FOREWORD: When I was wrapping up Eze Goes To School last year, I honestly didn’t think I’d be back here with the boys in another year in the secondary school. But by sheer popular demand, here I am again. Last year was a great trip. This year hopefully will be better.
Now, for this relationship between me, you and Eze to work 🙂 y’all have to be very generous with your comments, your opinions and tidbits of experiences in your secondary schools. The research for this season’s experiences is still going on and I have come to realize that I get greatly informed by what commenters have to say about their experiences. So always sound off in the comments section, all ye shareholders of MMS and ghost readers 😀
Now, enough said, check on the new episode below.
“Hmm, see Eze o, looking like a very big boy sha!” Ada crowed, as she stepped into the living room to see me straining to get the zipper of my traveling bag up and over the bulge created by a last-minute item I’d just stuffed inside it.
“Like you’ve never seen me in trouser before,” I huffed as I pulled at the stubborn fastener.
“Yes, but in a school uniform, it becomes official. When you get back to school now, you’ll not just be in SS1, you’ll be called a senior student.”
“Ada, please leave me joor.” I struggled with the zip, which had begun to inch forward across its toothed pathway.
“Oh for heaven’s sake!” She stalked over to me, shouldered me away from the bag, gripped the zipper and pulled. With grinding protest, it zipped shut to the end.
I swore under my breath. The way this nonsense girl manages to keep making me look bad when it comes to my manliness eh…
She twirled around to face me with a grin. “See? What a man strives to do, a woman can do better.”
“Then do one better and go and find husband,” I said dourly, stung by her show of smugness. Then again, it was Ada – what did I expect? For most of the long holiday period, she had spent more of her time being a pain in my –
“Look what I got for you.” She was holding out a sturdy-looking black leather belt.
“A belt? What do I need a belt for? I have one already.” I involuntarily moved my hand to my waist to verify that it was indeed my belt holding my trousers fastened to it.
“That old thing?” Ada said with a faint sneer. “Everything you’re wearing is brand new except that belt. You even wore it in JSS3 for crying out loud. Take this one. It’s Calvin Klein. And it’s good for all occasions.”
“What other occasion is there besides wearing it?” I asked, my eyes narrowing.
“It’s smooth – see?” she said with the beginning of an evils mile as she ran her fingers over the sleek leather length. “Which means you can whip it out easily from the belt hoops when you want to thrash the living daylights out of a stupid junior boy.”
“Ada!” I gasped.
“What? That’s what senior boys do nau. They just whip out the belt” – she arced her hand through the air – “and then, tawai!” She lashed the belt in the air, producing a rich thwacking sound.
In spite of myself, I chuckled. “I can see you’re going to be a very wicked SS2 girl.”
“My canes are already packed. When I become prefect, those girls won’t know what hit them.”
“How do you even know what senior boys do with their belts?” I asked, reaching out my hand for her offering.
“Duh! My school shares a fence with a boys’ secondary school.”
“And that fence is there to keep both schools and students apart and minding their business,” I said pointedly, arching my brows at her.
She gave me a straight look. “You’re not an amebo, so I’ll have no fear. Better keep it that way though, otherwise –”
“Otherwise what?” I snapped.
“Adanna, will you stop riling your brother,” Mother said as she strode into the living room with a wrapped package she came to place on the centre table. A gift for my guardian, Mr. Onwubiko, I supposed.
“What have I done? I didn’t do anything,” Ada said with a guileless smile.
“The words of someone who has been doing everything,” Mother returned matter-of-factly.
“In fact, mummy,” I said, “before I come back for mid-term break, replace her with a son. I don’t care where you’ll find an already-made son, just find him. Boys should have older brothers, not older sisters.”
Mother was chuckling as Ada glowered at me.
“Oh really,” she began in a tone that filled me with instant foreboding. “And how will older brothers help when you want to get advice concerning your Anulika situation?”
Mother’s gaze sharpened. “What Anulika situation? Who is Anulika?”
“Nobody!” I said loudly.
“His girlfriend!” Ada said at the same time.
And of course, as it was written in the manual for Worldwide Parenting, Mother latched on to the damning testament.
“His girlfriend!” she said in a small shriek. Her disbelieving stare first fell on a smirking Ada before oscillating toward me. “Your girlfriend, ehkwa Ezenwaka?”
I winced. Mother always pulled out my full name when she was going through an excess of emotions. The dominant emotion here was wrath.
“Was it not you I just asked a question?”
She hadn’t asked me anything, not technically. “Mummy, I told you she’s nobody,” I grumbled.
“She had better remain nobody o, hmm! She had better remain nobody! Inanu ihem n’ekwu?! Ezenwaka, are you hearing me?”
“For the fact that you’re now wearing trouser doesn’t mean you should go back to school and start forming senior boy!”
What is wrong with these women sef? First, Ada wants me to be a senior boy. Now, Mother wants me not to be a senior boy. Can’t I just be an SS1 boy?
“…terrorizing the school and chasing girls,” Mother railed on. “I won’t stand for it, inanu? If I hear pim about how you’re misbehaving in school, I won’t even wait for the principal to give you suspension, I will send your father to go and bring you back here.”
As though on cue, the curtains hanging over the doorway that Mother had just come through parted, and Father stepped in. His massive frame seemed to fill the room, but his usual stern expression was absent from his face, which was turned with an indulgent look on my other sister.
Ola was bawling in the cradle of my father’s arm, her eyes nearly clamped shut, her cheeks awash with tears and her mouth agape to let out increasing decibels of her teary outrage.
“Ola daddy,” Father comforted in the tone of voice he would never use on Ada or me, “oya, stop crying now…”
“YuahtakingbrodaEzebaktuskul! Aftayusayyuweenot! Yupromis, now see – just see…” She hiccupped and continued sobbing furiously, one hand lifted before her face in despair.
As I moved toward them, I saw Ada roll her eyes as she crossed her arms. Mother’s arms were already crossed, and she stood, looking on woodenly. Clearly, only the men in this house were putty in Ola’s eight-year-old hands.
“Omalicha, Eze has to go back to school,” Father said gently.
“And I promise,” I cut in, “I’ll be back before you know it.”
“Isselai!” Ola sobbed. “You will stay long and not come back!”
“I will, seriously. Can’t you see I’m wearing trousers?” I smiled encouragingly at her. “No more shorts. That means, everything that used to happen when I was wearing shorts has passed away. So whatever I’m telling you now is the main-the main thing.”
Ola stared distrustfully at me, glanced at the bottom half of my school day wear, appeared to buy my story, and nodded, wrapping up her teary opera with a sniffle.
Crisis now averted, Father handed her over to Mother, and reacquired his austerity. “Eze, ipackichago?” he asked sternly.
“And you’ve put your things in the car?”
“It’s just remaining this bag,” I replied, pointing at the valise with the stubborn zipper.
“And this too,” Mother said, gesturing at the wrapped package on the table. “Give it to your guardian.”
“Alright, let’s go.” Father started for the front doorway.
“Chi’m, are we not going to pray?” Mother’s words brought him up short.
“Haven’t we already prayed for him this morning?” he growled.
“That was for him. This one is going to be for journey mercies.” Mother is diminutive, practically frail next to Father. But the woman possesses a will that is unflinchingly sturdier than Father’s. The day you want something from Father that you think he will not give you, it is always best to have Mother as your spokesperson.
“Oya, let’s be quick,” Father groused. “Taking Eze to school is not all I have planned for today.”
“You cannot hurry Jesus,” Mother chided.
Ada and I exchanged an amused look.
We stood in a circle, not holding hands, and Mother promptly began commandeering God’s celestial army, apportioning them positions and assignments on the route from here to my school. She stomped down on Hell, and dared the devil to try any shenanigans during our trip. She beseeched Heaven to short-circuit the Blood of Jesus on me, Father, our car and every inch of the road ahead of us. That would surely cost Heaven a lot of barrels, but hey – Mother was the one asking. They wouldn’t dare not heed to her request.
“In Jesus’ mighty name we have prayed!” she rounded up seven minutes later.
“Amen!” the family said in unison.
“Ngwa, Eze” Father said brusquely, now back in command – “let’s get you back to school.”
“Extend my hellos to Joseph and Ibuka,” Ada said.
“Brother Eze, do and come back o!” Ola called out.
“Take care of you, my son,” Mother said.
I nodded my head in acknowledgement to them all, before following after Father.
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