NOSTALGIA
Every evening, it was a normal routine for students in boarding house at Mount saint Gabriel’s secondary School to visit k town. The very good and obedient students use the toilet allocated to students, while the stubborn ones always found time between 6-7 pm to ease themselves in K town(bush) just before the night prep. This is done easily because we have less attention on us this time from the SS 3 students and teachers. Visiting this k town is most times done in company of friends.
Yes, I was in the category of the stubborn ones who visited k town. On this particular Sunday evening, I went to k town with my partners in crime. Certainly when I reached there, I found many students answering the call of nature at this time too. We were all doing our thing and having a casual conversation when a Hummer bumper bus passed the field. It went down a little and made a U turn. It is obvious they missed their way. Few seconds later, students followed the bus all screaming
Black face!
Black face!
Black face! ahh.
“Wetin d happen”? I asked Ifeanyi. “oboy as if na Black face the inside the car o”. What? Black face? We quickly wiped our asses and joined the students chasing the bus. I’m sure some were not even patient enough to wipe their asses. We ran till we caught up with the bus at the via Christi house, right in front of late fr Angus Fraser’s house. Everyone kept screaming Black face! (No reason am, this time Black face been get level die). He finally came down and asked after fr Angus Fraser. Father wasn’t around, I think it was his prayer time so he was in the chapel. “Tell him Amedu Augustine came to check up on him” he said as he immediately went into the bus while his security guards stopped us from trying to touch or stop his movement.
It was the topic of discussion the whole night prep. Black face is better than 2 face argument and all that. During the night prep there was this loud music coming from the stadium which is directly opposite my school. I sat with Ifeanyi that night prep. I don’t know who gave him information but when I asked what the music was for he said, “na star trek d happen o. 2 face dey, na dere black face d go, Mr ibu go go, aki and paw paw go go”. “Who tell you all this thing na” I asked in surprise😳”. “Dey dere na, after head boy mark names for night prep I d use fence go stadium” he said. As a young man who was not so deep in committing major offenses in school like jumping fence, I was scared to join him in the plan to attend the star trek, but on the other hand I am a die hard lover of entertainment. I can’t be a stone throw away from my favourite celebrities and not go to see them. Through out the night prep, no reading again. From the distraction of the music to the thought of how I will attend the event.
Finally night prep was over, night prayer was said. We had just about 30 minutes left before light out. Now I hurriedly looked for Ifeanyi after prayers to know if he changed his mind. “Guy as u d fear, I don’t tell acid we d go now” he said. I was unable to make up my mind so they left without me. Soon, I summoned courage, ‘if na die make I die’. I started looking for ways to fly the via Christi fence just after the borehole, then I met Charles. “How far you want enter star trek abi’ I asked. ” Yes, I supposed don go since but Equan and Gerald go leave me but I d observe well make I jump this fence d go” he replied. This point I felt more confident because I found a partner in crime. Not too long, the coast was clear and we found our way out of school at about 10pm.
As we arrived at the stadium, entering was a problem because we Were putting on our boarding house wear. It was obvious we were students that ran from school. We manupilated, begged were necessary for us to be allowed in because we were on uniform and it wasn’t allowed. After overcoming all obstacles and entering the stadium, guess the first encounter. It seems like a scenario where the president of the country visits your state and he is welcomed by the governor and his entourage with all the hailing. That was how we ran into the hands of some dreadful SS 3 students. “Chairmen una ma come enjoy star trek abi, we go jam for school na”. they hailed us while they laughed in a wicked manner. At this point, I was sweating profusely and my heart was beating thrice as fast as it should. “Oboy make we d go back school o, their oshouba go kill us this night” I told Charlse. “Abeg, if we go back them go still beat us so make we just stay. Tomorrow we go give them hundred naira each, maybe them go free us”. I totally agreed with him as we struggled our way to the fore front. The show was a blast. Top celebrities performed and it was fun that if I missed it, I would not have forgiven myself.
Show is finished, and now we were back to the realistic level of life. We went back to school, rushed to the hostel picked our mattresses and went to the badminton court to sleep. The badminton court is where we boarders slept when the weather is hot. Fast forward to about 3am I saw stars, blinking light everywhere in my eyes. I woke up screaming in pain, then I opened my eyes but it was the same. The slap Oshouba gave me was so effective. “Where Charles dey” he asked. I pointed at Charles, two beds away from mine. He approached him and gave him a replica of the slap I received. Charles woke up confused and looking stupid. “Make una follow me” he said leading the way. Charles followed him and started pleading seriously. All pleads fell on deaf ears. Approaching his hostel which was St Kalemba extension, I could hear more than 15 angry SS 3 students screaming at the top of their voices. “imagine junior boys jump fence go star trek, SS 3 d do, junior boys d do too, even Felix and Charles, they even hail us enter inside the flex. I go kill all the junior boys today. I write all their names”. These were some of the threats I over heard while we were approaching his hostel. Immediately he entered, Charles followed but I stepped back. I didn’t go in. They (SS 3) rushed him with general beating. I could hear the sound. I took to my heels swiftly as I ran straight to the second floor SS 1 F and stayed there. I knew I was doomed, I was so scared of the beating. I stayed till about 4:30am, rushed to the hostel before SS 3 will wake up. I took my bath, wore my school uniform and went back to the same class. It was on a Monday, we normally had mass by 5:30am or so, breakfast, then assembly. I knew attending any of these was going to lead to my capture, these activities are death traps for offenders. I skipped all that activities, after all I don’t go for assembly before. Just before the first period after the assembly, I rushed to see Charles in his class to know if he survived. “Guy just call your father make u change school o, the whole SS 3 the find you”. He said as I approached his class. For those that went to boarding school, you know the weight of that statement. I trembled in fear, my soul already left me to meet my personal Lord and savior. As a semi bad boy, I knew they would come for me in class so I skipped all classes that day. I stayed in the incomplete storey building while I tried to figure out what to do.

Fast forward to 2pm. School was over, it was time to go to the hostel.🙉 What can I do? How do I face these people. I decided to apply my plan A. I went straight to to then boarding house master’s office, now rev. fr. Stephen Eche. After waiting for him to attend to everyone in his office, I was now left alone with him. “Yes, Ocheme Felix what is your problem” he asked gently. “My father called that I should rush home today and take my drugs”. “What is wrong with you” he asked. (If you Oh Lord will mark our guilt, who will survive? Please forgive me for this serious lie) ” Sir I have kidney problem” I replied. “Oh my God, as young as you are, sorry dear” he replied. Coupled with my frustrated looks and dramatic skills, he had every reason to believe me as he wrote the permission letter for me quickly and said I should go. I was at ease a little now but there was still a problem. What do I tell them when I get home? What if I’m taking to the hospital or forced to take drugs. I dare not let my dad know about this or it will be a double jeopardy. I summoned courage, walked to my uncle’s house not far from my school. I simply told them I am not too strong that’s why I left school. I just bought few drugs as cover up. I stayed at home for few days then I decided to go back to school on Friday.

Normally Friday was kind of free for students, no night prep and maybe social night. I prepared for school Friday evening. I packaged my drugs and letter of permission carefully. Arrived school at about 6pm, I was now confident that with this sickness I told them I had, no one will dare touch me. Strolling confidently after the borehole heading towards St muggaga hostel. Senior Moses screamed my name. This drew the attention of the SS 3 students around him to me. The most wanted is back. “I give you 5 counts to run from there 1,2,3,4,5” He screamed. What’s my business, how can someone with kidney problem run? Mtcheeew. I walked majestically to him. Before you know it, he started vibrating and calling all his mates to come and see how stubborn I am. I already knew what they can do, so I quickly removed my permission letter first before reaching them. I held it up, straight forward like a football referee flashing red card to a player. I reached and showed him. I narrated all the false stories and how I went home to him. Of course I had to improve on the lie because SS 3 students are more difficult to lie to. All other senior students believed and said I should go except Moses. He insisted we will meet boarding house master. What’s my problem, it is even better and safer. Fortunately for me and unfortunately for him, Mr Stephen Eche was passing by. “Felix you are back , how is your health now”? He asked. I told him I’m fine and I just returned, I was to come and meet him before I got called by Moses. “Okay, Moses watch over him and make sure he is free from hard work and punishments from your mates” he said giving strict instructions to Moses. At this point I knew I serve a living God. My heart was filled with joy and I thanked him. Looking at moose’s face, I saw disappointment, grief, anger and pain but what can he do. He has been asked to make sure nobody touched me. I smiled as I walked away to prepare for my dance performance at social night that same day………….

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