THE FLOWER GIRL EPISODE 11
When Madam Onyii got to Chidimma’s house, her parents were not around Chidimma’s father had not returned from the farm while Ndudi was said to have gone to the market to pick some foodstuffs.
So Chidimma was home alone. She welcomed her teacher and made her understand that her parents would be home in a short while. She then, appealed to her to sit back and wait for their return. And so she did but not without Chidimma sitting beside her and keeping her busy with chats and chatters.
Chidimma’s parents did not come back as early as anticipated but Madam Onyii was patient enough to wait till the end Ndudi was the first to return, then followed Obele. Both were happy to have Chidimma’s teacher visit them for the very first time.
“You are welcome once again. Obele warmly welcomed his daughter’s teacher.
“Thank you very much.”
“Where are you from? Because I know yu-yu-yu-you are not from °Oseh.”‘
“How do you know sir? Does it mean you know every Oseh woman?”
“No. But at least I know that we have very few educated people in Oseh and they are not hidden. I don’t think we had more than one teacher from Oseh community.”
“Well, you may be right am not from Oseh but from Okpe in Mmaita Local Government Council.”
“You are welcome.
“I want to thank you for teaching our daughter well. She always talks about you.” Ndudi cutting in politely.
“I also thank you but I know that our good God in heaven will thank you better because they say, and I believe, that teachers’ rewards are in heaven,”
“But sir, it will not be bad if we get some here on earth because we suffer a lot. The salary they pay us is not enough for us. The money cannot buy us any reasonable thing. But that’s not what brought me here…”
She paused to catch some breathe.
“I am here as a result of what Chidimma told me.”
She stole a glance at Obele’s face to watch his reaction.
“And what did she tell you?”
“About you people luring her into marriage.”
“Is there anything wrong for my daughter to get married?”
“But not when she is still under-aged.”
“Under-aged! Do you know her age?”
“Of course yes I do. She is about 14 years old.”
“You are correct!” Ndudi promptly admitted.
“Marriage at 14!” shuddered the teacher.
“And how does it concern you?” asked Ohcle.
“It concerns me in so many ways. One, I am a mother so I know the pains. Two, I am her teacher and she needs my directives to avoid making mistakes in life. Three, this girl is very talented, so going into marriage now will kill such beautiful talents which she has. Four…”
“It is alright, but… ”
“Teacher what you said is true.” Ndudi concurred:
“Nobody is disputing it but what do you want us to do in this instance because we don’t have money to continue sending her to school?” Obele stressed.
“Such is not a good reason from good parents: You have just one child, what about those that have five, six, seven, even ten? If you don’t have money, sell your trousers!” Madam Onyii was not taking it lightly. She wore a mean face.
Obele smiled wryly. But his wife looked mean as she was also in support of the opinion that her daughter should proceed with her studies instead of such marriage. So she wasn’t taking it funny too.
When Obele realized that he was laughing alone, he paused and said, “But she doesn’t perform very well in her exams. She takes the last position in the class…”
“That doesn’t matter. She may still improve,” Madam Insisted.
“Yes, I believe that.” It was Ndudi again.
“The fact still remains that I don’ t have money for her school fees. Chibueze said that he is tired. That’s why I wanted her to get married to Igwe’s son whom I believe will send her to good school.”
“Igba! It is not always true. Some have tried that method and are today regretting. Some women have ended their careers in the kitchens of those men with such empty promises.”
“Of course, women’s education ends in the kitchen”
“Mr Obele, it is not true! And I totally reject it.”
Ndudi, adjusting her seat and taking an upright position, she said, “Madam, I thank you very much for your boldness. You are indeed a real woman. At least, you have saved us from a life-time mistake. We were at the verge of throwing our daughter away in the name of early marriage. You have done for us a great job by opening our eyes.
Thanks a million! One thing I am assuring you is that we have taken the correction and we will try our best to send Chidimma back to school. When Ndudi was talking, Obele was nodding in affirmation and later shipped a comment,
“It is a difficult one, but the correction is accepted…”
EPISODE 12 COMING SOON!