I do my Saturday washing on Sunday night because that’s when I revive from death. Toro and Steve hang around each other and play like little kids. Jang simply stays back in Kenny’s room. So I get to enjoy the noisy vocals alone at night.
The antibiotics I take have helped a lot and by Monday morning, I feel itching and sweet pain on the wounds. Sweet pain I wish someone could ‘play’ with. Ahh, being a self-constrained bachelor does have its cons.
I have the first two periods on Monday in Bisi’s class. After much energy getting certain images out of my brain, I get to work.
“Open your book to page 50. Read.”
“Today, Shinese food is well known around the world, and recipes for Shinese cooking can be found in most cookbooks and on many web sites. While books with some information about ancient Shinese food have survived the centuries, fascinating new information has come more recently from tombs.”
I stare at her. “You’ve been practising. That’s good.”
She smiles. “Thank you, sir.”
“We have to work on your pronunciation of ch.”
I look around and it seem we are alone. Everywhere is quiet. “Take your seat, thank you.” I write summary on the board. “This is the same thing your seniors are doing. So you should be proud. Can anyone else try to read?”
A few hands go up. Progress. There was a time last month no one in this class could read.
“Good. But you don’t have to read it again. Now summary is a short sentence that represents the main points.”
Teaching is my passion. I try to focus on my work but once every while I turn to the class and I see her, rubbing cream on her backside. The image is vivid.
I went back on Sunday morning. Call me carnal. This time I planned to reveal myself, let her know I come here too but she didn’t show up. I need to confront her about it. I need to confront Toro as well, talk about respect for my privacy.
“Bisi, see me in the staff room before you go home,” I say before I leave the class.
I have the whole day to plan my conversation with her. I need to confess to her I saw her and I need to know if she knew I was there. Fine, she’d come from another direction. My eyes had been closed when she arrived so she might have seen me and turned, depends on where she approached from. Also shrubs are overgrown in that area and the branches of the trees serve as cover in some parts.
Toro walks to my table and perches on it just before the closing bell.
“Why are you avoiding me, Abbey?”
I snicker. “You make a hell of a lot of noise when you’re—happy,” I say.
She laughs. “Omg. You hear?”
“I dare not admit that.”
She pats my cheek. “Poor Abbey. You are jealous.”
I roll my eyes. She’s too cheap. Cheap beauty. I spot Bisi loitering at the entrance. I need to know what her values are. Did she notice I was lounged on the grass by the stream and still continue with her bath?
“I hope he appreciates what you give him.”
“We’ll see where it goes.”
She seems genuinely happy and for the life of me, I do hope she’s happy. Men like Steve and women like her roam till they find true love, as amazing as that sounds.
“I want to see a student.”
Toro turns and sees Bisi. “Is that your distraction, Tisha oko?”
I’m amused at Toro’s reference of me as a bush teacher. Isn’t she one as well? “You like to look for trouble.”
Toro doesn’t move from my table. “Confess.”
“No. Now will you excuse me? She’s my best student so I want to ask her some questions.” She still doesn’t move. “Toro, will you move. Before your hot flame thinks I’m his competition.”
“Hmm, you think that will work?” She arches her eyebrows. “Well, it did. We’re going to Ife for lunch and shopping.”
“We will.” She winks and clicks her tongue at Bisi. Such a petty woman.
I wave to the seat in front of my table. “Sit down.”
Bisi sits and folds her hands in her lap. There are a couple of teachers in the room both facing their businesses. I lower my voice all the same.
“So when are you going to learn to pronounce ch?” What am I talking about?
She looks at her hands. “I try sir.”