“That Toni girl is a bad girl. Heard on the grapevine that she has three boyfriends, all in university”. “She leaves school for parties”. “She doesn’t go home during midterm breaks instead she’ll be with one of her boyfriends”. “She smokes”. “One time her mother caught her making out with a boy in his car…”
There was nothing my classmates didn’t say about me but I loved hearing it all. The rumours kept me relevant and so I had a reputation to maintain.
The truth is I did have a boyfriend who was in the university. Well two but I liked one more and I was sure they were seeing other people so why should I commit to one, I was young and there was nothing wrong in testing the waters.
My friend Jacinta who sat behind me in class never stopped judging me “Hell is a hot place Toni” she would say “You’re going to burn”. I would laugh in response but deep down I thought, what a lunatic. We were talking in class one lunch break when my Nokia “torchlight” phone vibrated and I received a call from one of my boyfriends. Debola had called to invite me to a party. As soon as I ended the call she started in her usual critical manner “Demon child, who was that?” she asked, “Demon child’s friend that was my boyfriend and he just invited me to a party, I’ll leave school tomorrow after classes” I replied. “Hmmn the fire that will burn you is very hot” she continued, “Shut up jor” I said this time. I wasn’t having her nonsense.
Was I going to get into trouble? I was in the backseat of the cab on my way to maroko close, Ikoyi where my boyfriend lived but my mind strayed back to the events of that afternoon.
I had waited a while before leaving school. Surely that was thoughtless of me. Why didn’t I just leave along with most people? I was only a few feet away from the massive iron of bondage that was my school gate I could even smell the freedom on the other side when I heard “Hey you come here”, I knew the call was for me but I would die before I stopped willingly. “Hey” I heard it again and again, if I didn’t stop before why would I stop now I was so close. I was almost out the gate when a security guard grabbed my arm much too roughly and pointed backwards “that woman is calling you”. If I run would he come after me was what I was thinking as I gave him my best look of indignation. After what seemed like forever I turned and walked back. Mrs Shina the trouble maker. I reached her and greeted, she stared me down and asked where I was going “Home” I said, “Where is your exeat letter” she asked “I don’t need one “ I replied “I’m a day student” “Since when! My friend will you go back to your dormitory” she scolded “what dormitory? Excuse me ma but I’m going home” I walked away “Okay” she screamed at me, “You shall see”.
I probably will I thought as I looked out the window of the car. It doesn’t matter now; I’ve been known to be imprudent.
I was looking in the mirror and loving my reflection. The only disappointment was my hair which I had no remedy for since I had just left school and was going back soon. I settled for packing it into a ponytail. My outfit however was the star; my outfit was everything. This red satin halter top had just the right amount of dip at the back and this denim miniskirt gave me the perfect bubble butt. I had legs for days? Curse my school uniform, this couldn’t be my body. I was so self-absorbed that I didn’t hear Debola walk in. He had gotten ready and left the room to attend to something “Damn girl, you’ll be the belle of the ball tonight” he said as he walked towards me, “not with my hair looking so basic I won’t” I answered, “There’s nothing basic about you girl” he said just before he dropped a quick kiss on my mouth.
The party was an Epic fail. There were not enough girls, not enough alcohol and the DJ was obviously deaf. I would have regretted leaving school if it hadn’t given me the chance to be with Debola. About two hours after we got there Debola suggested we leave the party and go somewhere else but I had lost interest and just wanted to go back to the house.
I was looking at the mirror again but this time in dismay. What a waste! Debola came up behind me “let’s take a shower together” he said putting his arms around me “That’s not happening” I replied as I struggled out of his arms “Okay but I want you” he continued “That’s definitely not happening” I responded again, for a second I was sure I saw a flash of anger in his eyes but surprisingly he shrugged and said “okay”. I’d just gotten out the bathroom when Debola ended his call. I couldn’t hear a thing from the bathroom even though I’d been listening carefully, maybe he was talking to his other girlfriend. Men! I shook my head. “I have to go” he said, “Go where and why?” “I have to go pick up something I’ll be right back” “Bullsh-“. He was already out the door.
It was almost 10 am and no Debola. I was starving and taking umbrage at him. There was a knock on the door. I knew it wasn’t Debola he wouldn’t knock on his own door. Apprehensively I asked “who is it?” “Na cook” the person replied. I was glad. Food had come. I ran to the door but instead of a tray of food he was holding out a phone to me “Call for you” he said, I collected it “Hello” “Toni my parents are on their way from the airport you need to leave” Debola said. I was still trying and failing to process what he had just said “Please leave now” he said again and hung up. Why didn’t he call me directly? The cook collected his phone and walked away. There was no way I was going back to school on a Saturday morning so I called my friend Aisha who was also Debola’s cousin “yeah sure that’s fine” she said just before I thanked her and ended the call. I gathered all my belongings and left for Aisha’s house.
I was in Aisha’s house the rest of the weekend and when I told her what her cousin had done she laughed and said “I told you he was not a serious person.” I decided not to cry over spilt milk so Aisha and I decided to enjoy the weekend.
As I stepped into class on Monday just before the morning assembly I saw the sombre look on the faces of my friends, even Jacinta so I asked what happened. My sit partner Toritsefe whom I call Tofe was the one to answer “Toni there was a roll call on Friday night. Mrs Shina and the boarding house matron conducted a roll call and asked specifically of you I don’t know how they knew your name but they know you left school. You might be in trouble.”
The walk to the assembly ground was the longest walk of my life; my friends had been surprised at my nonchalance but within me I was melting I didn’t even know how my feet held me up. The assembly program was a blur until very clearly I heard my name, which was the first time my name had ever been called on the assembly. I was to report to the principal’s office immediately after and I knew exactly what it meant. After waiting outside the principal’s office for what seemed like forever her secretary came out “The principal will see you now” I took a deep breath and walked in to the office. The vice principal was there. She looked at me for a second and said “fix your button” with faltering hands I obliged. The principal looked at me “Where were you on Friday night?” “I went home” I answered “Were you given permission?” she asked, “No ma but-““Go outside” she cut me off “The secretary will give you your letter. You are to be deboarded and suspended indefinitely.” She went back to her writing. After a little while I collected my letter from the secretary who asked me to get my belongings and wait for my parents to pick me up. On hearing her words tears started to roll down my face.
My parents were the most liberal and understanding people ever but would they understand this? Where would I tell them I was? I was in tears till my mother came to pick me. She didn’t say a word, not even after we got home. I stayed in my room all day and didn’t even touch the food given, how could I? The real drama started when my father came home and had my time “Where were you and why did you leave school?” “I was at Aisha’s house and I just needed a break from boarding house” ”Why didn’t you come home then?” ”I didn’t want you to send me back” ”Where’s your sim card?”-My parents didn’t know I used a phone in school; I always left my main phone with my mom before going back to school.- I gave my sim card to my father hesitantly and because my contacts were stored on my sim he called Aisha and put it on speaker. I prayed silently God if you ever loved me please don’t let her pick. She picked immediately “Toni, Oh gosh I heard you were deboarded and suspended. Sorry o. Do you know I called Debola” My heart raced. OH SHIT! “I told him everything that happened and he wasn’t even remorseful, to think you left school to see the useless boy. I bet he hasn’t called you has he? Hello? Toni?” My dad hung up. I looked at my mom she was pacing and shaking her head. My dad got up so suddenly I took a few steps back, he headed straight to my room. I needed the ground to swallow me.
I knew my father was rummaging through my things but I didn’t know what he was looking for, he had a habit of doing it whilst I was asleep and when I caught him I would ask what he was looking for but this time I dared not. He came back a few minutes later with my diary. Again, OH SHIT! He looked at me “Who is Debola?” ”My friend” ”You left your school to see a boy” ”No I was in Aisha’s house he came to see me in Aisha’s house” ”How did he know you were at her house” I had to think fast “Aisha told him, they are cousins” ”At your age you have a boyfriend. Has he slept with you?” ”What! No! I’m a virgin”. He opened a page in my diary “Read” he said. I immediately knew what it was so I started crying. “Loud enough for your mother to hear” he said. I looked at her. She was still pacing. “I didn’t write this” I lied as I collected the diary, he laughed “You haven’t even looked at it.” I looked at it, how could I read this out? It was a lie I’d written in detail of how I had sex with a boy, but it was a lie. I’d only written it to maintain a reputation. How could I explain this to my parents? “I didn’t write this I said again” This time my father gave me a look so piercing I started to read. I stopped after a few sentences when I looked up and saw a tear slide down my mother’s face. She didn’t deserve this. This man can do whatever he wants I thought, I’m not reading this anymore.-Thankfully my parents didn’t believe in hitting children.-“Keep reading” my father said, “I can’t” I mumbled and ran into my bathroom.
I thought about Debola and how he was probably with his other girlfriend chilling. Curse him!
The next two days were a drag. My Parents found my school phone, took away my TV and everything I valued, my sister wasn’t even allowed to sleep in the room. At the beginning of the third day I started to feel abdominal pains and by evening I got my period. I walked slowly to my mother’s room and told her I needed sanitary towels. The next words she said threw me off my feet. “What period? You think I’m stupid. Oh you figured your father and I will make you do a Pregnancy and virginity test so you’re lying to get of it eh?” I couldn’t believe my ears “But I’m bleeding” I cried “And I promise I’m still a virgin.” ”We will find out tomorrow” she said but still gave me the sanitary towel.
I did the pregnancy test but not the virginity test which obviously turned out negative.
The following week I was asked to resume school but as a day student. My friends, glad to see me asked how I was. I bragged about how I wasn’t given any major punishments and went ahead to lie that Debola sent me a ton of gifts to beg my forgiveness. It was in that moment I realized something grave.
I had not learned my lesson.
If you made it to the end of this story you’re a star 🌟🌟
Did you enjoy it? Was it captivating enough? let me know in the comment section below and of course If you have any questions, suggestions, thoughts or just anything else you like to add (maybe you can relate and would like to tell your story or someone else’s) please leave it in the comment section as well. I would love to interact with you guys.
Thank you and God bless. xx