An hour after the assembly had been dismissed. They were still lying on the floor, as their colleagues were in the hall dancing their body to fatigue.
Mrs. Oladipupo had soaked the bunch of canes in water, half full in a paint rubber – which had been provided by Mrs. Oyetunde, the Home Economics teacher. The bucket (rubber) was placed very close to them, as though to observe their sleep till it was ready to be lashed on their body.
It didn’t appear some had already dose off the way they lay. There were fast sleepers amongst them, not just to be allowed to lay on something – they would dose off.
Mrs. Oladipupo, the fleshy Integrated Science teacher, in her black three-quarter skirt and her red cotton dress came out walking stealthily out of the staff-room barefooted holding two sachet of Icy water. You could see with the way the sachet looked, it was extremely icy.
She cut the two sachet down knowing fully well what her mission might be. It was to spray it on the body of the student that lay on the floor. `Soaked canes meeting icy and wet body was the extreme death you can give a student’, was her notion.
She pressed the two sachet together, splashing the water on them. Some who had forgotten they were lying on the floor, and not in their house groaned aloud “Oh, aunty, leave me na.”
Some grumbled and stood up.
“Will you go back on the floor” she shouted angrily and opened the computer lab. where Mr. Oriyomi was always seated to teach his French classes.
The lab had much tables arranged as though it were a setting for party; green tablecloth with white taping covered it. Chairs were many but there was no sign of computers. Rather there was an home theatre often used for Oral French and English classes or for school parties; inter-house sports or more. However, today – it had not been used for party because, the JSS3 wanted no interruption to their dancing. A DJ would have been nice, cause of the uninterrupted sequence of tracks following and inter-changing each other.
On a table was jam-packed different balls for different sporting activities. Volley balls, Hand balls, Footballs, Base balls, etc. They were so many the table couldn’t contain them as some grazed the floor. The room was powered cold by 6 Air conditionals.
Mr. Oriyomi sat on a chair leaning backwards to the wall and placing his legs on a table as the French music blared out of the radio.
Immediately he noticed the door was opened, he stretched his hand and turned down the volume of the music player.
“Oris, Je ki a naw awon omo yi joo (Oris, let’s flog these children).” She said and he came folding the sleeves of his shirt up.
From nowhere appeared Mr. Onabolu the Fine art teacher. The lefty (left handed) who could flog a dead being awake. He was feared by the whole school, not because of his stature; very small and thin – hairs growing strangely on his ears and outside them when the middle of his head was scald-bald.
The reason he was feared was because of the way his left hand gave you tospy (tasting) before he started flogging you. The tospy was often more deadlier than the raised very high in the air and coming down violently – lashes of cane of terror on your back.
“Arh! God!!!” Came out from the students’ mouth as he approached them.
No one had invited this man, why had he come at such moment?.
Adefemi’s face was now sporing out sweats – regardless of the Icy water that had just been splashed on them some few minutes ago. He had never been flogged by the Fine Art teacher before. His facial expression was disgusting, it showed the way he detested the man’s cane. It always seemed he was being flogged as the cane often landed on his colleagues those time they were flogged. He often felt the cane but today was the day he would both be the receiver of the cane and feeler of the pain.
He remembered the day some students had neglected the assignment of copying notes he had failed to come give during his periods for two weeks. He ordered the combined classes of JSS3 white and green to move downstairs when he saw some people had not written the note.
That would have been the very day the Fine Art teacher would have flogged him for the first time but he had escaped through the intervention of other teachers who begged Mr. Onabolu to give them a day more to cover up. But it took some grace of God before he accepted that day. He was really boiling and meant to flog them mercilessly.
No one dared to evade his instructions afterwards. When they were asked to come for their practicals during the holy week, they had all come because they feared the man, his anger and his left hand.
Adefemi’s practical had been distinguished, as he was the only one out of all students who did Calligraphy `writing’ (not necessary). They were asked to choose from the list of five but it was the one people had run away from cause of the cost of calligraphy pen that he had chosen.
The instruction was to draw and paint the Nigeria Coat of Arm at the background. And write the National pledge on it. Though he had come to school on Palm Sunday when other students were in their houses eating good food and enjoying themselves. His sacrifice had paid off well as his work was taken to the National Museum as the best Calligraphy practical out of the whole students who took the Calligraphy practical in Lagos State.
“You be mumu, na you be this” Mr. Onabolu called out jokingly sighting Adefemi among those about to be flogged.
He went straight to the bucket and took out two canes, examining them in the air with some furrowed gaze and nodding its approval they were well good to be used. “Eleyi ti mu omi da da (this one had drank enough water, – referring to the canes he examined).
“Hahahahahahahahahahahahha, una don die today” Mr. Onabolu gave a mocking laughter and called out “you be mumu, fast fast, show face!” Coding to Adefemi to move out of the queue and grab the railings as though he were romancing it.
To Be Continued….