BY FUNMI ANITA IMALELE
My hand stretched out to Rosemary which she held on to as we hurried to catch the moving bus to school, it was Monday morning and my typical parents had gone off to the airport leaving me to fend for myself, I agree I was 17 and in Senior Secondary School 2 but that didn’t mean I was big enough to know my way around Lagos, if not for my friend Rosemary who had agreed to wait for me in the bus stop, I sure would have been declared missing by now…the driver horned at us as I managed to squeeze myself into the bus with plenty of passengers and off it went.
“Why is he so touchy?” I said when I finally was able to catch my breath
“This is Lagos” Rosemary replied, she was the more exposed between us having grown up in the busy streets of Lagos, unlike me that have been pampered and sheltered most of my life by my rich parents…
I turned and looked back at the passengers seeing very nonchalant faces as they looked grim and ready to face the day, I sighed and turned back around, glad we were able to get in at least before my gaze found its way out the window.
My parents had a flight to catch that morning and the driver and taken them to the airport, they said I should find my way to school, after all, I was grown, I didn’t feel grown at all and if not for my friend…
I looked at Rose”Did you do the assignment? “I asked
“Which one, History?” she asked” I was hoping I could copy from you, you are usually the more serious one, what did you do all weekend? “She asked.
“I went to my uncles, he had a party then I went to my aunties place, she had another party..”.I said, just my life
” you and all this your rich uncles and aunties, your such a lucky girl”
“How I think you’re luckier, you get to live your life the way you please, mine is virtually dictated, “I said
“There’s nothing wrong in that, so far as I get to spend the money …” Rose said, I still thought otherwise as we began to pass Ajegunle one of the very poor areas in Lagos, my eyes were drawn to the street miscreants as my Dad called them, they looked homeless, some had hands in pockets, dealing on drugs, while others were smoking, I turned back ahead.
“You like watching them crack heads,” Rose said following my gaze, I glanced at her
“Well you lucky we in the bus, most of them don’t like being looked at funny… especially by privy rich kids”
I gaped at her, was that what she thought?
“I’m not privy” I looked out at them again” how do you know so much about them?”
“Well, my brother has a friend who has a friend..”
“Nice..” I breathed, I didn’t like her brother, he was very gangsterish
“Nothing’s nice about mixing with them lowlives, we just privileged, though some more than others”
She referred to herself and me,I was a rich business tycoon’s daughter, my father had his own company while my mother had a boutique on the island, we were able to live very lavish lives and go abroad on vacations, her father was a teacher in the school, they were fairly comfortable but that didn’t prevent her from being my best friend.
“I don’t even know what you’re talking about” I breathed out.
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We attended Royal Bridge Academy, it was a mixed day school, with high academic standards being one of the best schools in the state… it was an ancient school having trained reputable men and women in the society who proffered scholarships to indigent students who needed it, I was one of the privileged ones who really didn’t need a scholarship…guess I was a lucky girl after all.
Rose and I were in the same class in school, we were both art students, I wanted to be a lawyer while she wanted to be a journalist, we have been best friends since kindergarten, she meant the world to me as my parents hardly had my time..all they were interested in was that I went to school and did my homework.
We got to school junction finally and walked the rest of the way there
“Sade rode a public bus, how do you feel?”Rose teased me, she usually called me Sade even though I was known as Jasmine in school, I hit her playfully with my shoulder
“What do you mean, I’m not that privy..whatever that means” I rolled my eyes, I decided I wanted to do it again, it helped me to see the world in a whole better light.
We walked into the hall as my hot boyfriend Tunde walked toward us, he was in another arm because he was studying to become a doctor but was one of the richest and handsome boys in school, and he was all mine, his grandparents were one of the founding fathers of the school and his father was a renowned politician, who never really won an election, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t very rich, he was put in the school for political gains as he would always say.
“Hey baby..” he said looking me up
“Helloo” Rose said too excitedly and waved…I looked at her weirdly before turning to hug my boyfriend, Tunde pulled me into his arms and kissed my hair, we pulled away as he smirked at her then held me around the waist, we started dating two years ago, having met in many of our family functions and discovered we ran in same circles, we became friends and it kicked off from there, the family seemed to approve, although my father never really said anything about it, we have had a lot of issues over the years, but I loved him…
“Uh, I gotta go, see you in class,” Rose said to me, I thought I saw a bush somewhere
“Yea I ‘ll see you…”I said She walked away as we watched her go
“What’s her deal?” he asked
“She probably doesn’t like us together,” I said
“You mean she doesn’t like you with me,” he said
I chuckled “what do you mean, she’s my best friend”
“She obviously has a crush on me…”He smugged” why won’t she every girl in school does, “.he said nonchalantly, why was he so full of himself, I wondered.
” I don’t, “I said, he smiled and pulled back my hair
“That’s why you’re the girlfriend”
I hit him”Your so weird, you didn’t call me all weekend,” I said holding him as we walked towards the assembly hall where we gathered for morning prayers and anthem
” I swear I was busy, we had this family party and I lost track of time, “he said
“Me too, we had a party, my uncle son’s birthday”
“You mean your nephew,” he said with a laugh, I glared
“You’re so easy to tease” he bit his lip” that’s why I love you so much”.
I frowned as we joined the line.
“Adewale…this is the last time I would warn you about sleeping in my class”the Mathematics teacher barked as everyone turned to look at the class delinquent, Christian, who slowly raised his head from the desk and looked around, he discovered he was being stared at by everyone and leaned back..the teacher still glared at him but he wasn’t bothered, he was used to it…it was a daily affair, Christian slept through most of his classes and his grades were not so good either…if he hated school so much, why did he apply for the scholarship in the first place I wondered…
He currently had a toothpick which he moved around in his mouth and his tie was loosened, his ear was pierced with a black earring and on the back of his ear hung a pen… I turned back around when I was done staring at him…
“You’re wanted in the principal’s office..maybe he can talk some sense into you, “the teacher said to him…
Christian closed his note and shoved it in his bag, he stood up with it and walked out of the class without looking back, he was a constant at the principal’s office, I wonder what he did this time…
Rose leaned towards me
“Fascinating isn’t he, but he’s what your Dad would call a miscreant,” she said
“I wasn’t staring,” I said, she asked
“Fine” I agreed” he even has a tattoo” I added to the gossip, she gaped
“How did you know that?”
“He was wearing short sleeves which is against the school rules”. I said with a duh and added an eye roll.
“Alright miss prisy but you must have stared at him a lot to notice ” She smirked at me ” you know minus all that he’s pretty hot”
“I have a boyfriend”
” so what, you allowed to stare”
“He just always breaks the rules,” I said
“And that gets to you because?” she wondered
” just shut up” I didn’t want to talk to her again
“Well for someone who is always used to following the rules, you should try breaking it sometime” she suggested
“I wouldn’t dare, my life is already premeditated”
“That’s boring don’t you think, you should try living free,” she said and focused on the teacher
I stared at her in thought before I turned ahead.
#Secondary School life
#Rich and Poor
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