Friday, 8 August 2014

The Mississippi river of Time

Posted by Oyinlola Sobowale on Friday, August 08, 2014 in , | 6 comments

“Anike. Anikeeee!! Aniiks-Aniiks!!!”

The voice came again, even more closely to her earlobe. No wriggling out this time.

“Aniiks baby,” the ‘stranger’ enthused with pleasant surprise

Anike plastered a smile on her face as acting otherwise would bring more confusion - eyes already trained on her as they roved from the name caller to the obvious name bearer, only it wasn’t a sight to gladly behold…

********
Gbagaun. Gbagaun. Gbagaun.


It was 8’O clock again! The first period was about to commence and students rushed into their various classes before Teacher F could spot them walking majestically in the school’s tree- shaded compound. The Geography teacher who also doubled as the head tutor was a known flogger; his hands always itched to make some hits on bums especially the ladies and Teacher F sure knows where to hit best! Even with all the multiple padding; with jeans and many shorts acting as underlay beneath the school uniform, his cane always landed on that tiny space between the top of the ‘pad’ and the skirts. Girls knew to avoid him and they did like a plague!

And so it was a lucky day indeed for Anike as she missed out on being flogged by just a breath…a tiny, minuscule breath! No wonder she loves Thursdays. She wouldn’t want to be a receiver of heavy lashes again as she still had scars to show from the previous week…and to think her Babs just bought her a new set of waist beads to replace the broken ones.

“Nooooo. Odeishi. Lailai. Tishaaaa you will not catch me today,” Anike shouted in a singsong voice to the hearing and glee of everyone as she made a hurried entry into class 4B.

“Whew that was close,” she sighed. Anike took her seat in the middle row a mere 2 metres to the left from her Babs. Their eyes met. They shared smiles. Everyone else scampered to their seats.

Order and sanity restored, the first class was on.

********

“Ah Aniiks that was close today o. I have told you severally to always come to class before the clock chimes 8. Teacher F would have flogged you silly again ehn! Why do you like to court trouble? You haven’t learnt enough?” Babarinde reproached as he playfully pulled Anike to come sit beside him on the log of wood by odo-ire river.

It was their first place of sighting eight months ago and has soon become a regular meeting point after school hours and all the house chores…

Babarinde is the only son of his father and mother who are renowned kolanut sellers in the little town of Ikenne found in Remo, Ogun State.

Anike grew up in the neighbouring town of Ilishan however but her grandmother made her leave her previous secondary school to join them at Ikenne so she could pass her West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), in one sitting and MAYBE get a scholarship into one of the universities in the big city.


“I don’t like to court trouble Babarinde, I had to help grandmother get to the local clinic this morning for her wound treatment”.

“That’s true. I’m sorry I completely forgot to ask. How is she faring now?” he asked

“She’s fine. At least the wound has closed up. She only needs to complete her medications now.”
“Great news,” Babarinde said excitedly as he inched closer to put his arm around her


“Babs, it’s getting too dark. I have to rush back home or grandma will be worried,” Anike made an effort to stand


“Wait now”. Babarinde pulled her back. “Won’t you even hug me small and you know we won’t see again until two days’ time. I bought you beads now and you won’t even let me see them around your waist not to talk of touch them,” his hands thrown into air in near frustration


“B-but you have seen them already, haven’t you? Were you not the one that bought the beads?” she retorted.


“No. I mean around your waist. I want to see how they fit”.


“They fit perfectly Babs. I have to rush now pleaaaaaaase,” she purred and quickly winked at him


“Okay o if you say so. Just know that you cannot keep teasing a man with those lips and lashes then run away!” he broke in sounding like a wounded child


“Don’t worry, very soon we will have all our lives to do all these,” she brushed an air kiss at his temple and reached for his bicycle as she waited for him to take them back into town…


********
“You mean your name got on the merit list? Incredible! This girl you are so blessed” Babs acknowledged with genuine joy. “You mean to tell me the government will pay your way through school? University of Lagos? That is a very big school o”.


“I know Babs. I wish you were coming with me,” she said as tears filled her eyes


“I wish too Aniiks. I wish,” he rubbed the sleeves of his shirt across her wet face, “But I have to pass my WASSCE first, you know. That result is a shameful one, all Es! Which school will take me and you know that was why I didn’t bother to write JAMB but I will pass this time around, trust me so we can be together again,” he took the stance of a boy’s scout, “scout honor you will see me soon”


********
Only ‘SOON’ turned out to be thirteen years later; two degrees and an MSc later.


“Ahem…,” Anike cleared her throat

“Henrietta, what is going on? A voice in the crowd asked. “You know this thing?” she asked again with disdain in her voice

Seven other curious friends glared at her as they waited for a response. No one could reconcile the figure standing before them with that of their beautiful, intelligent, sexy and stunningly clad Henrietta.


Wait a minute…reality dawned. “Did he just call her Anike???”


Writer's note - It was a wedding reception you see, one of theirs was getting married and Babarinde was a guest too. A guest artist…well not exactly the singer but the drum beater. He had on the ankara uniform as others in the team; his small cap tilted to one side with his ‘gangan’ proudly slung across his shoulder.

How often have you found yourself in a situation like this? What did you do? Coming face-face with someone from your past you would rather forget or cringe at the memory of having ever dated…okay let's say it isn't even related to boy-girl relationship but an event you aren't exactly proud of and it comes rearing its ugly head. What did you do?

It’s just fiction.

The only real thing in the story are the towns – Ikenne & Ilishan. Those towns shaped me. I spent 6 years of my life learning the fundamentals of English Language; Physics; Mathematics; Biology and the likes…even farming! Yes! Maybe this is my way of saying thank you to my Alma Mata; I am a proud product of Ikenne Community High School and NO, my name is not Anike but Amudalat and my Geography teacher was a flogger. *name withheld* hehehehe. He can come back to flog me...


Gbagaun is the sound a ringing bell makes
Odeishi and lailai are Nigerian words meaning ‘never’
Tishaaa is a colloquial way of saying Teacher
WASSCE is a national examination conducted for school candidates to position them for higher educational pursuit

Gangan is the talking drum usually played at occasions especially in Yoruba settings
Reactions:

6 comments:

  1. Incredible, simply outstanding how you piece reality and fiction into a walk through of the past....felt like something out of my secondary school days..lol..lol... truthfully speaking that moment is awkward, weird and very unreal.. someone you never thought you will meet or remember comes strolling into your life like a nightmare but that's life, the world is a small, really small place...leave a smile on every face because you'll soon be seeing that face again sometime soon

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the way you give life to your write-ups. Life in the sense that one could sense like it's real and I think it's due to the fact that you write about real life situations that we often find ourselves. If I were Babs, gosh! I might be a bit scared but some men don't care what you have made for yourself, they just wanna say hi and move on if you get too proud. If I were Aniks, I'll faint or feign memory loss... I'm sorry if I sound shallow but I was caught unawares and Babs is a drummer! If only he were just another guest. Great one babe...Sheun

    ReplyDelete
  3. A slight reflection of my childhood experience- in primary and secondary schools- with seemingly devlish-flogging teachers that knew exactly where to land their 'pankere'!
    A story aptly captures to remind me of my numerous first loves through primary and secondary school days.... Bringing lumps into my throat as such loves eventually slipped away for we all indeed proceeded to different universities...to find new loves all over again!

    Oyinlola it is high time I gave a thought to investing in you. U are full of substance.
    Nice story!

    ~ Dr. Young Bm.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Laughing so hard as memories came rushing back......hmmmm, how I miss my high school days. now looking forward to meeting someone from way back; what would my reaction be? * pensive with crossed fingers

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is teacher F Mr. Ige? lol!...nice write up, brought back memories too... u are really evolving, tho not surprised cos its wat I know u ar good at... bn long really...surprised? bye...sholafunmie

    ReplyDelete