A very long introduction:
Teachers have always had a special place in my heart. I have loved them, hated them and tested my boundaries with them. I still do, in fact. Thus, it should come as no surprise that I have been unable to shake my reputation as a Teacher’s Pet since Primary School. It should also come as no surprise that I don’t even want to, shake the rep, I mean.
Some teachers also stand out in my memory. There was my English teacher I had in J.S.2, Mr. Otaru. He it was who first ever made me think that my little scribbling had merit and was of some value to anyone but myself. My social studies teacher in J.S.2 and J.S.3, who helped me write a letter to the President (need I say more?), my SS2 math teacher, who was so nice that I got the first ever awesome grade in Senior Secondary Math that year. Roll call must also include: Mrs. Falade- who caused me to sharpen my sarcastic wit, in my head only; Mrs. Komolafe, who still remembered the Almighty theory, for a period longer than 5 years after being done with Senior Secondary School Math (when I had such trouble remembering it, even after 6 months), Mr. Okunuga, who brought Biology to life for me, Mrs. Onyendi, a virtual rock of sustenance through all my battles and Mr. Onyeagoro, who diligently read all my short stories, gave me the nickname “Ms. Thatcher/ Iron Lady”, which, incidentally, I loved, and encouraged me to keep writing.
I wish I could see all these awesome teachers today.
But in those troubled teenage years when I; cut most of myself off from my peers, cried a lot and practically lived in books, my two favourite teachers, would have to be Ms. Uadia and Mrs. Ajayi. Ms. Uadia, I will file away to write about some other time. This leaves Mrs. Ajayi. So here goes-
A VERY SHORT BODY:
I cannot remember the first time I met her. I don’t know why, but I cannot. But I do remember this however: I loved her. She was like a second mother to me. I spent quite a lot of my time in the teachers’ offices either with her or Ms. Uadia. I loved her.
She taught Economics. She was tall, fair- ish, and had long black hair. I still remember that hair. The first teacher to ever buy me a birthday present, a clear beaded, pink-accented necklace that has not fit my neck in years, and a clear beaded blue- accented bracelet that probably still fits my hand. I wore those emblems all the time when I got home. It was like a sign, a beam; the knowledge that she’d loved me enough to give me a present. I asked her so many questions, from the most banal to the most important. I vividly remember joking with her to the bemused expressions of a lot of students after school. Teasing out of her the areas we were expected to read for the mock examinations.
We began to drift. I’m sure she expected it. A friendship between a teacher with children of her own and a very young and very shy student cannot be expected to last.
A VERY SAD CONCLUSION:
But I never expected to drift so far apart from her that the next I’d hear of her was that she was dead. From somebody else’s Facebook post no less. I never expected this.
Rest in Peace Mrs. Ajayi. You never knew what a gift you gave me, just by smiling at me and letting me stay with you in the teacher’s lounge all those times. You never knew. And now I’m typing this article/note, tears leaking out of my eyes, so very ashamed that I never even remembered to give you a present of my own. Ashamed that I can laugh and you can’t.
Rest in Peace Mrs. Ajayi, perfect roses don’t stay in bloom for a long time.
Rest in Peace, Mrs. Ajayi. I love you. And I intend to do, for someone like me, what you always did for me way back when.
Rest IN PEACE, MRS. AJAYI, in the bosom of Our Lord. He’ll take care of you. And I intend to tell you all this in person when we meet again. Someday.
P.s- If anyone has Ms. Uadia’s current number please inbox me.
Thanks for reading.