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A Story written by Gaglo Blessing (blessinggaglo@yahoo.com)

Synopsis:  Lives, love and different interests being intervowen by circumstances. There are those who fight for the right to love, those who fight to protect the ones they love and those who fight for the love of their own interests. Whether love triumphs or fail, that decision lies in the hand of time.

                          Prologue
Tomi

                
A peep into my life

I walked into the school hall drawing glances from other students. Some were even snickering behind my back! who cares?

” Na wa o! Soap don finish for naija?” i heard an albino girl in my class exclaim.

I went to the back row and took a seat.

Thursdays in Blossom high was society day. There were usually so many activities which i partook of. Need to say i always came out the winner? but today seems different, there were some men and women in suit on the high table, they had malt and table waters in front of them. The teachers were also looking extra smart. The vice principal was on a bright peacock colour attire that hurt my eyes. What was going on?

” Settle down! Every one should settle down” the vice principal said into the mic in his hand. I don’t know why he was made the VP anyway. His Yoruba accent was thicker than ogbono soup.

” Stand up for the national anthem”

We all stood up and recited the anthem and plegde to our motherland.

” Today is a special day for us and we have special people in our mist today.” He cleared his throat and coughed loudly with his mouth open. His left hand idly twiddle his beard. His beady eyes roamed over every faces in the hall.

” Brilliant Minds is an NGO that is focused on helping schools and also brilliant students. Give a round of applause for Mr Aregbe, the CEO and founder of Brilliant Minds as he comes to give us a speech.”

The man in a sleek suit walked to the podium and gave a long gibberish speech. My ears caught the words ” Overall best student” and ” Scholarship ” and the most important of all ” Abroad ”  My mind was reeling, i was so happy. Everyone knew i was the most brilliant girl in the school.

” The lucky student will be given a full schorlaship to study abroad.”

The hall was so silent now. All eyes were on the man standing on the podium. The VP took the mike from him when he was done and a round of applause resounded in the hall without anyone prompting us to do so.

My class teacher walked to me and asked me to step out of the hall with him. I liked him, he was a good teacher but a hungry one.

” Why are you looking so dirty and rough?! how do we introduce a dirty looking rat to the NGO!”

Why didn’t they inform us or even give us a hint the day before so i would be prepared! my once upon a time white sock is now the color of a brown mud. I wore the front all through last week, this week i turned out the inside and wore it. It wasn’t as bad as Mr Kamal was making it out. Don’t mind him.

” I look okay sir”

” No you don’t look okay! your hair is rough! your uniform has spots in it and it is rumpled! your socks are……you look like you just crawled out of a sockaway!”

This people knew that i was always like this! why is the devil trying to use them now? why didn’t they tell me ahead of time.

” Sir…..why didn’t you tell me yesterday”

His eyes almost popped out of his socket.” My friend who are you! go! go! go back to your seat!” he walked away from me muttering under his breath.

I remembered my mother screaming at me the previous day to wash my uniform. I was glued to the black and white TV set watching my favorite Mexican series on  AIT. How is it my fault that i was born to be lazy? did God not create us in his image?

I walked back into the hall and took my seat.

” Oyinyechi Okafor” the VP shouted.

What was going on? She was the albino girl in my class. She used to be my seat mate but i changed seat because of the rate at which she carries expo during exams. This girl can even write expo on her eyelids if possible. The only thing likeable about her is her tidiness. She even brings an extra socks to school which she wears when we close from school. The gators in her uniform could be related to a sonnet. 14 lines no doubt. Why was the VP calling her instead of me? I sat upright, my palms were sweaty already. I must not miss this golden chance.

” I present to you our most brilliant student, Oyinyechi Okafor”

The hall went silent and all eyes on me. I felt my face heat up gradually as tears stung my eyes. What has dirtiness got to do with intellect? this must be the devil’ s handiwork o. The treacherous students started clapping after being prodded to do so. How could i lose this golden opportunity to an albino and one who even carries expos! I ran out of the hall and almost collided with our Yoruba teacher.

” Ekun ki ni lo wa sun? Shior!” ( Why are you shedding tears) when i was told you to always be looking good did you hear me. Shey oti ja lo ju e bayi……e don clear for your eyes now?”

I continued crying. What is this one saying? is that what this bleached out pig should be saying now?

” Opolo ( brain) is not by book alone but by all things! See nau Na omo ibo afin ( Albino) will collect the scholarship. Shior! ” she walked into the hall and left me standing there drowning in my tears.

The previous night flashed before my eyes, at 8.30 pm my mother suddenly remembered that she has not seen my school uniform hanging on the rope outside.

” Tomi have you washed your uniform? ”

Diego was leaning close to Paloma on the TV screen. And this woman was talking about uniform! I was the inventor of ‘ wash and wear’ So no shaking.

” Iwo ko mo n ba so ro ni? ( Are you not the one i am talking to?) My mother shouted.

Paloma was passionately returning Diego’ s kiss  now. Oh that kiss!

” I will wash it mummy”

” OK o. Motigbo”

I knew she also enjoyed the Mexican love series but she will be forming like i was the only one not doing what she was supposed to do. 8.30 pm and dinner is not even on the cooker yet. Wait till daddy comes back, that is when you will hear your own.

After When you are mine, Gardener’ s daughter came on. My mother and i both rushed into the kitchen when we heard dadddy’ s car drove in. Like mother like daughter abi?

When dinner was served it was after 10pm. Daddy fumed and kept muttering under his breath. Immediately after dinner i rushed into my room but i couldn’t find my socks. I checked my school bag, my mountain of dirty clothes in a corner of the room, inside my bathroom, behind the toilet. I finally found it by 10.56 pm,  it  was under my bed! it was there the whole time! I picked my uniform and socks as the wall clock in my room read 11pm. Ehen no lele, no be today i thought. I will quickly wash it and dry it on the standing fan in my room. Guess what happened as i stepped into my bathroom?

You guessed right.

The light went off.

” Do i blame Nigerian government? or myself?” I said out loud.

I ran into an empty class room and sobbed my heart out. This is so unfair! i was cheated out of my right…..i was the most brilliant student. I won several competitions for my school in the past. My school was the number one in our district because of my brilliant performance in national quizzes and competitions. The new library in Blossom high was built by a Christian NGO because of a brilliant story i wrote. If my look wasn’t a problem in the past, why now? the heart of man is truly wicked.

Prologue closed.

To Be Continued…

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