"On second thoughts, can you still let me use your phone?"
The guy helped by not being hesitant.
"Yeah, no problem." He said, giving her the phone.
Maybe she didn't care much for safety anymore. At least, Màámi would be fine. She thought.
She knew her mother's phone number by heart and she dialed it rapidly. Màámi picked it immediately, as if she had been waiting and she knew that it was Seyi who called.
"Màámi." Seyi said immediately her mother picked the call. "It's Seyitan."
Her mother's words made her almost choke. The strain, the tightened up tone, the relief!
"Seyitan!" Màámi called.
Her voice had never been more comforting. Seyi could feel one tear slide down her cheek. She quickly rubbed it off self consciously. For how long had she been holiday that in?
"What happened?" She asked. Certainly. The first question. Seyi could sense how worried she must have been from her voice. Maybe she had even cried a little. Afterall, Seyi herself had been on the verge of that too.
"I'm so sorry, màámi." She said. It was late. Past nine or to ten. Any mother would have gone insane.
"We were attacked-robbed. On the way. And my phone got damaged. I'm so sorry, ma"
"I have been so worried!" Màámi said, almost shouting. She could only imagine how much she tried to hold back screaming at her. She probably told herself that it wasn't Seyi's fault.
"Lord! Are you okay?" Màámi actually cried now. "Is everything fine?"
"Yes, ma." Seyi told her.
"Are you sure?" She asked again.
"Yes, ma." She assured her.
She had tried to shorten her conversation with her mother in respect to the patient phone owner. But, she had also managed to narrate the most important details in about two minutes. With a promise to call her mother when she could, she ended the call.
"Is that all?" He asked when she returned the phone with many thanks.
She smiled. "Yes, thanks a lot."
He merely nodded and gave her the peace sign.
She felt awkward going back. Maybe she hadn't thanked him enough? She had deleted Màámi's phone number from his call history. It wasn't enough especially with the extra technical knowledge people had these days but, she thought it would suffice.
She returned to her room, sore, hungry and lonely. But she had some content: Màámi is fine. Everybody is fine.
She had been in a boarding school for six years, a university for two years yet, she woke up feeling strange and out of place. Of course! A new room. She looked around the space. It was fairly large. There was a table with no chairs, a bed, and no other furniture. There was a mattress on the bed, another by the wall. The bed had been made, the floors swept. Her box was carefully tucked behind the bed, while her cookery box sat in a corner of the room. Her supposed to be roommate had been in the room before. She had checked main parts; the size, the door lock, the windows and roofing. It was then also that she had the table and her mattress put there. And she had said that it was okay if Seyi took the bed because most likely, she wouldn't always be in the room.
Seyi had been tired. Nevertheless, she had tried to put the room a bit in order before she slept. She stood up now, and looked out of the window. It was so strange that home seemed twice far away than it really was. Maybe she skipped one too many safety precautions but, there was no choice for her. She could only plunge full in to danger with the hope that, her father and her brother were watching over her. She had to survive.
She took her pail outside to fetch some water for her bath. She took a twenty litre keg too. Better get it all at once. She met a small crowd by the tap side. Luckily, the hostel came with water supply. Although, the water came a few taps for a space of what couldn't be less than fifteen rooms.
There was little gender differentiation here. Rooms were given to anybody. Màámi wouldn't like that. Seyi thought. But anyway, it wasn't like she had much of a choice. But still, the lady would have wanted her daughter to stay in a 'safer' area. Seyi looked at the queue. It wasn't very long. They probably had a way of stalling outsiders from coming in to take water. She stood, quietly watching. Some girls chatted with themselves, a guy and a girl leant into each other, two guys were staring into a phone and laughing out loud, another girl stood, a deep frown on her face with sleep marks all over. But then, something else caught her attention; the lady's hair bonnet. Seyi stared at the wild hair cap and tried hard not to laugh. Oranges and knives with motifs of...shoes? Heels, in fact. How did that relate?! She shook her head and turned away, smiling. Maybe these are the people she would live with for some time. Ordinary as they seemed, she wasn't one to be fooled. She knew a lot about student housemates. The drama and craze. And oh, theft too. Although she didn't need it(she was careful enough), she still made a mental reminder to always lock her door. She could only hope for a tolerable stay here.