On Monday morning, I kept rehearsing all I’ve prepared overnight to tell Deborah so that I won’t forget, I didn’t involve myself in any unnecessary conversation that may make me forget my lines, we had assembly, we entered class, 9:00am, 10:00am, 10:25am,
“Where is Deborah naw? Is she dodging my proposal? Does she even know that ‘the king’ (I) will be approaching her very soon?” I asked myself because I didn’t want anybody to know, when it was 10:30am and yet I have not set my eyes on her, I went to her seat to ask her seat-mates, I got there and saw her bag under the desk,
“This girl came to school naw, where is she now hiding?” I said to nobody in particular.
“Sitirat, please, do you know where Deborah is?” I asked Sitirat, one of her friends,
“Henry! Leave me alone and try www.Google.com!” She responded and hissed.
I ignored her, she reacted like that because I wrote her name among the noise makers on Friday which the man came to beat them that Monday morning. I turned to Mary,
“Human being, please, do you know Deborah’s whereabout?”,
“Deborah’s boyfriend, she’s with Mrs Falade, helping her to do something since she came in the morning” she responded jealously.
I: Won’t she attend classes today?
Mary: (hissed) We, that we’re in the class since morning, is it not noise that has been everywhere? No teacher has entered this class today except the one you invited to flog them, wicked soul. (Smiles) You better go and find something done or you start writing the noise makers you came to write on earth.
I: (lol) And I’ll make sure you carry first on the list, then it shall be times two. (Laughs)
Mary: If you can write my name, you should be able to write Deborah’s name too (winks)
(That brought back to my mind what I’ve been rehearsing)
I left their seat and placed my head on the desk, I started thinking again
“OK now, what if she comes and I tell her, she jumps up and says I’ve heard and agreed? What will happen next? We will start dating and I won’t be free with Taiwo, Bukola, Mary, Misturah, and others again, I will start limiting the rate at which I hold and rough-play with them so as to avoid jealousy,
“They will even stop all these their early good morning pecks. The Deborah am fainting for self has never pecked me like them, the day I supposed to realize my dream, the devil came to buy Pepsi, see, I’m not even telling her anything again, I’ll follow what my sister said, if my friends don’t like it, they should dive like Drogba on concrete floor”
I was lost in thought when a hand touched me from behind, I looked up and it was Deborah, I began to smile.
Deb: Don’t smile joo… you don’t even care, number one; you could not even flash me throughout yesterday, secondly, you have not seen me today which is unusual yet you didn’t ask of me.
I: (as a sharp guy, I didn’t even think of lies before four of them queued in my mouth already, I just chose the 1st on the list) Deborah mi, (smiling) don’t think like that, I can’t find your number on my phone again and I don’t know it offhand, I would have checked my mom’s phone but I had no access to it at all. Concerning the 2nd offence, I actually asked of you from Mary, she said you were with Alhaja Falade.
Deb: (face changed, smiling) I trust you.
But why can’t you find my number? Is your phone with you now?
I: Yes, it’s. (I brought the phone out)
Deb: Now, go to contacts and type “M””i””n””e”
I: (I played along as if I’ve not known) Oh! It brought a name o, wow! It’s your number. (I was looking at her as she was smiling)
Deb: I renamed it on Friday, (she quickly changed topic) What about the practical they said we will be having today?
I: (silent for a while) Yea, that is 2nd to the last period. Lest I forget, what were you doing with Alhaja Falade?
Deb: I was just helping her to mark commercial class assignments while she was resting early this morning inside Mr Fash’s office, imagine!
I: I don’t want to say anything o, because anything I say here now may be used against me in court of law. (we both laughed)
Deborah went back to her seat. ******fast forward******
My friends would abuse me and call me names for not being a man enough, David (the short man devil) would even abuse me aloud in the class until I changed it for most of them and it reduced, Michael would ask me about Deborah which I was jealous but didn’t show it, Taiwo became more nice to me, nothing has changed about Deborah and I. Days to weeks to months, holidays came holidays went… here we were in SS2 third term.
On this awkward Monday afternoon after long break, we were to have Agricultural Science, the mistress was pregnant then she could not teach, the assistant class captain (Mary) went to collect mistress’ note to copy on the chalkboard for us so that the mistress would come for explanation later. I went to the school canteen to buy sweet (splash), before I came back, Mary has gone very far with the note, the girl was so fast then that we nicknamed her “Bajaj” (a name of a bike), when I came from the canteen, I went to meet her on the board that she should please wait a little bit for me to get to where she was or get near, she bluntly disagreed, I begged begged and it was not working, I was about to leave when she noticed the sweet I was licking, she called me back and said she would stop for me to copy only if I could give her one of the remaining two sachets of sweet in my chest pocket, as stingy as I was then, I denied the option without thinking twice, I later trapped her on a condition too,
“OK, only if you can collect the sweet with your mouth, from my mouth” she 1st said no and I was happy, she thought for a while and said “Oya come, I’ll take it like that” the whole class was watching our drama and waiting for my next action
I: You mean you will use your mouth to collect it from my mouth?
Mary: Yes! You’re too stingy! I will take it from your mouth. Stingy boy!
I: Thank you, am not even giving again, desperate girl. (Laughs)
(the front part of the class laughed)
The next thing I saw was David and others stood up;
David: Henry, you dull no be small! My neighbour wey I think say e mumu pass self just dey learn from you! I trust myself!
Kayode: This Henry just dey irritate me, OK, I go give you your sweet back, let her take it with her mouth.
Saheed: God punish devil! Shay na me go see opportunity like this and I no go execute am sharp sharp with speed of light? Taaah!
I was confused and still standing there thinking of what to do.