To say the whole environment was different and confusing was putting it mildly but Zowihe held on to her mother's arm tightly as she followed her around the school. For some reason unknown to her, her mum had decided that she wanted her to attend her alma mater and next thing she knew they were on a plane to Nigeria. At first, she had been excited but now, the more she saw of the school, the less interested she became. All she wanted to do now was to get on a plane and go back home but now it was too late. Everything was all set and stay, she must.
"Good afternoon, Ma" said a cute little girl wearing a blue skirt and a white shirt.
Afternoon, my dear. What is your name?" Mrs Kanu asked
My name is Kate Olori and I am your daughter's assigned bunkmate"
"Good, what class are you in?"
"SS3 ma."
"Good, this is my daughter Wihe and please take good care of her. Wihe say hi to Kate."
"Hi, kate"
On hearing her american accent,Kate spun around to look at the girl thinking to herself an ajebutter? Oh Lord, thank you. She did not want one of those hardened little girls. This one would do nicely. Happily Kate escorted her to the hostel. Along the way, Kate instructed her "Any body you see wearing a skirt as opposed to a pinafore, always address them as Senior and be very polite. Since you are ajebutter, they will pick on you a lot."
"What is ajebutter?" Zowihe asked.
Kate laughed because she knew that Zowihe was in for some big commotion."Don't worry, you'll learn" she replied.

Ok, this is totally whack thought Zowihe to herself when she saw the room that she was assigned to. There were at least 20 other people in this room and up until now she had a room complete with TV and a computer all to herself. What is going on here? she wondered.
"Hey, you" called out a voice from the far end of the room. Zowihe continued to unpack her belongings.
"Hey, you unpacking your things, don't you hear me? Run down here as fast as you can. Zowihe looked up and realising that it was her, the voice was referring to, quickly stood up and went over to the girl. The girl was about 5'8 and had very large breasts. Zowihe was scared to look at her in the face so she kept staring at the ground.
"And why are you looking at the floor?" the girl asked
"No reason" replied Zowihe. On hearing her american accent, the girl whose name was Kanayo smiled and said "what is your name?"
"Weeheey, what does that mean?"
"Its short for Zowihe and it means keep struggling"
"More like break something" said a loud voice from the end of the room and everybody started laughing.
"O.K, my name is Kanayo and you can be my neighbour. I'm also the room captain"
"Hmm, na wah for Kanayo. She knows well that that girl was assigned to Kate"
"Oh, you know how Kanayo is now, just because the girl is ajebutter she will certainly like her"
"Why are people so fake?"
"Me, I do not ...
The two girls Femi and Chika stopped abruptly as they saw Kate coming and they followed her into the room hoping there would be a showdown when she heard what Kanayo had done.

When Kate got to the room, she saw Zowihe moving her things to Kanayo's corner.
"What's going on?" she asked puzzled
"Senior Kanayo said I should move to her corner" Zowihe responded innocently
"Why did she do that?" Kate asked her
"I don't know, she told me that about half an hour ago"
"OK, stop right there, let me ask her" Kate ordered. Man, this school is something else, Zowihe thought to herself crazy people running around and all that, I don't know how I'll survive as she lay down on her bunk above Kate's. Later that night when Kanayo came back, she was surprised to see to see Wihe fast asleep in Kate's corner.
"Kate, whats going on?" Kanayo asked Kate. It was senior prep over so all the junior girls were asleep.
"Going on where?" Kate fired back, her hands on her hips. She was already very angry. Ngozi, her best friend had just called her an FFF(Friend For Food) during prep and some stupid girls Tochi and Azunna (both busybodies) had backed her up. So she was stewing in fact.
"What?" she asked again
"Wihe is supposed to be my neighbour" Kanayo said
"Starting when?"
"What is starting when?"
"Starting when is Wihe supposed to be your neighbour?" Kate asked, her voice rising.
"No, no, no don't shout at me, abeg. I want her to be my neighbour" replied Kanayo rolling her eyes at Kate.
"Well, too bad. She already has a neighbour, Kanayo"
"So you girls going to quarrel over a form one girl now?" inserted Bamidele another form six girl in the room.
"What do you mean fight? Who is fighting?" asked Kanayo as she spun around to face Bamidele. They had always been the worst of enemies and she resented her nose poking. Bamidele on her part did not care very much for Kanayo as she believed her to be the worst of scroungers, living off virtually everybody.
"As far as I'm concerned, that girl should stay on her assigned bed and you girls need to stop making fools of yourself" retorted Bamidele
"Is it any of your business?" asked Kanayo walking towards Bamidele
"Look this is not a matter of business ok? I want to sleep and the two of you are disturbing me
"Sleep indeed, you think we don't know what you do in the middle of the night? asked Kanayo pointing a finger directly in Bamidele's face"
"Aha, its today! Tell me what do I do while others are sleeping?"
"Look, I don't need to say anything, your conscience will tell you"
"No, how about letting your big mouth tell me?"
"If your hand touches my face Bamidele, I will slap you"
"Why wait? Slap me now"
I'm just telling you, you this lele"
"Is you that knows, have I leled you before"
"Oh, you know if you touch me, I will beat you to death, that is why you haven't tried"
"Please now you girls, lets all respect ourselves and go to bed" said Anna from her corner "the junior girls are waking up and don't let them see you fighting" but she was too late. The fight was on! Before she had finished her statement, Kanayo had slapped Bamidele who in turned kicked her in the stomach and the two of the them stated rolling on the floor. The SS2 girls in the room were giggling to themselves because they all hated Kanayo and everybody could see she was getting the worst of the fight. Though big, Kanayo was not very strong and Bamidele was really throwing some tough punches and scratching her face. Kanayo grabbed Bamidele by her left leg and she fell into a bucket of water that was sitting by somebody's corner When she stood up, Bamidele picked up a cutlass that they used for cutting grass and started chasing Kanayo who ran out the room. By then, the whole room was awake and everybody followed Bamidele outside as she pursued Kanayo. The ensuring commotion was resolved by the headgirl Jennifer Idiogo who was surprised to see her classmates embarrassing themselves over a form 1 girl.

On the following day, a Saturday, people were trooping in and out of the room to see the junior girl popularly known as "jew" that form 6 girls were fighting over.
"You guys are getting it all wrong, although a form 1 girl started the wahala, Bamidele and Kanayo did not fight because of her" said Jennifer to a few form 5 girls that were gathered in her corner trying to get details about the fight.
"Na wa, some people have no shame" said Ibari who regarded herself as a chick. She felt she was up there with the stars and any time something happened to other people, she always saw it as them being shameless never mind it was just a week ago that she was caught stealing a packet of Hobnobs from a "jew's" locker.
"But what I want to know is wasn't the girl already assigned to a bedspace?" piped up Nkechi who everybody suspected of being Jennifer's lover.
"My dear, she was oh! But Kanayo seeing that she was ajebutter wanted her to be her bunkie" replied Jennifer
"And Kate did not agree?"
"Na so now, who no like better thing?" Meanwhile the cause of the commotion was gisting in her corner with her newly made friends as they waited for the orientation by the house captain. Clang! Clang! Clang!
"Is that the bell for food?" asked Ifeoma a freshman too
"Me, I don't know. Lets ask somebody" replied Wihe.
"Senior Jackie, is that the bell for food?" asked Wihe to a girl sitting outside the room washing her clothes in a plastic bucket
"Oh, I did not hear it but I think so" Jackie replied. Wihe and her three friends Ifeoma, Nkoli and Dapo started off towards the dining hall holding their plates.
"Hmm, look at these rookies where are you guys going?" asked a girl standing in front of Honesty the house closest to the dining.
"We are going to the dining hall" replied Ifeoma
"Who told you its time for food?"
"Senior Jackie" replied Wihe
"Well, your senior Jackie is wrong. It is not time for food" So they turned around and started walking back to their room.
"Come, come all of you" the girl called out to them "it will soon be time for food anyway so there is no need for you to go back to your house. Come and stay in my corner". Turning around again, they all trooped behind her and went in to Honesty House. The girl who's name they found out to be senior Juliet took them to her apartment and was regaling them with stories of her own junior days and how to deal with different kinds of senior girls.
"Omo, who are the jews in your corner?" asked Efosa the dorm captain
"Oh, they are form 1 girls. I saw them going to the dining and it is not yet time for food so I brought them here to stay until its time.
"What are their names? Can we play a game of ten questions?"
"Oya, introduce yourselves"Juliet urged them
"My name is Ifeoma Ibunno"
"My name is Nkoli Anika"
"My name is Wihe Kanu"
"What is your name again?" asked Efosa
"Wihe, its short for Zowihe.
"Ooh, Americana, roommates oh! Americana amongst us"
"Oooooooooh" all the roommates chorused
"Where is Tasha?" asked Efosa "let her come and see one of her people.
"Tasha, Tasha"
"What?" said a tall lightskinned girl coming in from the bathroom with her plastic bucket and towel
'One of your Americana sisters is amongst us" Efosa said
"What do you mean by Americana sister? Please don't annoy me
"Ah, sorry oh! I'm not trying to annoy you. I just wanted to tell you that the little girl lives in America" Natasha ignored her and stayed in her corner putting on her daywear in order to go to class but before leaving, she went to look at the girl
"Hi" Tasha said
"Hi" replied Wihe
"Where do you live?"
"Ann Arbor, Michigan"
"Oh, good. I live in New Jersey"
"Oh, I've never been there"
"Well, I've never been to Michigan either so that makes two of us. Do you have a school mother yet?"
"No, what is a school mother?"
"Well, basically someone to take care of you while in school"
"Ok, I think my neighbor Kate is my school mother"
"Why do you say so?"
"Because my mom turned me over to her when I came"
"Oh, that does not mean anything, she's just your neighbor for the term"
"Ok, then"
Clang! Clang! Clang!
"Ok, thats the real bell for food this time, come on girls lets go get some grub" said Juliet
"Grub?" asked Dapo
"Yes, we call it that sometime" With that, everybody trooped to the dining hall behind Juliet. Wihe and Dapo were assighed to the same table while Ifeoma and Nkoli were assigned to the next table. The first meal was a disaster for Wihe. They served them two slices of very hard bread and some watery, nasty tasting tea.
"Jeez, what did they use to make this tea?" she whispered to Dapo "its so tasteless"
"Na wa oh" replied Dapo. After the meal, a huge dark skinned girl slid her plate over to Zowihe and said "Hey, whats your name?"
"Ok, wash this plate and bring it when you are coming for dinner"
"But I don't know if I'll be here"
"Are you answering me back?"
"I just said if I don't know if I'll be here"
"Look I don't care if you're going to Mars, just let me see my plate in time for dinner or else you'll be in trouble"
"Ok, senior" Wihe quickly took the plate thinking to herself, I'm going to throw this shit away. Why should I wash her plate. Is she crazy or what? With that, Wihe dropped the plate on the floor and went her way.

Three days later, as Wihe was coming back from afternoon prep, she heard a voice "The girl with a red and blue bag, c-o-o-m-e here" the voice continued "I know you can hear me, you better come here before I catch you"
Game up thought Wihe to herself, I better go before this senior scalps me.
"Where is my plate?"
What in the world is she talking about Wihe thought
"Anyway, start by decreasing your height" Wihe promptly knelt down having learnt that was the slang for kneel down.
"You were supposed to wash my plate and bring it for lunch and you made me miss my eba and egusi"
"Sorry senior, I don't know what happened to the plate"
"So, why did you not come and tell me?"
"I was scared"
"Don't even try to put on that innocent face because it will not work with me. Wihe, I have heard of you" Patricia for that was the girl's name concluded. Oh shit, I am in deep trouble thought Wihe
"Well let me list your punishment. First you will wash my plates permanently, come rain come shine. Second you will make yourself available on Saturday to iron my uniforms and find somebody that will plait my hair"
"Senior, please let me buy the plate back, please"
"Too late. I know you have too much money but all your oyinbo will not save you today, fly away"
Wihe meekly walked away having been given her marching orders

"Whats the matter?" asked Kate when she saw Wihe crying back in her room
"Senior Patricia wants to kill me because I lost her plate"
Patricia who?" asked Kate
After the incident with Kaanayo, Kate was wary of defending Wihe too much but after being told the punishment Patricia gave her, she thought it was a bit much but she refrained from telling Patricia so.

The following Saturday, "Madam Wihe, take this cup and get me some tea from the dinner and collect my loaf" said Patricia waving her cup at Wihe
. When Wihe came back from the dinning hall 40minutes later, she put the loaf and the cup of tea on Patricia's locker. Patricia who was lying naked on her bed took a sip of the tea, grimaced and said "did you put any ingredient in this tea?"
"No, senior" Wihe replied
"Why not?"
"I did not know I was supposed to put ingredients in it"
"Well" said Patricia stretching out the cup of tea to her "now you know". Wihe took the cup and went to her locker where she proceeded to load it with Milo and powdered milk which she now knew was called ingredients. She returned to Patricia's corner where she gave the cup back to her. Patricia downed the cup in a millisecond and gave the cup back to Wihe.
"Thats much better, you need to stop pretending that you don't know the rules"
"And when you leave, put 5 naira in my bag"
What in the world? Oh no, this senior is out of control, there is no way in the world I will give her my money, she can just forget that thought Wihe to herself as she walked towards the door.

"She did what?" asked Kate, her hands on her hip
"Yes, oh she asked me to put 5 naira in her bag"
"Oh, God" said Bamidele, "Form six girls will never cease to disgrace themselves, imagine asking a junior girl for money"
"Anyway, this punishment has gone on too long, its time you reported her to the matron" said Kate
"Yes, thats what you should do Wihe, some people are beginning to abuse their privileges" added Kanaayo from her corner. Of course Patricia denied everything in front of Matron Ajala stating that Wihe was very rude and because she was from America, she was allowed to get away with too much.

"Jesus Christ, what is this world coming to? The matron gave you grass to cut?" asked Kate in surprise "That girl bullied you"
"Well" said Wihe sobbing "She told her about my losing her plate and hiding from her and I made her miss a few of her meals as she did not have a plate to eat with"
"Hmm, that is very serious" said Kate. The next day on her way to class, Wihe saw Patricia standing in from of her class, she wanted to duck but thought better of it, she was waiting for her anyway so she went up to her.
"Good afternoon, senior Patricia
"Good afternoon, reporting queen, come with me.Wihe followed Patricia meekly to her class hoping it would not be the dreaded 6B where all the most wicked seniors were. Just the week before, they had almost pummelled Ifeoma Ibunna to death in 6B. "Excuse me seniors, please may I come in?" Wihe said in her tiniest voice when she got in front of SS3A.
"Reggae in" replied one of the girls in the class. Wihe proceeded to her own scared version of Bob Marley's dance steps. All the girls in the class were hooting by the time she got inside. "First of all, start by decreasing your height" demanded a tall skinny girl approaching her from the back of the class "I have heard all about you, madam Wihe."
"Who is she?", "what did she do?" different people asked.
"Do you guys know that this little rat reported me"? said Patricia as she launched into her own version of what Wihe had done.
"Of course I won, the matron gave her grass to cut"
"These juniors eh, na wa. You people should have seen how the seniors dealt with us in our own days" and from there she launched into her own tale of what she endured at the hands of senior girls when she was a junior girl.
Later in her room that day, Wihe was imagining all the things she would do to Snr. Patricia if she ever saw her on the streets but of course she knew it was only daydreaming just to ease her pain because there was really nothing she could do to Patricia. But in the meantime, hell was her's with Snr. Patricia. Three weeks later as she was putting Snr. Patricia's water under her bed, she saw a folded foolscape sheet. She picked it up and opened it and it was a letter from Patricia to Adanma talking about how she was in love with her and how she enjoyed the way Adanma looked at her.
"Wow!" Wihe gasped. Finally, the leverage she needed against Snr. Patricia so thats she could leave her alone.Wihe practically danced to her corner because she knew it was on! That wicked senior that had been keeping her miserable was about to get a helping of her just desserts.

To be continued ...

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