A few months ago we began the NYSC Diaries, which covered inside life stories of NYSC in Nigeria. Stories like things NYSC corps members can relate to or what to do when you’re posted to a faraway place, like Borno.
A new NYSC batch has been called in for camp. So, everyday by 1:30PM for the next 21 days, one of our writers will be sharing his day-to-day camp experiences.
Everybody is talking about jollof rice. That’s what we’re having for lunch. Jollof rice and chicken. I’m lowkey excited but I’m not showing it. I don’t want to get my expectations up and then get eba and egusi. I don’t like eba and egusi.
Breakfast is bread and tea though.
I’ve made so much progress today. I’ve charged my phone and my power bank, I’ve eaten breakfast, I’ve dropped my khaki for dry-cleaning and I’ve played football.
Now I’m doing some laundry with my roommate, Abdul. We start talking about relationships. He had a lot to say, and some interesting stories.
I decide that that’s what I’ll write about today.
“If anyone told me the relationship before this one was ever going to end, I would laugh, look at them straight in the eye and tell them to go back to the circus they came from. Maybe I was the one in the circus. The relationship ended because it was long-distance.
When I started dating Aisha, I had plans to marry her, but I wasn’t putting all my eggs in her basket. We met through a friend three years ago. I’d just gotten back into Nigeria after completing my medical degree. I liked her immediately, we got talking and somehow, we started dating. Here’s the thing though: For the two years that our relationship lasted, it was long-distance. She was in school in Ilorin and I was doing my housemanship in Lagos. I would occasionally go and see her and we’d get a hotel room and chill.
At some point, she started having bad grades. As we talked about it, she somehow mentioned that she and her roommate had started going out a lot and keeping late nights. I advised her to stop and maybe hang out with another of her friends who I knew was doing great in school. She threw a fit. She didn’t want me to try to control her. We barely talked for three months. We started talking again when she realised that she had a carry over and both her friends had left her in school. I was there for her throughout the time when she had to be in school to re-do the course. She went to a private school so they let them re-do the exam over the summer.
Things started getting better when she was done with the exam. She came and told me that she was going to become a better person and listen to my advice more. Awesome.
In 2019, she went for NYSC. She got posted to Benue. I stayed in Benue all my life, from when I was born, until when I left Nigeria. She got an apartment and she made a friend. I don’t have a problem with her making friends. But this new friend was a heavy drinker and smoker. She was also a lesbian but I don’t even know if that’s necessary for this story.
Aisha started going out, drinking and smoking a lot. You see, if that’s the person I signed up to date, I probably wouldn’t have had a problem with all of that. But this was a complete switch up. She totally and completely changed. She stopped staying in her own apartment and started living with her friend. At some point, the both of them left their apartments and started living with some guy because he had DSTV and they wanted to watch Big Brother.
I obviously expressed my feelings, fears and concerns, but nothing changed. I offered to subscribe for her to watch Big Brother from her phone. She said she needed company to watch it. She was going to be lonely, she said. I didn’t want her to be lonely so I let her be.
Then came the lies. I wasn’t stalking her or anything but somehow I had intel on where she was. She would lie and say she wasn’t there and then apologize later. She was living the craziest life and lying to me. One time, she mistakenly picked my call and what I heard made me want to throw up. The lies and apologies continued but I was just hoping that something would she change.
But my last straw was when I saw a snap of her out without a hijab. I couldn’t take that. She disrespected religion and still lied about it. We just decided to break up. I hope she’s doing okay.”
I join OBS. I hear that people in OBS don’t do all this ghetto shit. I tell the woman I meet there that I can write and also present on radio. In a surprisingly impressive soundproof room with nice equipment, she gives me a piece of paper to read out some jingle into a microphone. I think she likes my voice. Who doesn’t?
Tomorrow is our swearing in ceremony. She tells me to write a breakdown of my day tomorrow and bring it along.
If only she read NYSC Diary.
Here’s Day 2, in case you missed it: