I shifted uncomfortably in my seat, took a quick glance round the classroom-everybody seems interested in what the teacher was scribbling on the black board.
I summed Madame Diallo with a look, I couldn’t help smiling at her fat legs…
“Le langue Francaise… Repeat after me.” madame Diallo began.
“Le langue francaise!” the whole class throated.
I hissed quitely, do we have to say this? We’re in J.S.S.3 for crying out loud! Besides, why do we have to learn french this hot afternoon? I am a Nigerian! A Yoruba for that matter…
“Il ya des ecole, eu du mangue.” the teacher said again.
“Who can tell us what that means?” her cat eyes searched the class.
Bisi stood up, I trust her now- over sabi-sabi. I hissed again.
“it means, in front of the school, there is a mango tree.” Bisi said smiling like a donkey
“Clap for her.”
I didn’t clap, i looked out of the window instead.
“Madame et monsuier Akosua, il habite poto-poto-braza ville.” I heard her say.
“who can translate that?”
I kept my eyes glued to the window.
“Teju can you help us out?” I heard her definitely, me translate french? Rubbish.
“Tejumola Benson!” she shrilled
I jumped up, pretending to be startled.
“translate that!” she pointed her cane at the black board.
“Which one of them?” I scratched my cornrows.
“Teju!” she scowled.
“Errrm…madame …errn, it means..erm,mr and Mrs..Akosua, have children,called….erm, poto-poto and brazaville…” I stammered.
She stared at me in disbelief.
“Teju!” her eyes almost popped out
“You’re sitting for your Junior WAEC & NECO very soon, and you can’t translate this?”
I looked away.
“I’m so disappointed!” she added.
That one is your headache, I wonder if french is a necessity.
“Sit down, class lets continue.”
Rubbish! I hissed
“Bring out your notebooks, and copy these down.” Madame Diallo ordered before she started scribbling some notes on the board.
I copied the note for copying sake, i had no intention of reading it. We copied and copied endlessly till a bell rang.
“End of period” Ayo- a fat chubby boy yelled from outside. We all laughed. Ayo-the time keeper, we told each other.
“Lets call it a day, aurevoir” madame Diallo packed her books.
“Au revoir” we all throated, my voice at its peak. Loudest.
The whole class became a noise den, some of them even played ten-ten. I watched them all, with no intention of joining them. I’ve not eaten since last night, I don’t have the strength to play…
“What’s the noise all about?” Eric the headboy roared.
They didn’t even notice him.
He b@nged a table loudly.
They all came back to their senses.
“Good afternoon Senior”
“What’s good about the afternoon? Ehn? Why were you making such noise?” Eric’s massive voice thundered.
Nobody replied him
“Who’s the class captain?” he asked again, infuriated.
I quickly adjusted my skirt, tucked in my shirt properly.
“I said where’s the…”
“Sir?” I chirped cutting him short.
“i want the list of noisemakers now” he ordered
“List?” I wore a puzzled look
“oh so you just watched them abi? What’s your job?” he queried.
Na today? ThankGod say I no join them sef, if not this building for fall- I hissed within me.
“Are you deaf or dumb?” He yelled at me.
“None of the above.” I replied with a frown. Some students began to giggle
“oh really? Okay, come out here.” he ordered.
“go and kneel down under the sun!” he declared my punishment.
Mo kpe! I thought quitely as I knelt down.
This hot sun plus kneeling down plus hunger again? I’m finished.
I didn’t spend a minute kneeling down when I saw David the assistant headboy walking towards me.
I looked away, David was very popular in the school, he became the assistant headboy the very day he stepped his foot into S.S.S.2. Maybe cos he’s brilliant or cos his father was rich- very rich-a senator. Maybe cos of his looks, he is toon beautiful to be called handsome, those full eyelashes, the dimples….
“What are doing here?” David asked
“punishment.” I replied.
“Go back to your class, this sun is too hot.” He said quitely.
I stood up, murmurred a thankyou, and walked quickly to my class, who said my God isn’t mercifull..
“stop there!” Eric roared from behind me.
“Who asked you to go back to your class?” he gnarled.
“I did.” David sauntered towards us. “Guy
free the girl, this sun is too hot.” David patted Eric’s shoulder.
“Go to your class” he said to me.
Oh yea! I felt so fly as I hopped to me class.