Hello, guys, this is our very first series, brought to you by a brother, CeeCee. Enjoy.

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I turned the key in my bedside locker, took off my slippers and swung my feet onto the thin uncomfortable mattress. I tried to take my mind off the stifling heat and noises of at least 50 other boys in various stages of sleep. Some were muttering and snuffling in their sleep, some snored loudly and rhythmically while some grunted like pigs.

It was disgusting!

I hated this boarding school with every fiber of my soul and for the hundredth time that day, I wondered how I was going to survive till the end of the term – three long months! It just seemed like this place was designed with the worst corners of hell in mind.

My mind drifted back to events that occurred several months earlier in happier times before my idyllic existence had been rudely transformed and I had been transplanted to this despicable place. It was time for mid-term break, so I didn’t have to wake up at 6.30am for school. It was about 8am, and I was still twisted amongst my sheets enjoying the pleasure of sleep while overhead the split–unit a/c pumped out cool, filtered air. Mum tapped lightly on the door and walked in.

“Tobechi darling, you’re still asleep, sorry to wake you dear. I am heading to work now, have a meeting with some Chinese businessmen at 10am. I have asked the cook to make you some bacon and hash browns for breakfast. Isaac will come back here once he drops me off at the office, I won’t be needing him till much later this evening. So when you’re ready, go to my wardrobe, I’ve left fifty thousand naira under my brown Ferragamo purse. Isaac can take you to the mall later so you can watch a movie and do some shopping. Your Daddy had to leave very early he has a big court case today, see you later sweetie.”

With that she planted a quick peck on my cheek and hurried out.

“Ok Mum, see you,” I said after her.

An hour later, I decided I’d had enough sleep, got up stretched luxuriantly and walked into the bathroom to shower and freshen up. Afterwards, I wandered into Mum’s room to find the 50,000 Naira. As I turned the money in my hand, to walk back towards my room and get dressed for a day of leisurely shopping at the mall, my eyes fell on Mum’s walk-in closet. I walked in and was soon lost amidst her collection of expensive shoes and clothes. I picked up the black pair of pumps she had worn to that one of the several fancy dinners she and Dad attended every couple of weeks. I knew she bought this on one of her recent business trips to Milan. Mum was an extremely fashionable woman and as Director of Strategy and Regional Operations at the Metropolitan Bank, she was frequently flying around the world on business trips which frequently doubled as expensive shopping trips. I moved on to another pair of cream colored flats crafted out of lambskin leather. I put my feet in a pair of bright red stiletto heels which caught my attention and walked a few feet in them. I stood in front of the full length mirror and preened and admired myself. By now, I had on one of Mum’s tight skirts and had smeared some of her makeup over my face. I pranced and preened and batted my eyelashes just like I saw all those tall, beautiful models on the Fashion Channel do. I only watched that channel when Mum and Dad were out of the house; I knew Dad disapproved of any non–masculine pursuits. He loved nothing better than to sit on Sundays with me and Abuchi, my younger brother and watch English football for hours and hours on end. While he and Abuchi cheered wildly and thoroughly enjoyed themselves, I was secretly bored out of my mind and ready to claw insanely at the walls. I would much rather watch the tall, long–limbed ecstatic-looking models on Fashion TV, or revel in the drama of the Kardashians, anything but that…that 90 minutes of sheer boredom driven torture!

In quick succession, I tried on various pairs of shoes, reveling in the feeling of the instant inches added to my height by the tall heels. With both hands on my hips, I twirled and strutted like the fashion models I admired so much. This was one of my favourite pastimes, and each time I indulged, I got such a liberating thrill.

But lately, each time I indulged in my little flights of fancy, I couldn’t help but dwell on an incident which occurred a few months ago.

It was a cool balmy Sunday evening. Daddy and I had just picked Mummy up from the airport. She had been away for two weeks, travelling through France and Germany for business and, of course, indulging in her favourite pastime – shopping for expensive designer brands. She had flown out with just one suitcase and upon her return, she emerged from the Arrivals Hall with four heavy suitcases as well as several duty free shopping bags bulging with luxury goods. Ahh Mum…

She was in an upbeat mood and chattered away happily with Dad. “You know, dear, we really should start flying KLM more often, their first class cabin is much better than the other airlines. I don’t mind spending a few hours to catch my connecting flight. The executive lounge at Amsterdam Airport is simply a chunk of paradise on Dutch soil. From the moment I set foot at Schiphol Airport, I was pampered and fussed over like royalty. And did I mention that the duty free shopping at the airport is amazing, I spent over $30,000 and yet there’s still so much I wanted to buy, and I would have bought but I had to run to catch my flight. In fact I was the last aboard…” They both laughed about this bit and Dad teased her in a rather indulgent manner about her shopaholism.

We drove through the bumpy streets of Lagos and in a few minutes were on the Third Mainland Bridge.

Suddenly, Mum exclaimed, “You won’t believe what happened three days ago…” Without waiting for Dad’s further prompting, she continued, “Hmmm, I saw something unbelievable. I was so shocked I almost fainted. I was walking back to my hotel in the evening after a long day of meetings and decided to pop into a nice store to check out their jewelry collection. Once in the store, I noticed two men holding hands and walking around the store. I thought my eyes were deceiving me, so I moved a little closer and realized they were indeed holding hands and cuddling. No one around seemed to care, people just went about their shopping with hardly a glance at them. I was so shocked, I turned and ran out of the store in a daze.”

Daddy burst out, “Hopeless and disgusting people, they should be ashamed of themselves. If I were their parents, I would kill them with my own bare hands – Rubbish! I’m happy we don’t have any of such people here…”

At this point, I felt a familiar flicker of unease and confusion which had dogged me for a few months. It started shortly after my fifteenth birthday.

Find out what happened at this fifteenth birthday next week. 😀

Written by CeeCee

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