Twenty-three years of my life, three hundred, sixty and five days per year, my fingers worked their way into a story. Mother once told me I was constantly rapping on the sides of her womb with my tiny phalanges, creating an effect that was supposed to feel like tickles but ended up being cramps. I had no idea what that meant till five years after; when I reached teen age. I was a late bloomer.
I stared at the Laptop on my legs, knowing not who to be angry at. Was it the creator of the device my eyes were focused on, for his work was once accepted and is most likely still being accepted? Or my Late best friend who has become an object of the past?
The rage flowed through my veins, heating them up. Beads of sweat formed on my forehead. I was a failure, and that made me vexed.
10 YEARS AGO
“Juliana Walker, get up and share with the class what you’ve learnt today.” Mrs. Blueface pointed her long wooden cane towards my direction. All eyes turned to stare at the short lady whose saggy eyes remained glued to her textbook. “Walker!” The cane made contact with the teacher’s table, driving the attention back to the front of the class.
I stood up reluctantly from the plastic chair. My eyes darted to the blonde beside me. She was busy scribbling formulas in her three hundred leaves jotter, adjusting her oversized, round glasses too many times than necessary. I knew who she was and I admired her passion for . . .
“Juliana Walker! Leave that box and move to the front of the class ” I forgot I was standing for a reason. Blueface’s nostrils couldn’t stop twitching, she was terrible at masking disgust. “Leave all your books over there. You’re coming to explain to us what you know already.” She slammed the stick on the table before turning to face the board.
I obeyed, dragging my feet as I approached her.
“Miss Stiton, stop dragging those things below your waist.” I could almost hear Gerome grin. He was the class bully who developed a habit of calling me Stiton, making my possession of tiny breasts a story for the students’ entertainment.
I rolled my eyes at him, unaware of Blueface watching the whole drama I was displaying. The wood landed on my shoulder.
“A year ago, I would have thought you were meant for something great. You showed a lot of promise.” She paused to stare at the tears forming in my eyes. Her words stung worse than the stick she was carrying. “You’re a disgrace to the Chemistry students and the entire World of Science and Technology. You think you’ll make your mother proud? You wouldn’t. I’ll give you the benefit of doubt. What have you learnt?”
I kept my gaze on the shoes of my classmates. “Chemisty is science.” I repeated for the sixth time like a three-years old child who was starting to learn.
“It’s Chemistry.” Someone from the far end of the class commented.
“You don’t deserve to be here. How did you get here in the first place?”
“Your husband paid my fees.” I replied silently, certain that she didn’t hear what I said.
Once again, I was wrong. The stick hit me on the head, twice. Then once more. My eyes flipped backwards into their sockets, visualizing blood, while my brain thought of masquerades and why I had one beside me.
“Get out of my class.” Were the next words that proceeded from her lips.
I picked up my bags, excitedly pouring all my books into it. I marched out of the class like a champion, proud of my achievement. Blueface sending me out turned Gerome’s face pale. At that moment, his desire was to be in my shoes.
In a less noisy but fashionable manner, I sprinted out of the school gates, far away from the security guards who were taking a nap during working hours. I kept my gaze affixed on the road ahead, taking brief notes in my pad of all things I came across as I headed to my destination.
I stopped at the ice cream shop to get a cone. That was when I saw her. No, it was a glimpse of her. Peeping from one corner at the end of the street. She followed me.