The Village Teacher part 2
The meal was indeed a ‘honeymoon’ meal- I enjoyed it. My wife picked the bowls out and came back in 30 minutes with a mat. “kooooiiii, is it really true that this girl is now married to me? I thought it was a partial joke or partial seriousness. The Pope must hear this”, things were knocking things in my brain.
She went out again and I heard her talk with her mom. I stood up and tuned my ear to their conversation and it was that she needed a pillow. I heard her footsteps sounding back to my room, so I quickly jumped onto my mattress like a cat pouncing on a mouse. She knocked again and came in. she called my name and requested to lock my door. I asked her whether she wasn’t going to move out again and her response was, “yes”. In fact, her response gave me a feeling similar to getting a referral in Teaching Practice.
I then said to her with a feverish voice “ok, you can go ahead and lock it”. “kprap!” The door was locked.
Abiba spread her mat parallel to my mattress. Her behavior was as if she was given a letter by GES, informing her that I would be posted to that community to marry her. “See me, see wahala!” I thought. The worst part of it all was that she tried to leave no gap between my mattress and her mat. Meanwhile a mattress and a mat are not the same. The only similarity is the “mat”. There is a difference of “tress” in them.
I hate temptation, especially when the temptation comes close to my ‘magnetic field’. I built a room around my mattress with the mosquito net. At least that would help reduce the degree of temptation. I entered my ‘mosquito net’ room whiled my wife was left outside the net. What a wicked husband I was! I had wondered what Abiba would be thinking about me.
While in the net, I peeped to see whether she was sleeping or not. Each time I looked and our eye balls met, she sighed, “hmmmm”. This happened severally until a time I looked and saw ‘light out’ on her face. “Thank God, I think I can sleep now”, I said to myself.
The next action I saw was carrying Kate on a motorcycle. We were cruising on the principal streets of a city. She was well dressed in white dresses. Her beauty was magnified with the symmetrical arrangement of her teeth. We soon got to a birthday party of one of her friends. Kate and I were given a separate table with variety of drinks and food.
We sat opposite each other and my entire attention was on her pretty face. Kate’s beauty could make any man with aesthetic eyes to terminate his flight trip in order to have a nice time with her. I considered myself lucky to have gotten a beautiful angel like Kate. Her smiles never stopped. “Let me use this opportunity to propose to this lady”, I thought.
Before my thinking landed, I said to her, “Kate, please, will you marry me?”. She gave an optimistic smile, stood up from her seat and moved towards me. She got to me, went down on her knees and gave me a tap on my shoulder. I received three strong taps on my leg with a call,
“Master! Master! Master!”. “Yes” I responded and opened my eyes.
“What is the problem?” I asked.
“Mosquitoes are biting me”, she responded.
“hmmm!” I sighed and asked her again, “So what do you want me to do?”.
“I want to sleep in the net”, she said.
This girl didn’t know how annoyed I was with her. If she had known she had spoiled my best dream ever, she wouldn’t have been asking to sleep in my net. At least she should have waited for Kate to respond to my proposal. Maybe, Kate would have even given me a kiss to confirm my proposal.
With an angry heart and mind, I asked her a question, in the language she would best understand,
“are the mosquitoes biting you plenty, plenty?”. She answered with a naughty voice,
“yes, sir!”. With my matured mind, I told her,
“but my mattress is too small for two people to sleep on, or?”. I didn’t know Abiba was that smart. The village-class-six girl told me I could spread the net to cover my mattress and her mat. “See me, see trouble. Were you already sleeping in a mosquito net or you want to capitalize on the fact that you are married to a man with a net?”,
I thought. I didn’t hide my feeling. I asked her whether she used to use mosquito net, and she said, “no!”. I then asked her to manage with the mosquitoes till the following day. If I had known, I would have allowed her to share the net with me, because I was disturbed throughout that night with sound from slaps on her body, which she claimed she was killing mosquitoes. I had wondered how many mosquitoes she succeeded in killing that night. If only the number of slaps corresponded to the number of mosquitoes killed, then Abiba’s action was too mosquitocidal.
The following morning, Abiba was the first to wake up. She tapped me and said she had fetched some water for me to bath. I stretched out the dullness in me, took my bathing apparatus and then decided to head for the bathroom. I peeped through my door and saw the entire family happily seated in the compound. I had known I was a part of their gossip that morning. I had assumed they would think I had performed some nocturnal matrimonial responsibility.
I gathered courage and went and took my bath, after all, I wasn’t guilty. Abiba also took her bath and got dressed up in her mother’s room. After we took our breakfast, we followed each other like we did the previous day, to school. On reaching the campus, the number of pupils wasn’t encouraging. Neither Kate nor Ken was present as at that time we got to the school.
My wife gave my books to me and joined her colleagues to sweep the compound. I was left alone under our staff common tree like an isolated witch. From a distance, I could see Abiba and her friends exhibiting a ‘hide and look’ on me. I wondered whether they were discussing me as a new teacher or a new husband. Their ‘hide and look’ attitude made me uncomfortable. I pretended my mind wasn’t on them, but I was actually bothered.
As I was seated alone wondering what my pupils were discussing while looking at me, I heard an adult female voice at the other side of the school block, “hey! Sweep fast and go for assembly”. My mood suddenly changed from wondering to celebrating, I saw Kate in a white dress, walk towards me. Her dress had triggered my mind to remember the dream I had the night before.
“Is this a coincidence or my dream wants to come to a reality?” I thought.
“Good morning” Kate greeted.
“Good morning, Miss Kate” I responded, with the mind that Kate would give a reaction to the title I gave her. She never did.
“How was your night?” Kate added. “Ooh! I had a good night” was my response. She didn’t know I had a good night with her in my dreams. I took advantage of the greeting and continued with a chat with Kate. We talked a lot about life in general and later limited ourselves to life in the village.
I got the chance and enquired about Abiba’s lifestyle. Kate told me Abiba was a lucky girl, because she would have been the one pregnant for Ken. “Like seriously!” I exclaimed. “yeah!”, Kate responded. She added,
“When Ken came to this village, the chief said that ken needed a wife. So he decided to give Abiba out to Ken for marriage, but by then, Abiba was seriously sick. He then said that a man like Ken must not live even for a week without a woman, so he decided to replace Abiba with her younger sister, Rahi, who is now carrying Ken’s baby. Ken has regretted for impregnating Rahi”.
I was shocked by the news I got from Kate that morning. Kate didn’t stop there, she added,
“I am quite sure the chief would say you also deserve a wife. He may even give Abiba to you. He cannot see a nice-looking man like you and wouldn’t take you as an in-law, now that you are even in his house. Hmmm! I am just assuming oooo”. I quickly retorted,
“Aaah! How can I marry my student? That is only possible over my dead body”. I said all that but in my mind I was like, “I even slept with Abiba last night in my room over my living body”. Kate told me Rahi was a student before her father gave her out to Ken, so the idea of Abiba being a student couldn’t prevent the chief from giving her to me.
“At least, it is a great honour to have the chief as an in-law, isn’t it?” Kate teased me. I thanked Kate for feeding me with such information. Kate had advised me to act fast to avoid falling into Ken’s shoes. She also said that if only I had a wife, that could possibly prevent the chief from imposing his daughter on me for marriage.
“Do you have a wife?” Kate asked. “No”, I answered.
“Then I advise you to find one before you are forced to marry Abiba.” Kate added.
“Where do I find one? I cannot go back to my town to search for an emergency wife. I don’t also want to marry any village girl.” I remarked, with the hope that Kate would suggest herself for me. Kate also remarked,
“hmmm! I don’t even recommend a village girl for you to marry. You are too expensive for a village girl.” I was flattered with Kate’s remark. I had expected her to add something like “….at least a girl like me is ok for you.” But she never did. That would have been a good starter for me. I thought of reporting the matter to the District Education Office. I didn’t want to pass a second night with Abiba-something could happen. I was scared of falling into the shoes of Ken. I then suggested to Kate about the decision I took. She seconded the idea but told me she would miss me, in case I was transferred from the community.
“Herh! You would miss me”, I thought. I quickly told her she could visit me in the district capital. “But I cannot be seeing you all the time” Kate replied. “This lady is gradually endorsing me. But I must still report the case to get myself released from the community.” I thought. Without wasting time, I took my books and left for the house to embark on my journey to the district capital. I went and told the chief that I needed to send some documents to the District Education Office. The chief told me there was no lorry travelling to the district capital that day, because that day was not a market day.
“So what do I do? Because I must present the documents before tomorrow”, I told the chief. He suggested he would get somebody to pick me with a motorbike to a nearby community where I could get a lorry. Two hours later, I was at the District Education Office. I presented my complaint and every officer in the office was astonished. “You mean we still have such a primitive attitude in this 21st century?” one officer asked rhetorically.
The officers asked me to go back to the community while they worked things out. I told them I wasn’t ready to go back to the community because I would be made to sleep with the chief’s daughter. I added that I had already slept with her the day before. “What! Is that how serious the matter is?” one female officer remarked. The director asked me not to go to the community until they investigated the matter. I was very happy with the decision. The only worry I had was that I was going to miss Kate.
Two days later, an officer went to the community and came back with his findings, which confirmed my allegations, true. The officer said he tried convincing the chief to change his attitude of giving his daughters of school going age out for marriage, but his plea wasn’t taken by the chief. The Director felt bad about the development and decided I would not go back to the community. He ordered the Deputy Director to repost me. I felt like I won a lottery, upon hearing that I was to be reposted.
At about 5pm that day, I went to the Deputy Director’s house to pre-appreciate the reposting he was to give me. My pre-appreciation made him to repost me to a school in the district capital. I was so happy. My only worry then was on how to get my items from the community, and how to get the chance of seeing Kate again. I thought of not going back to the community to pick my items, because the chief would suspect I was leaving forever. ‘Kate’ was the only reason that could send me back to the community.
“I must link up with Kate to visit me in the district capital”, I thought. The following day, I enroute back to the village and I was warmly welcomed with a hug from Kate like a girlfriend who had missed her boyfriend for ten years. It was then I realized Kate was also emotionally attached to me. She told me about how an officer came to the school and later went to the chief’s palace to investigate my case. I told her about how I was reposted to a school in the district capital. Kate was so happy for me but told me she was gonna be missing me badly. I also told her I was back to see her and wouldn’t mind to have her visit me in the district capital. She agreed to my request and promised to visit me over the weekend.
I was so happy that I didn’t bother going back to the chief’s palace to pick my items. I quickly joined a vehicle back to my town with the hope of seeing Kate during the weekend. I went and gave my room a new look. My room was then made dust-free. The only beverage one could get in my table-top fridge was sachets of water. But because I was expecting a special guest, I managed to stock my fridge with a pack of Don Simon drink and two apples. I had locked my fridge because of my hungry niggers who could come and drink the drink before the arrival of the intended drinker.
The following day, which was a Saturday, I went to the lorry station very early in the morning to welcome Kate like friends and family members go to the Airport to welcome a relative from Mecca. I looked forward to seeing Kate alight from a lorry, but my anticipation failed. Kate never came that day. I got bored. “Anyway, it is not bad to devote one’s time for what he much desires”, I said to myself.
The next day, Sunday, I was with the hope that there was no way Kate would not come. I went to wait for her at the station, as usual. Guess what, she never came. I was highly disappointed at Kate’s disappointment.
“What could have made this girl not to come? Was she just pretending she had me at heart?” I asked myself. I went and organized my guys and we enjoyed the Don Simon and apples together. They were shocked because they had never seen such a drink in my fridge. I told them I was celebrating my reposting. After the assumed celebration, I got my clothes ironed for a GES workshop I was to attend the following day.
The next day, I was on my way to the workshop when I heard somebody call me, “Hey! Galaxy! Galaxy!” My mind quickly decoded the voice before I turned to know the person calling. Guess who it was, Kate. My heart palpitated. The first thing that clicked my mind was the Don Simon and apples I gave to those useless guys of mine.
“oooooh, Kate! Where were you when I had Don Simon and apples in my fridge?” I questioned her in my mind. She greeted me and said she had wanted to come the previous day but there wasn’t any lorry in the village, since that day wasn’t a market day. I understood her perfectly. She added that she was to attend a workshop organized by GES. I told her I was just on my way to that same workshop. Kate then proposed we should go to my house before going for the workshop. I was happy but there was no Don Simon again for her, I thought. I picked her on my bike and soon, home we were.
We entered my room and I asked Kate to relax on the sofa. I then asked her whether she needed anything to drink and she said she was alright. I insisted the second time and she gave the same response. I didn’t want to go the third time because she could say I should get her any drink. I went and sat adjacent to her.
I didn’t know what to say-I was in a ‘Baafira’ mood. I counted my fingers several times and never got to any finite number. I didn’t know how to tell Kate that I love her. As I was thinking of what to say to Kate, she looked me in the eyes and asked me,
“What is on your mind?” I responded “nothing”. She then said, “If nothing, then let’s go for the workshop”. She took her bag and stood up to leave. I gathered courage, took a deep breath and pulled her by the arms closer to me and planted a kiss onto her lips to show a sign of saying, ‘I love you’. The kiss lasted for a long time which was a response from her saying, ‘I love you too’.
“Aren’t we going for the workshop again?” I asked. Kate responded, “GES workshop dey bore”. I retorted, “E be so, dear!”. At about 12 noon, I had to send Kate to the station to catch up with a bus back to the village. Luckily for us, we got to the station when the bus was just about moving. Kate quickly entered the bus and gave a sweet wave as a sign of goodbye and promised to always visit me during every weekend. What a lucky guy I was! I was reposted to the community I desired, and I found love from the community I felt was a curse to me. Reposting was successful, and Love was built! “Galaxy, you are too much! Hahahahahaha” I flattered myself. THE END
Credit Abdul-Jalil Abukari