Some situations in life can push us to make decisions that will make us regret in future. This was the case of Deby my neighbor to my student room where I live to school at the University of Bamenda, Cameroon.
Deby grew up with her parents in remote area in the outskirts of the North West region of Cameroon. She completed both the primary and secondary education while with her parents alongside her siblings. Her parents were both farmers with no educational background. So as Deby approached adolescence, her mother never told her about menstrual hygiene and sex education. Also, the school system in the village she was placed no emphasis on sex education. So, the little she knew was learnt from the friends she had.
When Deby had her advanced level, she moved out of the village to continue her studies in the university in town. Her parents, who were so determined to train their daughter to the highest level possible, rented her a room around the university, right next to my room. That’s how I came to know her.
As the school year started, we just knew ourselves as neighbors as she greeted me and introduced herself to me, when I was parking into my room. After some weeks I discovered we were both in the same department and we both had some courses we take together. That’s when we became close and she will visit me in my room and I visit her too.
Getting close to Deby was fantastic, she was a lovable person and fun to be with. Not until she had her first ever smart phone, then her attention towards our closeness drifted. She became more attached to her phone especially on social media, so much that there are days she misses classes with the excuse of having much to do online/
As the first semester unfolded, I discovered she had a lot of friends mostly boys, that visit her room. Before the end of the semester, there were days she will not sleep at home as she always goes out with the boys to drink and clubbing.
I became more concerned about her lifestyle and tried multiple times to talk her out of it, there are day I will practically drag her out of her room lets go to school, other days I will photocopy handouts and give her own copy, just so she meets up with what was taught for that day. She stopped me from coming to her room and blocked my number, after I told her to her face remember why she was in school. Deby told me to mind my own business and let her live her life.
It was time for Semester exams and her door has been locked for days. As I inquired from her network of friends, I was told she lives with a Masters student just a mile away who was well known around as a scammer. I went there severally on my way back from school but couldn’t meet anyone at home.
Shockingly, I saw Deby one evening as I went out to buy gas, she was drinking and smoking and dancing with 3 boys. I watched for a while in dismay and I saw the guys move her to a dark corner and were about to undress her in her drunken state. I alerted some passers-by and we intervened and stopped the act. I spoke to her in anger asking why she wants to destroy her life, in response, what I got was a slap from her, knowing she was drunk I called a bike and took her home and she slept in my room. When she woke up the next day, I was already prepared for school. I recounted all what happened the previous night and she felt so bad, she knelt down and apologized for all what she did to me. We spoke for almost 3 hours and I beckoned her to be strong and dress up let’s go to school together.
From then she changed and I assisted her with my notes and extra hours of study at night and we wrote the exams. She failed 3 courses and carried them over to the next semester where she passed all.
Deby was a girl like me with a promising future and the high expectation of her parents, so I had to sacrifice to see that she gets a deserving lifestyle. I stood with her.