I wonder why people say committing suicide is cowardly. I came close to doing it today. Sometimes I wish these teachers would understand, actually have a sixth sense. Today, I have crossed the dreaded Mr. Inyanga’s path.
We have also been taught not to believe in fate or the stars but today, I am tempted to think I woke up on the wrong side of life. I think the gods are asleep. How else would you explain how my alarm refused to go off today? Moreover, my naughty brother knew I would get late and decided to ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ knowing fully well that I wouldn’t make it past Mrs. Manyengo at the school gate. So, as soon as the bell signals home time, I will instead head to the school garden to engage in menial work for one hour. How worse can it get?
I don’t know what gave me the impression that Mr. Inyanga’s Mathematics homework was needed tomorrow, Friday, not today. It is now my turn to show him my book. Problem is, I am rolling and I have a feeling the flow is heavy today. I am not so sure my blue skirt is clear.
“You know the procedure. Why are you wasting our time? I have waited for 60 seconds. If the 40 of you were to replicate this behavior, it would mean 240 seconds wasted. If this behavior persists for a week in Maths alone, we are talking massive wastage of 1,440 seconds. A month would mean 5,760 while a year would amount to 51,840! All these words I have uttered have cost us a further 60 seconds. Bring your book!”
Now this will be tricky. I sit right at the back, the middle row. If there is something on my skirt… Oh dear, what am I going to do?
Without further hesitation, I start moving while darting my eyes just to catch any knowing glance. Trembling, I hand over the blank book, bracing myself for the next tirade of words. Suddenly, I feel something warm and heavy going all around me. My God, it’s a sweater. One of the girls just had mercy on me.
My worst fears. Damn Mr. Inyanga! Why can’t he just go round the class marking like the other teachers? Why must he be different? No wonder he has no friends. He must be a crazy person. Does he have a wife? Is he even capable of attracting one? Who would agree to marry this sorry imitation of a human being? This sadist. This villain. This…..
Now I am confused. Won’t he check my book? Why did he call me forth if he won’t check my book? Crazy man!
Several hours later, I will be seen walking with my head bowed in shame. There are those girls you know are discussing you. Perhaps they are wondering how careless a girl can get. The boys don’t seem so bothered. Strange, when it’s one of their species that put me in this situation. I guess they are more understanding. After all, they say a woman is her own worst enemy.
Mercy, the girl who rescued me earlier, later puts her arm around me and says, “Hey, cheer up, that’s life. It can get tough. Just ignore the haters.”
Somehow those words reassure me and I drop the idea of jumping in a lake.
When I reflect on it later, I realize why Mr. Inyanga had not checked my book and been easy with me. The sweater had made him realize I was in deeper trouble than not having done his work so, he had mercifully decided to end my shame by asking me to sit. I think he will be getting a wife after all.