Amy strolled into the cafeteria. It was her favorite food joint in Unilag. She only bought two types of food whenever she walked in; spaghetti or bread and beans. That was what the 2001 cafeteria was known for, anyways. Today was just like every other day. She had assignments with deadly deadlines, projects to work on, and #500 cash. Her account read #-30 and she wondered, how she managed to be owing her bank money. She was horribly broke, yet she had to study.

She got to a quiet corner in the cafeteria, dumped her bag on the table and sat down. She’d get the food but she had to think first. She brought out her phone, which had signalled to her several times to get a new one and tapped it several times on the screen. The phone would not come on, if it wasn’t hit. After hitting the cracked screen as gently as she could, despite her growling stomach, it finally came on.

She was out of data and her last #2 airtime was for flashing and flashing only. She scrolled through her contacts, trying to find one Aunty or Uncle to call. Even #1,000 would go a long way at the time. Aunty Oyin’s number flashed in her face. She remembered the last time she called her. The woman had reeled off so many reasons why she couldn’t send her any money, and disappointedly, she had hung up. She wasn’t flashing her again. She kept on scrolling through her contacts and for every relative’s number, there was a pending promise. She finally got to Z and had still not found one person to call. She was beginning to feel dizzy now and a headache had accompanied the growling tummy. It was a disturbing harmony of internal noises.

She looked at the #500 in her hand.
“If I perish, I perish,” she said and dragged herself out of the chair. At Mc-Chy’s stall, she gave the young girl her order.
“Yes. I want to buy spaghetti #200, one fish, and one bottle of Lacasera.”
She collected her plate of food and her #100 change. That was the last cash she had.
“Tomorrow will take care of itself o. Nobody should stress me.” She said to her plaguing conscience.

Food was the way out. If she didn’t eat, she’d end up depressed for no specific reason. She had to have this good food, even it was to be her last. But deep down, she knew it wouldn’t be her last. The #100 with her would suffice for dinner, and maybe that would be her last.

She picked the last strand of spaghetti on the plate. Why waste food, right? The Lacasera completely satisfied her and for a brief moment, she doubted she’d be hungry again. She got to her hostel, when Aunty Titi’s shop called out to her. She stared at the #100 she had budgeted for two packs of noodles and walked to the shop. She bought #50 biscuits and sachets of pure water with the last change.

Now, she was definitely going to perish…

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