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Like A Breath By Chidi Emmanuel Chinonso

POSTED 04/10/2018 13:17:13
3515 Reads Like A Breath By Chidi Emmanuel Chinonso, story on Tushstories
The new boy in class was odd, he didn't speak to anyone and of course, wasn't spoken to either for a fortnight. He was imposing, not short and possessed eyes that outdid the luminous beads of a rosary, eyes that only left the teachers' to inspect the darkened wall turned board during lessons. No question ever flew past the right side of the front row where he sat in inertia like a demi-god; no not one. He either provided the answer(s) or no one would.
For him, recess was tour time. He would simply engage his fingers behind him and trot the school surroundings, with an indecipherable countenance. But, aside intelligence and looks he had queer capabilities too, like accurately pointing out whoever polluted the air in class; the puzzled look on the perpetrators' face always confirmed his assertion. He could also correctly guess anyone's score without looking into the script, even before the script was graded. Plus, he never failed any question he attempted.
The few who sought to engage him verbally weren't rebuffed, he spoke in calm reply to their questions with a voice like the gentle tremble of a new motorcycle. He would only speak when spoken to; an intelligent yet taciturn bulk of grandiose. The girls more than yearned for his attention. The boys grew jealous. He didn't seem to care.
Life went on until one balmy morning, I arrived at school earlier than usual to meet a scanty number of junior early-comers. I ascended the stairs to our class, it was void of humans. I disengaged my bag from my back and began to unpack my books, then...there he stood.
I sucked in a raspy gulp of air to save my head from spinning; I had not heard him come in.
"Good morning, Albert", I had said.
He freed a disinfecting smile then nodded and before I knew it his melliflous breath was on my neck.
"It will come tomorrow, Nancy", he had purred.
"What do you m....?" I had begun as I swung around.
He wasn't there. No one was. Instant fear had pervaded my senses and the empty class seemed to meliorate it. But as if on cue, three of my best girlfriends trudged in, we got talking and the events of the previous minutes morphed into memories.
School dismissed.
Albert was absent.
We dispersed.
Night came.
I slept and woke up the following morning with a headache and scarlet stains on my mattress. It was blood.
Menstrual blood.
My first time.
He had said it.
After I had cleaned up and begun preparing for school, I swept my pillow aside in search of my socks then there it lay...
A note.

I told you, Nancy.
Welcome to womanhood, I will miss you.


It read.
Then like vapour the note fizzled into nothingness.
She got to school.
He wasn't there.
Like a breath that succeeds a bullet in the skull, he never came back.

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