Oleng was mad but she controlled herself. Oge was her senior in class even if it was just a year and the school took seniority seriously. Oleng really couldn’t do anything because she had already been a victim of Oge’s wickedness. Oge punished her unnecessarily just because of Eric. She had told her face to face that she would deal with her because Eric refused to show her attention. She didn’t tell Eric because she knew it would only make matters worse.
“That Oge is a harlot. Just look at the way she’s talking to Eric.” Ezinne asserted angrily.
Oleng was appalled. “Zinny, please be careful. You know we’re in a public place.”
“Whoever wants to report me to her should go ahead, I don’t care!” Ezinne retorted sharply. “After all, it’s not today she started punishing us for nothing. At least now her punishment would be justified.”
“Does she punish you girls?” Edward
questioned in surprise.
“Yes, especially Oleng.” Ezinne replied tautly.
Surprise was all over Eddy’s face. “Why? You girls are just one year her junior. I don’t punish SS2 students. Only SS1 and below.”
“It’s because of Eric. She’s jealous of Eric and Oleng.” Marvelous spelt out bluntly.
Edward smiled. “I see. Does Eric know about it?”
“No. Oleng refused to tell him. She’s scared that Oge’s punishments becoming worse.” Marvelous responded drily.
“Why Oleng?” Edward queried the silent Oleng.
“You know Ricky na. He’d blow the whole thing over proportion and that will only make Oge more furious. I don’t want any trouble. She’ll soon graduate with him. I’m prepared to continue suffering in silence till then.” Oleng remarked clamly.
Edward smiled and rubbed his hand on his chin. “Don’t worry. I’ll handle her.”
“No Eddy. I don’t want any trouble.” Oleng pleaded.
“It’s no trouble at all. There are many ways to kill a rat. It’s just to tell her that if she doesn’t back off, I’ll tell everyone what happened between us at the back of the hall on Valentine’s day.” He smiled mischievously, leaving the others dumb founded.
Just then the bell to announce break over was rung. Oge gave Eric a peck and left, shaking her buttocks. He walked up to the others as they got up from their seats. He noticed that Oleng refused to meet his eyes. He stood before her but she still wouldn’t look at him. She walked away amidst the students trooping out of the canteen.
“I’ll meet you in class, Eddy.” he told Eddy who smiled and left.
Eric hurried up to meet Oleng, Marvy and Ezinne. He held Oleng’s hand and she stopped walking. She still wouldn’t look at him.
“Marvy and Zinny, please excuse us.” He requested of her friends who shrugged and walked away.
“What’s wrong, sunshine?” he asked softly after studying her steadily.
She stared at her sandals. “Nothing. Why do you ask?”
“Why were you ignoring me?” he prompted.
“I wasn’t ignoring you. It’s break over.” she replied, still with her eyes on her sandals.
“Sunshine, look at me.” Eric coaxed gently.
She raised her head slowly to look at him.
“Is that the green eye monster I see there?” He threw her own words back at her.
Oleng couldn’t help smiling. Eric noticed again her charming smile and savoured it.
She hit his chest playfully. “And you accuse me of having many admirers?”
“Oge is just a friend.” he asserted cooly.
“Uche is just a friend.” she replied, smiling.
He laughed. She laughed too. He held her hand and they walked towards their classrooms, ignoring the students who were looking at them and smiling. There were a few jealous ones frowning though.
“So long as they don’t come in between us.” he stressed with emphasis.
“Never.” she firmly declared.
“Ditto.” he concurred. “See you later.” Eric told her when they got to her classroom.
“Bye” she responded and went into the classroom just as two of her classmates who entered with her giggled and said, “Love nwa tin tin!”
The embarrassed Oleng went quietly to her seat.
At closing, Oleng went to where they normally sat to wait for the boys at break time; the wooden benches at the recreational area.
After a short while, she saw Eric advancing towards her. She noticed both junior students and senior students alike hailed him as they passed. Her best friend was indeed drop dead gorgeous.
A head taller than most of his mates, his skin was so light he was called a half-caste by almost everyone he came in contact with. Most people thought he was of mixed birth but only a few knew that his dad was the half-caste. Eric’s paternal grandmother was an American while his paternal grandfather was a Nigerian; that made his dad half American. Eric took after him in coloring while Damian, his elder brother took after their chocolate skinned mum. Eric had white features and spoke with a slight accent. His mother had given birth to him when they were based in America. They’d relocated to Nigeria when he was five. They still went there on hols.
Oleng thought all these, coupled with his brilliance, made him a favorite amongst girls and boys alike, teachers and the school authorities. She was indeed fortunate to have him as her best friend. Despite these wonderful qualities, Eric was very humble. His beauty, brilliance and wealth never got into his head. Everyone was equal to him. It was little wonder that Senior Oge and the girls in his class wanted him for keeps. It was very unfortunate for them that he refused to date anyone. They all blamed her and were jealous of her. She shrugged. It wasn’t as if Eric had asked her out or anything so she wondered what they wanted to kill her for. Losers! She hissed.