Boarding Tales ~ Episode XIV (Bosola’s Confessions)

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****

“Madness! That’s what this whole business had to be.” I said a bit loud to myself after leaving Yewande’s bunk. I listened to the peal of the breakfast bell as it rang for the last time. I wasn’t hungry at all or better still I had no appetite for food. I wondered if that was part of the effects of becoming a witch.

I was beyond angry, I felt betrayed and manipulated. I had thought Yewande had made friends with me because she really wanted to. I really wanted to make her pay but I couldn’t think of anything that could be done, I was too worried about the implications of being a witch.

There were a lot of things I still didn’t understand about the dream I had and the woman I saw. I was sure Yewande could shed more light but I was determined not to talk to her. Not in this life or the after I hissed holding back tears.

*****

It should have been just a dream, that’s what I had expected it to be.  Why else would I have been washing the back of a strange woman at a stream?   It was supposed to be a mere dream, fearful but meaningless. The first unusual thing about the dream was that it had started and ended with the woman saying “Don’t be deceived, this is not a dream.”

There had been two Hyenas lying down on the grass behind the stream. She had talked about Wheat and how I was supposed to spread the grains once a week.She had smelled of musk and sandalwood; a smell that even in the dream had reminded me of the incense that Mom sometimes burns. My horror started when after I woke up, the smell of musk and sandalwood pervaded the whole room.

How could what should be a dream not be a dream? The question that kept ringing in my head up until the time Yewande called me to her bunk and broke the news to me. I had felt shock at first but understanding had followed. It was certain. My worst fear was confirmed. Bosola was now a witch.

I spent half of that Sunday thinking about the woman, wheat grains and Hyenas. A part of me thought about how it could be a blessing in part. I would be able to punish Slappy. Perhaps turn her into a mouse. I laughed at that loving the idea. I discarded the thought after reminding myself that I had no wish to be a witch. So what’s the way out? I asked myself. Later that day, an idea formed in my mind; something that could only be executed after the masquerade festival.

****

The day our parents and our accusers were to come, I dressed up as early as 5.00 am in readiness. Yewande woke up later than usual, perhaps because she knew she wasn’t going to be attending the class. I watched as she packed her bags and emptied her wardrobe. She gave her provisions away and I watched in disbelief as everyone scrambled to get some even the ones who had accused her of being a witch also collected. Aren’t they scared? I thought

I attended the morning assembly while Yewande stayed in the room. I would have advised her to attend if we were still talking. But since I was still very angry with her, I hadn’t been talking to her. It seemed she had noticed and had also stopped all forms of interactions with me.

I wasn’t afraid any longer. I was ready to face the guys. Their books and the money were even in my backpack, I intended to return to them and apologise. I knew this might spell trouble for me but for my plan to work out, I had to make my own conscience clear

****

I couldn’t concentrate in the class; I had never been able to. Even without the burden in my heart I wouldn’t have understood a word.

It was further mathematics; a subject I believed was for the heavenly beings. The best score I ever got in mathematics was 56 so I wondered how anyone would expect me to grasp further mathematics. What’s my business with dy dx for heaven’s sake? That was the question I had almost asked the teacher once when he told me to find the dy dx of a particular mathematical problem. I had thought better and to avoid problems simply told him I don’t know. It had never bothered me to be called a dullard, not then, not ever.

I tried to drown out the teacher’s voice with my thoughts but somehow it kept creeping in. I checked my watch amazed at how much time was gone already.

Where were my parents and the guys? I wondered. I was still thinking of this when someone walked into the class. I looked up immediately and met Toluse’s eyes as soon as I did. I wondered why he could turn cold so suddenly. A thought crossed my mind making me smile wryly. I looked intently at him as he spoke to the teacher and I noticed he was trying to change his posture every second. It seemed as though he could tell my eyes were on him. I knew getting Toluse back wouldn’t be an issue if I was interested. The teacher motioned for me to follow Toluse and heaving a sigh of relief I did.

We didn’t say a word to each other throughout our walk to the principal’s office. He entered his office with me and I wondered why he felt the need to do so.

*****

Yewande was seated with a woman who I presumed must be her mother. She reeked of wealth and class. She seemed angry but for some reason it looked like her anger wasn’t really meant for her daughter. I spotted mum and dad next; there was no emotion in their eyes. It wasn’t as if I was expecting them to be overjoyed at seeing me but I expected to see anger or disgust. The two guys we had met in the university were also seated on the left. It could have been a courtroom of some sorts with the pissed looking principal as the judge and Mr Adisa with the no nonsense look plastered on his face as the prosecuting lawyer. The only thing that would have been wrong with that court was that there were no defence lawyers.

The principal cleared his throat.

“Ahem….it’s good that the second odaran is here now. You girls have both had one week since this incident happened and none of you still deemed it fit to confess. I am very ashamed of you girls and more importantly of the disrepute that you have both brought this school into. You have shamed me and the decent teachers and students of this school. For this reason we have decided to punish you both. Yewande is a serial offender and although I hate to disappoint her Mom I am going to have to send her out of my school his time around.”

I glanced at Yewande and saw that she could as well have been a thousand miles away.

“As for Bosola,” the principal continued. “She would have to go on three weeks suspension.”

I heard my mum gasp mumbling Jesus.

“It’s painful to me that you girls have not confessed to stealing the properties of these gentle men. Since you have refused to own up to it, I would have no choice than to pay for their loss.”

“Sir, there will be no need for that.” I said

“I took those items and I’m ready to return them.”

“Bosola you did what?” My Mom screamed. “Lord have mercy, are you also a thief now?”

“Calm down woman”, my dad said. She looked at him and nodding her head she sat down.

“Sir,” I continued. “Before I return those items to them I would like to say here now before everyone and my parents that I do not wish to remain in this school.”

“What!!! Yewande screamed startling everyone. Bosola how dare you say that, have you forgotten Iye’s mandate?”

“I don’t care.”

“You have to!”

“You ladies should wait a minute, who and what is Iye?” The principal said

“Sir, that’s where I intend to go next, there is a lot to talk about sir and I’m glad we have our parents here and these two outsiders too. You have been living in a fool’s paradise sir. Today I’m ready to tell all.”

photo credit: google images

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Boarding Tales (Episode X)

To read all the previous episodes, from Episode I to X, please click here

bosola 2

“Take them to the bathroom and search them” Mr Adisa ordered after searching Yewande’s stuff for over thirty minutes and not finding any of the missing items.

“Slappy must be pissing in her pants from ecstatic joy”. I thought looking at the wide grin on her face.

*****

There was no way I was going to allow Slappy and her friends humiliate me in the smelly bathroom. I may be down but I still felt the need to hold my head high.

In a split second that was too short for anyone to react, I slipped my dress off and stood naked except for my pant and bra. I looked at Mr Adisa’s face and almost chuckled at the way his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down as he stared unabashedly at my body.

I made as if to remove my panties but a junior girl rushed down from her bunk and hugged me, shielding my body with hers.

“Bosola, please don’t do that, there is enough damage done already, please don’t.”

I felt a tug on my heart as I looked into her face; Feyisayo my first friend in the school, the one who had abandoned me after my escapade at the stream.

Her action released Mr Adisa from his transfixed state and clearing his throat he finally found his voice.

“Dress up, young lady.” he said averting his eyes.

Yeye, I thought, after he has already memorised every contour of my body, why bother to avert his eyes now.

I pulled the dress back on and bringing it down, I caught Yewande’s eyes, there was a gleam of amusement in her eyes and she winked at me. I shrugged inwardly wondering what that was for.

“Seeke, pat the other girl down.” Mr Adisa instructed.

A sulky Slappy went to Yewande and patted her down.

“She is clean.” Seeke said.

“Ladies, do you want this done the easy way or do I have to beat the truth out of you both?”

I smirked, the efficient Mr Adisa was back, he had been able to tuck the lecher back into the corner where he hid and brought it out whenever it was necessary.

“Sir, it is true that we spent the night with those guys but we didn’t take anything from them.” I replied

The room buzzed in excitement at my words, I looked around and saw that almost all the girls in the school had somehow found their way into my dormitory. I couldn’t blame them, it wasn’t everyday that you get to watch a real life drama free of charge.

“Those guys will be in this school on Monday morning, if by then you girls haven’t confessed as to the whereabouts of those items, I would hand you both over to the policemen that will come with them.”

“In the mean time, I’m calling your parents as soon as I get back to the office; they have to be here on Monday morning.”

I felt a pain go through my heart, I thought of how my mum would wail, how she would ask the seven elders of heaven why they allowed her to be saddled with a Jezebel re-incarnate. I thought of how she would remind Jesus how she had served him all the days of her life and how she wishes he would take me away. I could see her writhing on the floor in my mind’s eye.

“Take her away lord, take her or change her. Elohim, don’t make me kill this child by myself.”

I thought of my dad’s reaction too and decided he would be disappointed. However, he will recover faster than my mum would and start the process of getting me into another school that had “disciplined” teachers and students.

Ishhh, I sighed watching Mr Adisa as he stormed away.

I climbed my bunk to sleep but woke immediately the breakfast bell rang. Nothing will stop me from eating not even the thought of possible expulsion. Yewande joined me midway to the dining room and held my hand. I thought of snatching it away conscious of the several eyes that trailed us but decided it was better we stuck together, partners in crime that we were.

*****

The rest of the day went on uneventfully until another shrill bell went off midway into our siesta. My heart rippled in alarm and I wondered if the guys had decided to show up before Monday. The bell ringer announced that all students were to report at the assembly ground immediately.

“Here comes the shaming of a thief” I thought.

I walked to Yewande’s bunk and once again we linked hands and walked together to the assembly hall.

Since it was an informal assembly, there was no need to line up according to our classes, so I stayed behind Yewande.

We all kept quiet at Mr Adisa’s signal, he announced that the principal was on his way and there should be absolute silence.

My heart lurched in trepidation, the principal yet again; I took deep breaths trying to brace myself for what was to come.

The principal entered the assembly hall few minutes later flanked by some old men and women.

This can’t have anything to do with our crime I thought.

He climbed the hall platform and after greeting the students, he announced that the Iyalode and Olu Awo of the town would like to speak to us all.

“Iya Pupa”, someone in the next line whispered. “It has to be Iya Pupa.” The girl added

The Olu Awo addressed us and after greeting and commending us for being well behaved he announced that the masquerade festival had been slated for the coming week.

“Iya Pupa is coming out this coming week. As most of you will know, there are certain regulations that govern her outing. No woman in this town must have the same hairstyle with her. We do not know what her hairstyle will be so we will advise that you all leave your hair undone.”

Everyone started talking at the same time, I looked at Yewande confused but she simply shrugged and smiled.

“Take this” she said handing me a lollipop.

“Thanks.” I replied unwrapping it and popping it into my mouth immediately.

Quiet everyone, Mr Adisa bellowed. The hall went silent at his command and once again I wondered how he does it. It was always a mystery to me how he could be firm and irresponsible whenever it suited him.

“Also, there will be no movement in and out of the town in the coming week. The Olu Awo added.”

I looked at Yewande again, a smile curving my lips, she looked back and winked.

“No man or animal must enter or leave the village for the next one week. Thank you my dear students, I will like to assure you once again that you are all safe here.” The Olu Awo said concluding his address.

One week of grace I thought. It occurred to me that the guys might not see a reason to still come to the school after one week and I felt my heart lurch with hope.

The principal addressed us and we all dispersed afterwards. Everyone including me started undoing their hair while still on the way to the hostel, all except Yewande.

****

We were still on our way back when a junior boy told us that Mr Adisa wanted to see us both in the assembly hall.

We went back and saw him sitting on one of the chairs placed on the raised platform. Toluse was standing beside him and I felt my feet drag in shame.

There were two seats in front of him and he asked us to sit. I tried to meet Toluse’s eyes but he was determined not to meet mine. His expression was unreadable.

Okay, there goes my first relationship here, I decided shrugging.

“Listen both of you”, Mr Adisa started clearing his throat

“The principal had directed that I should still call your parents and tell them to come on the next Monday after the Masquerade festival.”

“I’m going to the office to prepare your letters once I leave here.”

“Yewande, you will be expelled because yours has been a repeat offence. Bosola you would be suspended for three weeks because you are a first time offender.”

“Are you girls okay with that?” He asked.

Yewande shrugged like she couldn’t be bothered but I kept mute,

“Anyway, it’s okay. You can both leave now.”

“I’m so sorry” I said as we walked back to the hostel.

“It’s no problem; there will always be another school. I won’t miss this school though. So many twisted things happened to me here. But I have handed over to you; I’ve given you my mandate so I’m happy”

“What does that mean?”

“Don’t worry you would understand when I’m gone.”

****

The time was 1.00am; I woke up with a start and wondered what it was that woke me. I rubbed at my eyes and saw the light of the room was on; it was as if everyone was chanting in their sleep. I tried to listen to what they were saying;

“Blood of Jesus, Blood of Jesus”

Why are they all mumbling blood of Jesus? I asked myself even as the answer rang loudly in the night.  A wail, a growl and then an unnatural and non human cry, it seemed like that of a dog but I was shocked that a dog could make such a sound. A great fear enveloped me and I immediately murmured “Chukwu biko zoba’m”. God please protect me.

The murmurs had turned to a scream by then and they would go down as soon as the wailing went down only to come up as soon as the wailing starts again. I joined the chants too and glanced at Yewande’s bed. She was still and wrapped from head to toe in white. It wasn’t the first time I would notice her pure white blanket but something about it scared me that night.

The wailing finally stopped about half an hour later and everyone relaxed with some going back to sleep. I couldn’t sleep and lay there with the dread still in me. I started wondering if it would have been better to have been expelled after all.

“She is the one” I heard suddenly, the voice belonged to my bunk mate

“Haa, it might be Iya Pupa oo” the second voice said. They were both on my bunk mate’s bed whispering.

“No it’s not Iya pupa, it’s her. Iya Pupa’s stuff does not reach the school and besides you know this wailing thing happens even when Iya Pupa’s masquerade is not coming out.”

“You may be right though because this wailing does not happen when that girl is on suspension or out of the school.”

“Ehn ehn, you see now”

“I heard she is being expelled though, I can’t wait. Aje Oshi.” Useless witch.

I pulled my wrapper tighter wondering if it could be true that Yewande was a witch and was responsible for the wailings. I looked back at her bunk, her blanket was still over her head and it was as if she hadn’t moved at all since the last time I glanced at her. Everyone in the room had woken up except her; every one’s hair had been undone except hers.

“Hmm”, I sighed my mind racing wildly. Winks, shrugs, that unruffled stance, the I don’t give a damn attitude, the hair that wasn’t loosened. Hmm, I sighed yet again

 Two sentences jumped into my head, bringing a massive head ache with them.

“Take this”

…….”But I have handed over to you; I’ve given you my mandate so I’m happy”

“Lollipop, mandate” I whispered aloud suddenly remembering the stories of witchcraft being transferred through sweets and biscuits.

I am already a prostitute and a thief I thought remembering the books and the =N= 2,000 I had hidden under my bunk mate’s mattress. “Why had I even done that?” I asked myself for the umpteenth time since we left the guys’ apartment.

Bosola the Prostitute, Thief and perhaps Witch I thought a shiver going through me. I would gladly prefer to remain just prostitute and thief but the witchcraft part scared me.

Perhaps I’m scared for no reason I thought. She said I would understand when she leaves; perhaps I really will I concluded allowing sleep to take the reins.

 

Thanks for bearing with me, reading and sharing these series ever since the first episode.  This will be the end of  Bosola’s boarding tales. Yewande’s story will start soon. Thank you so much, I appreciate you. Chukwu Gozie gi. God bless you.

 photo credit: google images

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