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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

LOVERBOY 2 --by Nickz

When Kelly got back to his room later that evening looking frustrated and disappointed, his roomies; Charles and Aigbedion knew something didn’t go right. They got even more indignant over the unfairness of Adesua’s meanness when Kelly concluded his narration. “Kelly my man, the campus is full of better girls. Forget that useless Adesua. She no even fine, she just de carry her k-leg de waka waka. I bin de suspect that girl but I just say mek I use eye watch.” Aigbedion expressed his consolation. Charles saw things in a different light entirely. His words of comfort weren’t much comforting. It was more on changing the game, which he tried to educate Kelly on the methodology. But he couldn’t be serious for too long. In fact, he was already feasting on the bottle of wine and the Pringles. “I never chop this Pringles before o. Na so the tin dey salty? Hmmm, see wetin woman for go enjoy. Kelly no worry, every disappointment na blessing. Who for believe say I for drink better wine this evening. The Lord is good.”
“Charles you no even get heart, everything na joke to you. Emmm, but no finish that thing o. I be stakeholder o. I for like taste am too.” Aigbedion opened up. Irrespective of their different approaches, Kelly knew his friends were concerned. He felt better now as the air was lightened. He even announced to take them out to their regular canteen for evening meal. Charles who had been contemplating on what to have for dinner was the most thrilled. He literarily kissed Kelly’s forehead to the disgust of everyone. He was definitely going to request for extra meat.

Over their meal, Charles re-launched the earlier suggestion he made to Kelly back in the room. “Look Kelly, you can still finish this. You can’t just back out. I’m not implying that you go back and kiss her arse, no. What I’m saying is, you can actually make her beg to kiss your own arse. All you need is a game change.” He paused to swallow a giant ball of wheat with egusi. Kelly was becoming interested. He couldn’t help wondering how that could be possible. Adesua was high-shouldered and would not hang out with him, he was almost sure of that but what was the game change Charles was emphasizing on? How could he be so confident of that? Even if Charles was right and he could get Adesua, he was sure he wasn’t going to date her for long. Love was no more in the equation. He just needed to redeem his prestige. He was not a loser. He was not a douchebag. The memory of the whole scene of embarrassment flooded his virtual image faculty and all he could do was take a deep breath to cool off. “Charles, what’s your proposal? Speak.” When his roommate finished plotting the graphs and obtained the gradient, Kelly had never felt more excited in his life to make another move. It was like acting a movie script. “I’m in bro. I’m in.” Charles was beaming with pride and confidence as his proposal was taken with delight. “Fair enough! I’m ready to put you through the stages then. ‘Hope you got the balls and the cash.”

Stage One: Become Popular
“On campus, there are several categories of guys. These categories directly affect the kind of girls they get. The church goers get the sister Marys if they’re lucky. The social guys get pretty girls while the book freaks end up virgins. But there’s a special category; the popular guys—this category hits the jackpot and go home with the golden cheque. Being popular doesn’t just make them social but well known. They become idols and are craved after. They are the gods of campus and like gods, they are worshiped and celebrated. They get the hottest girls on campus and material girls like Adesua love popular guys. The truth is; one doesn’t have to be super rich to get to this level. It’s purely a function of strategies. There are several platforms to gaining popularity. One is through political offices, another is through high level of socialization, another, through cultism while another could be through possession of excessive cash. Don’t ask me how I know these things but be sure that you, my friend, will have to become popular and I’m going to press some buttons for that to happen. First of all, let’s start with your wardrobe and haircut. If you need a Rihanna, you have to look like Chris Brown.” That was Charles breaking down the first phase to Kelly.

People didn’t have difficulties noticing how much Kelly had transformed in just three months after semester resumption. In addition to the crown of Face of Swag; a campus modeling contest which he had competed keenly for and won, he also emerged the best stage artiste on the Inter-faculty Spit Fire Music Battle. Kelly had managed to convince his mom to lend him one of her cars for the semester and the 2012 silver Honda Accord boosted his swag to the ceiling. His dressing and accessories didn’t match that of Lil’ Wayne but was enough to make the heads of ladies turn with a big “wow” on their faces. No one called him Kelly anymore, everyone now knew him as K-Swag. Kelly, Charles and Aigbedion formed an intimidating clique that made many young males in their department want to hang out with them. During lectures, they usually walked into the class couple of minutes late after everyone was seated and the whole class will start to cheer them up, to the vexation of the lecturers. Like wild fire, with the help of Charles, the whole faculty and a good part of the campus knew the new Kelly—Mr. K-Swag.

 Eki, Adesua’s roommate was helping Adesua shape her eyebrows with a razor blade over their table where the long mirror stood. Aimiuwu was sitting in bed, fumbling over the pages of ECC 221 handout, obviously having concentration issues. They were casually chatting over the regular things ladies in a room talk about until Eki mentioned the name, “K-Swag”. As the name was mentioned, no one giggled, no one laughed, they just waited for Adesua to break the silence. It was deliberate as they intended to know how she felt about him. “What? Ehn? Why do you stop Eki? Abeg finish up.” even with the nonchalance she tried to display, Eki could hear a slight tone of envy in her voice. She knew the kind of guys Adesua liked. Unfortunately, Kelly didn’t make any further move on her after that night. He had transformed so suddenly and had almost any girl he wanted. If they could have seen the future, they wouldn’t have messed with the young man that night. “Let me just tell you girls my mind. If K-Swag asks me out, I don’t care if it’s for a night or a semester, I’ll drop it down for him. I’m really tripping for that dude.” Aimiuwu spoke from where she was seated. She said it casually but they all knew there was 99% truth in that. “What makes you think he’ll even notice you with all those girls around him? The guy na fine boy sha. He’s lucky to be swimming in money. I wouldn’t mind ridding with him, that is, if Ade is not still interested o. Ade you never say anything o.” Eki said as she carefully drew the eye pencil over Adesua’s shaved brows. Adesua knew they wanted to hear her opinion but Eki had said it all. He was swimming in money and rocking campus like he owned it. If there was a chance he made any advance towards her, this time, she would be insane to play hard-to-get. Her boyfriend had left her for another girl but that didn’t bother her so much since she was a freelancer. It only made her more available. If she could be pictured on campus as K-Swag’s right hand shawty, that would do her more good than getting a four-point semester grade point. Unfortunately, she did not disclose these feelings to her friends as she suspected they’d make fun of her.

Stage Two: Make Your Move
Charles had successfully launched Kelly into limelight which was the most crucial stage. He was certain the young man was ready for stage two. They were playing PRO11 soccer in their room; Charles and Kelly. He had defeated Aigbedion and was presently leading the scoreline on Kelly. In ten minutes time, he was the champion again. Kelly dropped the pad with disappointment and climbed on his bed, picking up his blinking Samsung Note III from the nearby table. He had a couple of Whatsapp notifications but he wasn’t going to answer them at the moment. He was already getting used to the flooding messages and Facebook requests. Charles left the laptop for Aigbedion to watch a movie and came over to sit by Kelly. “You see why I always remain the champion? Strategies man! Strategies! I noticed where your formation was leaking and took advantage. That’s what makes me the king of the game. It’s not about blaming the pad. Hahaha!” He was having that complacency again. “Talk from now till tomorrow, na me just gree mek you shine for the game.” Kelly replied him. “Talking about game, that brings us to the second stage of your mission. Seriously Kelly, I had doubts you’ll ever pass the first stage. This time, you’ll have to link the broken cord with Adesua. Now, you’re too big to go knocking at her door. I bet my balls she’s tripping for you and wouldn’t risk it this time. This is how the game will go, listen carefully.” For the next one hour, Charles and Kelly were deeply engrossed in plotting the bar chart, deducing median and mean, crosschecking variance, and substituting into the standard deviation. It was a perfect plot.

It was a surprise when Adesua bumped into Kelly in the cafeteria. She regularly took her lunch there but was a bit thrown off balance as she almost collided with Kelly who was on phone walking towards the counter while she was carrying her tray of fried yam and egg sauce to her table. “Oh! So sorry! I didn’t notice. . .” Adesua apologized but Kelly paused her midway with a casual dismissal wave. “It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.” He reached the counter, placed his request, took his meal and located a seat at Adesua’s table, causing the young lady a mixed feeling of guilt and thrill. Memories of the past lingered in their minds but Kelly was on the mission, he didn’t need to be clouded by distractions. “‘Pleased to meet you again Adesua. I almost couldn’t recognize you. I must say, you look prettier than I recall. The huge guy with the nice ride is doing a good job.” Adesua chuckled in amusement, feeling flattered too. She tried to avoid eye contact and sound as confident as possible. “Thanks Kelly-or should I say K-Swag. Well, nice meeting you again. Congrats on your emergence as Mr. Swag.” Kelly was happy she didn’t refer to anything concerning the last incident they had, even though along the line of conversation, she mentioned something about “the past” and “wishing some things never happened the way they did.” He did not expect her to come out plain; her haughtiness couldn’t permit that. 

They had a lengthy discussion over their meals and several things were revealed to Kelly, including her separation from her boyfriend and the readable signs that she was now interested in him. Kelly couldn’t help noticing the air of pride that was still circling around her in every way she conducted herself; starting from the way she ate to the way she talked, to the way she kept throwing back her head to keep her hair backward. The only thing that earned Kelly a table with her was his self-attained social status and swag. She loved to identify with celebs and live the superfluous life. He was willing to be that celeb. It was time to tell her what he had in mind. “I think we can still work out something between us, after all, you were my first crush. Why don’t you give me the pleasure of taking you to a mind-blowing place you’ve never been to. It’s a new resort in Calabarr. I’d love to spend next Saturday with you there.” If Kelly’s statement didn’t excite Adesua, then she was either a corpse or a catholic nun but she had to keep her calm and act the lady. “Are you asking me out on a date?” It was more a redundant question but he still answered a yes. This time, she didn’t play tough to get. Kelly paid for both meals and left the cafeteria after some pleasantries. It was fixed; they were going to have a date all the way in Calabarr. The hilarious part was that as Kelly departed, Adesua’s mind quickly crafted a plan towards the date. Even though she made up her mind to honour the date, she wasn't going to give him everything on a platter of gold.  Unknown to her, Kelly was also up to something. But as they say, “He who laughs last laughs best,” show time was on.

**To Be Continued**

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