Professor Adaripon by Ilori Tomiwa

It’s been a while, here is a brilliant post by one of my ‘accessible’ literary godfathers, Tomiwa Ilori, I’ll miglo fabro. Enjoy!

Dr. Erebekumo teaches more of marital living than he teaches Company Law. He stands behind a pew he is barely taller than like he is hiding from our eyes. Once in a while, he will stroll down the aisle of the class and quickly return to the pew, his fortress. It is no news that Dr. Erebekumo has an incurable sense of gloating. He glosses over his achievements than a Suya seller sharpens his knife when sales are good. Dr. Erebekumo teaches the course with two other lecturers, Dr. Sopa and Professor Mrs Elejetutu.

“Company Law is out”, Akinbode screamed. Maybe he shouted. He stood in the staircase announcing it like its judgment day. People scuttled for their phones to check the electronic portal to see their results. There’s this thing about checking results in the faculty, even when you must have written well, you feel your destiny still hangs on the whim of the unstable emotions of your lecturers. Students who scurried to check the electronic portal now have different looks tattooed on their faces. Something was not right. One could almost touch the paleness on their faces.
“Erebekumo na bastard o”, one of them with a name of a snack retorted angrily.

“No, it wasn’t Erebekumo who marked, I think it was Sopa”, another classmate replied.

“We heard people failed o”, a short black boy rolled by like mortar, grinning like an automated doll.

“Na wa o, which kain school be this”, someone chipped in from the middle of the crowd that has now began to gather.

At that moment, Dr. Sopa walked by, with his characteristic style of making heavy strides as if he has a million needles stuck between his legs. He gave a quick glance at the forming crowd, that kind of glance a father gives his child after he must have punished them. He kept stroking his beard like a king looking down at a helpless subject. He quickly climbed the stairs as if expecting an assault.

“Bastard”, someone said from the crowd. That kind of expression given that gives no care.

Dr. Kokanaiye with his oversized shirt has a way of walking. He takes each step as if his next step is a gaping hole; his chinos swallowing half of his sandals. When he talks, his voice is like the quiet rush of waters with a chance of drowning you. He is known for his grace at being wicked. Well, so they said. His students must have concluded he is mean by what he once told a classmate: “Why do you want to kill yourself, if you failed a course, come back next year to do it, where do I find marks to add for you? I don’t sell marks my friend.”

“If you can’t find names on the MMS, it is not compulsory that they must graduate, send the names you have with you to the Law School”, Professor Adaripon, who was the Dean barked.
Dr. Kokanaiye stood, with his hands behind his back, listening as if the words of the Professor must land on the back of his head.

“But sir, there are more than seventy names that are not on the list, if we send these names now, it might affect others”, replied Dr. Kokanaiye.

Professor Adaripon calmed down, stroking his belly that has formed a pregnant curve towards his loins. His tribal marks stood out as if angry. He adjusted his tie so that it sat comfortably on his tummy while he looked down at his shoes which seem to look up to God instead. He stroked his all white hair and said with a low voice, “Just make haste, I don’t have much time.”

*****************************

“Your names have been sent to Law School since Monday, leave me alone”, Professor Adaripon said in a way his cheeks danced. Tilapia as he is fondly called was the President of the Law Students’ Society. He stood still shaking his head like a shark that lost a prey.

“But sir, other schools’ posting are out, it’s only our school”, he replied amidst muffled anger.

‘You must be stupid, am I to go to Law School and post you?”the Dean retorted angrily.

“I’m sorry sir”, Tilapia quickly said.

“Sir, I also came as regards the new administrative fee we paid, we already paid one for the first forms we submitted and it was not used for the purpose it was intended, are we getting a refund sir?”

Professor Adaripon adjusted on his chair and wiped his brow. If he expected to be asked such question, he never expected it to be soon and from a student.

“The money is gone my friend, I can’t use my money to pay for the expenses, the money has been spent.”
Tilapia bowed and said thank you and was about to leave when the Faculty secretary came in to give the Dean a message from the Law School.

“Sir, the Secretary to the Director-General said since you never brought the first forms to Abuja, the deadline for the new forms is next week”

Professor Adaripon’s mouth squeezed into a knot, as Tilapia made for the door shaking his head still.

Tomiwa Ilori is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University. His likes include writing and reading. His dislikes include writing and reading.

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