She had just briefly texted me. “ aje Johny lakini? Btw kexho kuna kabaxh chuo. xi ukam na squod?" Hi John, tomorrow there will be a party at school. Why don't you come with your squad?
The sms made me to smile broadly as I checked it under my blanket. I yelled like a dog that had been hit so hard on the tail. My bed mate sleeping on the upper deck smacked his lips. I quickly uncovered my head from the thick dark blue blanket to check on him. He was hanging his long and elongated neck like a giraffe’s. His face grimacing as he pulled his mouth disgusted. “ Buda! acha kutupigia kelele bana! Kama hautaki kulala jikate" My friend, stop making noise. If you don't want to sleep, get out!" I was there pointing at him with my thin and skeleton like fingers as I held my phone. It blinked. That was when it crossed my mind that I had an illegal item in school. Luckily, stivo had not seen it. He must have been half asleep or maybe sleep talking. He went back to sleep, tacked in his bedside bedsheets and blanket like a tortoise in its shell and sounded asleep.
Having phones in school was prohibited by the school administration.Any student found in position of one was to be punished severely by the principal. He was to smash the gadget on the floor making it broken into pieces. All the students at the assembly ground would hysterically laugh at you. You would wish the ground to open up and swallow you. I had managed to sneak my Alcatel smartphone in school. My dad had just bought me the phone as a birthday gift when I turned seventeen. On opening day, from the school's August holiday, I put the phone in between the tissue paper roll and gently wrapped it up again. Nobody ever noticed about it not even during inspection time.
The only students who knew about it were my closest friends. Occasionally, I allowed them to make calls during the weekend on one condition , that they paid me Ksh20 per call. It was indeed a lucrative business. Hence, my nickname”Catel” was born. Whenever one wanted to make a call or text, they had to make early appointment during the day but only called after making the payments in advance.
Wangeci was my girlfriend from a neighbouring Akili Moto Girls School. We had just met in sports when I was in form two. She was the most beautiful basketball player that I had ever met in form one. Fortunately, we came from the same neighbourhood back at home.”Hii siezi hata. Ni lazima" This I won't miss. It's a must! I mumbled to myself as I replied to her text. I had already started planning how we were going to sneak out of the school compound. I even imagined myself killing the dance with all the new moves that I had learned during the holiday. I couldn't wait for the morning to come.
The text itched me a little. I decided to break the news to my best friend Kalifa. I quickly switched off the phone as I covered its sound piece pressing it tightly on the pillow not to make any sound. Kalifa was our head. Whenever an errand needed to be made out of school, we would sit as a team of five at our usual place- under the big bougonvela tree along the fence at the end of the playground. It was our spot and nobody was allowed to be there. Even the form one students-freshmen dared to stare in that direction. Had we spotted one trying to check on us, his curiosity would make him fetch us water for one week. And they dared not report the case. We did it in a friendly but manipulative way. They would do as we asked but during breakfast time, each bought for the boy a slice of cake or mandazi.
" Wow. This is going to be the best night of our lives!" We need to have an urgent meeting tomorrow at 4:00 pm during games time. Make sure the members are informed." Said Kalifa as he smiled broadly nodding his head. He did a moonwalk demonstration on how he was already prepared for the dance.
The next day, I could not wait for that meeting time. All I could think about was my girlfriend and imaginations of being the best dance crew clicked on my mind. I couldn't wait. That evening, we all gathered at our meeting place " ifle" as we called it. To our surprise, Kalifa had not arrived as agreed. We even thought be had backed out! " You guys, kwani Kalifa amesare!" Hey guys, has Kalifa changed his mind?" Asked Jonte the mischievous of them all.
As we argued about the topic, kalifa pounced on my back. We all started laughing. He was dressed in a woman's party dress. He had a wig on and red high heels. His fat lips were painted red. He wore the lipstick too. His slim emaciated body revealed his masculine figure too. He walked like a model in his high heels. His voice, was so soft and tender as he giggled. You could mistake him for a young girl who had entered a boy's school. He removed his wig. He had changed his facial expressions. He wasn't smiling anymore. We stopped the laughter for a moment.
" This is how we are going to rock the party guys. You are either in or out. I have the keys to the drama club office.
© 2021 Millicent Okello