Through The Eye Of ‘Faith’ (3)
Hello, friends. As promised, please find below episode 3 of this series. The next comes up on Saturday. Please watch out for this space. Enjoy!
Dapo Sosanya’s heart jumped when he heard a familiar voice, that voice that always set his heart running and every time he tried to fight off the feelings, it only became stronger. He had never felt this way for anyone before, not after his mother abandoned him on the street many years ago as a child. Then he had made up his mind never to care for anyone or let anybody close to his heart. He had grown up on the streets, fended for himself, struggled through life and today, was proud of who he had become. His eyes scanned his medium-size office and he felt a tinge of pride. All these he did by himself… A sudden guilt filled him. He actually had come this far because of God. He closed his eyes and whispered a prayer of thanks.
As proprietor of the The Covenant School, he had over 20 staff reporting to him, most of whom were older than his thirty five years, yet he commanded their respect. Everyone revered him and he loved them too, though he placed a limit to how close they could get to him, but someone was trying to break through that barrier and he was afraid he was fast losing the battle. Just her voice alone put him on the edge.
She was teaching Religious Studies and eavesdropping from the window, he listened to how she creatively narrated the Bible story of Daniel in the Lion’s den. How good she was! There was not a single sound in the class as the children listened with rapt attention. When she ended, there was an excited applause and he could not keep himself from smiling. She was simply amazing. He knew there was something special about her from the moment she walked into his office ten months ago and asked if the vacancy advertised on the board outside the gate was still open. Though he had received applications from many qualified candidates, he could not resist employing the pretty, young lady. There was a light around her that drew him to her like a beacon and as the months passed, he found himself drawn to her more than ever.
“Mr Dapo, good afternoon sir. Were you coming to my class?” Patience stood outside the entrance with her lesson note in her hands. She was dressed in a simple, flowery green and white gown with matching white sandals. There were chalk stains on her hair and face, yet she didn’t seem to care. She was beautiful and he didn’t like that he noticed it.
He took a step back unconsciously. “Ermmm…” Pull yourself together, boy! He raised the book in his hand. “Yes, I was. I am going round classes to remind debtors of deadline for payment.”
“I only have very few in my class. Almost all my pupils have paid.” Patience smiled with pride.
“Yes” he agreed. “Your class has the least debtors, but they are still debtors all the same.”
That hurt, he knew and he didn’t know why he said that. He just didn’t like what her smile did to him.
Patience’s smile faded and she stepped out of the way. He was always rude to her and she could not understand why. “You can go in.”
He walked past her into the class, but not without catching a whiff of her scent. Jasmine… that smell would stay with him for a long while.
Once he entered, the whole class stood to greet him. “Good afternoon, sir. You are welcome to primary 3A. God bless your sir. Amen.”
He waved his hands in response and the pupils sat down, awaiting his next action, though they already knew what he came for.
Dapo adjusted his tie and cleared his throat. “Good afternoon, class. I hope you are having a good time today, aren’t you?”
The class answered incoherently.
“Good.” He continued. “I am here to repeat the announcement made during the assembly this morning. No debtor will be allowed into the school from tomorrow, so those owing should inform their parents.”
He watched the pupils exchange unhappy glances and he felt a little uncomfortable. He did not like this part of his job, but he had to do it all the same. He remembered how many times he was called a debtor and how he had to resort to begging at some point. He recalled the days when even begging was not enough and he had to join the street urchins to pick pockets at Mushin. How many times he wished he could turn back the hands of time and make better decisions… but he was just a kid who was finding his way and thankfully, saved by Christ before he was completely lost. After that, his life changed completely. Thank you, Jesus. He wondered what he would have been if not for Saving Grace.
He opened the book in his hands. “I will now call the names of debtors.” He took a quick glance at the class, who were all staring at him.”
He toughened. “Faith Adeogun.”
There was a little sound like a muffled cry, but it quickly stopped like it never happened.
“Where is she?” Dapo asked when no one stood up to that name
“I am here, sir.” A little girl stood up behind the class with her head bent.
“You are Faith?” He asked again to confirm.
Now, she raised her head and he could see her face clearly. Her eyes were red as she fought back the tears and nodded with embarrassment.
Dapo felt a flood of sympathy sweep over him. He had noticed this girl several times when she came late and with worn-out uniform, yet she always appeared to be in control. Once he had personally disciplined her for coming late and she had looked at him squarely in the face and walked away without a word. Now that he saw the other side of her, he was more confused. Females were complex beings.
He moved on to call the other debtors and mildly repeated the warning, but not without noticing the disturbing look on their teacher’s face. Not that he cared. He had other things to worry about and Patience’s opinion was the least of them, or so he thought.