Immediately after Mrs Ireti’s class, the bell rang for break time so all the students headed for the school cafeteria. Bayo had no friends at this point so he ate alone on his table in the cafeteria. He had been doing that for a month now. So he sat on his seat with a sausage roll and a Pepsi drink on his table ready to eat lunch. As usual, he would eat alone. Suddenly, a girl walked towards Bayo’s table holding her lunch in her hands. It was Bisi, a girl in his class he always admired from afar. Bisi was the most beautiful girl in his class so all the boys wanted to be friends with her.
So Bisi sat down with Bayo and placed her lunch on the table just opposite Bayo’s. (In Bayo’s thoughts) ‘Oh my God this couldn’t be happening’ and then Bisi said ‘Hi Bayo’ he replied (stammering and stuttering) ‘Huh…Hi…Bi…si. He was shocked that the most beautiful girl in his class was right in front of him. ‘You did great in class today. I like guys who are smart and you showed that today.’ (smiling uncontrollably at Bayo). At this point, Bayo was even further confused on what to say to Bisi as the only thing he kept seeing was those nerve wrecking beautiful smiles she was wearing. He was totally not coordinated.
(Bayo gazing for 10 seconds without a word) Bisi then tapped Bayo on his arm wondering why a guy would be so unsettled. (Back to himself) he said still stuttering a bit, ‘Sorry, was lost for a moment there. So you..were saying?’ she smiled again and repeated herself ‘You did great in class today. You were really smart in there. Hi I’m Bisi.’ she said. Bayo answered ‘Ohh thanks I read a lot maybe that’s why I could answer the question. I’m Bayo.’ At this point, they had exchanged pleasantries and Bayo was a bit relieved and more settled as he could now converse well with Bisi. They kept talking and did not realize it was past their break-time because they did enjoy each other’s company. Then Bayo quickly checked his wrist watch and said ‘Ooh it’s past break-time we lost track of the time. Let’s head back to class.’ and Bisi (Surprised) replied ‘Ohh Let’s hurry then’. So they left together for class.
As they were about to enter into the class, Bisi noticed Mr. Biodun was in class. He was their literature teacher and a very strict teacher who all the students dreaded. Bisi panicked and said ‘Oooh this is bad we’re so dead today.’ as Bayo tried to calm her down ‘We’ll be fine, trust me Bisi.’ he answered. Mr.Biodun never liked students coming late to his class. So Bayo summoned courage and held Bisi’s hand as they both walked into the class. ‘Where are both of you coming from?’ (with a loud and furious tone in his voice) Mr.Biodun asked.
Bayo (boldly) replied ‘Sorry sir, we lost track of time at the cafeteria that’s why we’re late. I promise it will never repeat itself again.’ The whole class was stunned at Bayo’s answer to Mr.Biodun wondering where the boldness came from. Mr.Biodun was also surprised at Bayo’s bold response so he said ‘I’m going to forgive you today because of your approach and sincerity but you might not be so lucky next time. Go have your seat both of you’. and they both replied (excited but relieved) ‘Thank you sir! Thank you sir!’ as they hurried to thier seats. When Bisi sat down, she smiled and winked at Bayo who sat in a row just beside hers. This act made Dotun really angry.
Dotun who always had eyes for Bisi since their first year in junior school, grew even angrier when he saw Bayo and Bisi together. Dotun sits just behind Bisi in class and when he witnessed the bravery shown by Bayo, he knew he was losing the race gradually. Dotun never liked Bayo from the first day he stepped into the class. He believed he was just a show-off. Dotun was a rich and arrogant kid who always wanted to be in control. So he winked at his friends (who were more like his thugs who did his dirty jobs) Ayo, Kola and Deji who got the message (It was time to strike). All these was going on while Mr.Biodun was teaching.
So after school that day, Bayo and Bisi decided to walk home together taking a shortcut as they conversed. Then Bisi said ‘Thanks for what you did today in class standing up to Mr.Biodun like that for us. I must say you were indeed brave.’ (A huge smile on her face). Then Bayo replied ‘It’s what real men do my dad would always say.’ (As he puts up a sad face remembering his father’s words). Bisi noticed his sudden silence and the unusual look on his face and asked worriedly ‘Bayo, why the sudden mood swing?’ as Bayo shed a tear and words became distant from his lips. Bayo’s mind had cast back to his father’s death which made his heart weary again after months. Prior to this time, he had never told anyone about his father’s death neither did anyone know he was an orphan.
So Bayo stopped and sat under a tree (along the bush-path which was a shortcut to their destination) looking dazed. Bisi was worried at this point as she couldn’t understand why Bayo was acting really strange all of a sudden. So she asked again ‘Bayo, please talk to me. Did I say anything wrong?’ and Bayo said ‘Not at all Bisi. I’m the one who has a problem here. It’s just me.’ Bisi (sighs) ‘Finally! A response. What’s the problem then?’ she asked. ‘My dad did say to me that I should always stand up for my right and never be intimidated by anyone. So I remembered those words and employed them to confront Mr.Biodun.’ (Bisi tapped his knee) and said ‘Then you should be happy about that. Honestly, I think you should tell your dad about it’ Bayo shook his head with a stern look on his face he said ‘I would if only he was alive’
Bisi (shocked) as she couldn’t phantom how a child could live without a parent as she could only console Bayo ‘I’m so sorry about that. I can’t imagine how you feel right now. You must feel terribly hurt.’ Bayo replied (sobbing) ‘You have no idea how I feel. You have no idea what it feels like to be an orphan!’ he shouted. Bisi (sobbing) holds the hands of Bayo to pacify his pain as he broke down laying his head on Bisi’s shoulder. ‘I lost my mom when I was just two. I barely knew her so I never had the chance of feeling a mother’s love. My dad trained me from that point on until some months back when I lost him to cancer. The only person who seem to be constant in my life is my grandpa who has always encouraged me to be strong. Life has been tough ever since my dad died as grandpa’s pension is all we have to feed on.’ Bayo told his story to Bisi.
For the first time, Bayo had opened up about his family after months. ‘You’re the first person I’m telling this Bisi.’ Then Bisi asked ‘Why did you tell me this?’ Bayo took his head off her shoulder looked into her eyes and said ‘Because from the first day I met you, I wanted to tell you everything about me.’ She chuckled saying ‘It’s nice of you to trust me’ as she dried the tear off Bayo’s right eye with her left hand. Bayo (a bit calm) said ‘Please tell this to no one. Let’s keep this between us.’ She complied and said ‘Your secret is safe with me Bayo.’ (As they hugged) ‘A pity it’s not a secret anymore’ Dotun said coming out with his friends from their hide out in the bush. Bayo quickly stood up with Bisi holding her hand firmly.
(Swinging a big stick in his hand) Dotun said ‘Well, Well, Well, look who we have here. If isn’t the smart a** Bayo. I’ve always known something was off about you. You don’t only have nothing, you have no one!’ he yelled as his friends (Ayo, Kola and Deji) laughed along with Dotun swinging their sticks. They were mocking Bayo’s status as an orphan. Bayo at this point was bitter in his heart and wanted to hit back at Dotun but Bisi kept telling him not to respond to them so he refrained. ‘Ooh come on now, you wanna take down four of us? Let’s see how macho you are. Oooh now he’s hiding behind a girl hahaha’ Dotun laughed. ‘
Go away Dotun’ Bisi said. ‘Sorry dear but we have to teach him a lesson never to show off in class or even hang out with you anymore Bisi.’ She replied ‘I hang out with whoever I choose to hang out with and you don’t tell me what to do!’ (She spat in Dotun’s face) But Dotun cleans the spit off his face and ordered his friends to take her away from Bayo. ‘Noooo!’ she screamed as Bayo struggled to keep her by his side but the numbers game was against him this time as they dragged her away from him. ‘Step aside girl, I have to deal with Bayo in my own way. Maybe I should just send him to his father. That way, he wouldn’t miss him so much anymore. Hahahahaha.’ (Laughing with his friends). Bayo knew he was helpless at this point as Dotun and his friends edged closer to him swinging their sticks like a lion closing in on his prey…[To Be Continued]
Watch out for the next episode of ‘The Orphan’ next tuesday only on Danny world.