“Ma! Ermm! I came to collect my book from someone ma” he said as he walked back to answer her.
“Did I ask you any question in the first place?” The commerce teacher asked smiling.
He couldn’t open his mouth nor use hands for explanation. His statement had betrayed him already.
“Tell your class to come here for commerce, since you people are less busy”
“Ok ma” he said.
After school had closed, David had thought twice what he should do. May be school 2 was still possible to go or rather, he should leave for home.
He went out of his classroom, where he had stood at the door for almost 2minutes. He strolled to the back of the school but found nobody there. He sat on a stone – his head resting backwards on the school building.
It struck him the day seemed slow, not knowing the weather was just playing tricks – it was already past 5:15pm. He had slept off before the bell rang and no one woke him up until he rose himself some few minutes ago.
`which kind life be this self? Why I dey do all this things wey I dey do? See my mama and papa dey pray make I make am but na smoke and drink I come dey do for here. Mehn! I gaz change o. I really gaz stop to dey do all this things’ he thought.
He raised him head towards the heaven and made the sign of the cross in an absurd way.
“Baba God, abeg forgive me o!” He soliloquized.
“Who is there?” A voice came from afar. He didn’t know who it was but he guessed it might be one of the teachers because the voice came through the direction of the teacher’s quarters. He thought for a moment may be he should answer or just keep mute. It might be, that, the person was just guessing. But it didn’t seem, when the second call rang out.
“I said who is there?”
This time, he realised the person really knew someone was there – so he stood up and walked towards the quarters. He stopped some 15inches before the man.
He was a former teacher of Wahab High School but had been transferred to another school, – yet, he still made use of the school quarters. It was quite understandable, it wouldn’t be easy to get a house at his new environment. More is because, he might be minimizing for his children – that, may be the reason he still had to maintain this house.
The man was on black suit with red bow-tie knot on his white shirt. He stood on one leg and the other was raised a bit above the floor – a result of the accident that rendered him lame at his young age, some very long time ago. There was a crutch, handy – which aided his movement wherever he went or might want to go.
“What are you doing there?” The man who grey hair were starting to spring out of his head asked.
“Nothing sir, I just decided to rest and feel the breeze a little”
“Okay! Can you please help me get that coconut?” He said pointing to the 9ft coconut tree (Cocos Nucifera) which was some inches afar the mango tree (Mangifera Indica), “the ripe one which hangs among that bunch.”
“Which of them sir?” David asked bending his neck and looking up to see which of them, the man was referring to.
“That one! Can you see it?”
“Oh, okay sir! Can I get a stick?” He requested.
“I think that bamboo trunk should be of use, if not at all.”
David walked towards the wall, the Bamboo trunk was resting. He took it and came under the specific coconut and started banging the trunk against and beneath it, till it finally fell, `doom’ on the ground.
“Thank you very much son. God bless you”
“Amen sir,” he replied, handing the coconut to the man. “Can you do the `pilling’ yourself, sir?”
“I surely can do that my son. Thank you very much” he collected the coconut from him and as he was leaving he asked about his name “what’s your name?”
“David, sir!” He replied turning back and facing his former direction again.
He remembered he had told Arizona they would go home together today but the day was already f^cked up for him. It might be a result of the excess alcohol he took – that caused his long sleep.
He looked towards the field and decided going there. He might still find a soft drink seller still there. He needed to take something cold, if only he could get one. His stomach was damn hot and he was tasty too.
As he got to the field, he walked passed about 10 kiosk before he finally saw Iya Ben or Mrs Ben, as students often called her.
“Mrs, Ben. Abeg you get cold Sprite?” He asked.
“E no too cold o, the ice don melt finish but if you fit manage am, no problem.”
“Make I see first,” he requested and she brought the bottle out of the remains of the ice block-water, she had bought in the afternoon.
Water were dripping down the bottle as she stretched it towards him – so he could fill it, if it was cold a bit for his taste.
“I go manage am. Abeg, wey opener?”
“You no fit use your teeth open am?” Mrs, Ben joked.
“My teeth no be iron. This one no dey strong.”
She helped him removed the `crown-cork’ with the opener. “You no go come inside come si’-down?”
“No worry Mrs, Ben. I go stand like this” he spoke his last for that moment and took the bottle to his mouth, gulping down the drink. His mouth, throat and stomach making noise.
Meanwhile, at some distance to where he stood where some few guys. Two among them, were the ones who trailed the 3 friends (Fatimah, Mariam and Zainab), the day they went to the market.
“Guy, I hear say one guy don come join una for school 2” one of the two asked the others, who sat on stones they had erected in the earth themselves, inside the bush.
“Ehn na, na one mumu guy like that, wey wan dey claim oga, on top us wey him meet for school 2 o,” Principo said, after which, he puffed his weed.
“Shuuuuu! Where him think say him come from, abi who him think say him be?” The second guy, who accompanied the first, reacted.
“I no even know wetin give am the liver but soon I go show am say, no body dey mess with Principo.”
“Na so baba mi. No `barger’ fit mess with us” the two replied. While others just concentrated on their smokes, attending to it, so the fire won’t die off.
“I no say dem this Wahab dey always like to show themselves and we go teach them say Akande and ilado na baba for Wahab side. Dem be our pikin and we go treat their f^ck up starting from that David guy.” Another who was among them in the morning-school 2 session bragged.
After David had finished his drink, he paid Mrs. Ben, walked back to the school to take his school bag and he set for home. He wasn’t going to see any boat today at the shore since he was late.
It was only left for him to either find a place to sleep till it was morning before he went home – with the first boat to see his parents and later set out for school.
To Be Continued…