Student Teacher (The Women I Love)
Within two weeks of being in class, I was fully settled in. I had my place in the class eco-system. I was mostly invisible, but those who sat close to me knew I could be relied on for solutions to classwork and homework.
I was often one of about five students who regularly answered questions in the class. At a point, teachers would ask questions and when I raised my hands, they would call a couple of others whose hands were down before calling me.
Whenever multiple hands were up, I was often the last to be called as the teacher presumed that my answer would likely be correct. I used this to my advantage by adjusting my response to take into cognizance prior responses.
Ruth and Naomi often had responses to questions, and sometimes, Ruth would ask me to tell her the answer, so she can raise her hands and say it.
There was a time a teacher asked a tough question. He had taught us previously on that topic and was pissed that only two of us seem to know the answer. He decided that each person would have to whisper the answer to him, if they got it wrong, he would flog them.
I had to come up with two extra answers to share with Ruth and Naomi. I changed a couple of words in the definition and gave it to each of them. The teacher asked them and they got it right. He didn’t bother asking me.
This endeared me to both girls more, and I sure did enjoy every moment of it.
After the teacher left the class, the guy sitting down behind me was angry with me. He had been trying to get me to share the answer with him, but because there was a higher probability of me getting caught, I had refused.
Plus, I did dislike him. He was quite the bully. Although he would occasionally make me uncomfortable, he had not gone out of his way to get into a fight with me. Until then.
I stood up to him, telling him that as much as it was risky to have tried sharing the answer with him, I had no obligation to actually do it. This got him really stoked.
He began calling me vile and abusive names, saying I was a “woman wrapper” and was being used by the girls.
I, woman wrapper?
Gladly, please. If girls of the caliber of Ruth and Naomi were willing to be “wrapped” by me, what else am I doing with my life if not to be a “woman wrapper”?
It took the intervention of a couple of other students to get him off my back. I knew he definitely had it out for me.
The Friday following that incident, I was in the class during the break time. I hardly ever went out for break. This boy came in from playing football. He went out of his way to step on my feet as he walked by.
Knowing he was only interested in mischief-making, I ignored him. He walked past me and stopped. He walked back and asked me why I kicked his leg.
I laughed and ignored him. He tapped me on my shoulder and started to get louder. He was making a scene. At first, I remained silent, but when I saw he was looking to walk over me, I had to stand up to him.
I got out of my chair and stepped right into his face. He was a couple of inches taller than me and did tower over me. It took a lot of courage for me to keep responding to him.
At this point, the class had gathered around us. Ruth and Naomi came in right about this time. Ruth tried to defuse the situation but he was having none of it. He kept getting in her face and using cuss words at her.
When I tried to get him to leave her alone, he decided to get physical with me. I saw him lift his hands to either shove me or punch me. I am still not sure.
All I know was that in the slowest of slow motions, I saw Naomi raise her left hand and punch him square in the face. He collapsed in a heap and the whole class screamed.
Quickly, some people helped him up. In one instant, the fight was over. As much as he tried to fight back, his friends and other classmates held him back. They wouldn’t let him fight a girl.
By the close of the school day, the story had spread around the school. He would forever be known as the boy that was floored by a girl with one punch.
From that day on, Ruth had it on for him. Whenever a teacher asked her to write down the name of noisemakers, his name was number one on the list. If she was asked to pick students for menial work like cutting grass or washing the toilet, she picked him first.
At a point, before his name was even called, he would already be standing up. She really did him in. Every teacher just assumed he was one of the troublesome kids and treated him as such.
After that incident, he never messed with me again. But I knew that he had deep seethed hatred for me. But why should I care? As long as I had my Ruth and Naomi, there was nothing for me to be scared of.