GIVE ME A HEART
By King Musafa
The sun was rising, the wind blew, carrying the smell of the sea towards me. I inhaled the sweet smell of the wind and smiled with content. Down below me were the fishermen heading towards the sea for their fishing trip. I sighted dad, then waved to him. He waved back and joined his fellow fishermen.
” Hey, Andrew,” it was Cain. He stopped his bicycle in front of mine. ” We’re getting late for school, you coming or what?”
” School?” I said without enthusiasm. ” Well let’s get going.”
” What’s on your mind?” Cain asked, watching me closely. ” You look worried about something.”
I still stared at the sea, watching the fishermen sailing further into the sea. ” I had a dream, Cain.”
Cain raised an eyebrow. ” A dream? That’s interesting. I thought you said you hardly dream.”
I nodded. ” Yes but I did last night. It was Soo clear and vivid as if it happened in real life.”
Cain didn’t say anything.
” In my dream, I saw a girl,” I continued. ” She was sitted on a chair watching the red sunset in the cool of the evening at the beach. I sat beside her on the sand as we watched the sunset together. The waves lapped around our feet and there was nothing but peace around the both of us. I tried figuring out what she looks like but I couldn’t see her face. It was Soo mysterious and yet it was as if we’ve known each other for a long time.”
” Are you done?” Cain asked, fishing out a lollipop candy from his pocket.
I nodded. ” Yeah.”
Unwrapping the lollipop,he fixed it into his mouth and started his bicycle down the lane. ” Then let’s go.”
” Wait up,” I called after him, getting on my bicycle. ” Won’t you tell me what it means?”
” I’m not Joseph who interprets dreams,” Cain said from afar. ” Let’s go. We’re already late for school.”
I chuckled at his joke and rode after him. Cain was my childhood friend. We’ve known each other for as long as we can remember. We went to the same elementary school, the same junior high school and now we’re in the same senior high school.
As we rode our bicycle, we passed a bunch of our school girls, trekking to school. They didn’t wave at us but we didn’t care.
From afar, we could hear the assembly bands drumming. Cain and I rode into the bicycle park and had our bicycles chained alongside many other bicycles in the shed.
” Darn,” Cain spoke, glaring at my bike. ” That bicycle is really old. Can’t you get a new one?”
” It’s my grandfather’s,” I said. ” I love it like this.”
” Suit yourself,” Cain said, moving towards the school gate. I followed him. Yes I loved grandfather’s bicycle but even if I wanted to get a new one, I couldn’t afford it. Bicycles are a little expensive these days.
” Darn,” Cain swore. ” The seniors are at the gates.”
The SS 3 seniors. They were inspecting unironed uniforms, dirty socks, dirty socks and most especially, late comers.
Jude was at the gate with his big cane. He sighted me coming and he smiled. ” Well, well, well, if it isn’t our chief late comer.”
” We’re only ten minutes late, senior Jude,” Cain spoke. ” We can still make it for the assembly.”
Jude glared at him. ” Why are you flying your shirt off and where is your belt?”
Cain shrugged. He wasn’t afraid of cruel Jude and his fellow SS 3 classmates. ” I don’t have a belt and besides, it’s my choice to decide how to dress to school however I want.”
Jude grabbed Cain and whipped him ten strokes in the butt. Cain didn’t make any reaction. He waited patiently until Jude was done then he moved towards the assembly ground.
” Tuck in your shirt,” Jude yelled after him but Cain just moved on without turning back. ” What a stubborn boy. Come over here, Andrew. Now’s your turn.”
After receiving six Stokes of cane, I moved over to where Cain was waiting for me and we walked down towards the assembly ground.
” You should be careful with senior Jude. That guy could…”
” Come on,” Cain laughed. ” It’s nothing. He can only beat me up but he can’t hurt me.”
We joined our classmates in the SS 2 roll and participated in the assembly.
” Have you heard?” One of the boys whispered behind me.
” Heard what?” I asked.
” A new student is joining us today,” he said enthusiastically.
” That’s nothing new,” Cain spoke, uninterested in the assembly. ” We’re always having new students every new term.”
” I heard it’s a girl,” another boy whispered.
I grimaced. ” Yeah, like I care.”
SS 2A, that was my class. On the board, our maths teacher wrote the days subject. I studied todays date: June 4th 2010. June 10th would be my birthday. I was a little excited though. I’ve invited many of my friends for my birthday party. The boys would come for my party but I couldn’t tell for some of the girls. They hated me. And that’s because I was a bully.
” We have a new student who’d be joining us today,” maths teacher announced. ” Please welcome, Veronica Steven.”
The class waited till she walked in. I was looking outside the window when she came in. Cain was seated beside me . He raised his head from his locker and stared with a slights opened mouth. I noticed this and turned as well.
What I saw jolted me. She had the most biggest eyes I’ve ever seen and natural long glossy eye lashes that fluttered like butterfly wings. Unlike the other girls in class, she was yellowish in colour just like the inside of a pawpaw fruit. She was petite in size and had this small kind smile that never seems to want to leave her lips.
I stared at her in awe, knowing she was pretty and cuter than the girls in class. Somehow, she looks familiar though but I couldn’t place where we might’ve met before.
Mr Bale, our maths teacher came close to her and made her faced us fully. ” Please, introduce yourself to your classmates.”
” My name’s Veronica Steven. I’m new in this city. I move around because of the nature of my parents job. I hope in getting to know you all better,” she said. Her voice was tiny and funny like that of a little child.
Mr. Bale wasn’t satisfied with her introduction so he helped her out. ” Veronica has a heart condition called coronary artery disease. It’s probably one of the most deadliest heart disease in the world. Now I want everyone to treat her with resct and caution,” he said, turning to my direction. ” Most especially you, Andrew.”
I rolled my eyes and looked away. Veronica found her way to her seat. To my surprise, she sat in front of me. Cain kept his eyes on her.
” Alright everyone,” Mr Bale began. ” Let’s open our maths textbook to page 34.”
Naomi, was the class queen bee. She wasn’t impressed with Veronica and she began acting all strange towards the new girl. Just so you know, Naomi was also my girlfriend. After maths class, she announced.
” Please, anyone who’d shaked hands with the new girl shouldn’t come close to me. I don’t want to get infected.”
Half of the class laughed. Veronica didn’t say anything.
” Oh come on,” it was Lucy, the smartest girl in class. ” You’re being a little mean with those words.”
” Mean?” Naomi scoffed. ” Didn’t you hear what Mr Bale said, she has a deadly heart disease. I wouldn’t stay any close to her else I might get infected.”
The class seemed to agree with her and they began edging their lockers slightly away from her. And that was how the problem started. That was where the troubles all began. For the rest of the day no body came over to talk to her. No one tried to lend her their notebooks. Everyone made way whenever she comes a little closer.
We finally gave her a nickname, ” The diseased girl.”
During recess, she brought out her lunch box and began taking her lunch. Cooked noodles with fried eggs. To us, the SS 2 students, this looked childish and absurd because we’d grown passed that level. Unknown to us, she was only taking these so she could take her medications but we were to blinded by our young and stupid minds to see that.
And so, I got up with two other of my class boys and walked up to her. Cain sat back and watched me.
” What are you eating?” I asked, standing half a meter away from her.
Veronica offered me another spoon. ” It’s noodles and eggs. Join me.”
The class watched me as I stared at her. ” Are you sure you want me to join you?”
She bobbed her head like a child. She seemed glad I made an effort to speak to her.
I grinned. ” Hey, Cain.”
Cain rolled his eyes. ” What?”
” She’s offering me her noodles,” I grinned. ” Should I take it?”
” Leave the poor girl alone, man,” Cain said, bored. ” It’s her life.”
” Nope, I think I’m gonna take it,” I said and snatched the lunch box away from her. I stood in front of the class and announced. ” Now, who’s hungry?”
Many of my guys in class raised their hands in laughter and I shared the noodles amongst ourselves. The way the boys rushed the noodles was funny and this made the class laughed so hard. I turned to Veronica. She still didn’t say anything. I sighted her, putting her drugs back into her bag and she looked away out the window.
I returned to my locker and sat beside Cain. Cain unwrapped another lollipop stuck it in his mouth. ” You should’ve let her be.”
” Think nothing about that,” I grinned. ” This is just the beginning.”
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