Hi there! Apologies for not posting the story yesterday. I wrote an exam in the evening and my brain was too tired to write a story that would be good enough. Thanks for being understanding and thanks for keeping me on my toes. God knows I would have been a very lazy writer if it wasn’t for you. You guys rock! Happy reading!!
NB: Special shoutout to the lady who tapped me in the trotro this morning and said ‘I love your stories.’ You made my day.
‘How did this happen? We had a foolproof plan!’
‘By foolproof, you mean your plan to overthrow me as leader of the coup? You are the one who messed everything up.’
‘Don’t even try to push this on me. I didn’t ask you to be a punching bag for your wife.’
Rejoice tried to stifle her laughter. It was like a circus in there. They had spent the last hour tossing the blame around. Ms Ampadu was convinced that there was a mole amongst them. She was looking round at everyone suspiciously, as though she could see ‘Traitor’ written on their foreheads.
‘Afrakuma! Where is she?’, Ms Ampadu suddenly shrieked. She looked like she had been possessed by an evil spirit. Her eyes looked bloodshot and her face had aged 10 years in the last 2 hours. ‘Call her for me! She didn’t even show up. Drag that snitch here by the collar, if you have to. Brian, move! Now!’
Mr Hormeku started laughing. ‘That damned Gagert! Nothing ever works with her. I would never have been a match for her anyways. Now, I have lost my job. I have spent all these years, waiting to take over from her and it is all messed up because you could not keep your mouth shut. Why involve Afrakuma? She is one of the slyest girls in this school. As slippery as an eel. And of course, you did it without consulting me. I was foolish to have trusted you.’
‘You are a good for nothing man. Just look at how easily you are giving up. I blame myself for even aligning myself with you. Sure, run away. Go like a dog with his tail in between his legs. I am not going down without a fight. I plan to take as many people down with me as possible. If you are not ready to be ruthless, then you don’t belong in this fight.’
Mr Addae Mensah broke his silence. ‘You are going way too far, Ms. Ampadu. There are students in this room. How can you humiliate your co-worker this way?’
‘If I were you, Mr. Addae Mensah, I would be very quiet. Don’t get me started!’
‘I’ll stop you right there. We all made the mistake of attempting to overthrow Gertrude. I am especially remorseful because I should have known better. This pathetic show you are putting up will not make this situation any better. Because of your greed, a lot of the teachers here have lost their jobs today. If I were you, I would cut my losses and move on. The earlier you accept that you will never be as good as Gagert, the better.’ On that note, he picked up his car keys, nodded at Mr Hormeku and walked out of the room.
Just then, Brian arrived with Afrakuma in tow. She looked like she had just woken up from sleep, the sleep lines on her face giving her away.
‘You are the one who snitched to Gagert, aren’t you?’
‘Well, yes- and no.’
‘Listen, don’t play games with me. Did you tell her or not?’
‘I told her. But it wasn’t news to her. Someone else had already told her. And it is nothing personal. I don’t like to lose and to be fair, I knew you didn’t stand a chance with her. And judging from the looks of everyone seated here, I was right. Anyway, I am not your snitch, go and look for him or her elsewhere.’
‘Not so fast. I am not done with you.’
‘But I am done with you. What can you do? Punish me? If I know Gagert the way I do, you are probably going to be fired tomorrow morning. Now if you will excuse me, I have WASSCE to prepare for. This has been nice.’
By the next morning, the story had already spread like wildfire. There were hushed whispers in every classroom, dormitory and bathhouse.
‘Ei, have you heard? There was a coup last night oo’
‘But these people paa? Even I know better than to attempt to overthrow Gagert. Gagert die3, legend oo. Untouchable.’
‘So are they really going to resign? Who will prepare the Form 3s for the exams?’
‘I hear she slayed the thing and walked out of there like a boss.’
‘I wonder who told her about it. You really can’t trust people these days oo!’
The knot in Denise’s stomach tightened some more. Ever since the day she overheard Ms Ampadu on the phone talking about the coup, she had been anticipating this day. Her initial reaction was to stay as far away from the situation as possible, however keeping the secret felt burdensome. She could not talk to Adriana about it because she was busy entertaining the advances of Kwapong, one of the ‘Dream come true’ boys in Form 3. After Curtis’ fiasco, she had decided that he was too childish to be the object of her affection. She was now setting her sights on ‘bigger fish’.
Only God knows how Denise ended up in front of Gagert’s office two weeks later.
‘Yes, come in. You don’t need to knock a third time. I am not deaf.’
‘G-good afternoon madam.’
‘Good afternoon. How may I help you?’
‘Erm, I came because I overheard a conversation that I thought might be useful to you.’
‘Yes, go on.’
‘Ms Ampadu and a few other teachers are planning to overthrow you. They have been planning it for a while.’
‘And how did you come by this information?’
‘I clean Ms Ampadu’s house every other day. I overheard a phone conversation.’
‘I see. Who else is in on it?’
‘She mentioned Mr Hormeku in the conversation. I don’t know if he is in on it or not.’
‘Alright. Thank you. I will take it from here. One more thing- let’s keep this strictly between us, shall we?’
Ever since then, Denise had been living in constant fear that Ms Ampadu would find her and punish her. Until today. It was finally over.
Gagert sat in the assembly hall, waiting for the students to get there. They would come in, chattering loudly and suddenly hush up when they finally noticed her. She heard a few of them calling her Gagert but today was not a day for petty crimes like calling her Gagert. She had bigger fish to fry. When it was 7:30, she rose up and stood in front of them. 1,364 pairs of eyes pored at her.
‘Good morning. I know you have all heard versions of whatever happened last night. Let me cut to the chase. A number of teachers attempted to overthrow me in what we call an in-house coup. What you need to know is the coup failed-woefully. All teachers who were involved in this coup will proceed on an indefinite leave, effective immediately. The students who were involved in this coup- specifically those of you who vandalized the Science Lab and broke bounds will be dismissed from this school. All you need to know is that the school will continue to function normally. There will be no changes in your routine. Go to class. Eat your meals. Gossip. Study during prep- at least, pretend to. And nobody should under any circumstances speak to the press. I repeat, nobody. I will clean up this mess myself. That would be all. Have a good day.’
When the students rose to sing the school anthem, Gagert spotted Kwamena Welbeck and her breath instantly caught in her throat. With his slightly overgrown hair and his nonchalant mannerisms, he could pass for his father in the 60s very easily. Papa Kofi Welbeck had been her first love. He wooed her by climbing their headmaster’s mango tree to harvest mangoes for her, even though it was a very risky thing to do. Loving Papa Kofi felt like an adventure. You could never tell what was coming. They broke bounds one Valentine’s Day, because he wanted to take her dancing. Her most pleasant memory from those days was the look in his eyes as they danced to Elvis Presley’s Stuck on you, under the disco lights. She was wearing shoes that didn’t fit and her lipstick felt uncomfortable but she knew then that there was nowhere else she would rather be.
Even though she would not admit it, she knew that she had made a mistake by letting him go. He wasn’t ambitious enough for her. She wanted him to be a lawyer because she knew he would be great at it but he wasn’t interested. If she could advise her younger self, she would have been a lot easier on him, because as it turns out, he did not turn out badly at all. The first time she met him again after school, she discovered that her body had not forgotten what it felt like anytime he smiled his boyish smile. The tingling feelings disappeared when she saw his wedding ring. He was taken.
Funny enough, they kept bumping into each other, especially after his wife died. This time, she was the one who was married and she kept cursing her stars that they had such bad timing. The only thing she could settle for was is his friendship. It was the only choice she had left. Anytime any of his sons got into trouble, it gave her an excuse to see him. It was easy to talk to him. He still knew his way around her and he had talked sense into her head on a number of occasions. Once in a while, they had lunch together to catch up as old friends, and each time, Gagert had to remind herself that she could not have him.
K Beck strained his neck one last time. There she was. He waited until she had just turned the corner and then he pulled her by the hand.
‘Damn it, Akpene! You are driving me crazy.’
‘What are you doing? People will start talking about us.’
‘Let them talk. It is the least of my worries. Why are you avoiding me?’
‘Nothing. No reason.’
K Beck sighed and tried again.
‘It can’t be nothing. What happened? You haven’t said two words to me since we got back from Interco.’
‘I didn’t think you would notice. Aren’t you too busy basking in your glory as star player for Capital High?’
‘Is that what this is about? It doesn’t make sense.’
‘It doesn’t? Maybe you should ask Baby Girl to help you make sense of it.’
K Beck started laughing.
‘Oh this is funny, isn’t it? I am done discussing this.’
She started walking away and K Beck pulled her by the hand.
‘First of all, Baby GIrl is my classmate from JSS.’
‘You are still calling her that!’
‘Oh my goodness, this is so cute. I am calling her that because that was her nickname. She was the smallest girl in our class and someone named her Baby Girl as a joke. The name stuck. Nothing personal, Akpene. I can’t believe you have been avoiding me because of this. But this is good news. You will only be jealous if you have feelings for me. K Beck shoots, K Beck scores. He has Akpene’s heart and the crowd goes wild!’
Akpene tried to stifle the laughter in spite of her embarrassment. She could only shake her head.
‘You are very annoying.’
‘That’s one of the things you like about me. I missed you.’
‘I missed you too. And the fresh bread from your table.’
‘Oh, it’s about the food, huh? Opportunist.’
‘You are so full of yourself.’
K Beck grinned. He had missed this- the sarcastic banter.
‘Now, can we go to class before the senior on duty chances upon us?’
‘By all means, milady!’
Curtis was angry. His father’s involvement meant that he had very little time to take his revenge on K Beck. He was going to be transferred to Akosombo International, and even though they had a pool, he was not keen on going there. He would not have as much clout and authority there as he did here.
‘Time to fast forward that plan.’
See you next week! 😉