It was July of 2004.
It was finally over. The nightmare they called “high school” had come and gone. It felt good. Finally, I was going to say goodbye to Akanji-Cole High School. I knew deep in my heart that I wasn’t even going to remember the place. I really didn’t have any friends apart from Tokunbo but well, Tokunbo left me to be with the cool kids.
OK. Let me explain properly.
I am Ekene and back in high school, I was the smartest of the lot. I was so smart I was on a full scholarship at the most expensive private school in Lagos. My parents didn’t have a lot of money and were just below middle class so getting into a private school was a big deal. My dad was clerk at the Local government office and my mum was a trader at Yaba market.
The kids in my high school knew this and they didn’t make being a student any easier. Through out my time at Akanji-Cole High, I was laughed at, bullied and called all sorts. It didn’t help that I didn’t know Mars was a chocolate or that I didn’t know there was rice in cereal form. It certainly didn’t help that I wasn’t familiar with Disney Channel or Nickolodeon so I was teased at every turn. To make matters worse, I was the teacher’s pet because I was the smartest and so it didn’t help.
Don’t think I was nerd or like the guys from “The Big Bang Theory.” I am not the stereotypical nerd. I knew how to have a good time. I started DJing at the Olasumbo Street Carnival from when I was 15 so your boy knew what’s up! I wasn’t just cool enough for the cool kids.
So on that fateful day of the graduation party at 11:45 (Remember the club), Tokunbo was nice to me for the first time in three years. He saw me outside and told me “I wish you the best.” That was great coming from someone who stopped talking to me immediately we entered senior school. I figured he speaking to me meant he was trying to bury the hatchet and wanted to be friends again. So I walked up to the table where he sat with Uche and Fisayo (the richest kids back then) and their girlfriends. As I approached the table, they looked like they were staring at a ghost. It was Tokunbo who even spoke up
“Yes. Is there a problem” He said. They kept staring at me in a strange manner
“Nothing really. Wanted to hangout here for a bit” I said with a smile on my face
“Hangout where? You can’t sit with us!” Fisayo said casually; his hands on his girlfriends lap
I walked away disgusted at myself. I knew I had to work hard to show them “no condition is permanent” and that the smart guy always has the last laugh.
Fast forward to now
Its December 2014 and I am the Head of Corporate Communications at Teran Oil and Gas. I live in Ikoyi and drive a 2014 Range Rover Sport and I let’s just say my monthly salary is in six figures. I don’t mean to brag. I am engaged to my girlfriend of two years who I spoil stupidly with gifts that range from Diamond Earrings to trips to the Caribbean Islands.
So you can imagine how I felt when I saw Tokunbo, Fisayo and Uche at Sweet Kiwi the other day. They sat on one of the tables and were casually dressed. I was coming from a business meeting and I was all dressed up; looking like a black James Bond. As I looked at them, I couldn’t help but laugh inside. I obviously was looking better and hotter and finer and richer…
Anyways, I walked up to them
“Hey guys. How far?”
I could see their eyes. They could not believe it was me.
“Ekene? Na you be this?” Tokunbo said, very surprised.
NOOOOO!!! It’s my shadow.
I didn’t say that obviously.
“Yes. It’s me. Fancy running into you guys here. It’s been what 10 years” I said, raising my hand up carefully so they could see my Rolex
“Yes oh. E don tey” Uche said
“So what do you do, Ekene” Fisayo asked me
This was my moment of glory!!! Yes. I was going to shine. If this was a movie, “Loser like Me” by Glee will be playing now
“I run the Corporate Communications Department at Teran OIl and Gas” I told them with a smile “What do you guys do?”
“Nice. I am currently the Local Government Chairman back in my village. Uche runs an oil servicing company and Fisayo is the COO of Broad Bank” Tokunbo replied with a smile…
Seriously Ekene. What were you thinking? That they will be poor? They they’d be suffering?
“That’s interesting. Can I wait with you guys till my order comes” I reply… not very confident anymore
“Well, we are expecting someone…” Fisayo told me and as I looked in his eyes it was glaring. “…I’m sorry but you can’t sit with us”
10 years later and I am still getting served
DISCLAIMER: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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