It was a boring class, a dumb would get dumber, even the class captain whose brilliancy most students admired got stuck with the rambling English teacher. The bell for break-time ranged, she squeezed her face. Well, she was the only one enjoying the class, she packed her notes and left the class.
As if on cue, the class sighed. Our ridicule overshadowed the serenity of the nine-students’ class. Mayowa and Ridwan flung their notes, I wasn’t an SU (saint’s union), my notes also suffered the injury of crushing under the hard-wooden desk. We joked out of the class, excluding Jumoke, the gentle girl, the veranda was nearly filled up with hungry likes of us,
“That teacher eh… ” Ridwan broke the silence, who wouldn’t have wished to break the horrible silence that dominated the air a few minutes ago. We made it to the stairs and slid down. I, Mayowa and Hassan, went to the catering first, while the others made it to the backyard. The Akara seller said there was no more Akara but ‘chilled coke’ as she said, who cared whether chilled or not, we only cared about something heavy for our hungry stomach, doughnut at the backyard would suffice. On getting to the back, in our most playful manner, I pounced on Hassan (thereby pushing him), he had already tightened his knuckles, Ridwan’s nose was what stopped the fist from hitting the old-school wall.
His countenance changed suddenly, his eyes redder and his emotion stiffened, I knew I was in for it, he’s four years older than me. He went upstairs, in my heart, I was grieved, but Mayowa and others told me to not be scared, that he could be like that at times. As if they knew him more than I do, we bought snacks and played awhile. The timekeeper appeared with his bell, which disturbed the football we were playing. Though for a while, we were ignorant of the warning bell, our feet judged our actions when a student came shouting ‘Robot is coming! The robot is coming! Mr. Abolarinwa is coming! We stepped on the veranda barefooted and our hearts were pounding heavily, we quickly dressed as students and made the way to our classroom. I knew I was going to face the music alone, I approached the class, having devised a plan to act like the class captain that I was.
He sat at the far end of the class, opposite the rear window, my seat was beside Jumoke (the crush I never told I loved). The veranda was now quiet, the peace corps would have been patrolling the veranda. Sodiq and Segun sat beside him, Musa was pressing his phone at the other end. When I was about to relax, he stood aggressively and moved closer to me, his eyeball reddened and his fist almost breaking my soul, I couldn’t run to the help of the veranda, peace corps were patrolling, he rushed me with blows before Mayowa could draw him back, and the other students interfered. I felt ashamed, it pained me that I couldn’t beat my nemesis, I had to retain the remains of the pride as he had felled on the tiled floor. I pounced on him, but I was happy that my classmates drew me back before I had done something I would have regretted. Four students held him down while Mayowa and Hassan also held me down. I stared wide, Jumoke was on her seat, she held her pen firmly, and stared at how ashamed I was. I hated him for putting me in this awkward and I would have loved to punch him in the jaw if I was able to beat him. Tears were already forming before he pounced the second time, he pushed, I almost fell to the floor, I hated him more, my classmates held him more tightly now. My chance is now or never, I punched him on the skull, I felt my wrists’ bones crunching, I should have gone for somewhere more dangerous, like the chest, mouth, or something to make him understand the kind of pain I went through. He tried to pounce on for me the third time but I trust their muscles especially that of Ajala Sodiq. I felt more powerful now, and I loved it. Mayowa whispered to my ears that I shouldn’t have done that, that he was going to get more furious, tears resumed its duty. I bluffed that I was going to beat him up at home (since we live in the same neighborhood). I knew I was bluffing, and I bet Jumoke knew it too, she had stood up now and came to my rescue, she touched my sleeves and told me to stop the ruse. Instead, the stubborn Isaiah inside of me grew more vicious, by now he had sat at the back of the class, holding his head tightly and he is crying too. ‘You, Abi? I swear, we will meet on street’ he said furiously, I got more angry, even though I knew he couldn’t get to me now, I grabbed a nearby divider (which had fortunately wound up beside my sitting desk) I threw it, ha! everybody yelled except my target and my angry self. The divider struck the wall and made a hole on the innocuous wall, I was happy it didn’t hit him, I would have suffered suspension.
‘Isaiah, you have gone too far!’ Jumoke said, I shrugged it off, who cared about that, I only cared about my Pride.
Two years later I narrated this story to him on WhatsApp, and he sincerely apologized, now I was happy that I settled that fight with him at the closing time and I didn’t have to gang up against him.