Sieve Mouths!

I am shocked by these kids in my secondary school and the words that trickle down their lips. It’s like their lips are sieves with no restraint and the words are liquid that just freely flush through the holes of their sievey mouths. 

We have only spent 10 days in Jss1 and I know something about almost everyone’s family. 

On the second day; orientation day, I met a small boy named Silas. Silas sat beside me and brought out a bag of chips and a pack of Hollandia yogurt. He said to me ‘Hi. My name is Silas. Do you know if this is allowed here. I was hearing something like it’s not allowed or so’ I replied, ‘I don’t know o.’ 

You see, in my house, we’re not even trained to tell strangers our names. So I was alarmed when he told me his name. But then he continued,’My dad is a customs officer and he brings all these things from people they seize them from. My mom is a nurse so she always checks if they are expired. This one would expire next year. That’s why they packed all of them and gave them to me. We sneaked them in sha. My sister in in SS2 here so she taught us how to smuggle. Haha!’ He was talking and crunching chips and slurping yogurt.  I was stunned at the size of data on his family I just received in seconds. 

Then in my room, when they asked all the Jss1 students to go and wash our clothes in the laundry, Emmanuel Obinna Collins Nwachukwu told me his name is Emmanuel Obinna Collins Nwachukwu. Those names were his grandfather’s and his parents had named him those names because his grandfather commanded them to. His grandfather was a military man and a very wicked man and Emmanuel could not wait for grandpa Emmanuel to die. 

Then there’s Abigail in my class who cries everyday. No one pays her attention except me and everytime I go to tell her sorry, I hear something new about her family. Her father married three women and none of them is her mother. She lives with her father and two of the wives and she strongly believes that now that she isn’t at home, the wives would finally poison her father. I tell her that if her father is meant to die, he will die. I tell her she is nothing but a tiny spider in the face of adults and she cannot stop her so-called stepmothers from doing whatever they want. She tells me everytime not to come back to console her. That I am saying rubbish. 

Then there is even our class teacher; Miss Rose. Maybe she thinks she’s talking to small children but she always talks to us about her fiancé. If someone laughs, she will say ‘see as you’re laughing like Kunle’. If someone does not sweep the class, she will say ‘Dirty men. Thank God Kunle is not your teacher. He will think it’s normal’ At first we wondered who this Kunle was. But later, she revealed to us that she is engaged to be married… To Kunle. 

I don’t understand all this talking at all. In my house, I only know that daddy’s name is daddy and Mommy’s name is mommy. I know that mommy is a banker but I don’t even know what daddy does (although I know that his work is more serious and harder). One time, I saw daddy slapping mommy. In my mind, I felt it was wrong, but the next day which was a Saturday,  mommy served daddy breakfast and they laughed about something on the news. So why would I ask questions? 

In fact, one time, I asked Daddy whether we were rich or poor and he looked at me in one way. His small eyes were suddenly large and he said in his stern voice ‘Learn to appreciate what we provide for you and stop being foolish asking stupid questions okay?’ 

And another time, I asked mommy where the baby in her stomach went (because she had said that I would soon have another baby in the house). She frowned and looked at me and said ‘It’s not everything you see that you say. It’s not everything you want to know that you inquire. It’s not everything that comes to your mind that you think about. Learn to close your mouth. If we want to talk about something with you, we will tell you. You don’t have a baby again’ 

For a long time, I thought it was as a punishment that mommy sent away my baby. I don’t think so again though. 

So you can imagine how all these people in this secondary school are shocking me with their big mouths. No restraints! 

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