Ness tried to hold it. He raced across the street, pretended to respect traffic and dived into the road through the zebra crossing. The oncoming traffic charged wildly, as it screeched rashly and stopped almost as the driver was about knocking the boy down.
“You fool!” the driver yelled at the non stopping figure.
“You are the bastard! Didn’t you see the white lines on the road? Or don’t you know the meaning of such? ” bellowed a young boy of Ness’ age.
Ness waved an apology, but the driver didn’t seem to notice, he preferred to feast upon the words of the insolent respondent. Ness couldn’t wait to see the drama unfold before his eyes, he kept running madly towards the big school gate. It was difficult to tell who was right between the two parties, there were indeed some parallel white lines across the tarred road, but the white had become pale and outdated as no transporter or driver nor pedestrian took any note of it in years and therefore the renovation wasn’t thought necessary.
He had barely entered the school compound when two ladies showed up from a far distance. Ness held himself powerfully against releasing a fart that threatened greatly to let loose from his bowels. He knew the implication of releasing such awful pollutant into the atmosphere at such dangerous period when beautiful ladies were approaching. ‘Just count to twenty. . . and the ladies would be gone.’ He told himself as he squeezed his bowels together tightly.
Seeing that he wouldn’t make twenty, and the ladies were fast approaching, Ness crossed over to the other side of the road and smiled optimistically at the freedom that would engulf his inside once he reaches the pedestrian lane successfully.
He sighed deeply, once again, Ness was abruptly and suddenly welcomed to the other side of the road by two other ladies; these he knew so well in his department.
‘How come I had not seen them earlier?’ Ness asked himself, then he realized suddenly that he had become partially short sighted because of his upset stomach. ‘Oh my God, where will I release this?’ Ness asked still within himself as he gathered himself to overcome his next challenge.
“Ness!” One of the ladies shouted excitedly. Ness frowned. Then he smiled. He had tried walking in front of them without getting their attention but his back view was too much like his front view and either ways he became recognized at once.
“Anto…Antonia!” Ness shouted back, feigning surprise. The girls walked up, covering the three strides distance between them. Ness swallowed hard. ‘Why this, O God! Why now?’ he wondered
“We have looked for you almost everywhere in school.”
“Why?” Ness asked, angry inside. When he realized how bad it sounded outside, he used a funny smile to turn the anger in his speech into a jest. Why should Antonia be looking for him? He had severally tried to win her attention in class, but she was stubborn beyond measure and wouldn’t give him the chance, Ness loved to hear that Antonia, of all the ladies in school had been looking for him everywhere, but ‘ why now?’ he couldn’t help but ponder. He successfully held the fart from escaping, but the pesky uncomfortable feeling did not ease him a bit.
“We wanted you to come and entertain us.” Antonia said smiling, making it sound bad to be referred as one.
“So, you mean I am a comedian. Heh?”
“Ahba. Not that naw, we only wanted you to make us laugh. You know you are good at that. Lol!” She replied
Ness was trying to realize that Bimpe was not very interested in the conversation, in fact, she had not said anything to him since, but the rumbling pain in his stomach did not allow him to. He thought of a trick that could send the girls away. “Ladies, you are soo lucky, I am really in the mood to crack jokes today, but I have to see someone in this direction now. I would come and meet you in class and tell you all the jokes in the world.”
“Hahahaha” Ness smiled hopefully at Antonia’s laughter, “ That is a joke on it’s own, but I have been searching for you all day and I won’t allow you to run away from my sight again.”
“Please, Tonia. I won’t run. I promise.”
“Nomatter where you go to, I won’t let you out of my sight. Ness, I really want you today.”
Ness feigned laughter, tears almost seeped out of his eyes. He turned to Bimpe, “Bimmy, please talk to your friend for me, please.”
Bimpe stared at Antonia sternly, “let him go to wherever he wants to. At least he has promised that he would come back ag…again.”
Nothing they said convinced Antonia. She remained dogmatic about her decision. Ness held cool outside while he consoled himself with the Yoruba proverb that explains that whenever masquerades are pusuing you, keep running because as earthly beings get tired, heavenly beings get tired too.
As they approached the main academic structures, Bimpe whispered something into Antonia’s ears and she said the most unbelievable words to Ness, “Please, go where you want to go. But please come back later o.”
Ness didn’t have time to say ‘thank you’. He dived into the bush, and went further into it, to avoid been noticed by the ladies and when he felt hidden, Ness let out the fart. He smiled derisively at himself. ‘This short ye ye mess wan spoil my show for Tonia face abi? God punish you’ he thought. The fart took him over three minutes; it was noisy, malodorous and lengthy. Ness had to cover his nose himself, he blamed the bowls of beans he devoured before coming to school that morning.
When Ness was done, he waited for about five minutes, for the smell to completely clear off his cloth. He headed out of the bush, but the sight that welcomed him towards the edge of the bush dazzled him. Ness stared at Bimpe as she squattered shamefully on the ground. He couldn’t picture what she was doing, but he could see Antonia staying afar off. He sneaked towards her, and discovered simultaneously with an oozing stench that Bimpe was defecating. He hissed and spat, as he stared at the girl cracking jokes with her friend. ‘So that was why she didn’t pertaake in the discussion so well.’ he smiled. Ness knew that if he had released the fart when the ladies were with him, Bimpe would have spread the news like wildfire around campus. If he wanted to extremely disgrace her, all he needed do was yell her name and say ‘I catch you o!’ But he didn’t.
Ness didn’t feel comfortable returning to the girls, he was discouraged by what he had seen and so he took a different route toward the school gate. As he approached the golden gate, he felt another round of rumbles in his stomach, he knew that this wasn’t fart, it was excreta that knocked the door of his buttocks. Ness almost cursed himself for eating too much of the beans that morning. He came towards the road and saw several sirens blaring at a crowd. He observed that a mob had gathered around where he had almost had an accident, the exact place where he had seen the boy who spoke for him, he observed also that the car that had almost knocked him down was still present at the spot. Ness smelt trouble. He wanted to dodge and run. His situation was a very bad war, there was trouble inside his tummy; as the excreta protested strongly in his stomach, and there was bigger trouble outside as he felt the crowd would soon charge toward him in violent protest.
All of a sudden, Ness could hear the distinct voice of the boy that had protested for him, “That’s him!” the boy shouted, “that is him sir!”. All eyes flew towards Ness direction. He cocked his head and tried running away, but was suddenly stopped by two soldiers, who were as big as sphinx. He knelt down apologetically as they dragged him along. The excreta still held back forcefully inside him.
“Good afternoon boy.”
Ness couldn’t believe who was addressing him. He looked up to see if his ears had deceived him and saw in the midst of the crowd, the governor of the state. Ness postrated flat.
“Goo…goo…goo …ood afternoon sir” he stuttered
“I was passing by and I noticed the crowd, they explained to me that you made use of the zebra crossing made available by the government and this man almost knocked you down for it.”
“Yes, sir” Ness wanted to explain the reason why he had done that but the energy to talk and the energy to hold back the internal issue were resting on the same scale where favoring one would deprive the other, so he kept mute after the two words he said.
“This is a lugubrious situation in this state. How can you be attacked for using the social amenities provided by the government.” Ness could not tell where this was leading. He would have normally said, ‘ Sir, we can’t blame the man, the environment is generally dirty and the zebra crossing is already almost totally erased, all this is your fault sir, why haven’t you renovated the street lights and repaint the zebra crossing? All this you are doing is just for the second term you are willing to run. You want to paint a good picture in front of the people abi?’ But Ness kept mute. He could only nod agreeably.
“You and the boy that defended what was right would be rewarded Forty thousand Naira to encourage the general public that the basic amenities provided by us – the government are for their use and they should please make good use of it and the man that tried to knock you down would have to go to prison for what he has done.”
Ness couldn’t hold back the excreta any more. Right in front of the people, he savored his greatest happiness with the relieve that came through his bowels.
Ness was thinking that it was all a dream, but it very much wasn’t. Rather, it was a day dream.