A COSTLY MISTAKE BY OKAFOR OBINNA PAUL

NEW STORY ALERT!!

 COSTLY MISTAKE

 

CHAPTER 1

 

I was a fine young man, newly graduated from the teacher’s training college. I was young and hot and ready to face life. I was still in my early twenties, twenty-one years to be precise. I was good-looking and came from a rich home. As a result, I had never had difficulties in life. My education was smooth as was every other thing in my life. Because things were very easy for me, and I had never tasted the harsh realities of life, I had very little understanding about life. I lived my life without any worries of tomorrow. As far as I was concerned, my future was secured. So, I had nothing to worry about. 

 

Soon after graduation, I was posted to a high school to teach. I had many other opportunities in front of me. However, I chose teaching because to me, it was less stressful. I was too carefree and didn’t want anything that would complicate my life. I was happy when I received my posting letter and realized that unlike my fellow graduands, I had not been sent to a village or to the hinterlands. I had been posted to teach in a school in the city. 

 

While I was still in the university, I lived a very rough life. Because my family was rich and I always had money, I had all types of girls at my proposal. I changed girls the way a woman would change her underwear. I broke many hearts because I didn’t want to be committed to any girl. However, I had one girl that I loved very much, and by the time I left the university, she was already pregnant for me but didn’t tell me. 

 

It was the beginning of the academic year, and I showed up in school on the first day of school. My outfit on that day was top notch and I looked really good. I had deliberately made up my mind to dress to impress on that first day, so that I could create a lasting impression in the minds of everyone who saw me in school that day, both the students and the staff. It is often said that first impressions are lasting impressions. 

 

Since it was the first day of school, classes didn’t commence immediately. Students were required to clean the entire campus and classrooms to prepare for a smooth running of classes which were supposed to begin the following day. We, the teachers, were required to supervise the students to make sure their work was properly done. I didn’t have time for supervision. I just sat on a bench in front of one classroom and watched with interest as the students went about their chores. I wasn’t alone. I was with a few male colleagues who were as young as me. 

 

If my colleagues were decent men, maybe, just maybe, things would have happened differently. I was going to be a bad teacher, no doubt about that. However, if I had met colleagues who were morally upright, who knows? Just maybe things would have happened differently. However, things were not meant to happen differently because not one of the two colleagues I was sitting with, had any iota of decency. 

 

“Chaii!!” One of them exclaimed. “Grinding will kill someone this academic year.” 

 

“What do you mean by grinding?” I asked, though I could guess what he was talking about.

 

“Sex na.” He spoke and laughed. “There are a lot of beautiful students in this school. Look at that one. She’s all grown up and looks beautiful.”

 

“Which one are you talking about?” I asked, getting interested. 

 

“That one with the broad behind. Look at how she moves. OMG!! This is going to be a wonderful year. I am happy to have been sent to this school.”

 

I looked at the student he was talking about, and she looked really beautiful. She looked like she was nineteen years, judging from her size alone. However, her face suggests she couldn’t be more than sixteen.

 

“Yeah, she is beautiful, and the way she is put together, she could drive any man crazy. Even if someone doesn’t want to date a student, ones like her will put someone into temptation. What kind of a thing is this?” I asked, and they all roared with laughter. 

 

“Boy, I have been hearing about this particular school. I heard it has beautiful female students. Now I can confirm things for myself.” That was another colleague speaking. His name was Mr. Terence.

 

“So, what do you intend to do?” I asked him.

 

“Make use na. I am still young and agile. I have to make use of them.” He said and laughed.

 

“Are you sure you don’t have a wife in the village? You look like someone who has a wife and three kids back in the village.” I was intriguing him. 

 

“You are a fool, Mr. Jones. Maybe you are the one who has a wife and kids back home. As for me, I am very single and ready to mingle.”

 

“That may be true, but I doubt. How about you, Mr. Charles, are you married?” I asked, smiling.

 

“I am as single as a retired prostitute who has started doing a small business in front of her house.” He replied and we all laughed hard at this and slapped our ties in mirth. 

 

“The truth is that, there are too many beautiful students in this school with all the fixings, you know what I mean. However, I have a worry. We don’t know what the school rules say about students dating teachers. It could be against the rules and regulations, and we could find ourselves in serious trouble.” I was being cautious. 

 

“That may be true.” Agreed Mr. Charles. “I didn’t even think of that.”

 

“What may be true?” Asked Mr. Terence. “I beg, forget about the rules. This is a government school. Government schools don’t have such tight rules. It is only in private schools where such rules exist. In government schools, you can do whatever you want. Dating is done by anyone and everyone, the principal inclusive.”

 

“Really?” I asked, delighted. “Then, we don’t have a problem.”

 

“No problem at all.” He agreed.

 

“But wait a minute.” I spoke. “Mr. Terence, it looks like you are a veteran in this game.” 

 

“Which game are you actually talking about?”

 

“The game of dating students, of course. You look like a veteran.” I laughed.

 

“May lightning re-arrange that your mouth there. Oh! You are laughing at me, okay. I don’t blame you. You are just new in the teaching profession. As time goes on, you will understand what it means to be a young and vibrant teacher in the midst of so many beautiful girls.” He was slightly annoyed.

 

I knew the dangers that came with dating a student. For a start, most of the students in that school were underage. The age of consent in this country is sixteen years. I don’t know how many of them had even crossed that threshold. So, whatever me and my two randy colleagues were thinking of doing was precarious for us. 

 

Cleaning time was over now. The students were all asked to gather at the assembly ground. When everyone was gathered, I took a good look at the crowd. It was a big school and there were about three thousand students altogether. As always, there were more girls than boys. I let my eyes hover around the area where the high school students stood, and realized there were a lot of big girls there who were suitable for consumption. I smiled to myself and wondered if Mr. Terence and Mr. Charles were thinking the same thing. 

 

The principal came forward and greeted everyone. There was complete silence when he started speaking.

 

“Good morning, students, and good morning staff. Today marks the beginning of a new term. You are all welcome. You have to understand that the holiday is over, and we are back to school. Therefore, you all have to display and portray exemplary behaviors that is worthy of students in this school. As you can see, there are some new teachers in our midst. They are very young and vibrant. Give them all the support they need. Effective classes begin tomorrow. For now, you can go to your classrooms and copy your timetable. Thank you.”

 

The principal left as soon as he finished his speech. The students dispersed and started going noisily into their classes. The rest of us teachers went to the staffroom. As I walked beside Mr. Terence, I asked him:

 

“Bro, did you see what I saw?” I asked, nudging him by the shoulder. 

 

“What are you talking about?” He asked.

 

“The high school girls. They are very big and grown up. I know you will kill yourself.” I laughed.

 

“Bad man, as if you are better.”

 

“I am better oh, far better than you.” I laughed.

 

“Na so. Anyway, even if I have one or two, what is wrong in that? Didn’t you hear what the principal himself said? He told the students that we are you and vibrant and they should give us all the support we need.”

 

“So, Mr. Terence, that is what you understand by support?” I asked.

 

“Yes, na.”

 

“Oh my gosh! Mr. Charles, where is that Mr. Charles? Come and hear what your friend is saying?” I was just being playful, but he took it seriously.

 

“Do you know that you are a hypocrite?” He asked me.

 

“Why do you say so?”

 

“I saw the way you were looking at those girls, my friend. So, stop pretending.” 

 

“But I was, of course, facing in their direction na. What did you expect me to do? Close my eyes?” I laughed.

 

“You are a fool, you.” Mr. Terence spoke and left me. 

 

After school that day, I went back home to the apartment I had just rented. I had paid a year’s rent up front. However, except for my mattress which was still on the floor, the apartment was completely empty. I was still contemplating whether I should go back home and bring my stuffs to my new town, or I should buy new things altogether. I had enough money. So, there was no worry. 

 

I laid on my mattress after having a rubdown and thought of all the events that had happened in school that day and laughed to myself. I had some very crazy colleagues, especially that Terence. Mr. Charles was also debauched but not as debauched as Mr. Terence. That one was the devil himself. My mind drifted to the students, they looked beautiful, fresh and young. I contemplated on the pros and cons of having a student girlfriend, and concluded that one way or the other, a man had to die. I would take my chances. What is life without risks? 

 

The next day, I dressed hotter than the previous day. I had to look extra good because on that day, I would be going into the classroom. When I arrived at school, I went straight to the staffroom and took a look at the timetable. My timetable indicated that I had the first period in the Lower Sixth Arts class. I smiled to myself. Opened my bag, removed my perfume, sprayed a little on my body, and put it back in the bag. I sorted the books I needed for the lesson and left the staffroom. 

 

I got into the class, and they all stood up and greeted.

 

“Good morning, Sir.” They greeted in a chorus.

 

“Good morning. How are you all doing today?”

 

“We are good, Sir.”

 

“That is good. Now, sit down, my children.” I spoke and the whole class erupted in laughter. 

 

I was a bit confused.

 

“What is going on? Why is everyone laughing?” I asked.

 

“Sir, you just called us your children.” One boy said.

 

“What is wrong with that?” I asked.

 

“Sir, you cannot give birth to us. You are too young.” He replied and I laughed.

 

“Don’t let my boyish good looks fool you.” I spoke. “I am much older than even your parents.”

 

There was another round of laughter.

 

 I was happy that I was making them laugh. It was my first day in class and I wanted everyone to feel free and relax. When everyone had settled down, I asked one of the female students to wipe the board. As she wiped the board, I couldn’t help look at her behind, and the way it moved in harmony with her hand. When she was done. I introduced myself.

 

“My name is Mr. Jones.” I am going to be your new Literature in English teacher. Today, however, there will be no lessons. We will just use the period to get to know ourselves. I would have loved to ask everyone of you to introduce yourselves just like I have done, but I won’t.”

 

“Why, Sir?” One student asked.

 

“Because I can see some empty seats. It suggests that not everyone is in class today. So, I would love that the introduction exercise be done just once. So, we would have to wait for a day when everyone is present. We could do it tomorrow, it all depends on the turnout. It looks like some of your friends are still enjoying holiday and haven’t realized that holiday is over and school has resumed.”

 

“That is true, Sir.” The student agreed, nodding his head. “So, Sir, what are we going to be doing now?”

 

“Questions and answers. You are free to ask me any question you want to ask.” I told them.

 

“Sir, even personal questions?” One female student asked.

 

“Yes, even private ones.”

 

The student asked all sorts of questions and I took delight in answering. Many of the questions were funny, so, I gave funny answers too. They all laughed until tears came to their eyes. Towards, the end of the period, just when I was beginning to pack my books to go, a female student raised her hand and asked:

 

“Sir, are you married?”

 

I froze for a moment, not just because of the question, but also because of what I had just realized. I had recognized the student who had asked that question. It was the same beautiful student that Mr. Terence, Charles and I had been admiring the previous day while the students were cleaning up.

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

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