Dedicated to all the kids and teens who are different. " You are different because you are special" -Riece blossom
I hate alarm clocks. They're so irritating. But in my life, they're a necessity. I put off my alarm clock and got out of bed rather lazily. I brushed my teeth, walked to the kitchen put a cup of water in the kettle and set it to boil. I went back to my room, gathered up my Physics textbooks and walked back into the kitchen to check on the water. I turned off the stove and made myself a cup of tea, with a lot of Milo and milk to keep me awake cos I was frickin' sleepy. I sat at the dinner table, reading while sipping my tea to keep me awake. After four hours of reading and six cups of tea, I heard my older brother walk in.
"Up as usual Squirt."
Lee sat beside me and glanced at the books on the table.
"You're gonna have a brain meltdown."
"That's not a thing."
"It is. The medical term is boring behavior."
I rolled my eyes and hissed. Lee pulled out his tablet and began scrolling through.
"Lil Dicky and Chris Brown just released a new song."
"I don't care."
Lee rolled his eyes and kept scrolling.
" 'Man found dead in his wardrobe on Friday. Possible cause of death; strangulation' ."
I looked up.
"Let me see."
He passed me the tablet and I took a look at it.
Shining above the rest.....
MAN FOUND DEAD IN WARDROBE:
35 year old resident Peter Falana was found dead in his wardrobe on Friday the 15th September. Experts say Mr Falana showed signs of struggle and the apparant cause of death is....
"Strangulation. Hand prints were discovered on Mr Falana's neck and he showed signs of struggle and tiny pieces of black clothing materials were discovered underneath his fingernails.
"They also found an arrow on his bed." Lee said.
"And a white rose." I replied giving him the tablet. Lee sighed.
"Richard's the pathologist on the case."
I frowned and didn't reply.
I ignored him and closed my textbook. I looked up at the wall clock, i was almost seven. I stood.
"I've gotta get ready for school." I packed up and headed to my room, walked down and quietly closed the door. I would've slammed it for dramatic effect but that would just wake Mom up and I sure as hell didn't want that. I got ready for school and walked back to the dinner table for breakfast. Lee was still at the table, sipping a cup of creamy coffee and reading an article on his tablet with a half eaten donut on a plate beside his coffee cup.
"What's for breakfast?"
"Mom's making toast bread."
I nodded and joined Mom in the kitchen.
"Ekaró ma." I greeted, prostrating. She smiled.
"Oko mi, bawo ni? How was your night?"
"Good. Could've been better." I replied shrugging. She shook her head.
"Olorun o ni jeke para e. Better don't kill yourself with reading day and night."
"But Mom, aren't you the one that always goes; 'Burn the midnight candle.'?"
She hissed, eyeing me.
"So because you want to 'burn candle' you will not know sleep well. You better not give yourself a heart attack. You're still a small boy o."
"Mom, I'm 16."
She chuckled and handed me my toast and a glass of milk.
I went back to the dinner table and dug into my meal. Mom joined us a while later.
"Are you still reading that article, Leonardo?"
"Mom, this is a story to die for! This isn't the first killing, it's the third. First was Miss Cynthia Reginald, the owner of Apple Leaf Computer Engineers and a share holder in Williams Group of companies. Then Mr Olalekan Bamise, CEO of Bamise oil and gas who also holds shares with Mr Williams. Now, Mr Peter Falana, heir to Mr Samuel Falana's mulit-million Dollar publishing company and is also a memeber in the board of directors of Mr Williams company."
I narrowed my eyes.
"My point is, all the victims have high standings in Crystal Point. And they're all running for the position of General Director in Mr Williams' company."
"So in essence, they're all rich." I said.
"Yes. And they're all after Mr Williams' fortune. Which means that whoever the killer is, is probably a rival for the fortune."
"And he's trying to eliminate the competition." I smiled at my brother.
"Spoken like a true detective, Lee."
"Can we talk about something else? I've heard enough of this case from Richard and Desola."
I frowned at the mention of Richard's name. Lee noticed it and smirked.
"So Mom, how was your date with Richard last night?"
Mom smiled, blushing and the sight made me sick to my stomach.
"He took me to this fancy restaurant. It was Italian and they served the best meals! We had such a nice time and he had so many great ideas for the foundation. Then he asked me if I liked the place and I told him that I did. But to say the truth, I would be happy even if he took me to Iya Risika's bukaa to eat Amala and ewedu."
"I love having him as a business partner."
"And you're gonna love him more than that sef." Lee muttered under his breath. I glared at him and he smirked.
"So, Jeff's in his final year now."
"I just have to get past this year and I'm off to the university."
"Thank God." Mom said.
"Can't wait to see you in Oxford next year, buddy."
I sniled broadly.
"Well, Oxford will have to show a little more prestige cos I think I'm gonna give Yale a chance."
"Yale is nothing compared to us."
"I still wish you would go to Harvard or even stay in Nigeria and go to UniLag or UniIlorin. There are so many opportunities there."
"I think I prefer Yale Mom. And if I eventually don't get accepted, I'll think about UniIlorin. Okay?"
"I just hope you won't be such a wallflower/nerd when you enter school."
I glared at him.
"You don't have any friends, Jeff. It's high school and this is your final year. You need to socialize."
"I'm doing fine on my own."
"You need people."
"I don't need anyone!" I yelled. Mom put her hand on mine.
"Jefferson, Leonardo is right. You can't keep shutting people out."
"I didn't shut you two out. I believe that's enough for me."
"Jefferson, you'll need at least one friend. When I was in secondary school, I had a very good friend named Esther. We were best friends and she was a huge help to me even when we both went to the university. We were friends till she and her husband left for Britain. You were even friends with her daughter, Gazelle."
I stood and picked up my bag.
"I'm late already. Bye Mom, later Lee."
King Fredricks College was one of the most prestigious private school in Nigeria. With its state of the art technology, highly trained teachers, passion for the arts and history and everything other thing you can think of.
The final year students settled perfectly into their classrooms. They laughed, joked and had so much fun running about and catching up on things until he walked in.
Everywhere went quiet as he made his way to his seat. Everyone he passed by glared, snickered or hissed.
He sighed as he took his seat.
And the girls were saying......
"What a weirdo."
"I hope he gets expelled."
"Or hit by a bus."
"He thinks he's SO smart."
"Such a stuck up little prick."
And the boys were saying.......
"What a prude."
"Does he think he's better than us?"
"I'm pretty sure he'll die a virgin."
"Who's the daft person who made him head boy gan?"
"You mean big head boy."
I tried to ignore the gossip and insults going on around me. I wanted to be strong, act like I didn't care. But I knew that was a lie, I cared a lot. The insults hurt, the gossip stung and the constant harassment was unbearable. But I'd rather die than let them know how much it hurt. How much I wanted to actually belong. But I didn't want to belong to a group where they judged me constantly. Where I couldn't be myself.
I pulled out my English textbook and began reading today's topic when Diana, our class captain and Gbolahan, her assistant stood beside me arguing loudly.
"I said NO !" Diana huffed.
"Diana, please. I'm begging you na."
"I said no, GB. I can't allow that."
"Cos it's unreasonable."
"How is it unreasonable?"
"We can't have a fuss ball table in the classroom."
"Oh c'mon Diana!"
"Would you two pipe down!" I growled. Their idiotic banter was distracting me. They both shot me death glares and continued arguing. I sighed and tried to tune out their arguing but failed.
My day just kept getting worse and worse. After our English teacher walked in, the class settled down. But just as the class was about to start, Ayomikun King, the dumb Sports perfect decided to interrupt the class but asking several stupid questions. Why can't they just pay attention for once in their miserable lives! I was so pissed off, I was tapping the table with my pen repeatedly and loudly, which caused my teacher to glare at me. I sighed and chewed on the end of my pen.
"Mr King, I don't appreciate your disrupting my class with your useless questions." She said, folding her arms across her chest. Ayo put a hand over his chest in mock shock and disappointment.
"Ma! I'm disappointed that you would say my question is useless. I only asked if the sentence elements abbreviation order should be S,V,C,O,A or S,C,V,O,A?"
Giggles went through the class and our teacher sighed.
"Sit down, Mr King."
Ayo sat and the class settled down once again. As she taught, I caught Tishe, one of Diana's friends drawing instead of listening in class. I frowned in disapproval. Tishe was intelligent but seemed to value her dumb art more than her education. She was also a swooner. She had had more boyfriends than anyone could count. And she dated just anybody. Senior, junior, young, old, university students.....at least that's what the rumors say. I know, I know, most rumors aren't always true. But for Diana and her so called best friends to say that, it's gotta be true. I glanced at her again as she subtly flirted with some new kid named Tife Bamgbose. I hated her lack of attention and it surprised me that she actually got good grades. She was above average at an 89.5 percentage. Probably through cheating. Diana and her Posey are skilled at that. I tried to ignore her, and everyone else and focused on the lesson.
It was lunch time and I was glad! I could finally have some alone time eating and watching people while mentally judging them. I sat at my favorite spot in the cafeteria, the table at the far corner with bad lighting so no one could see me. As I ate, I watched two juniors squabble over something that was apparently dumb, a group of Year Ten students talking loudly and a boy and girl from Year Nine walking to the tuck shop, holding hands. I felt sick watching the love birds and their lovey dovey antics. It would take a long time before I fall in love. It's not like I don't do girls. I do. I'm a typical Nigeria guy after all. Wait.....it's not like I have a problem with the other gender.....genders? I support bisexuals and trans and gays and lesb
It was the second day of school in King Fredrick's College and it was bubble than the first. The grand hall had streamers hanging and balloons floating. Posters were everywhere and some classes had colorful stickers stuck to their doors. Tha welcome ball was fast approaching.And the girls were saying....."Oh! This is exciting!""I will dance like kilode!""I hope Gbolahan asks me to be his date.""Should I paint my nails pink or purple?""I hope my mom will let me go.""If mine doesn't, I'll just sneak out "And the guys were saying....."Ómó, this party go bad!""GB and AY don talk say dem go dance that day.""GT and Gigi also promised to sneak in some...stuff...you know na.""Sure na bros. Those twins ehn, dem no dey fail.""Na
Three more weeks till the Welcome ball and I'm doing my best to avoid Tishe.But that girl is everywhere!I dodged her during all classes, gym, history class, prep, Music class and Counseling Segment throughout the previous week. This week hopefully, she would've gotten the message.---------------------------------------------------------I took my seat at the front of the class that morning, ready to read for the days topic as usual. As I sat, I felt something sticky on my butt and I groaned. I stood and stared at the was of gum on my desk. I rolled my eyes as I heared snickers from the few guys that sat at the back of the class. I scoffed at their childishness, tore a blank sheet of paper from my note book and use
"Ohhh, you two are soooo in love!" Tishe sang as well walked into the hall towards our lockers. I groaned, why are their lockers next to mine?! Gazelle, I had no problem with, but the other two....gosh!"Both of you were just staring into each others eyes, drinking in the water from the fountain of love."she said, a hand over her heart. Caitlyn fake gagged and I nudged her,smiling. She smiled back and walked over to Tishe."Tish, stop teasing them when we all k ow you've been crushing on Richard Peters since like forever."Tishe's face deepened and Gazelle and I chuckled."True. I've watched you enough to notice how stupid you act in front of Mr Bad boy." I said and she glared at me."Tishe and Richie sitting in a tree,""K-i-s-s-i-n-g.' Caitlyn and I sang. Gazelle laughed as Tishe walked away from us."That'll teach her to make fun of people." Caitlyn said as we reached our lockers."Mus
"How could you say no!"I winced and glared at my elder brother."I didn't say no, Lee. I said I'll think about it.""Squirt, I know you. When you go 'I'll think about it', you mean 'I'm too busy being a nerd and ruining my social life, so the answer is no'."I raised a brow."Okay, that was weirdly accurate. Except for the ruining my social life part.""You have no friends, Squirt.""Yes I do." I defended. He folded his arms across his chest."And they might be?""Tishe Adeleye-Micheal,Gazelle Taiwo and Caitlyn Blossom." I said without thinking. His eyes nearly popped out of his head as he stared at me."You're kidding me,right?"I shrugged then froze as I realized what I had just said. I called them my friends.My friends!I have friends now.Wow.Could I really call them my friends?I mean, we talk and they do their best to defend
The interior of the club was even more rowdy and lively than its exterior. There were disco balls and spectrum lights hanging on the roof, the walls were deep green and had African graffiti all over it. On the stage was a round fair skinned man wearing a navy blue T-shirt, black crazy jeans, Timberland boots and fake bling. His long black dreads dropped low to kiss his short bushy beard. He was shouting and jumping about the stage while the audience of drunk and sexually aroused folks cheered him on. We walked to the bar and Tife slipped behind the counter. He grinned at us as he pulled out a bottle of Chelsea gin and four glasses."I don't think I should be drinking that." I said, scrunching up my nose at the smell of alcohol. Lee took a glass and downed it in a second. I stared at my brother with wide eyes."Since when did you start drinking?""Since I joined Nigeria's frustrating police force."Abella took a shot
I couldn't sleep. The residue of the last nights events haunted me. Was Lee alright? Was Tife alright? Would Abella be alright? What was Diana doing there, dressed like a guy and singing for fifteen thousand Naira? I mean, her father was a senator, what would she need the money for? What was the cause of the rucus at the club? Was it the serial killer? Was Lee okay?I sighed and sat up. Abella was still deeply asleep and Diana was lying on the other couch, her back towards me. She was probably also asleep. The suspense was killing me. I sighed and buried my head in my hands. I could feel my slightly long curly hair between my fingers. I need a hair cut. Badly."Can't sleep?"I looked up. Diana was sitting up on her couch, her legs crossed under her. Her black and blue hair was slightly frizzy and sticking out in places. Her eyes were red and had black rings underneath them and she looked older than her seventeen years. I glanced
Most people spend their Saturdays in bed or reading novels or over working themselves to death. But hey, do what makes you happy right? Well, as nice as those sound, especially the being in bed part, I spend my Saturdays studying and shooting at soda cans in the makeshift shooting range my elder brother set up in our backyard. Lee held my arm in place as I aimed at a row of 7Up cans that Lee placed a few metres away."Okay, the four rules of firearm safety. Rule one; all guns are always loaded. So before you shoot, make sure there are enough bullets in there or if there are no bullets at all. So, you--""Point the muzzle of my gun in a safe direction. Make sure I grip the pistol without pulling the trigger, press the button on the side of the hand grip to eject the magazine, verify if the gun is loaded or not." I gave him a look and h