“I feel so sorry for you.”
“You feel sorry for me?”
“Because you are a loser. That’s why you go about bullying people. That’s why you do what you do.”
“I’m gonna bust ya face”
“There you go. You don’t have anything to offer than busting people’s faces. Coward that you are”
Derrick could not move an inch. He was glued to the spot he found himself. Penney had given him a blow below the belt.
“How dare you! You are dead meat!” Derrick screamed.
“That’s what you do all day, yell, scream and talk a whole load of twaddle. I honestly don’t understand why people waste time with you?”
Derrick’s face was turning pink now. All the hairs on his head were standing. He was in such a rage. He rushed towards Penney and Penney stood still.
“Why don’t you summon courage for once and be a man and face your life instead of always rushing to be physical?” Penney said to Derrick.
“Imma shut that your big mouth, you good for nothing butthole.”
“Can you not speak one sentence without an offensive word? If you are man enough I am going to give you a challenge. A game of words, let’s see who is superior intellectually? Ask me a question and I ask you a question?”
Derrick couldn’t take up the challenge. He knew he would flunk. It was just too humiliating.
From a corner Nick was watching the events that happened. He had been a victim of bullying since he arrived St. Xavier’s and he was barely hanging in there. But seeing Derrick being dismantled with just mere intellectual superiority was such a sight for him to behold. He decided to seek Penney out.
In the library Nick found Penney studying an encyclopedia of science.
“You alright?” Penney asked.
‘Yeah, I have been looking for you.”
“How can I help.”
“You know I watched you from a distance today dismantle Derrick and I was just overwhelmed by your intellectual superiority. How did you do that?”
“I just did it. I know that bullies are cowards. They rely on their physical aggression; they prey on the weakness of their victims. They sense it a mile off and because they are mean, they actually derive satisfaction watching their prey fall to their chants and echoes of meanness.”
“Wow. That is so profound” Nick confessed. “You know that Derrick has been a pain on my backside since I arrived this school. I have been handing him my lunch money since the day he accosted me.” Nick finished.
“What!” Penney exclaimed. “How could you succumb to such act?”
“I had no chance. Not a chance. He came with his crew. They were about five in number and I was alone. I didn’t stand a chance.”
“You know what, we are going to get the money back, every single dime, we’re going to get it back. Bullies hate humiliation. We will humiliate him, he will pay back that money, every single dime. Do you have an idea how much of yours he has?”
“From September to December, five quid a week, about hundred and twenty quid.”
“We will get it back, every dime and if you would like, with interest” Penney quipped.
Room 101 was Mr. Cook’s classroom. They were all attending Mr. Cook’s math’s lesson. The starter activity was a mental math sum. A paired activity. Every person was to write ten mental math sums and test his/her partner with the sums and vice versa.
“Choose your partner” Mr. Cook signaled.
Mr. MaCintosh, the deputy headteacher arrived in a scurry and requested to speak with Mr. Cook outside the classroom in the corridor.
Nick moved straight to Derrick’s desk and pulled the chair and sat next to him. Derrick was stunned.
“You have your five quid” Derrick whispered to Nick.
“Yes, I have it and I want to make a deal with you.”
“Good. You are smart. I have always suspected it that you are not that dumb after all” Nick looked into Derrick’s eyeball and pronounced.
“I have ten questions for you. You answer them correctly, you get the five quid, you don’t, you pay me back all the money you owe me, one hundred and twenty quid.”
“You’re crazy. You are mad. You are dead meat” Derrick spoke to Nick’s ears.
“Nope, you are the dead meat, because if you don’t pay me that money, I am going to get your ass locked up” Nick retorted. “Be a man for once, take up the challenge if you are man enough.”
Startle was written all over Derrick’s face. Where on earth did Nick get such guts to accost him. Yet here was a challenge before him. If he didn’t take the challenge that would be humiliating.
Darn, he thought. I would take it, he concluded and I will make him pay for it. He will pay for it dearly. He will regret ever making such a challenge.
“Ok. I take the challenge.”
“Another smart move by you. See! You ain’t that dumb after all.” Nick said.
“Shut ya trap!” Derrick managed to utter.
He was plotting how he would make Nick pay for this humiliation when Nick’s voice rang out
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have decided to make a little challenge, Derrick and I. Derrick gets all my questions right, I give him five quid and if I get all his questions right, he gives me one hundred and twenty quid. Right Derrick!”
Derrick was mummified. He wasn’t expecting this.
“Whooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaah” the whole class exclaimed.
“Yep” Derrick managed to say.
All eyes turned to Derrick and Nick.
Question one: eight times eight, divided by minus two.
Derrick was shocked. He didn’t move an inch. His friends were not allowed near him. A circle had formed around them and the five seconds countdown was over and Derrick’s lips did not utter any sound. Minus thirty two, Nick announced. A loud cheer went up.
“Your turn” Nick hollered.
“Five times five add ten” Derrick finally managed to say.
“Thirty five” Penney snapped.
At the tenth question, Nick decided to humiliate Derrick further, when he asked one add one. The crowd laughed. Derrick felt so little.
Derrick was waiting at the gate with his boys for Nick. Nick was strolling confidently with Penney walking home.
Derrick and his crew swore and froze.
Uwem Mbot Umana©2018