Home Blog Fresher Dilemma- The Adventures Of Techo by Emmanuel Enaku

Fresher Dilemma- The Adventures Of Techo by Emmanuel Enaku


It was a Wednesday morning. It drizzled earlier that day and as a result, the hall where we sat waiting for the teacher was chilly.

However, it wasn’t just the weather that caused us to shiver, oh, no.. not that at all!

The date was the 11th of November — notoriously known as 11–11 in secondary schools and recognized to mean the tail cutting and feather trimming day. We, the junior students of ST 1, sat there, in that hall wondering, fearfully, what our fate would be as the cold continued to buffet our frail bodies.

Then, there was a flurry of activities outside the hall. We could hear voices — deep voices filled with hatred, anger, and the intention to inflict pain — screaming and chanting in a war-like, rhythmic manner.

In no time, the hall was surrounded by the ST 2 boys. Huge boys, barrel-chested and tall. They were fine specimens of manhood as they stood there staring hotly at us.

Everywhere was quiet but for the whimperings of the timid boys among us.

Then, one of the big boys moved forward and stood in front of us.

He was broad and big with a muscular neck and sinewy arms. His face was gruesome, twisted with hate and acute anger.

“Old students, separate yourself from the freshers!” He commanded crisply in a voice that gave no room for questions.

There was a quick rustle as the old students scurried to the back of the hall. The other boys flexed the branches of Gmelina trees they held in their hands and watched the separation balefully with reddened eyes.

“Now, new ST1 students!” The big boy in front continued. “Do you know that your names are written with a pencil and not a pen in this school?!” He asked authoritatively.

As he spoke, he carried himself like an angry bull, pacing to and fro like an army general performing an inspection.

“Do you know that you are freshers — toads, so to say — and there is, therefore the need to cut your tails and make you qualified to be addressed and known as bonafide members of Techo?!”

We stood there staring, the blood getting cold within our veins as we imagined what was to follow and what cutting of tails entailed.

The big boy was not smiling. He gesticulated wildly, thrusting his powerful arms with unbelievable and brutal force.

“Do you know that your baptism is eminent — not that of water and the Holy Ghost but of fire and discipline?!” The big boy asked in a voice that boomed like thunder. “Answer, ST 1 students!”

“Yes, senior!” We chorused shakily, filled with fright and then, there was silence, so thick that it became uncomfortable but this silence was soon broken.

“But senior, what does tail cutting mean?”

There were collective gasps in the hall. Nwafor, one of the old ST1 students, and a few other old boys rose their hands to their heads in terrible shock their eyes showing evidence of doom.

The voice that spoke was shaky and surely, it didn’t belong to any of the big boys. We all turned to stare at Chidera with horror in our eyes.

Chidera was not a small boy, anyway. He was big too with well-toned muscles. We knew his parents managed a rubber and palm plantation and that was where he spent his time working before getting admission to Community Technical College. Many of us were afraid to cross Chidera because he was built like an ox and smelt of latex but in comparison, Chidera was no match for the big boy in front of us.

I looked around and noticed the look of disbelief on the faces of every occupant in the room and even though I was a new student, I knew, oh yes, I knew that Chidera had crossed a line. A very terrible line.

The big boy walked to where Chidera was standing, his eyes so intense that for a moment, we thought they would release sparks.

“My… my…”, he said very calmly with incredulity, his red eyes appraising Chidera from head to toe with palpable dislike. His voice was filled with disgust.

We remained standing and watched him look at Chidera with the disapproving look of an elder who saw something that was placed where it wasn’t supposed to be.

“How can a toad have the temerity, the effrontery and the audacity to talk when I am talking?” He asked severely. His voice came out like puffs of hot air — low — and his words were measured but it carried a dangerous quality and we all shivered when he spoke.

Chidera stood there under the blaze of the senior’s latent glare. His body shook alarmingly and for a moment I could see his teeth clattering.

“Scorpion, teach him a lesson!” One of the big ST 2 boys called out to the one before Chidera.

“Imagine this bombastic element, this piece of a rotten menstrual clot!” Scorpion said wickedly, spewing saliva from his mouth, his lips vibrating with anger such that it seemed he was stammering, and without further ado, Scorpion lifted Chidera off the floor from behind the desk where he stood.

We all gasped with palpable shock as we witnessed Chidera — our ox-like built colleague — being lifted by the senior boy with solid ease. He was the biggest boy in our department and could easily have been the biggest in ST1 but the senior boy had lifted him like a light tuber of yam.

“I’ll teach you never to do that again!” Scorpion breathed hotly. He grabbed Chidera by his shoulders and flung him to the side of the hall like a piece of rag.

The big fresher crashed, rather sickeningly, to the wall, head first, and fell limply to the floor.

There were hoots from every angle in the hall.

Scorpion took off his shirt and began to advance toward the fallen fresher. His body was well-chiseled. His abs were ten in number and bulged out of a tight belly. They shone intimidatingly with the effect of the salty sweat that poured out of his skin and rippled as he moved. His biceps contracted as he flexed his arms. They were strong and big — powerful and solid limbs. Scorpion bobbed his muscular breasts aggressively, one after the other, thrice on each breast and then, he pressed down savagely on his knuckles. They popped loudly like gunshots.

Chidera shook his head dazedly as he watched the approach of the monster who was called Scorpion. He pressed down on the swelling on his head where he made contact with the wall and tried weakly to get to his feet.

Senior Scorpion did not break strides as he went after Chidera. He grabbed Chidera by the scruff of his neck and pulled him up with brute force. He was sweating profusely as he looked at the swelling on Chidera’s forehead smiled sinisterly and nodded his head a few times.

There were chants of “Scorpion” all around the hall. The big boys raised their Gmelina branches and hailed feverishly while we, the new students stood still and watched with varying levels of pity on our faces.

“What is your name?!” Scorpion bellowed harshly at Chidera. He was still holding Chidera by the scruff of his neck with his left hand.

“ My name is Chidera Okon Etim”, our classmate said weakly. He did not offer any resistance as the big boy held him in place and I could see the look of doom in his sudden teary eyes. Chidera Okon Etim, the ox, was afraid.

The big senior swung a haymaker punch at Chidera’s plump jaws with his muscular right hand. So powerful was it that Chidera’s chubby frame toppled backward, slackening the senior’s firm grip on his collars, and his head spun savagely to the right!

“Wooyoooo!! E wôt mono! Mama mi oh!” Chidera screamed with horror.

Scorpion grabbed his victim and pulled him back roughly, his face showing no reaction to the student’s horrified wail. There were tears in our colleague’s eyes, which rolled down his cheeks and he bled from a savage cut in his lower lip.

“Your name is Toad! Do you hear me?!” Senior Scorpion asked bluntly. “You are a toad, say yes, sir!” He commanded.

“Ye- yessir, yes, sir!” Chidera cried out dazed with fear.

“Very good!” The big senior said, releasing the crying fresher in front of him. He turned to the rowdy crowd of ST 2 boys and spoke briskly, telling them it was time to cut our tails.

I gulped down a ball of saliva as the senior boys descended on us. They dived into the hall with wicked excitement playing on their faces and their hands swung rapidly, flogging wildly. Their faces were screwed up in obvious enjoyment as they derived dark pleasure from their actions.

Some of my old colleagues swiftly made their way over the low walls of the hall and a few seniors peeled out of the group in mad pursuit.

I stood with dread as the tail of my eyes caught a senior boy approaching my position with a huge Gmelina branch. He swung calculatedly and I ducked quickly, moving completely out of the way. The branch swooshed, harmlessly past my head in a deadly arc. I gathered myself up and the senior was about to attack again but there was a sudden hush in the hall.

Two teachers had walked in bringing with them a sudden end to the chaos.

I watched as Mrs. Susan and Mr. Lewhindube made their way to the front of the hall and faced the half naked senior who was called Scorpion.

A few of the senior boys bent and scurried out of the hall but most of them stood their grounds, staring into the faces of the teachers with intense hate-filled eyes.

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