I stopped about a 100 meters from the school gate to examine myself. I wiped off some sweats, cleaned my shoes and so on.
I took a quick glance at my wristwatch before resuming my cleaning exercise.
8am? Yikes! I don over late.
I quickened my pace and in no time, the school gate was just a few steps away.
Eric was standing there, alongside David and some other prefects. Some late comers too were kneeling down.
“Good morning senior”I flexed my knees, already I was working out some excuses…
“bad morning to you! Join them!”Eric snarled gesturing towards the other students.
“Let her go in now, you know they’re writing J.S.C.E exams…they would start by nine.”David was pleading with Eric.
“No, she must be punished!”Eric said with a note of finality.
“what’s even your business with this girl? Ehn?”he added.
“kneel down there!”he ordered me.
“You don’t have the authority!”David retorted at him.
“who has? You?”Eric sneered
“Get inside!”David told me.
I stood up sharply, dusted my bag, and walked past Eric.
“come back here!”Eric pulled me back.
I shrieked feigning pain, pretending to loose my balance. David quickly held me to steady my balance.
“You don’t dare rough handle her!”He growled at Eric.
“Why? because she’s your girlfriend? See this small boy o!”Eric sneered.
Quick as a flash, I saw David raise his hand and his palm landed on Eric’s cheek.
“How dare you?”Eric darted towards him. They engaged in a scuffle, David beating up Eric.
I didn’t stand to watch the show, I ran quickly towards the classroom, I needed to revise my notes. Who separated the fight? I didn’t care.
Ayo rang the bell.”School closed”He yelled.
Every student excitedly picked up their bags and all hurried out of school.
For some reasons, I remained seated in my position.
“Teju, won’t you go home?”Bisi asked me strapping her bag.
I bit my lower lip, they send this girl to me ni?!
“won’t you go home?”
“When did you become my guardian? Ehn?”I queried
“Nooo, I was just trying to..”
she tried to explain.
“Shut up! Over sabi-sabi! Did we come to school together this morning?”I cut her short.
“Okay, sorry o.”she walked away, leaving me alone in the empty class.
Good riddance! I rather remained in school than go back home to see Maami’s ugly face.
The school became quite, only for some low voices from the staff room. I played around the class, mimicked some teachers, practiced some dance steps, I even practiced some kung fu, Imagining Maami as my opponent,punching her ugly face and kicking her butt, just to while away time.
I glanced at my wristwatch; 4:30pm. Good! Atleast with 30mins trekking, I’ll get home by 5pm. I quickly rehearsed my plans.
Firstly, I go to the kitchen, fill my bag with bread and 5 packs of indomie.
Secondly, greet maami before hiding in my room.
That woman can’t kill me! Besides i havent paid for my practicals. she refused to give me the money.
I got to the school gate and saw a boy in uniform standing there.
Maybe he is waiting for their family driver to pick him up, spoilt rich man’s children.
“Hey!”David said, standing up
“Good afternoon senior.”I replied.
“what are you still doing in school?”He asked.
See question, you too what are doing here’ i said to myself
“Errm, I stayed back to revise some notes.”I said instead
“Oh really? That’s nice”he shook his head like an agama lizard
“I’ve been waiting for my driver, the guy doesn’t wanna show up”he added with a weary look.
Did I ask you? Can’t you trek? i thought ” sorry senior.”I said wearing a pitying face.
” is your driver is here to pick you?”he asked
Driver ke noo, me I’m trekking o”
“Wow, that could be fun!” his eyes glinted, his dimples showing.
Fun! Indeed! I smiled.
“Can I join you?, I mean, lets trek together?”he was smiling too, and those dimples…
“okay, no problem.”I sounded like someone important. He picked his books, and we trekked home together.
That was how we became friends. We always trekked home together, no more driver coming to pick him up.
We’d stay back in school after closing for hours doing nothing in particular.
He always bought me snacks and carbonated drinks during break time, I always collected them with ‘thanks’.I told him about some fees i havent paid in the school and he paid them for me.Our friendship grew. hmmm, like seriously.He was a true friend to me.He was my brother,my sister, my mother and even my father because my real father has no time for me, his beautiful daughter.
No prefect dares to punish me anymore, I became more stubborn and efficient in my trouble making.
To be continued