Growing me: Class FiveFive boys stood awkwardly in front of a dimly lit classroom. It's another Monday morning in class five. How I loathe Monday mornings! They make me wonder if I was ever built for school. Outside, the wind is busy chasing leaves back and forth in an endless love ritual. How I wish I was a leaf. A soft rumble of thunder blows me back into the tense classroom. My skinny legs feel like jelly right now. Eighty four eyes stare at us with heightened curiosity, never blinking. Expectant. I can't seem to get my eyes off my well-worn adibas (yes adibas not adidas) sneakers riddled with many tiny mice holes (those shameless rodents!). “Fools! Fools!” barks my livid teacher sending a round of abominable knocks through us. “Goats and sheep, all of you!” he continues. I'm close to tears; my ears are singing an unfamiliar song of loud bells and pain.
What can I say about Mr. Gyebi? He's roughly five-seven and has a military look about him. He wears a bushy moustache as though it were a hero's medal of honour. He's never late to school, he's never absent. Never! He had this uncanny hobby of lurking in the shadows and spying on his students even long after school was done. His pesky habit had paid off.
To my left is a very nervous Takyi Edward (he stole my girlfriend in class two) and to his left is his bony best friend and accomplice, Eben Doe. These two had been caught playing football late into the evening and when night fell, they switched on the 'floodlight' (according to Mr. Gyebi) and played on well into the night. Little did they know that their harum-scarum activity was watched and documented with fervour. Kwame Antwi, an unusually dark boy with constantly darting red eyes stood to Eben Doe's left. Kwame had an uncommon love for pigeon meat. His deft movements and amazing reflexes made him a formidable predator and so it came to be that as he rustled an unfortunate nest one fine Sunday morning, a strong arm grabbed him by the posterior and plucked him to the ground. The predator had become prey. Now in the vanguard of this bizarre parade was a worryingly bewildered Kweku Bedeh. It was common knowledge that he hardly wore underpants to school. Today he had on very tight brown school shorts which were miles above his knees and faded from relentless use and wash. How he wished above all else that he wore underpants today!
Mr. Gyebi is muttering to himself (psyching up) and undoing his gold watch (which I suspect to be fake). He's flexing a cane as big as our wrists. The classroom is a graveyard. He takes off his grandfather glasses and motions for Kweku Bedeh. “You're 'huuhu' (overconfident),” Mr. Gyebi had told him. As for me I'd forgotten to dot an 'i' in one of my sentences, an even graver sin. It's drizzling now. And so it began, but make no mistake, one way or another we're all going to cry.
by D.S. Senanu
Posted by: D.S. Senanu