On the long run, we had spent about thirty-nine minutes on the assembly ground. I had an announcement to make concerning the library which I pleaded with Esther to do but she refused saying that she is ‘just’ my assistant. Anyways, I walked up to the podium and collected the microphone from Angela the assembly conductor.. our hands brushed as she handed the microphone to me and a tingly sensation ran through me.
“Please Stan, make it snappy. The students are already tired and . . .” she breathed out as I cut her short. “I know Angela. I promise I’ll make it as snappy as possible.”
I cleared my throat and raised the microphone to my mouth. I could hear slight murmurings and distinct grudges from the students.
“Hello students,” I echoed into the microphone.
“Hello senior,” they replied, although some people kept their mouth shut.
“As we all can see, today is a very bright day and above all it’s Friday. Thank God it’s Friday. Well, I just want to let you guys know that me and my beautiful assistant had an exclusive meeting with the school management and resolved that everybody, both new and old students are going to submit two novels each for the development and enlargement of our school library.” I stopped and faked a slight cough, shifting the microphone away from my lips.
The murmurings within the students have now turned to noise; pure noise. I knew they would complain, I knew that they won’t take it lightly then. . . I’ll be forced to force them do it.
“It’s okay. Enough!” I yelled into the microphone and the noise died down at once, absolute serenity was restored.
“Let me explain. All new students that haven’t submitted any book before to the library will submit four novels each; two African and two non-African.” I stopped for a while to catch my breadth as I ran my eyes across the students. A thousand and one inquisitive faces were all piercing into mine. My eyes spotted somebody; a lady- the girl in my dream, she was standing right behind Verona White, smiling lusciously at me, flashing her big sparkling pure white set of teeth. Her beauty was striking and intimidating and I almost freaked out as my heart missed a bit. Anyways I held on.
“Starting from Monday, you can meet me or my assistant in the library for your submissions. Submissions ends on Friday, so you’ve got one full week after which if you haven’t submitted yours, you’ll then dance to the rhythm of the drum we will beat for you.” There was absolute commotion, after my announcement as I stepped down the podium and the Agricultural Master, Sir. Joseph stepped forward.
Sir Joseph made an announcement, he was emphasizing on the need for all students to submit their working implement; hoes and cutlasses.
“You all know that those implement helps us to keep our school farm in order and also to enhance the productivity of the farm. In essence what I’m trying to say is that all new students that haven’t submitted his/her own working implements should please do so latest before Friday next week else” he hung his words. The students perfectly understood him, he would do anything to keep to his words; you dare not toil with him or his words. He meant business.
The assembly was beginning to take longer than usual; almost all the teachers and school functionaries had announcements to make. The first lesson period which is supposed to be from eight o’clock to eight-forty had been far spent into. The time now is eight-thirty and we were still on the assembly ground. The whole students were vividly feeling uneasy.
Wow! At long last, it came to an end. Assembly over.
“SS1, give us a marching in song,” Angela echoed, and immediately an SS1 student intoned a tone and others joined. Soon enough the whole students were singing and marching in to their various classes. JS1 first.
The band beaters were hitting hard on the band as the students kept marching in. all the junior class have gone into their classes, and it was now the turn of the SS1 to march in when something happened something very weird. It was a student convulsing. I immediately left my line and headed towards the student who had already been encircled by students who stood feet away watching, not knowing what to do exactly. Almost everyone was exclaiming and shrugging. Some thought it was a demonic attack, while some thought that it was ‘just epilepsy’.
“What’s happening? Will she survive it?” someone asked from the circle but received no reply. She had convulsed for about eight minutes on the ground, turning her school uniform into a mess before she finally stayed still with the help of ice spilt on her. Her mouth was filled with white water pure foam.
She lay still with eyes bulged out, and tongue stuck out with foam filling the greater part of her mouth. My worst fear of her becoming dead was ‘near’ to becoming a reality, or rather it’s already a reality.
“Is she dead?” a SS1 girl asked freakingly from the circle.
“No, it’s just that her heartbeat have slowed down to two beats per nine seconds” Angel Philips the student clinic attendant who had rushed to the scene, assured.
“We need to get her to the clinic immediately. Somebody please help me take her to the clinic.” Angel said as she wiped off the foam from the girl’s mouth.
Everyone in the circle stood still and mute, the silence was beginning to get kind of awkward. Nobody volunteered to carry the girl to the clinic. The big circle that had watched her convulse were now dispersing slowly but continuously. No one wants to soil and dirty his school uniform.
And for the first time, I peered into the girl’s face and on that moment captured who it was. I had to look closely to be sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. Can’t believe it was the girl from my dream- the anonymous pretty lady from my dream. I immediately, not minding my sparkling white shirt went and carried her in my arms. She was pretty heavy as I raised her with all my strength and placed her on my shoulder- left side. Her body was resting on mine as her head dropped slightly over my left shoulder. My hand was clutching tightly together on her thighs under her buttocks. Her body was warm- as warm as an evening sun, her breasts were pressing tightly on my chest that I could even feel the nipples. Honestly speaking, I’m beginning to feel a thing in between my thighs.
Carrying her dirtied my clothes, the foam on her mouth slipped down from her mouth to my shirt, and soaked into my singlet.
“It will be fine, huh?” I asked Angel who was trotting in front of me, on our way to the clinic.
“Yep, I believe so. Lets just get to the clinic before it gets worst,” she replied hastening up her steps as I raced trying to catch up with her with the load I’m bearing on my shoulder.
I tried as much as I could to maintain my pace with Angel, and God knows that I fought hard to maintain my ‘bigboyness’ by not stopping to catch my breadth but . . . the sixty-five kg weight I was carrying was now telling on me. I stopped, to catch my breath and to gain more balance before I complete the remaining hundred and twenty meters walk to the school clinic. I bounced her up on my body, shoving her head over to my right shoulder. Her legs were still clutching tightly around my waist.
At long last, with determination and persistence I made it to the clinic. I laid her down on one of the beds in the clinic as instructed by the clinic attendant; Angel. Nurse Sophia, the head clinic attendant hasn’t arrived, so Angel was the one that took charge of the girl. She loves attending to people- it’s really her passion.
“Thank you Stan. I don’t know what I would have done without your help. Thanks” angel said.
“Don’t mention, it’s my pleasure”
“Please you can now go, I want to clean her before I administer any treatment to her. She’s in a pretty messy state. I do think you also need a clean-up.” She said as she bent down and started to open the neck button of the girl’s blouse.
“Okay, no problem. Let me go change my shirt and come back to know how she’s faring.” I said as I made my way out from the clinic, headed to the hostel to put on my second uniform. The one I’m wearing now is in a messier state than ‘the girl’s’ own.
“No probs” she said and locked the door after me.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I walked to the hostel, took a hurried bath and changed into my other school uniform, as I soaked the other one into a pail of water and detergent, in order to enable the dirt soak away before I wash it.
My mission of identifying the girl in my dream was not yet accomplished, although I had held her in my arms for a twelve minutes two hundred meters walk. How awful! My thoughts were random. I thought of a thousand things almost at a time- it seems my head will blow up any moment now. Is this girl in my dream an epileptic? I just can’t tell but that made my urge to know her revigorate. I immediately remembered when I’d held her in my arm. Her body had felt warm and soothing albeit it had just stopped convulsing; it had made me held her more tightly. Wow!
It’s going to be now or never, it’s final. The urge to reveal her identity made me strong and I made my decision. Probably I don’t want to hear it from anyone; I want to hear it from her right from the horse’s mouth.
Confabulations has taken the day, almost all the students, both those present at the scene of the incident and those absent gossiped it. Almost everybody had forged their own version of the story but the most striking of all was that of Verona White, the press student. Her own version of the story had centered it spotlight directly on me.
“Senior Stanley is really a loving guy. You girls really missed- you should have seen as he had cuddled her to his shoulder. He even kissed her temple.” She had said to her peers.
“Mehn. . . that guy is really sweet, I just wish I was her. Maybe I should become an epileptic. Hmmm” Evelyn Benson, one of Verona’s pal commented. Verona’s version of the scenario gained momentum and it traveled far beyond the school premises into the community. Soon enough it became the only surviving version of the story; others died away including the original episode. I even heard that Verona was already working on an article concerning the story and it will be published in the school magazine.
“I’ll be back soon, let me go check on ‘the girl’ I said to Dan as I stood up from my seat. It’s been about six hours since the incident.
I hastily made my way to the clinic. Students were starring at me from their classroom windows as I headed to the clinic. I felt kind of weird because I was very aware of the thousand and one eyes running over me. I however made up my mind not to think about it. Students must act like students. Boys must be boys and girls must be girls.
I got to the clinic few minutes later. Verona, Evelyn and one other girl I don’t know her name were at the clinic, sitting on ‘the girl’s’ bed. They were her closest friends I suppose.
Nurse Sophia was present, she was at her desk. Angel Philips was also present but busy. She was administering medication to a JS1 student who had complained of headache, and maybe that had made her not to notice my arrival.
“Good afternoon Senior,” Verona and her peers echoed almost immediately as I stepped my foot into the clinic. They were giggling shyly.
“Good day ladies, how are you doing?” I greeted back just to fulfill all righteousness. What I had really meant to say was ‘how’s she doing’.
“Fine” they chorused at my question.
“Good day ma’am” I greeted, directing my attention to Nurse Sophia. She was faced down at her desk scribbling something into a sheet of white paper.
“Hey Stanley, how are you?”
“Not bad” I replied and added almost immediately, “how’s she doing?” pointing at ‘the girl’s’ direction. Nurse Sophia just dropped her pen and clasped her fingers together.
“Well, she has regained consciousness” she sighed and said. “But she hasn’t waked up since then. We believe she will wake up in a few minutes time. It’s a sleeping drug that we gave her to help her relax and its active time is almost up. She’ll be up soon.” She concluded.