Did you read Episode 1? You should probably read that before you read this! Enjoy Episode 2 🙂
P.S: When you leave a comment, do let me know which school you attended. Happy reading!
Adriana took one look at the neon hands of the alarm clock and the pit in her stomach widened. It was finally here- the first day of school. She was dreading it- the homoing*, the food, the punishments, life without hot water, a phone or cable TV. Her eyes fell on her uniform that had been neatly pressed by Adiza the night before and sighed.
I better get on with it.
Akpene had been up since 3am. She could no longer contain her excitement. She was desperate to get out of Chorkor and do something with her life. For the first time in her life, she had her own brown sandals and black shoes. Granted, they were hand-me-downs and had seen more than their fair share of wear and tear, but they were hers. She could finally start studying to become a nurse. That way, she could give her mother and her little brother a better life.
Mr Confidence Hormeku was the house master for Liberation House. He prided himself in being the toughest house master in the school- feared by students and teachers. It was no secret that he resented Gagert and thought that he would do a much better job running the school . He also had very bad breath and the Liberation boys had developed a knack for standing in such a way that the ‘aroma’ would not hit their noses, whenever they had to talk to him. His wife had fought with him the night before because he had refused to allow her niece to spend some time with them. Fighting with his wife meant that he had to sleep on the couch. Sleeping on the couch meant back pains. Mr Hormeku was not a happy man that Wednesday morning.
He literally barked at the house captains to make sure that the entrance to the house was spic and span before the newbies arrived. He seized a Form 2 boy’s radio and smashed it to the ground. Everyone knew that it was safer to stay out of his way. It was soon 8 am and the main gates were opened so that the new batch of Form 1s could come in.
Curtis reached for the Kiwi liquid polish one last time and took a swipe at his shoes. They turned a corner and all of a sudden, the school stood before them. He had always known that he would come to school here- his father was not Chairman of the School Board for nothing. He asked the driver to park as far away to the house as possible so that he could take his dear time to walk to the house. When he alighted from the Mercedes ML350, he drank in the attention and murmurs that he had now become accustomed to. He made sure that the ‘Curtis P. Addae-Mensah’ inscribed on his trunk was visible and then he began to walk towards Liberation House, followed by the driver and the house boy.
Kwamena Welbeck was next in line to register at Liberation House. He had heard of Mr Hormeku way before he even entered Class 4. His three elder brothers had all been in Liberation House and let’s just say, they left their mark. When he presented his documents to Mr Hormeku, it took him mere seconds to recognize the name. He took one look at Kwamena and turned to the house prefects.
‘You allowed this hooligan into my house? How did this escape me?’
‘Oh Sir, you did not give us any guidelines.’
‘Nonsense. Rubbish. Stupidity!! I specifically said that there should be no Welbecks, no Asrakus and no Yussifs in my house.’
‘But Sir, maybe he is not like his brothers.’
‘Idiot! Can a leopard change its spots? How dare you challenge me?’
Kwamena smiled to himself and held his breath. His brothers used to imitate Mr Hormeku all the time. Meeting him now, he could tell that they were not exaggerating.
‘Why are you smiling? You think this is funny? I vowed that no Welbeck will ever come back to this house. I am tired of this crop of riff raffs. I am transferring you to another house tomorrow. Take your things and get out of my sight!’
Mr Hormeku literally metamorphosed when his eyes met Curtis’. He had heard that the son of the Board Chairman was coming to his house and he was determined to make a good impression on him. He knew that this was his only ticket to becoming Headmaster of Capital High.
‘Young Mr Addae-Mensah, you are welcome. I don’t even need to check through your things. I am sure that your father has provided everything on the prospectus- and even more.’
He laughed at the joke that only he seemed to be getting. Curtis smiled politely and entered the house.
The person next in line wasn’t so lucky. Mr Hormeku refused to let him into the house because he did not have a cutlass.
‘You people think we are joking here? How can you decide what to bring and what to leave out? Go back and buy a cutlass or else you will sleep outside today! Next!’
Ms. Ampadu peered over the rim of her glasses and held the tank top at the tip of her fingers.
‘What is this?’
‘I-i-it is a tank top, madam.’
‘Good. Now show me where it is on the prospectus.’
‘Madam, please it is not there.’
‘And yet in your own wisdom, you have decided to include it. First day of school and you are already breaking rules, aren’t you?’, throwing the poor girl the ‘You don’t know who you are messing with’ look.
She bent over and pulled the two gray tank tops that Denise had hidden under her towels and dumped them in the pile beside her. She opened the bag that contained her panties and pulled out a G-string.
‘What are you coming to do with a G-string in this school?’, waving it in the air for the whole world to see. Denise cringed because the girl in the line behind her was with her older brother, who was obviously enjoying the mini drama.
‘First of all, the prospectus says 6 cotton panties. You brought 10 and then to add salt to injury, you have 4 lace G-strings as well. How many can you wear in a day? Or you are one of those who doesn’t plan to wash her panties in school? Not on my watch! Rawlings House is noted for discipline and I am the embodiment of that discipline. Let this be your first and last warning! If your name comes before me again, you will be in trouble!’
Denise cursed her stars for listening to her sister. She had told her that G-strings were the best thing to wear for Entertainment Nights, but she had not told her how to smuggle it into the school without being caught on the first day. She mumbled a thank you and picked up the rest of her belongings and headed into the house.
She spotted her name on a bunk bed and climbed onto the top bunk. The girl on the bed beside her looked miserable.
‘Miss home already? Me too! My name is Denise.’
‘Nice to meet you, Adriana. Did you go to Alsyd?’
The house prefect interrupted their conversation.
‘Form 1 girls, Gagert is meeting all of you in the assembly hall in 15 minutes. Don’t be late!’
‘Who is Gagert?’, Adriana asked.
Denise replied,’Probably the headmistress. Let’s go. I am in enough trouble for one day. Can’t afford to be late!’
There was hushed chatter in the assembly hall. Without realizing it, they were already segregating themselves into groups based on which schools they came from, which area they lived in, who their parents were, who was handsome and who was not, etc. The loners were also huddled together
‘Good evening! My name is Getrude Asante-Poku. Your seniors think I don’t know they call me Gagert, I do. Now if i hear any of you calling me Gagert, it will be the beginning of your end. I will make a scapegoat out of you.’
She walked away from the podium and looked at her phone screen briefly. She was about 5 feet tall and that probably explained why she was in high heels at 5pm in the evening. Her hair was wavy, probably a wig in Denise’s opinion. She was wearing a whistle round her neck.
‘Now, you will be in this school for the next 3 years. It could be more- for those of you who don’t plan to take their education seriously and it could be shorter- for those of you who plan to stir up trouble. I can be very nice and I can be very nasty. Under no circumstance should any of you break bounds and leave the school. If you succeed in doing so, don’t come back.’
The murmuring started again. She blew the whistle and the room went silent again.
‘You’, she said, pointing at a boy sitting behind Curtis,’come up to the front.’
The boy made his way through all 364 of them and walked up to her.
‘Repeat what you said to them’
The boy began to stutter.
‘Another thing you need to know is that I have ears as sharp as that of an owl. I also read lips. I am tempted to make a scapegoat out of this boy but i am in a good mood, so I will let it pass. He said that all I was empty hype and that people break bounds all the time. Don’t fall prey to that story because I won’t spare you. I don’t care if you are the son of the UN Secretary General or the daughter in law of a kayayoo. I will make a scapegoat out of you, mark my words! Young man, go back to your seat.’
The boy scrambled to his feet gratefully and walked back to his seat.
‘By the time you will leave this school, I will know each of you by name. Make sure that whatever comes to mind after your name is mentioned won’t be something to make you squirm in discomfort, ten years from now. Your senior house masters and mistresses will go through the school rules with you in your respective halls. You are dismissed.’
Supper was pretty uneventful because the seniors had eaten while they were in the assembly hall. The rice and stew with boiled eggs was not so bad and most of the boys quaffed it down, unperturbed by the girls on their tables. Most of the girls chose not to eat, but not Akpene. She had never had a whole boiled egg to herself before- she was beside herself with joy.
That night, the Form 3s welcomed them to the school in grand style.
‘Form 1 girl, mount the bed. I said,stand on the bed’
‘Raise one leg and count to 1000’
‘Sing me a lullaby’
‘Stand here and make sure that no mosquito bites me. If I wake up with one bite, you will weed tomorrow.’
‘Your sister was entertainment prefect. I know you can dance! Stop being a hypocrite!’
‘Yeees, what did your father say you should bring to me?’
‘Do 50 one-arm pushups before you sleep’
‘Hey Form 1 boy, go and press the bell at Gagert’s house and bring her here. If you don’t do that, you won’t sleep!’
By 1am, the whole school was quiet. Akpene lay on her bed and smiled.
I am finally free. Uncle Koku can’t bother me anymore.
Denise woke Adriana up and said, ‘It’s time to go and bath. I fetched water for you.’
Adriana took one look at the bucket of water and cringed. Dipping one finger into the water, she yelped. The water was ice cold. She carried the bucket and followed Denise into the bathhouse. She was surprised to see this many naked bodies in one space, obviously oblivious to the fact that this was supposed to be strange.
‘Wait, what? Am I supposed to just take off my clothes and bath? What if someone has a disease or something?’
‘Don’t you have sisters?’
‘No, I am an only child and I don’t like naked bodies.’
‘Just take off your clothes. I will help you with the first pail of water.’
Adriana obeyed and shut her eyes. Her body was already covered with goosebumps from the gust of fresh air that just swept through the bathroom. When the ice cold water touched her body, she let out a bloodcurdling scream.
See you next week Wednesday! 🙂
*homoing- hazing for Form 1s in their first term.