Hi there, welcome back ?… so I have started a new series. I got inspiration to write this story from talking to a good friend I made in the university. We were just reminiscing about our campus days and I guess that long talk triggered a memory and then a story ? ?. Opulence episode one..enjoy?
The first time I saw Astrid was in class, she patted me gently on the back.
I removed my AirPods and looked at her. She asked if the seats next to mine were taken, I nodded then put my AirPods back in.
I come early whenever we have a class and if none of my friends have arrived, I reserve seats for them.
Astrid nodded, then sat on a seat in front of me.
I didn’t hear what she said before she left my side because I was distracted by a Podcast I was listening to.
I knew she was a new student because the girls in my class do not approach me for a conversation, it’s not because I am a dangerous person, they just have a perception that I am a snob.
I must admit, I do look intimidating until someone gets closer to me, so I didn’t entirely blame them.
Instead of talking directly to me, they talk to my friends and they deliver their messages to me. Most of the time, it’s to compliment me on my outfit or my perfume.
In first year, some girls used to give their phone numbers to my friends so they pass it on to me. I never took them.
After that class, I left immediately with my friends to the food court. It was a four hour lecture and we were famished.
I didn’t see a lot of Astrid after that day because I had to leave the country for a family emergency, I was away for two weeks.
My father was having a major surgery in Germany and he wanted the entire family around in case it was the last time he ever saw us.
Luckily, he pulled through.
I came back to Ghana with the next available flight when my father was discharged from the hospital.
I had missed a pretty huge chunk of lectures and needed to catch up, so I spent a lot of hours in the library with my friends.
We were studying one evening and I got thirsty, I didn’t have enough water in my bottle so I went out to get some.
I bumped into Astrid when I was returning to the library.
She said Hi and smiled, I replied and walked away, without smiling.
A lot of girls randomly said Hi to me on campus just to get my attention so I thought she was one of those, I had forgotten we were in the same class.
A couple of days later, it was a weekend, but I had to study so I went to my cousin’s hostel. She was going to Nigeria for a friend’s wedding so I decided to study in her room. I was tired of studying in the library, I easily got distracted because people stared at me a lot whenever I study alone. Some girls go as far as leaving notes containing their phone numbers on my table.
I was pretty popular in school because of my family, I didn’t want people at school knowing who I am but news went round when I got there so I just had to deal with it.
I was studying when suddenly I heard loud music coming from the next room.
I was upset, I have been visiting my cousin several times in the hostel and there hadn’t been a time I heard such loud music.
On a day I decide to really study and hide from “the world”, I am distracted.
I angrily went knocking on that door to ask whoever it was to turn it down a notch but the person was pretty unreasonable and it turned into an argument.
I was so mad, I wanted to break his nose. It wasn’t even his hostel, he was just visiting his girlfriend.
I thought his girlfriend would be a little more considerate since it was her room to avoid any embarrassment but she didn’t care, she took her boyfriend’s side.
She said somethings about me being proud and arrogant because I am from a wealthy background and I had no right to question what ever she did in her room.
What she said got me even more upset but I wasn’t surprised, that was how most people perceived me to be at school.
I should have walked away but I wasn’t going to leave until she lowered the music.
So there we were, arguing at the top of our voices with Stormzy, Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy’s song Own it playing loudly in the background.
Some people came out of their rooms to find out what was going on.
I was embarrassed because I knew everyone on campus would hear and see this, a few were recording on their phones.
Astrid came out of nowhere, and stood in between the couple and I.
She told me to calm down, I was confused. She then turned to face the couple, she knew the girl, so she calmly asked her to turn her music down.
She reluctantly agreed.
She banged her door in front of us but the music went off few seconds later.
When everything was settled and everyone had gone back in to their rooms, I thanked Astrid.
I introduced myself and asked her name but she smiled and said she had once told me her name and that we were course mates. She told me she was the one who asked to sit next to me in class. She also told me she was the one I bumped into at the library.
It was in that moment that I remembered her, and the two incidences she had described but I couldn’t recall talking to her so I asked her between both incidences when she ever told me her name.
She laughed and shook her head.
“I said it in class before I left your side to go sit somewhere else but you rudely ignored me and listened to music instead. You ignored me twice, the second being at the library”
I smiled shyly and I apologised.
I asked her to tell me her name again but she shook her head at me, ignoring my question then walked to her room which was two doors away from my cousin’s. Giving me a taste of my own medicine.
I laughed and watched as she walked away.
I went back to studying but I couldn’t concentrate anymore because of all that had happened so I texted my cousin telling her I was leaving her keys with the hostel manager.
I went to my room and took a very long nap, I guess I was very tired from the constant studying that week.
I woke up to find Lauren is my kitchen.
Lauren and I have been going on and off for three years.
I met her at a beach party.
School was on a long break so I went to Bali with a couple of my friends, that was when I met her. She was on vacation with her family.
I complimented her amazing body in her bikini and we ended up talking, we later found out we were in the same University.
She was also in her first year going to second year the next semester. We exchanged numbers and became fast friends.
By the next semester, we were dating but not exclusively. I liked to keep an open relationship, I wasn’t ready to commit to just one girl, I like to have my freedom and some fun.
We were great together at first because she didn’t know who I really was, I tried my best to keep that part of me a secret, but along the line, she wanted more because her friends filled her in when school re-opened.
She became clingy and very jealous.
We started having sex and she caught feelings, making her more clingy and jealous.
I liked her, and just because I didn’t want to hurt her, I gave her the spare key to my room. Girls like that sort of thing.
She asked me what it meant, me giving her my spare key. I told her it was because she was very special to me.
She was happy and I also dodged the bullet of having to propose to make us an exclusive couple. The one thing she wanted.
Since then, she assumed we were in a committed relationship, because we were doing a lot of things together as a couple so I just went with the flow.
I liked having her around. She helped me a lot and made campus life a little bearable.
She was cooking something for the week in the kitchen, she did that every weekend.
I connected my phone to the Bluetooth speaker and played Rema’s song Beamer. One of her favourite songs.
She came inside to check on me when she heard the music. She smiled and kissed me then asked if I was hungry.
Truth is I was, I hadn’t really eaten much that day. I nodded and she brought me some fried chicken wings and some apple juice.
She was cooking Jollof rice but it wasn’t ready.
I could see her dancing in the kitchen while she cooked.
I had gotten so used to her, I wondered how my couple of years left in school would be like without her when she graduated that year.
I had two more years to go because of my course, Architecture.
She kept saying nothing would change but I knew once she left school, our relationship wouldn’t be the same.
I watched a movie while I waited for her to finish cooking.
She brought me a plate of Jollof rice some few minutes later, she is the one who made me love Ghana Jollof rice.
I enjoyed hers more and she knew it. She filled my refrigerator with soups and stews that could last a month or two.
I asked her why she cooked a lot this time and she said she was going to be very busy that semester and wouldn’t be able to cook every weekend because of her final project work.
She dished her plate and joined me on my bed. We ate and watched the movie together.
She slept moments after eating she was probably very tired. I tidied up the kitchen and when I was done, she was awake so I drove her to her hostel.
I didn’t see much of Lauren that semester, we texted a lot but she always had a lot of school work so she never came to visit. She wasn’t joking when she said she would be very busy.
I spent a lot of my time doing school work and hanging out with my friends.
Astrid was still ignoring me, we never spoke again after I spoke to her at her hostel.
I found out her name and that she is a transfer student from Angola. I wondered how she was coping, transferring in the last semester of her 4th year to study Architecture. A whole different country and a completely different school. She contributed a lot in class so I guessed she is very intelligent.
When the semester was about ending, there was a rumour circulating about Lauren. I found out she had a boyfriend.
“A real boyfriend” she said when I confronted her.
Apparently she knew I didn’t love her enough.
I really thought I was trying to make her happy but I guess she wasn’t.
We broke up when the semester officially ended.
I thought I would be very hurt because we had shared something pretty special.I tried to feel something but I really didn’t care that she was gone.I got over her quickly than I had expected.
In our 5th year, I noticed Astrid had made a couple of friends from our class. I saw them studying together at the library.
I acknowledged her whenever and wherever I saw her, a casual Hi or a wave if she is far from me.
I started getting to know Heather by the end of my first semester in 5th year, by early second semester, we had gotten pretty close.
She was an exchange student from Germany studying Medicine.
She was freaky and I liked freaky girls.
She had to stay in our school for just a year or less and she wasn’t looking to commit.
It felt like I had won the lottery.
I had so much fun with her, so much fun.
She was the first and only white girl I had been with and she was amazing. Everybody heard about us and some students took photos whenever we were in public.
We went for every party, she loved to drink and smoke weed just like me. We were perfect together.
One night after a crazy party off campus, I was drank but needed to drive us back to campus. I still don’t know what I was thinking that night, it was the biggest mistake I have ever made.
We were involved in an accident, and got badly injured. It made the news and most of the students on campus thought we wouldn’t make it. We were flown out of the country for treatment.
A week later, I heard from my siblings that Heather was doing fine but I never saw her again. She hated me for trying to kill her.
I returned to school after 2months. I wasn’t fully recovered but I needed to write some papers to enable me qualify for final year.
I felt pains in my arm whenever I did any vigorous work. Thankfully, I had good friends at school who supported me the best way they could. I was fully recovered by the end of my 5th year. I also had a good physiotherapist who helped me through the pains. She advised me to play basketball and to swim more to exercise my arms and eventually it got better.
I almost gave my father a heart attack when he heard about my accident.
I didn’t want to lose him,so just for my father to feel better, I decided to reduce the rate at which I partied and be a little more responsible. I smoked less, drank less and only partied with my friends in my room.
Final year was torture, there were many times I questioned why I decided to be an Architect.
I got a little closer to Astrid, we were grouped together for some projects. She seemed really cool and I was right, she is very intelligent.
She invited me to her hostel one time after studying together at the library. I found it weird, because we were more like acquaintances even though we spent lot of time studying.
I didn’t want to disappoint her so I paid her a visit but before I did, I decided to ask my cousin about her because they shared the same hostel.
My cousin didn’t have much to say, she also knew her from a distance.
I got there in the evening around 6 o’clock, her face looked sleepy when she opened the door. I apologised for ruining her sleep but I wondered why she was asleep so early.
She asked me in and offered me some water.
I could sense that she was nervous and I didn’t know why because it wasn’t our first time talking to each other.
There was an awkward silence and I could see she was struggling to start a conversation.
I asked her to tell me about herself since I didn’t know much about her.
She spoke about her two sisters and her life back home in Angola. She showed me photos of her family, her father is white and her mother black. She is the middle daughter and she seemed to enjoy that very much for some reason.
Her father is a renowned Architect in Angola and she wanted to walk in his footsteps.
The reason she came to Ghana to study was to forget about an ex- fiancé. Talking about him was very hard for her so I changed the subject. It made me wonder what he could have done to her.
We started to talk about Architecture and our passion for it. We talked for so long, we didn’t notice that it was getting late. Someone knocked on her door, she looked at her clock it was half past nine.
She opened the door and two young girls walked into the room, Astrid introduced them to me.
They were first year students who had come to study the bible with Astrid.
I was surprised, she didn’t strike me as someone who studies the bible but yet again, I didn’t know how someone who studies the bible really looked like. She invited me to join them but I didn’t want to embarrass myself, I hadn’t read my Bible in a pretty long time.
She understood and asked the girls to wait for her in the room then escorted me to my car.
She hugged me and thanked me for coming to visit her. Her hug was very warm, I don’t think anyone had hugged me that way before.
I was suddenly intrigued by her, I watched her as she walked back into the hostel.
As I drove back, I thought about the last time I read my bible. I didn’t even have a bible in school, I never went to church on Sundays.
After partying on Fridays and on Saturdays, I just slept in on Sundays.
I wondered why I was moved by Astrid that night, I sent her a message when I got home. I have had her number for a while but have never bothered to text her.
I asked her how her bible class went with the girls.
She replied half an hour later.
She was so polite when she texted, she thanked me again for passing by her hostel. I have never seen anyone quite like her. I wanted to get to know her more.
We were in the same group again for an assignment and I took it as an opportunity to get closer to her.
She gave everyone around her the utmost respect. She spoke calmly and politely. I noticed immediately that she is a hugger, that explained her warm hugs.
Being around her was so refreshing and I wanted more each day.
I visited her without giving her prior notice one Saturday evening, my uncle asked me to give some things to my cousin so I decided to pass by Astrid ’s.
When I got closer to the door, I could hear her praying. I hesitated before I knocked, I knew very well not to disturb her while she prayed but I wanted to see her.
She opened the door, and it looked like she had been crying. She asked me to come in then went to wash her face in the bathroom.
I apologised for visiting her unexpectedly but she said it was fine and that she wanted to talk to someone.
I asked her why she was crying, I was trying to bite my tongue from asking but I cared about her and I needed to know.
My question made her break down again and I held her close to console her.
When she was all cried out, she told me what had happened.
Her older sister had lost a baby.
She had been trying to have a baby with her husband and just when they finally got to have a son, they lost him. She cried again and I hugged her.
I was speechless I didn’t expect her to open up to me that much. It was hard consoling her because I haven’t really consoled anyone in my life.
I think she sensed it when I didn’t have much to say, so she stood up and wiped her eyes then offered me some water. She quickly changed her mood and asked me about my day.
We spoke a lot that night, I decided to tell her about my family background, I wasn’t sure what she really knew.
But as I began to speak, she told me she already knew about my grandfather and the family business. She read about us on the Internet when one of her friends told her about me.
I was surprised she knew about my family and never acted like how most girls would. She obviously didn’t care about my money, or popularity. She wanted to get to know me for me and I wasn’t used that.
I found a way to convince the Dean to pair me with Astrid so we could do our final project work together. I needed an excuse to be closer to her. It wasn’t very easy to get that done, he had to pull a lot of strings for me but he came through. She was very excited when she found out we were doing our final project together.
She has always thought of me as smart, way smarter than she is but she had no idea how very amazing I found her to be.
We were working on our final project together in my room one evening and we got very bored so I suggested we go out for a walk to relax our minds.
“People stare at us when we are outside together” she cried. She really hated it, some even thought she was my girlfriend.
When people started talking about us on campus she got worried, she wasn’t used to being in the limelight but I always protected her and I watched her get a little comfortable with me as time went by.
On our walk, I asked her to tell me about her ex-fiancé.
I noticed that she was startled by my question.
She sighed then smiled.
I was totally fine if she still wasn’t ready to talk about it but after a lot of contemplation on her side she decided to tell me.
“ I fell in love quite quickly with him. I was pretty young and he, a couple of years older. He was my little sister’s tutor. I was in high school when I met him.
Growing up, my father insisted we all went to a certain boarding school in the UK for our high school education. It belongs to his grandmother; my father is British. He met my mother when they were both at Oxford University.
They got married then moved to Angola to raise us, but we spent a lot of our vacations in the UK.
We had our basic education in a private school in Angola and whenever each one of us got to our final grade, my parents got us a private tutor to prepare us for the final exams to enable us qualify for the boarding school in the UK.
Mrs. Sally Alves was our very first tutor, she tutored my big sister and I. We passed our final examination and qualified for the boarding school.
She became like family, we really loved having her around. She was in her mid 50’s when she started tutoring us, so when it got to my little sister’s turn, she was old and tired. So she brought her grandson to replace her. My sister and I came home to Angola during one of our vacations. My big sister was in her final year by then and I was in my first year. My little sister and I are just a year apart so she was preparing to join me in UK that coming year.
I don’t clearly remember how I started falling for André but I just knew when I laid eyes on him I really wanted to know him. So I started studying with my sister whenever André came, just to be around him. She hated it so much at first but when I told her about the crush I had on André she allowed me to join in her tutoring sessions. I personally love to study so it wasn’t a problem revising everything again.
André started liking me too, at first he saw me like a little sister until I managed to get his number.
I sent him a message and we started talking, I told him a week or two later that I liked him and not like a brother..”
My phone rang while she spoke, it was my father. He doesn’t usually call me himself, he always lets his assistant Tony call me. I asked Astrid to excuse me then quickly answered my phone.
“ is everything alright dad?”
“ everything is great son. I was talking to Francis yesterday and he mentioned you asked him to pair you with a girl for your final project work?”
I was disappointed the Dean had mentioned it to my father. I assumed he would have kept it confidential.
“ Yes Dad. We work great together and I wanted to do an excellent job with my final project”
“ He mentioned that she is from Angola, Is that true?”
“ Yes dad”
“ I would love to meet her”
“Sorry? What did you say dad?”
I clearly heard what he said, I just couldn’t believe it.
“ I said I would love to meet your Angolan lady friend”
I looked at Astrid, she was sitting on a leisure bench pressing on her phone. I wondered how she was going to take the news.
Hey there ♥️ Hope you enjoyed the story. Please watch out for the next episode…?