“Jpee, wait for meee!” I looked up from my phone and sighted Linda running towards me, her bag dangling behind her. She stopped and was breathing very heavily.
“Hia, this one you’re breathing like this… who is chasing you?”
“Stay there and be asking me questions. So you don’t know Mr. Ebekue is in class right now?” She was already walking towards the bus stand while I tried to keep up
“Ebekue kwa? I thought we don’t have his rehearsals until 10am na!” I was surprised. We were told in class yesterday that rehearsals with Ebekue will be by 10am.
“So you didn’t see Chima’s message in the midnight? He said Ebekue will be having us by 8 this morning. In fact we are already late sef.”
“Engineering Bus stand! Engineering Bus stand!”
“Law, Library, Management! Law, Library, Management!”
These shouts rents the air as we made our way through students and drivers littered accross the bus stand.
“Ọ na aga? Drop? Come, let’s go Immediately,” the young man tried to touch me and I gave him a very stern look that told him Immediately that I wasn’t not smiling at all. I can’t afford N200 on drop this morning.
Luckily for us, there was a shuttle loading for Bank. We jumped in immediately and in few minutes it was filled up.
“Oga, you’re not going anywhere o! It’s bus that’s loading now,” one bald young man stopped our bus from moving. He was one of those regulating the whole activities in the stand. Our driver got down and started arguing with him while we sat there hoping they would reach an agreement so we can move. We would definitely not get down from the shuttle and enter the bus. That would waste a lot of our time.
I looked at my phone, the time said 8:14am. Jeez!
“Please everyone should hold change o. I don’t have change to give you.” The driver was back now. He started the car and we moved.
I looked out through the window and saw some students laughing by the roadside; the way they stood made me remember my bestie, Sophia. Oh! I didn’t even remember to call her today so we could go to school together. I’d tried calling her line and it was switched off. Was she okay? I wondered.
I am a different kind of person. Sometimes I behave in unusual ways that would make you wonder what was what really. It earned me the nickname ‘The Unusual’, a name I cherished so much and added to my other name, Jpee. I tend to go well with females than males like myself; maybe that’s because I have the heart of a girl or maybe that’s just the way it is. I don’t really care but I feel they understand me more, hence the many of them I keep as friends.
However Sophia stood out amongst all of them. She was very kind and has been very supportive. Seeing us together you would mistake us as twins. I swear I can take a bullet for her and I think she would do same for me. That’s how strong our friendship is.
“Oya, here’s the final bus stop.”
Ah, we’re here already. I brought out the N50 in my pocket and gave to the driver.
“I don’t have N10.”
“Look for my money and give me biko. Which one is that you don’t have N10? that’s how you people use style to steal all our money.”
“Jpee na, let’s go biko, we’re late.” Linda had already crossed the road and was beckoning on me.
I looked at the diver again. Oga wasn’t even acting like he wanted to give me my money. The man was just very lucky. If not that I was in a hurry today, I would have shown him why they call me The Unusual! I hissed and ran after Linda.
Entering the Art Faculty, we met Ada Jesus; she was dressed in a corporate skirt and a white shirt, making her look like those customer care officers inside bank.
“Ihe! Iheee! Ihehehe!” That was my signature exclamation whenever I was excited or I wanted to make jest of someone. “Ah, this one you’re dressed like this, is it because of your tourism presentation today?” Linda asked her, laughing.
“Yes, but I just heard Ebekue is in class and he’s very angry o. Let’s go and know what’s going on by the way.”
We ran into the class together. The moment we entered, every eyes turned to face me. I was confused.
“Oh, is that the Johnpaul you people are talking about?”
“Yes!” the class chorused.
“Good, come here.”
I moved slowly towards him, still wondering what was going on.
“So you’re the Jpee that was insulting me in your WhatsApp group? You said I cannot do anything to you because afterall you’re asthmatic, abi?”
Okay, wait a minute… WTF?!
I was losing it. I know I did say some things in the WhatsApp group the previous night, but those were jokes na. We were all having fun. So why would anyone take our WhatsApp conversations to show Mr. Ebekue?
“You’re still staring at me, abi? Don’t worry, I’ll show you what I can do something today.” His phone rang. So he picked up the call and started talking to someone on the other end.
I used this time to glance through the class; everyone seemed as surprised as I was. I searched for my bestie, but she wasn’t there. Who exactly did this?
“So, to start with, just bear it in mind that you have failed this course. Secondly, immediately I’m leaving here, follow me to my office now for further punishment. We’ll be going to see the HOD immediately he arrives. I’ve already called him.”
My heart sank. What was happening? How exactly did a joke turn to something this serious, bikonu?
As I made to leave the class, I took one last glance across the faces in our class, there was no one I could think of that could do something like that. I had a fight with David yesterday but he wasn’t the type that would gossip with my name like that. He isn’t even close with Ebekue.
“Jpee, it’s your bestie o. It’s your bestie that showed Ebekue our group chats. I saw them together this morning.” I looked at Mary and hissed.
She was definitely lying. She must be. My bestie won’t do something like that to me, not at all. She won’t do it.
Then I thought, what if she really did it? what if? I was getting really scared now. What would happen to me? I was only joking!
On getting to Mr Ebekue’s door, I hesitated, then knocked. I pushed open the door, and right before me sat Sophia all smiles and laughing with Mr Ebekue. My own bestie.
Oh, so it was true? How could she betray me like this? What exactly did she even tell Ebekue that made him this angry because I was sure what I said wasn’t that serious and it was a joke. My sadness was written all over my face.
“Please close my door for me, Oga.”
I closed the door after me and stood facing him. I avoided eye contact with Sophia. I didn’t have her time.
“Yes, what can I do for you?”
Huh? I was confused.
“You just told me to come with you in class now.” My eyes were already getting red.
They burst out laughing, Sophia inclusive. I was confused. What exactly is going on here?
I stared at them with a confused expression.
“April Fool, Jpee!”
Oh, Jeez. My heart skipped a beat. This People have done me shege!
I held my heart as it was now beating really hard. Ebekue was laughing so hard now and Sophia was almost rolling on the ground.
“Chai, so you’re even about to cry?” Sophia added.
I opened the door and looked up towards the second floor; my classmates were all outside at the corridor laughing and taking pictures of me.
Wait, like how did they plan to do this to me this morning. I didn’t even remember that today was the first of April. God! I didn’t see it coming at all!
I looked down and my eyes caught the inscription on my polo… ‘EASE‘
I smiled, and left the office. I needed a chilled bottle of Pepsi to calm my spirit now. God!