‘Come in, the door is open.’
‘Is this Mrs. Tobias’s office?’
‘Yes it is and her speaking.’
‘Oh! Sorry madam, I am Miss Brittle. I am here because of my daughter.’ Says Bay’s mom extending a hand.
‘Wait a moment… you are Bay’s mom, right?’
‘Yes I am.’ She smiles.
‘I could tell the moment you walked in that you too share blood. You look much alike. The difference is the skin color only.’
‘Oh that! Her father was a colored…’
‘He is no more. He passed away something like three years back.’
‘Oh! I am really sorry to hear that…’ she puts her hand over Miss Brittle’s.
‘It is okay. Let’s rather not talk about that and get on to what I came here for.’
‘Alright! Let me hear about that… is it Bay, is she not okay?’
‘Yes it’s about her but she is fine. She came here to school this morning and she is clueless about my being here… ‘She lowered her voice.
‘Don’t worry about anything. Your secret here is safe. No one outside can hear a thing we talking about.’
‘Bay isn’t herself as of lately. I cannot understand her.’
‘I am not following you. You are the one that I cannot understand now…’
‘Is Bay’s school work in the right position? Hasn’t she dropped coz she isn’t bringing her work books or test papers with her these days home. All that she brings are text books and that worries me, which is why I came here today.’
‘There is nothing to worry about. Maybe she does leave her staff at her office.’
‘I am now lost, her office, what are you on about, you sure we talking about the same person here?’
‘That I am sure we talking about one person, Bay Brittle, right?’
‘I am very sorry for you to hear about it this way. I thought she discussed it with you.’
‘I can’t understand why she kept it a secret. How is her school work? Hasn’t she dropped?’
‘Not at all Miss Brittle. You have a wonderful daughter and you should be proud that you gave birth to a star.’
‘I want to believe that office thing isn’t going to disturb in her school work and what is this office thing all about? Last time I checked she was still a student.’
‘Bay is a student madam but not just any other student. Your daughter changed this school to a better one. She is like a counselor to other students here. She talks to them in anything and ever since she started with all that there is a great change here in our school. Students’ behavior has changed, they are very good and performing well and it’s all thanks to your daughter.’
‘Well! Is she doing well herself because it seems like she is changing other’s performances?’
‘Definitely madam. Here is the record of our best students in school. There is this other boy called Mels and that’s the person who is always on top with Bay.’ She shows some file to her.
‘I am very glad I came here. I was so worried about her. I will talk to her when I get home for why she is keeping this from me.’
‘I am so sorry Miss Brittle, I should have informed you about this, and the wonders your child does to this school. We wish all the parents could take part in their kids’ studies, being supportive. Have a great day.’
‘Stay well madam.’ She closes the door
There is complete silence in class as students are copying notes from the chalk board which Mr. Lategaan was writing for them. He keeps on looking at Bay now and after but no one noticed as he covertly do it.
‘That would be all for today. Finish up quickly so we chit chat. We haven’t done that in like forever.’ He dusts his hands with a piece of cloth.
‘Oh! My back, someone nearly killed us…’ Bay stretches her arms.
No one responds to that.
‘I believe you are all done.’
‘I have been a busy man and didn’t have time for all that has been happening so would you like to fill me up with the latest gossip around here.’ Mr. Lategaan smiles.
‘Can I start with our class first before getting to school at general?’ Asks some boy.
‘Go ahead my man!’
‘Bay isn’t herself, she is all moody and we pray for the real her to come back. Maybe she would listen to you if you begged her to be herself. We would do anything at any cost to have her back and we really do not know if we the reason behind her state.’
Mr. Lategaan stares at Bay.
‘Bay!’ he calls out.
‘Sir!’ she answers.
‘Anything you want to say about that?’
‘This has nothing to do with you my lovely friends. Sorry you have all been bleeding in silence because of me.’ She forces a smile.
‘Then if it isn’t us, what’s eating you up? You always helping us so we would like you to be getting that help from us this time around.’ Clara says.
‘Don’t mind me, I will be fine. I have it all under control as matter of fact.’
‘They want to know so they help; maybe I too can help so spit it out…’ Mr. Lategaan adds.
‘You really sure you want to know about it?’
‘Yes!’ They all say at ones.
‘Tell us… ‘ Clara adds.
‘Okay! There is this Adonis I have been spending some time with…’ she stops to Clara’s comment,
‘I don’t think I know what that Adonis means.’
Everyone laughs including Mr. Lategaan…’ that would be a handsome man Clara, that’s the meaning of the word.’ Mr. Lategaan explains.
‘You haven’t told me about him, how a bad girl is you as of these days. I am going to find out about him.’
Bay looks at her and suddenly takes her eyes off her…’ this guy is funny and everything that a girl would want from a man and…’ she stops.
‘Tell us, and…’ says some girl.
‘…I don’t know, well I kind like him and I have one hundred that he loves me back…’
‘I drove him away the other day. We were having a good time and he started caressing me. I did not like it and said some shit to him. I now regret all; I mean the way I talked to him. I should have said it nicely that I didn’t like it.’
‘Oh hell no! you did a great thing, you don’t set rules now about what you want and they forever disrespect you, I think you did good.’ Says a girl sitting next to Bay.
‘Them boys’ caressing you is the first thing you signing for once you agree to be involved. What man wouldn’t wish to touch his woman that would be cruel and must be hurting like a bitch’. Says Clara.
‘Talk to him; tell him what got into you. I’m sure he will understand all that, won’t he? Ponder over it… ‘ some boy adds.
‘Yah! He seems like a nice Adonis, I don’t see him being difficult. All that you should do is apologizing and show him the parts to touch. I mean he is a man and loves you and want to feel you. You get that, they say actions say it louder than words and I give that saying a hundred in your situation.’ Clara continues
‘No, that would be more like…’
More like what? Mr. Lategaan asks
‘Let’s rather stop with it. I am not going to apologize, maybe he will come around. Talking about this now does no good but to make me think about all that we had and miss it even more.’
‘Must you always be this stubborn? Just swallow your pride and do what you are supposed to do…’ Clara shouts.
‘What’s that am I supposed to do?’
‘Gosh! Have you now gone stupid, should I spell apologizing to you for you to get it? People tell her here that she should do it for herself. I am tired of her mood swings and she is ruining her beautiful face with the stress that’s written all over her face. She now looks like a granny.’
‘A granny, do I have some wrinkles? Can somebody please lend me some mirror to take a look? He is never going to look at me again…’ says Bay.
‘How will he look at you when you can’t apologize? I don’t see him interested in you after you apologize and if that’s going to take long, I mean he would take you for an old with the contours that’s forming around your face.’ Clara adds
Everyone can’t stop laughing.
‘Clara don’t you think that’s enough?’Asks a boy sitting left to Clara.
‘Everyone, forget all that I said. He will come back to me if I really meant something to him. Why is it that every time something unpleasant is happening time decides to go on slowly, days seems like decades and seconds seems to be hours. Stupid me….’ She slaps her forehead.
‘Now you want a headache?’ Mr. Lategaan asks.
‘Then stop beating that silly sculp.’
Oh! People I won’t make it to today’s meeting. I have some work that I should submit to the school head before three this afternoon. I already have a note prepared to be pasted at the hall where we normally hold our meetings.
A very good afternoon to all of you, every mom or mom to be here. I am Bay Brittle and I am so honored to be standing before you. It always does me good to see a mother with their babies taking a very good care of them or someone expecting still keeping that tummy for the right moment and that would be time to give birth. I am basically not talking about kids here; I am referring to the mature ones here. Those who will be able to support the baby. Keeping and care of that baby inside of you proves you to be someone. By the time you get yourself in sexual activities, have it in you that you asking for a baby. If you not ready for a baby, there are various methods of preventing pregnancy from the clinic or any nearest health facility for free, why not ask. Because people are shy, what are people going to say seeing me queuing for that? You should be concerned about your life not about what people would say about you, learn to put yourself first. People will always talk no matter the good we do. I am certain that you and I here know those people who always end their pregnancies. I just feel such people are wimps, yes those are fools. Why be sexually active at the first moment knowing you are not ready to raise a baby. When is the right time to have a baby? There is no exact time to say that’s when to have a baby, when you start having intercourse that would be the time. Sex comes hand in hand with a baby. We know them, we see them, we live with them, and some are not as active as they were before. They are not as fresh as they looked. Some take forever to recover. One would become very weak that they are unable to take themselves to a toilet or to feed themselves from a spoon; the spoon becomes that heavy that they cannot hold. Those that don’t get ill live with the guilt of killing an innocent poor baby and those that are unlucky die immediately. My dear sisters don’t get carried away for a man to walk from where ever he is from and tells you how much they love you. Know him well for who he really is before jumping into bed with him. A guy forcing or encouraging you for abortion does not or never loved you. A child is supposed to be a precious gift from the Creator and it is supposed to bring happiness. That guy is just wasting your time; you are a sex toy to him. The bodies are ours ladies women so let us not let these jackals to manipulate us unless we too are jackals. Let us fight those backstreet abortions, let us come together and say no to it. The blood you are destroying today is the one that could be saving you from starvation tomorrow. To you the mothers and you who are still carrying those babies, I salute to you; a superwoman is your middle name. May you see many more years to come with your kids and wishing you all the best in life you can have.
‘Let’s see topic, ‘’ADDRESSING WOMEN AT THE CLINIC ABOUT ARBORTION AND SAYING NO TO IT’’… Bay this is brilliant; I thought you were not submitting. I should take it now to where it’s supposed to be.’ Says the headmaster in excitement
‘Thanks madam. I need a little rest after this, I am a bit exhausted. Let me do back to the office…’ Bay yawns.
Bay goes back to her office. She sits there alone. She leans back in her chair legs on the table with her back facing the door. Still there relaxing, the door slowly opens and Mr. Lategaan checks if there is anyone inside. He smiles and slowly enters through.
‘Hey you will get killed. Why aren’t you paying any attention to the door? What if a killer walked in?’ He caresses her shoulders.
‘I knew that it were you…’ she says still not looking at him.
‘But you never turned to see who it is.’
‘No one wears the same cologne as you.’
‘Okay! Looks like someone is studying me. Look, I have something here for the woman next to my heart.’
‘Your woman? Yoh, these are my favorite. She is one lucky lady to have you. This is romantic…’
‘You think so?’
‘Yes! She is…’
‘I still haven’t figured how I should give these to her or when. Help out please. ‘’Do you really think she is going to like them?’
‘What girl wouldn’t accept those? She would be so stupid not to like them…’ Bay shrugs her shoulders.
‘I wouldn’t have fallen for her if she were stupid like you saying and I am now very much certain she is going to love them.’
‘What are you waiting for? School is out hurry and gives them to her before something happens to that box.’ She really is so lucky to have you and I am jealous…’
‘Of course I am the lucky one and any guy would also be so thrilled to have someone like you. Does a person ever get jealous of herself?’ Mr. Lategaan hands the box to Bay.
‘I thought we were talking about your girlfriend here. Take back this before I eat them all.’ Bay pushes back the box to Mr. Lategaan.
‘These are yours; I know how much you love chocolates. I was not sure you were going to love them but now it seems like I know you more than I thought.’
‘I thought these were for your wife…’
Mr. Lategaan interrupts her before she could finish, he takes her arms to chest and holds them together.
‘Bay! I am really sorry about last time. These are to say sorry…’ he picks the box and gives it back to her kneeling beside her.
‘Oh! No! Don’t do that, sit on the chair then we can talk, I want…
‘shhhh!’ He put his finger on her lips to make her quite.
‘I am sorry about that day we were here together, I shouldn’t have done that. I just got carried away. The way you kissed me back, I thought you wouldn’t mind me touching your body. I couldn’t help myself Bay.’
‘Sorry! Is this what you always do to whoever female you’d be with whenever you are alone?’
‘Bay! I am not like that; I wouldn’t do that to anyone. There was something about that kiss and you felt it too, there were emotions involved. I never stopped thinking about you since that time Bay! I know I am a teacher older than you and students are not supposed to be involved with teachers. Just give me a chance I am sure we can manage to keep this to ourselves. Please give me that one more chance Bay…’
Bay keeps looking at him without saying a word. ‘Please Bay I can even ask my parents to go and ask your parents for hand in marriage if that’s what you want.’
‘Ha-ha! Don’t be ridiculous, I am too young for marriage, I wouldn’t agree even if you paid two hundred cattle for lobola.’
‘So you can’t be my girlfriend, should I give up on you or you are already involved with someone? I will respect it if you are seeing someone. Bay I don’t have a girlfriend…’
‘Oh! Is it?’
‘What? You look shocked!’
‘I am not really shocked; I am surprised in fact;’
‘I don’t have a girlfriend Bay. It’s the truth. I have been single for a year and a half. Things didn’t go well with the girl I last dated. She kept cheating on me and I couldn’t take it anymore and left her.’
‘Ohhh! I am sorry to hear that, she was a fool to cheat you, I mean look at you. Every girl would be glad to have you by their side being their man. Can you please rise up, I feel kind of bad you kneeling down...’
‘’If I rose would you be my girlfriend if not my wife?’’
‘Here! Take my hand and stand up.’ He takes Bay’s hand and stands to his feet.
‘I have to go home, see you tomorrow.’ Bay takes her school bag and opens the door. ‘I thought we were still talking, Bay! Wait!’
‘Oh! My chocolates, I almost forgot them. Thank you…’
She takes the box and places her arms around Mr. Lategan to hug him. He can’t help but to smile. He is having much hope that Bay will be his in no time. He follows her out of the office. When she turns back to look at him they all smiles. At the end of the building she turns again looking and he is still watching and he waves.
Thirty-five minutes late Bay is in front of their door. Her mother’s car is in the lot but no one appears to be home as the doors and windows of the house are closed. When you come close to the front door you could hear voices of people laughing and the sound of the television. Bay pounds the front door but no one could hear her as she beat it softer. She walks to the south side and pounded at the back door. Her mother quickly opens as she sees her by the window.
‘Mmhh! It smells so great in here…Hello mum what are you making?’ Bay asks as she picks up the lid of the pot.
‘Stir fry and pasta…’
‘Wow! My favorite.’
‘You are early today, aren’t you working in your office today?’
Bay stutters for a second.
‘Ummh! Mom, you really are getting old, what office are you talking about?’
‘I might be getting old Bay and it does not mean I am losing my mind.’
A thick knot hits deep in Bays stomach…She closes her eyes and doesn’t know what to say.
‘Do you know how stupid I felt to learn from strangers that my only daughter is doing miracles at their school?’
‘Mom! I am really sorry about that…I promise that it won’t happen again…’
‘How long were you going to keep it from me?’
‘Mom! I didn’t see it as a big deal and I won’t let it happen again.’
‘Make sure it never happens again. Go and change and come back to help me.’
‘Ummh! I have a lot of work to do mom, I have to get to it right away.’
Bay eases from the kitchen, leaving her mother and smiles at his brothers in the sitting room. She sits for some minutes in her bedroom on her study table then rushes into her school bag. She takes her cell phone out and switches it on.