Through the Eye of FAITH (10)
“What!” Dapo was stunned and didn’t believe what he just heard. He sat upright on his seat and raised two questioning eyes at the speaker. “Excuse me?”
Patience cleared her throat. “You heard me, sir. I am resigning.” She handed over an envelope. “Here’s my letter.”
“But… but why? I mean… why do you want to leave?” Dapo could not believe his ears. Why would she make such a decision? Did he hurt her in any way?
Patience felt awkward. How would she explain what she had gone through in the past, few days and how she had felt an inclination in her spirit to pursue a mission she had always wanted? “I just feel it’s time.”
“Did I do anything wrong? Is this about what happened in your class about a week ago?” Dapo really wanted to know why she had decided to quit… to leave him. When she had come last Thursday and asked for permission to attend to an ‘urgent family need’, he had been concerned and asked, but she had been evasive. “Or is this about your recent visit to your family? Is everyone okay?”
Patience’s eyes shot up to meet his and she snapped. “Yes, and this isn’t about family.” Her lips quivered. Didn’t he get the clue she was not interested in discussing her family with him? “I just have something else I would like to pursue.”
Now, Dapo was sure she had no other reason than the desire to stay away from him. Had he been so terrible that she didn’t want anything to do with him again? “Okay.” He shrugged. “It appears there is nothing I can say to change your mind.” He opened the envelope and read the letter. It stated no particular reason for her decision and in his mind, he felt a deep hurt arise. Everyone he cared about at one point or the other in his life always left him; starting with his own mother. He closed his eyes and tried to block the pain that was threatening to overcome him. With Patience, he had felt a connection he had not experienced with anyone since then, though he had hidden that away from her and thank God he did or he would have made a complete fool of himself.
“I’m sorry for every inconvenience I have brought with this news.” Patience didn’t like the look on his face.
“It’s okay.” Dapo waved his hands. “Getting a replacement is not a problem.” Liar! “In fact, I will be bringing someone to your class today. You can move into the assistant position.”
“What! Is this a punishment for my decision or is there something else attached to this?”
“Something else like what?” Dapo was angry. “You think I would let my school suffer because you are leaving? I am not about to take chances.”
Patience was offended. Why would he take such a drastic decision? He must be very desperate to get rid of her, just as she always suspected. “Okay, sir. I do not also have the desire to stand against the school’s progress either. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. It has been an amazing experience.” She waited for him to respond, and when he didn’t look up from the stack of paper in his hands, she knew she had been dismissed. She opened the door and as she went out, she cast him a last look. He was checking through a drawer and didn’t seem to notice her exit.
When the door was closed, Dapo picked up the letter again and read through again. In annoyance, he tore the paper and cast the shreds into the bin as he struggled to come to terms with the despair that had plagued him over the years.
In the class, Patience tried to remain calm while her mind was in tumult. Was she making a mistake by resigning? She had been taken aback with the proprietor’s reaction and had questioned her decision. Was she sure this was what God wanted her to do or was this just of her own volition? Her eyes roamed the class and she watched her pupils chat away. Only one was quiet and had her eyes fixed on the teacher.
Faith knew something was wrong with her teacher immediately she walked in. Miss Patience had no smile on her face like she had every time and she had been unusually quiet. When she placed her head on the table, Faith knew she was right. Miss patience was not happy and that affected her deeply. She wanted to walk up to her teacher and ask if everything was okay. She wanted to be there as Miss Patience was for her. She also wanted to tell her teacher all that happened last week and that her father had not returned home for many days. When her eyes met her teacher’s, they exchanged a smile, but Faith saw through the forced expression and knew she was right.
Patience stood and the class fell silent. She walked up to the board and wrote the first subject of the day and as she turned to start teaching, she noticed the excited giggle among the kids. They loved her stories and she loved narrating too. It was a way she could tell them about God and how He always made everything beautiful.
“Today, we shall talk about a special woman in the Bible who had no child and made a vow unto God.”
“What is a vow?” One of the pupils asked.
“Good question, Sam. A vow is a promise you make to someone, which you have to do.” She saw the satisfaction on the face of the child and continued. “So, who can guess who this woman is?”
Few hands were raised.
“Yes, Nkechi.” Patience pointed at the girl beside Faith.
Patience chuckled. “Well, you tried. But that is not who we want to talk about today. Any other person?”
Only one hand remained.
The boy stood “Is it Hannah?”
Patience patted his head. “Right, Sam. That was smart of you. Today we talk about Hannah and how her faith got her a little boy called Samuel.”
Sam proudly shook his head and Patience smiled. He was one of her smartest pupils and one she would miss most dearly too.
She opened up a passage in the Bible and started reading. When she got to a verse, her throat became clogged as she read the last part. “… But the Lord had shut up her womb.” She remained silent for a while as she took in those words.
Patience looked up into the eyes of an older woman standing at the door. “Mrs Jaiye, good morning. What can I do for you?”
The woman walked closer to Patience and spoke quietly. “The Propietor asked me to take over your class with immediate effect.”
“What?” So quickly?
“I will just allow you to finish this and take over from the next, if that is okay with you.”
Patience nodded slowly. “Okay. But I will like to introduce you formally to my class first.”
“Oh! No need for that. They already know me. You may continue your lesson.” Mrs Jaiye walked to the teacher’s seat and sat like she was the owner.
Patience resumed teaching, but she could not get herself together. Out of all the teachers in the school, it was Mrs Jaiye, the most disliked, that was sent to replace her. This was not good at all. Her eyes met Faith’s and she was rewarded with a very cold stare. All her pupils were quiet and the earlier excitement had disappeared. She drew in a sharp breath and muttered a word of prayer. The transition would not go well at all.