Chuckwu, Eche, Okparagu and Owoicho were students of SS3B and had resolved to go late to school since they entered SS3. They came to school some minutes to 12:00 pm and wouldn’t dare go through the gate as they were afraid that Mr. Akaeze aka Hot-shit might be around the gate. They decided to jump over the fence through the back of the school. There was an amusement park under construction that had a boundary with the school through which the students used as a platform to jump over the fence in and out of the school. Chuckwu, Eche, Okparagu and Owoicho observed the NDLEA office located opposite the school to check whether any officer was watching. They had reported to the school authority that students jump in and out of the school through the fence and threatened the students that anybody seen jumping through the fence would be gunned down.
Chuckwu and the others noticed that there was no officer stationed around the NDLEA office where they would be seen. They quickly climbed the elevated platform where the swimming pool in the amusement park was being constructed and jumped over the fence into the school. Eche missed a step as he came down from the fence and almost hit his knees on the floor, but Owoicho supported him and they staggered before they gained stamina.
“Guy, na wetin dey worry you now? When person say make you stop to dey wear this oversize trousers, you go insist say na swag,” Chuckwu laughed at Eche.
“Chuckwu by now, you suppose know say no be only wickedness dey make person join witchcraft,” Eche joked.
“If I go jealous anything for your body, no be this your jegbede trousers wey get patches for strategic positions like your nyash level na im I go trip for. I only fit take risk trip for your ambition if craze no dey inside.”
“Eche, Chuckwu don profile you finish; if na me be you, this trousers go be history,” Okparagu laughed.
“Abeg, Eche no follow their mouth because I no wan see you wear things like sagged pants wey na ‘I was white’ come dey parade for school here, we no wan blind. And even though we wan blind, no be the last thing wey we wan see be that. At least we still wan make blood of Jesus dey work miracle,” Owoicho laughed.
“Your father lap!” Eche exclaimed as he gestured with his right hand to insult him.
“See me see trouble oh!” Owoicho laughed. “Na only me dey there when your mother complain say you dey wash everything but no dey wash pants?”
“How him go wash him pants when na only one him dey buy? Him dey change am after one year, that is if e succeed tear and if e no tear, then na carry go be that. I wonder if this one wey him wear, no be the one wey them buy for am for JSS1 Christmas,” Okparagu said.
“You dey crazy!” Eche exclaimed.
“Omo, in case any spirit whether holy or evil touch you wey you decide say you wan wash your pants, make sure say you no carry am near river because we no wan make fishes decide to pack, start to dey talk or die because fishermen fit curse you…”
“Chuckwu, wetin that one come mean now?” Eche interrupted.
“Omo, e mean say you be terrorist. You carry weapon of mass destruction inside your body. Your pants get the same potentials like the bomb wey suicide bomber wear and when e detonate casualties for your case fit plenty pass, as suicide bomber na just one location, your own fit affect the whole world.” Owoicho laughed.
“Na your father nyash there!” Eche exclaimed.
Okparagu placed his hand on Eche’s shoulder and pretended as if he wanted to tell him something important as he lowered his voice. “In case evil spirit frustrate you, come make you believe say you need wash your pants eh, guy, rebuke am for the interest of everybody and burn am instead,” Okparagu laughed.
“Omo, with the burning sef, casualties go dey pass; that one go contaminate the air with poison; you wan make people die like mosquitoes? Him better dig ground bury the pants when the pants don reject am because left for am him no go fit tire for the pants,” Chuckwu laughed.
“All of una dey crazy!”
“Una see why them say ‘truth is bitter’?” Chuckwu laughed.
“Wonders shall never end!” Owoicho exclaimed. “Una hear wetin I hear?”
“You fit hear anything?” Eche joked.
“Na de first time wey I don hear Chuckwu compose correct English for him entirely miserable life be this.”
“Me ma I almost ask if na Chuckwu talk like that abi na another person?” Okparagu said.
“Wetin that one come mean now?” Chuckwu asked.
“E mean say you dull like sheep,” Eche laughed.
“So una mean say una never hear me speak correct English before?”
“No be say we never hear you, you never speak before,” Owoicho said.
“Na the problem be this; una no dey sensitive to anything. In short, una be bad influence.”
“Chai! Oboyi, God make people oh. See us well; na who dey help who?” Okparagu said.
“Hey!” Mr. Akaeze shouted as he walked towards the hall where the students were discussing. “Who are those bunch of unoriented idiots? Come here!”
“Omo; I recognize that voice,” Chuckwu said.
“Tell me say no be the person wey I dey think say e be?” Owoicho asked as they shifted to the edge of the wall to peep and see who shouted.
“Na hot-shit!” Eche exclaimed and they started running. They went through the other end of the hall as their class was close to the hall.
They jumped over the window immediately they came close to their class. Their classmates laughed at them as they struggled to climb the window into the class.
“Na wetin dey pursue una like this na?” Danjuma asked as he saw them panicking when they entered the class.
“Wetin pass NDLEA officers; how them fit enter school this time of the day if no be through fence?” Dolapo looked at them as they rushed to their seats.
“See kettle dey call pot black,” Stephen mocked Dolapo.
“Take that allegation back! You know, base on my check and balances, I dey out of season. I get vision wey I dey project,” Dolapo joked.
“Dolapo, the day wey you go stop to jump fence enter or go out of school, I go stop to breath,” Chibuzor said.
“Then here comes the breaking news, Chibuzor is a living corpse already,” Dolapo said.
“Na you be that living corpse.”
“Abeg, Dolapo, no talk wetin you no fit do,” Akogwu said as he walked to where Owoicho sat. “Guy, na wetin make una tear race like that as if una trousers go tear na?”
“How you dey sure say their trousers wey the original dey market no tear when them dey run?” Bemboo laughed.
“Bemboo, na your trousers na im the original dey market,” Eche said still panting.
“This thing wey them call ‘guilty conscience’ eh, if na woman I for marry am because e too sabi. As I talk, I call person name?” Bemboo asked.
“And if this ‘guilty conscience’ as you call am, na truly woman, e for dey insulted with that kind expensive joke,”Dolapo laughed.
“Na wetin be the meaning of that one now?” Bemboo asked.
“Bemboo, abeg make you no vex; I wan ask –you don ever really take your time check your net worth?” Chibuzor asked.
“Na which kind JAMB exam una give Bemdoo like this?” Rachael laughed. “How manage una want make Bemdoo understand the meaning of net worth?”
“Chai, Bemdoo, look for hole enter inside, bury yourself; them still dey insult person reach this level!” Chibuzor laughed.
“Wait, make I clear the air; wetin una take me for?” Bemdoo asked.
“Anything but not intelligent and rich because your level of poverty no be here; this kind poverty wey beggar see you dash you wetin him beg start to thank God say him don pass your level,” Abiola laughed.
“Abiola, human being dey talk, you ma dey talk shey?”
“Wetin that one come mean Bemdoo?” Ene asked Bemdoo.
“Why him no go attack Abiola quick quick; maybe him don ask Abiola out and Abiola no only reject am but give am money make him go brush himself, this kind upgrade him ministry,” Cynthia said.
“Why girls dey attack Bemdoo like this? Bemdoo, wetin be the secret? Wetin them go discover say you tell them say you get wey you no actually get?” Edeh laughed.
“No mind them, na jealousy; them dey vex say my levels pass their own; I no fit stoop low to talk to them now; na wetin dey vex them be that but if e vex una too much, una fit find transformer hug,” Bemdoo said.
Sonter who had been listening to their interaction was amazed as he observed that Chuckwu, Eche, Okparagu and Owoicho who were terrible noisemakers in the class remained quiet throughout their discussions. They had been painting since they entered the class and looked frightened. “Una notice Owoicho, Chuckwu, Eche and Okparagu so?” Sonter asked.
“As them dey shiver like chicken wey enter cold water ba?” Dolapo laughed.
“Na wetin I bin observe, before these group of wild animals wey misplace their habitat interrupt me. Guy, na wetin bin pursue una like that? Una see winch?” Bemdoo said.
“Guy,” Owoicho took a deep breath. "If na winch, e for better, na Hot-shit na im bin dey call us.”
“Jesus is Lord!” exclaimed Ogah from sleep as he placed his head on his desk. “Na wetin I hear?”
“Ogah, you don dey mad abi?” Okparagu asked. “Na so them dey worry you from sleep? Na which kind shout be that?” Okparagu asked looking at the window and door to see if Ogah’s statement attracted any staff to the class.
“Wait, Hot-shit call una, and una still enter class; why una no go back to where una comote from?” Grace asked.
“Na the same question wey I wan ask ma be that o,” Queen added.
“When Hot-shit call you, reason dey go break, na only instinct go dey active” Diana laughed.
“Quiet!” Exclaimed Obinna. “Hot-shit dey come.”
Everybody in the class maintained absolute quietness as the saw Mr. Akaeze aka Hot-shit enter the class. Immediately he stepped inside the class, they stood up to greet him but he stopped them.
“Close your dirty mouths and sit down,” Mr. Akaeze shouted.
He wore a long sleeve shirt that seemed to be extra-large and could only be held together as he tucked the shirt into his trousers that was lifted up to his abdomen. He was light in complexion and moderately fat with a protruded stomach. The students had mocked him that he was bleaching as he had some black spots on his face but they didn’t dare say it to his hearing.
He was silent as he stared at the students who were shivering while he walked around the class. He cleared his throat. “Some boys entered this class not quite long,” he turned and looked at them as he stood at the front of the class. “If you are among them, I would want you to respect yourself and quietly stand up.”
“I talk say this man no fit be human being, na winch,” Obinna whispered.
“Did you say something?” Mr. Akaeze shouted as he looked at Obinna. Obinna quickly shook his head to deny that he made any sound.
“I saw some boys ran into this class; who are they?” Mr. Akaeze said as he continued to walk.
“My God, how this man take see us when we pass back?” Eche whispered as he noticed that Mr. Akaeze had walked to the other end of the class.
“Na which kind devil be this? Abi him just dey pull our legs?” Owoicho said.
“If him see us, why him bin no enter class immediately we enter inside come catch us? Him no see us abeg; him wan play our heads; anyhow wey e be, make we lock up,” Okparagu said.
“You no fit talk oh, him fit see us then pretend enter staff room,” Chuckwu said.
“Shey you don start abi? Na dey kind fear wey you dey fear wey dey make me no dey like your thing be this o,” Eche said.
“Chuckwu if na the eye wey you open dey make you fear like this, close am so that you no go dey see am,” Owoicho said.
“You don’t want to call the names of the boys, do you?” Mr. Akeaze said as he walked to the front and turned to the students. The students were quiet and stared at him. “Do you want to serve punishment because of them? You know that I can flog each and every one of you twenty strokes of the cane and I won’t be tired, don’t you? So somebody better starts talking.” He stared at them for two minutes waiting for their cooperation. “I have heard many awful stories about this class which I know to be all true; one among the issues the teachers complained about is that you can cooperate and cover up for those that carry out evil in this class. And from what I have observed, nobody in this class is innocent.”
“Oh poor you, it’s a pity that you just discovered,” Ifeoma said silently and those around her smiled when they noticed that Mr. Akaeze’s gaze wasn’t on them.
“I am kind of surprise myself,” Precious said.
“Emmanuel Orkaa,” Mr. Akaeze shouted.
“Na which kind wahala be this?” Orkaa whispered before he stood up. “Yes, Sir!” he answered.
“We don finish,” Chuckwu whispered. “This guy go sell us out.”
“You too dey panick, wait first na; God fit touch am,” Eche responded to Chuckwu.
“Stand up and call the names of those that entered the class,” Mr. Akaeze commanded.
“You said?” Orkaa hesitated.
“You want to tell me that you don’t hear in the afternoon? I said: call the names of those that entered this class just now.”
“Sir...” he stammered. “Everybody has been in the class since morning.”
“I no fit believe my eyes; na Orkaa dey talk like this abi na another person?” Gbagyo whispered.
“Me ma, I no fit shout o; this can’t be ordinary. I need to do some investigations to see where something go right,” Fabian whispered.
“What do you mean by that?” Mr. Akaeze interrupted Orkaa. “If you say that everybody has been in this class since morning, it means you are among those boys that entered the class just now,” he walked to where Orkaa stood. “Let me ask you for the last time: who are the boys that just entered this class just now?”
“Sir, nobody entered the class just now,” Orkaa’s voice was breaking as he panicked.
Mr. Akaeze took a deep breath. “This class is daring me, but I know what to do. I am going to remove these bad habits you are trying to cultivate from you; I am going to flog each and every one of you 6 strokes of the cane, after which you will go to the field and weed the grasses until 4:00 pm.”
He walked to Agberagba who was the first person that sat at the left corner of the class closed to the door and told him to stand up. “Stand up all of you!” he shouted as he turned to the class. He raised his right hand above his head with the cane as he used all the strength within him to flog all of them. He flogged all of them on their legs. Some of the ladies and boys in the class screamed and shouted as he flogged them.
“This man go kill person one day o,” Gbagyo said as he saw Mr. Akaeze trashing Chioma who was shouting.
“Omo, I fit survive this beating so? The sound of the cane alone wan give me convulsion, but una sure say this man no get us for mind before now?” Okpomo asked as they watched Mr. Akaeze trashing others.
“Na today you resume for this school wey you dey ask that kind question?” Fabian shook his head. “Na die we dey like so!”
Mr. Akaeze finished beating them and matched them to the field. He sent a student to go to the store to get old and blunt cutlasses without wooden handles for them to use to serve the punishment. They were unfortunate that the sun was fierce as they worked.
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