Laughter can conceal a heavy heart,
But when the laughter ends, the grief remains…
-proverbs 14:13
Smridu… Joseph said to the cab driver.
Erhmm… Where is that sir? Asked the confused old man
who doubled as the cab driver, Joseph was confused. He
thought all cab drivers should know one of the popular
hotels (at least Google said so).
“Okay do you know any hotel along this airport road? I am
tired and I need rest”. He concluded as he dropped his
travelling bag into the boot.
Smiling with his almost burnt teeth, the driver entered the
car and asked “Is it the expensive ones or average sir ?”
Only God knows what the old man has been consuming,
but from a wide guess I would say it was tobacco. After
all, the blacks copy everything about the white from their
skimpy dressing to their intake of alcohol, Joseph thought
in his mind and then replied ” the average one will be
okay, but I would have preferred if you take me to Smridu
, 39, Adekunle Fajuyi Way, GRA Ikeja” He read out from
his Itel Inote.
“Ohh!! Simiridu! that hotel… I know the place sir!” The old
man exclaimed with a jolt, as if he just remembered
where he kept his money after a long period of searching.
The driver ignited the car engine and it roared alive. He
sped off with Joseph thanking his stars the cab is not as
old as the man. He wondered what the old man probably
in his late sixties was still doing driving a cab all around.
And his mind dwindled back to his primary school days…
Why are you so old and still driving a bike? young Joseph
asked with curiosity all over his face. His mother had
stopped the bikeman and given the direction of his
school to the old man driving the motorcycle, “Saint
Anthony nursery and primary school” she said. “Don’t
mind him sir, he is very outspoken, I apologise for his
rudeness” she added.
The man smiled and bent his motorcycle for the young
elated boy to climb and sit.
Joseph could not just wait to get to school, it’s the first
day of resumption, and the same day he will get to know
if he was going to be the senior prefect or not. “Nobody
can contend that position with me in this school” he had
told his two jolly friends.
Talking about his two jolly friends- John and James, they
were referred to as the three musketeers. Excellent and
very intelligent lads and equally rascals, as their teachers
always find a way of not pitching them together in class if
he or she wants to enjoy a good term for that session.
“Here he comes”. James was the first to sight him as he
alighted from the motorcycle and bade the oldman
goodbye. Well, not after some few minutes of advise “read
your book and you won’t be struggling at your old age like
me” Joseph told his friends mimicking the old man
“I was the first to get to school” John the seemingly
reserved boy among the three of them said, he was
always known for his punctuality because his father who
works as a bank manager drops him in school on his way
to work.
“Welcome back to school boys and to the lovely sound of
my good friend kanako” Mr Femi said, making the boys
turn around amidst their discussion about their plans for
the term and who the various prefect positions would be
given to. They smiled at Mr Femi’s statement knowing
fully well that his good friend “kanako” referred to his long
cane which he uses on the stubborn kids and will soon be
their turn because he is going to be their Classteacher.
“The name of the senior girl will be Omoboriola
Funmilayo” the headmistress said with smiles on her lips.
Why won’t she laugh when her daughter has just been
given the position of the senior girl. The classy Funmi as
her friends call her catwalked to the front amidst clapping
from the students who had gathered in the school
auditorium to witness their first assembly of the session.
James who was the most notorious among the three and
the only one standing beside Joseph because John had
been called out as the punctuality prefect, pinched Joseph
and the boy eyed him with anger bodly written on his
“Jossy, finally your crush is now the senior girl” he
whispered into Joseph’s ears. And just before Joseph
could respond, James practically ran outside because his
name had just been mentioned as the assistant senior
boy. And finally Joseph too was called forward as the
senior boy. No one was surprised, he was always known
to be the best person for the position.
As he walked up to the podium, he suddenly became
scared and nervous as he saw his bestfriend whisper
something to the ears of the senior girl.
“What could he have said to her” he thought within
himself, with his face betraying his emotions…