There was uproar in one of the dorms. The chants from above and sounds of feet stamping the ground in flight confirmed my suspicions; There was a fight. A tiny head, belonging to the resident gossip known as ‘Infomania’ poked into the bath-house entrance and announced, ‘Chale! Fight for D-Dorm! Benzo den Poyoo!’
He disappeared behind the door and his flip-flops tapped against the hard concrete as he ran off to broadcast some more.
I was disinterested and expressed this by being overly meticulous with my hand movements as I wiped droplets off my shin. A couple of the other boys, half-dried and still tying their towels around their waists, dashed out. One boy slipped and fell butt-first in the haste. I shook my head at the silliness of it all.
Feeling a little discomfort under my feet, I stamped on the tiled bathroom floor. I stamped again and observed my right foot. I gasped in shock remembrance as I stared at the unusually rough-surfaced flip-flops under my feet. Quickly, I tied my towel around my waist, grabbed my bucket and tip-toed hastily out of the bathroom. The chants and cheers reached stadium decibels as I made it to the edge of the stairs. My heart thumping with confusion and guilt, I jumped three steps at a time till I reached the upper floor of the house.
‘Boys dey fight over chaps too? Ah!’ someone I rushed past remarked.
Dropping my bucket, I sprinted into D-dorm. I pushed past sweaty adolescent bodies which had formed a thick circle around two bare-chested boys wrestling to the chants and cheers around them. Panting, I held both boys with either of my hands and tried to open up space between them. Hands began to shove and pull me from behind but I held on, struggling in vain to split the wrestlers.
‘Shun! Sh-’ I began to say and was struck hard in the face by Poyoo, who had freed his left arm.
‘Massa commot make we see fight!’, someone protested.
I held my face in my left palm, contemplated for a split second, and then raised my left heel towards my right hand. I snatched the hard rubber from under my feet and began walloping Poyoo, in quick retribution and then Benzo too. Unsatisfied, I took off the other flip-flop under my left feet and simultaneously struck both of them in the face. They both looked at me in shock and aimed to punch me in the face. I side-stepped in time and raised the pair of flip-flops.
‘THE…STUPID…CHAPS…THIS!!’ I panted.