Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Day The World Ended Episode 4

As I approached the school gate I was about to heave a sigh of relief qwhen I heard the bell ring for morning assembly! I was late! I broke into a run but it looked futile as the gates were slowly being closed. Those in front of me were struggling to push through even as the prefects brought out their canes and started threatening the late crowd with it. I caught up with them and watched helplessly as the gates were shut and Arnold, the labour prefect pocketed the keys. There was a loud collective howl as we all thought of the fields we would be given to clear this morning and he smirked at all of us-
Then he saw me.
The smirk froze on his face and his eyes gazed at first with anger and then with adoration and then back to anger again. Two of the girls in my class who happened to be late as well saw him staring at me and started to giggle. He sighed, shook his head and then to everyone’s surprise, he quickly opened the gate. There was a loud yell as all of us late comers pressed our waty through.
“Hey, Arnold! What do you think you are doing?!” One of the seniors, the agric prefect, who was passing by at that time shouted and started running towards the gate to close it.
“Let’s sorry for this group today, another group is coming behind them sef.” He said.
“Which group?” The agric prefect shouted angrily, “eight o’clock is eight o’clock! Meeen, don’t try this next time!”
“Take it easy o!” Arnold retorted even as he eyed me passing though and quickly started shutting the gate back, “I go plant you now if you no take time!”
The Agric prefect pushed the gate shut and padlocked it, staring hotly at Arnold the whole time but the latter pretended not to notice. I left them and went to join the assembly as the national anthem began.
When it was all over ad we were dismissed I went along with my classmates to our classes. As I entered I passed by Arnold who seemed to have been waiting on the path. He motioned for me and I hesitated for a while before obliging him.
“Why did you come late?” he asked
“Personal stuff.”I replied simply staring him straight in the eye. He smiled.
“You overslept didn’t you? That night cold caught everybody by surprise. I heard it was even on CNN news this morning during their weather
forecast, like it was felt worldwide!”
I said nothing. All I could think of was, why is this gorilla talking to me?
“That yeye Samuel is always forming boss, because they made him agric prefect nobody will hear word again! But I can handle him as I’m sure you saw.”
“Erm, okay, can I go now?” I said. “People are beginning to stare.”
He looked around him suddenly and looked very mortified. I couldn’t care less, I just wanted out of this conversation which as far as I was concerned was a waste of my time. He was looking at me with his mouth opena nad closeing and I was going to make a remark about insects flying in when I heard a shriek and a giggle behind me.
Sola and Bimpe
Lord no.
Sola and Bimpe were my best friends in school; or my worst enemies. It depended on the weather mostly. Sola was easy and outgoing with an almost manly voice and disposition, ready to challenge any boy any day, which of course made her a favorite among the boys. Bimpe was more reserved with a high pitched shriek voice that reminded me of a bird caught in a trap. Both lived on the other side of the slope leading to our street and usually we all went home together. Now that they were involved in this matter I would never hear the end of it.
I felt Sola’s arm go round my waist from behind. “Ha, Prefect Arnold, thank you for helping Temi through the gate today oh.
“We heard of your confrontation with Samuel.” Bimpe said in her shrieky voice. “He’s shouting that he’ll report you to the headmaster.”
“They can’t do anything, how many minutes late were they?” Arnold thundered and my friends nodded vigorously in support. “I’m not afraid jo.”
“Thank you so much once again, oya lets take Temi in before she’s late for class as well, or do you two have unfinished business?” Sola said mischievously.
Arnold grunted and backed out of the way and my giggling girls carried me into the class.
“He’s hot!” Sola whispered.
“And smelly, like a gorilla.” I retorted.
“What? Don’t you know the gorilla types are the most loyal?” Bimpe shrieked and we both shushed her immediately. The class was quite noisy though with people finding their seats and talking with friends and so nobody heard her.
“Bring that your metallic voice down a notch!” I whispered harshly.
“Sorry, but it’s true.” Bimpe continued on a much lower key. “Would you rather be struggling for the headboy’s attention with the other girls?”
“Except me!” Sola said.
“And me!” I joined in.”Head boy isn’t so hot jo. Because his father lives abroad that’s why many of the girls won’t let him rest.”
“Well, I think head boy is adorable!” Bimpe shrieked again then covered her mouth with her hands, giggling.
“I sorry for you.” I retorted and then we all sat up as the Mathematics teacher came into the class.
The rest of the day passed by quickly. I avoided Arnold as much as possible which turned out to be a bit difficult, he seemed to be almost everywhere I went. I sincerely hoped he was alright. Sola and Bimpe kept ribbing me about him on every occasion till I felt like drowning them in the school pond. As the last school bell rang Bimpe and I grabbed our bags and headed towards the main gate where we met sola.She had previously gone to the library. Shoal had a thing for books in her spare time that I just didn’t understand.
“I was reading ‘Treasure Island’!” She exclaimed as if someone had bought her a meal. “I’m iin chapter three, the part where…”
“Yeah, yeah, spare us the details.” I said waving her protests aside. “We have to start moving before this rain starts.”
The weather had suddenly changed for the worse. Where it was sunny and hot a while ago it had suddenly become cloudy and dark and very
cold and windy. I gathered my skirt about me as the other students started to run. Those that had cars jumped in and laughed at those of us without any. I wished my dad could take a cue and come and pick me up, but on second thought decided it was better to walk home. He would definitely have something to complain about if he came.
“This rain is not going to fall jo, it just looks cloudy and, brrrrrr, cold!” Bimpe said and sola nodded.
“All the same, let’s start going.” I said and moved forward only to bump against something, or someone solid.
I took a step back and there standing in front of me was Adonis himself! Not too tall, not too thick, with a well cultured moustache that joined with the bear on his chin in a thin, meticulous line, and a smile that could melt the stoniest of hearts, was the school headboy.
“Hi.” He said, grinning.
“I’m Temitope” I found myself saying and then realized he hadn’t asked for my name. Sola and Bimpe just gawked.
“I know who you are Temitope, may I call you Temi?” he said. He’s voice had just cracked and was a very rich treble. It sent shivers down my spine that were very different from the one my elder brother had elicited earlier this morning.
“Yes you may.” I responded quietly.
“I heard you caused a bit of a commotion this morning at the school gate. Not that anybody is saying it was your fault, but I happen to specifically know that Arnold has a soft spot for you. He confessed to me that he was trying to cut you some slack. Of course I admonished him immediately. We prefects can’t all start bending rules just because someone we fancy is involved, right?”
“No sir.” I said.
“My name is Dare.”
“Yes sir. I mean, I know sir. I’m sorry Sir Dare.” I shut my mouth tight after that.
Dare shook his head, a lovely smile on his lips that made me go warm inside, and started to walk off.
“Try and come early tomorrow. You don’t want Arnold to look silly again do you?” He called after he had gone a little distance.
“No sir!” I shouted back, then: “Dare.”
“Yes?” he stopped on his tracks.
“I mean, no Dare.”
“Ok, Sir, Dare, you can call me any one, I don't mind.Hurry on home, this storm is really brewing!” And he strolled off.
What a guy! I was literally stunned and at a loss for words. This was the first time Dare had spoken to me since he had been made Head boy
along with the other prefects 2 months ago. All the girls pined after him, he was so cute! But I had decided to keep away from him early on, with the number of female fans he had, one was likely to get hurt trying to seek his attention. I shook my head to clear it and turned around to see Sola and Bimpe eyeballing me.
“What?” I almost shouted.
“I thought you didn’t fancy him.” Bimpe said, folding her arms.
“Well, I don’t! It’s just that I was surprised the way we bumped into him and-“
“Weak.” Bimpe cut me short and Sola laughed. “Just get in line behind me.”
“I don’t need him. “ I countered quickly. “I have my gorilla.”
We all laughed and strolled out the school gates heading for home.
We had just arrived at the slope, the bottom of which we usually parted ways when it started to drizzle. The water was cold and refreshing, with a funny metallic smell to it. We wished each well and were about going our separate ways when Sola screamed.
“What?” Bimpe and I chorused.
“Something hit me!” she shouted and then “Ah!”
We both rushed to her aid but found nothing. She kept rubbing her heard like it was very sore and muttering.
“Someone must be playing tricks on us.” I snarled and quickly started looking around. There were bushes on both sides of the road where we had
stopped but I couldn’t make out anybody hiding in them.
“Ouch!” Bimpe jumped in alarm.
“Look, you two had better cut it out!” I said angrily. “What kind of trick…”
And then it hit me too.
Something solid, like a small pellet, very cold, had hit me on the head. I looked up just as another bounced off my lower lip. I gasped as more of them came pouring down. Little drops of stones falloing and now increasing in intensity, hitting the ground with little pattering sounds like tiny drops of ice smashing into a million microscopic pieces as they hit the ground.
“What is it?” Bimpe said in wonderment.
“I haven’t seen anything like it in my life,” I said wonderingly. I opened my mouth and caught a few of them. They melted as soon as they touched my soft tongue and were very refreshing. Some of the street kids had come out from the fields and were running about playing and laughing in this strange phenomenon.
“It’s snow!” Bimpe said laughing.
“Don’t be daft, it doesn’t snow in Africa talk less of Nigeria.” Sola said.
“So madam Einstein, what do you think it is?” I asked as I tried, unsuccessfully, to catch some in my hand. They turned to little drops of water
as soon as they made contact with my skin.
“I think,” Sola said looking up thoughtfully. “I think this is what they call hailstones.”
“What?” I said.
And then we all jumped as a large block of ice the size of an orange fell on the road beside us.
“Hailstones!” Sola repeated excitedly. “Although I’m not sure if they are supposed to be that big!”
And then we heard a gentle but menacing rumble in the sky as if something huge was tumbling down towards us.
Tbc

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