School and letters 

​Sasa xweerie, I’ve missed you xoo much but can’t miss this chance to talk to you through pen and paper.  I have sent you three letters but you never reply. I know you are busy reading for exams,  juxt wanted to let you know that I LOVE you xo much. Remember life is a broken winged bird… and success is a matter of luck meeting preparedness and opportunity… so please work hard for our future kids. I luv u babe, take care. By da way we are coming over to your school next Saturday for the Kiswahili symposium. Hope to see you darling. Dedix: J Boog “More than friends,” and Beyonce “Irreplaceable.” Please reply!!! Mwaaahh! From Lauretta… (Hehehe.) That’s a letter you receive from a hunny you met during the regional music festivals in Chavakali high school a fortnight ago. 

This story begins with the deputy principal Mr. Opiyo (alias Ocampo) marching into the dinning hall where all form ones are converged. It’s about 8 p.m, you are only 3 days old in school. Everything about you is new – your hair is new, socks new, new toughees, new underwear, new white shirts, new grey trousers, a new Revised Standard Version Bible, new Oxford Dictionary, new 360 dregrees Atlas, new name “Achoks,” new rules where running is the tradition, actually the only thing about you that’s not new is your undying love for pork a.k.a aluodo. Now that most of you here don’t know who Ocampo is, I’ll brief you. But I won’t talk about his physique, character only. Ok, Ocampo had one unique characteristic – silence and order were his close buddies so whenever he stepped his two friends always ensured they accompany him. You would be stirring cold power while chatting with your roommates after evening preps then suddenly hear loud murmurs of “Ocampo! Ocampo!” followed by ‘chwi chwi chwi’ sounds of beds coming from other rooms, they are these ‘chwi chwi’ sounds that would see you jump to your bed with your shoes and tie on and quickly cover yourself in your sheets. Two seconds later, the hostel would be dead silent, followed by well calculated footsteps that would emerge from the farthest end of the dormitory through the corridor to the other end. Hardly a minute after the disappearance of his footsteps, the dorm would resume it’s normal noise as you also wake up to take your shoes and tie off and have your cold power. That’s how you’d know that Ocampo was there. 

Ocampo also loved water and always boasted about it on assembly. There are those mornings when the 4:45 a.m bell would ring but because it would be drizzling outside, nobody would be willing to let go his warm blanket. So by 4:50, guys would still be in bed pretending to sleep with one eye open. Then abruptly, you’d hear the sound of a slap landing on someone’s cheeck and from that point, any shoe that fits your legs would save you. That’s the time you wish you lived downstairs where you won’t have to struggle for one door because windows would save your ass. That’s also the time you thanked God for not living in rooms that were close to the entrance cause guys who stayed there always served as sacrificial lambs and control experiments – a slap to one of them would save the rest of us. 

So on this particular day, Ocampo walks into the dinning hall where the four streams of form ones are all gathered – of course seated according to your streams. He then asks you to nominate the people you want to be your respective class prefects. A random guy (Shaddy),  a guy you haven’t even talked to since you reported, points at you. You stand and join three other contestants from form 1 blue. Introducing and describing yourself before the whole class is what the deputy uses to appoint leaders. That’s how you become the form one blue class prefect. And you see, those days prefects were prefects. Once you became a prefect, the whole school respected you. The mere fact that you’d put on long sleeved white shirts and a stripped blue neck tie while the rest of the students wore short-sleeved shirts and black ties meant that you held an important position in that school. Let’s just say that that’s how you came to fall in love with long-sleeved shirts. 

You see, being a prefect in Sigalame School then was a whole different life experience: While other students busied themselves with the morning community work, your job was to move around with a toothbrush in your mouth supervising them, sometimes you didn’t even bother to oversee that job done cause guys would just do it without being followed. Whenever you felt lazy to run to class between breaks, you’d pretend to help the prefects on duty by walking sluggishly while shouting and clapping at other guys to run to class and threatening to book them on your empty booking sheet – this really worked by the way. 

Because you hated shorts and rubber shoes, (who else hated those things like me? In fact I donated my shorts to my younger brother when we went home for my first ever half term) while other guys carried big chemistry and physics books at academic angles and walked around during funkies held in school, you you’d slide your good trousers on and a long-sleeved shirt, pick a random less handsome guy and walk around with him head high. And because hunnies love smart guys, you’d always have them approaching you to enquire things like “when are you closing school?” then a week later, you’d receive a letter from them requesting you to be more than friends. But because you were a CU treasurer, most of these letters would not reach you because then, people believed that CU guys weren’t allowed to have girlfriends. CU fellas were believed to be mortal beings, they were not expected to have feelings towards the opposite sex, in short other students treated you like rocks. People called you a hypocrite whenever they saw you converse with any hunny, yaani, once you professed to be a CU guy you were supposed to spend your entire life in school doing business with other brethren. Not with any hunnies. Even when you met a beautiful hunny and for one or two reasons you thought you were not satisfied with her front look, everybody else would turn their necks to satisfy their visual desires apart from you. So as other guys turned, you fastened your neck tie and swallowed huge chunks of saliva though you really wanted to look back and admire God’s beautiful creation. 

Your first year flies that you soon find yourself in form two. One Sunday, you attend a prefects’ meeting where you plead with the deputy principal  and the principal to take stringent measures on students who break the law, including guys who miss preps which they promise to do. The next day (Monday), you are awaken by the commotion of guys coming back from class after the morning preps. Morning preps start at 4:45 and end at 6:00. So you wipe you eyes and check your watch, it’s 6:08 a.m. You reflect on yesterday’s meeting where you pleaded with school heads to be strict on guys who skive preps. Two hours later on assembly, the principal reads out names of those who missed the morning preps, you hear your name… That’s how you are stripped off your leadership responsibilities. 
One Saturday, your school is hosting district ball game competitions, you are now a form three chap, a pre-candidate. Si you guys know the pride that comes with being a form three? So you stroll down to the volleyball pitch where St Cecilia Nangina Girls is playing some other school. There is this short (compared to her teammates) gorgeous hunny in a number 7 jersey that your eyes seem to find pleasure in. You position yourself strategically where she can easily spot you. You lock eyes and smile several times. The game elapses, she breaks away from her mates, walks a few paces near you then takes off. You follow her. A few guys shout at you but you ignore because this is a matter between you and this hunny. You catch up with her a few strides past the basketball court. You stop and greet her, she grins and hi’s back. Then both of you mute for the next thirty seconds (it’s your first time to vibe a hunny, you are used to being approached but today the shoe is in your foot. Your head is full of fear and anxiety).  

“Uko form?” she asks. 

“Three blue,” you stutter as you slowly gain momentum. She says she’s Lucy.* And that’s how Lucy breaks your seduction virginity. Side Note. Anytime I successfully convince any hunny, I’ve always remembered to credit Lucy. Do you guys remember people who introduced you to these things? 

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