The holiday was over and I had returned to school. Even though I barely enjoyed school, I was excited because I was going to meet my friends. I moved into the hostel by the second week and settled in almost immediately ready for the new session.

I was in my third year in the university. It was the first class for PSY 320 and I was seated minutes before the lecturer walked in. He was a bearded pot-bellied man who dragged his feet as he walked into the lecture room.

“I’m sure you all already know me,” he began with his deep baritone voice. “But let me re-introduce myself. I am Prof. Ime and I will be teaching you PSY 320. I hope you know that any course that ends with zero is very important in this department and if you fail, you are automatically having an extra year. If you fail 320, you can’t do 420; which means in your final year, you will be retaking 320 and come back as a spill over student to do 420. You know this is a second semester course so coming back as a spill over student means you are spending one full extra year in school. Don’t play with my course. If you are a carry-over student stand up.”

No one stood up. Prof repeated himself, this time with a louder voice, “If your registration number does not start with 15, stand up before I point you out.”

People began to stand up slowly. Pointing his hands towards them, he said to the rest of the class,

“You see the number of people who are carrying over this course. That’s to show you that I’m not here to play. If you don’t take me serious, you’ll keep repeating this course. Sit down.”

He continued, “Now, let me set the rules for my class. Nobody comes late to my class. I don’t care who you are, if you are even one minute late, stand outside.

Related: IT’S OVER!

He cleared his throat and continued, “I give a lot of impromptu tests so come to my class prepared. Every student must register for my course in my office. Come individually with your course form and pen. And come with your two thousand naira to buy my textbook which we will be using for this course.”

“Excuse me sir?”

My friend shut up and sit down.”

“There will be no answering of phone calls in my class. If your phone rings in my class, you will be banned from attending any of my lectures for this semester. Is that clear?”

“Yes sir,” we all echoed.

“Who is that idiot that wanted to ask a question?” Prof asked.

The whole class was quiet.

“You there, stand up,” Prof said pointing towards the man who had earlier said, “Excuse me sir”. “Are you not the one that had a question?” Prof asked him.

“Yes sir.”

“So why didn’t you answer me?”

“I’m sorry sir. Sir, is it compulsory to buy the textbook? I already have a textbook for this course.”

“My friend sit down. I knew you were an idiot before you even asked your question. If you like don’t buy my textbook, you’ll come back next year to see my face in this same class. Any other question?”

“No sir.”

At the end of the class, my friends and I strolled to Prof. Ime’s office to register for his course and buy his textbook. I had heard stories about how cruel he was and I was too afraid to go to his office alone. We knocked on his door and he asked us to come in.

“Good afternoon sir,” we greeted in unison.

“Why are you standing there staring at me? What are you here for?”

“Sir, we came to register for your course and buy your textbook.”

“Didn’t you hear come individually? What’s this entire crowd you are packing into my office? My friend get out and come in one by one. Get out,” he shouted.

We rushed out and came in one after the other. I was the last to go in because I was shy. When I went in, I greeted him again.

“What’s your name beautiful girl?” Prof asked staring at me.

“Edidiong!”

“Write your reg no here, your name and sign,” he said pointing to an open notebook on his table. “Are you with your two thousand naira?”

“Yes sir.” I said stretching out my hand to hand the money over to him.

“Good girl. Keep it. I won’t collect money from you. I will collect something else from you when it’s time. Write your name down.”

I was shaking as I bent down to fill in my details.

“I’m through sir,” I said when I finished writing down my details.

“Pick one book from that corner,” he said pointing towards where the books were stacked.

“Thank you sir.”

I walked out of his office still shaking with fright.

“Did Prof collect you people’s money?” I asked my friends who were waiting for me outside Prof’s office.

“Yes.”

“Hmm. He didn’t collect mine,” I said frowning.

“You are lucky o,” one of my friends said.

“Lucky? He said he’ll collect something else from me when it’s time. I wonder what it is.”

I was so worried and wished he had just gotten the two thousand naira from me. What do you think Prof. Ime would collect from me in place of the two thousand naira?

End Note: This is a fiction story series.