The night was invitingly cold, the trees around were swaying finely, trying as much as possible to dance to the beautiful tune the night was rendering. The skies had few stars adorning it, but it seemed pregnant with harmless clouds, harmless; not the type that heralded rainfall. Some of the sky was crystal clear also.
It was the kind of night that allowed the pleasures of the night have more meaning, made it more enchanting, more sinful. The night. How powerful and beautiful it must feel. How sinister it could also be. The night was when emotions became heightened, was when intimacy was buoyant. The night was always passionate, but ultimately the night was prone to the dark side, it could hide the most evil of machinations. It could hide many sins and could blend seamlessly with the evil it witnessed. The night was always a ready accomplice.
It was on these kinds of nights Omasan craved Ivie, it was on these kind of nights he felt seemingly contrasting feelings; pleasure and guilt. It was these sorts of nights that made him complacent, weak and succumbing to his Achilles heel. Now, it was on this night, that he would correct his mistake, he would end everything, that he would make everything ‘’normal’’ again.
He looked at the wall clock on the left side of the room, it was barely few minutes past eight. The room had the audacious aura of a teachers lodge, a vintage television set sat on top of the shelf, which had started peeling, the sitting room had chairs which looked older than him, their best years were certainly behind them and on one side of the wall was a calligraphic painting.
Why was she taking long?
Had she told somebody?
What was the outcome? Omasan’s thoughts became one of apprehension; Ivie never came late.
The room was located at the far end of the big school compound, it was located far away from the new principal lodge which had been built near the classes and was just a stone throw adjacent to the class area. Standing at the front door of the new principals lodge, one could easily see the assembly ground. it was a strategic spot, it looked like a deliberate plot to make sure the new principal lodge had an eagle eye view of the entire school. It was a story building, that saw everywhere in the large Federal Government Girls College, Benin. Everywhere except the old principal lodge where Omasan resided.
Omasan had been an outstanding corper these first four months, he was dedicated to the cause, he taught beautifully with a method that Dr. Imoni always used in the University; he made learning curious, chipping in anecdotes to make the students love the class, want the class. He loved that learning method and he practiced it here. The students adored him, he talked with an alluring accent, one he had obviously put practice to during his time at the university and he had almost perfected it, his deep baritone voice seamlessly put an icing on the already sumptuous cake of his firmly built body.
He could remember the obvious embarrassment the first few weeks after he came. The students had tried to outdo themselves in a quest to gain his attention, a particular funny incident had played out in SS1 D, he had entered the class and most of th e students had make up on, they all raised their hands to ask questions, and all tried to impress him by trying to answer every question, even rhetorical questions seemed to have students ready to answer. He almost laughed as Mrs. Osakwe walked into the class to give him some information, the girls struggled to clean the cosmetics off their face; woe betide anyone Mrs. Osakwe caught with a made up face and they tried to outdo each other swiftly again in clearing off the facade off their faces.
All that had subsided now, he had even succeeded in waving off the pellucid advances and flirting of Mrs. Obong, she had scared him doing that. Inviting him to dinner when the principal had travelled, putting on an almost transparent dress on the night, touching his cheeks and shoulders, he almost gave in, but for fear!
Omasan was bizarrely was scared of the principal, Mr.Obong. He had this ludicrous gaze that seemed destined to see through anything he looked at, his look was menacing, inquisitive, it gave Omasan the creeps. It was a mutual feeling he shared with the students.
He had feigned a phone call and almost ran out of the apartment; he didn’t go back there that night. Mrs Obong had travelled soon after that incident, she worked as a permanent secretary in the civil service in the state, naturally she lived at the Government quarters there, she visited the school sparingly afterwards, and he would see her car drive into the school compounds on some days but would not know when she left. She still smiled at him when she came to fraternize with the teachers in the staff room, but it was always a platonic, convivial smile, one devoid of any intimacy, but it was surely ambiguous; he could tell.
Mrs Obong was simply pretty, she was the kind of woman whose frame hid her age, she was slender and had the characteristic features that would always make men stare, she walked with a kind of grace that was proud, enviable. Many times he wondered whether he would have not bulged if that incident had presented itself a few weeks later, when he was settled, when he had known the ‘’landscape’’ better. He would never answer that question; he didn’t trust any of the answers he gave.
Omasan wondered if he was the cause of her sparring visits, he would never know still. He promised himself he’d talk to her; he hadn’t fulfilled that till now, a little over two months later. He wondered whether she still thought of him.
How did she think of him? He sighed.
Omasan looked again at the wall clock, almost 8:30, apprehension was turning to anger, paranoia.
He thought briskly of Udinyinwe’s phone call earlier that afternoon, he wondered why he was so unaccommodating, so irritable, he was complaining about Kevwe’s attitude again, he always complained about one thing or the other, he thought. Why should he even care about Kevwe, he had called things off with Emobor, his sister, a few weeks earlier, as far as he knew now, Kevwe was on his own now.
He heard footsteps, familiar footsteps, one that was stealthily approaching, furtive and almost silent but loudly screamed Ivie.
Ivie was matured beyond her years, she possessed a body that couldn’t be unnoticed, had dimples which did nothing to betray her enchanting smile, there was something about Ivie, something that mildly screamed wild, something that gently inferred daring, something that innocently spoke adventure, it had charmed Omasan, drawn him, enveloped him, and now it had enveloped him in trouble.
She was the food prefect and was responsible for co-ordinating meals from the dining hall to the staff and youth corpers who stayed in school, in this case corper, Megan, the other corper posted to the school had decided against living within the school, she lived with a friend who stayed close by.
Ivie deliberately made sure she sent Omasan’s own late, last, she made sure she delivered it personally “so the junior students won’t be walking that far at night”. That was how they made time for their escapades, the thrilling nights, nights which he was certainly going to put an end to this night. He had to; he had crossed the Rubicon, saying all those things yesterday.
Ivie entered the room with the brown food flask, ignoring his flaring gaze. She didn’t greet him, glancing at him and made for the small centre table, she set the flask down and brought out the strip, the pregnancy strip, unused, still intact.
Omasan was bewildered.
She remained silent, placing the strip on the centre table.
‘’what is the meaning of this Ivie, are you crazy’’ he whispered wildly.
He was using the exact same tone he had used on her the night he gave her the strip and told her the only option that would be plausible if she was pregnant; Abortion. They had argued and he had blurted unprintable things.
Did he have a choice? She was being headstrong and he felt threatened, he felt his future threatened.
The headlines would scream ‘’Teacher- corper impregnates student”. He couldn’t have that.
‘’It came today, I saw my period today, I guess it was late after all’’ Ivie hissed as she trudged out, he watched her hips sway vivaciously in her tight blue check gown as she walked out. He stood transfixed, a little relieved, a little furious but still a little lustful. He heard a message alert on his Blackberry phone. His heart stopped for a few seconds as he read.
So you are sleeping with students. ‘’Fine boy corper” your own is finished.
‘’ Fine boy corper’’. He immediately knew who it was. The number was switched off when he called. He sank into the sofa and cursed, burying his face in his palms………….