Meanwhile, my now late friend Terwar Orbura was coaxing me to go and collect the certificate before the principal comes himself, some of my mates were coming into the class with smiles on their faces; I had made them proud, the boys simply greeted me with my nickname and patted me on the back some even chop knuckles, others came from the science and business classes to smile at me, some of the girls also came around to put on a flirting smile on their faces and it tickled me so much. I knew I would be expelled, from the past terms I caused the school headache: the list was endless, ranging from theft, taking double rations at the dining hall, smuggling contrabands into the dormitory, writing of love letters to girls, running away for compulsory duties in the dormitory, fighting, stealing books from the school library ……..
My mates said that the principal will surely beat me up and they advised that I should squeeze my buttocks very tight, if strikes me with the cane it will bounce back, some suggested I should tell him a very short and convincing fiction; I knew just what to do, I had my plan right in mind: before I set out to collect what rightfully belong to me, I borrowed a pair of sandals and from another I collected a pair of socks, everyone knew that no one dare enters the principal’s office with a dirty socks, bathroom slippers, dirty collar or a smelly body, even a missing button on your shirt; from where the principal was sitting on his seat behind the table, he’d see everything and perceive any odd smell: the bathroom slippers I was wearing that day was called “spanners” it had two perfectly bored holes that was made under the pressure of my legs.
I entered the principal’s office and his head was bent over typed sheets of papers he was straining over it to see the words clearly, I was wondering where he kept his glasses when my eyes caught the beautiful design of a laminated paper, I looked well and saw a bold writing of my name, under it the word,” literati” was carefully designed I was straining to see it well when the voice of the principal made me freeze: “why didn’t you attend the assembly” he took his eyes of the paper, “shift back, he added when he saw me very close to the desk and the certificate, he took the certificate and held it by the tip of his finger.
I shifted back to the middle of the room, closed my eyes and composed myself for my heart was beating hard and slamming against my ribs such that I was afraid he’d hear it, I was also afraid that he’d deprive me of my beautiful certificate. When I recollected myself, I licked my lips and told him a story: I said I was at the back of the lines and I was wearing my bathroom slippers so I was afraid to come out I ended the short story and hoped that he’d be convinced. He looked at me with his small dark eyes, “I won’t buy that tale, literati, you are known in school for your lies, but never mind …… very very soon it will all end” he handed over the certificate and I stomped out of the office.
Everyone in the class wanted to see and touch the certificate and a very mischievous person took a pen and wrote my nickname on it.
I walked around the school freely, when the literature paper came and it was time to write the exams, I sat down and was settling down for the exams, revising the three definitions of literature when two prefects came to the front and the pointed at me, I stood up sharply and looked at my mates with fear in my eyes, by time my eyes grew misty, I nearly broke down to tears as I saw the pitiful expression on my mates faces, I pulled at the mucus coming down my nose and looked at my mates again and tried to smile but a hot tear slipped down my cheeks the prefects turned away pitifully, my mates were quiet and remorse, I was now regretting every action I took, I looked down on my desk as the tears poured out, I came out of the class and followed the prefects up the corridor, since class was now seated for examinations and as we passed the corridor, our shoes made little squeaky noise and students stood up from their seats and looked out through the window, some made a frantic effort to wave their hands at us they all knew that I was going to face the disciplinary committee and I might come out with a severe sentence, it was like a coup plotter led to the execution stakes, when we passed by my brothers class, they all looked out, I saw my brothers face in particular; they was a painful expression on his face also shame and helplessness, he couldn’t save his brother from the authority, it only made tears pour out of my face, I walked quickly leaving the prefects behind to the office and I stepped in timidly, three faces were present and frowning at me, my uncle was seated on the chair with a look of disgust on his.
They wasted no time, they asked me to narrate what happened; to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, as usual ……. The deep breath taking, the closing of eyes and I narrated the story and I didn’t omit any action, every ear soaked up the words and when I ended the story I said “I didn’t go to the pleasure house” I shouted. My uncle pleaded a lesser sentence; the disciplinary committee talked in whispers and the secretary wrote something down on the paper, meanwhile I was turning and playing with my fingers nervously and avoiding my uncle’s gaze: the principal cleared his throat and passed on the judgment “no matter the judgment we pass on, always remember that it is out of love and not hatred, the principal paused and looked at me ….. lyambee he continued, I personally admire you, you are very good at writing down lies and last week you won a prize amongst the whole ss1, I want you to consider that an achievement………. We looked over the present and past cases and we think its best you go home to your parents and school under their care …… who knows? You might run into a stronger temptation, and with your carnal thoughts, it would he really hard to resist ….. Sexual sin is the most sweetest and deadliest, and the next time you face such temptations; please resist it.
He sat back and looked at me “you are to leave the school premises after your last paper on Friday …. You are expelled!