As long as I had waited for this day and as happy as I
should have been, I was still very sad about what
happened between me and uncle Sam. I couldn’t just smile
at the tall building that was standing in front of me with
‘Girls hostel’ written on it. I wanted to be happy that I was
finally going to experience the life as a boarder but I just
couldn’t take my mind off everything.
I put on a fake smile as my dad helped me with my suitcases. My mother whocarried her bag and just my pillow in her hands was smiling
warmly at me. I guess she still thought I was sad about
leaving home. My sister on the other hand really looked
sad that I was leaving. She took my buckets out of the
trunk and went to stand beside my mum, not saying a
single word. I felt really bad that I was leaving her but it
had been the decision of our parents to make me boarder.
I couldn’t even console her. I was just too weak to be in
any other mood. We walked into the gates after greeting
the security guards who stood there. They even helped
with some of my items which made it easier for us while
one of the security guards directed us to where we were
supposed to get checked in. We walked about five minutes
until we came to a point where five women were seated at
a table under a canopy. They looked like the ‘house
mothers’ like I usually hear the boarders call them. They
looked a little old except two who looked like they were in
their early thirties. They smiled at us as we approached
them. My dad and mum who had been smiling all the way
from home greeted them and exchanged words before I
was asked to open my suitcases for search. They said it
was a normal thing since provisions and some other things
weren’t allowed, they needed to make sure there was no
contraband brought to the hostel.
“Did you label your items with your name written on them?”
one of the house mothers asked.
I nodded my head and muttered a “yes ma” while I and
my dad were asked to sign some papers. After I was being
checked in, they told me to say my goodbyes as my family
weren’t allowed further at that point. After holding
everything in, the tears that had built up since began to
drop and I cried as I hugged them. I didn’t just cry because
I was going to miss them. I cried because all of a sudden I
became scared. While clinging to them, one of the house
mothers called me a baby and asked to take my things to
room seven on the second floor. I waved my family
goodbye as I watch them leave the premises. I carried the
lightest items and hoped that I would find someone to help
me with the rest and just when I was thinking about it, one
of the young house mothers decided to help with some of
my belongings. She just kept smiling at me which made
me feel a little better.
On getting to room seven on the second floor, I heard one of my friends, Annabelle talking loudly. As I opened the door of room seven, I saw some of
my mates seated at a corner in the room, just talking. By
the time they looked up, they all shouted “Meso!!! Meso!!!”
as they ran towards me. Smiling, I hugged them one after
the other. They collected my belongings from the house
mother who had helped me carry some of them and they
all followed me to get the rest. I don’t know what
happened but all of a sudden, my sadness dissolved and I
was filled with joy.
After about two hours, I was done unpacking. My friends
had helped me with most of the unpacking. They arranged
my clothes into the closet, they arranged my bed and
helped me with a few other things. Not long after, I heard
the bell ring and asked Annabelle the reason for the bell.
“It’s time for dinner,” Anabelle said. She hadn’t stopped
smiling ever since I arrived.
“I’m so happy you’re here” She had said earlier.
I said, “okay” and followed them as we all left the room to
the dining hall which was a two minutes walk from the
girls hostel. We all got into the hall and went to take our
seats. The hall was a big one indeed, the hostel boys and
girls shared it and so it was flooded with a lot of students.
I looked around while seated on my chair amazed at the
plenty students that came in. From the senior boys and
girls to the junior boys and girls, all in our house wear. The
junior girls had a long ugly looking gown while the senior
girls had a different type of gown but much more good
looking. Same as the boys with the juniors in shorts and
seniors in trousers. You could tell the difference from the
way they dressed and also the way they behaved. You
could see the junior boys like the ones in my set, Ayo and
co, running around and playing in their short bodies while
the senior boys strolled in coolly with their hands in their
pockets. I noticed senior Daniel among the midst of some
of the other senior boys laughing and chatting but I looked
away not wanting him to notice me yet.
“Everyone settle down and keep quiet,” I heard the senior
prefect boy shout and immediately the hall was as quiet as
a graveyard. “Shall we pray,” he said again and everyone
stood up with their heads bowed and eyes closed.
The next thing I heard was “For the food we are about to
eat, we thank you oh lord” echoing all over the hall before
they took their seats again. They began to call row by row
to line up for their food. While I and my friends were still
waiting to be called on, we kept on chatting until I felt a tap
on my shoulder. I looked at who had tapped me and saw a
junior boy holding a plate of meat in his hands.
“Senior Daniel said I should give you this,” looking at
him confused, I told him I didn’t want it. I mean how did
he even know I was around. I didn’t even tell him I was
going to be a boarder. I guessed he had seen me too. The
boy refused to return it and said senior Daniel had said not
to go back without handing the plate of meat to me. I
sighed and collected the plate from his hands before he
dashed out of sight.
“If you don’t want it, give me oo. You people will just be
forming for school father again,” Funke who had probably
been eyeing the meat said.
I just laughed and handed her the plate of meat before our
row was called to get our food. After dinner, the same
junior boy who had brought the plate of meat earlier came
walking towards me.
“Senior Daniel said he wants to see you now,” he said. “He
is beside the palm tree just outside the dining hall”
I nodded at his message and went immediately to see
him. I already waved my friends bye and told them I would
see them in the hostel. On getting to the place the junior
boy had described, I saw senior Daniel leaning coolly on
the palm tree.
“Hey! my baby,” he said when he saw me.
I smiled and greeted him with a ‘good evening’.
“You know, you can just say ‘hey dad’ or ‘hello dad’ or ‘hey
Daniel’ you don’t have to be so formal. I’m not the house
master. Anyway, how are you?
“I’m fine,” I replied.
“You know I’m angry with you,” he said again.
Smiling I said, “Did I do something wrong?”
“Your number one offence is you were coming to the
hostel as a boarder and you didn’t even tell me. Two, you
rejected my meat, you think I didn’t see you ehn and three
you can’t even hug your school father. Chai!! My life”
“No now, it’s not…” before I could complete my statement
he completed it for me.
“like that. I know oo. It’s not always like that.” he said and
opened his arms gesturing me to hug him in which I did.
“I’m just teasing you but I’m still angry oo” he said but
before we could talk further, I heard and saw someone call
his name while walking up to us.
“Daniel, the senior prefect boy is calling you” the other
senior boy said.
I’m guessing it was his friend because I used to see them
hanging around together. Senior Daniel who heard this told
me to go back to my hostel, that he would see me later
and immediately he followed the other boy as they walked
towards the boys hostel. I guessed he couldn’t say no to
the senior prefect since he was still a class below him so
he had to leave.
To be continued….