Boarding Tales (Episode VI)

In case you missed previous episodes, they are all here


My eyelids were heavy, I wanted to put my head on the desk and sleep off but the long cane in the teacher’s hands suggested it would be a bad idea; My sleepy state was due in part to the boring nature of the class and also to the fact that I didn’t sleep well the previous night. I had been expecting to be attacked by Slappy or one of her friends and so kept dozing off and on.  I tried to keep my mind busy by thinking about the events of the earlier part of that morning, making the pictures form in my mind’s eye.

It was just about 5.15 am, there was a straight line of juniors, each with two buckets in hand walking to the stream. I followed at a distance since it was obvious no one wanted to talk to me. We got to the stream, fetched the water and walked back to the hostel, each junior with a bucket balanced on the head and another held by the hand. We reached the hostel and the juniors delivered a bucket of water to their respective masters – the seniors , all juniors except me. Standing by my bunk I watched as they picked up brooms and rakes in readiness for the various morning jobs that had been assigned to them. I slowly grabbed my towel while……..

“Eh you”!

“What’s her name”?

I felt a jab in my ribs and practically had to pry my eyes open; my eyes met the teacher’s immediately.

“What’s your name”?

“Bosola Adesegun”

“What was the last thing I said”?

I wanted to reply that the last thing he said was ask for my name, but looking at his eyes I could see the small man was ready to use the evil cane in his hands on me. So I decided not to be funny and said;

“You were talking about Stevenson’s screen sir”

I could sense the disappointed air in the room; they had been expecting me to come up empty. What they didn’t know was I hadn’t heard a word and had just said “Stevenson’s Screen” because it was the topic being discussed.

“So can you tell me what Stevenson’s screen is about”.

“It’s a screen sir”

The whole class thought it was funny and burst into laughter

“How do you mean it’s a screen?”

“I don’t know sir”

“I know you don’t, you were busy daydreaming, stand on your feet for the rest of the period.”

I didn’t stand for long as the class ended barely ten minutes later.

I had a good fifteen minute rest before the next teacher came in; it was the man I met on Sunday; the housemaster; the one that Toluse said was his drinking buddy.

He noticed me immediately he entered. He merely nodded at me and I nodded back. He was to teach us agriculture and his lecture was quite engaging, he kept cracking jokes that left everyone reeling in laughter. We finished animal hormones and neurones and he announced that the next topic was Reproduction.

“I need two animals out here”

We all looked at ourselves and I hissed inwardly

“A female animal and a male animal should volunteer” he continued, chuckling happily

I rarely get afraid but at that point I was; I had this horrible feeling that he was going to call me. I looked around again and saw that the rest of the class thought it was fun and most were grinning happily.

A guy raised his hand up and walked outside. He was a tall, thin boy whose shorts were way below the waist. I noticed he had what I call the “local look”. I can’t really define that look but some people do have it and most times confirm it when they open their mouth and speak with a highly accented English or Yoruba as the case may be.

As he walked out, shouts of Alangbz, Alangbz trailed him. I turned to my seat mate and looked at her quizzically; she answered my unspoken question by telling me that he was called “Alangba” (Lizard) because of his stature. I sighed wondering again what sort of school it was that I found myself.

“Alangbz, thank you” the teacher who I now knew to be Mr Adisa said

“So, I still need a female animal out here, if no one volunteers I might have to call someone myself”.

I looked around again and saw no one was ready to volunteer; I looked back at the teacher and saw that his eyes were on me, I sighed resignedly accepting that the burden was most likely going to fall on me.

“What’s your name Arewa”, he asked looking at me

I felt myself blush at his calling me “the beautiful one” and hoped the blush didn’t show on my fair skin.

 “Bosola” I replied running my hands through the corn rows I had just plaited the previous night.

“Is it Oluwabosola or Ifabosola”? He asked causing the whole class to roar in laughter.

“Iyabosola” I replied

“Why now, why will anyone give a pretty young girl like you that sort of name”? He asked frowning.

I shrugged wondering why most people thought the name sounded too archaic. I was born exactly two weeks after my paternal grandmother died and my dad was said to have declared that his dead mother was back hence my being named Iyabosola.

“Anyway, I think we’ll stick with Bosola abi”? He asked the class eliciting nods from them

“Okay come out Bosola and represent the female animal”.

I stood up from my seat and walked to the front with my head held high. My cardigan was tied to my waist and I saw Mr Adisa’s eyes on it.

“Face the board both of you”

Alangbz faced it immediately, grinning happily

I was about to face it when Mr Adisa stopped me

“Bosola wait”, he said

“Remove your cardigan and hand it over”, I did as he instructed and then faced the chalkboard

The boys started whistling almost immediately and although I couldn’t see Mr Adisa, I could feel his eyes on my back. I felt the heat of their collective eyes on my buttocks and it was somehow unsettling.

After several seconds, I heard his voice again;

“Okay, everybody quiet”

“Now look at these two animals, can you see that they both look matured for reproduction”.

“Yes oo”, the class chorused although it seemed the boys were the only ones enjoying the show as I couldn’t hear any girly voice.

 “Now, today we will talk about what happens when two animals come together and how they create another animal from that process”.

“Both of you face the class”

We both turned, I looked at the several pairs of eyes and smiled softly, I didn’t know why but I felt amused at this comedy they called a school. I was amused at the rapt attention they were paying to this pseudo education they were receiving.

“Now look at the female animal again, can you see how beautiful she is”?

“Can you see the skin and the mammary glands; can you see they are well developed”?

He laughed at his own statement and the rest of the class joined in.

 I saw several pairs of eyes shift to my breasts and felt my nipples tighten; I chuckled softly at the thought of what would have happened if the bra I was wearing wasn’t thick enough to hide my erect nipple.

“As we all can see, these animals are matured enough to come together”.

Mr Adisa then placed a hand at the small of my back, and the other at Alangbz back and then without warning slammed our bodies together. I winced from the pain I felt where Alangbz collarbone hit my arm.

“Uncle” he shouted as soon as he released us.

 “I am dead o uncle” Alangbz continued

The whole class was rolling in laughter amused at the way Alangbz was rubbing his chest.

“What happened”? Mr Adisa asked laughing as well

“Sir, when you pushed us together just now, something hit me in the chest, two very soft things sir”

The whole class convulsed in laughter again, some almost falling from their chairs. I watched them again and suppressed the laughter that was welling up inside me, it wasn’t a laughter borne out of mirth but a sad sort of laughter.

Mr Adisa told us to go back to our seats and we did. The rest of the class period constituted writing notes upon notes; this was punctuated with Mr Adisa’s lewd jokes.


School ended at 4.00 pm and we all had to go for one hour siesta before dinner and prep classes. I had not seen Toluse throughout the day and funny enough didn’t even remember he existed. I was on my way to the dining room when a boy I adjudged to be a junior stopped me and gave me a piece of paper which he said was from Toluse.

I removed the staple pins and sniffed it smiling; he had sprayed his perfume on it. I opened it and saw that it was a higher education note and every page was filled with words, I realised it wasn’t something I could read immediately and slipped it inside my hostel wear.

I got to the dining hall and sat down to eat. I wanted my mind to be out of the hall so I started imagining going to the S.S.2 block later that night with Toluse. I made the pictures form slowly as I wanted to savour the scene I was seeing in my mind’s eye.

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 , 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.


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