“Compliment class,” muttered Alexander Douglass the class prefect as everybody stood and greeted in unison. “Good morning ma!”
“Good morning my beautiful students, how’re y’all” she said in her everly soft-sweet girlish voice.
“Fine thank you, God bless you” most of the students answered.
“Sit.” She ordered and everyone sat except… me. My mind had been too preoccupied with thoughts of Angel that I didn’t hear her. It has almost been half an hour since she went off with her friends and neither one have returned. An argumentative discussion ensured between me and the voice in my head.
“She deserves your care! She was the only one that showed sympathy and affection when you needed it most, remember. Now its time to reciprocate” the voice sounded shrill, hitting me on the head.
“I know I’ve got to show her care but I can’t, at least not now. I mean she’s got her friends with her, Becky and Philo are her best pals and they will give her all the care she craves for” I argued back to the voice.
“You have to do this, take a risk for her… let her know that you really care ’bout her make her feel loved, make her . . . “
“That’s it, maybe I don’t love her… maybe I don’t even like her. I’m damn feed up with all these. Why can’t I just be me?” I argued my way forward.
“You don’t get it, do you? Open your eyes Master Cire, she’s all you’ve got now- she is your shield . . . her love for you is the only shield preventing the Cat Ladies from eating you. You have got to reciprocate this love, else . . . Now go and see her!”
“You mean I should forfeit class and go see a girl at the clinic? That’s weird, I can’t even if I want to, Mrs. Catherine would never let me out. It is one of her lesson rules: no student goes out from her class. I think I…”
“Damnit Master, forfeit the stupid lesson. We all know that she’s likely your most hated staff. This is your destiny we are talking about here. Handle it well before you lose it . . . your shield. Do something, walk off this class and go show her some love . . . some real care.”
“Owkay, I’ll but not now, at least¬¬¬. Mrs. Catherine would never let me out of her class ─ I really want to do it I want to L-l-love her hold her, kiss her . . .”
“Then go do it now! Walk out from this class and go see her. Go now!”
“No, I can’t go now”
“No! Mrs. Catherine would never let me…”
“Go! Go! Go!”
The voice in my head shrieked so loud that I almost felt my head bursting. The shout had been horror-filled and the tone had been kind of commanding.
I felt an arm hit my back it struck again and . . . again, then in a swap, it dawned on me that I was standing had been standing since after the greeting of Mrs. Catherine. Douglass was hitting from back to sit down.
Things had happened, things were happening. Mrs. Catherine had written a very big Economics on the board and underneath it was ‘Inflation; Causes and Solutions.’ Her mouth was moving, she was teaching had been teaching.
“Yes?” she asked with furrowed eyebrows, edging her head towards me.
“Pardon please?” I said as fast as I could muster. I hadn’t heard a thing she had said, I hadn’t taken any notes, worst of all, I don’t even know what she’s talking about.
“Tell us Mr. Benee, at least one of the numerous causes of inflation and a possible solution.” She voiced out still smiling wickedly. The smile was too intimidating. Holyshit! She ought to be angry with me for not paying attention at her class she ought to punish me, but NO; she was smiling, smiling wickedly sweet.
“Urmgh urmgh” I cleared my throat still staring into the open air. My head was rumbling ransacking all its components for an answer; an immediate answer. Finally I fathomed one.
“Fail it Master, fail it even though you know it. Tell her you don’t know it and she will send you out from the class . . . this is your chance use it.”
I was trying as hard as I could to ignore the squeaking voice in my head and answer Mrs. Catherine’s question. I have found an answer in my head, it remained just to voice it. I opened my mouth to talk . . .
“Shut up old man, you don’t get it do you? Mrs. Catherine never lets one out of her class. even if I fail it, I will just be laughed at and termed a ‘jerkie’. She still won’t let me out.”
“Destiny knocks Master, you’ve got to answer now. Fail it!”
“Mr. Benee, we’re waiting. You don’t know it, do you? I never thought I would live to see this day a day Stan the white lamb won’t be able to answer a question. Well, I guess we have to call you a Jer…” she was speaking with her usual girly voice wicked smiles.
“Inflation can be caused by currency overflow and it can be curbed by restricting much circulation of currency.” I had said fastly, completing the sentence as if it was just a word. I know she had wanted to say ‘jerkie’ but I didn’t let her had not allowed her.
For a second, I thought I saw the smile disappear from her face and returned almost immediately. “Wow Mr. Benee, that was pretty fast but cute. Sit,” she said still smiling. It’s a perpetual trait I guess.
Dan pushed a rumpled piece of paper into my hand immediately I sat. said it was a note from someone when I shot an inquiry look into his eyes. Refused to tell me who it was, just said twas ‘someone’.
Mrs. Catherine had asked Angela Martins a question and she was on her feet answering. Angela’s standing figure in my front blocked me from view by Mrs. Catherine. I immediately used the opportunity to unfold the rumpled white sheet. It was handwritten, the handwriting was familiar, but didn’t register at once until I let my eyes feed on the lines.
Hey Stanley, please come right away to the school clinic. Her cough has gotten worse, and all she does when she’s not coughing is to call your name. I think she really needs to see you. Who knows if it will help alleviate her pains? Please come, NOW!
I had to re-read the lines again and… again before it dwelled within me. The urge mounted and the pressure became stronger. I had to go see her I just had to.
Mrs. Catherine’s class is remaining about ten minutes and I’m not sure I could hold on much longer. Something had to be done; someone has got to do something I have to do this.
“Excuse me Ma,” I said rising to my feet. Mrs. Catherine who was scribbling something on the whiteboard completely ignored me. Perhaps she hadn’t heard or… maybe she’s pretending.
“Excuse me Ma” I said more audibly this time as few students redirected their attention towards me. After what seemed like ages, just when I was preparing for another ‘excuse me ma’ she turned facing me, and with the perpetual girlish smile on her face, she asked with a little voice.
“And what ’an we do for you Mr. Benee?”
“N-nothing, just an emergency at the library owh sorry, the infirmary. The clinic attendant needs me now…” I said with all seriousness I could muster, albeit I was fidgeting.
“Well, sorry to say that you can’t leave this class until I’m out of it. Just a few minutes more and you can go to anywhere you like ─ you can even go to heaven, I’m sure God is also calling you on an emergency. Whaddaya fink?” she sniffed and turned back to the board and continued her scribbling before I interrupted again.
“But . . . Ma, it’s really important. I’ve got to go.” I said almost in a shout as I made quick steps towards the door. Nobody ahs ever, ever Mrs. Catherine class but I was dire ready to set a record ─ FIRST STUDENT EVER TO WALK OUT FROM MRS. CATHERINE’S CLASS. I headed for the door.
I could hear murmurings, Dan’s lips were moving fastly, he was saying something but I wasn’t listening. Angela Martins held my cloth and mouthed “please Stan, don’t do this.” But… I ignored it all. I was already at the door, heading out when Mrs. Catherine turned from the board.
“Beneeeee!” she shrieked, forgetting to prefix the title (Mr.). For what seemed a millisecond, the perpetual smile evaporated from her face and resurrected almost in a flash. I held my tracks just at the door-mouth.
“You’re walking out of my class? Step out of that door and you will never be in my class again.” She said with a sort of feigned resolution, the smile booming radiatively now. “It’s your choice, my Class or your Emergency? Choose now or never.” She completed with a tight green grin on her face. Her fists were cupped tightly, preparing for a ready punch. It seems she’ll pounce on me.
I never knew it would come to this, it was pure dilemma. I know if I chose any, I will still lose; it was a no-win situation. I stood transfixed for a moment, my right shoulder aching badly. I gazed at the students; their eyes were all pleading with mine not to go, but Dan’s eye was yelling at me to ditch Mrs. Catherine’s class. Finally, with one last urge from the voice in my head, I resolved to go and Never ever return to her class.
“That’s it then!” I said as I balled out of the class, hastily making my way to the infirmary.
“That’s it huh? Make sure you don’t come begging at my office — don’t come crawling back to me Mr. Benee!” she yelled at my back as I was running towards the school clinic.
Within a minute plus, I arrived at the infirmary. Angel was sleeping at one of the sofa mattress in the extreme left corner (west) of the infirmary. Just as stepped in, eyes flashed towards me and Becky whose laps were serving as pillow for Angel’s head, bent low and whispered something into her ear, Angel eyes flung ajar just as immediately as Becky’s mouth was coming off from her ear.
“How’s she?” I asked, pointing at Angel’s bed. There was another student occupying another bed beside Angel. Twas Nurse Sophia that answered my question.
“Well,” she shrugged her shoulders and clasping her fingers “she just stopped coughing about ten minutes ago and slept off. I’ve administered cough syrup to her and hopefully . . . she will be fine. It’s just a matter of time,” she said and continued almost immediately. “Just one more problem though. I think she has injured her guts, and she’s been callng your name for like ages now. If I hadn’t given her some sleep medicine, I bet she will still be calling your name. well, it was when I saw that nothing can be done rather than to send for you, I told Becky to write you a note. Perharps your presence might help alleviate her pains.” She concluded as Becky flashed a gorgeopus wink towards me. Philomena let out a soft cough and licked her mouth. The girl on the other bed wriggled and turned, facing up. I saw her face, it was Susan John, the epileptic girl; the owner of one of the voices I had heard the night before.
My eyes swam around the infirmary and it dawned on me that I was the only male out of six persons. At this thought, my stomach felt heavy heavy in a kind of awkward way.
“Stan, come feel her pulse.” Becky said, signaling me to came and take her position which I reluctantly did. She stood from the bed, raising Angel’s head as I sat and my laps now became her new pillow. A soft giggle escaped Nurse Sophia’s lips.
“Don’t worry Angie, it’ll will be alright” I assured as I cuddled her head in my lap, racing my fingers through her sweet-soft ebony hairs.
Becky and Philo excused themselves and headed back to class. Nurse Sophia dismissed Susan John telling her to come back tomorrow for more medication, which she had reluctantly obeyed.
“I pray she doesn’t succeed” Susan spoke in her mind. She walked past me and went off the infirmary, determinedly not looking at me. Not less than two minutes later, after much rambling on how hungry she was, Nurse Sophia excused herself to the school canteen to go get some snacks. Finally I was alone with Angel her head on my lap, suppressing the unwanted erection I was beginning to get.
“Finally, I’m alone with him. I pray it works out as planned. I might even be lucky to get a kiss from him. I will savour his lips, and this time it’s not going to be a rumour that he kissed a girl. Owh God, how much I love him- how much I cherish him, how much I . . .”
“Angel” I called, cutting her off from her train of thoughts.
“Stan” she replied in such a soft voice I had never heard her use before. It sounded much like Mrs. Catherine’s. Her eyes were now open, glowing like a dull bulb.
“What took you so long?” she just asked simply, not laying emphasis on any word.
“Mrs. Catherine” I answered, trying as much as I can to feign simplicity too. Fighting to erase nervousness from my voice and hiding my shaking arms.
“Thank you so much for coming for everything.” She said relaxing her head more comfortably on my laps. My erectness was now twitching. She continued softly, “I honestly didn’t know the length of my yearn for you. Till now, I hadn’t known how connected we are. I thought I was going to loose you Stanley, I really Lo – wanna be with you.” A sweet smile bloomed at the corner of her lips.