Girls Are Weird (The Women I Love)
After my first day in the class, my experience with Happiness was totally different. This was weird.
Realizing she was the assistant class captain and having witnessed how she treated the class captain himself, I had braced myself for the worst.
I already told you about how Happiness treated Eric. He was not the only one to suffer such at her hands. Happiness was a government unto herself. She ran the class however she wants and the weird part for me was that no one dared to speak up.
Other than Eric, Happiness had other people in her bad book. Her bad book if it truly existed would have almost half the class in it. To be fair though, I think she was a 3-strike and out kind of person.
I did see her start out nice with some people, then switch up on them when they offended her repeatedly. My only concern is that once you got on her bad side, it was almost impossible to switch back.
Weird as this may sound, the opposite was the case with me. Not that she was as nice to me as she was with Tobi, she wasn’t half that nice to anyone else, yet, she was considerably fair, and kind to me.
Just as I had registered late for school, I was also a latecomer when it comes to daily attendance. I never missed school, but I was never early.
Leaving home early wasn’t an issue for me, what kept me late was the fact that I’ll go join my friends at a food seller’s shop a few street from our school. Students from my school and other adjoining schools will hang out here until we were certain the morning assembly was over before we start trudging to school.
Looking back now, it must have been weird to my friends that I never ate at that place. I only kept them company, joined the conversation, then we leave together.
Most times we get to school shortly after assembly, but on some occasions, especially when there has been a big event in the news or a big football game the previous night, we end up chatting for a longer period and show up at school even later.
I can remember a couple of occasions when we missed the first period. The number of times we had to crawl on our knees from the school gate to our classroom and other times when our school sandals was seized and we had to come back after school hours to pick them up.
Imagine having to walk around school for a whole day without footwear. When we ain’t Cele members.
The problem with coming late to school is that attendance gets taken immediately after assembly. The class captain takes the attendance, then goes to the class teacher to transfer the list to the class register.
Students who came after the attendance had been transferred had to serve different punishments before their attendance was taken. Punishment ranged from the simple to the simply weird.
Latecomers were made to cut grass, wash toilets, sweep classrooms, or even wash teachers cars. It all depended on which chore was available to be done and what mode the teacher was in.
Years after secondary school, some of my friends from back then still find it weird that I never had to serve those punishments. Even when we come late together, they got punished and I didn’t.
Unknown to everyone, all of that time, Happiness always marked me present. Weird right?
Despite our differences, despite the fact we were embroiled in a cold war, Happiness ensured I was marked present whenever she took the attendance.
Looking back now, I can see how different and unpleasant my experience would have been if she had been marking me absent.
At the same time, I can’t help but wonder, did she have a crush on me back then? Did she actually like me? Was it our pride and ego that constantly put us at loggerhead?
Whatever the truth might be, I owe Happiness a big thank you for saving my ass time and again.
Everyone knew we were adversaries, but few people knew how much she helped me out in that period.
From delaying going to submit the whole class’s assignment just to ensure mine was ready, to speaking to teachers on my behalf to get me out of punishments. There are other things I can’t mention right now, but I know I do owe her.
The sad part of all these is that in all of that time, with all she did, I never told her “thank you”. Stubbornness and pride do cost us a lot. In fact, looking back now, I was also stupid.
Maybe I should have tried to be friendlier to her. We could have learned from each other, we would have been a formidable force if we had partnered on projects and assignment. Alas, that time is never coming back.
My biggest lesson from our relationship is saying thank you and going deeper than what ever is on the surface of a relationship. We understand each other better when we communicate.
Happiness eventually left our school under sad and disturbing circumstances. The whole class were not aware why she left. She just stopped showing up.
Some people were glad she was out of their hair, others were sad she left. I was one of the few with mixed feelings. On the one hand, we were rivals, on the other hand, she was saving me big time.
Years after school, I and Happiness met up again. We were adults and she was quite accomplished. We met under weird circumstances which I might discuss one day in the future, but I was glad to see her though.
At the end of the day, treasure the moment you spend with people. Even the sparring sessions with friendly rivals (that is what I now respectfully categorize her as).
Those sessions sharpened me, but I wasn’t aware they were at that moment. It was when I was missing her and her disturbances that I knew she was more of a friend than a for.