Happiness Is A New Creature… (The Women I Love)
Two weeks to the first term exam, the administrative assistant who had put me in my current class showed up out of the blue. She told me that I had been posted to my real class for over three weeks now and had been marked absent every day.
She only knew about this when collating the attendance sheet for the Voice Principal and saw my name. Thankfully, she was kind enough to inform me.
I hurriedly said my goodbyes to Ruth and Naomi, then dashed off to my new class. This time around, I had to search out the class captain myself and present myself to him.
Henry, my new Class Captain is the epitome of gentility. As a matter of fact, when you look up gentleman in the dictionary, his picture should be right next to it.
Henry was just too happy to help me get settled in. He advised me on how to get my Continuous Assessment scores transferred to the new class. He even promised to rectify my attendance in the register. I must be extremely blessed to be this fortunate in this school.
Henry tried getting a seat for me. Each chair that was supposed to be shared by two students was currently occupied by three. There were only about four chairs that still had two occupants. To make things easy, Henry asked me to wait for his Assistant Class Captain to come back.
She was one of those fortunate enough to still have two occupants on her chair.
I was sitting at Henry’s desk when I saw someone come in. Happiness. What was she doing here? Does she even attend my school?
Who is Happiness? She isn’t exactly my worst nightmare, but it is safe to say that Happiness and I don’t see eye to eye.
I and Happiness attend the same church. One of the Mega-Sized Pentecostal Church in Nigeria. We didn’t exactly attend the same branch, but our branches fall under the same group.
Our paths first crossed while we were in the children’s choir. You see, Happiness even as a child, can best be described as a Boss lady.
She was loud, hyperactive, unapologetic, energetic, unreserved, and outlandish. Happiness would stand up to any Alpha Male, and leave him in tears. Wherever she shows up, she either has the leadership position given to her, or she just takes it.
She is one of those people that was born for the spotlight. If there is one, she steps into it, if there isn’t, she makes one and shines it brightly on herself. By the way, Happiness does not share the spotlight.
That was my problem with her. As a boy growing up, I was reserved and intelligent. I assumed people who were more outgoing were less intelligent than I was. It wasn’t until I and Happiness were the finalists at our Church’s annual group convention’s quiz competition, that my prejudice was shattered.
As finalists, we had answered over ten questions each after the last contenders were out. Each question answered was greeted with louder cheering and applause. At a point, it was deafening.
The Children’s Pastor eventually interrupted the Quiz Master and announced that our Regional Pastor had decided that the first position should be shared between us both. The congregation went ecstatic with people clapping, cheering, screaming, and jumping. Some people even ran up and down the aisles.
This was unbelievable. It had never happened in the history of our church.
Happiness and I took turns taking pictures with the plaque and prizes. Then the Children’s Pastor said that since Happiness was a girl, that it was better if she went away with the plaque and prize, while another plaque and prize will be gotten for me before the next Sunday.
I watched in anger and disbelief as Happiness left the Church in the company of her friends as they all passed the items among themselves. Admiring and chatting excitedly as they walked together.
My plaque and prizes did get delivered to me the next Sunday. But by then, the excitement around the event had worn out. I would have loved it more if I had gotten it on the spot.
I couldn’t help wondering to myself though, did Happiness get preferential treatment out of favoritism or simply because she was a girl?
This event and consistently being on opposing ends of several debates and other competitions breed this seething animosity and unacknowledged enmity between Happiness and me.
We never got confrontational, but the unwritten rule was that we didn’t like one another, and went out of our ways to avoid one another.
That might not make sense to you, but in the kind of church we grew up in, that was a valid option.
Crossing over from the children to the youth church, when we graduated from primary school, was the last time I saw Happiness.
Yet, here I was staring at Happiness walk into my class.