The roof I was sitting under could pass for hell, in all its senses. It was my classroom and the temperature was at boiling point. There was no teacher in the class. People talked. Others placed their heads on the table and communed with sleep. The show-offs read their notes. I hated these people.
“Hey, Greg, today we go step ooo; don’t be a jon this time around,” Kofi screamed to me from the back of the class. He was seated with the Traditional Council.
Since SHS 1, I have looked for every opportunity to become a member of that clique to no avail. We were now in the last year and I would not let this opportunity pass me by. I was going to prove myself and be accepted by the squad.
“Today, I sharpen my lips waa! I learn everything you teach me nu. You go se…”
“Class stand!!!” it was the voice of Oko Rick Ross, our headmaster. Oko Rick Ross was one of the many monikers students gave him. He was a disciplinarian and many students feared him.
When I turned from Kofi to face the headmaster, the view that met me sent a sharp pain through my chest. It was the good kind of pain. The kind that makes you scream with pain and excitement at the same time. Suddenly, the heat in the classroom was no more. The place that was once hell for me was becoming a heaven – too quickly.
For the first time, I paid attention to Mr. Oko while he spoke. Well, truthfully, my ears were with him but my eyes were not.
“Good morning. As we all know, since Mr. Acquah retired, you have not had an English teacher. Thankfully, today, the Ghana Education Service has sent us a new teacher. Everybody, meet Miss Adwubi.” He said.
And that was all I heard and wanted to hear. Miss meaning, she wasn’t married. Even if she was, that wouldn’t have deterred me. Feeling butterflies in the stomach is cliché but I did feel them and it was the best feeling ever. It was love at first sight; pure love brewed from cupid’s pot.
Then she spoke…
I died! I needed no prophet to tell me I had found my better half. I was caught in the webs of love and I couldn’t escape.
“Hey, Jon! Sit down!” Kofi yelled from the back of the class to wake me up from my imagination. The class was in raptures. Apparently, I had stood for a while even though the headmaster had asked us to sit. I was already imagining how our wedding day would be.
It did not take too long for me to realize my folly. How could I be having thoughts of the sort about my teacher? How was I going to stand before her and profess my affection for her? How would the class take the news when she tells them? How would I take the humiliation? From all indications, this was not going to end favorably for me.
Nonetheless, the days after the first encounter were the best of the best. The English Language became my favorite subject. It was a complete 360 for me. My friends saw it. In less than three weeks, I moved to the front of the class. I noticed that Dora, Miss Adwubi for my colleagues, smiled to the students who sat in the front. One day, she touched Silvio, one of the guys in the front. It made me extremely jealous that I locked Silvio in the washroom all the break time. I did this to several of my colleagues – anyone who stood in the way of the woman of my dreams and me.
I saw her; every day, I saw her. We walked the same halls and laughed at jokes in class. I became so infatuated with her femininity, her beauty, and her innocence. I was infatuated with her art of teaching and politically incorrect sense of humor. I laughed and cringed at many of the things she said.
I tried to no avail to censor myself for her. I was not relating with any of my colleagues in school. Sometimes, a whole week passed and I had not spoken to a single lady in my class. I thought she would appreciate that. Most of the time, I tried to be myself so she would see all the parts there were to me. My mind told me she would appreciate me more if I acted like a normal human being around her. How my fourteen-year-old mind could think like that beat my mind.
All this while, though, my Dora did seem to notice me nor all sacrifices I was making for her. For the term, she did not speak directly to me even once unless she was asking a question in class. The most painful part she did not recognize that I was doing better in her subject but it was fine. Maybe, she was playing hard to get.
The first time I mustered the courage to talk to Miss Adwubi was after our first term examinations. All of us were eager to know what our score was and someone had to take the challenge and I did.
I walked straight to her and with eyes piercing than swords, she lifted her head and looked at me wearing that smile that turned all the ladies on always.
“Madam please are the results ready?”. I asked after some time of trying very hard to sink in all her beauty and swallow my fears.
She smiled and said, “Yes. You will know get to know them very soon Greg.”
Wow, she knew my name. Oh, my God! I started appreciating her more. The spark every time we locked eyes was truly uncanny. I was very sure that it was only a matter of time for us to be finally together. Yeah, just a matter of the stars aligning.
Unfortunately, in this life, the stars don’t normally align, especially in the way I was praying they would. We evolved after that first time of speaking. We spoke a few more times after. I was bold enough to tell her she was my favorite teacher and I knew she thought I was cute in the way I liked her. But, that was about all there was to her and me. I was destined to stay in this infatuation purgatory with my teacher.
In life, we don’t always get what we want; hopes and dreams get washed away so easily, hearts are broken, chances are missed, and we always seem to end up right back where we started. Some things would always be of our reach and they would forever remain wishes. As I grew older, I tried to get my girlfriends to be like Miss Adwubi – talk like her, behave like her and even be as intelligent as her. I learned the hard way that there would be only one Miss Adwubi in the world – the one I fell in love with in basic school and the one I would never get to be with.
Last week, on our old students’ Whatsapp platform, someone shared the sad news of the demise of Miss Adwubi. May her soul rest in perfect peace.