-Life 101- Story times part 1

This story is written by Diepriye  Charles. First story on this blog, sit back, read and enjoy.

--LIFE 101-




*
Life’s lessons are a beautiful gift, but they don’t always come wrapped in a shiny, red bow. Lessons that life has taught me remain freshly engraved on my mind. Not because of how well it was taught, but for the changes that it kindled in me as a person.
During my secondary education, I encountered an eye-opener; something that went on to change the way I perceived the world around me. I had to learn really fast from it, too, because life wasn't exactly a nice teacher.


**
It happened way back in my Jss3 days. The era of the impassioned race to the "Ultimate star" on 2go. When every student owned a java phone and would do anything to remain logged in on the app, just so their "star progress" might continually crawl to its brim.
At the time, bringing a phone to school was against the rules, but few of my classmates believed strongly that rules were made only to be followed by cowards. I was among those who had this belief.
So, everyday, I would sneak my phone into school and would use it during class. Because, to me, if the senior students could do it, I also could do it.
However, there were also the good students --the chickenhearted ones-- who left their phones at home, because they were too afraid of Senior Barango. Afraid of what he might do to them should they be caught with a phone. They felt  it was better to play it safe. I felt it was better to play it hard.


**
Barango was only a class ahead of us, but we dreaded him. The biggest and the meanest of all the seniors on our block. His might was simply unmatched. He was infamous for the ear-wrecking slaps that he gave to his defaulters.  The noisiest classes would quiet down in less than an instant whenever he walked in. He inspired so much fear that at some point, we started to think it was the devil himself wearing white shirt and sky blue trousers. And if he ever did seize your phone,  you could as well forget about it, because getting it back would only be when pigs fly. For that reason, I loathed him, and so did all my classmates. We just couldn't place a finger around the fact that a fellow student, who himself broke the law countless times, would be the same person to enforce it. It felt like corruption, but then again, there was nothing we could do.



***
So, on that beautiful Friday morning, Senior Nancy --also a class ahead of us-- was gallivanting inside our classroom. She had been appointed by Mrs. Uche, our form mistress, to supervise us because all the teachers were having a meeting that morning. And just as expected, that temporary promotion made Nancy's already existing pomposity escalate a thousand folds.

"Rest your heads and sleep!" -she would yell then clap her hands against a desk. She breathed on our necks terribly and it was exhausting.
Her body was slender, and her voice barely loud enough to scare a puppy. But still, we obeyed, more for Barango's sake than hers.  Stories from the grapevine had it that Nancy and Barango were a thing, so we didn't want to cross her path, for that would also mean crossing his path -- and you dared not cross the devil's path if you had any love for your ears.
The two supposed love birds, together, were an unstoppable force, hellbent on making school life a living hell for us, their juniors.


****
Though I couldn't look up, I could hear footsteps as she walked, majestically, past our seats, even as a quiet conversation went on underneath. Lebura, my chicken-hearted seatmate, was always looking out for things we would argue about.

"Wait oh, you're still a professional?" - He asked with a careful whisper.
"Taah! Me wey don enter expert" - my eyebrows wrinkled up.
"Lie! Oya let me see it"
"No worry, later."
"Chai, Diepriye you can lie oh this boy."
"See person. Oya wait... I'll show you" - I said.

Before then, I had struggled within me to overcome the temptation of bringing my phone --a brand new Nokia 2700-- from where I hid it, safe, in my school bag. But Lebura.  Lebura. Lebura!
He had this annoying disbelief in his tone, tinged with concealed mockery and envy that it made me want to prove him wrong so badly. I wanted him to feel me. To awe me. I was determined to defy every odd and show Lebura my newly attained 2go "star."
So, with my forehead still resting on the desk, I reached for my school bag, unzipped the thing and pulled my phone out.
I never paused to think of the consequences before I clicked open the app. And even as I sat there waiting for it to load, I imagined Nancy was watching us closely, but Lebura was still murmuring doubts in my ear, so I never cared. I allowed my insecurity rule over my common sense, making me put my guard down. After all, I shouldn't get caught if I was quiet with it, or so I thought. But life, it had something different in mind for me.

Check next post for part 2.

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