I’m usually not the first to initiate a fight, but I never back away from one, especially if it’s one I believe is worth it. And if I ever do, it’s for one reason, and one reason alone – I’m coming back.
But there’s one scenerio for which I’d be the first to use my finger to draw a line on the sand and say, ‘Cross this line and I’d make sure you smell your nyash’, and I’d mean every single word. It is the case that involves protecting those close to my heart. I’d walk barefooted on a path laced with broken bottles if I have to.
So many years ago in Primary three (I believe), I was met with that one case. You see, there was this girl in my class that I loved so much. You may wonder what my tiny tender heart knew about love, but believe me, my heart danced to the rhythm of her existence. Weighty right? But it was true. She had this complexion that made her look like a white girl. I could swear she was born in the white man’s land. Her smile alone could melt a million rocks, and when she spoke, I thought of heaven.
One Wednesday afternoon, I remember it so well, we’d just come back from long break even though the bell hadn’t been rung yet, when there was no small stir in class. The girls in my class were moody, while our boys stood, not knowing what to do or say. The boys in Primary 3b had assaulted our girls. They had beaten a few of them and insulted the rest of them. I was sitting quietly in my seat when I heard the story. And I thought to myself, ‘Mehn, Utaka dey give these boys morale oh.’
Now, Utaka was the bully of our set. Nobody challenged him, and that was because nobody could. He did what he wanted, when he wanted it, and however he wanted it done. But he wasn’t in my class, so the best thing was to just stay out of his way.
But as I sat on my seat, and thought about how unfortunate our class girls have been to have gotten themselves into Utaka’s way, I saw my little queen walk into the class dejected, and immediately, my heart missed a million beats. She had been assaulted too. And that meant just one thing: I have been assaulted as well.
So I spoke to a few of my class boys in a bid to lift their spirits. We can’t stay here, and watch these boys assault our girls. We have to do something about it. So they followed me, and off we went to the battle field.
Utaka and his friends were still outside. When they saw us, they knew why we came, and they braced themselves. I ran straight to Utaka, and threw the first punch. Honestly, I don’t remember what happened next, because he must have given me the kind of slap that could reset someone’s destiny.
The next thing I remember was that I was kneeling down with my class boys and Utaka’s class boys. A teacher must have spotted us.
And just as we knelt down waiting for our tiny bums to be destroyed, my little queen walked past. She looked into my eyes, and mouthed something like, ‘I know you’d be involved. You just like looking for trouble.’
Kai! It shattered my heart into a million pieces. She didn’t know I’d literally been beaten black and blue and I was about to take some more lashes of cane just for her.
But then, it didn’t matter much. I didn’t do it just for her alone, I did for me. It wasn’t just about her, it was about me too. Because that’s what I’d do for anybody close to my heart whether they appreciate it or not.
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