YEAH, WELL IT HAPPENED TO ME: “I haven’t stolen any pens”

I believe most of my awkward moments occurred when I was a little boy back in primary school. I think this was partly because of the insecurities I harboured and that I could also think I was unlucky. For example, I hated being a first born child because most of my fellow pupils were last children. I hated that I didn’t have an older brother, I wouldn’t mind an older sister, but an older brother then was your weapon.

It just felt awkward to me that I could have siblings while some of my friends had none. I really wished I was a last child. When I look back, I just laugh because I know it was probably because I was only young and I have realised it isn’t that fun being the last kid, because all your older siblings get to manipulate you. Despite having myriads of responsibilities as a first child, being born a leader is such an honour I must say, So thank you God 🙂 .

These responsibilities, however, begin even when you are least prepared for them. I went to the same primary school as my young brother. His teacher was Mrs Smith (real name withheld). Mrs Smith was in her early fifties and she always gave me the scares. Her face was always ready to fix me in an embarrassing position. I guess I never really liked her.

Whenever my brother did something silly, Mrs Smith would come rushing to my class to inform me. I always felt ashamed because she had to do it whenever I was in the middle of a lesson with my classmates who were always ready to absorb her news.

“Couldn’t this woman just get a life please”, I could cry in my heart.
It always killed me, I felt unlucky. I never got used to this, no matter the multiple times she did it.

Mrs Smith used to teach remedial lessons or maybe they were just private tuitions. I happened to be in her remedial class one afternoon, not for her lessons though. I was just having a chat with some of my friends whom she taught. I realised that she had left a dozed of her pens she could use for marking. Well not only was my brother silly, but I was too on that day because I stole those pens and took off for my mother’s work place.

The problem was that my mother’s office was just next to my school and no sooner had I settled to cast a joyful look at my acquired treasure than two girls sent by Mrs Smith to let me know she sought to see me, knocked on the door. I knew it was about the pens.

As we started heading back to my school with the girls, I did something really stupid. I mean I was so nervous, I wasn’t used to stealing and in fact when I got those pens I told myself to believe that they never belonged to Mrs Smith, that someone had accidentally left them. I also could picture Mrs Smith’s face and what she could say to me, so you could bet I was so uneasy. I began to shake when we drew closer to her class. I just couldn’t take it anymore and suddenly said to the girls, “I haven’t stolen any pens”

What? I had just sold myself out. Those girls simply came to call me back to school and had mentioned nothing about the pens. I having a panic attack just let out my defence at the wrong time. My guilt was just too enormous to bear at that moment.

It was now time to face Mrs Smith who questioned me as to whether I had stolen her pens. Would I lie I hadn’t? These two girls had already witnessed me sell myself out and any form of denial to Mrs Smith’s question in their presence could be repelled. I still believe this is the most awkward moment in my whole life given I was coy and hated confrontations; worse still it had to be with Mrs Smith.

One fine morning I was with some older boys in the school garden. Everyone was having fun telling stories especially me who was the youngest. It felt cool to hang out with them. Something unexpected happened. Little did I know that as we spoke some terrible ants had embarked on a mission to tour my skin. They really were stealth soldiers because it wasn’t until they were all in my clothes that I felt the first sting on my belly, the next on my thigh and so on and so forth until it was my whole body at once. The older boys just asked me to strip to my underwear so they could help stop the ant biting. It wasn’t a fine morning anymore.
No one hates to be seen in there undies more than a primary school kid especially if there are girls around. Maybe this could have been better at the swimming pool, but this was the school garden. Many pupils had to see this. Even if the method worked to prevent the ants from biting, it still came with an extreme level of humiliation. Everyone was having fun laughing at the boy who had to strip because ants had invaded his clothing.

Today, I just look back, laugh, sigh and say “well, it happened to me”.