I remember when we first met in the University Hall, Katanga. He was sleeping when I knocked on his door. I didn’t know it was opened so he had to come down from the top bed to ‘open’ the already opened door.
My ‘matter’ was that I wanted to join the Katanga Editorial team to help furnish our editorial space. The conversation became lit when we both discovered that we have been possessed with Shakespeare’s demons for writing love poems. The chat became a long one amidst laughing and chattering and “herh, charle you be boss.” To be frank, he was very good with words, and his words were lovely. This was in first year.
Along the line, we would visit one another to see who had written the latest ‘love potion.’ I mean, we got along very well. He was also part of the hall’s debate coaches who prepared the Golden Boys to win the maiden edition of NUGS Debate in KNUST that year.
I remember the last time I saw him. I believe it was vacation, but on campus, and he was walking with his beloved. I was like “Herh, so this be where all your words dey go eh?” But then charle abi you know, boys boys, so I didn’t have to say it directly. So he introduced me to the damsel but my mouth dey want worry me so I kept things short.
A couple of weeks, when school had reopened I had return to my room from only-God-knows exactly where, when I met my room-mate sitting on his bed with his head his palms as if it was coming off. He said to me in Ga “Kotey, Romeo is dead”. I have never shouted the way I did at the death of a person like how I did that of Romeo. I was numbed with a shock.
I mean, I had spoken to him. I had seen him. I had met his girlfriend he spoke to me about long before he graduated and became a T.A. I had shook his hand. I had told him see you later. He had given me his humble smile with his eyes behind those glasses of his. I just couldn’t believe Romeo had died!
Life gives us all a chance at it. Some we understand, and some we can’t explain. Our duty is simply to make a difference before we return to dust.
My name is Kotey, and my friend died.
Sleep well Romeo, heaven must surely be smiling.