On he ran, looking behind his shoulders at every interval.
On he galloped, not minding the mucky state of the road. His long, skinny legs kept digging into the puddle, splashing mud in every direction.
Panting and Groaning.
On he bolted, his torn, sweat soaked, saffron school uniform danced to the breeze produced by his lightning speed.
On he scurried like a rat that has just escaped a mouse-trap by whiskers, and yes! He has just scaled the walls of danger.
Tolu, Isaac and Emma had cornered him at the base the Guava Tree.
And as usual, they’ve rained dozens of salvos on him but he had gotten away when the triad heard the voice of Mr. Azzan and loosen their firm grips on his slacked shirt.
He struggled free and raced away but they were in hot pursuit.
They’ve been preying on him since they were in JSS1.
First, for being that scrawny figure that would always answer the questions in class.
And recently, for indulging to Aduke’s plea to walk her home, which he did “smiling and enjoying the company”.
A sin that is punishable only by…a deluge of punches on his gaunt body.
“Its only natural, Steven. Boys brawl from time to time. Fight back next time” his workaholic mother will often say anytime he narrated and showed the agonizing tales and bruises that have been decimated on him by the dangerous and bullish Trio. His mother has forgotten that three against one is more of a handicap bout than a fair one.
And his never-present father, wouldn’t even entertain his unusual ‘weakness’.
“You are a boy, stop whining about little confrontations that you get from other boys”, He once hushed Steven when he tried complaining to him during those scarce but long calls from his work station in far-away Aba.
Even the teachers could do little, afterall Tolu’s father; Mr. Ogunlewe was the Chairman of the P.T.A and the prime benefactor of the school and its teachers. They wouldn’t want to jeopardize the stipends he sprinkled on them by flogging his son for ’emphasising his superiority’.
Following the footprints that trailed him, they quickened up their pace.
Tolu led the trio, his thick and muscular legs carrying his equally muscular body as he increased his speed. Just behind him was Issac, whose long legs were striding in a way that had his head bobbing awkwardly back and forth on his long, thready neck. The fat figure of Emma was far behind, his gelatinous flesh dragging lazily after them.
This guys will never stop expecially Tolu and Issac, until they catch up with him and pound him like yam in a mortar…and Steven knows.
He wanted to keep on running but his energy and muscles were failing him.
He thought to scream and gather attention but the streets were unusually empty except for few passers-by who gave him disdainful looks as he blazed pass them.
With no one to call for help but his legs, he scuttled on. But his strength was fast dwindling and his legs began to ache.
He should head into Kano Street, a plethora of Hausa traders will be in their stalls and shops and they can help him ward off this bullish triads.
Without further thoughts, he swerved into an alley by his right; Kano street. But instead of the regularly boisterous presence of Northern traders and their noisy costumers forking in and out of the street, all he saw were closed shops and empty stall without a single soul in sight.
“How come? They can’t all closed so early at the same time”, He puzzled, glancing is wristwatch.
FRIDAY 24 MARCH, 1:47 PM
“Yeh… I’m doomed. They’ve all left for Jumat” He shrieked in fear of the imminent.
He stood dirty, fatigued and scared in the empty alley, hands on his head.
He dived behind a wooden stall as he heard approaching footsteps.
Tolu rushed into the alley, panting as he searched around for his prey.
“I saw him enter this street…I saw him” he said to Isaac, who joined him immediately in the search.
Flipping every carton, checking every stall.
Steven’s heart was palpitating fearfully against his ribs, sending waves of tremor down his lanky boy. His thiny legs began to shake.
“I need to get out before they reach here” he concluded in his scared mind.
As he made to speed out from the back of the stall, all muscles in motion, ready to breeze out like a cheetah, a portion of his cloth got caught by a long nail that stretched out of the side of the wooden stall, it dragged him back and sent him crashing, head first, onto the the floor.
He let out a painful cry as he felt the impact of the fall in his head
“There you are.” Tolu said, walking over to him as he whimpered on the floor in anguish.
Tolu released two fast but heavy kicks onto the injured head and watched him wiggle in pain like a worm sprinkled with salt.
“You think you can run forever” Isaac said before jumping on him, raining punches on him.
He summoned the tiny bit of energy in him to hurl off Issac and staggered to his feet.
Fists clenched and in fighting stance.
Enough is enough! He was going to fight back. He’s now the proverbial goat that had been chased to the wall and he’s ready to attack.
He dodged the next blow thrown by Isaac and landed an impactful right-handed jab on his jaw. Isaac was rolling on the floor in pain.
On came the meaty fist of Emma, He jammed his forearms together for a block and stopped the weak punch before driving a low left hook on Emma’s protruded belly.
He was about to send Emma to the dust with his stronger right when Tolu launched forward, his muscled leg landed squarely on his face and sent him flying into a box of exposed cables and wires.
Twitching and Jerking.
Violently vibrating to the tune of the electric current as it combed through him.
He wanted to fight it but he couldn’t, nobody can.
The trio watched in horror as the electricity surged through him, their face plastered with shock.
He twitched as the electric force zapped all his blood and energy and released his drained and lifeless body which landed with a thud as it hit the ground.
The oppresing trident disappeared into oblivion.
On the screen of a TV was a woman in her early 20s, elegantly dressed with a velvet-smooth voice, reading the news.
“A 15 year-old student commited suicide. The boy who has been Identified as Steven Adegboyega electrocuted himself….”.
Bullying is a huge issue. Don’t discard it as childish act. Your child is complaining about Bullies? Handle it with an iron-cast hand.