“Ayo,” Bukky who was leaning on the window frame of Ayo’s classroom, called. It was lunch break and every other student seemed to be out of their classroom if not in the dining hall.
“Yes, what is it?” Ayo responded. A mouthful of rice in her mouth. She wasn’t one who leaves her class much, not when the semi finals are around the corner.
“When you are done. Can you come downstairs to our class?”
“Why not come and join me?” Ayo offered. “And whatever you want to tell me, you will say it.”
“Thank you. I just finished eating,” she declined. “I want you to come and see Promise.”
“Promise?” she hurriedly covered her food flask. “Let’s go now.” She wiped off food particles on her lips and ran out of the class to join Bukky.
“Ayo, did you see the letter I left you on Saturday?” Bukky asked as they walked down the
It’s another Monday morning and the third week since the new term began. That very day, the school bus had just dropped Ayo off at school. As soon as she alighted, the familiar voice of Bukky greeted her but she decided to ignore.She made to walk up the stairs but the voice called again. Though, it was faint as the person was still at a distance but Ayo knew the caller. She ran up the first flight of stairs in a bid to avoid her but had to stop when Bukky called for the third time. This time, right behind her.“Are you avoiding me?” Bukky said as soon as she caught up with Ayo. “Because it seems to me like you are!”Ayo grunted. “Bukky you’ve started again. It’s Monday morning for God’s sake!”“What have I done?” Bukky protested. “Don’t bother!” She hissed and walked away.Ayo sighed and walked up the remaining steps. ‘Was I too harsh? She wouldn’
“I really liked it as Ore and Ayo are placed together in the semifinals,” Funmi said as they settled in their seats, ready to witness the first semifinal stage of the mathematics Olympiad.It’s been quite an interesting Olympiad, which has seen 54 contestants against one another in 9 different stages, in each of the categories; Junior and Senior. In each category, each week had always featured 6 contestants and at the end, 2 contestants would emerge as winners to progress to the semifinals. At the end of the preliminaries, there were only 18 contestants left who were further divided into 3 groups; each group having 6 contestants to battle for the top 2 again, who will then advance to the finals.Here it was, the first semifinals! The first six contestants stood as usual behind each of the pulpits while the quiz master was at his. The stage lights had already been lit and each of them seemed anxious as to what the first round held.“I wish both of them good lu
“Audience, what do you think?” the quiz master asked rhetorically. The first round had just come to an end and everyone awaited the result. “It’s been an interesting and amazing first round,” he said to the contestants.The contestants couldn’t hold their anxiety, as they all stood on the toes awaiting the quiz master’s next words. He smiled before he continued, “I would have loved to see all of your faces in the semifinals but” – he sighed – “that’s not possible.”“Which three among them won’t proceed to the second round?” the quiz master asked yet another rhetorical question, which further puts the anxiety of the contestants on edge. They stole glances of one another as they waited.“Wow!” He looked down on the digital screen and up at the audience. “The scores are really close. I mean really… really close and definitely th
Ayo listened as the quiz master told Damilola that she had qualified and Francis, disqualified. She and Lateefah were the only ones left and she isn’t so sure if she was faster than the other girl, who seems bright under the cotton she used to cover her hair. It however made her look beautiful. Ayo was anxiously waiting for the quiz master’s next statement, so she could let out the tears that welled up in her eyes, either for joy or sorrow. Then, she heard the quiz master say something she wasn’t expecting to hear. She looked down at her feet and let out a soft smile. As she did this, a tear dropped from her eyes.“You ought to be happy!” the quiz master said. “Given that you were able to remove two of the boys.” He smiled.She smiled back as the audience applauded.“Congratulations to you! Your average response time is 0.83 seconds,” the quiz master said.Ayomide looked in Lateefah’s direction a
“Wow! Unbelievable,” the quiz master said. Ayo’s Olympiad 60 seconds of fame had just ended. “Those last 45 seconds were awesome!” He heaved a sigh to ease the pressure he had felt while reading the questions to Ayo.“Thank you, sir,” Ayo muttered. Her palms were sweaty, so was her forehead. She wiped some off but they seem to be stuck. She regretted not coming with her handkerchief. The applause the audience gave her after, were deafening and sort of eased the tension she felt as she smiled back at them. However, all she hoped was that her awful first 15 seconds doesn’t hinder her qualification. Without a tie break, she thought.“I would say I’ve never seen such before.” The quiz master wiped sweat off his forehead with his handkerchief. “I need to ask. Ayo, what happened in the first fifteen seconds?”Ayo hadn’t expected that question and she wished she could avoid it but she couldn’t. She looked down as she always does and the ‘Just do it’ inscription on her Nik
“Congratulations Ayo,” Oreoluwa said and extended a hand for a shake as Ayo walked into the backstage room of Ace studios, the venue of the Mathematics Olympiad.Ayo refused the hand and hugged him instead. “Thanks for those kind words, Ore. I will never forget.”“Oh! So sweet,” Perfect said as she walked past them to the stage. It was her turn in the senior category semifinals.“Good luck!” Ayo and Oreoluwa said after her. She waved at them without turning back.“Oreoluwa!” Damilola called. She had been watching the duo for a while and didn’t want to interrupt the moment.“Yes!” Oreoluwa turned to identify the owner of the voice that called.“Nice speech out there,” Damilola said, moving towards them. She extended her left hand and hurriedly changed it to her right. “Oh! Sorry. I’m a left-hander.”He took the hand gladly. &ldqu
“See you later. I want to speak to Ore.” That was the last statement Funmi uttered to the duo of Ayo and Anu before she left them in the middle of the backstage room where she met them. She walked up to Oreoluwa as she’d said she would but not because she actually wanted to talk to him or have a conversation of any sort. She had said so to excuse herself from the conversation Ayo and her friend were having. Here, she was behind Oreoluwa and unable to say anything.“I guess she is from your school.” Damilola pointed behind Oreoluwa to alert him of the intruder that had joined.Oreoluwa looked behind and found a depressed Funmi. “Yes, she is.”“I guess I would leave you two to talk then.” Damilola left them there by cutting her conversation with Oreoluwa short.“What’s wrong with you?” Oreoluwa demanded from Funmi.“I’m… fine,” she said. Her arms folded a
As soon as Oreoluwa exited the room, Funmi wiped her tears and faced Ayo squarely.“I’m listening,” Ayo urged.“At first” – Funmi sighed and rested her back on the wall behind. She used her palm to cover her face in frustration – “Oh! My God! I don’t know how to begin.”“Just tell me the important details.”“Okay, I think I can do that!” She sat up and rested each elbow on her thighs, using one hand to support her head. “I helped you because I wanted to… I mean I really picked interest in you on your first day in school and I wanted to get to know you. But…” Her voice trailed off again but she picked up almost immediately. “But when you won the annual math quiz ahead of me. I...” She buried her face in her palms and it took a pat from Ayo for her to regain her confidence. Staring at Ayo, she said, “I began to dislike you an