The next day, we were singing the school anthem when the principal sighted Abimbola dancing with fancy-looking earpieces attached to her eardrums. Everyone could see how angry he was. Surely, I thought, he was anticipating the end of the last stanza of our school's song of praise:
Like an eagle soaring high above
We are striving for excellence
That better than no one
We will be useful for our time
At the end of the anthem, he called Abimbola's name and announced immediately that she is suspended for two weeks. He couldn't understand why a student will be listening to music and dancing while on the assembly ground. Besides, the school anthem was being sung. He was the most learned scholar I had seen in my adolescent age. One could search the whole city and perhaps, find no man as knowledgeable as he was. With a rather stern countenance, he addressed us in a long speech of which I remember only the essential point: "Abimbola's punishment is to serve as a deterrent to all erring students. Listen or yours may be expulsion."
The assembly ended and we all marched to our classes. Abimbola followed the principal to his office to receive her letter. I reflected, gloomily, that if Abimbola goes on suspension, the class would be dull and uninteresting. Without knowing what really impelled me, I went to our History teacher, soliciting that he pleads on behalf of Abimbola before the principal. Reluctantly, he accepted. I accompanied him to the principal's office where he asked for clemency and the virtuoso was granted pardon.
"Hi," I said. It was after school. I was trying to engage her in a conversation.
"Hi," she responded, going her own way. She appeared to have forgotten that I was the person standing beside the History teacher when he was requesting for her being exonerated.
"Abimbola," I called her name. "Would you mind if I have a word with you?"
She then stopped, looked at me eyeball to eyeball, smiled and said: "Why not?"
I asked her about her attachment to music and the way she responded ignited the flame of interest in me. Music had been the most consistent relationship of her life. Her parents died before she could tell who they were and she has been staying with her aunt since then. Her aunt, a widow without a child, works as a banker and spent most of her life in the bank. Left alone at home, she plays music, dances and reads her books at intervals. Before she could realize it, she had become inseparable with music. Her life and music became a kind of a perfect chemistry. No doubt, music was the book of her life, and she was reading it on.
We went on talking until the driver came to pick me up. I offered to give her a ride and she accepted it. We continued talking in the car until she alighted in front of their house - a simple bungalow.
"Thank you Enenche," She said.
"I'm glad I could help." I responded. "See you in school tomorrow." I added.
When I reached home, food was prepared as usual. Though my uncle was away, the housemaid did not neglect her tasks. In fact, she was as dutiful as she had always been. What's more, the house was impeccably clean
To be continued...