CURRENTS THAT SPARKED NO FIRE

CURRENTS THAT SPARKED NO FIRE

I am not an attention seeker but I tend to start liking someone when they give me attention. From a distance, though; I hate in-your-face kind of attention. This particular attention I suffered through my years in the university was the kind I never expected.

My first year in the university was a big stroke of bad luck (I don’t believe in luck, though); my results were very poor (2.98 in the first semester and 2.76 in the second). So, I made a resolution to throw in all my effort, time and resources – financial and moral – into my studies thenceforth. This was the reason I fell sick quite often in my second year; I literally made night classes my bedroom. I would read from 6 PM till 7 AM, then go home (I was squatting with a friend; life was hard) and freshen up, to return to class before 8 AM for my lectures. My life was getting miserable – I wasn’t eating well, wasn’t getting enough sleep, my clothes could pass for rags, my hair and beards were shooting in all directions. At a point, a lecturer, one whom all the students of Earth Sciences hate, sniped at me in public, “Even if your parents are the poorest people on earth, you shouldn’t be dressing like this.”

So, I was in class one day trying hard to listen to Dr X (not the one everyone hates) teach a new topic on AGP211, but the fever wracking through my body wouldn’t let me be. I was shaking all over and Dr X, who’d just gotten back from Liverpool where he went to for his PhD, didn’t seem to give a care. Unable to bear the strain any longer, I asked to be excused, that I’d be back soon, and he waved me away without sparing me a glance.

I went straight to the school clinic but was delayed because I had not bothered to register at the clinic during freshman clearance. About an hour later, a course mate and friend of mine came to the clinic with my school bag. He told me that he had called my mother and told her I’d been admitted into the clinic and the poor woman had freaked out. So, I had to call her and reassure her that I would be fine, that I wasn’t admitted. The course mate also told me that Dr X had canceled my name from the attendance that we marked during his class. I asked why and he told me that Dr X had said I shouldn’t have left his class, that I was insolent and disrespectful, nyeh, nyeh, nyeh. He, my friend, had tried explaining to him that I was very sick, but Dr X had been like, “Who fucking cares?” – Yes, he did use the F word. He uses it all the time – “Did he tell me he was going to the clinic?”

I was given two doses of injections and some drugs. I went home and covered myself up in bed. When I put on my phone, I saw a WhatsApp message from my course rep: Dr X has asked that you see him in his office tomorrow, if you want your name to be added back to the attendance list. If you don’t see him, he said you shouldn’t bother going to any of his classes again.

I rolled my aching eyes and wondered who in hell the man thought he was. That was when I started loathing him. Long before my set came into the school, Dr X had been in Liverpool running his PhD program (he shouldn’t be more than 37 now). So, we had no idea what he was like, but we knew from the first day he came to our class in second year, that the man was loquacious. He could talk for Africa. He could use 45 minutes to drone on and on about things we shouldn’t be interested in, like the Arsenal team, his life in school, his parents and siblings, and then the remaining 15 minutes of his time to teach. He however never talked about any relationships or girls.

I did not know his office, and my course rep gave me unclear details of the location. So, I simply decided not to bother (I am very laidback, no stress). Besides, it was only one attendance and I was stubborn enough to dare to go to his next class.

In his next class, he refused to let me in, but I put on my best innocent face and explained to him that I’d been really sick. He didn’t care. All he cared about was that I didn’t come to his office. I apologized profusely and he finally let me in.

This however marked the start of my contentious relationship with Dr X. The hatred, it would appear, was mutual. While I quietly resented him, he would look for every opportunity to insult me in class – You are an idiot… You are very stupid… You are not serious… Look at your hair, stupid boy…

The putdowns were frequent and unrelenting. Up until my third year. He bullied and insulted me every chance he got. And even though I disliked him immensely, I had to wonder if perhaps this man was being like this with me because he was actually into me. I have come to realize that not everyone can handle their feelings well. They take a somewhat hedonophobic, sadistic and antagonistic approach towards their attraction to people. They bully you, abuse you in every way possible, make you feel bad. But deep down, they are drawn to you. They don’t know how to express their feelings. At least not in the right way.

I remembered the time in my second year, when my course rep told me he wanted to see me in his office and I asked him why. My course rep had jokingly replied, “He wan burst your nyash na.” I recoiled from that comment; I have a very wild and graphic mind. I was not out in school, but a few people were speculating about my sexuality because of the every-once-in-awhile that my inner femme slipped through.

***

So then, I was in my fourth and final year. I’d resumed for the school year with good clothes and enough money, so no lecturer could call me poor again, lol.

There was something else new about this school year. Dr X steered the way he related with me in a sharply different direction.

It started when he grazed his hand against my jean-clad thighs in class while he was teaching AGP413. I usually sat at the middle section of the laboratory cabinet slabs, but he would walk round the class, talking and brushing against me. After the first time he did it, I was convinced it was not accidental. Then he would get to the front of the class and fix his gaze on me while talking, as though silently daring me to do something about what he and I knew he’d done to me. And I would look away.

The insults were still a constant though.

Then came the day when he passed by me in class and actually but fleetingly fondled my penis. It was such a startling thing that I found myself instinctively fighting the sudden urge to yelp. Nobody seemed to notice what he did.

He did it again. And again. Different days. Different classes. It used to be fleeting, as he walked past, but when it graduated to him pausing by my side, talking and playing with the outline of my penis on my trouser, I decided to thwart his harassment. Whenever he came into class, I would make sure to tuck my legs together and put them under the cabinet upon which we wrote our notes. He noticed this and stopped walking about the lecture room altogether. His sexual abuse reminded me of the time, when I was barely five, and Aunty Chinasa sucked my tiny willy in the dark. I still wonder why and how I grew up well from the trauma of that abuse.

Dr X did not try being nice to me, and I did not try getting close to him. He didn’t seem to like me, and the feeling was mutual. None of my course mates could understand why I didn’t like the man they all seemed to adore, or even try to make nice with him so he could stop verbally assaulting me in class.

My village witches proved that they were on my matter when, in the second semester, I went up to the noticeboard to check the seminar supervisor under whom I’d been placed.

It was Dr X.

Just my luck!

When I went to his office to let him know I was his seminar student, without looking up from his laptop, he said, “How did you manage to become my seminar student?”

As if I’d engineered that. As if years of abuse in his class wasn’t enough for me, I simply had to yoke myself to him for my seminar.

I didn’t even bother answering that ridiculous question. I simply asked him if he had any topic for me to work on.

“Is it me that will give you a topic?” he snapped, finally looking up to stab me with an irritated glare. “Go and do whatever you like.”

I left his office, not angrily, but definitely not pleased either. Of all the lecturers in the department, I had to fall in with the very man who hated me.

I did get a topic and started work on it. Seminar and project students were required to get approval of continuance from their supervisors from time to time. If not, a student could be barred from presenting, which would mean an automatic extra year. Even without this threat, extra year was rampant in the department.

And so, one day, I went up to his office to show him my work. He wasn’t around. I went the next day and I met him.

“Yes? What do you want?” he snapped at me, like we were commencing with the sequel of a fight we had just finished having.

“Sir, I want to show you my work,” I replied.

He looked at me like I was crazy. “What work?”

“My seminar.”

He looked at me some more before replying, “I don’t care about your seminar. Go and do whatever you want.”

This ringing brutal response stayed in my head as I walked out of his office, feeling the burn of dislike for the man.

I actually considered applying for a change of supervisor, but in my department, that would take too much time to work out. Besides, there was too much bad blood between the lecturers in my department to guarantee any one of the others would take me on. So, I accepted my fate.

The next time I went again to show him my work so far. Actually, this time, he was the one who asked me to come. I went with my sorry laptop and opened up my work. He put on his glasses and made a caustic remark about how dead my laptop was. As if it was offended by the insult, my laptop chose that moment to go off. Dead battery. My mortification excelled past her coasts as I bravely asked to plug the laptop into the socket he was using to charge his phone. I was mildly surprised when he permitted me to do that without any stinging comment.

I plugged in and eventually showed him my work. And boy, was this man an asshole. He criticized my work from beginning to end. “Don’t you think you are only making things complicated for yourself… Oh, you want them to ask you questions you can’t answer, eh… You want to embarrass me… I will just deny you on the presentation day. I will tell them I don’t know you.”

“I will update the work with your corrections, sir, and bring it again to you,” I said as I packed my laptop and made to leave.

He called me back and asked me to plug his phone back into the socket. I bent down to do this, and the next thing I felt were his hands on my waist. I shot up, whirled around and glared at him.

“What is it?” he said insouciantly. “The current in your body is too much.” Like he reserved the right to touch me wherever, whenever and however he wanted. The nerve of this man!

I silently stalked out of his office. I was angry. I was infuriated. Mad that after ripping to shreds the work I’d suffered on so far, he’d had the effrontery to touch me.

I did tweak my work based on Dr X’s corrections. But I did not bother to go show it to him. I couldn’t risk being asked to start over; he was just capable of that kind of maliciousness. I also couldn’t risk being touched by my oppressor.

***

Presentation day came and I thought I was prepared. There was this lecturer who continually bombards presenters with thick and fast questions like cannonballs. He’d criticize your work in general: the headings, font style, labeling, and most annoyingly, the referencing. He had something not-nice to say to every student who walked into the seminar presentation room.

I stood no chance with him. The man almost murdered me, from my actual presentation to my work. Other lectures joined in on the onslaught. And surprisingly, Dr X came to my rescue. He silenced the others by attacking the Nigerian education system, even went hard at the other lecturers for not teaching us how to present and yet expecting us to have been born with presentation skills. If I thought he was going to leave me out though, I was sorely mistaken. He ended by rounding on me, that he had warned me not to add this and that, and still I went against his instructions, blah, blah. I was a little grateful for Dr X’s intervention. A little.

Strangely though, after some time, I started developing romantic feelings for Dr X. I still disliked him. But I began to realise that I was also attracted to him. This was incredibly confusing to me. I couldn’t understand how this was possible.

I started thinking up ways to get close to him to let him know him know how I felt. But this would never happen. Not too long after my final degree exam, Dr X stopped by to chat with a group of us as we hung out in front of the lecture room.

And when I looked down, that was when I saw it. A simple silver wedding band. My vision blurred a little as I struggled with what I was seeing. I was so swept off by a torrent of emotions, that I didn’t even hear when he mentioned to us that he was married. All I came to was the greetings of “Congratulations, sir” from my course mates.

Just when I thought I could explore whatever this was that was going on between the lecturer and me, the man decided to get married. He had married during the weekend before that day. He did not even invite a single staff of the school to the wedding, let alone any students. Hell, no one even knew he was getting married.

When I returned to the school for my final clearance, he still looked at me. But this time, there was no rancour. No antagonism. There was just affection from him to me, even in the face of the truth that we would never be getting together.

Written by Prince Ame

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Previous Dear KD: Is There A Cis-Woman Who Wishes To Have A Child?
Next Pamela Adie’s Documentary, ‘Under The Rainbow’, Finally Gets A Release Date

About author

You might also like

Our Stories 33 Comments

MY BANANA ISLAND GHOST

Banana Island Ghost had been generating such a buzz. The publicity for the movie was one of those highly financed movies in the film industry. And I hadn’t seen it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Our Stories 26 Comments

We Are Still Very Far

I wanted to share an entirely different story with you until a dramatic twist of events occurred recently.  It is just how awestruck I am at how far away we

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Our Stories 9 Comments

WE FOUND LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE

I look back on my life since this year started. I can’t say I do not find the view so unreal. It’s like a dream. You know it’s a dream

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

25 Comments

  1. Mandy
    June 24, 06:37 Reply

    What a creep!!! 😡😡😤 The worst kind of downlow gay man.

  2. Fred
    June 24, 07:06 Reply

    A bittersweet symphony

  3. BRYAN PETERS
    June 24, 07:07 Reply

    You actually dogded a bullet. He was abusive from the start. The fact that he kinda defended you, even though he went right back to denying you doesn’t mean anything. An abusive person is always abusive, until they get help.

  4. trystham
    June 24, 07:12 Reply

    Geez! If u like someone, if u r either too proud or too emotionally unstable and cannot tell them, show it. Don’t be hating on them, making their every moment around u a nightmare. That shit is NOT right. Haba!!!

    • Prince Ame
      June 24, 09:51 Reply

      I think pride. I mean, being the youngest PhD in the whole school, the man never agrees with anyone else; he’s always right. I now even think I might not have been the only one he’s abused.

  5. Higwe
    June 24, 07:29 Reply

    but when it graduated to him pausing by my side, talking and playing with the outline of my penis on my trouser….

    Mmmmh 😎👁️

    when I was barely five, and Aunty Chinasa sucked my tiny willy in the dark….

    Mmmh 👀

  6. Bhaws
    June 24, 07:30 Reply

    He sexually assaulted you, let’s not mince words here biko. He’s definitely a gay man who hates the role society has prepared for him. He shoulda tried and stayed in Liverpool, lived his life there. I pity the wife, who knows what she might be going through and I wont be surprised if he abuses and assaults her too.

  7. Delle
    June 24, 10:13 Reply

    Shouldn’t you be grateful you didn’t ‘explore’ things with a serial abuser? Life with him, no matter how short, would have been hell.

    That said, your story just reminded me of how shabby our educational system is. How horrible our lecturers can be. It’s no wonder Nigerians go abroad and excel like wild fire, we are put through so much in this country in the name of getting tertiary education.

    • Prince Ame
      June 24, 10:23 Reply

      I am more than grateful. Such people are definitely going to be good with their fists, too. I shudder at the thought of even falling for him. Somewhat like Stockholm syndrome.

  8. mike
    June 24, 13:53 Reply

    He obviously likes you, life is pretty complicated, but all things considered I think the ending was a better fit, that’s you not chasing that thing with him.

    What he is displaying is a classic hallmark of an abusive relationship, common with DL niggas, especially thugs. They hate you up front, in public but at night snuggle to your bed.

    I think I have done that to someone before, massive crush at night, massive hate by day.
    If I remember correctly we don’t breath each others air, but it was a game we both enjoyed playing. But your case is different as your not enjoying it, cause you did not sign up for such.

    I think he emotionally assaulted you, not sexually. Let me explain.

    He belittled you to the point where your self esteem was dependant on his approval, that is why he rose to defend you immediately other lecturers were trying to do the same thing, cause you were his mark. I am almost sure he is very protective of you.

    Here in Africa, we hardly do sexual assault, emotional assault is more our thing, from parents to lectures we do it a lot.

    What do you think your lectures/ parent when they tell you, you are worthless or you can’t do anything right, you are this, you are that.

    You’re a model gay dude, that’s nice.

    • Prince Ame
      June 24, 15:47 Reply

      Model gay dude
      I’m blushing. Thanks, Mike.
      Personally, though, I think the reason he defended me was to protect his ego. He likes to think he’s always right.

      • mike
        June 25, 09:27 Reply

        You didn’t do what he asked you to do, so his ego was not invested, he would have just outted you and embarrassed you right there, that was the perfect post, but he didn’t.

    • trystham
      June 24, 19:46 Reply

      I see you have found the light. Show others the way

  9. Michael
    June 24, 15:05 Reply

    Team slow starters. I kicked off with a dreadful 2.8 and 2.6. Shit had me on my toes all through till graduation.

    • Prince Ame
      June 24, 15:49 Reply

      My toes got badly blistered. Lol. Unfortunately, though, I did not get the grade I wanted, even though I improved immensely from freshman year.

  10. Michael
    June 24, 15:10 Reply

    One of the many things I’m grateful for in my time in the university was the work my supervisor puts in for her group. The woman will make you sweat in a good away and in the end, you’d ace the defence. In my set, the best three presenters during our seminar came from her group.

    • Prince Ame
      June 24, 15:51 Reply

      Group of sadists called lecturers in my school.
      My project supervisor refused to teach us one thing. Yet he kept saying we were lazy.
      Grateful that I’ve left them all alone.

      • Michael
        June 24, 16:30 Reply

        Strudent ran away from mine because they didn’t want to work hard. This woman drills her students. The corrections are always bloody. She’d make you look like you’ve not done anything while encouraging you to dig deep. And yes, she loves it when you come with a new information and proof of citation. Eventually, the whole stress paid off, cos while others were sweating on project defence day, we simply aced ours. All of us made an ‘A’. Whatever knowledge I have of seminar and project writing, I owe it to her.

  11. kristo
    June 26, 15:22 Reply

    i did my presentation (seminar) last week…i can relate to.ur story

    biochemistry wahala…

    dr. wusu and dr. bankole

    lol….criticizing committee

    my supervisor also said d sane tin about denying me

    lol

    did good tho

  12. Temi
    June 29, 16:55 Reply

    What a lecturer! 😡
    Thankfully it wasn’t more than that he clearly was attracted to you but as we know pride didn’t make him come to your level to explain exactly how he feels.
    The woman he married would definitely regret the day she married such a man because he’ll end up abusing her.

Leave a Reply