Erm… Mr Murphy?


27 Feb

Comedy of errors

Murphy’s Law says, ‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong’. Write about a time everything did – fiction encouraged here too!


Bonus assignment: do you keep a notebook next to your bed? Good. Tomorrow morning, jot down the first thought you have upon waking, whether or not it’s coherent.


It happened on Friday and started in Editing class. I had walked in late because there was no water in my hostel and I had to rush down to buy two bags of sachet water and pour them one after the other in my bucket before going to queue in the bathroom (apparently, the water scarcity had nothing on the bathroom queues).

I rushed into the class at 8:37am -37 minutes late, looking like someone had chased me with a cane. Immediately I stepped into the class, Dr Akala, my Editing lecturer pointed at me and said, ‘Welcome ma. What is Muphry’s Law?’ I stopped mid-walk and said, ‘Erm… that anything that can go wrong will go wrong’. He frowned and shook his head furiously, ‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong?’ I looked around confused and said, ‘Erm, yes sir.’ Then he said, ‘Like the wrong answer you just gave me?’ The class burst into laughter and I just frowned. That was Murphy’s Law alright; I was sure. Dr Akala then went ahead to insult me, my brain, my appearance, my generation and basically every other thing he could come up with. Then he said, ‘I said Muphry’s Law not Murphy’s Law. Muphry’s Law says that “if you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written’. Do you see why we are quoting this law  and not Murphy’s Law in our EDITING class’

After the class, I packed my bag and made to leave the class when I overheard two girls in my class say, ‘Yes na. Muyiwa in Biz-Ad. Ehn, the tall and fair one that drives the black Honda. Yes na, he was the one o. He can dance ehn! If you look at him, you’ll think he cannot talk. If I hear! When he was leaving the club last night, he left with two girls. And it did not look like they were going for a church vigil.’ I just sat frozen in my position. That was definitely my boyfriend (who by the way told me that he was going to his Uncle’s house the night before). I took out my phone to call him and saw that he already had called me twice. I called back and asked if we could meet behind my hostel. He agreed.

As I walked to the hostel, I suddenly felt someone run over me – like literally. He was running from behind, hit me directly, ran over me and fell down in front of me. My things were everywhere! I stood up and saw that my knees were bleeding. Both knees! I just packed my stuff off the ground and walked away.

When I reached our meeting place, my boyfriend had not arrived so I busied myself rinsing the blood and dirt off my knees. He showed up a while later, showed a little empathy for my knees and told me, ‘I’ll advise that you sit down’. I did. Then he held my hand and said, ‘there’s something I want to tell you.’ I was already thinking of the several replies I could give to his apologetic excuses and explanation for the night before when he suddenly said, ‘I can’t do this again baby. It’s hard for me… too hard. I feel like I’m lying to you when I tell you that I love you.’ Then he rushed and said, ‘But I love you. I do! I just don’t love you like I make it seem.. I’ve lost the… how do I put it? Fire? I’ve lost it and I don’t want to lie to you. You deserve better.’ I just nodded, stood up and walked away.

When I got to my room, I saw that my roommates had locked the door and I had forgotten my key inside while I rushed that morning. I walked to my friend’s room and asked her to accommodate me for a while. As I lay on her bed, my mom called me and asked if I was fine. She sounded concerned. I said, ‘Yes, why not?’ She went silent for a while and then she said, ‘Well, just come home tomorrow ehn?’ I said I couldn’t as I had classes and I asked her to tell me what happened. Then she said hesitantly, ‘Rukky (my best friend since primary school) just tried to kill herself. I’m at the hospital with her mom and she’s alive but still, things are not well. You understand?’ I cut the line.

I closed my eyes and started to weep. It started as small sighs and occasional droplets of tears but then it graduated to rivers of saline water. I tried to be discreet about it as I faced the wall and stared at the bumpy paint. They blurred into hills and mountains as my tears created the illusion. I started to think about the events of the day and about how my life was fast turning into a series of unfortunate events. Murphy’s law indeed.

As I drifted off to sleep, I heard someone scream sharply in the room. I turned and saw my friend’s roommate weeping as she held her phone to her ears. She was crying terribly and saying, ‘How?! How?! No!!! Please stop no! I beg you aunty Teni, Please stop lying. You’re lying please just stop. Ah God! Stop! No!’ It was a terrible sight. I asked my friend what happened and she whispered, ‘Her aunty called me first to tell me to make sure she was sitting down somewhere where she won’t hurt herself and to take away dangerous stuff from around her. Her mom, dad and two siblings died in a car accident last night’

I opened my eyes wide and whispered, ‘Wow, Mr. Murphy… I’m sorry I complained.’



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