We have got this heart touching story, titled: “The Thorn In My Flesh” and here is a brand new Episode for your reading pleasure and am sure you’re going to learn a lot from this story..
Principal: “really? That sounds so unbelievable. The girl in question was such a good girl and I don’t see her as such a person that can run away from home” he said shaking his head in disbelief.
Baba Gift: “that is how we saw it too o, children of nowadays are something else” he said, collaborating his wife’s lies.
Principal: “in that case, I should be on my way then” he said getting up.
“Thanks for having me in your house” he said and extended his hand to baba Gift for a hand shake after getting up.
Baba Gift: “but our daughter Gift is in the house and she is also your student, whatever good news you brought for Toke can be transferred to our daughter, you know” he said laughing.
Principal: “oh, it doesn’t work that way” he said.
Mama Gift: “principal, if you have something for her, you can keep it here and I will ensure that it gets to her” she suggested.
Principal stopped and turned around.
“I thought you said she ran away from home without your knowledge. How then can you ensure that it gets to her?” he asked getting suspicious.
Mama Gift who didn’t see that coming was caught unawares and she remained quiet for few seconds, cooking up a lie in her head.
Mama Gift: “oh, you don’t understand what I mean”
Principal: “no, I don’t madam. Kindly make me understand”
Mama Gift: “what I am saying is that she may decide to return home after hunger has finished dealing with her wherever she ran away to” she lied.
Principal: “oh, I see. In that case, you can ask her to see me in school when she returns that is if at all she returns on time before what we have for her expires”
When Toke heard that, she knew that she had to act fast by taking her destiny in her hands.
She knew that after the principal leaves, her foster parents will make sure they keep an eye on her and lock her up in the house so that she would not go anywhere close to the school.
Having made this resolve, she stepped into the sitting room and as all eyes turned to look at her, mama Gift froze.
“Good afternoon, sir” Toke greeted the principal respectfully.
Principal: “well, well, well, look who we have here” he said with delight when he saw her.
Mama Gift: “what are you doing here?” she heard herself ask.
Toke: “I came to inform you that I have finished washing the…” she started to say before her foster father interrupted her.
Baba Gift: “will you shut up your gutter of a mouth there; haven’t I warned you never to talk in the presence of elders?”
Principal: “Toke, I heard you ran away from home? How comes you are back and why did you have to do that? Is that what we have been teaching you? Where did you run to?”
Mama Gift: “I guess she is hungry and that is why she had returned home, don’t mind her. Now get in and continue your domestic chores” she said eager to cover up her lies.
Principal: “not yet. I have good news for you. The school management has decided to help you pay your examination fees and school fees so that you can return back to school.
This decision was taken after taking into consideration the misfortune that befell you at the death of your mother and the fact that she died while going to get money to pay your fees. You are to return to school tomorrow morning. Like I told your foster parents earlier, you are our most intelligent student in the Junior Secondary session and we cannot afford to let you drop out of school because of a misfortune that was obviously not your fault. Accept my heartfelt congratulations” he said and handed her the letter.
Toke: “thank you very much sir. God bless you and all the people who took this decision” she said falling on her knees in gratitude. The principal tapped out and walked out because he could not stand the tears that she was shedding.
Toke knelt before her foster parents.
Toke: “thank you daddy and mummy. Help me appreciate God for this miracle” she said.
Mama Gift: “who is your mummy? I said who is your mother? You this small witch, why didn’t you wait till the principal had gone before you came out? I will kill you with my hands today since your mother was not nice enough to go with you to the land of the dead” she said and began to beat the girl.
Baba Gift: “see how this little rat embarrassed me and my wife before the principal. Now, the principal will see us as liars and that may affect our daughter’s grade in school” he said ignorantly.
He stood up and took the letter that Toke had dropped when she could no longer hold on to it as a result of the beating she was receiving. He opened the letter, read it and tore it, shredding it into irretrievable pieces.
Toke went to bed hungry that night as part of the punishment her foster parents gave her for coming out of the kitchen as at the time she did.
The next day, she woke up early and began to prepare for school but again, mama Gift stopped her and after giving her the beating of her life sent her to the shop.
From the shop, she was sent to hawk after mama Gift returned from the market.
Mama Gift: “make sure you finish selling all these pepper and tomatoes before you come back here o. Do you hear me?”
Toke: “yes ma” she answered anxiously because she knew that delaying her reply could earn her a slap.
Mama Gift: “good. And make sure that you don’t go anywhere close to your school. Have I made myself clear?”
“yes” Toke answered again, trying hard to suppress the tears that were threatening to take over.
Mama Gift: “you this girl, I don’t trust you. You are as stubborn as your mother and I know that you will go there. So, swear that you will not go anywhere close to the school premises” she told the girl who was already in tears.
Toke: “ma?” she asked with teary eyes.
Mama Gift: “I said swear, which one is ma?”
Toke: “my mother said swearing is wrong and that I should never cultivate the habit of swearing”
Mama Gift slapped her hard across the face.
Mama Gift: “you must be very stupid for saying that. I am asking you to do something and you are here telling me that your mother said you shouldn’t do it. Where is that your mother now? Is she here? Is she the one feeding you. My friend will you swear that something terrible should happen to you if you go near the school premises or do you want me to beat the devil out of you?” she threatened and the girl was cowed.
Toke: “I swear that I won’t go to the school to see the principal, I swear!” she said intelligently.
Mama Gift: “good, now you may leave”
Toke carried the heavy ware on her head and left the house.
To be continued..