Being the only one that has returned to the hostel, everywhere looks as empty as ever. The long one fifty meters isle that ran in between the eighty-eight bunks in Barr. Leo’s house looked like a run way for flights. I headed straight to my bed. Bed 43. Daniel Vincent my very good friend stays at bed 44 beneath me- it’s a stair bunk. Ours is bunk number twenty-two on the right angle of the hostel.
I took my bags and luggages to the box room, off loading all the provisions I’d came back with into my cupboard. I changed into another daywear, pulling off the one I had on before which was a school uniform. I decided I will wear it when school sets in motion, so that it will be a surprise to most of the students. Our daywear is a green and white checked shirt. Mine is long sleeved as I’m a senior student, and a green penciled trouser.
Back to school, tomorrow is another day- first day of school resumption. I climbed up to my bed and laid down, shut my eyes tightly and prayed that time should fly.
I am in dire need to meet with my classmates again- my fellow hostelites. I want to see Angel, my ever pweety Angel Philips. I have finally decided that I will tell her how I feel towards her this term.
I pressed my eyelids tightly together and traveled off to imagination realm. Wishing and hoping that I’d receive my first kiss from her. A kiss that I have so much fantasized on.
“Hey dude, welcome back. Hope you gat something for me?” I heard Fred’s voice enter the hostel. My eyes immediately flung ajar, lo and behold Fred was standing right in front of my bed. I immediately sat up.
“When did you get in here?” I managed to ask.
“Hmmm, let’s just say about thirteen seconds ago” he replied.
We shook hands and sat down at Dan’s bed. He told me fables of how he had stucked with the priest during the holidays. I told him some of my tales, most especially about the interesting places I had visited during the holiday. I unlocked my cupboard and brought out a hamburger which I offered him.
“Thanks dude. I love hamburgers, most especially Mctony’s” he said as he poured more into his mouth.
“Yeah, that reminds me. I met Mctony today. He worships at St. Gregory and that was where I went for mass before returning”, I said seemingly glad that I was privileged to meet Mctony.
“I hear that the priest there is addicted to punctuality”, he sniffed out.
“And guess what?” I asked and continued without waiting for his reply.
“Too many important personae of this Titular goes to church there. You won’t be able to find a parking space for your car if you’re five minutes late.” I concluded.
We tittle-tattled for long before he excused himself and went back to the Fr’s house. Three priests lives there and he stays with Fr. Patrick the school manager and the parish priest.
I went back to bed, imagining what the term would look like with the few nasty magic I could do without really knowing how to do them. I remembered the old bearded that swan in the zephyr up to my window. I fought hard to forget the words it had spoken right to my face. “Un socus et sapientia.”
“God please lead me through this term”, I murmured and went back to bed.
New term- new things. Change is a certainty.
Love is like photography- it develops in the dark. It takes flesh in the cover of darkness. Had I not been in the dark- stark darkness of oblivion the day it all happened, perhaps it wouldn’t have happened. She wouldn’t have passed on her fully charged current through a helpless wire like me.
Is it not said that love makes time pass? And that time also in reciprocation makes love pass? How weird this is I must confess. I don’t have too much of a love life and the pretty little one I’ve got is filled with complications. Time indeed had made my love pass; everything that I loved, everybody that I cared for and even the serile atmosphere I cherished. All of them now make me scream, all of them now puts me on the edge.
I had known better that kissing is the pure language of love, but it didn’t for once occur to me that money does the talking. Real love means being stupid together- riding on the same train on the rails of feelings. Had I known? Now I think I’m the only stupid one in this game; the other player had been clever enough to foresee things coming up.
Albeit we solemnly swore to each other that we will never hurt each other, we promised to stick together and fight against ‘Them’. She had been one of them for a pretty long time until she was sent on a mission- mission of the death kiss. I pray she doesn’t have a hand in this, I pray that she had kept to her promise else… I guess only time will tell what becomes of us.
It all started like a film, oh yes, a movie that was how it all started and looked like. But to be more precise, it seemed more like a Bollywood movie which probably have indefinite uncertain end. I would have loved and appreciate it better if it had been more like a Nollywood film, because that would have granted me a foresight to where all these are headed.
It was the first day of a new term, the second term of my second year in senior high. Everybody was wearing a cheerful face, greetings were roaming the air and teachers didn’t even bother to attend class.
Second school day came by and was seconded by the third day. Soon enough, the first week of school crept by just as immediately as it had started, nature slowly balanced its pendulum to normal. Greetings became less, cheerfulness went back to her grave, and everybody minded his business. The BRIGHT STARS I know finally came back as the aura of holidays that came with the first week of school resumption swept by.
“Once again welcome back from your holidays which I know that you all fully enjoyed”, the school principal Rev. Fr. Collins Theo said, on a very bright Monday morning while addressing the students for the first time since school resumed. It was the Monday of week two.
“Well, I won’t like to keep you guys waiting. Let me quickly go to the point.” He said and flipped open a file from which he fished out a sheet of paper.
“As we all know, it’s been a ritual for this great school to appoint some students to the office of prefecture when the old prefects are due to leave high school.” He paused as an undetectable murmuring sprang up from within the students.
“Silence please, we haven’t got all day. The school body, that is the staffs, the management and even the students union government representatives have gone through the whole procedure for appointing new officers and have finally drove the cab to an end.” He concluded as he raised the piece of paper in his hand to everybody’s view.
“And we are proud to present to you the long awaited list of the new prefects of this institution for this academic session. The list is in its original form, no altercation has been made on it. And as normally, we all know that only those in their second year as senior students are qualified for offices.” He concluded.
I could vividly hear the heartbeat of almost a thousand and one students at a stance, tension hung heavily in the air as he delayed in calling out the names of the new prefects. All my classmates were wearing a tension-filled face. It is certain that not everybody will be called up to office. I shot my eyes and prayed silently for the office of the library prefect. My closest rival was Esther Thompson- she’s also a book addict.
“Before I proceed, I will like to make one thing clear. Remember that no office is a lesser office than the other. All office/posts are EQUAL, but just that some are more equal than others. Now I will call out offices and the name of the officers in the order it is written here by the school body collectively.” He stopped to catch his breadth.
The tension in the air was growing tighter and is even choking some people off air. Everybody stood still, almost all teachers were on the podium and all students kept mute. Everyone is waiting for the fragile pot of suspense to be broken. It took me great focus not to cough or scratch.
“Okay, first on the list is… the office of the regulator, and the officers to serve there are…” he paused and watched the faces of the students who were obviously dying in curiosity.
“And the post goes to James Albert with Penelope Clifford serving as his assistant”, he finally announced as a n uproar of claps and shouts erupted from the students. James and Penelope went up to the podium and shook hands with the school Principal and the few staffs on the podium. “Congrats” filled the air. I had always known that both James and Penelope will one day be recognized for the addict to time and punctuality.
“Just so I don’t forget, new prefects won’t be taking their office badge today. There’s been a little change of plan. The school manager will bestow the new prefects with their badges the day they take their oat of office. Now let me quickly call up the other prefects so that you guys will do something else with your time.” Fr. Collins said fastly; raising the piece of paper closely to his eyes, he continued.
“Second on the list is the post of the labour prefect and it goes to… Kelvin Williams with Becky Gregory as his assistant.” The mentioned duo stepped up to the podium and was welcomed with kisses and handshakes from almost everyone on the podium.
The list of the new prefects was indeed a long one. About eighteen new prefects were called up to office.
Fr. Collins took his time handling the suspense in the air; he delayed in calling out each name. The students always go agog with cheerfulness if the student called up is their choice for the post.
“… For the post of the games prefect is, Gabriel Dickson and will be assisted by Rosaline Vincent.” He announced. The whole students roared with disapproval of the above mentioned, pressing that they are not fit for the post. Everybody knew that the best man for the post is Daniel, or better still Benjamin.
“No, no. we want Dan, he is the man. Gabriel is not fit for the post”, the students yelled simultaneously, heavily disapproving of Gabriel as the sports prefect.
The displinary teachers somehow managed to calm down the infuriated students. Gab and Rose walked up to the school podium.
“Hope you don’t disappoint the manager. He was the one that sided you during the deliberations on who to appoint as the sports prefect. I believe that you can do it. You’ve gat to do your best to impress the students. I wish you luck.” Fr. Collins said to Gabriel in a low tone as he shook hands with him. He turned back to the students and continued.
“And finally, we have the office of the library. This to serve as the officers in the office are…” he paused and looked at me- our eyes met and a wry smile escaped from the corner of his lips. My heart was pounding heavily as I could audibly hear it’s loud beat striking my chest.
“Stanley Benedict is the new library prefect, and to be assisting him is the ever gorgeous miss Thompson Esther.” He concluded as all students went agog with cheerfulness. I was happy, I has always known that it was my calling to be at the library; it was indeed my calling.
Esther was filled with enthusiasm, and was overwhelmed with happiness. She turned and gave me a tight hug; the hug was so tight that I felt her nipples press my chest.
“We’ll be working together at the library. Isn’t that cute Stan?” she said as we disengaged.
“Yeah, off course it is.” I managed to reply.
We gently strides onto the assembly ground and received warm handshakes and hugs from all those there.
“It’s really my pleasure, I promise I will serve the school to the best of my ability”, I said as shook hands with the principal.
“And now I present to you, on behalf of the school management, the new prefects of this noble institution for this academic session”, the principal said and added almost immediately.
“The list will thereafter be posted on the school notice board, and will be published in the school magazine”, he concluded.
We were later dismissed on the note that the manager will like to have a word with us later during the day. We were to hold this posts till this time next year when we will handover to those below us.
I was happy, as happy as a churchmouse who just found a piece of meat. My joy knew no bounds, but being who I am I hardly showed it off. I kept my happiness to myself. I strongly believe that feelings are personal, and should on no account be shared; that is indeed my ugly belief. It was rule nine on my commandments of practicing Stanleyism; being my real self.
Probably I was loved by many or so I guess. I never knew that I had such number of admirers; I never knew that so many people cared about me. The most obscure of it all was that I never knew that she… yes she had been nurturing some feelings for me, until now everything opened up like a page in a storybook and I could vividly read in between the lines.
“Hello Stan, I’m happy for you and I wish you luck in your new office”, she said walking up to me as I made my exit from the library.
“Thanks Angie, I’m grateful that you’re happy for me. I just wish that you were made my assistant so that I’ll be with you even when it calls for working late hours”, I said as she smiled shyly facing downwards. Her smile caused the dimples on her cheeks to surface. It made her looked more pretty- more beautiful and it provoked the man in me.