BY UDEMEOBONG UDOEYOP
It’s the first day of a new school year, a bright morning with quite a dark significance.
I got out of dad’s car and watched him zoom off. Students leaped with full smiles plastered on their faces as they not only started a new class but got back to their friends.
Most parents gave their kids a peck on the cheek before leaving and it only made me feel some type of way.
I frowned at my dad who gave me a strained smile and zoomed off.
I pulled up my backpacks’ strap as I walked into the multipurpose hall.
The teachers were already there at the different positions they loved standing at.
The assembly commenced once all the students stood composed and according to their respective classes.
My name is Chidera Azogwu, I’d call myself a very mysterious person. I’m sixteen and at this point in my life I’ll need to confide in someone or something.
That should be you.
The halls were rowdy as students made way to their classes. I spotted Aisha standing at the tap area.
I wrapped my fingers over her eyes, a gesture very common to us.
“Ehm…Donald…no Aisha!” She screamed and wrapped her arms over my small frame.
“Donald was the first name to leave your mouth, I watch thee my friend” I did that weird watching thing with my fingers and chuckled as I hugged her back.
“You missed a lot, abi I told you to stay back in Lagos but you wanted to do travel queen” she said, her eyes twinkled as she narrated everything that had occurred between Donald and her during the long break.
“So you guys are now a thing? eheh” I teased and she nodded with pride.
We got to our classes, Aisha sits right in front of me, Donald at my back and Olamide beside me.
I sit close to the wall.
That brings us to the topic for the day.
Olamide Joseph Kolade
The boy who happens to share a common feature with me.
The boy whom no one knows anything about but we’ve been with for five years now moving to the sixth.
The boy with beautiful dark hair, light brown eyes and well built body.
I think that’s enough, I’ve had a not so mild infatuation on this boy for a while now.
No one else knows except you and I, I don’t think I’ll survive if even Aisha finds out.
She’s caught some clues but I want her to figure everything out
But come on, won’t you be attracted to a very good looking guy who manages to be so nice and intelligent but also gets into trouble giving him the desired bad boy facade?.
The facade that I want present in any guy I call my spec.
Let’s get back to class.
Mr Tolu our Government teacher went on rambling on why Nigeria adopted the federal system of government.
It was break time, Aisha was seated on Donald’s desk staring at him with love filled eyes.
I bet she wasn’t actually listening to whatever he was saying.
I twirled my pen as my eyes moved to my other classmates who were clustered in different groups each trying to talk at the same time.
Olamide was on his desk as usual scribbling things on a crumpled piece of paper.
Sometimes he did this almost throughout the day if he had few classes.
I wonder what he’s always writing down.
I opened my jotter to an empty page and put to paper a rough plot of the story that was in my head.
I felt a couple of eyes on me as I pushed my jotter back into the desk.
“Uncle and aunty secretary, how e de be!” Kola, the school tout shouted while walking towards us with his group of boys.
“Bigi man talk give una una no fit answer abi?” I noticed Olamide barely stopped what he was doing and that seemed to annoy Kola even more.
He snatched the paper off Olamide’s desk.
“Bring it back” Olamide said, his voice a bit cold and he was still very calm and collected to my surprise.
“I need somebody” Kola started reading out what was on the paper and to say the least, I really wanted to know what always keeps him so busy.
“Somebody to talk, Somebody to…” He was caught unaware by a strong punch from Olamide.
Every composure in him seemed to have vanished, the whole class was pin drop silent.
All watching the show that unfolded before us.
“That’s enough, never take my silence for granted” Olamide said and snatched the paper back from him.
Kola was still recovering from the fact that he just got hit by Olamide and for some reason only stormed out of the class with his boys.
“Set awon street just leave am like that?” A boy at the back asked and they all erupted into a fit of laughter.
I stole a glance at Olamide who looked a bit ashamed.
If only he knew how sexy that was.
I diverted my thoughts to other things as the bell for break over was rang.
I got out my Geography textbook and notebook, called the six other people who still took Geography and we left to the lab where our classes were held.
After my Geography class I was free till school over so I left to meet David my friend in the science class.
David and I are at the acquaintance stage. We started talking when his parents came over and ended up leaving him with me and my kid sister home alone.
“Big Kay!” He called out when he spotted me moving towards him.
I smiled and took a sit on his desk.
“Karen I was seriously thinking about you now” I knew that was a lie.
“You’ve been single for too long, I’ll get you someone to untie the knot” he winked and I sent him a disgusted look.
“Remind me what I was thinking when I decided to visit you?” I said and he chuckled.
“How are you though?” He smiled genuinely, that was legit going to be one of the things I like about him.
“I’m good, you?”
“I’m alright baby” I cringed at how he pronounced the ‘baby’ with a weird American accent.
We had small talks and I decided to get back to Aisha, thankfully she wasn’t with her boyfriend.
“Where on earth have you been?” Aisha asked turning to face me.
“With David” I answered and she muttered an ‘oh’ and got back to what she was doing which was pretty weird.
I noticed that Olamide wasn’t on his seat anymore and his bag too seemed to have gone.
I rested my head on the table and as if on cue, the bell for school over was rung.
So I was informed that I’ll be going to Port Harcourt for an essay competition with three other people.
I flipped through the pages of the English past question text I was given for revision.
Essay writing was quite an easy thing for me, maybe because I find writing stories fun.
It was nine thirty am and Olamide casually walked into the classroom.
Our school starts by nine.
“Hey, can I borrow that for some time, please?” His hoarse deep voice hummed.
I handed him the past question and decided to use the restroom.
While walking past the classes I bumped into a very hard chest.
He had jet black hair and was quite short for a guy.
“I’m sorry, kinda in a rush” he murmured and continued.
I got to the toilet and couldn’t even use it.
Pieces of tissue paper was littered all over the place.
I sighed and got back to class, the maths teacher was in.
The rest of my classes went by and I had a very boring day.
I was walking back since my parents both had something to do.
I heard footsteps behind me.
“Sorry I forgot to return this earlier” he stretched the past question.
“It’s okay” I said with a small voice I couldn’t say was mine.
The rest of my day was quite lonely, leaving me to be J.K Rowlings for a day.
I wrote about fifteen thousand words in the story I was writing and ended up sleeping up so tired.
I left to school pretty early, the drum rolling sound of thunder almost scared the living hell out of me.
I walked more briskly as raindrops had started dropping on me.
At the second staircase I saw a figure hunched on against the railings.
It happened to be Olamide.
“Hi” I finally summoned courage to approach him.
“Hey” he forced a smile.
“What are you doing here? You never come early by the way” I said as I watched him intently.
“I needed to clear my head, it’s okay now” he tried forcing a smile again but it didn’t work.
“You can talk to me, a problem shared is a problem solved right?” He looked at me and I took the opportunity to study his face.
His bright brown eyes were now bloodshot, lips cracked and my eyes flickered to his knuckles who had fresh bruises on them.
“Family problems…” He started and ended up narrating everything about the problems he had at home to me.
I told him about my parents who weren’t living together anymore.
“This isn’t always the end of the world you know” I seemed to have lifted a good amount of weight from his shoulders.
“Thanks” he muttered and surprised me by engulfing me into a hug.
From that day we got pretty close.
It was Monday and we were meant to travel to Port Harcourt for the competition which was tomorrow.
Olamide had told me he was picked confirming my suspicions.
A boy from science class and a girl in my class were the other people who were competing.
I left to the bus with my school bag that contained the things I’ll need for a day or two.
I found a good spot at the back seat of the bus as the others filed in. Olamide took the seat beside mine and I gave him a small smile.
“I’m tensed, how do you manage to be this calm?” His deep voice muttered.
“I might mess up if I get tensed so I decided to take my mind away from that completely” I said and smiled as I watched him take a deep breath while doing a funny yoga position.
Olamide and I shared an ear piece, listening to music till we both slept off.
The other students happened to have been asleep too.
We were woken up when we got to Diobu, I looked at some parts of the street that had waste littered all over giving off an offensive smell.
“Disgusting place right?” Olamide chuckled as though he was reading my thoughts.
We pulled up to a very large, expensive looking hotel which stood out from the other buildings.
It was neat and the attendants were quite nice.
Students from other schooled walked in while some where already heading to their rooms.
“The two girls will share a room and vice versa, okay?” Mr Ade announced and I bet I could see disappointment flash through Olamide’s eyes.
“See you” I called out to him as the Shekinah; the other girl headed towards our room with the key.
Shekinah turned out to be a very interesting girl. She told me about her six brothers and each of their personalities.
One of the teachers called us for dinner and we were seated at one end of the table with students from other schools.
A boy sitting close to us took in large spoonfuls of rice and I held in laughter as I locked eyes with Olamide.
Other students seemed to have noticed and busted into a fit of laughter leaving the poor boy embarrassed.
I smiled and continued eating the coconut rice which was served.
We decided to chill out on the general sofa with students from other schools.
A girl brought the idea of playing truth and dare and almost everyone yielded to it.
“Aren’t you playing?” A boy with light brown hair asked.
“Um I-i will” I stuttered and got closer to them. Olamide was sitting opposite me, A boy on my left and Shekinah on my right. The others were from other schools.
The game had been going on for roughly ten minutes now. I was about checking the time from my phone when the bottle’s head stopped at me and the other end at Olamide.
So fucking great!
An evil glint sparked from his eyes as he locked eyes with me.
“Truth or Dare?” He asked, the other students were now facing me expectantly.
Nobody picked truth so far and I didn’t want to appear boring or whatever.
“Dare” I answered in a small voice and they all cheered.
“I dare you to kiss me” Olamide said. His eyes were void of any emotion. I folded my fingers into my palms to hide the fact that they were literally shaking.
I slowly stood up and made my way to give my long time crush a gift of my first kiss.
He stood up once I had gotten to him and wrapped his arms around my waist.
At this point my whole body was shaking like that of a victim of pakeinsten.
I placed my palms on a side of his cheek.
Don’t judge me, I’ve watched so many kissing tutorials on YouTube.
I went on with caressing his cheeks as I gently placed my lips against his.
He tasted like chocolate and honey.
His arms around me pulled me tighter as he returned the kiss.
“It’s like five minutes already!” A girl’s voice ruined the moment.
I shyly looked up to him, he quickly licked his lips and I still couldn’t read his emotions.
After a while a girl from another school was dared to give Olamide a lap dance.
Jealousy surged through my veins as I watched her grind on him but I couldn’t let him see through me.
I excused myself to use the rest room. I moved onto the hallway as I saw a figure about two rooms away from mine.
“Hey, my name is Madu, please can we talk” he surprised me by saying.
I then took in his features, he happened to be the guy I bumped into some days ago.
How come I never noticed?
“Yes, I’m Karen” I answered.
“I know that” he chuckled and we talked about random things.
I hadn’t realized that the game was over till I saw Olamide flash me a look and walked into the room beside where I was talking to Madu.
He seemed to have noticed.
“You guys are dating?” He asked and I shook my head. I couldn’t catch the emotion that flashed through his eyes as we bade each other goodbye and left to our rooms.
Shekinah was sprawled over the bed scrolling through her phone.
“Eh eh, I was waiting for you!” She chimed.
I took a seat beside her.
“And why is that?” I asked.
“What on earth is going on between you and Olamide?” She asked and let out a weird chuckle.
“We are cool friends, circumstances brought us together” I said and she raised her brows.
“Friends don’t share such intimate kisses” she said and I turned to her.
“That was a dare!” Thankfully she dropped it and we talked about so many other things.
It was Tuesday, the day of the competition. Everyone looked so tensed, I picked up my water bottle as we were asked to move into the hall.
We were each given a sheet of paper and a printed script with the question.
I scanned through the question.
I’m a rock, a tower and a statue of greatness. Nothing bring me down.
I AM AFRICA!
We were asked to write on that.
I took a deep breath and a sip of water from my bottle as I put my pen to paper.
I hadn’t realized how much I had written till I put my last full stop.
I read through my work three good times before we were asked to submit.
I rushed to catch up with Olamide, we hadn’t spoken since the incident yesterday.
“Hi” I said as we walked towards the rooms.
“Hi” he replied and kept walking.
We walked in silence till we reached our rooms and he just got in leaving me there like a fool.
I felt anger bubble in me as I walked into the room.
Shekinah wasn’t here yet so I packed up my things.
She came in minutes after, surprisingly, she had already packed last night.
We both moved our things to the bus.
“We’ll be leaving by three” Our teacher announced and I glanced at my watch. It was already two forty.
I got into the bus and listened to some music on my phone as we waited for the boys.
I was quiet throughout the journey to school. They dropped us each at home since it was pretty late.
I muttered a greeting to my dad who was looking through some files on his table.
He responded with a nod and I moved to my room.
I didn’t realize how much I missed it till I was welcomed by the signature lavender scent of my room.
It was big with a couch and some chairs near the door, some of my mum’s paintings and pictures hung on the bright beige well.
I spent most of my time here since dad didn’t even have time for anyone.
I had dinner and decided it was bedtime.
I woke up with a serious headache and therefore stayed back from school.
Today was a Wednesday, I was meant to be picked up by mum for her fair share of being with me.
I stayed with my dad from Friday’s to Monday’s while I spent the rest with mum.
They had decided to agree on something for the first time in their lives.
They knew very well that only one person would get custody if they had consulted a lawyer.
I took a shower and spent the day in sweatpants and a tank top while watching TV.
At around five pm mum came over, I ran into her arms.
I missed her a lot.
She smelt like paint, I looked down at her, her yellow gown hugged her body well and would have looked wonderful if it didn’t have smudges of paint on it.
“Karen my love, how have you been?” She asked once we were seated in the car.
“Good mum” I replied as I turned on the radio.
“How was your competition, hope you made momma proud?” I chuckled and sent her a smile.
We got home, I took out my bag then we walked into the small bungalow.
I looked around at the incomplete paintings sitting all over the house. A painting of two prisoners trying to get the cuffs off them caught my eye.
There was something missing, it was a rough painting and I guess she got a block because it had no background.
I ran my fingers over the painting, I picked the brush and made a dark background showing nighttime.
It was meant to show the relevance of time, that time wasn’t just going to sit there atill and watch them.
“Hmm” she stared at the painting from the fridge. “And that’s beautiful!” She exclaimed and broke into a grin.
It was a Thursday, it’s so weird how I preferred Thursday’s to other days of the week.
Mum said I was born on a Thursday, I perfected the act of riding a bike on a Thursday.
Most of my first times were on Thursday’s.
Mum always preferred picking me from school to dropping me so that explains why I’m walking on the quiet street of Victoria Ireland this early.
I took a sip of the juice I took from my mum’s untouchable refrigerator. That’s this small fridge she has in her room where she keeps juices, mostly tropical juices.
She warned me never to take it and that has been the main reason I wanted to take it so here it is.
I glanced at my watch to see that I had less than ten minutes to make it to school.
I half sprinted half walked and I got to school just in time to see the assembly start.
“Hey my bestest person!” I whispered to Aisha who was judiciously clapping her hands to the praise song.
“Karen!” She threw me a glare “You scared me, you know you were almost late” she added.
“I’m sorry mum” I chuckled at her expression afterwards. I looked over at Olamide who was at the end of the boys line.
I don’t think I’m meant to be staring at him after what he did on Tuesday.
I got to my seat who had dust seated perfectly on it. I cleaned up and got to my Computer class.
Mr Raynold walked in, we did the greeting rituals and sat down at his order.
“I gave an assignment yesterday, I believe you got your copy?” He asked now looking at me.
“Your friend over here took the responsibility of giving you your assignment paper” he was now looking at Olamide.
Friend? Assignment? What really is happening?
“Oh, I’m sorry I forgot to hand it to you while in a haste to get here” Olamide said and handed me the papers after minutes of searching his bag.
I whispered a thank you and we got to the days job. I had Government after break and would be free till school over.
After my Government class I headed out to the library. My eyes landed on Shekinah seated at the other end of the library.
I occupied the empty seat beside hers.
“Hi” she whispered.
“What part of my class are you in because I can swear I haven’t seen you since” I said and she let out a small chuckle.
“That’s because your mind is always focused on someone…” She dragged the ‘someone’ and looked over to Olamide who was sitting on the other end.
I frowned and flipped through the history book I took out. It interested me on how much the colonial fathers effected the country in so many ways.
Both good and evil.
I suddenly didn’t feel good. I could feel my head burn on the inside.
“Arrghh!” I screamed getting the attention of all those who were in the library.
I felt my legs move float and everything went blank.
“Are you awake?” The soft timid voice of the elderly nurse asked. I felt her palms on my forehead and I forced my eyes open. She sent me a small smile and whispered.
“Let me get you an energy drink”
On my left was him, what was he doing here. He made it clear that we weren’t on speaking terms with each other on Tuesday.
“Karen” my name smoothly rolled out of his tongue. I pretended to be asleep once again.
“I know you are awake, please hear me out” his voice sounded so strained. I opened my eyes to see his bright hazel eyes turn a deeper unrecognizable shade.
“We all have a lot to handle. Yes, sometimes we just need someone to put the blame on. Someone to be angry at no matter how innocent they are.” He said.
“English please?” I asked trying to muffle the laughter that threatened to emerge.
“I’m sorry” He said. I couldn’t stay angry at him just, he had this genuine look in his eyes.
“We are friends right?” He asked.
I haven’t been infatuated with him for this long to settle for the friendship thing.
His eyes looked back to normal and expectant suddenly reminding me of the fact that he asked a question.
“Y-yes, sure” I forced a smile as he reached out to hug me.
Friends it is.
We sat there talking till my mum had arrived. I took my bag and was about leaving when he stopped me.
I couldn’t ignore the sparks I felt when his fingers brushed my chin as he leaned in.
I closed my eyes as I anticipated what was coming but instead he whispered.
“That kiss back then was my first” With that he walked out leaving me flushed.
I guess friends don’t do that.
My mum was called to come pick me up.
She placed her palms on my forehead to check my temperature.
“What happened? You left home strong” She asked and I shook my head in response.
“I had breakfast, I was so thirsty and there wasn’t any cold water in the fridge so I decided to take a drink from yours.” I rambled and watched her eyeballs almost pop out of their sockets.
“You mean you took something out of the fridge I’ve warned you about?” She asked, I didn’t expect this kind of reaction from her. She was so furious and upset and ended up walking angrily to the car.
To be continued….