Boarding House Memoirs….Episode 5
Apart from the grass cutting issue in school, mum had erroneously signed me off to a senior innocently. It was just a “please keep an eye on her” she told this senior which automatically meant I had become her property, her baggage and promptly, she turned me to her errand girl. To make matters worse, she was the head girl of the whole school. She called the shots in school and in the dormitory. She had much influence among the teachers. Spoilt, rude, fully matured SS3 science student. She partied hard, scaled fences to attend wild parties at GCI. She was never caught. Even the gatemen respected her and I don’t know why. She was nice anyway.
An only child of busy parents who resided outside the country. Oh yeah, she was beautiful, fair, had a good command of English, exposed, lived in Lagos with some family. She came to school with all essentials and non essentials. She had the largest box in the room, had her provisions in multiples (three milo, different brands of cornflakes, brands of butter,three milks, assorted biscuits,chocolates, tasty time etc) she kept most of it in her big box since the locker could not contain it all. We always waited for an opportunity to gape and salivate each time she opened that locker. She had special soap and body cream not like the imperial leather or lux and vaseline baby jelly the rest of us came to school with(lol). Her uniform was above the knee and well fitted. She commanded a great deal of attention. Even the house mistresses revered her. Her dad once came to visit her from outside naija and everybody was practically peeping and almost renouncing the family they came from(lmao). She hugged and pecked her dad. It was like the whole hostel was watching. She later came in with different bags full of provisions. We just kept on salivating. Even the house mistresses teased and cracked jokes with her so that they would get out of the goodies. Hmmm! The love of food.. I think it was because of this that they all respected her – She had rich parents who weren’t resident in naij. So she got away with most things. She flouted the rules, at times wearing her skimpy dresses instead of the house wears. The only person who handled her well was Mother Catherine (another enigma). Mother was literally tough on everyone, very strict, she never took anything for granted and we all feared her. As we feared Mother Catherine in the hostel, we also had Sister Esther to contend with in school. Yeepa! That was one tough sister. Even tougher than Mother Catherine but only because she used the cane and was our social studies teacher. She was also at the gate always to beat latecomers. The fear of Sister Esther was the beginning of wisdom for latecomers then because she was really good with the cane.
So it was to this senior that dear mother handed me over to. I had to wake up early and follow her to school before my classmates. I had to fetch water for her, iron her uniform with mine and the rudest shock was when we got to school so early in the morning. She gave me a long broom and told me to start sweeping the long corridor from the principal’s office to the staff room. I was on this huge task till the time for assembly. I was already sweating before she told me to go. Just like that. I found a corner on the staircase and began to cry. I cried because the reality was just dawning on me that I was no longer at home but in a cruel environment. I cried many days after and many teachers knew my face as a result of this. I had the habit of going to the front of ‘Baba Ishola’s office’ , an elderly man who mum had as well introduced to me. So if I didn’t meet him in the office, I cried the more always sitting on the staircase. I had never felt so alone in my life. I never swept at home but was made to sweep a long corridor, the principal’s office and perhaps the staff room. By the way, am still looking for that senior o and I mustn’t find her- Senior Seun Omiyewo.
So, Snr Seun had an accomplice or merely a ‘tag-along’ or better still ‘ole olojukokoro’ friend called Gloria Obeahon. She was in SS2 then. They pulled all the crazy stunts together. They went to school with mufti in their bags and never returned to the hostel until late at night, telling big lies to Mother. She wanted to belong by force, yet she had nothing. She was living under Seun Omiyewo’s shadow. Very mean and ugly. While seun omiyewo was a bit nice and people liked her, Gloria Obeahon was tightfisted and mean. She had nothing anyways, always taking from Seun. She gloried in the fact that she was the head girl’s best friend. Their bed was close to each other and they shared boyfriend gists. They regularly disturbed us with their loud shrieks and plays. She had a younger sister who always crept in and stole water under people’s bed after light out because she could not go to the well. Well, we washed her school uniform as well as the head girl’s own. We all didn’t like her. Instead of the normal low cut we all had on, hers was a punk and head girl’s own was baby curls…. To be continued
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