by Mister Santos
Before I continue, please know that Franco was and still is a great friend. He just did what all of us have once done.
And created good laughter for the evening.
It was around 10 in the night or so. We returned to the lodge already drunk and full.
On our way back from the match, Sir P and I had sighted a birthday party going on in a nearby lodge. And we did what was very common among hungry students in our school at that time.
We turned into imaginary friends of the celebrant and crept into the party.
We ate, drank and sang the loudest when it was time for the birthday song.
We felt that was the least we could do for the rice and meat and can beer we had taken.
As soon as they started that their creepy game of devil’s card or whatever it’s being called, that an object is passed round the guests and the person holding the object when the music goes out is asked to stand and pick a number of an impossible thing to do, we crept back out.
From the gate we peeped. The first guy caught in the devil’s net was asked to call out a girl—any girl— and remove sixteen things from her.
The guy was happy and eagerly chose the brightest girl from the crowd. He was ready to start removing the things immediately—from the excitement on his face, he might even remove thirty-six things and leave the girl completely naked in the process.
The girl stared at him with a great frown and slapped his hand away each time he reached to touch her.
I laughed out loud and tapped Sir P to come and let’s leave.
‘Wait na,’ Sir P said. ‘Make we see wetin go happen.’
I held his shoulder and drew him forward.
Back at our own lodge, Sir P and I entered into Franco’s room.
My guy was on the bed, his wrapper spread over his lap.
As we chatted and laughed, I noticed Franco was uneasy. He was kind of sweating even though it was a cold night and the fan was working. His laughter to our jokes seemed very plastic and forced.
‘Franco, are you okay?’ I asked him.
‘Are you sure?’
He nodded again.
‘Something is smelling in this room,’ Sir P said. He was looking round the room, his large nose swallowing up all the air in the room and examining it wisp by wisp.
Sir P’s nose was so efficient he could tell the actual percentage of oxygen in the air is 20.95 and not 21 as we were taught in ICH 101.
I call him ‘Nosewell’ and he calls me ‘Eyesiah’ because my eyes were each the size of table tennis balls.
‘What is smelling you?’ Franco asked Sir P with a big frown on his face.
‘Something like jollof rice,’ Sir P said.
I’ve perceived the smell too, but didn’t talk. I thought maybe the girl in the next room was cooking some hot spicy jollof rice.
We forgot about the smell and started with our ‘gisting’ again.
My guy continued to sweat.
‘Ah-ah, Franco, why are you sweating like this na?’ I asked my friend again.
‘Nothing,’ Franco said.
‘Are you sure?’
‘O boy, I said nothing!’
The next thing my guy screamed.
We turned very surprised. ‘Franco, what is it na?’ we asked him.
That was when Sir P pulled away the wrapper covering Franco’s legs and behold, a plate of hot Indomie noodles was between his legs.
Obviously he was eating the noodles when we opened the door and entered. He had screamed when the hot food touched his balls.
That was how we added Dragon to my guy’s name. Franco the Dragon!
We were full already, but we still scattered the food for him.
School life, how I miss it.