Manickal’s Purge

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I actually intended to tell a fictitious tale. And then I realized I’d told too many. Maybe this time, I just have to be real. Reveal a bit about my true self. LOL. I always tell myself that maybe one day I’ll find that person who I can pour out myself too. Even shed tears a little while doing that. Release the weight that has burdened me for so long. Let myself go. Oh well, what the heck…

The first time I contemplated committing suicide, I was 13 years old. I was in boarding school. The story behind it makes me laugh till this day. I had been the usual quiet guy in boarding school, talking only when I needed to. Spoke only when I was spoken to and the person speaking to me needed a reply. I never talked to girls. Even when they tried speaking to me, I would shy away from them. I liked being on my own, so I could think dark thoughts and draw a few of them on whatever plain pages I could find. I never liked to offend people. I wanted people to either be indifferent about me or not care about my existence at all. As long as they were not angry at me for something I might have or not have done, I was cool. I wasn’t a friend to many of my mates, neither was I to any of my seniors. And they’re the last folks in boarding school I wanted to offend. I’d seen what they did to students who offended them. It had put great fear in my heart and mind. I didn’t want to be the one exexperiencing such a grueling form of punishment.

A day came when we had to go for lunch. In the dining hall were different tables. Each table had eight students assigned to them for the week. And out of the eight students, one of them was a senior. The school had begun four years before my arrival. The most senior class was the Senior Secondary class 1. Or SS1. The senior on my table was nicknamed Tega by his colleagues. It had nothing to do with his real name. He just loved to be called Tega. Tega hadn’t come for lunch that afternoon, so I assumed Tega was not hungry, so I shared the food among seven of us that were present. That assumption was wrong, and almost cost me my life. Tega came into the dining hall with some of his senior pals when we were just about through with the food and looked into the pot. The pot was empty. Tega’s face became one that I, at that time, identified with pure evil. His face twisted into a malevolent scowl as he asked who the person was that had shared the food. All eyes settled on me, but no one spoke. Tega didn’t need a deity to tell him who the perpetrator of such great travesty was. I had stopped chewing a while back when he walked in and there was still food on my plate. Tega walked up to me, stared down at me for a few seconds and the next thing I saw was his right hand slapping me across the face and throwing me off the seat. I fell on the floor and I didn’t want to get up. There was a ringing in my right ear. I felt I’d gone deaf in that ear. But Tega wasn’t done with me, he dragged me by my day-uniform and brought my face to his. I could smell the terror emanating from him. He looked like the type that would kill me and throw my body over the school fence. But students were not allowed to kill other students. They could only punish them. And I knew Tega. He was a sadist. And the School’s assistant senior prefect.

The rest of my day was a horrible one. I had lain under Tega’s bed until it was time for dinner. And the dinner wasn’t even mine. For my portion belonged to Tega. The prefect allowed me to just one meal a day for the next week. Breakfast. Lunch and dinner was his to do what he pleased with. A few mates who were compassionate shared some of their food with me. It was a terrible time for me. The hours of starvation were coupled with hours of punishment. Washed his sheets. Fetched him water. Made his bed. Did his weekly school chores. All because of one stupid assumption. Some of my mates told me to report him to the school authorities or to my guardian then. But I had seen such happen before. Students who had been badly maltreated had reported their oppressors to the school. The school had disciplined the Senior involved, but that only angered them more. And made them do worse. We could all remember the tale of Gbenga, who had left the school with a broken neck, and never returned. A senior student had pushed him out of a first floor window, and was expelled. I couldn’t report Tega. I was scared of him. I just wanted the whole ordeal to be over. I even prayed about it. Maybe God heard, maybe He didn’t. He could have prevented what happened next if He did, yes?

It was a Friday morning, we were about to have breakfast. Everybody liked this particular meal. Even I. I was so happy my oppressor could allow me have breakfast. Just as I was about to take a bite into the Agege bread and fried egg, Tega holds me by the neck and tells me to drop it. My whole body went weak. From fear, my mien transformed to anger. That day, I decided I’d had enough. I’d missed lunch and dinner for six days because of that guy. I’d begged for scraps from people I wouldn’t even talk to. I’d suffered numerous punishments and embarrassments all for his sake. And just when I was about to enjoy a meal I loved so much he tells me to drop it? I stood up, looked him in the eye and told him no. He looked shocked at my reply. He tried to hit me but I blocked his hand with mine and pushed him away. Tega never thought a JSS2 student could stand up to him. He was flabbergasted. He drew his belt and was about to use it on me before the school Guardian halted him. He happened to be in the dining hall at that particular time. He had been watching our little scuffle. He ordered Tega out of the dining hall and told him to match to his quarters and await punishment. My bravery drained from me quickly. Tega’s last scowl at me before he left felt like it was death staring at me. But I knew I wasn’t going to die. I knew I was going to suffer so much I wish I was dead. Tega couldn’t kill me, but he would make want to die.

For the next few hours, I kept thinking about what Tega would do to me when he returned from the Guardian’s place. I couldn’t think of anything else but every possible form of punishment that the sadist could think up and use it upon me. My body shivered everytime I thought of one. All my mates pitied me. They even talked about how they saw the Guardian punishing Tega, him crying and begging for forgiveness. The Guardian had learned about Tega’s oppression of me for the past week. He was meting out the deserved punishment for such inhumanity. The thought of Tega begging for crying and begging for forgiveness made tears flow from my eyes at the prospect of what he would do to me when he returned. I wanted to run somewhere and hide forever. I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me. I wanted my parents to come and take me far, far away from this school.

I wanted to die.

I had heard about suicide before. I had images in my head of people hanging from ropes around their necks. I remembered Judas. I wondered how I could do that. I thought about other ways to kill myself. I also had once heard about a girl who had slit her wrists with a blade. I went and bought a blade, and I opened it and brought it to my wrists. I imagined how it would be to die and leave this cursed world. I didn’t have any friends. Nobody cared. And Tega would be the least to care when he returned from the guardian’s quarters. There really was no reason to live. Nobody, except my parents, would miss me. And it would serve them right for bringing me to that school which I had hated. I looked at the blade and looked at my wrists. I was the only one in the hostel when the other students were in class. I would be dead when they returned and there would be a huge uproar in the school. After a while though, I realized I didn’t have the heart for it. I dropped the blade and closed my eyes. I found resolve in myself to accept whatever was coming. Let Tega have his way…

Tega returned. And the first thing he did was call me to his corner. He was lying on his bed and looking into emptiness. I stood there looking at him. The whole dormitory was quiet. They waited for what was coming next. Tega apologized to me, there and then. He told me he was truly sorry for what he did. He told me he would never do it again. He asked me to forgive him. I couldn’t believe my ears, and tears came to my eyes. The only thing I could say was “okay”  and he permitted me to leave. I went to my bed and I thanked God. I laughed a little. I was relieved. I didn’t suffer, and I didn’t die.

I’m Michael, known as @ManickaL on twitter. I’m a mel-phleg personality I think. I’m a socially-awkward, very quiet type of guy who writes for fun. Its kind of a hobby for me. I blog at musedminds.com and  mykaliztales.WordPress.com (personal blog)

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