Through The Eye of ‘Faith’ (2)
Happy weekend! Enjoy this second episode. If you missed the first, please click here. From next week, two episodes will be posted on Thursday and Saturday respectively. Please stay tuned. Will, of course, keep you posted. 😉 Enjoy!
Miss Patience Okonkwo tried to pull herself together but she was having a difficult time to do that. Her mind kept traveling to many years ago and that particular dreaded day that changed her life forever. She controlled the sob that threatened to start. No, she would not cry anymore, especially not in front of her class.
After several counselling, she had decided to hand all to God and since He had decided she would pass through the ‘fire’, she only hoped He would keep her from burning completely.
I am aching, Lord. She almost cried out. I need your healing.
She wiped the tear that almost ran down her cheek and cleared her clogged throat. Then, she tried to focus on the pile of books in front of her.
“Aunty!” A voice snapped with impatience.
Patience jolted back to reality to see one of her pupils standing in front of her table and looking very uncomfortable. “What do you want, Faith?”
Faith pointed towards the door. “I need to use the toilet.” She shifted with unease and eagerly awaited permission.
“Yes, go please. We do not want you soiling yourself now, do we?” Patience smiled sweetly and watched the girl hurry out of the class.
Faith…How easy to say… How many times had she made herself believe her circumstance would change and she would be whole again? Did faith really work? She was sure she had expressed the kind bigger than a mustard seed, yet the ‘mountain’ still remained…
She flipped through the pages of the first book and started scoring. What! This pupil got all the answers wrong. After spending almost an hour teaching, was this the result she could get? She checked the name on the book and sighed. Faith, again. Something was definitely wrong with the girl.
She looked up just as Faith walked back into the class. “Faith, please come.”
Faith was afraid. What had she done this time? The look on her teacher’s face told her all she needed to know. She had failed the exercise. She walked slowly to the big table and stilled her mind for the worst. Though Miss Patience was friendly, in fact, the friendliest person she had ever met, Faith knew when she herself deserved some spanking.
Patience pointed at the opened book on her table. “You got all the answers wrong. Didn’t you understand all I taught?”
Faith swallowed hard. Though this was a new topic, she knew if she had listened well, she would have understood a bit despite her hatred for math, but her mind had been far away throughout the lesson. She had been worried about her mother. The cough had increased and Mama had barely been able to go to the market that Monday morning. The money that would have been used to get some medicine had been used by Papa to entertain his friends last night. So Mama had to be at the market at all cost. Perhaps she would be able to sell the last of her tomatoes and leave the market on time. She had also rejected all pleas to visit the hospital which she said was too expensive and there was no money to waste. Plus, it was only a simple cough that would go away with time, she had added. Faith was not only concerned about her mother, but also about the unborn child whom she hoped would be a boy and would defend her and Mama against their father someday. That is if she didn’t do it before him…
“I still await your answer so I can know how to help you.” Miss Patience looked very concerned and searched Faith’s face intently.
Faith had many things on her mind and as desperate as she was to blurt everything out, she could not find the courage to do so, so she shook her head and muttered a ‘no’.
Miss Patience looked like she didn’t believe her but she was not ready to embarrass the girl further, else all her efforts at earning her trust would be in vain. She glanced round her classroom of 47 pupils and noticed that all eyes were fixed on her and what her reaction would be. She had to be very careful, especially with Faith. There was something about this girl she could not place her hands on…something that reminded her of herself some twenty six years ago. Now at 34, she still found herself locked in the body of that fearful eight year old who was afraid to let go of a painful past.
She sighed. “You must wait to see me after school today for extra lessons, okay?”
Faith was not sure she could. “I cannot wait. I have to be home early today to take care of Mama. She is sick.” And Papa would whip me if I came home late.
“Oh no! Sorry about your mother. I pray she gets well soon. Would you want me to go with you to see her?”
“No! No! No!” Faith repeated over and over. She was not about to let her teacher into that part of her life, that part where she tried to hide from the world.
Miss Patience wondered at the girl’s outburst. What was she hiding? “It’s okay, dear. I will be praying for her. You can go back to your seat.”
She watched the girl walk through the middle of the class to the last row with her head bent. Whatever it was she was going through was obviously too much burden for an eight-year-old.
Heal her mother, Lord. Patience prayed quietly. And heal Faith too.