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[STORY] MR. TEACHER (Episode 11)

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MR TEACHER

Episode 11.

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After my first two periods in SS1 Science class, I was walking through the open balcony when I stopped at the Art Class of SS2. What has actually stopped me was how noisy they were. With my cane, I walked into the class and immediately my presence was noticed, the students gradually fell silent while some of those who had been sitting on the desks or on another seat, either slipped down to sit on their chairs or snuck back to their seats.

“Who were those hooligans making noise like market women?!” I barked, striking the cane across the top of the nearest desk and the girls flinched. My eyes swept the back of the class and the girls cowered. I only taught SS1 and SS3 while some other biology teacher taught SS2. “Who are you supposed to have now in this period?” I asked. “Class rep! Where’s the class rep?” I asked, looking around and a girl stood up. “What are you girls supposed to be doing now?”

“We are supposed to have Government sir.”

“And instead of sitting here and making stupid noise, why didn’t you go to the staff room to call your government teacher?!”

“Sir, she is absent from school today. The principal told us that she is ill.”

“I see…” I softened a bit now. “Fine, I’ll take you biology now.” I saw a few girls frown in displeasure but I didn’t care. Placing my books down on the nearest desk, I grabbed a piece of chalk from the bottom of the board and scribbled Biology at the top then underlined.

I began to teach them and somehow, they listened with rapt attention. In the course of my teaching, my gaze locked with the girl’s and I suddenly paused. It was as if she could see into me, as if she invaded my mind and knew my every thought. I tried to compose myself and I found perspiration gathering on my brow. Wiping it off with the back of my hand, I stammered into continuation. Throughout the class, she just stared at me and I could feel her eyes even when I was not looking her way. Every other girl in the class asked or answered questions except her and a very few.

Her expression was bleak. She neither smiled not laughed, nor did she speak to anyone else. Eager to hear what her voice sounded like, I pointed, “You! You at the back!” Every head turned towards her direction but she betrayed no emotion. “Stand up!” I ordered. She quietly obeyed. “What’s your name?”

“Leah…” Her voice was light and soft.

“Can you explain Symbiosis?”

“This is where two types of living things depend and also benefit from each other but in a harmless way.” She explained.

“Good.” I asked her six more questions and she answered them correctly and then, I knew that she was brilliant but what bothered me was if she was also as smart as she was brilliant because if that were so, it meant that she would be a big challenge to lure with mere words. “You can sit down.” I said.

After fifteen more minutes of teaching, I said to her before I left the class. “Leah, see me in the biology lab after closing time today.”

The school closed and I sat in my lab anxiously waiting for her to come. Five minutes passed, no sign of her, ten more minutes disappeared, still no sign of her and I was almost tempted to go out and fetch her myself. I was determined to get this girl and nothing will stop me. I moved over to the window and pusged the louvers then peeked through and I could see a throng of students moving towards the school gates with their schoolbags. I turned then gasped when I saw Leah standing beside my table. How she had managed to enter the lab without as much as making a sound, I knew not.

Smiling nervously and trying to do away with the fear, I asked, “How long have you been standing there?”

“Some seconds.” She answered.

“I see.” I sat down on my chair and stared at her for a moment, admiring the features of her body. “What state are you from?”

“Cross River.”

I slowly nodded my and continued played with my small goatee. Then too impatient to hold back any longer, I decided to get straught “Do you have a boyfriend?”

“I do not need one.” She answered bluntly and it surprised me.

“What if I say that I like you and that I’ll like us to know each other better?” I probed.

“For your own good, do not like me.”

I slowly sat up, surprised at the tone of her voice. Not only was it bold, it was also threatening. “Or are you dating another teacher?”

“No.”

“Then it means you don’t like me?”
When she remained quiet, I asked her, “Can you come to my house tomorrow evening after school.”

“No.” She plainly answered.

I grew angry now. “Why are you so rude?!”

“Am I?”

I tried to calm myself. I knew being angry would do nothing but scare her off so I put on my best smile. “Come on na, why are you behaving like a child? I know that you are quite aware of what I’m driving at here. Ever since I laid my eyes upon you, I can barely tear you from my mind. Listen, I’m so in love with you, in fact, I have even told my mother about you and she’s dying to meet the angel that has stolen her son’s heart. Just come over to my house tomorrow so that we can get to know each other better. I promise you that I’ll be at my best behaviour. I’m a very honest man and I really want something with you.”

“You’ll marry a sixteen year old girl?” She asked in surprise.

“What is the big deal? Age is only a number my dear. I’m really in love with you which means that I am ready to go any length whatsoever for you.”

She was about to speak when her wristwatch began to beep. She glanced down at it and I saw her eyes widen. “Sir, I really have to go now.” Before I could utter a word, she had hurried out of my lab.

That day, I went home sad. Even when Halimat snuck into my room that evening for sex, I was in no mood for it. No girl had ever turned me down before but this girl was so proud and adamant and it made me yearn for her even more. As I sat on my bed with my elbow on a raised knee and the side of my head tilted against the palm of my hand, Halimat kept trying to get at my shirt but I kept shrugging her off. When she persisted, I lost it and snapped, “What is it? Do you think someone is always in the mood, if you have no better thing to do, just get out of my room.”

She paused and stared at me in surprise because I had never spoken to her in such a tone before. “Did I do something wrong?” She asked me.

I sighed then asked. “Do you know of a girl called Leah?”

“There are four Leahs in that school, which one are you talking about?” She asked.

“The tall beautiful one in Art class of SS2.”

“Oh! That loner?” She chuckled. “Did she offend you? Please don’t flog her o if she did because no teacher has ever flogged her. The last teacher who did had a swollen hand the next day and at last he ran mad.”

“You don’t mean it.”

“Can’t you see that she has no friends? She sits alone, walks alone and I can swear that I have never seen her eat anything, all she does during break is to go out and sit down on the root of the big tree in the centre of the school, watching other girls play.”

“Really?” I was amazed.

“Yes.” She continued. “There are even rumours that she enrolled herself in school. She claims to be an orphan and no one knows her family.”

I anxiously adjusted on the bed as I asked her the next question. “But do you know where she lives?” I didn’t mind paying Leah a surprised visit.

“Lives?” She chuckled. “No one knows. We only see her trekking down Old Cemetery road. My friends and I have tried tracking her to her house but she just suddenly vanishes into thin air. One minute, she’s there, the next, she’s gone.”

“Hmmm…” I said pensively. After all what Halimat had told me, I was still not willing to give up that easily. I wanted Leah and I was determined to get her. The next day, I made up my mind to neglect my lessons and trail her to her house instead. Maybe if I pulled closer to her, she would get to accept me and know that I my feelings towards her was genuine. That night, when I slept, I saw her sitting at the foot of the big tree in the centre of the school which Halimat had told me about and when I approached her and sat down with her, she stood up and walked away. I was furious. How could this girl even avoid me too in my dreams? Who the hell did she think she was?

To Be Continued…


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