“gran ran ran”, the alarm went off.
I felt around me, found the source of the annoying sound, snoozed it and drifted off to sleep.
“gran ran ran”
I snoozed it. Again.
“Rodiyyah, wake up, it’s six already”
“What did you say? Ayé mi ò!”, I jumped up and started panicking. I went through the list of things I had to do before my 7:00am class and I knew there was no way I could do them all. Some of them simply had to go, with breakfast and ironing top of that list. “Who neatly-pressed clothes epp when we might have a snap test?” Thank God my purple lycra cloth isn’t dirty; it’s perfect for times like this.
After praying, I bathed hurriedly, and in no time, I was ready. It was 6:45am.
I relaxed. I knew, barring any catastrophe, I would get to class before 7am.
I sleep a lot. I love sleeping but I have found ways to make sure I got things done nonetheless. I am not a nocturnal person and my nights are spent in the dream world, so I always make sure I get at least 6-hours sleep. I do whatever I have to do till 11pm and wake up not earlier than 4am; most days.
Yesterday was an exception though. The electricity distribution company had ensured the power outage lasted longer than usual and I needed to submit an essay the next day. After waiting till 9pm just to charge my laptop, I decided to go to bed while hoping power would be restored later. I set my alarm for 3am.
I had barely closed my eyes when I heard “Up NEPA” shouts from neighbours downstairs. I stood up immediately and started writing. I finished around 1am but by then, I started feeling pangs of hunger. I couldn’t shake it off and I couldn’t sleep in that state either. There was no bread. There was no stew either, so rice was out of it. I had no choice but to cook noodles.
I finished eating some minutes to 3am and by then, my brain had already shut down. I slept almost immediately. The sleep wasn’t seamless as my multiple alarms from 5am kept disrupting it.
I remembered why I made my sleeping time regular. It was eerily similar to an experience I had when I was younger. And before long, I found myself reminiscing about that fateful experience.
I caught myself sleeping again. It was no surprise considering I stayed up most of the night completing Ìyá Bola’s bead bag; she had rejected the initial design I made and I had had to make it all over again with only a few days left for her friend’s daughter’s graduation.
I pinched myself before I remembered that I had tried that method already. I had also sat with my back straight without resting on anything but that also proved abortive. What to do? “I can’t afford to sleep, not now!”, I exclaimed.
I was at my JAMB preparatory class and the biology tutor was running late, which was fast becoming the norm. He always blamed it on traffic congestion even though he lived just a street away. I couldn’t complain; the class was after all the only one close to my house that my family could afford.
Gbam! My head hit the table. Or to put it appropriately considering the pain I felt in my head; the table punched my head. The pain didn’t stop my eyes from closing though. At that point, the table looked like the most comfortable bed in the world. I was no match for the table’s attractiveness and advances and I soon gave in. No sooner had I accepted to give nature its due than I heard “Rodiyyah, are you okay?” and felt a hand on my back. I heard the table’s “so soon?” in my mind.
“Dear table, I don’t want to leave too” I thought sadly.
It was Miss Oladipupo, the chemistry tutor.
I told her nothing was wrong and I was just tired.
“So, because your biology teacher is not here, you think the right thing to do is sleep?”, she asked with her perfectly arched eyebrow raised. “Oya, come with me to the balcony. I’ll rush you through organic chemistry”.
I was elated! I had issues with organic chemistry since my first year in senior secondary school and I still do. I told her about it a while ago but she had always been busy.
I followed her with two chairs. She started with alkanes. She rushed through the topic but I understood until… “Rodiyyah!”, she called out. I had fallen asleep again. “Shey they are not doing me like this?” I didn’t remember using any sleep-inducing drug, what’s going on?
“Your sleeping for only 2 hours is going on”, my subconscious piped in. It didn’t help that I forgot my spectacles at home and I had to open my eyes wider to see.
I promised to concentrate after she berated me and to show my seriousness, I told her I would be on my feet till we were done. It was not until I almost fell that I knew “wọn ti get me”. I was dozing with my two legs firmly planted on the ground!
“Excuse me ma, I want to use the toilet”
I didn’t even wait for her approval before I ran off. After peeing, I rinsed my face with a bowl of water with the hope that it would cleanse the sleep from my eyes. It didn’t work. I kept sleeping but I managed to give replies to indicate that I wasn’t. Suffice it to say that I gained little from that lesson.
From that day, I resolved never to sleep later than 12 midnight and to always sleep for at least 5 hours.