This teacher, on his first day in the school did a good job shoving so much fear down the throats and chests of the students.
It was a reopening day but no one expected a new teacher, at least, not his kind.
After a great deal of the work had been done , the senior boys, as usual, organised themselves and it was game on. There was no better way to begin the term than with soccer. Everything was going on so well and the players begun wiping streams of sweat from their faces. Some of the girls watched on as their “crushes” dribbled and we’re dribbled. Others engaged themselves in the “customary of women” stuff. If they were not playing “ampe”, you’d surely find them tearing someone apart with words. Likely, the victim and subject of the gossip must be a man or a rival.
Everyone was warming up to the term.
Then it all happened out of the blue. The football was kicked out of playing it went all the way to where this man was seated. He got hold of the ball and placed it under his right foot. Game over, it was, or seemed. Taking his stature and countenance into consideration, no one, even if backed by the entire student body would dare to permit the thought of going to beseech for the release of the ball run through his mind. So we all stood there. But there’s always that one person who dares to dream beyond the walls of his skull. The habitual latecomer was that dreamer. With what looked like good courage and obvious support from “stakeholders” of the game, he felt the combined powers of superman and spiderman. Even Merlin would be scared at his courage. He was the Michael Scofield in this case. So off he went, taking strides as though he didn’t want to hurt an ant. He looked like someone who was sneaking into the chambers of the devil “himself.” You could feel his heartbeat under his feet.
Eventually, he got there and greeted the teachers who were seated near. But he had already greeted them early on. His left hand behind him, over his belt. He then greeted the man with the ball. There was no positive feedback. But if he could walk all the way, he had better get the job done. He pointed to the ball and concomitantly said feebly “Sir, please the ball.”
As if to reinforce his diminishing courage, he looked back at his friends who even looked more scared. Suddenly, even before he could face the teacher, a yell landed on his face. This yell was enough sign to tell him that he had failed. He could only retort by saying “oh!.” Then came another yell which was an explicit insult.
His friends who were supposed to be sympathetic burst into scornful laughter. He had to look as if he found it funny too, if the pain and humiliation he felt would not be betrayed.
That was a bad note to begin the term on, if you ask me.
Why all these flashbacks? Well, if he could prepare for the worst, a reminder of his first encounter with this man could ready him for anything. He had never liked this man, who later became the Maths teacher. Habitual latecomer begun to sweat profusely. Then the teacher cleared his throat and said “you’re late to school again, aren’t you?” The answer was a simple “yes”, but that would be followed by “why are you late?” If he said “no”, the next question would be “what’s your roll call number?”
There and then, he begun regretting no waking up at the first command. More regrets poured in as he stood there, saying nothing. Or rather, finding no words.
“If I ever get through this storm, I would never be late to school”, he resolved.
But another part of him reminded, “that is what you said the other time, that’s what you always say. Can you ever be punctual?.” He could not answer himself.
In the meantime, he had to cross this bridge. That was the most important thing. What was in store for him?
The next episode has it…
(C) POLO 19