2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
Proffesseur (Episode Two)
By C.V.C Ozoaniamalu
It was actually not the time to press the panic button, probably because it was Friday and Fridays had always come with so much laziness as well as euphoria for the short but meaningful weekend rest. It was just 15 minutes to the end of the class, voices of students making plans of their future yet powerful ordeal at the dining hall filled the block. I held closely a book I had taken from my sister’s bag a night before I left home, I had not read it but I felt that holding it close to me would kind of bring my people close. The noise stopped when a lady entered, it was a dead silence, Ifekandu would have let out a side talk that would bring the whole class to laughter but he had been aloof and quiet since the last incident. He talked to nobody, I tried several times to bring us back to normal but he was not responding. He finally left our hostel, I could remember the day he packed from our hostel, how fear had gripped me, “maybe he was right, maybe it was not something ordinary”, I thought. I could not sleep well that night, so I had made the most little effort to tie both of my legs to the bunk so as to hold me back to a place and prevent any future embarrassment. I did it for sometime and stopped because I noticed I woke up with those ropes loosened and myself neatly coiled to my blanket. So, when that lady entered our class, I didn’t turn to look at Ifekandu, which I would have done in a normal circumstance.
The woman was the best definition of “Ordinary”, she was neither beautiful nor ugly, she was neither tall nor short, she wore neither earrings nor necklaces, except for the wrist watch which looked older than herself, dangling lazily on the left wrist and her long rosary beads on the other wrist. She wore a long skirt, the type that is worn in the Abbey, her big waist lifting the back side of the skirt making it a bit higher than the length in front. Her waist and breasts, recognizably sizeable, were the most noticeable features she had. Her face was blank, she had no makeup, and it showed no emotions, her eyes wandered around the class as if in search of a spy. As she raised her leg to climb the pavement into the classroom, her flowered white head wrap flew up and rested back neatly on her shoulders in the Fatima style as it was called by Catholics. I already knew she was a Reverend sister even before she introduced herself as one. “Bon jour Students, I’m Rev.Sr. Marie, your French teacher”, she said, as she made the sign of the cross. Looking at her, I wondered why God had given a woman such a beautiful accompanying features and left her face blank, neither with beauty nor ugliness. After she said a short prayer in a language none of us understood, she started towards the back of the class and stopped in front of Ogodo, a chubby black boy who seemed to have so much senior students trying to please him by giving him their food at the dining hall.
“Ogodo, Be careful with the senior students, if you allow your friendly fox into your hen house, tomorrow it might get hungry” . The boy shrank, everyone was surprised, was she a prophetess or something? How could she have called the boy by his name?
She moved back to the front of the class, introduced the course and wrote out the scheme. Then she said finally “Beware of the gay people, they would come first bearing gifts.” I felt a hand tap my shoulder, I turned and it was Ifekandu, “Who are the gay people? Is that a club around here?” I felt important at this moment, if anything, he still valued my intelligence. I smiled to myself but I pretended not to have heared him the first time, I needed him to ask again or probably because I didn’t want to feel so desperate to talk to him again. “Who are the gay people?”, he asked again. I honestly did not know what gay people meant at that time but I didn’t want to disappoint so I used the trick I learnt from my elder brother on dodging questions you don’t know the answer, so, I said “It…it depends..on where she’s coming from” I said without looking back. I surreptitiously opened my little pocket dictionary, there it was.. The first definition read “Happy” and second definition read “sexual intimation between two males: synonym- Homosexuals”.
On seeing the meaning, I turned back almost immediately and with deep ineffable pride I downloaded to him what I just found, giving it out as if I had known it a very long time. It was not until he asked “The second meaning? How possible?”, that I realized I had no explanation for that.
As the woman was about to leave the class, she stopped in front of me. My heart skipped; “Are you sure she didn’t hear my thought?”, I said to myself.
“Whats your name?”, she asked.
“Arinze” I said, head bending in respect and at the same happy that she had to ask my name and not surprise me like she surprised Ogodo, if anything, my spirit was too young to be ascertained.
“Okay”, she said as she left.
“Be ready for the next prophecy, light would be shone on your darkest part” , Ifekandu teased.
“I have no skeletons on my cupboard” , I snapped.
II. SOCIAL NIGHT
The auditorium was filled, It was called a social night, a sort of little party organized for freshers. I was behind the stage, getting ready to play the role of the Queen. I had never acted before and now I was kicking off with the role of a woman in an opera, where I would be a mediatrix between the people and the King. Back stage, I held tightly the script, reading and reading over again in order not to miss any line.
“Freeze” The director said. “ The opera is about to start, set the stage, take your role, play it like no one else could”.
I had looked myself in the mirror hanging on the stage, I nearly laughed out, the costume had changed me automatically. I was wearing a whitish blouse, the type my mother wore for August meetings, and on my waist was the material the director called an ntorika George. It was all heavy on me, especially the two round rubber material tied to my chest by a wretched bra from the theatre house, producing a nice shaped breast of an eighteen year ripe virgin. I was looking like a young girl being decorated for an early marriage ceremony.
“Action start”, The director shouted once more.
I saw myself standing alone on the stage behind the close curtains. “Arinze, this is your night, you have to bring all glory to yourself”, I said in my heart.
The curtain tore open, the light in the auditorium had been switched off, the only light there was centered on me, I couldn’t see well. I was tempted to cover my eyes with my elbow to prevent the rays from the light but the only thing I remembered was the directors voice saying “As soon as the light shines on you, give the audience a smile and a profound bow.. take five breaths in and out and pitch the first note”.
So I faked a smile and a bow. The crowd was already in frenzy, I heard voices in the background asking who I was. I heard a voice shout “Arinzendikwunnem, shine on”, I immediately knew it was Ifekandu, and adored that he knew my full name, and wished at that moment that I could give credit to whoever had dreamed up that name, it was calculated to be high tuned enough to appeal.
The Opera had gone well, I was very fulfilled and proud of myself. Ifekandu had run to me back stage to tell me how beautiful I sounded back there and how one of my fake planted breast was sagging while the other stood firm and we laughed out loud. As we were about to leave the stage, a hand held me, it was Kamsi, the assistant director of social, popular in school as D.O.S 2
“That was a wonderful performance out there, you really made the theatre club proud”
“Thanks, I’m grateful for that opportunity”
“I think you deserve a gift”, He fumbled his hands in his pocket and brought out a wrist watch and placed it in my palm. I thanked him as he left.
Ifekandu who had stood a little distance away, came close and examined the gift. “Wow, that’s G-Shock, who gives out such an expensive watch”, He said, moving towards his hostel but stopped as if he forgot something. He moved closely and said in low careful tone “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?, Remember, they would come bearing gifts, na so Dem go chop you ohhh”
...to be continued
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