Photo Credit: De-Raconteur pictures
SMALLVILLE COLLEGE (SVC)
WRITTEN BY: LIZZY OYEBOLA OYEKUNLE
“SmallVille College sir?” I asked, so confused.
I didn’t know if I should be glad or start crying or even fight!
As far as I knew, SmallVille College was not a school for such a person as me. It was a school for the plutocrats and the aristocrats and what exactly did my parents have to take me to such a school as that?
I gained admission into a federal university without stress immediately I graduated two years before and I was to pay just 30,000 naira for the registration and tuition but for four months, we could not get that sum ready.
When we eventually did, the admission had closed and I had to wait for the next year. That year also passed and I had to wait for the next year!
But checking the brochure of SmallVille Academy, I shuddered at the thousands of dollars that was required to be paid. If someone were to give me the fees for just two sessions, I would go to a Federal School, study medicine for eight good years, build a comfortable bungalow and buy a nice, secong hand car.
“While I checked the brochure sir, I couldn’t but wonder why you chose that university for me of all places. See UI, OAU, UNIBEN, why SMC of all schools sir?” I asked Dr. Oladejo.
While waiting for the next set of admission, I started a coaching center where I trained students who were planning to write WAEC, NECO and GCE.
Fortunately, Dr. Oladejo got to know about me and employed me as a private lesson teacher for his only girl, Glory who had difficulty in passing Mathematics and Physics. He said if I could train her till she could get a C6 at most in her papers, he would give me anything I requested for.
Well, when the result was released, Glory made straight As in her two papers and it was a great celebration in their house as everyone chewed my name in their mouth joyfully for weeks.
Even I was shocked at the result. I had thought that even if a miracle were to happen, she would get B3 each. But a greater miracle happened!
“Glory is my only daughter. She was so hopelessly spoilt until you stepped into the picture Beverly. You are a rare gem and I want only the best for you. If you want to study medicine in its original form, SMC is just the best. It has the UK standard and it is fast becoming the number one school in Nigeria” He said and I shook my head.
I was not convinced.
“Sir, going to SMC is like a waste of money sir. I really appreciate your concern and all but if you can give me half of the money, I will collect it and open up a very big business for my parents, then find a federal university to attend”
Let me quickly introduce myself.
My name is Beverly Jones.
I am a 20 year old Bokyi girl from Boki, Cross Rivers State, Nigeria, West Africa, Africa.
My father is a born again, fifty years old, blind man while my mum on the other hand is a forty-five years old, strict woman.
I am the first of six children (All girls). My siblings are Beth, Bailey, Bethany, Brooke, and Becky.
My dad mended shoes and bags while my mum specialized in selling Zobo and puff puff to pupils of St. James Anglican Grammar School, Boki.
“Moreso sir, I don’t know why you are doing this for me. I will never be able to repay you back. Never!” I said, I was already becoming skeptical.
Even though his face looked so convincing and looked as if he wanted the best for me, I had sworn never to seek for help from any man whosoever.
“I don’t seem to get you dear Beverly” He said, looking quite confused.
“Sir, what I mean is that, I have learnt that when a man plans to give you one, he seeks to collect ten from you then!” I said sharply and his wife laughed, looking so surprised while he looked so shocked also.
“Beverly!” He called out again. Glory looked up from the cartoon she was watching so intently and frowned slightly.
But I knew what I was saying!
I had been bitten once and never did I want to get bitten again.
In order to have my WAEC fees paid while I was in SS 3, my mum had to take me to Mr. Boma, the rich Palm Wine Tapper in my area to seek for money.
I can’t forget in a jiffy how he ran his eyes over my body for a while before he spoke.
“How much is the money?” He asked my mother.
I was getting uncomfortable with the way he kept looking at me like I was a product for sale.
“WAEC AND UTME is 50,000” She said, sounding so expectantly.
“Leave her here with me tonight and I will give her the money tomorrow morning.” He said and my mum went on her knees in appreciation and started moving to the door thereafter.
I was shocked.
What was I supposed to be doing for a man who looked like he was lust-infested?
I ran after my mum and she turned to look at me then, her eyes sparkling with such brightness that burnt!
“Why are you following me?” She asked, guilt written all over her face.
“Mum, you can’t leave me here with a palm wine tapper all because of money. I am not that cheap!” I said
Maybe I shouldn’t have said that because as soon as the last word dropped from my mouth, a slap landed on my right cheek and another one on my left.
I went blind for some seconds and when I tried to open my eyes, I saw millions of stars!
Then, my head split open as she pushed me to the wall.
“I am the one that is cheap huh? You must be stupid!” She exclaimed as she looked into my face angrily, holding my neck like I was an unwanted foetus whose birth would bring shame to her.
“I want to go to school has been your song for many days now. We want you to go to school but where is the means? See your useless father, bringing in 200 naira from the shoe something he is doing now that he calls a job, huh! How can we get you 50,000 naira then? Or do you want to stay at home before going to school? And you are here telling me I am cheap? Seriously?!” She pushed me off angrily and I fell down, tears strolling down my face.
I caught her legs as she made to go and she turned to look into my face.
“Mum, I didn’t say you are cheap. I am only saying that the man looks lustful. He looks like he wants to rape me” I cried.
“Rape is without your consent. I am giving the consent. You are my daughter. I own you. Do anything he says you should do!” She exclaimed and I covered my mouth as my breathing ceased for a while.
“Mum!” I screamed as hot tears streamed down my face. I choked as I tried to breathe in the air that had rushed to my nose and almost died when she turned to look into my face fiercely.
“Use what you have to get what you want! Haven’t you heard that saying?” She asked, turned her back at me and moved towards the door. She opened it and went out, banging the door after her.
I sat in that corner for what looked like an eternity, crying bitterly.
I found it very difficult to believe what had happened.
My dad despite being handicapped had always played the motherly role. My mum never had our time but to provide the food we would eat for the day and go on her business.
“Emekan, the food is ready” I heard Mr. Boma say as he came closer to where I was hiding. He bent beside me and touched my cheeks.
“Am I the food?” I asked myself as eyed the filthy, rotund black man.
His hand felt so rough and gritty. I pushed his hand off me and hissed.
“Don’t touch me!” I shouted. He laughed very loudly.
“You don’t need the money?” He asked as he made to touch me again. I stood up at that and slapped him suddenly. I pushed him to the wooden chair in the room and started raining blows on him.
“Emekan! Emekan!” He called out as I kicked his tummy.
A young man rushed inside and pushed me off.
“Are you stupid?” He said to me very angrily. As he made to hit me, Mr. Boma pulled him back.
I was breathing heavily as I watched all that was going on, swallowing deeply as I did.
“I love tough girls really! She is even tougher than her mum!” He said and I was shocked.
“Are you surprised? You think it is only the money from selling Zobo and Puff puff that she uses to feed you people?” Mr. Boma asked, laughing hysterically as he slapped the wall.
“She comes here, exercises a bit, we pay her and you children eat.” He added and I was shocked.
I would never have imagined in my wildest dream that my mum was adulterous. I would never have!
And to think that she slept with ugly, dirty men that lived in smelling houses though they had cash was ridiculous!
I fell to the ground, so shattered!- my mum had sold me to sex monsters to be torn and consumed.
I was still a virgin not because my dad taught us that it was bad to engage in pre-marital sex but because I had not found a guy that I was willing to give it to. All the guys around me didn’t just worth me. That was what I felt.
But losing it to these filthy men was something I couldn’t even bring myself to accept. ButI had a weak will. I was shattered because I knew my mum had betrayed me. All the revelations I just heard even made my hands drop the more.
Even as Emekan raised me from the ground and placed me on the bed, I couldn’t fight it. I only wept on.
As the clothes on my body were being torn off, I wept the more as I cursed the men in diverse ways while they only laughed on.
A man had never touched me talkless of seeing me naked.
“When a young unmarried man and a virgin unmarried lady meet together to have sexual relations, they are not only selling their destinies off but are signing a lifetime of unquenchable untoward desire between their legs except satisfied. They will keep on heaping the wrath of God upon themselves”
The words of my dad rang in my head as one of the men ran his finger across my lips. I shivered with disgust.
As their hands reached my bare body, the realization dawned on me and I knew my destiny was just about being taken away on a platter of gold.
I sat up immediately and looked into their faces. I couldn’t believe that I was really naked.
“My mum might do all those things because she has so much responsibilities on her but I am not cheap no matter the amount I need” I jumped up, pull a wrapper round myself and started flying at them.
I had been watching some Taekwondo lessons from the viewing centre in front of my house and though my dad said it was not good, my siblings and I practised a lot of time in our room.
It was time to put to practice, all I had watched and learnt.
I faced Mr. Boma and gave him a Front Snap kick. He fell to the group, moaning and wailing.
As Emekan came with ready fists aiming at my head, I gave him a sidekick and he fell to the ground too.
As I was about wearing my torn clothes again, Mr. Boma caught my legs and I found myself on the floor.
The more I struggled, the more he overpowered me.
Just as I was about spitting into his face, he brought out a container and before I could blink twice, he sprayed the content at my face and I started sneezing.
As the whirling smoke rose up in my brain, my nose started urinating as my eyes teared almost immediately.
I woke up the next day lying down in front of his house still in my torn clothes. A crowd had gathered round me and some women were crying.
“Ah, see blood!” One woman said. My heart skipped at that. As I tried to raise my head which was banging so much, I saw some one thousand naira notes lying near me. I couldn’t stop crying.
My legs were sticky and the lower part of my body was in so much pain. I knew it then! That it had happened!
Two men raped me!- because of some stupid thousands!
I swore that day that I would never forgive my mum no matter what happened to her. I couldn’t tell my dad what had happened though he asked questions I couldn’t provide answers to immediately.
With that done to me, even if a guy offered to help lift a water gallon to my head, I would not only curse him but throw stones at him!
“Beverly, well, my husband and I are doing this for you out of gratitude. I don’t know what you have passed through that has made you this paranoid but be rest assured that we mean no evil” Mrs. Oladejo said, smiling lovingly.
“I would have loved to sponsor you in a school abroad but I want my daughter in Nigeria for the time being and I want you to be close to her. You have been a positive influence on her” Dr. Oladejo said and I smiled
“Yet, SMC is too big of a school for me. I would even be the odd one out sir. I am just a daughter of a blind shoemaker and a petty trader mum” I said, feeling quite uneasy.
“How about we opening a restaurant for your mum and getting a trainer to teach your dad shoe building? Guess if you tell people your parents are business people, you wouldn’t be wrong?” Mrs. Oladejo asked.
“Good idea!” Her husband exclaimed and I smiled.
“You really want me to suffer the insults of those rich, spoilt brats right?” I teased and they laughed.
“Ah! I trust you! You that could spank our daughter in our very presence for being rude? Chai! You will show them wonders in SMC!” Mrs. Oladejo exclaimed, laughing out so loud.
“Abi o” Glory said and pouted. She must have remembered the day.
It was the first day I started taking her lessons. She never wanted the lessons but it was made compulsory for her by her parents. So, we were both dealing with some calculations while her parents went to town to watch a show which she had really anticipated.
So, when they came back home, she refused to greet them and when they gave her some sausgages and rolls which they got for her, she threw them at the wall angrily.
I was infuriated as her parents apologized to her and pecked her yet she didn’t even bulge. The only bad thing she didn’t do then was slap her parents!
“Leave her to me mum. I will take care of her sir” I said, moved close to her and sat her down. I asked her certain questions and when she was not answering me still in her anger, I removed my belt from my skirt and gave her like three lashes while her mum held her chest in shock.
“Say, mummy, welcome ma. Welcome daddy.” I ordered but she refused to answer as she cried on.
I gave her like two lashes and immediately she went on her knees and greeted them.
“Say, I love you dad and mum. Thanks for getting me a lesson teacher. Learning Maths is actually more important than any comedy show now” I said and she looked into my face then. She eyed me afterwards.
As I raised my hands to give her another reawakening slap, she repeated those words to her parents.
“I promise to be a better child. I had been spoilt” I said and she repeated after me.
The lesson that day was very great as the house was very quiet. Her parents must have wondered who the beater teacher was. Even U was shocked that I could beat a child in front of her parents.
I just hated it when some rich kids especially think they are on top of the world. The money they are proud of isn’t even their own handiwork!
Since that very day, we became very close and if she wronged her parents, they were always quick to use my name to scare her.
Dr. Oladejo’s voice jolted me back to reality.
“Yeah…the truth is that none of them can insult you o Beverly. Instead, you will correct them and deal with them!” Dr. Oladejo said and we all laughed again.
“So, have you decided? Resumption is next week and I want us to be roommates, really” Glory said and I smiled.
“So, you really want me? I will be waking you up early o” I said, raising my nose at her and they all clapped at that.
“She has accepted, gbam!” Mrs. Oladejo said and I smiled at that, sighing so deeply.
What a fortune!
“Are we not supposed to go thank these people? Their gesture of love is unbelievable!” My dad said as Becky, our last girl, 8, led him to the room.
“Where is your walking stick dad? Why is Becky guiding you?” I asked. I was confused.
“A goat entered the yard this morning o. It went pass daddy and he fell” Becky started explaining.
“Oh my God!” I gasped, feeling the pain myself. My mummy chewed her gum on, hissing quietly and turning to the window.
I eyed her briefly and faced my dad.
“He was very hurt o Sister Bev. As he tried beating the goat with his stick, it broke” She said further and my heart dropped.
I wondered at that point when the God my dad was serving would heal and deliver him from the shameful sickness.
I zipped up the new travelling bag the Oladejo sent me then.
“Dad, until you need something urgent from outside, never step out of the house please. I still need you to be very much alive dad. You are all I’ve got asides my siblings please” I said and the dead could hear my mum’s sigh.
“Ok my dear” He said as he settled in a settee.
“As for the Oladejos’, I have dropped their address with Beth. Please visit them one of these days” I said and he smiled.
“That’s good. They’ve been incredibly nice to us” He added
“What of the Ogbonno and Palm oil that I placed in the kitchen for you?” My mum asked. I stood up as I picked the other small bag which contained my provisions.
“I don’t need them. We are not allowed to cook” I said casually as I placed my bags, side by side, moved to the mirror and packed my hair very nicely.
Mrs. Oladejo had the day before taken Glory and I to a salon to get our hair made. It was so beautiful.
“So, what will happen to Somto?” My mum asked from the blues and I turned to look at her. I was angry.
“What do you mean Somto? Can’t you take care of him for her? Or isn’t he the product of what you forced her to do?” My dad said, removing his dark goggles as he faced her. He was obviously angry.
“What will the boy be eating? That is what I am saying o.” She replied angrily too.
“Dad, my son is not even a product of anything she forced me to do. He is my child. The boy that the Almighty gave to me. My first seed.” I said, going all emotional.
My dad was still frowning. My mum surveyed me from head to toes and hissed.
“Beth!” I called out.
“Yes sis” she replied and came into the room with Somto strapped to her back. He was sleeping peacefully.
“I was giving some money for this month’s pocket money. Take 10,000 and keep it for Somto. This is tea and milk plus Cerelac. I trust you to feed him well for me while I am away” I said as I gave everything to her.
“Is it Beth you are supposed to give the stuffs to? You want her to…” My mum was saying when I faced my dad.
“Daddy, manage this 5,000 naira. The boy that will be training you will come next week, listen to instruction and learn fast, you hear? I will be a doctor very quickly and take care of you dad” I said as I embraced him.
“I wish I can see how beautiful you have become. You talk so wisely my first seed” He said in returns, trying to reach for my face. I placed his hand on my face and he felt it gently.
His hands felt warm against my face. Tears gathered in my eyes as I looked deep into the red flesh that covered his eyes.
Whichever witch had caused that to happen, we didn’t know. All we know was that, ten years before, my dad cried out from his sleep, holding his eyes in pain.
After doing all we could do, the end result was the blindness. I would never forget that day! Never!
“Dad, please take care of yourself. You are falling down too much these days and I don’t want you to break any bone. I am going to school now and you have nobody to take care of you except these sisters of mine who are even too little. Please daddy, take care, huh?” I said and hugged him once more.
“Be good in school my little girl. Don’t fight anybody o” He said and I smiled.
I prayed in my heart then that I would stick to this advice because if anyone warranted to be beaten, I wouldn’t stop to dish small out to such!
I stood up and moved to my wardrobe. I brought out a packet.
“Dad, this is for you” I said and he collected it from me. My mum stood up then and fixed her eyes on what I was holding.
“What’s that?” She asked but I didn’t think it necessary to reply her.
My dad’s jaw shook as he held it in his hands, hugging the packet so dear to himself. I knew a fit of tears was approaching and I was not ready to cry myself.
“Dad, it’s a new set of crutches. While I believe that your God will show up for you soon dad, I also wouldn’t like it if you continue falling. No! So, this pack contains two auto walking sticks. I saved to get them so use them well dad. I love you” I said and hugged him. He was so speechless.
“I kept something in your bag also. Thank you my daughter. Thank you Beverly” He said when he eventually found his voice, weeping profusely. I smiled.
I sniffed wetly.
“Hey sisters, I will be sending some money to you very soon also but I have bought enough foodstuffs for the month. Please, be frugal.”
“Thank you sister” Beth and Bethany said.
“What about…” My mum was about saying but I was not ready to listen to her.
I was the only one in the family who knew her dirty secrets even though she didn’t know that I knew. I was just so scared for my dad. I didn’t want her to bring in some diseases to him.
I eyed her and faced my dad again.
“Nothing for your mum?” My dad asked and I paused.
“Dad, mum is taking and can take care of herself. She is very fine. I only need you all to be fine” I said and faced my sisters.
I needed to rush my remaining speech before I spilt to the public all about my mum’s dirty linen which I had kept secret for about eleven months!
“Moreso, I would want Bailey to come back home. I don’t like her being a house girl when her future is just so bright” I said. I was not really happy with the way everything was with my family.
As much as I loved to leave home because I knew I was leaving so much problems and burdens behind, I was still not glad that my family was in so much problems. No!
As my sisters followed after me and my dad wept loudly from inside, the loud cries of my two months old baby who had just woken up made my heart to tumble and squeeze in pain!
But I had to go to school!
I had to become great for my family members and show my mum that the best way to become great is not by selling one’s body but by putting one’s best in the little things one can do.
“Beverly Jones, Lizdera Block Room 10” The hostel administrator read out and I sighed deeply as I turned to look into Mrs. Oladejo’s sad face. Glory also wore a protestive look.
“Mum, what do we do? They’ve separated us. Do something!” Glory protested and my heart dropped really.
Of what use was it then that I was sent to the school with her when we would be in different Blocks?
“Follow me” Mrs. Oladejo said and we both followed her like new puppies.
“Good afternoon ma. I am Mrs. Oladejo, the wife of Dr. Oladejo, General Manager, Couhealth Pharmaceuticals” She started and the hostel administrator smiled.
My eyes widened at that!
I never knew the family was the owner of the internationally recognized Pharmaceuticals. Their drugs and other medical services were really popular in the whole of West Africa.
“I am so happy to meet you in person Mrs. Oladejo” The hostel administrator stood up, shook her hands and smiled.
“How may I help you ma?”
“Thank you. I want my daughter and her friend to stay in the same room but by what you’ve called out now, that’s not going to be possible. Please do something about it.” She explained and the woman shook her head.
“I really wish I could help ma but I am sorry ma. Lizdera Block is meant for medical students. Students of Anatomy, Physiotherapy, Medicine and Surgery and other related courses are housed in that hostel” She explained and I knew at that point that we were not going to be together.
“Ah!” Mrs. Oladejo exclaimed as she looked round as if she could change things by how much she was able to look.
“The hostels are very good and they have wonderful conveniences and comfortability ma. You have nothing to worry about” The Hostel Administrator said again and Mrs. Oladejo picked her bag, shook her head and started walking out.
“Who said the hostels are not good, ehn? I am talking a, she is talking b!…Imagine!” She murmured as she hurried out of the screening hall.
I bowed slightly before the hostel admin, held Glory’s hands and we went after her.
I was sure the eyes of the woman saw us off!
“Beverly, I am not really happy about what has happened. If I say I am, I would be lying” She complained to me as if I could fix things up.
As much as I felt bad about the whole thing, I wondered why the family loved me so dearly as to entrust their daughter into my hands.
Was it more than the lesson I had with her?
“Mum, we would be visiting each other. From the bronchure, Lizdera Hall and Megalite Hall are directly opposite each other, so it should be easy.” Glory said and I smiled.
“Exactly mum. We would be good.” was all I could say.
Mrs. Oladejo came close and held my hands warmly.
“I hope I wouldn’t offend you much Bev” She said and I frowned a bit.
“I will like to follow Glory to her room and help her with arrangement. Will you be able to go alone to your room?” She asked and I smiled.
“Mummy, you are so funny! I am not a small girl nah, I will take care of myself. If you can take me to the front of my hostel, that will be fine” I said and she smiled.
“Get into the car girls!” She called out and we hopped into the car, banging the doors after us.
“Madam” The driver called out from outside, looking shocked as his boss’ wife sat in his position.
She started laughing.
“Fred, I have forgotten you o..” She laughed again as she wound down her window.
“Wait for me here dear. They won’t allow a guy in the hostel” she said and the driver smiled.
“Okay ma. Safe drive ma but don’t forget me here again ma o” he said too and we all burst out into laughter as the car zoomed off.
Mummy wasn’t used to having a driver!
Her husband even had to recently force her to accept the reality of being a wife to a millionaire!
She was just so lowly!
As I followed the woman helping me with my load down to my room, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I couldn’t tell if I was truly in a school hostel or a magnificent hotel. All I could see was glamor in its best!
“Welcome to Lizdera Hall Miss. I am a porter here” A woman old enough to be my mother bowed a bit before me. I bowed instantly too.
“I am a small child ma. My name is Beverly” I said and she smiled.
“Thanks for your golden heart. Thanks for returning the honor but every student in here is a star! You are should be treated as Queens for that is who you all are!” She said and my eyes widen.
“That’s weird ma. We are just students here” I said as the woman dropped my last bag on the pavement.
“No, Miss Beverly. You are future leaders of tomorrow.” She said as she helped lift my bags in a small motor. I was dumbfounded. What was the roofless motor for?
“What room were you allocated to?” She asked
“Room 10” I replied. She pressed some keys on the motor, it made a kick sound like a car and started moving slowly down the hall.
“Follow the motor. Your roommates have a spare key, make sure you get it from one of them.” She said, smiling. She bowed again and I frowned as I ran after the motor.
The motor stopped abruptly and I looked up at the door. It was room 10.
“Chai! And they said there is no money in Nigeria! That there is recession! Ah! Motor when I have hands! Chei!” I said as I started removing my bags from the motor.
Immediately I removed the last bag, the voice from the motor caused me to jump up in fright. I wasn’t expecting it to say anything.
“Thank you for using our services. Vermoon Technical Concepts, making life more comfrotable for you and me!” It blinked a red light and reversed to the Porter’s lodge.
I found myself smiling at myself then. I had never seen such a thing before in my life!
I knocked at the door since I didn’t have a key.
“Hello, is anyone in here?” I asked as I knocked again.
The door opened and a slim girl opened the door. Her eyes were very beautiful. I smiled and she eyed me, surveying me from head to toes like I was a piece of land!
I wanted to enter but she blocked the entrance.
“Guess you are from a village” She started and I gasped at that.
“My name is Beverly Jones. I have been assigned to this room” I said, trying very hard to be a good girl.
“Who is your father?” she asked and my eyes grew wide.
What an audacity!
“Can you let me in please?” I asked, talking in between my teeth out of suppressed anger.
“Jones, Jones, Jones, which Jones do we have in Nigeria? How did you get into SMC? Scholarship or sponsorship? I know you are one of those who feed from hand to mouth” She said again and I gnashed my teeth, crushing the anger under my teeth. I looked into her face. I was so sure my eyes burnt with anger.
She smiled and clapped her hands.
“Only the poor wear this look! The look of regret! The look of anger against their wretched parents for bringing them into a world of impoverishment!” She said and if it were to be any girl on our street that was talking that way to me, I would have pulled her two hands behind her, slapped her triply or more, given her some upper cuts and spat in her face!
But the rules of the school named the consequence of fighting and harrassment as expulsion.
I had to be a good girl, obey the rules of the school and graduate peacefully.
“Let me in the room please” I said and she smiled.
“Before I relunctantly allow you into the room, I earlier called you a village girl right?” She asked and paused.
I wondered if she was actually expecting a response. She continued in her own time.
“Whenever you want to ascertain if there is anyone in the room, you see this red button? We call it the door alert. I am sure you haven’t seen it before” She said and started laughing uncontrollably.
I smiled too- my fists hurt for lack of action because on a bad day, I would have taken at least two of her beautifully white and rich teeth.
“So, just press it and we will automatically unlock the door for you from inside. This is not just an ordinary door. Okay?” She asked and I smiled as I picked my bags from the floor.
She left the entrance and walked hurriedly to her bed as if she had an unfinished business.
The room was bigger than the whole three rooms in our house with the bathroom and toilet put together!
I had only seen those kinds of beds in movies but they were right in front of me. I would be sleeping in a princess’ bed!
“Wow!” I didn’t know when those words came out of my mouth. I heard a loud hiss from the lady and I simply ignored her.
There were three beds in the room and two were well laid while one was vacant. I knew that one would be mine. I moved there and dropped my handbag on it.
My roommate stood up suddenly, walked down to the bed, picked my bag from the bed and threw it down on the floor. I was shocked.
If riches makes one happy, I never knew it makes one crazy too!
I rubbed my hands together, moved closer to her and folded her two hands backwards. She looked so shocked. Probably someone had never even spanked her before.
“Rich man’s kid or whatever you call yourself! I am giving you all these cool treatments because I know you have eaten so much pasta that you have no strength in you and if I give you one blow, you go die straight! That’s why I am being lenient baby girl. Don’t take my meekness for weakness darling, huh!” I said, carried her like a piece of paper and dropped her on her bed.
“If you stand up from this bed or let this mouth of yours….” I pulled her lips.
“If you allow them drive around the street of ‘Don’t enter’ and I slap you. Please don’t be angry or shocked” I said, left her lips and started going to the door. She was obviously so shocked.
As I picked my last bag from outside, opened the door and was about moving inside, I saw the girl holding something like a remote control and instantly the door came banging into my chest before I could jump in.
My chest throbbed painfully as the heavy door pushed into my chest, right in the middle of my breasts!
I could never have imagined that wickedness dwelt that deep in the heart of man that much!
“Pl…pl…please” I managed to say as the bag I was holding fell down inside the room. It was as if life was streaming out of me. One part of my body was in the room while one part with my head was outside with a heavy door pushing through my chest.
“Pleaseeeee” I cried out again, my neck creaked as tears started strolling down my face. If help didn’t come at the right time, I might collapse!
I knew I might!
My neck was as good as been strangled; I couldn’t feel life in my legs any more too; my empty stomach yearned as it felt like my intenstines were coming through my anus; I was dying!
“Jesus!” A lady holding a pair of crutches cried out as she came close to the room.
“Help…Pleaseee” I managed to say. I couldn’t even swallow. The door was directly on my throat!
She pressed the door alert like thrice.
“Isabella, open this door! You’re gonna kill someone! Open!” She cried out, banging the door. The pain in my whole body increased with each bang.
“Stop being a bush girl Ava! And why did you come at a time when one needs to teach some disrespectful poor some sense, huh?” I heard her say from inside.
My nose had started running.
“Oh my God! Bella, open this door now!” Ava screamed with such command.
“Yes sis” She said at last and hearing the beep of the door, it opened and down to the floor I fell!
I, Beverly Jones, the only female warrior of Boki Local Government, Cross Rivers State, dropped to the floor in front of a mere girl!
A skinny girl whose father only had cash!
I tried to stand up but I fell flat!
“Is anything the matter Miss Ava? I heard a cry” The porter said and Ava smiled briefly.
“We will be fine ma” She said and raised her hand to dismiss the woman. The latter bowed briefly and turned back.
I wondered how rich their father was because even though they were both wearing simple singlets and shorts and their slippers looked normal, they exuded originality and wealth!
Mere seeing them, I knew they were extraordinary.
“Please stay still. You have some blisters on your neck already. Let me get the first aid box” Ava said and hurried to her locker with her crutches. She came back with a box and started pampering my face, my neck, almost all parts of my body.
“I am so sorry you had to go through this because of my sister. Please forgive her” She said, walked to the small fridge inbuilt between the lockers and brought a bowl of ice cubes.
She packed them in a white bandage and placed it on my neck.
“She is your biological sister?” I asked as the ice soothed my pain, giving me some sensations.
“Yes she is. I am Ava. She is Bella”
“Unbelievable!” I exclaimed and Bella hissed from where she was.
I wondered how two sisters could be that different.
She came back with a cup and handed it over to me.
“Take this cup of warm milk please. I am sorry once again” She said and I smiled.
As I raised the very nice cup to my mouth and the warm liquid travelled down my almost bleeding throat, a refreshing came upon me like cool breeze that sent me springing back to life, to health!
“Are you okay?” She asked and I nodded.
“But what brand of milk is this? It doesn’t taste like any I am familiar with” I asked and Bella chuckled.
“Its Froshol Milk” Ava answered, smiling as she rubbed my forehead with some balm.
“Froshol Milk? I haven’t heard about that before.” I asked and Bella burst out laughing out loud.
“Its an European brand. Dad gets us some packs when he travels out or when we go on vacation” Ava explained and I nodded.
“Now, I get!” I said and smiled. Ava smiled as well.
“You are so nice” I said, from the depth of my heart and Ava smiled.
“Glory to God. He has commanded us to love” She said and I twisted my nose to a side.
She must be all those church girls!
I ran away from my dad and still met a Jesus’ girl here!- so unfortunate!
“Let me quickly lay your bed so you can rest for a while” Ava said and walked to the bed.
“I should be doing..” I was saying when she smiled.
“You are saying that because of my crutches? Never mind dear. Even though there is still pain, I am used to it already. Its been two years. Moreso, I laid the two beds so why can’t I lay the third?” She said and I smiled.
Her words were like cold garri water to my soul!
“Thank you so much” I said and she smiled.
“Hello dad” Bella started and I looked at her from the side of my eyes.
“I told you that I want a room to myself and you not only allowed Ava but you allowed a poor rascal who doesn’t even know what Froshol milk is into my room dad. I can’t deal!” She exclaimed.
I looked at Ava and our eyes met. She smiled assuringly and I nodded.
The Bella girl was obviously illmannered and if she wouldn’t watch it, I definitely would find her a punishment of her size!
“Dad, its not funny. Aren’t you the owner of the school, can’t you change the law for us, ehn? Just put your children in a room different from others dad. Its not fair” She said, almost crying.
I was disgusted! Why would she cry when she was the one making life difficult for me?
But, their father as the proprietor of the popular SMC threw me off balance!
How could I be placed in the same room with the proprietor’s children?
“Dad, she even pushed me into my bed and tried to strangle me…why are you laughing dad? Its not funny…No..I am not lying” She said again and I smiled, shaking my head in a ‘I don’t even know what I should say again’ manner.
“Ava, wait, no! You can’t lay that bed for her. It is mine!” She screamed, her phone still raised to her ear.
She started running towards her sister and I wondered if she only just saw her sister or she was having some mental problems.
“Bella, you chose the middle bed because you said you might be scared at night. Shouldn’t the innocent girl have her own bed? C’mon!” Ava said and continued laying the bed.
“I chose the middle bed because I thought Senator Desmond’s daughter Titi will be the other roommate! But since the school sent a pauper, I’d rather stay on this bed and face the wall! I hate her face!” She said angrily and luckily for her, I was getting used to being called a pauper because that was actually my surname.
I was indeed poor and the naive girl might not have seen my kind before.
“No problem dear Bella. I don’t hate you though. I only wish your heart had one quarter of your facial beauty. You are very rich but greatly poor in character. Sadly, character isn’t sold in the market! Get it dear!” I said, totally trying hard not to do anything dangerous.
Almost immediately, she threw her phone away and it landed on the floor. It autimatically placed the call on loudspeaker.
“What’s happening? Bella…” He asked from the phone.
“Ava, how dare you watch a fool insult me? Didn’t you say you are a Christian, huh?” She asked angrily, pulling Ava away from the bedside. She fell down with a thud and let out a shrill.
My heart jumped into my mouth as I saw her hold her legs in pain.
“Ava!” Their dad called from the phone again.
As if what she had done was not enough, Bella moved to the bed, picked my bag and threw it at the wall. My eyes followed the bag as it descended, all the contents in it especially my new android phone falling down to the hard tiled floor with a bang.
Tear gathered in my eyes at that!
I hated it so much when someone gives a gift to me and I waste it away.
The phone wasn’t even a week old!
“You dare say I am greatly poor in character? Who are you? How dare you mad girl?!” She came close to me and I dodged her blows.
Almost immediately, I kicked her below her tummy, pulled her hands behind her and started delivering some punches on her cheeks and chin and face.
She screamed at intervals especially as the pain heightened.
“I will teach you a lesson today Bella! The lesson is that, money is not anything. See me beating you now, your money can’t even save you. Be kind! The money you are proud of isn’t even yours, right?” I asked, pulling her chin into my hand.
“Please leave her Beverly” Ava said and I panted, I knew I was doing what I would regret but I would rather be expelled as a hero who left a mark than condone her misbehaviour.
“You can see your sister still pleading for you in pain, ehn? That is how a human being is supposed to be, huh?” I asked to be sure my words were sinking in her skull
“You are stupid!” She said and I delivered another blow on her cheek. The sound of her teeth clanging against one another filled the room.
“Yeh!” She cried as blood drops on her singlet.
Ava’s eyes widened as she started crawling with her chest to our side.
“What’s happening?…Somebody should pick this call and talk to me!” I heard the dad say from the phone.
I pulled helpless Bella’s head close, touched her lips and smiled.
“Its your lower lip. I thought you’ve lost ten teeth!” I said to her, looking deep into her eyes. She looked so scared like a coward puppy.
Tears streamed down her face and that touched a soft spot in my heart.
“See Beverly, I didn’t mean to do this to you but you provoked me…” I started explaining.
“My God, did what…What did you do to her? Talk to me please” The father asked from the phone but none of us could pick it up.
“Do unto others what you want others to do unto you. You called me poor, yeah, that’s who I am. But I am rich in intelligence and that brought about my sponsorship to SMC. I called you poor but you couldn’t bear it. But you are poor, aren’t you? Why are you so proud? What do you have? You dad owns the school, so what? Is he even proud? He is the owner but is he even boastful? I only want it to sink in your brain baby girl, that you should be humble. See your beautiful sister nah, she corrected me in love the other tme while you laughed. Emulate your sister! Be warned” I explained into her beautiful little eyes.
She was probably Bethany, my third sister’s agemate!
I let go of her hands and stood up but that was a big mistake because almost immediately I did that, Ava screamed.
But it was too late!
A bottle of water which I had seen close to the bed earlier was heavily thrown at my head and I fell!
“Ava, what’s that?” The dad called again from the phone
“Dad, we have an issue in the hostel. Send a porter to room 10, Lizdera Hall” She said, slowly, having gathered a little strength.
It was like an arrow pierced through my skull.
She jumped at me then and started raining punches on my back. It felt as if I would die.
“No one has ever taken my blood before, not even a hospital! You’re gonna pay for it.” Bella said angrily as she pulled at my hair.
I cried out.
“So, a tout too can cry, huh?” She asked as she kicked my back and did all sort.
“Oh Lord Jesus! Come into this situation. Come Lord!” Ava cried and suddenly, Bella picked a slippers from near by and threw it at her. She fell again and started crying really hard.
The door flung open.
“Stop the Jesus’ thing Miss Spirikoko!’ Bella screamed as if the Name burnt her on the inside.
“But why is it difficult to correct you, Bella, why?” Ava cried on.
“Beverly!” Mrs. Oladejo called out in shock. She was at the door. I could barely see her because Bella was seated on my head, blurring my vision but the voice was unmistakable.
“Oh God!” I heard Glory’s exclamation also.
They rushed inside and as they were about to lift Bella off me, there was a voice at the door.
“What’s going on here?” A clean-shaved man who should be in his early fifties entered with two security woman behind him.
“Dad!” Ava cried. He bent beside me and touched Bella softly. He carried her up to the bed and patted her.
I was relieved immediately and tried to stand up but I was unable to.
“Are you okay baby Bella?” He asked and she shook her head.
“How can I be okay? Can’t you see the blood streaming down from my mouth, huh?” She said and I shook my head as Mrs. Oladejo pulled me up.
“Ah, what happened my dear. You have been really beaten. Did she offend you?” Mrs. Oladejo asked and I smiled.
“Ava, what were you doing that you allowed your sister to be this beaten? What kind of a big sister are you?” He asked, looking so angry.
My head rang as if four bells were being rung together at a time. My eyes were beclouded as I faced the almighty proprietor.
“Sir, I will ask you to check the CCTV of the room if there is one to check what really happened instead of blaming poor Ava? Can’t you see that she is in a pitiable condition as well, huh?” I asked and the two security woman stood by my side, pushing me to my knees again.
I looked at Mrs. Oladejo and she was almost crying.
“Hey mother and little girl, you may leave the room while I talk with this girl right now?” He asked and Mrs. Oladejo stepped forward.
“My name is Mrs. Oladejo, she is my daughter. I want you to investi…” She was saying when he raised a hand at her.
“My name is Professor Bello and this is my daughter Bella, she is bleeding. Please, leave!” He thundered and the two security women helped pull them out.
“I’m sorry mum” I muttered when I looked at her sad countenance as she left.
“Please try to be fine.” She muttered as she left.
Prof Bello’s huge hand pulled my face to his ver front.
“You little girl, beat my beautiful girl here?” He asked and I could only blink.
“Dad, Bella grew really wild. If there was a knife, she might have…” Ava was saying when the dad bent beside her, raised her head and slapped her heavily.
“Don’t say any other word, you fool!” He exclaimed and I was shocked.
I hated injustice with passion.
How could the culprit be greeted with a kiss while the innocent is slapped?
I couldn’t take it!
I jumped up from my kneeling position and walked closer to him.
“Sir, your riches, beauty, possessions and reputation are just like a big bowl of ice-cream but can you imagine sand inside Ice-cream? It will produce really bad stuff in your mouth. But that is excatly how injustice is, Professor Bello. Injustice has destroyed your whole possession sir…I..” I was saying when he looked around, muttered some words to himself and then smiled.
He looked into my eyes deeply and blinked twice. My eyes hurt deeply inside as he did that.
“Who is this girl?” He asked, so calmly and I juts couldn’t look into his eyes anymore. He raised my head and smiled into my face.
“Don’t avoid my eyes girl!” He exclaimed and as I looked into his eyes the last time, the blackness I saw inside the eyes threw me off blance and I collapsed to the floor.
He bent beside me and stared into my eyes the more.
I screamed from inside, shivering as I did.
“Don’t be scared girl. I am only inquisitivwe. Who are you?” He looked on. I closed my eyes firmly but I could still see those eyes.
Just then, my dad appeared in front of my pupil. I wanted to hold him but I couldn’t.
“Whenever you are in any situation that seems out of control, just remember to call the Blood of Jesus! It has never lost Its potency!” He said and vanished out of sight.
I remembered clearly the day he told me that.
“The Blood of Jesus!” I cried out.
Professor Bello stood up then.
“Pick her up and follow me” he said and the two woman picked me up almost immediately and we were headed for the door.
“Dad!” I heard Ava call out and as I turned back to see why she called him, I lost stamina immediately and fully on the floor I landed.
(Watch out for Episode 2)
SMALLVILLE ACADEMY IS BASED ON A TRUE LIFE STORY. IT IS 30% NON FICTION AND 70% FICTION.
LET’S GO TOGETHER IN THIS SERIES AND GET BLESSED THE MORE.
GOD BLESS YOU.