irritated. She stopped and waited for them to catch up.
“Hand me your phone” She snapped her fingers at Janet who had barely caught up.
“I want to check my weight”, She hissed with some jots of vexation.
“Gimme jor! Let’s shar take selfies for the first day you got ‘asked out’.” Pheya added.
“That’s a good idea” James agreed, took a selfie stick from his bag and handed it to Janet. He then assumed his position between both girls with one of those friend-zoned-fellow poses. Pheya took the selfie stick from Janet took her time analyzing the angle and the direction of the sun. A few more clicks and they continued their journey home chattering all the way. They saw James off a little distance before turning back to their hostel. They would meet later that night to read…