Chekwube ran to the gate of the school in frenzy, she was so
afraid to be late but alas, as soon as she got to the gate, she saw other
latecomers kneeling in the dust. She wanted to cry.

“Kneel down!” A male teacher spat at her.
She stood there not knowing how to explain her situation.
“Sir, I am a new student…I didn’t know the way to the
school and…” She started.
The hard slap on the thin long cane on her legs sent pain
through her body, she yelped. She wasn’t used to being beaten.

Even her former school, she was hardly ever beaten or
punished because of her intelligence. Chekwube was known for following school
rules and staying far away from trouble so, the cane the teacher had swiped at
her hurt her deeply.
“Kneel down and stop making foolish excuses!” The teacher
spat.
She knelt on the ground beside the other students and
watched as the assembly of students quickly dispersed to their classes.
Assembly was over and she had not heard the principal’s speech for the new
term, she was crushed.
Ten minutes later, each latecomer was given four strokes of
the cane and Chekwube wasn’t exempted. As the cane hit her palm four times, she
kept thinking of how wicked Mickey was. She knew that the girl had
intentionally left her behind and she felt that it wasn’t fair.
She had no idea what class she was to go to so she waited
for the teacher who was flogging the late students to ask for the next step.
“You are a new student and you came late?” The teacher spat
at her after she told him that she had no idea of what class she was to go to.
“I was late because the girl who was to help lead me to
school disappointed me.” Chekwube said.
“That’s no excuse!” The teacher fired at her. “Why didn’t
you ask for the route to the school long before resumption? At least you would
have familiarised yourself with the routes before now.”
“I didn’t think of that sir…” Chekwube said, realizing
that the teacher was actually right. She would have asked her brother in-law to
take her to the school before the school resumed.
The teacher pointed an office to her and she hurried off.
She arrived at the admissions office to see two other
students there. There was a girl and a boy at the office and they looked at her
when she walked in. Chekwube didn’t have the time to look at anyone because she
was so afraid that first lesson had started. A woman walked into the office and
addressed them.
“I have three names with me. Arabella Kofi, Gbenga Bode and
Chekwube Okoro.”
They all nodded.
“Arabella, you are for Basic eight, while Gbenga and
Chekwube are for basic nine.” The woman continued. “I will take you all to your
classes. Arabella, you will join Basic eight C while Gbenga and Chekwube will
join Basic nine D.”
She took some forms which had their passports and headed out
of the office, asking them to follow her. Chekwube followed the woman behind,
breathing in steadily as she was glad that she was just in time to be taken to
her class with the other newcomers.
**************

Mickey stared at the Science teacher in disgust, he had
started writing on the board and expected the students to bring out their notes
and write on them. Some students brought out their notes to write while a few
others stared at the teacher and the board waiting for heaven to fall before
they wrote anything, Mickey, was one of such students.

Suddenly, Mrs Akinmolayan walked into the class and the
students were up on their feet in greeting. As Mickey stood up with her fellow
classmates, she noticed that Mrs Akinmolayan had come with company and it was
no other than Chekwube, her annoying neighbour and the handsome boy she’d seen
earlier today. He was going to be in her class! She was enthralled.
“Good morning class.” Mrs Akinmolayan greeted.
“Good morning ma.” The students chorused.
“Please sit.” She said.
The students sat and stared at the new students.
“These are new students, Chekwube Okoro and Gbenga Bode.
They will be joining your class and I expect that you welcome them warmly.”
“You are welcome to Basic nine D.” The students chorused.
Mickey watched closely as Chekwube and Gbenga were shown
their seats. Gbenga sat near the very quiet Olisa while Chekwube sat beside
Dayo. When Mrs Akinmolayan was sure that they were properly settled, she left
the class.
Mickey stared at Gbenga and couldn’t believe how drawn she
was to him. She took in his appearance, from his well-pressed uniform to his
expensive-looking bag and wristwatch, this was definitely the son of rich
parents, she said to herself.
***************

Gbenga was trying hard to concentrate but couldn’t, the fans
were not working and the class was hot. He was used to sitting in an
air-conditioned classroom and not having to share his desk with anyone. Four
classes had gone already and he wished it was the end of the day already. He
quietly stood up from his chair to use the toilet and was out of the classroom
in a flash. At the long corridor leading to different classrooms, he asked some
students for direction to the toilet and they pointed at a very far building.

For a government school, he was quite surprised at the
orderliness. He had expected chairs to fly out through the windows of classes
and blood spilled at all corners but there was nothing of that such. The only
difference he could spot so far was the number of students which was a far cry
from that in private schools. The number of students in his classroom made up
the whole arm of basic nine in his former secondary school.
He found his way to the toilet and just as he stepped in, he
rushed out.
“Good lawd!” He exclaimed.
The place stunk and was filled with tissue and piles of
rubbish. Gbenga was pressed but he turned back and made his way back to the
class building.
“Hey…where are you going?” A male voice asked.
Gbenga turned around and stared at a young boy.
“I can’t…can’t…use that toilet…it smells.” He said.
“Some students were supposed to clean it but didn’t do their
job. Why are you worried? You are a boy, and you can pee anywhere.” The boy
said.
Gbenga looked at him, he wasn’t a fan of peeing in the
public.
“I’ll wait till I go home.” He said.
“School closes at three pm and it’s not eleven am yet…”
The boy said.
“Thank you…but no thank you…” Gbenga said and hurried
back towards the school building.
He got to his classroom and was about walking in through the
door when the bell for break period was rung, the roar from the students almost
deafened him as they rushed out through the door. Gbenga had to wait for them
to leave before stepping into the classroom. He walked up to his seat and sat
down, then reached out for his bag and noticed that something was wrong.
“This is not the way I locked my bag.” He said to himself.
He pulled up his bag to his laps and opened it, he pushed
his books aside and searched for his wallet.
It was gone.
*************
Mickey sat in the class and waited for the new boy to come
back, the teacher had finished her class before the period was over so, the students
busied themselves with other things. She watched as Gbenga walked in as soon as
the break period bell was rung and stared at him as he made his way to his desk
and sat down. She also saw the startled look in his eyes when he looked into
his bag.
This was her chance.
She stood up from her chair and walked over to him.
“Is anything the matter?” She asked, speaking good English
as pidgin was banned in school.
He didn’t spare her a glance but stared into his bag in
surprise.
“Helloooo…” She said.
Gbenga turned to look at her and she could swear that her
heart stopped beating.
“My wallet…I left…it here…and….and…” Was all he
could say.
“You left your wallet in your bag?” Mickey asked, wondering why
her voice sounded so strange in her ears.
“Yes…I always leave it in my bag…” He said sounding
heart broken.
“You should always take your money with you, you can’t trust
anyone in the class.” She said.
“I had five thousand naira in that wallet.”
“Five kini?” She asked in alarm.
“Five thousand naira…” He said.
“Describe the wallet to me and I swear we’ll get it back.”
She said.
“Shouldn’t we tell the teachers? If there’s really a thief
in this class, everyone should be alerted.” He said.
“That one na grammar! Just describe the wallet to me and I’ll
bring it back to you.” She said.
“It is golden brown and it has the drawings of the Egyptian
pyramids on it.” He said. “I got it when I travelled to Egypt.”
Mickey looked at him in shock.
“You’ve travelled to Egypt?”
“Can you get the wallet back?” He asked, ignoring her
question.
“Yes…just wait here.” Mickey said and rushed out of the
class.
Mickey ran to the stalls at the far side of the school and
searched for the notorious thieves in her class. She saw Olisa standing by the
side of the zobo stall and knew he couldn’t have stolen the wallet but seeing
that he was the new boy’s seatmate, he was her closest link to catching the
theif.
“Olisa…” She called out.
He looked at her and said nothing.
“The new boy is looking for his wallet…did you see it?”
Olisa shrugged and handed some money to the woman at the
zobo stall for a bottle of zobo. Mickey rushed up to him and slapped the drink
to the ground.
“Did you see the wallet?” She spat.
Olisa looked at her in fury and looked at his drink which
was already pouring on the ground.
“I don’t know.” He answered.
“You are the new boy’s seat mate and you rushed out of the
class during break. Do you want me to slap your face first before you tell me
who took that money or do you want me to…” She threatened.
“It wasn’t me…it was Destiny that came to seat on our
chair when the new boy left the class.” He said quicky.
Mickey turned away from him and scanned the crowd of students
for Destiny. She saw him perched at the food stand, eating a large plate of
rice with a bottle of soft drink. Mickey charged up to him.
“Where is the wallet?” She spat.
“Which wallet?” Destiny asked as he continued eating.
“Don’t try me ooo…where is the wallet of the new student?”
“Are you his new bodyguard?” Destiny fired at her.
“That boy’s father is highly placed in the police.” She
lied.
Destiny looked at her with fear in his eyes but after a
while, he masked the fear with a sneer.
“And so?”
“Give me that wallet now or else?” Mickey threatened.
“Do you think you can beat me? I will not give you anything!
You can scare others but not me! I am too tough for you!” He boasted.
Mickey slapped the plate away from his hands and a fight
ensued.
***************
Chekwube was pouring through her notebooks when a boy walked
into their class and asked.
“Who is Gbenga?”
The new student whose head was placed on his desk looked up
and said.
“I am he.”
“Please come with me, the principal wants to see you now.”
The boy said.
Gbenga got up from his chair and followed the boy. Chekwube
wondered what it could be about. She’d seen Mickey speak to the boy and later leave
the class and she’d wanted to warn him that Mickey was up to no good but had
decided against it.
She refocused her gaze on her book and shrugged.
******************
Gbenga walked into the principal’s office to see Mickey
kneeling beside another student, they looked dirty and their uniforms were
badly stained.
“Gbenga Bode.” The principal called out to him.
“Yes ma…good afternoon ma.”
“Can you describe your wallet to me?” The principal asked.
“Yes ma, it is golden brown with the drawings of the
pyramids on it. I have five thousand naira in the purse and I also have my
former school ID card inside.”
The principal nodded and opening her drawer, she took out
the wallet and handed it to Gbenga.
“Thank you…thank you ma…” He said in gratitude.
“The money is not up to five thousand naira as it’s obvious
that Destiny has spent a part of it. He will refund you latest tomorrow or he’s
suspended till he brings the money.”
Gbenga was surprised at the revelation.
“Thank you ma…thank you…”
The principal turned to Mickey and said.
“Ibinabo, you shouldn’t have gotten into a fight in order to
get the wallet back. The school doesn’t condone such and you know it. The best
thing you should have done was to report the incident to a teacher instead of
taking matters into your own hands. That is why you’re going to wash the
toilets with Destiny and make sure it’s clean before you go home today.”
Gbenga was alarmed, he cringed, thinking of the toilets he’d
encountered about thirty minutes ago.
“Gbenga, you can go and please next time, do not bring large
sums of money to school unless you have to pay for a text book which is highly
unlikely. If you have money in your possession, make sure you guard it
properly. I do not want a repeat of this incident ever again. Do I make myself
clear?”
“Yes ma…” He replied and walked away, turning to look at
Mickey briefly before heading out through the door.
As soon as he left the office, the principal addressed
Destiny and Mickey.
“The both of you should get to cleaning the toilets and as
for you, Destiny, I expect that you bring back the four hundred and twenty
naira you’ve spent from Gbenga’s wallet, tomorrow.”
Mickey and Destiny got to their feet in silence, as they
left the office, Mickey wondered if the trouble she’d brought upon herself all
because of the new handsome student was worth it.

 

To be continued next week….
Happy Valentines Day everyone 💓💓💓💓💓 I love yoooooouuuuuuu!!!

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