“I’ll tell you what.” Jide plastered a stern countenance in front of his head. “get lost!”

The crowd murmured.

“You said?” Sar Kingo asked.

“I don’t talk twice,” Jide said.

Jide knew he wasn’t speaking of his own accord. It was Cecilia’s presence that gave him the gut to do so.

He watched her stare secretively at him. Gush! Her smile was an elephant killer or, more accurately, a mind turner. And that was enough reason to pull a show.

Jide’s physique portrayed awkward slenderness, like a misproportion between height and girth. A breeze from the Sahara could fling him some centimetres backwards. He wore a pair of round glasses over his oblong face that exactly portrayed the nerdy look he so hated to have. The long sleeves on him were probably his dad’s — his body was swallowed within it.

Suddenly, Jide’s face was kissed heavily — not by a pair of lips but a single fling of Sar Kingo’s fist. At least he remembered how painful the punch was and his blackish-purple left check was a reminder in case he miraculously forgot the pain. Soon after, everyone scattered away — including Sar Kingo and his gang.

Jide thought this was the typical American high schools he watched on TV. He thought Cecilia would come to his aid, snap her fingers and a miraculous cold patch would appear and she would soothe his pain with that cool touch.

He feigned death, but his attempt to keep on scratching the attention-seeking swelling on his face made him a mere actor. Cecilia had even joined the others to run as far as possible from the scene. It was just him in the corridor, he thought.

“Mr Man will you get up from here before I sweep you out with my broom?!” It was the janitor, Ms Rosemary.

“Oh. I’m sorry ma.” Jide rose, bent to pick up his books that exploded everywhere and sandwiched them back into his bag.

Jide had walked halfway through the school corridor before he heard his name.

The janitor had called him to come back to pick up an item he forgot.

He came back, studied the envelope on the ground. Pulled out an invitation card within.

“Thank you ma,” he said. His eyes still gazing at the object in his hands.

This time, Jide snailed through the passage, his eyes trying to devour the content on his hands. Someone must have dropped it unknowingly while running away from my little fight scene.

“Handelisma: A 3rd Annual Musical Concert on works by G.F. Handels best pieces. Gate permit: Come with this ticket. Time and date: 4 pm Prompt. Saturday 10th April 2021.”

Jide had always loved to go to a musical concert. He loved the classical music and finding a free ticket to go there was a balloon made of joy.

It most likely wasn’t a free ticket, he had paid with a beating from a bully so he could attend to the beat of his passion… But did it matter? At least the classical music he would hear would clear his mind off his pain. His gait became vividly spirited. What happiness could equal his?!

Here’s the take: life punches us so hard that we find the difficulty in standing up again. Regardless, pick up your items, search for new ones and make progress. Turn life’s beat into the musical beat you want to make out of it. Seek the opportunities in failures. Search around, something is lurking for you to discover. Seek out the bright in the blunt and as much of the optimism in your situation.

Ezeadum Sixtus Ebube

Preclinical Press.