Written by author Nath.
Heading: Secret Dairy.
10 HOURS EARLIER.
Kali high school was as quiet as a grave yard. Students remained in their various classrooms, receiving lessons but Stephenie couldn’t pay attention to Mr Chuks, their Economies teacher, because she hadn’t seen Stephen ever since she came to school.
“A demand curve is a graphical representation of the relationship between the price of a good or service and the quantity demanded for a given period of time.” Mr Chuks was explaining with a bold illustration of Demand Curve on the board. He glanced at Stephenie to see her lost in thought. “Yusuf” he called her by her surname.
“Sir,” the girl realized herself and sat up.
“In a demand curve, where is the location of price of goods? Is it at the vertical axis or horizontal?”
She finally stood on her feet as the class expected her to answer. “Vertical.” she responded reluctantly “I’m
sorry sir, I’m not feeling too well. May I go out for a fresh air?” she requested.
Stephanie did not only go out, she used that opportunity to leave the school totally in search of Stephen at his home. If they were allowed to use a cell phone at school, it would had been easier for her.
Stepping into the mansion, Stephanie saw Mr Yinka, Stephen’s father entering into his car.
“Excuse me, sir” the girl called his attention.
The man turned. He wore a black agbada which he adjusted, wondering what the girl was doing there. He recognized her coz she was not just a friend to Stephen as they believed, her family was a friend to theirs too.
“Stephanie, what’s the problem? Is anything wrong with Stephen?” He asked, walking closer to her.
“Aah” the girl became confused. “He’s not in school. That’s why I came!”
The woman of the house came out, while a gate-man watched them from his corner. The husband looked at her.
“Stephen isn’t at school, woman.”
“But he left to school with his bike this morning” Mrs Yinka assured.
Stephanie shook her heard, already scared. Her voice began to break like one about to cry. “He’s not in school, ma’am.”
There was tension in the family. Stephen’s phone line was called countless number of times but never went through.
Gradually, darkness began to take the shape of the sky, yet Stephen was no where to be found.
Stephanie stood by her window, thinking where love of her life had gone. She wore a short skirt and a top. She might be a teenager, but was sexually ready and active. As he spaced through the window, the rain heavily began then she started shedding tears. Her mother walked in to see her in tears.
“Stephen is not dead but missing, Stephenie.” she said.
The girl turned to her. “What if I don’t see him again, mother?”
“Oh, dear. You’ll see him again.” The mother hugged her, sliding down her hair thereby making the sound of the rain more noticeable. She pulled her off and looked at her. “But if you’re asked whether you have a clue where he might be, what would you say?” the mother smartly stared at her lips.
The girl hesitated as she thought smartly too. “There’s this signal he normally get from his phone.” she began..
/> The weather had totally gone dark in the secret land of love garden, yet the rain hadn’t fallen to its satisfaction, pouring on Dave and Judith with all alacrity. The young boy never let Judith go off his arms to the rainy ground where he had considered unholy for her to step on again that night.
Rain had soaked Judith’s night gown thereby vividly exposing her breast and pant. Dave could see them anytime he glanced at her, while the poor girl’s eyes remains closed.
Nevertheless, questions arouse among the orphans. All were inside one room, the boys’ to speak on the stranger that found their location. Murphy and Cynthia sat on the edge of the bed while Daniela, Ada, Vivian and Obi stood before them.
“Who’s that boy the guards captured and where did he come from?” Daniela threw the question in the air.
“I guess he’s from the city.” Cynthia added from the bed.
“And he’s so cute!” Ada smiled, demonstrating the cuteness by folding her two palms on her chest. Others stared at her quietly to really assimilate her action. The girl suddenly frowned, unfolded her palms and brought down her hands when she discovered the gaze.
“What?” she spread the hands.
“Ada” Obi twisted his mouth like a clown which made Murphy to start smiling coz the boy is full of drama. “Ada!” he called her again.
“Obi!” she mimicked him.
The boy flung a window curtain opened for her. Already, Murphy wasn’t the only one smiling at the moment, Cynthia, Vivian and Daniela joined as they watched the two display their hilarious attitudes. Obi pointed at Dave and Judith through the window.
“Ada, you see that girl in the arms of her savour, just ten hours of standing, she wanted to collapse.” He closed the curtain and faced her. “You’ll stand there for forty-eight hours.” He concluded.
“I only complimented on the boy’s cuteness.” Ada spread her hands again.
“But if the boy could find this place, that means we can still leave here at anytime.” Murphy changed the topic.
Vivian looked at him. “You’re sounding as if we’re in captivity here. Though we are restricted from going to the main city for now, but that doesn’t main that we’re captives coz teacher has not only been a father to us but also a mother. I believe he has a good plan for us. Moreover, who knows how many hours or days that stranger journeyed here.”
There was sense on what the girl said and, yes, everybody concured. It could be seen on their faces as they trailed in silence.
“There’s what baffles me.” Ada broke the silence. “What can a young, innocent and cute boy be doing in our territory?”
Nobody answered her. Not that they didn’t want to answer, they didn’t know the answer. Just then, the door of the room cracked opened. Murphy and Cynthia stood up from the bed instantly, thinking it was their teacher. Lo and behold, one of the guards was standing at the door looking at them thereby stretching the quietness and also making the sound of the rain more noticeable too.
The kids waited for the mean guard to speak but he never did rather crossed his hands behind him. What is going on? Was the question in the minds of everyone.
“Hey, weirdo.” Ada broke the silence, talking to the man. “Sorry for calling you that coz you always have a bizarre face. You’re just looking at us. State your purpose or do you want to flog us with your belt?”
The man said nothing thereby making Ada look stupid and bringing back the initial silence. Ada looked at her fellowers.
Meanwhile, Daniela had been staring at the man’s eyes to read his mind. “He has come to pick someone to make dinner.” she said.
“Yes, Vivian and Cynthia should go to the kitchen now.” The man instructed and left, leaving the kids dumbfounded.
“Is that what he couldn’t say rather stood there like an African plant specie?!” Obi wondered hilariously.
Stephen sat down inside an empty room with just a table and two chairs. It was an interrogative room like one found in a police station. The boy was soaked but never cared. Two guards stood beside him.
Teacher Nwachukwu stepped inside like a ghost. “What’s your name?” he asked him.
“Wait, I know your voice!” Stephen said.
Hearing that, Nwachukwu looked at his two guards.
“You’re the man that teaches about love. I listen to you sometimes! Thank God I’ve found you!” He seemed happy to the amazement of the men.
“Listen where?” Nwachukwu asked calmly.
“My phone. This morning, I met someone who tracked this location with the phone. I’ve been walking since morning. I even missed
school today because of it. Please, are you the teacher? I so much love your teachings. It’s irresistible!” Stephen couldn’t say less.
“Where is the phone?”
“Here, sir” a guard handed the phone to him.
Nwachukwu looked at it then smashed it on the floor to the amazement of the boy.
“Why did you smash it!?” he lamented.
The man ignored her. He picked up a pierce from the phone which has the same symbol with the customized appliances in his secret room. He concluded that it could be the reason only his phone got the signal of everything happening there. He looked at the boy again.
“What’s your name?”
“Yinka? You’re the only son.”
“Yes, you know my father?”
“I know him as my enemy.” The man walked out followed by the guards who locked Stephen inside the room.
Dinner was set on a long table, rain had stopped and everybody was present at the dinning table except Stephen, Judith and Dave. Non was eating, waiting for teacher to come. The man came out, gazed at them at the dinning then walked outside to see Dave kneeling on one leg with Judith still in his arms.
“Both of you have ten minutes to freshen up and come to the dinning table.” Nwachukwu instructed and stepped away from the entrance. Others at the dinning table looked at the door to see Dave and Judith staggering inside. Therefore, they pitied them.
Ten minutes later, the two kids where sitting among their fellows at the dinning table. Teacher had the seat at the end of the long table while others seated beside the table like the formation of the last supper between Jesus and his disciples. The other end of the table was empty. If only teacher had a wife, she would have occupied it. But he did something that surprised all of them. Before they began to eat, he said, “Judith, take the seat opposite me at the other end of the table.”
The girl looked at her fellow orphans who seemed surprised. However, she stood up and did as he said then they began to eat silently.
“Teacher, you’re full of surprises” Obi will never shut up.
“Really?” Teacher replied him friendly.
“Yes, your words does not only teach, even your behaviour, your big but small eyes. In fact, your body alone is knowledge.”
Teacher began to smile likewise others. That makes them feel more relieved. Ada, didnt want that opportunity to pass her by so she asked, “Teacher, are you going to talk about the cute stranger?”
Obi pinched her.
“Leave me alone!” She shrieked. “Is he not cute?” she added.
“Well, I don’t want to talk about the cute stranger. At least not now” Teacher replied like a father.
“But why, teacher?”
“Because anything cute makes things go ugly.”
Obi began to clap again. ‘Wisdom! Wisdom is the key to life!”
“No, Obi, love is the key.” Teacher corrected.
“Teacher, is a lie. You”re just teaching us that so that we will get that auto-crash-thing for you. You think we don’t know? We know! Though I enjoy it”
They all chuckled even teacher who glanced at Judith to see her mitigating the food.
Sooner did teacher stand up. “Judith see me in my room after you’re through.” He instructed. “Good night, kids”
“Good night, teacher” they responded. Obi’s voice was higher.
Inside the man’s room, the two guards stood before him.
“Which one was able to read your mind when you entered the room?” Teacher asked one of them.
“Daniela” he replied.
the boy, Stephen?”
“Either he joins us and will never see his people again or we kill him.” Teacher spoke with a mean voice then discharged them. He walked to the bookshelf, brought out a diary that contains the names of the orphans. He drew a straight line from Dave’s name to Judith’s and tagged them ‘Lovers’. He drew another line from Daniela’s and tagged her ‘Mind Reader’ Immediately he closed the book, a knock came from the door.
Crack, the door opened and Judith entered, closing it behind her. She couldn’t look at Teacher’s face.
“You said I should see you, teacher.” Her voice was barely heard…….
TO BE CONTINUED