Quentin Babalola is not one to accept defeat
Once in kindergarten, he stabbed Jennifer Okafor with a pencil because she cheated in a game of legos.
His teacher - Mrs. Ofili would later send a note to his parents, telling them how ill-mannered their son is.
Quentin's parents are socialites who care a lot about their image and how people see them, so they punish him by taking away all of his toys.
And because Quentin does not accept defeat, he returns to school the next day and greets Mrs. Ofili with the finger.
Mortified, she sends another note.
But we all know how this is going to go.
It's is this same phobia for defeat that leads to Quentin seated on a leather chair in the Dean's office.
The Dean of Brownboard University - Dr. Charles.
"I'm guessing you know why you're here?" The Dean asks as he adjusts his spectacles so they are just at the tip of the nose - because it's something all academics feel they must do to look and feel smart.
Quentin rolls his eyes, using style to scan the very rich looking office, full of original furniture and antiques to die for.
Someone rich is paying for all these things.
Quentin would not be surprised if it his Father.
The Dean clears his throat, reminding Quentin of his question.
"I don't know" Quentin shrugs
The eighteen-year-old is tall, light skinned and okay looking in his over-sized hoodie and khaki shorts - he could actually be attractive, if only he cared about appearances and didn't think human beings were a waste of time and that computers are far more reliable.
The Dean sighs.
He knows Quentin knows exactly why he is here.
The twitching of the old man's mustache instantly reminds Quentin of what he is claiming not to remember.
The day before.
The coffee guy is twitching because he is high on caffeine - how convenient that he is the one taking Quentin's order.
Quentin's legs are restless.
He is late for a class and the attendant is taking forever to write his name on the cup.
"Is it Quentin as in Q or K?"
"Q!" Quentin answers with as much patience as a woman in labor.
"Are you sure?"
Quentin is mad now. Doesn't he know his own name? He shoots the guy a stare so deadly that the poor illiterate scribbles down anything and moves on.
Quentin mouths "Finally"
As he rushes out of the shop and into the Building of the Department of Computer Science, with a coffee cup that reads "Jerk", Quentin is praying to God that CSC303 has not begun.
It is a very wishful prayer as its already thirty minutes past the class time
And Ms. Davis is not so nice with rule breakers.
Yet he prays.
Not because he is afraid of the ruthless Ms. Davis and her large eyeballs that seem to see when everyone's hands are up except his'.
But because Quentin has read ahead of class, as usual.
And today, she will be teaching a topic on Data Encryption.
He is excited.
A bit too much.
And so he is unaware of the noise he makes when he barges into class.
All faces turn to the back of the theatre.
Quentin feels like the guy wearing the worst costume at ComiCon.
Not that he has ever been to one.
But the young man has been on the internet so much that he can basically fool anyone to think he has.
" Nice of you to join us Babalola"
Like many lecturers, Ms. Davis prefers to call students by their surnames; even ethnic African names that she obviously cannot pronounce.
Whether because it belittles them, or because she would rather not get personal, no one knows.
"Sorry ma!" Quentin apologises as he casually takes a sit on the nearest chair.
For like one whole minute, Ms. Davis just stares at the late comer, and Quentin lazily arranges his things on his desk like nothing is happening.
"I'm waiting for your excuse" she finally says
Quentin looks up "Oh I dont have one" he opens his MacBook.
The entire class breaks into giggles and murmurs.
Ms. Davis sighs and rolls her eyes, all at the same time.
She returns to the white board, takes out a marker and begins writing something.
Quentin leans in to the lady beside him - she looks like a good student - one of those who will walk into a lecturers office to remind him of a test he forgot to administer
She is the perfect person to ask this question
"Hey you were in the last class right?"
"I have a boyfriend" She instantly responds
"Err, okay?!" Quentin chuckles out of amusement
She is clearly not Einstein.
He excitedly opens a blank word document and types "Data Encryption" and underlines it.
The lady beside him peeks at the screen and smiles.
She knows something he does not know.
Ms. Davis is done with writing on the board
She turns to face the class anc clears her throat.
Quentin immediately looks up.
And just like the day Jennifer beat him at legos - he can feel those feelings coming back - the feeling of being cheated.
"Who can define coding?" Ms. Davks points to tbe topic on tbe board "CODING" written in very bold and beautiful handwriting.
But that is not enough to appease young Quentin, who feels like he as been swindled.
He raises his hands.
Ms. Davis exhales in frustration "Yes?"
"Sorry ma, I thought we were taking on Data Encryption today"
"That's not the question I asked. Please who can define coding?"
The class is in uproar again at that "shade", but Quentin is not as pissed until he sights his sit neighbour holding in hers.
He raises his hands again." Ma!"
"With all due respect, this is week six,and the course outline says that in week six, we are supposed to be treating the topic - Data Encryption"
Ms. Davis gasps "Are we?"
"Yes!" Quentin exclaims
She places her hands over her mouth in shock "I had no idea"
The class laughs
Quentin can sense now that this is sarcasm in its evilest form.
He stays silent.
Ms. Davis continues "So, Coding...who?"
Somebody raises up their hands and Ms. Davis picks them "Yes you!"
Quentin is too busy staring at the topic on his laptop screen - a million things running through his head, none of them decent.
He returns to the class when he realizes the voice that is answering Ms. Davis question.
It is the same voice that rejected his none existent advances a few minutes ago.
"Coding is the building and designing a computer program for accomplishing a specific computing task. It is also -
But because Quentin Babalola cannot accept defeat, he interrupts " I'm sorry. I'm sorry!"
The murmurs resume
His sit partner is pissed because he has ruined her one chance to get Ms. Davis to notice her
And Ms. Davis is even more pissed
"What is it!?" She snaps
"Ma I'm sorry but i need to know why'
" why what?"
"Why you changed the syllabus all of a sudden, when its what the department has been using for the past ten years. And it's not as if this one is any better. It's far behind. It doesn't make any sense"
"It doesn't have to make sense to you, I'm the lecturer!"
"Could have fooled me"
Quentin believes he has muttered this to himself , when in fact he said it out loud.
The class is in a riot now as fellow students either have their mouths open with shock or laughing their heads off.
By the time Quentin realises what he has done; it is too late.
"I didn't quite get that Babalola, can you repeat it?"
This is obviously a trap set by Ms. Davis.
You would think Quentin would know not to fall for it and keep his mouth shut. But he does not like to lose.
And so he replies "I'm just saying if you claim to have a doctorate, then I'm sure you can at least apply common sense when planning to change the outline and send us this new one, instead of making us read out of context"
There is pin drop silence after Quentin says this
He has crossed a line
And even he knows.
Like a child who has been introduced to sex, he cannot return to innocence.
"Ms. Davis I'm really so-
" GET THE HELL OUT OF MY CLASS!"
Quentin's ego has been bruised now.
No lecturer in the history of that school has risen their voice at him.
He does not feel like he deserves this..
As far as he is concerned, Davis is the villain and he - the victim.
He hurriedly packs his things back into his backpack and dashes out of the class.
She yells after him "AND DONT EVEN BOTHER COMING BACK. REMOVE THIS COURSE FROM YOUR SCHEDULE!"
The two year old in Quentin resurfaces and he turns around to give Ms. Davis the finger.
She hisses in pure anger and returns to lecturing
She will hold an impromptu test seconds later thanks to Quentin provoking her.
And he would not be around to do it
He has left his fellow course mates in peril.
"You don't know why you're here?"
Dean Charles asks Quentin; he has not once bothered to look up and face the young man seated in front of him.
He is engrossed with his desktop
Quentin sighs when the Dean eventually turns the monitor to face him.
"Does this jog your memory?"
Quentin smirks with pride
He vividly remembers leaving the Davis' class very upset that morning and finding his way to the Library.
He takes over one the many computers that his parents may or may not have donated, and he proceeds to hack into her email account .
For Quentin, everything is fair game.
This is why he feels nothing when he leaks private emails of his lecturer to the entire school body.
Quentin still does not answer Dean.
"You logged in to the library computer with your student ID Quentin , so there's no denying this"
Quentin remains silent.
Dean Charles grunts in frustration
He begins to go through a folder - which we can only assume is Quentins student folder, as though he might find something there.
An explanation for his erratic behavior.
Quentin smirks; he knows there is nothing there.
He has always been a model human being. Or at least was so good at pretending to be one that people started to believe he actually was.
This is the case seconds later as The Dean closes the file and smiles.
He found nothing.
But he is smiling.
Quentin can only think of two reasons for this - either the old man is getting crazy or the Dean has discovered who Quentin's parents are
Major donors to the school with a floor on the library named after them.
The latter seems more likely.
The dean now looks at Quentin with pity.
The young man almost wishes he could go back to treating him like crap because he is not from a rich home.
"Why did you do it?"
Quentin shakes his head. He does not know.
"Did she assault you?, the dean asks then lowers his voice " verbally? Sexually? You can tell me"
Quentin shakes his head faster this time.
"I'm just trying to understand why you would embarrass your lecturer in such grande scale"
Quentin does not answer... Again.
"You know the rules demand that we punish you, right.... Even if we don't want to"
Quentin nods "I know"
Dean Charles sighs "But since it is your first offense. I'm placing you on academic probation"
"Mm-mm, but one more strike and you're out - expelled. And I won't be able to help you there. Understand?"
He is relieved , even if he refuses to show it.
But the silent celebration comes to an abrupt halt when he hears these words come out of Deans mouth
"And you also have to apologise to Ms. Davis"
"Are you really asking?"
"I can't apologize to her - it'll just be me admitting I was wrong for what I said during the class. But I'm not!"
"I know Quentin; but you undermined her authority in a room full of students and embarrassed her in front of the whole school"
"All of which was well deserved"
"Regardless if you want to remain in this in this institution, you have to apologize to her, the Dean insists
Quentin grunts in frustration as he hangs his head in shame, grabs his backpack and slowly stands up to walk out
Dean Charles takes off his glasses and calls after him, " Son, please don't make this harder for me than it already is"
And because Quentin Babalola cannot accept defeat; he stops at the door, turns around and says "Well then, let me make it less hard for you. I'm withdrawing from the University"
"Withdrawing from? Wait , what do yo, -
" Thank you, sir!"
And Quentin walks out the door, but all Dean Charles can see is money walking out of his school.
TO BE CONTINUED...