It was one of the most disheartening times in school. There had been no water from the taps now for two days and this meant that there was no taking shower, brushing of teeth was with difficulty, no washing of personal items for little water available had to be preserved for cooking and for teaching staff. It was a severe sunny season and the oppressive sun was shinning so fiercely that the playground was almost bare due to dry spell. This situation made the environment in Anita’s school to be absolutely wearisome and almost unbearable. Though there was entertainment in the hall for weekends like this, majority of the girls always found it even more dampening to go to the overcrowded hall filled with hot air under tin roof. To counter the boredom ,many sat in groups under trees or inside classrooms to involve in some conversations.
It was at that time that ringing of bell was heard. It was a rare moment for assembly in a boarding school like this. The students were eagerly waiting for water like doctors waiting for a newborn in a labour ward. The girls gathered around the assembly grounds as the bell dictated to hear from the boarding master Mr Ojwang’. The teacher told the girls that since the mountain had failed to go to Mohammed ,then Mohammed had to go for it. They could not continue waiting for water and he told them to take their buckets and go to fetch water from a nearby dam. They did as they were told and when they reached the dam, it was unlovely either. Some mannerless cattle had made the water so dirty and even changed it to a urinal pit. This made the water to have very unhealthy smell. But as it had been said, when lion fails to find flesh, it will feed on leaves, they were just forced to take what was available as there was no other option. This was not the first time for such an activity but previously, it was taking place in the morning.
In the school, roll calls were always taken at night after personal studies and in the morning immediately after the girls got to classrooms. But on this day, Mr Ojwang’ insisted that the girls go to their various common rooms and roll calls be taken. He said this after they had returned. Really, every marketplace have it’s mad person, everybody was there except Anita. Anita was just a newcomer to the school and wasn’t even a year old in the school. She was a form four candidate who was waiting to sit for her national examinations in two months time. But now, she had dipped herself in a pool with clothes on, she became the theme of the weekend and no one could now even think of any good deed she did had done in the school, really, mud sticks. It was almost obvious that she could not give a satisfactory explanation for her whereabouts when she return and so ,that was a two weeks suspension from school or expulsion, whichever option the teacher found better.
When she returned to school from wherever she went, she managed to behave herself normally oblivious of the fact that the whole school was aware of what was going on. It was after supper that her best friend Dora decided to shine her some light.
‘Where were you immediately after we returned from the dam?’
‘Why are you asking and how did you discover that I was missing!’
‘A roll call was taken and you were missing’
‘I beg your pardon Dora!!!’
‘I tried to persuade the monitor to just mark you present and she refused that she was diligently doing the duty she was chosen to do without any fear and favour’.
‘Be serious’.Her heart was beating so violently that she could not even talk properly.
‘How on earth can I make such a serious joke’.
‘So will that be a suspension?’
‘It will depend on the teacher’s decision ,the offense deserves a suspension but he might have mercy on you due to the forth coming examinations’.
‘Is everybody aware?’
‘I regret to reply yes’.
She was so perplexed knowing neither what to think, to say, nor to do. He heart was throbbing violently against her chest that even Dora could hear it. She stood there thinking what to do for so long that Dora was almost going. It is then that she held her by hand and told her,
‘OK am not going for personal studies I must return to the man and tell him to wait for me in any case I’ll be sent for a suspension, I can’t go back home and face my parents with this trash and the man told me he would travel to Kisumu on Monday morning’.
‘I wish you a successful way out of your troubles’.
‘Thank you I’m just off now’.
‘Journey masses ’. Anita again sneaked out of school and went away.
This was not the first time Anita was being caught in a major scandal of that sort. Previously, while she was still in her former school, her mother, having known her from her childhood, knew that she lacked self control and was always taking her up to the matatu she was supposed to board for school and she had to make sure that she paid the money by herself. This happened for long and one day,vthe unexpected happened. Anita had always seen many students getting to school late by one or two days and just saying that their parents were still looking for fees and nothing was done to them. So the mother took her to the van and paid the taut her fare. No sooner had her mother, Mrs Owino turned her back than she started to demand back her money.
‘Please give me back my money I don’t want this van’. She told the conductor.
‘Why do you want it?’ The taut asked.
‘I have a flu and it’s so dusty here’.
‘Your mum brought you here because she knew that you could go somewhere I don’t want to mention before you go to school and I can’t make a mistake of giving you your money. Do you think she wasn’t aware of your condition when she was bringing you here?’
‘OK I don’t even want to listen to that your disgusting voice anymore . I understand you have little education. You can stay with the money. I’ll go to school in another matatu all the same and am looking forward to see if you’ll grow fatter with that money when I return ’.
‘If you have a lot of money you would have used a private car!’
She did not even take time to listen to him, she just took her suitcase and went. Wherever she went, she overstayed and got late for school by one day. She had promised a friend of hers that she would visit him before going back to school be it light or darkness. She went to him and had some moments of intimacy. But unluckily, he had no money ready for her fare and the fare she had she left with the taut. She had pocket money but if she used it, she could go to school as poor as church mouse. Since it was not an offence just going to school one day late and saying parents were still looking for fees, and she also obviously could not go back home,she decided to spend another night to let him look for money for her fare.
When she went to school on the following day, it was unfortunately not her day, it was not as simple as before. She was told to explain where she went to. She tried to as elaborately as possible explain to the teacher that her parents were still looking for money but she was like playing a guitar to a goat and expecting it to dance. The teacher insisted that the rules had changed over the holidays and that she had to go back and call her parent to come and confirm her claims. She was very unlucky to be picked out to experiment with the new rule.
She went back home incredibly annoyed with what had happened. When she returned to school with her parent, Anita expected her mother to lie that indeed, they were still looking for money only to help her get out of the frying pan so that they could go over where she went to over the holidays when she return home. But being uncontrollably angry, she left Anita to carry her own cross. She told the naked truth that she even took Anita up to the van and paid her fare on the opening day. Anita was dumb founded when she was left to explain where she went, her mother had dipped her into fire. Contrary to her mother’s expectations that she would just be given a punishment, she was just told to go and look for another school and that’s how she landed to this school in which she was again now caught in another scandal. The process of looking for another school was long, time consuming and expensive that Mrs Owino started regretting why she never lied that she never had money and that’s why Anita was late. But words once spoken, cannot be swallowed back and what have been done, cannot be undone.
While going to the Orwa, the guy she was with, she abruptly saw Mr Ojwang’, the teacher who was supposed to handle her case on Monday, going to a hotel in a market center near the school. She hastily went to Orwa’s house and luckily found some feminine clothes in the house and whoever owned them could be best explained by the house’s owner. She got dressed in them and went back to the hotel she saw the teacher getting into. She threw away fear and confidently went to the teacher and sat on the same table with him with, looking directly into his eyes and seductively smiling.
‘Good evening dear sir I can see you are very lonely’.
‘Ooh! It’s alright I always find it even more lively to be alone after a long day of work than to be with friends’.
‘So you won’t need a company even if somebody just offered?’
‘It depends on the the person offering, if she is an extremely gorgeous and has an angelic voice and looks like you then I will crazily accept the company and will be ready to do anything with her’
‘You can do anything?!’
‘Absolutely, even going intimate can you accept that?’
‘If am in need of your help then I can go intimate with you’.
‘Are you in need of any help from me as we are talking now?’
‘I can’t just talk about the help I need from you now but I can give you whatever you request for that I can give you now only to get that favour from you and I’ll tell you what I want when the time I want it comes’.
‘I request for love’.
‘But you said anything I request for?’
‘I haven’t refused’.
‘And you haven’t agreed also’.
‘Must I say yes to agree’.
‘No you must say OK’.
‘You can call the waiter to serve you if you are hungry’.
‘Do you drink?’
‘Just soda or any other non alcoholic beverage’.
‘You can order some if you want’.
They ate and conversed for sometime and then later moved to the hotel’s lodgings. Since neither of them was ready to spend the night there, immediately after the love making, Anita went to Orwa’s house and the teacher went to his house too. Before she had gone, the teacher wanted to give her money for her service but she refused to take it.
‘You are leaving your money young lady’.
‘No I can’t take it, you just relax, I will ask you for some favour sometimes sooner or later mark my face’.
‘Yes favour you just mark my face and keep looking forward I’ll remind you when the time comes’.
‘OK am looking forward to the day, journey masses’.
‘Likewise, thank you and goodnight’.
She again went to Orwa’s house and told him nothing concerning her return since what she was solving was already solved. She just spent the night with him and on the following day on Sunday, she sneaked back to school.
‘So what have you told him?’ Dora asked immediately Anita returned
‘So you just went for more so that even when you’ll be suspended, you’ll go home for what you enjoyed not what you tasted, isn’t it?’
‘Not that way Dora, I shared a bed with the teacher and now the case will be written off. You can see how my body have saved me form a crocodile’s teeth, I thank God and my parents that I was created pretty’.
‘Mr Ojwang’ obvious, he’s the one who always handle such cases’.
‘Today I’ve learned no one is godly under the sun, Mr Ojwang’!′
‘Maybe he excused himself from God just for that moment, but promise me Dora that no one will know about this’.
‘OK I promise to you and to God’.
On Monday morning during the assembly, Mr Ojwang’ was the last teacher to address the assembly. Other girls were waiting to hear him say that Anita should go to his office after the assembly but Anita knew that they would be disappointed. He talked too much , about lateness, poor response to bells, laziness and oversleeping and lastly he said,
‘We are all in this institution for a reason and a season and as a boarding master I will bear zero tolerance to any uncouth behavior. Some of you are trying to display some characters which are very unbecomingly unchaste mostly observed in bitches. On Saturday when we released you to go and fetch water, some lout somewhere thought she was wiser than us and just got opportunity go on prostitution. I’ll show you today that we are here to help you brighten your future but if you decide to destroy it, then we’ll also be ready to help you destroy it. So without wasting much of your time, Anita Owino, let’s meet in my office immediately after assembly, parade dismissed’.
Anita went to the boarding master’s office full of panic and confusion.
‘So you are the one who can’t wait just for two months, I know we didn’t allow you to go for August holidays but is that a reason enough for this mess up’.
‘Teacher do me a favour please’.
‘OK thank you for talking about favour, I will do you a favour by releasing you to go and enjoy yourself for two weeks and return with your parent’.
‘Excuse me young lady, on the table there is your suspension letter, I have no time to waste on an individual who is ready to perish yet a whole class of of serious ones is waiting for me. I’m going to class and if I return to find you there, it will be another case, excuse me’.Anita started to shed tears. The teacher went
The moment Mr Ojwang entered classroom, Dora pretended to go for a short call when she saw Anita heading towards the gate.
‘Excuse me teacher may I go for a short call’.
‘You are excused Dora, I know you just want to go to talk to Anita I can see her heading towards the gate in tears’.
She ran to Anita and Anita was so confused and noticed her footsteps when she was very close.
‘Anita dear what went wrong?’
She asked. Anita was in tears and could not even speak properly.
‘That son of a bitch couldn’t listen to anything’.
‘So where are you going now?’
‘I can’t just face my dad with all this so I must hurry before that man travels, I have no other option apart from going to him’.
‘And how’ll your parents know that you are out of school?’
‘I don’t care I’m going to stay with him forever, I’ll just come back here for the paper because I’ve registered’.
‘OK see you then’.
‘But excuse me Dora, what Mr Ojwang have done to me, I swear I will reward him with a lugubriously drastic revenge’.
‘How will you do it?’
‘I can’t just imagine what I will do to him by now but I’ve given myself that assignment am going to think of a way of doing him something erotically inhuman that he won’t forget at any time in his fucking life’.
‘OK see you Anita’.
Anita continued to walk towards the gate with flames of anger, devastation and disappointment severely burning in her heart. No bucket of water could put off the flame. All her tricks had inarguably failed to work and for sure, on the day of a monkey’s death, all trees get slippery.