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I felt the buzz before I heard it; I dropped my spoon even as I heard several spoons clattering onto plates. Students had started climbing on the dining table while others were pushing their way to the front. I was still thinking which one of the two to choose when I saw everyone rushing back to their seats. I watched as Mr Adisa walked in, there was no mirth in his eyes that evening, his pupils were red and he looked like he was about to beat everyone in the hall. Two people followed closely behind him; a boy and a girl with their hands tied together, I knew the girl as she was in my class but didn’t recognise the guy at all. The hall was still buzzing but everyone fell silent at Mr Adisa’s signal.
He pushed the couple forward and commanded them to stand on a raised platform close to him.
“Look at these people everyone”, he said.
“These two decided they didn’t need the regular siesta, they thought the time will be better spent having sex.”
At that the buzzing resumed in full force with some boys whistling and slapping themselves on the back. I was amazed at Mr Adisa’s hypocrisy and went back to my lunch.
“As a punishment, these two will wash all the plates that everyone used this afternoon after lunch, they will do this for a week. They will also be flogged at the school assembly tomorrow morning.”
I shook my head wondering if Mr Adisa would have done the same thing f it was Toluse and I that had been caught. I finished my food and on my way out dropped my plate with the offenders like everyone else.
The next two weeks after my first day in school were basically uneventful. I was still being avoided by everyone in the hostel both juniors and seniors alike. I enjoyed my solitude and avoided offending anyone as much as I could. I still met Toluse almost every night for what they called lemanization. It was a term everyone in the school threw around.
You would hear conversations that go like this;
“Where is Joke Mabs?”
“o ti lo le” – she has gone to snuggle.
Most guys would send any available girl that was outside at night to call their partners out but since no one was talking to me, Toluse and I had to choose a time for our meetings. On weekdays, we would meet in the S.S.2 building immediately after prep classes and on weekends, we would meet in the cave after Lunch. Some days we would even go to Mr Adisa’s house. I noticed whenever Toluse and I met there, Mr Adisa wouldn’t be there. Life was good, I had successfully snatched Toluse from Slappy but the price was the solitude I lived in.
That changed the day I met Yejide. I had seen her come in that afternoon, four weeks after my resumption. I watched from my bunk as she walked in dragging a massive suitcase behind her. I watched as some of the seniors greeted her tersely. I noticed Slappy ignored her completely. I took it all in, wondering who she was. She was beautiful, she was tall, dark and had long flowing hair, instead of the dresses we all wore; her house wear was sewn in the form of a tight fitting trouser and an equally tight fitting shirt. I wondered if that was legal.
Later that evening after dinner, she came to my bunk and asked me to come to hers. I climbed down and followed her wondering whether I was going to be assigned as her slave.
“Hi”, she said immediately I sat down packing her long black hair with a rubber band.
“Hello”, I replied
“I’ve heard a lot of intriguing things about you, I think we are sisters and we could have a lot to do together.”
“I’m a junior”, I replied coolly
“Which doesn’t matter, you have already proven to be a tough girl; everyone respects you here, even Slappy.”
“Well, that’s because of senior Toluse’s threat.”
“I heard about that too, it’s not just about the threat. Seeke could still have found a way to make life miserable for you here but I think she fears you. She wouldn’t want to risk being embarrassed again.”
“I don’t want any trouble either.” I replied
“You should be proud girl, you snatched the boyfriend of a senior, not just any senor ooo, almighty Slappy and nothing has come out of it.”
I smiled although I was somehow unsettled by the way her eyes kept roving over me.
“So were you ill or something, how come I have not seen you for the past four weeks that I have spent here.”
“Hmmm, long story. I got suspended first week of this second term. It was a six week suspension so it just ended.”
“What was your offence?”
“I went out of the school premises without permission, took the jungle behind the hostel.”
“But why would you do that, it’s too dangerous.”
“It’s not dangerous, In fact it’s fun.” “We will go out together one day soon.”
“There is a lot of life outside the walls of this school and I go out to have some fun whenever I can. There is a university in the neighbouring village, it’s a really good school and there are a lot of fine guys there.”
“I don’t date anyone here” she continued, “they are all small boys who will expect me to lay my back on a cold hard bench to sleep with me. My boyfriend is in that school, you will be in a real room, with good food, music and a real bed. That’s much more fun or what do you think.”
I thought of her words and the thought of meeting a real man like my cousin Demo was very appealing. Toluse definitely didn’t meet up to Demo but I had learned to accept his lovemaking the way it was. It was after all better than nothing. I imagined a real room, with soft lights, television, music, a bed and above all a real man. I felt my body tingle with excitement. I need to have the experience she is talking about I thought to myself.
“Bosola, you will like where I will take you to, I promise.”
“I’m in Senior Yejide. I will like to follow you.”
“Good”, she said hitting me in the shoulders.
“Meanwhile, whenever we are out of the school, make sure you call me Yejide and not senior Yejide.”
“Hope you have some mufti in your bag.”
“Yes, I have one or two dresses and a jean trouser and top.”
“Okay, I will check your stuffs later. My boyfriend and his friends are having a party on Saturday, we could go together; it would be fun.”
…………till next Monday
photo credit: google images