Continued from here
Eagerly, Miranda waited to hear her name come up, her ears straining against the waves of noise in crowded common room of the House, which was getting louder and stuffy by the minute. It was like being in a common beach in August or December, she reckoned, moving over as someone pushed and jumped over her with excitement.
Most of the girls had by now recieved something from someone – a neatly wrapped package over here, another scented letter being passed around. Someone else clucthing tightly onto what looked like a red or maroon card.
It was however pretty evident in the continued giggling and in the elation taking over the room that most of the incoming letters were definitely not from dear, loving parents or concerned relatives.
Many tales existed, had been whispered in between the hallways and embedded deep in the walls of All Girls Saint Ursula High (AGSUH). Some of those tales were ghastly, meant to scare indiscipline the hell out of the brains of spoilt freshmen, otherwise known as monos; others were splendid and spectacular like something that fell out a bestseller and promoted the spirit of AGSUH, while others were eternally rib cracking and heartening. But the most common one was of the ‘calling’ of Mother Supreme.
Sister Anastasia, as she had been as known back in the day, was told to have single handedly picked out the most ancient telephone booths to ever exist (ones almost identical to the ones they had in the American prisons on TV) and had them installed on the main administration block, near the head’s office. Her bold, radical move came fourty eight hours after a student was suspended for being in possession of a cell phone, in places where a cell phone, or any other tangibles had no business being and had seen her moving swiftly up the chain of command.
Later, Sister Anastasia had confessed that Christ had called her to serve his mission, sending her forth with the message that the internet was an agent of hell and could only breed evil.
Anyway, the booths withstood years of advancing technology and somehow, maybe by divine intervention after all, they still worked! A modern day miracle that guaranteed each student a single phone call to or from family members. Never mind the had a fully functional ICT wing! Rumour had it that Mother Supreme also enjoyed or abused this privilege, depending on where you stood, tapping calls, spying on them, listening in like they were some sort of treasonous terrorists exchanging missile codes and top level state secrets.
A nervous wreck by now, Miranda clutched tightly onto the sleeves of her sweater, and filled her cold palms with hot breath. Her legs stiffened with the heebie jeebies. She crossed her fingers in a short inward prayer. Dear Virgin Mary, grant me this one thing.
‘That’s it!’ The House captain announced before Miranda could say Amen, having completed roll call and handing out the mail. She jumped off the platform in her silky pajamas into the arms of Mercy and Gillian, her stooges. And then unceremoniously, she waved them off.
An involuntary gasp found it’s way out of Miranda’s dry lips, followed by an inaudible squeak that embarassingly escaped through her nasal cavity. She instinctively covered her mouth, her face flustered, hoping no one had noticed her reaction.
‘Mira! Did you get one this time?’
She froze on the spot. Apparently Shade Wanjiku, her House captain (being the most popular one of the three captains) had noticed her. But with pointers like those, it was no surprise she was as sharp as the needle of a compass. Shade was braless under the floral button up blouse that didn’t quite button up everything on her ample chest, which was a violation of rule nine of the House rules – indecent exposure. But being captain of the House meant she could make, break, alter or choose to ignore the rules all together. So Shade chose her designer clothes over the ugly, formless AGSUH cotton shirt dresses they were required to sleep in.
House Batian, where they stood, wore purple ones to symbolize royalty and leadership, House Lenana wore red and were ever fierce with acuity and ever ready to spur. And lastly, House Nelion wore white for purity and was comprised mostly of the liturgy team, like a choir of angels.
Miranda’s thoughts however, were the complete opposite of what House Nelion stood for. She swallowed hard, tugging slightly at the flares of her purple shirt, shifting side to side in red slippers and black thigh high socks. Shade’s big, button nipples also seemed to be doing all the talking as she approached. They were conspicuously loud and hard against the light fabric of her silken blouse, Miranda could have sworn they were calling out to her.
‘No Curtain…’ Came Miranda’s timid response as she tried her best to look away, and unintentionally managing to look stupid and awkward while at it, like a malfunctioning robot. ‘I meant Captain!’
Shade was partially to blame for her sudden disorientation, seeing as Dylan had escaped her mind as soon as Shade’s full breasts caught her attention.
How was anyone supposed to maintain their cool and composure in the presence of Shade anyway? She nervously wondered as she observed her from the corner of her eye, towering above her like an Amazon warrior. How was anyone really supposed to measure up to her? With her omnipresent personality that she could never contain even if she tried, it was like a million of her; her perfect grades, and her imposing character and style. She was formidable to the bone. Resilience beamed loudly in her beguiling eyes and her aura expanded with volume of her natural black hair. When she spoke, the room bent with the aplomb ingrained in her honey laced voice, and the clarity of her beautiful mind.
Everything about Shade was commanding, magical and reverent, including her perfect transition into puberty and the added allure of a hot, single mother with a fat sustenance cheque, access to a trust fund and a seat in the school board. She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She undoubtedly knew it and flaunted it in everyone’s face.
‘Poor thing! I’m so sorry sweetie,’ Shade streched out her hands with pompous concern, nipples out even harder as she raised both hands high enough for everyone remaining in the room to see the bundles of letters she had received. ‘Better luck next time sweetie,’ she exaggerated, wrapping and squeezing her vanity against Miranda’s stiff body (which was still undergoing puberty. Vigorously.)
* * * * * * * * * *
Last year when they’d closed school for the April holiday she’d visited with her grandma in the village for a week. Her parents had made it a mandatory thing in their bid to stress on the importance of keeping in touch with one’s roots, learning the culture, language and traditions from their grandparents and relatives. Miranda hated the travelling but loved the stay.
One night, she’d spent over at Anjila’s. They’d been best friends since they were ten, but with the distance between them they saw each other on occasion.
‘Nyawi said that there’s a way to do it. Ati there’s an animal. Or is it an insect? I’m not sure. Maybe a water bug or something. Anyway, once that dudu bites you on the nip, your boobs will start growing,’ Anjila had revealed, demonstrating with her arms the expected exponential growth.
Like Spider man, but on the nipples, Miranda had thought, unable to contain the cheekiest of grins. ‘Is that how she got her humongous watermelons? Did she say if it was painful? Or ticklish?’
‘Ah! I don’t know,’ Anjila snorted out, as she concentrated on trying her sister’s brassiere, which she’d resulted in filling with balls of socks. ‘But check out my jugs!’
* * * * * * * * * *
Lost but found
There she is! Nova sighed, relief engulfing her. She’d finally traced Gathoni, who’d been MIA for several frightening minutes. Mrs. Mtetezi had reluctantly shared information that could help them locate her. Gathoni had never been to this part of the city, she’d confirmed, so they were sure she couldn’t have gone far. She still had to be within the building, Nova had figured. Catie and the security guards covered the eleven floors of Apex Plaza and Nova had gone off on her own.
She approached cautiously, trying not to make a sound on the wet, rough floor of the desserted basement parking lot.
‘Hey there. I’m Nova,’ she spoke softly. Gathoni didn’t move. She didn’t even blink or anything. She just stood there, staring blankly, her face hot with anger and her bottom lip shaking with the intensity of her pain and hurt.
‘It’s okay. Breathe. I’ll just stay here with you. Whenever you’re ready, talk to me. Let me help you figure this out.’ Nova nodded firmly in the damp air.
Miranda secretly eyed the beautiful female figure now sitting beside her on the dirty floor, against the peeling cold wall. She wondered briefly if she could read her mind. Could she tell what she was thinking? Or feeling? Was that how she had found her? How could she possibly know she could help her figure anything out? Would she understand, get her?
In her current state, it felt like she was losing her mind and had no control or say over her own life. It was her life! But still, her overbearing mother was there every step of the way, directing every aspect of her life as though she was her personal project or a pet, and Mother Supreme had publicly humiliated her, ensuring everyone knew she had the devil’s scent all over her, bad goods. A rotten egg. Bad company.
Everything around her was changing too fast, like a rug had been pulled from under her feet. Her body to start with, was changing on a daily basis. Widening. Softer edges. Tougher thoughts. Even tougher decisions to make. Her interests and likes grew and diminished in the same way. Her emotions were getting deeper and more unpredictable. One minute she’d be the sunshine and the next she’d be a fierce hurricane. One minute a relentless daughter of Batian, the next minute crippled and confused.
What was happening to her?!
‘No one gets it, ‘ was all she said in the fourty-five minutes she sat with the nice smelling lady. She didn’t understand herself either.