Doing everything my parents have set for me could make them reach orgasm, but this time, they might end up feeling something close to grace; I might learn witchcraft.
After I had intentionally failed the Federal Common Entrance Exam, Mummy still followed backyard to get me admitted into the University Demonstration High School. I didn’t want to go to a boarding school, but I had no choice, unless I killed myself.
Dad waved at the pot-bellied gate man and drove in. The first thing that caught my attention was their awesome football pitch on the far right and the volley ball court on the left. I was a soccer lover, but I didn’t know anything about volleyball. I was just elated that the students would be doing sports and it placated my worry of living in a dormitory.
After the check-in where the inspection personnel looked for any contraband, I was assigned to Dr. Okolo house – a bungalow, pleading for rejuvenation, about fifty metres in length divided into three hostels. On the right end of the building, there were two cubicles where the house captain and any other school captain whom the house captain had chosen, lived. The other end of the house led to an extension shared with another house, Emananjo which linked the both houses – making a kind of, U-shape. And the extension just housed the restrooms.
My sight on the restroom assuaged my uneasiness. I wondered how the urinary could become so messed up in just a few hours after resumption, Then, later I learned that the best time to use the restroom was immediately after school lessons when the cleaners had worn the restrooms a new garment.
We had twelve weeks to study for the term and I was always counting down. It was in the beginning of the fourth week that my perception about the school began; I began living in fear. During lights out, I couldn’t shut my eyes because I needed to defecate – total discomfort. I went to the backyard with my torchlight, covering the bulb with my handkerchief so as to make the light faint. I almost drew my short downwards when I felt that someone was watching me. Even if I didn’t feel someone’s presence, I still would’ve looked well before defecating in the open so that I wouldn’t be punished by the authorities. Earlier, it seemed like a white dove flying gently at night. I watched carefully and the bird maintained and the bird maintained its level of flight, coming closer to me. I squat to do my business in a blink of an eye and return to hostel. I was happy that a large mass was ejected in a few seconds, and I hurriedly wore my short back. I was about to zip up when the illumination from the quarter moon revealed that it wasn’t a bird flying in the air; a man with a grey beard was approaching, now faster. I held my sandals and ran inside the house. At least, I felt better that night.
All the classes were mixed in the house and my bunk mate was a tall, huge guy in his penultimate year. His physique was intimidating and perhaps, might be a terrifying bully in the school. I was about climbing the upper bunk when he said, “Next time you want to do this again, make sure you tell me. You might get yourself in trouble.” I wondered if he knew what I did. I didn’t utter any word and climbed, cleaned my anus with my handkerchief and flung it to God-knows-where.
The next day, immediately after the morning devotion, I went to the backyard to fetch water to bath. As I was waiting in the queue, I walked up and down the backyard to ease my impatience in waiting for my turn to fetch water. I now realised that my excreta was no longer there. I felt my scrawny bones when it appeared to me like someone had collected it with a shovel from the structure of the soil in which it was on. Through out that day’s lessons, I thought about it and wished that it was an animal, like a local dog that fed on my excreta.
Busky was my bunk mate’s sobriquet. The name was as heavy like he seemed. He was the one who led the early morning joggings. We usually jogged and did other exercises every Saturday morning and public holidays. It was a public holiday, on Tuesday, we had already jogged for roughly thirty minutes when I became exhausted. I could’ve easily told Busky that I was tired, but I didn’t want to bank on our familiarity, perhaps, he might have even declined.
The next thing I knew was that I was lying face up and wet. On the distant right, were students playing football, skipping, racing and other sports. Apparently, I had fallen out of skin. Then, I saw was a light skinned man, with a small bald head, sitting just in front of me. He had a grey beard, just as thick as the one I saw last night. I stared at him in fright and it seemed he looked at me with disdain.
Soon, I heard Busky’s voice coming from the other side, “Coachi, he’s awake o.” Then I knew that he was the one students discussed, how mean he was, a retired teacher who still lived in the school premises and usually rendered first aid during sports. Coachi was just a corrupt form of coach. Busky held my arm and drew me up. I didn’t motion to stand and he didn’t bend towards me. It like he had picked up a piece of paper. He patted my shoulder and gave a subdued laughter. “Go wait for me at the field near the Nigerian flag.” While I was walking, I looked back at intervals and saw Coachi looking at me scornfully and then, fiercely when he stood with his bow legs. I became terrified and began walking faster.
In the evening, during prep, I borrowed Michelle’s Basic Science textbook to study the diagrams of plant and animal cells ahead of the test in the next three days – Friday. I was supposed to return it the next day but I didn’t; it skipped my memory. On Thursday morning, I came to class with the book, but she wasn’t in class. Some of the girls said that she was indisposed and had gone home very early, while some said that she was taken to the General Hospital opposite the school. When we were having dinner in the evening, the hall was already getting dark, but I noticed Michelle when she stood. I thought she was sick or she had gone home. Her light skin was conspicuous, that other boys on my table didn’t help noticing her presence. I didn’t know why the school captains didn’t stop her from leaving the girls’ table to ours. She came to the back seat where I was, very close to the wall and looked directly into the Okra soup I was eating for a few seconds and then, looked into my eyes with such a gaze as though she was searching for something. “Let my textbook be the only thing on your mind when you get back to the hostel. Make sure you bring it to prep.” She turned her back, gracefully and returned to her table.
We were always time conscious and rushed most of our activities. After dinner, at 6:40 pm, Students began walking out quickly out of the dining hall to get to the hostel and get ready for night prep. Some ran out, while the senior students who wouldn’t be reprimanded or punished for coming late for prep walked slowly. Some students like my friend and I jumped the tables swiftly to reach the entrance of the dining hall so that we wouldn’t be delayed walking in the crowd. My close friend, John stepped on a nail on a broken plank near the entrance of the door and his foot bled. And I accompanied him to clinic where his wound was cleaned and dressed.
We couldn’t go back to the hostel because it was already locked, only to be opened by 10 pm when we had dismissed prep. The other students were already in class, and as we were about to enter, Michelle blocked our way, with her feet widened and her arms stretched apart to the width of the entrance. She demanded her textbook, but I stuttered when I narrated the reason we came late.
“Don’t worry, I’ll give you mine. He’ll bring your own tomorrow.” John said.
“No!” she opened her eyes so widely like someone about to confess another person. “I can only read with mine.”
I shuddered and made way to follow the other entrance, she said, “Dan, you’ll see this night.” John sighed, I, too. And we entered, sat close to each other, at the back. Other students read their books, but we discussed the serious injuries we’d sustained. A few minutes before the prep ended, John opened his locker, brought out his textbook and we revised.
As we returned back to the hostel, I almost didn’t sleep. Normally, Busky usually slept late and he noticed how restless I was that night. I was even scared to go out alone at night to urinate and I told him to accompany me. I was thinking of what might happen to me that night or the kind of nightmare I would have because of what Michelle had said. People knew she was weird - extremely good and hot tempered. Teachers avoided punishing her in class and everyone noticed that each time she was involved in a punishable offence; the teachers would pretend to ignore what she and other students had done. She had a few female friends and I was the only male student she talked to. We lived on the same street back at home, though we never talked to each other, but we knew ourselves. I didn’t know when Busky held me in a discussion. We talked about a lot of things, from the way he saw bullying as fun, to the teachers that befriended female students and to other random “bad” things in school. I talked in a hushed tone, but he talked loudly and probably disturbed other people’s sleep, but who could tell him to lower his voice? He was simply, Busky; so no one dared. We slept late and woke by 5 am for devotion at Udensco house where all the male students usually gathered, a hundred metres around from mine.
Busky never missed devotion. His conspicuous voice was the loudest during the devotion. To him, devotion was a form of entertainment, too. As I stood with one arm, akimbo and the other elbow placed on Busky’s cupboard. I heard the boys singing praises at a distant and realized that I was sleeping while standing when everyone left the hostel. If a captain had seen me sleeping while standing, he would have woke me with a freaky belt. I wore my slippers, left my corner and went towards the entrance, but I couldn’t find the door. I was confused and scared. I thought that I was already going mad. I was sure that I was not dreaming, I could sill hear the boys’ voices at the devotion ground, singing praises. I sat in one bed for a few seconds, traced my way back to my corner, and headed to the entrance, but it had disappeared. It was now a wall, not even a locked door, at least. The other entrance that led to the extension had disappeared, too. I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t. The other students might think that I had hidden in the hostel to steal from other students and might be given a general beating that cold morning. I became frightened and pressed. For five minutes, I was still looking for the entrance; the only source of illumination was the full moon whose light passed through the window. “If there were windows, why weren’t there entrances?” I thought to myself.
I couldn’t hold the urine any longer and I went to the end of the house, near the extension and urinated. As I was urinating, I didn’t hear the sound of the urine on the bare floor. I just thought that I did it on a piece of rag on the floor. Even if it were someone’s school uniform, I cared less. As I shook my small penis out of ecstasy from the ejection of waste, my head was up and eyes, half-closed, I heard a voice say, “Thank you.” It was Coachi, standing outside the building, with his right arm extended, through the window, holding a bowl plate he had used in collecting my urine. I watched him draw out the bowl carefully. I tried to get the bowl, even if I’d splash the urine all over, but he was faster than I. He said, “The first day you ejaculate, I’ll collect your sperm. See you on Saturday.”
I looked back and saw the entrance that I had been looking for. I left the house to Udensco and sneaked in through the back, so that I wouldn’t be noticed. If not for what had happened, I would’ve waited in the hostel for them to finish, but I was too scared of what might happen next.
In the morning, just before the test, I brought out Michelle’s textbook to give her.
“Ahh!, don’t worry, I’ve already bought another one.” She said with a smile and I had never seen her smile that way before. I wondered where and when she bought another textbook; it wasn’t possible for her to purchase a textbook the previous night or early in the morning.
I was always scared at night before sleep. If not for Busky’s stories at night, sleeping during the night would’ve been like a suicide mission. I also told Busky that I would be following him to the devotion ground always.
During Saturday jogging, I pretended to be sick in order to avoid seeing Coachi on the sports ground. Busky took me to the clinic and I complained of severe headache. It wasn’t up to six minutes when I saw Coachi sitting next to me in the clinic waiting for one of the nurses to attend to him. His fixed his gaze on me. I quickly ran out of the clinic to join the other students at the sports arena as I heard a nurse’s voice from behind, “Daniel Okoye! Daniel Okoye!”
The visiting day when parents came to school to spend few hours with their children, give them snacks and beverages and return, began by noon that day. When my parents came, I was hyperbolic in narrating to them how evil Michelle and Coachi were. Mum ignored me, and Dad said it was a bait for them to withdraw me from school.
“I want to become a day student. I can be coming to school from Uncle Ejike’s. I don’t want to be a border again.”
“Shut up!” he gave me the things they bought for me and gave me pocket money, too. I wasn’t even excited at what they gave me. They had made sure I attended boarding school to change me from being taciturn and to improve the way I relate with my peers. I feared that I’d turn out worse; I might grow in fear or become a wizard. However, I was pretty sure that the boarding school was already having negative effects on me.