“Wow you must be the new student. I am your class teacher,Miss Jane Okoye.” Miss Jane smiled expecting her to at least smile back.
“Please stand up and introduce yourself to the class.”
All heads turned towards her direction. She removed her bagpack from her laps and placed it on the table. She stood still and didn’t attempt to move her mouth.
“Tell the class your name so they can sing you the welcome song.” Miss Jane was confused by her silence but she figured she must have been shy although the look on her face said otherwise.
Lola sat down in the new classroom. It was the third one she had been in since her mother’s death. Her Uncle already tried enrolling them in five schools before they finally settled for Focus college. She had a feeling they would soon reject her again. Everyone complained about the same things. Lola was Mute and her brother Samuel was violent.
Uncle John already threatened them to be of their best behavior or face his wrath. Even their uncle knew all his threats was like water in a basket, it passed through them.
“Young woman what’s your name? ” It was the second period and no one in the class knew her name.
“Who knows her name here?” No one in the class spoke up or replied.
“Excuse me miss, are you dumb?” The entire class started laughing. Tunji was the first to laugh and then his friends and enemies took over.
“Stop laughing at once!” Mr lawal frowned and the class almost went silent except for Tunji and his friends.
“Is it funny? ” The class was murmuring. Mr lawal wasn’t one of their favorite teachers. In fact, almost every student hated him. No one dared defy him. No one except Lola who had earned herself a visit to staff room A, the most dreaded room in the entire school.
All the teachers in the room had been surprised by her silence. They even threatened to flog her yet she didn’t buldge.
“This one is deaf and dumb.” Mrs Okon the school gossip exclaimed pointing at her.
“Orisirisi student. Miss Jane told me she was shy but I think she’s mischievous. I think she’s one of those spoilt brats”
Another teacher said squeezing her face.
Lola just stood there with her regular blank face. No emotion, No words, almost like a robot.
She was back in her classroom for break after series of futile investigation and fruitless punishments. She brought out her lunch and started to eat. She felt like all eyes were on her, as she set her table. She was well packed. She had a foldable table mat, flat plate, complete cutlery, two apples, a juice box and very cold water.
Most of the students in the classes had stopped eating their lunch and had started to stare at Lola. She didn’t even seem bothered that they were laughing at her.
” Are you in your father’s house? Eheheh.” Amaka wasn’t liked by most of her friends, even teachers detested her. She was a regular visitor of Staffroom A.
“Look at the way shes having a feast in the class trying to make the rest of us feel poor. Rich dumb girl.” Amaka hissed as she walked out of the class with her minions.
Lola cleaned up her table after she was done. She stared at the empty board. Although she sat at the back of the class, all eyes were constantly on her.
“Hello my name is Olalekan. I think your face looks familiar.” She looked at him for a few seconds and continued to stare at the board again.
“Hello I’m still here.” Lekan was the reserved class topper. He only spoke when he had to. Most students were surprised he walked up to the strange new girl.
“Are you Omolola Balogun. Uncle John’s neice? My dad said you would be joining our class today.” He asked adjusting his glasses. They made him look twice older than his age combined with his baggy Uniform. She nodded and started staring at the board again.
“The dumb girl’s name is Omolola.” Tunde shouted from the back of the classroom. He and his friends occupied most of the back sits in the class of forty.
“No no loladumb.”
“Dumbilola.” People were laughing so hard at her yet the muscles of her face didn’t move an inch.
“I’m so sorry about that.” Lekan said feeling guilty for the uproar. Lola nodded her head again.
“You will need to copy your notes. I will help you with it. Do you have the new notes with you?” She unzipped her bag and brought out the excercise books.
“We are doing nine subjects and we have gone really far but I will help you write three out of the Nine.”
“I will help her write physics and chemistry.” Ayomide volounteered.
“I will help her write Biology.” Fatima added.
Lola tore a sheet of paper from one of the notes and wrote Thank you in bold letters.
“You are welcome. I’m sorry Tunde made the class laugh at you. He is annoying. He has always been stupid. Right from Jss1 and he is still stupid in SS1.” Fatima was the fattest girl in the class. She was always getting picked on for her size.
They called her Fat Fat Fatima, Orobo, Big mummy and several other names. She had grown used to it after developing ulcer from starving herself and seeing the psychologist every two weeks.
“Fatima you talk too much. Let Tunde catch you. Welcome to our school oo Lola.” Ayomide started.
“Wait first, is it that you don’t talk?”
Lola picked up her pen.
“I don’t talk. I don’t want to.” She replied with a beautiful cursive handwriting.
“That’s weird. Why don’t you want to talk?” Lola stared at the board and didn’t reply.
“Lola. Lola.” Fatima called out.
“Are we disturbing you?”she didn’t reply.
“I think we should leave her.” Lekan grabbed the three notebooks and walked away.
“Where is the rude new girl I heard about?” Mr Francis asked and most people pointed in her direction. He looked at her disdainfully.
“Stand up and tell me your name or get out of my class.”She said nothing and it pissed off mr Francis.
“I said tell me your name.” She remained quiet.
“Dumbilola.” Tunde murmured.
“Since she refused to talk, that’s what I will call her.”
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