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“A university student saves up just enough money over years to get himself a phone and be a part of the big boys. He’s so excited, he decides to go to the computer village himself to purchase the phone.”
I had been saving for a phone for about 18 months. and wanted to get rid of my Tecno, and finally, join the big boys in using an iPhone. Even though I had never used one before, I didn’t want to settle for a lower grade, specifically the button ones. I wanted a phone that would shout money. I was eyeing an iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Every time a family member remembered me and gave me some money, it was sent into my savings. I even broke up with my girlfriend, so I could manage my money by myself. My favourite food had become garri, and I had lots of it. I’ve had terrible eyesight since I was a child, so I did not mind the whole “garri will spoil your eyes” talk. Anyways, my eyes aren’t so good.
At last, I saved enough money to chill with the big boys, and I was super ready and super excited. I shunned all the online vendors I knew because I did not want to be scammed or cheated so I dedicate a day to going to buy my phone from the place where phone vendors got theirs- the computer village. With how excited I was on that day, one would think I won the lottery.
I woke up very early, ironed my clothes, cleaned my Nike slides, took my bath, brushed my teeth, used three different body sprays, ate, and then set out. I wanted to get there early, so I could see exactly what I was looking for. On the bus travelling from Ibadan to Lagos, I was smiling and waving at everyone.
When I finally got there, I did not have a customer, so I had different people dragging me here and there. If they could tear me into pieces, they would have. I walked in and out of many shops, not because I did not see what I was looking for, but because my mind kept telling me that there was a better one.
After walking the entire computer village, I decided on a store that was filled with young people, and I felt a connection instantly. I told them what I was looking for and they brought out various colours and sizes and then I settled for the one my heart was drawn to and was very happy. I refused to switch it on because I was scared that I would be jinxed so I transferred the money to them and waited until they received the alert of hundreds of thousands. Happily, I boarded a bus back to Ibadan, and a bike to my condo.
I removed my phone from the box in a bid to admire it. It felt so right in my hand. So sleek. I was super excited. I switched it on, and said to myself “me sef don arrive.” When my neighbour came to visit a few moments later, the phone was in his line of sight before he could even sit down. He examined it with a smile. He too was happy for me. Suddenly, his grin changed to a confused expression. “Oh boy, why your phone get Play Store?”
I sat there for what felt like years, staring at the most expensive thing in my room, as it occurred to me that I did not have a phone number or a receipt.