photoshootAfter a 4 – hour drive, the last part of which was through bumpy rural roads, we arrived at the Marian Academy. It was a sprawling institution nestled in a backward, rural community surrounded by high walls and an imposing gate on which was inscribed “The Marian Academy For Boys (Est. 1954), Motto: Piety And Discipline.” I hated it at first sight and the thought that I would spend the next three months of the term studying here threatened to break me out in a new torrent of tears. I fought back the tears, climbed out of the car and went over to the waiting man while Isaac turned the car around and drove off.

“Hello, you must be Tobechi Eluwa, come with me, I am Father Eustacius, the Dean of Students Affairs.” He took me down to the Student Affairs office where I was stripped of my mufti and issued four sets of ugly uniforms, plates, cutlery, a bedside locker, cutlass and other boarding items.

He continued, “At the Marian Academy, discipline is very our major focus, next to prayer and piety…” As he talked, he led me to an overcrowded dormitory where I was assigned a bed with about fifty other students who stared at me curiously. I must have created quite an impression on them – the pampered soft looking city boy who had lived in a big house, and had servants and nice things. Continue reading


photoshootIt started shortly after my fifteenth birthday.

As usual, Mum and Dad, always looking for an excuse to throw some money around had thrown me a lavish birthday party. I had invited some of my friends from school and some of Mum and Dad’s friends were also present. One of Dad’s lawyer friends had just walked in with his son Bode. I first met Bode a few years back and each time I saw him, he seemed to get more handsome. He was about three years older, which would make him around about eighteen. He was now a freshman at the University of Benin. I really wanted to be his friend; I wanted to be around him all the time, sometimes I spent hours dreaming about what it would be like to live with him in the same house, waking up in the same house with him, watching the TV together in the evenings and all. I was so drawn to Bode; I just had to talk to him. On that day, I finally summoned up the courage. Bode was surprisingly easy to talk to and before long, we had become firm friends. We went to the mall together, to the movies, to parties. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with him, looking at his handsome face out of the corner of my eyes as he drove or as we walked along. I cherished every moment with him and looked forward to our hangouts. I was surprised and a little bit shocked to realize that I felt a rush of pleasure when he informed me that his girlfriend Melvina was ill and would spend a whole month in the hospital and would thus be unavailable to “keep him away from me”. Bode and I were practically inseparable. Continue reading