My Father’s Desire Episode 7

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“‘Neatness is Fashion’ is coming,” Nkoli shouted.
Immediately, everybody in the class began to pick any pieces of paper by her side but they were too late.
“Why was this dust bin not emptied?” Mrs. Oruche asked as soon as she entered the class. She had a reputation as a strict disciplinarian and a no-nonsense teacher who detested lazy students and frowned at dirty environment. She had her slogan of “Neatness is…., the students will complete it with ‘Fashion’. Neatness is Fashion became a nickname the students gave to her and the name stuck on her. She taught them Biology and she always warned them that girls must be neat and clean all the time.
“It is Ifeoma’s turn to empty it Ma,” Nkoli the class perfect answered.
Ifeoma sprung to her feet immediately and said, “I am sorry Ma, but nobody informed me about that”.
“I would have given you twelve strokes of cane to remind you that you do not wait to be reminded to perform your duties. Anyway thank your stars that I am very happy today,” said Mrs.Oruche.
Ifeoma rushed out of the class to empty the dust bin even before Mrs Oruche had finished what she was saying.
Mrs. Oruche then turn to the class and said:
“Our topic this morning is on puberty.” Then she wrote PUBERTY on the blackboard. She began by defining puberty for them. She told them that puberty could be defined as the stage of physical development during which a person changed from being a child to an adult.
She wrote down some of the changes in the body for one to know that he or she had entered puberty.
For the girls, she told them the following;
-appearance of b—-t
-increase in height
-onset of menstruation, etc,
While for boys:
-hoarseness in voice
-growth of public hairs in the armpits and
public regions
-increase in height, etc.
She warned them that as girls if they were not careful they mighty become pregnant and thereby destroyed their future. She encouraged them to face their studies and forget about men. She emphasized that when they were old enough they would get married and begin to have their own children. She later gave them an assignment and left for the monthly staff meeting.
When their teacher had gone, Nkoli called Ifeoma out of the classroom. As soon as they were out of the class, Nkoli asked;
“Ifeoma, who was that man I saw you with the other day?”
“A man? What man? Ifeoma asked feigning ignorance of what Nkoli was asking.
“Don’t give me that dumb answer Ifeoma, for I know that you know what and who I am talking about. The man that dropped you in the car the day before yesterday,” Nkoli emphasized.
“Oh, that one? That was my boyfriend. His name is Onyeka.” she said.
“Ifeoma, I must warn you as a friend. You really have to stay away from men. You are too intelligent to waste your future. Remember what we were taught in class today. If you get pregnant you will ruin your future. I will advise that you bend down and get your certificate first. When you have graduated, real men will look for you and not these riff-raffs in the village. Stop this kind of life that you are living. I will….
“Please. p-lease! it is okay. By the way, who gave you the audacity to advise me? Are you my mother? Well I think that I have tolerated you and your goody-goody attitude enough. It is over between us. And to think that you called my boyfriend,my-own-boyfriend, a riff raff? Infact let me warn you, let today be the first and the last time you will talk to me. I’m glad you said that it is my life so allow me to ruin it. It is none of your business! Or is it?”
Ifeoma snarled and left, leaving Nkoli confused and dazed.