They were alone, unhurried because they’d made arrangements to sleep at the convenient guesthouse in Ikom almost kilometres away. As the big orange ball glowed with its last power they kissed. It was then that Banji’s eye strayed to the edge of the waterfall. He saw a bird, which was a cross between a peacock and a crane. It was a rare bird. He took his camera and was tip toeing towards the bird to take its picture.That was when it happened.The ground started shaking.Then after some time there seemed to be a landslide, which opens a wide gulf between her and Banji. As Banji realises this, the bird changed into a big ferocious wolf, which started walking towards him. Banji in order to escape started moving backward searching for-something ‘to scare the animal away. He started looking for a stone and started edging towards the widening bottomless gulf. Banke started to scream.Then something happened. It seems a propelling force was pushing Banji up from inside the earth into which he had fallen.
That was always the point when she wakes up. Banke woke up breathing heavily and shivering. She looked at the bedside clock 6.30 a.m. She stretched after sometime and looked at the calendar. Saturday the 13th day of April 1993.Then it struck her. This was the second time she would be havinga dream like this. The first time was four years ago on the 13th of April 1989. The eve of their marriage. She started crying just realising that tomorrow they could have been celebrating their fourth year marriage anniversary.
Banji had met Banke on the campus. They were both students in the same department but they never met. Banji was studying for his Post Graduate degree while Banke was an undergraduate.They met each other through the library. Banke had been carrying out a crash programme on a term paper she was expected to submit for her no-nonsense Lecturer of International law. She had forgotten to include one of her reference material in the Bibliography. She knew that such an omission would earn her a failure in the hand of the meticulous and hardworking lecturer. She rushed into the library trying to get the book in order to write the page where she took the quotation. She knew only the title of the book. She went to the subject catalogue and found the classification number. She then went to the shelf to search for the book with the help of the librarian.They both searched for the book but it was all to no avail. She was expected to submit the typewritten copy of the only term paper in the course for the session latest by 12.00 noon. Here she was at 10.00 am with the uncompleted handwritten copy. The lecturer will not collect if from her at 12.01. That is her 40 per cent going down the drain and there is no way she can expunge the cited quotation from the paper. It is the basis of her argument in the term paper. She was in a quandary. She started weeping without realising it.The tears started dropping.The library attendant moved to pity, went into the lending record and gave her the information that a Lt. Colonel in her department borrowed the book. She said no, that it was a fake name because there was no Lt. Colonel in her department. She then went through the library card and informed her that the Lt. Colonel is a post-graduate student. He further gave her his hall address. She went after the Lt. Colonel and that was when she met her luck.
She was expecting to see an old man but how wrong she was. It was love at first sight. A first sighting for two people in love. When Banke asked for the Lt. Colonel at the postgraduate hall, she was looking for a middle aged man.A man with a big paunch and swaggering walk. She was also looking for a man who will not only be vain but heavily condescending in his manners. She got none of this. In fact the Lt. Colonel walked past her into the car park and started looking for the person who was asking for him. It was only when he came back to the porter’s lodge to ask for his visitor that Banke saw him. She was struck, struck with the lighting bolt of love. She was dumb-struck that when the porter pointed to her she couldn’t say anything. She was staring at the man in front of her. It was not that he was that extraordinary, handsome or even that tall. He was of average height; 5ft 7 inches. He was not that fair – skinned. He was a sort of darkish brown and just a bit on the fair side. He has got charisma. One of those qualities, which attracts an individual to another individual. Banke was unknowingly carried away by the presence of the man in front of her.