She bit her nails as she entered the gates of the school.
Stepping over the ‘keep off the grass, sign, she hurried past the mural which stood up like a headstone in the middle of the front lawn. On it, the words ‘Hill High School – we love our children’, could still be read through the peeling paint. The buildings formed a towering quadrangle and for the first time, in the five years that she had been a student there, she felt like a prisoner.
Ayesha Roman hurried to the girls’ room, using the back corridor to avoid walking past the staff room. As she rushed, the morning breeze lifted her skirt exposing her long thin legs. She entered the restroom and checked to see if there was anyone in the three stalls as she closed the door. The room was cold and clean, it was early and the smell of urine had not yet made it unbearable.
She took out her cellphone and dialed Buggy’s number there was a drowsy, ‘Hello?’
‘Buggy,………… aren’t you coming to school today?’
‘Who is this?’
I hate when he does that, like he really doesn’t know my voice.
‘It’s me, Ayesha, your girlfriend.’ How stupid, would he not have recognize the voice if he considered me his girlfriend.
‘Where are you?’ he asked.
Genie, the lady who cleans the bathrooms was now knocking at the door; she wanted to come in to ensure the stalls were completely ready before the morning bell.
‘I am at school, Buggy!’ She tried not to sound agitated. ‘Are you coming today?’
‘Yes but after lunch, the football match yesterday drained me and I came in late from the after party.’
She really wanted to go with him to the party, but her mother would never allow it so she did not ask.
‘I’m sorry I woke you up’ – I had a rough night too
They started dating at the beginning of the DCup schoolboy football season. It was now late November and finals were approaching, the entire parish was excited that they made it. On the island, football was THE sport and schools across Savannah competed to be called the best. Hill’s place in the final made Buggy a household name and she felt proud to be the girlfriend of the top goal scorer.
‘How was yesterday?’
‘Ok?’ he sounded hurt.
‘No, it was good, you were good.’ She meant it. ‘But I wish the place was more romantic, my bottom is still sore from being rubbed on the desk.’
Genie started to open the door with her keys.
‘Buggy can you come in earlier?…. I have to talk to you, it’s about yesterday it’s very important and I am scared.’
‘I’ll meet by the tombs.’
She hung up just as Genie entered, quarreling about the door being locked.
The tombs were really seating areas built for students, but they had no back support and looked like graves. The gully that ran behind them, made the spot perfect for boys who cut class to experiment with marijuana and girls who chose their classes because their skirts were too short. He came after two sessions of class had passed and she had to hide in the gully from a teacher who came looking for absentees.
‘What is so important, are you pregnant already?’ he smiled teasingly.
Oh, I have that to worry about too.
‘No,’ she said quickly, ‘but it’s just as important.’
He looked relieved. ‘What is it?’
‘Did you tell anyone about what we did yesterday?’
‘No and not everything about me is public, you are not the first girl that I have had sex with?’
‘Well somebody saw us because Mr. Law knows.’
Mr. Law was one of the teachers who helped the coach manage the football team; having attended Hill as a teen he was popular in the school and around the community. His grandmother was a member of the board and his sister was a highly respected Special Education Teacher at the institution.
‘What do you mean?’ he sounded confused.
‘Yesterday when I was waiting at the taxi stand after the match and… everything, he came over and asked if I enjoyed the game. I told him yes and he began talking about the goals and stuff.’
‘Then he said he liked me, I didn’t know what to say so I just listened to him.’
Her hands were sweating now, and she rubbed them in the gabardine that was used to make her skirt.
‘Buggy, then he said he heard that I had sex with you in the woodwork classroom and that if I didn’t have sex with him he was going to tell my mother.’
‘So what are you going to do?’
‘I don’t know,’ she said defeated.
‘What do you think your mother will say?’
‘She will kill me!’
The bell rang to signal lunch time and the tombs soon became littered with bags, styrofoam containers and juice boxes. It became hard to talk with everyone stopping to speak with him. She could feel the envy of the other girls as he held her hand and walked to lean on the school’s perimeter fence some chains away. They needed a plan and he seemed genuinely concerned.
‘Ayesha you are my bonafide girl, Mr. Law disrespect me. …. Tell him yes’
‘He’s done this before and keeps getting away with it, he wants to sleep with all the girls in the school we have to stop him.’
She found Mr. Law waiting for her in his office, a small dusty room at the back of the industrial technique work shop. She hoped Coach Brown and Buggy had put the camera in place. He began to run his fingers through the hairs on her hand, playing along she asked him to repeat his proposal just as he had done the day before. As he spoke he used his thumb to trace the lumps on her chest that were now erect with fear.
He unbuckled his pants exposing himself, just as the police and principal opened the door.