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Leke was certain that having his own party was a bad idea, but this certainty only existed during the day. At school, he moved from class to class, a watery feeling; his hearing dulled as if his head were submerged in liquid. He could barely hear what people said, barely talk back, how would he host a party?

In his dreams, at night, though, there was no question that he could be the life of a party. He stood surrounded by a crowd of boys; they were laughing and patting him on the back. They played on the school cricket grounds and Leke hit a century, running the pitch he’d tripped on during the day to a chorus of sniggers.

“Cardboard boy” the other kids called him because of the strange crackers Jane packed in his lunchbox. Or “kid-for-hire” because one of the older boys had seen Jane and Marcus at the parent’s evening and worked out that Leke was adopted.

Excerpted from Bom Boy, by Yewande Omotoso, ModjajiBooks, 2001

 

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