Ss3 was so much fun. It was different from the other grades because we had all become seniors, we did not have to answer to anyone but the school
authorities. No more, “senior this, senior that..” we were now the seniors and being rightfully referred to as such.
It was a huge break from worrying about morning pieces of work, inspection days, and the ever so dreaded seniors who seemed to pick on us just because they could, giving punishments that were almost impossible to achieve just so they could beat us for failing.
We had come a long way from that and now personally, I was a senior and had put all of such worries behind me.
I enjoyed my new class, and my mates,everyone had their own unique personalities which when contended with, different outcomes ensued. For example, we had this clique of four friends, Tolu, Iye, Aisha and Mnena, they were popular in school mainly because they were very stubborn back in junior class, they did not seem to fear anyone, not even the seniors like the rest of us did, always getting into one trouble or the other.
Their uniform was always properly ironed, even when it was difficult for the rest of us to get charcoal to do same.
Their hair was always nicely made, they were almost always looking good, which got them their popularity. Some people hated them, some loved them while the rest of us just wanted to be them.
Another thing about this clique of four friends was the fact that they loved to gossip, and when I say gossip, I mean the very painful kind of talk, they seemed to have something ugly to say about those they did not like, even when the situation was not as bad, they would twist it to look bad, then laugh hysterically when the person in question was passing by, they would laugh in a way that the person would have no doubt in their mind that it was them they were laughing at.
The girls sat on the same row in class, the back row which is usually known for the rebellious students and those who considered themselves way above the others. I sat adjacent to them so I was able to watch their mischief, secretly wishing I was a part of their tight bond.
The girls would pass little papers across to each other even during classes and then giggle silently, it was annoying and like some other classmates, I kept waiting and praying for the day someone would be brave enough to put these girls in their place.
So it was very exciting and you can imagine the joy in everyone’s hearts when Zainab, a usually quiet girl in science class stormed into our class during break time on that fateful day and headed straight for Tolu, Iye, Aisha and Mnena who were having snacks and sitting round each other at their desk.
Zainab was taking brisk steps to the girls and you could literally see her panting heart through her uniform.
The girls who had not noticed Zainab approach were alerted out of their chattering as Zainab unceremoniously screamed at all four, “You these useless gossips!! So you have being telling everyone that cares to listen that I still bed wet abi?!!”
The girls as expected exchanged glances then burst out laughing, which sounded annoying, it always sounded annoying.
Zainab had her hand planted on her waist, obviously upset, her entire body was bouncing.
Tolu, who was considered the head of the group rose in a slow motion and stood face to face with Zainab “so this is why you came here? Is it a lie?” she rolled her head in her face.
“Yes it is!!” Zainab defended herself “it was only once it happened but by mistake and you girls went about telling everyone” her shaky voice unintentional confirmed their words. Her hand flew to her mouth almost immediately as she realized what she had said, but it was too late, the girls were already laughing uncontrollably, giving high-fives to each other. The class that had been rooting for her joined in laughing, causing an embarrassed Zainab to run out of the class, teary eyed.
Like other confrontations, the girls had won.
That was how I decided to gist my seatmate about the incidence since I was present when it happened, I gave her the gist, but not without warning her not to say she heard it from me, but the silly girl told someone who told someone who told another and it all came back to me.
The confrontation happened at the tap in my hostel, I was getting water with some other students present when Zainab emerged out of nowhere, accompanied by her entourage of friends angrily rooted behind her, making me wonder where they were that day she was confronting the clique in class.
These girls asked me to repeat what I had said to my seat mate, I did, but they debunked it, turns out, as the gist had gone from one person to another, it was edited and jara added to it.
That was how they pounced on me, those girls beat me black and blue, of course I couldn’t fight them off, they had their fill before scrambling to their heels.
I was so pained.
So the next day in class, I approached my seat mate, carrying serious face for her.
As expected, she denied saying anything and that was how we started to argue, our classmates gathered, and just in that moment, Zainab and her crew walked in, my heart skipped! I was like, “what again!!”
But, they didn’t come for me this time as they passed by me and my now gaping seatmate and made their way straight for Tolu, Mnena, Aisha and Iye, Zainab obviously confident having her backup this time.
They attacked the four unsuspecting girls and a fight ensued between the cliques. They gave each other enough beatings before the security came in and whisked the entire class to the staff room. When asked to relay what started the fight, every girl involved gave a description of events that best favored her. But our classmates gave us up, testifying that the issue was between I, my seatmate, Zainab, her friends and the clique of four.
We were given punishments to drain the gutter, and threatened with suspension if we ever fought in school again.
Needless to say, we all had to work together, it was so hard because we could not agree on anything, we just argued and argued.
Then there was the stares we got from other students, the mockery, missed classes, the stench from the gutter, it was all so exasperating that I resolved to avoid gossips henceforth… It so wasn’t worth it, especially when I remember how Zainab and her friends beat me up at the tap, with their strong hands.