Mr Acayo was handsome; he had broad shoulders, a thick waist and a strong elaborate jaw. We called him “de hunk.” Mrs Acayo was handsome too; she had broad shoulders, a protruding belly and a strong elaborate jaw. We called her “jawbone.” Mrs Acayo was insecure about her handsomeness and she tried to hide it by wearing numerous layers of makeup, brightly coloured clothes and ill-fitting waist belts. It didn’t help.
Mr Acayo was easy to love; he was always pleasant and taught the English language well. Mrs Acayo was easy to loathe; she constantly insulted us because we always failed Chemistry miserably. Mrs Acayo smiled and laughed a lot whenever she walked around the school with Mr Acayo. I don’t know if he was funny or if she was trying to let us know that they were happy together.
Penny Ariyo was a beautiful girl. Mr Acayo seemed to take keen interest in her education but it was only because she was seemingly very thick-headed and needed private tutoring. Mrs Acayo suspected that Penny was just trying to steal her husband.
One Saturday evening, like most Saturday evenings, the good Christians were worshipping their God, the geeks were reading their books, the bad Christians, the pagans and other categories of students were watching television, and I was in my bed, listening to music from a walkman that I had sneaked into the school by putting it in a biscuit tin.
Suddenly, students started screaming and running towards the canteen. For a second, I thought the canteen had caught fire and I got half a heart attack because the canteen was my salvation on the days I didn’t feel like eating beans spiced with weevils and stones.
As it turns out, Mr Acayo had received a love letter from Penny. Mrs Acayo had found it and was enraged. The good Christians, the bad Christians, the pagans, geeks and everyone else gathered and just watched on as Penny received a thorough beating from Mrs Acayo. No one intervened because some of the girls were afraid of being beaten up, some of them were guilty of lusting over Mr Acayo and I just wanted the drama to linger on because I was bored.