It was another Monday morning and Mr. Bola the Maths teacher was in class giving a lecture. He was a fine young man with a great sense of humor. Everyone loved Mr. Bola, but not as much as my mom did. To her, he was the second-best thing in the world. He was only second to my dad’s money.

“Are there any questions my friends?” He calls his students friends, a great strategy to make us very comfortable around him. A finger popped into the air an indication that someone wanted to ask a question. “Stand up Nancy and ask your question.” Said Mr. Bola, still wearing a smile. Nancy was not one to pay attention in class, how much more asking a question. Sheepishly she stood up and asked a very unexpected question. “Sir, is silence always golden?” Mr. Bola did not see that coming and for some strange reason, he didn’t answer. “If there is no Maths related question, I beg to take my leave.” He swiftly left the class and I noticed his smile vanished.

Nancy felt dejected over the fact she was snubbed. Why would the ever-smiling Maths teacher act out of character? Perhaps, he was also sleeping with Nancy’s mom like he was sleeping with mine. Maybe, he probably felt Nancy was tired of keeping quiet so she asked that question. I kept on pondering on the issue until the English teacher walked in. I concluded that I would give Nancy a piece of advice during break though we were not friends.

I paid keen attention to the clock and waited keenly for the sound of the bell that signifies that it was time to take a break. Eventually, the bell rang and I hurriedly moved to Nancy’s desk. She was shocked to see me standing next to her since we were both indifferent towards each other.

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“Hi Nancy, I know what you are going through but since when is silence not good enough?” I said almost whispering. “Think about the chaos it will create in your home if you tell the truth. Act like everything is fine so that everything will remain fine at home. Trust me if your parent’s divorce, you won’t be able to forgive yourself.” I ended my sermon and gave her a tap on the back and Immediately dashed out of the class without letting her utter a word. I knew my friends would be waiting for me on the playground, I didn’t want to keep them waiting for long. Break time was my fun time.

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By 12 noon the bell rang signifying that it was time to return to class. We all returned to our classes to continue with lectures. At the entrance of my classroom stood the Bible Knowledge teacher. We hurriedly sat behind our desks as Mrs. Paul was not one to be joked with. “I hope everyone is in class?” She asked in her usual stern voice. We all turned our heads to note if anyone was missing. One desk was empty and it was Nancy’s. “Nancy is not yet in class.” Reported a voice from the back. “Should I go look for her?” Suggested another. “No!” Retorted Mrs. Paul. “Today we shall discuss the parable of the Sheep and the Goats. Whoever that has chosen to be a goat should be left to her fate.” Half of the class gave out a laugh and we continued with our lesson.

30 minutes later there was a loud cry outside. Someone was screaming at the top of her voice and crying for help. We all dashed out of the classroom and ran towards the location the scream was coming from. On getting there we saw the bleeding corpse of Nancy and her 2 years old brother. The janitor that discovered their corpse kept screaming hysterically. I held my chest as it felt like my heart was about to jump out. Everyone was stunned and some were howling. The male teachers tried to send the students away from the scene but someone upstairs screamed there is a letter here. The student who found it immediately started reading the letter loudly and everyone stood still to listen.

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Dear All, 

If you find this letter it means I have taken myself and little brother out of this cold world so that we can forever remain silent and probably find peace. 

It has been five years since I have been sexually abused by Mr. Tunde, our driver, and no one has cared enough to listen to me. I would be turning 16 tomorrow and I can no longer endure so this is me giving myself an early birthday present.

I have lived my entire life in fear of what would happen if I dare speak up, and would anyone believe me. They are most likely to term it as me seeking attention. I’m tired of having nightmares without even shutting my eyes.

Mom and Dad, I took Junior with me because I love him so much and wouldn’t want him to experience the pain of negligence I experienced my entire life. Someone told me today, “Since when is silence not enough?” I hope my death makes a statement that being silent is overrated.

I know you all would think I’m a monster for jumping off from a two storey building with my innocent two years old brother. Well, I’m a monster you all made.

Goodbye to all the friends I craved for but never had. And to the love I sought for, adios. 

I was overwhelmed with guilt, I made assumptions and gave her my stupid advice. Mr. Bola was sweating heavily, he had felt her question was directed at his misdeeds and had snubbed her. Mrs. Paul was shaking if only she had let someone go look for her; this would have been averted. Indeed we were all to blame.

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