Friday, June 24, 2016


A WHOLE NEW WORLDJohny, nna ngwa wake up” Mama’s voice woke me up from a very far trip beyond. I rubbed my eyes hard still feeling heavily sleepy feeling as if my eyes were filled up with sand.Mama had forced me to go to bed the night before so i would wake up early because i would be taken to school the next day.I laid awake most part of the night imagining what life would be at McGonals, if i would match up the academic brilliance of the rich students there, schemes on how to make sure i successfully avoided Vincent and
his nosy – “into you business attitude”.Had a welcomed dream within the few hours i caught some sleep.Vincent had just decided not to go to the school anymore just as he was about to be taken to the school.Taking a quick look at the old western wall clock that hung loosely on the wall making quak quak sounds like a young duck as the seconds hand made it’s trips round it.It was just 5:30am, mama’s face beamed down on me, an amber light flickering out from the hurricane lantern she was carrying.“I wish this dream was true” I hissed yawning hard.“Mama let me sleep small na” I begged making to lie back down.“Tawaaaaaai” mama’s hand smacked through my buttocks sending me springing up within a millisecond.“Anumpama go and take your bath osiso, your father is already getting ready” She said flushing to the kitchen at the same time still holding on to the lantern.I hurried over a cold bath, jumping each time the water touched my body because of the stinging cold sensation it induced. The weather was cold and environment still foggy. Barely touching the garri and okro soup mama served -early morning swallow was a common practise but this time i was over excited and consumed by the thought of my new school that my appetite for the food was history, i slipped into my school uniform.A crisp cream coloured shirt in a black trouser and ablack long tie, shoes and belt. I felt smart seeing thehard lines mama made sure she gave them when ironing them.Sat quietly beside mama in the parlour, Ugo held myhuge ecolac luggage waiting for papa to finish up so he would follow us to the motor park, Miracle clutched around mama looking on with scanty attention as if she could deduct what exactly was going on, she had looked like that from the very firsttime mama woke me up, i wonder how this little girl wakes up earlier than i.Walking to the car park was a very pleasant one for me, i enjoyed the glances people cast at me, the whispers and smiles.“I heard he is going to McGonals on scholarship” “He is brilliant” I couldn’t help but notice papa’s proud look he wore when these whispers somehow flew into our ears in the cold calm morning.His advises and suggestions ladened with examples which himself always was the center subject.“When i was in secondary school back in the 1970’s, i used to stay awake reading all through the night” He said. Most times these parents have no idea we already catch the joke, would i tell my kids i carry the last position during my own time? of course i would be the most intelligent.Since everybody’s father claims to own the first position in school, who exactly took the last positions?“John, stay away from bad friends, bad company and secret societies” He sang on into my ears with mama chipping in her own suggestions every now and then.“Please stay away from girls” She said with a pleading look.“Remember where you came from, study hard and make us proud”“I will papa, thank you sir, thank you ma” i intoned making sure my tone made it clear i heard and i will do all they said.The bus moved minutes after i and papa boarded it, Ugo kept on waving beaming with a broad grin until we were out of sight. I knew he was eager for me to leave so he would take possession of my Play station Potable.The Ugo i know won’t be in a hurry to help anybody carry anything not even a cup, the grin he was wearing and the hard waves of his hand made it almost obvious he was happy to see me go, he is now the oga in the house and i pray, i just pray i will still have a play station when i get home even one button of it would be a surprise find knowing ugo real well and his careless nature.The school was huge, a gigantic black gate with uniformed men as watchmen. A gigantic gold lettered board with the name McGonals international Collage towered above the gate.A man-sized sculptures of students; A boy and a girl stood just after the gate clutching large pile of books with mean looking faces.Exotic cars taxied in line into the school shimmering in the morning sun. It was the first day of the school year the compound buzzed with activities as cars kept trooping into the school park,students slipping down from the cars dragging theirluggage as they trooped inside.Being among the few that came to school on foot, papa’s face still wore a smile. his face tilting to the sides nodding slightly obviously appreciating the beautiful edifices of the school.Dragging my luggage to the assembly ground just as i watched others do, i noticed my luggage was comfortably the smallest of all the luggage others came with, and i can swear the dirty weak naira notes papa squeezed into my hand before he went home after we had seen the principal and cleared out everything- was a change to what these students i see here came with.“Sky!!!”“Oh no, i know this voice. i thought this guy changed his mind” i muttered turning slightly as a figure of Vincent seeming more porky in his new school uniform, his mouth appeared to be chewing something.His luggage was quite big and am sure half of it would be filled with snacks and sweets.“Aaaah sky see this girl” He said pointing at a girl with a round protruding bum that gracefully assaulted her skirt which was very tight around the line. From the waves and greetings she got around it was clear that she is an old student and a popularone at that.“Bia Vincent hapum aka (leave me alone)”I blurted out glaringly wheeling my bag further to escape Vincent.Mama’s warning sipped into my ears again “Stay away from girls” But i still found my eyes going backto look at the bums again, haven’t seen her face yet seeing she was ahead pushing her pink luggage before her offering only her posterior views to the hawks behind who was more than happy to feast their eyes on it of which unfortunately Vincent just added me to.The hall was noisy, screeching sounds of moving bunks and boards.Students scampering aimlessly up and down, somebusy, some chatting laughing like they didn’t care.I walked in slowly tracing my steps as if expecting to fall any moment, lots of strange faces that seemed not to care that a new comer just entered.After the long beginning of the academic year orientation in the assembly hall, the students were sorted to their various dormitories. The girls were directed to the opposite direction, white buildings with large windows separated from the male dormitory by a gauze fence with another batch of uniformed security men.I was assigned to the hall ‘B’ of the Andromeda House. it was for Grade 11 students in the boys dormitory.A huge hall with large width, white lights perched into the ceiling beaming down bright white rays making the hall glow.Mirror-like ceramic tiles covered the whole floor sparklingly reflecting the lights..Single beds with sparkling white bed spreads bordering each flank of the hall, 10 single beds on each side making it a total of 20. Transparent flimsycurtains enclosed each bed separating them from each other.Dragging my luggage behind me as i walked through the middle looking at the bed posts counting the numbers on them, the dormitory card in my hands read Number 19. I arranged my luggage in a space provided just beside the bed where a miniature ward rope stood with the number19 boldly on it and keys dangling on the key hole.“Hey, how far?” A voice said from behind me as i arranged my bed spread. Turning round; He was a fair complexioned boy, legs spread across his bed with the number 18 on it.A mummy-pikin face and a sharp scar ran across his right eye down the cheek, it seemed to like a knife cut.“New comer right?” He sang out again.“Yes” I replied casting a glowing look at the bags beside his bed, my own provisions made me a little bit ashamed of myself comparing them with the surplus supplies i see there.“Am David, but they know me with Dave here” He said standing up to offer a hand shake. He stood at almost 6ft tall.“Am Johnysky” I replied shaking him noticing how soft his hand seemed. “This guy never suffer shaa”The dinner was another strange experience to me, staying in line and moving from this buffet to this pointing at what you need.The rice was unlike any i have ever eaten, rich coloured and large chunk of meat.A large dinning hall with 3long tables and many chairs around them served as the refectory for House A, B and C. . “Thank Goodness Vincent is in House E” I prayed still casting a suspicious look to be sure or detect that piggy form of gluttony.It was a whole new world, I talked and asked a lot about the school which Dave who did well to orientate me into the various locations of the dormitory. Filled me in on some of the rules and workings of the school.The dormitory was sparkling, very rich looking and atemperature that had been constant since i arrived.Now i know why their school fees is way up there, if there was a school paradise, this was it.I Muttered a quick prayer that i am not quite sure i finished before drifting off to sleep in a weirdly fast manner.....continues
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