Read Chapter One: Part 2
Continued from yesterday's post:
Lifting her head, her gaze swept the class. No one else seemed interested in preparing for the next subject. Not even the girl sitting next to her. She seemed rapt on a lanky male student who was telling a story. His hand and body movements as well as the jokes he cracked identified him as the class comedian. They’d had a similar boy in her last school.
“What’s his name?” Lara asked in a low voice. She couldn’t be sure Ada heard her above the raucous sound of laughter.
Giggling, the girl turned to look at her. “That’s Jimoh. He thinks he’s the next Basketmouth.”
With a half-smile Lara’s raised a brow in confusion. “Basketmouth?”
“Come on. You know Basketmouth?”
“Yes, I do.” She chuckled. “He’s good but not as good as a popular Nigerian stand-up comedian.” She tilted her head in the direction of some girls sitting in the middle row who’d been staring at her and not so nicely. “What about those girls over there?”
“Oh, that’s Princess Gloria and her coterie.”
“You know? Gang, Pack, Clique, Circle. Don’t mind me. I like big words.” Ada chuckled again.
Warmth spread across Lara’s chest as a big smile filled her face. She liked this girl a lot already.
“Is she really a princess?”
“No, she’s not. We call her Princess because she walks around as if her father is the Obi of Onitsha.”
Lara glanced at the girl again and she did have a haughty air about her with the tilt of her raised nose and the group surrounding her.
White paper planes making turbulent journeys above heads bobbing with raucous laughter snagged her attention next. Most of the boys sat on their desk instead of the appointed chairs, either cloistered in smaller groups or listening in on the more general conversation.
“I never thought so many people would sign up to take Geography this year,” Jimoh said.
“It’s because of the fine boy teacher,” another boy chipped in.
“No. You’ve got that wrong. I know it’s because of me everyone is in this class, because no one fine pass me. Check me now.” He started doing the vogue pose, causing everybody to break out into laughter.
“What is he talking about?” Lara asked, now curious about why the class seemed to be this full for an elective subject. Geography hadn’t been that popular in her previous school.
“Don’t worry,” Ada said. “You’ll understand when you see the teacher. He is something else. Half the class wants to be him and the other wants him as boyfriend.”
“He’s coming!” shouted the boy standing by the door and everyone scrambled back to their seats just in time to stand up as the teacher walked in.
“Good morning, Mr. Thomas,” the class chorused.
Lara’s breath caught in her throat. This was their teacher? It couldn’t be.
“Good morning, class,” the man replied. “You may take your seats.”
OMG! Lara couldn’t take her gaze away from the man who was going to be her new geography tutor. The world and everything in it seemed to disappear. Just him.
Somebody tugged her arm and she turned to find it was Ada. The rest of the class were now seated down. Her face burned as she picked her mouth off the floor.
“You must be the new student,” the teacher said.
“Yes, sir.” She swallowed. “I’m Lara Johnson.”
“Welcome, Lara.” His lips curled in a boyish grin with a dimple on the left cheek.
Her heart thumped against her chest and her skin tingled as if he’d reserved the smile especially for her. She couldn’t help smiling in return. Geography would be her best subject this year.
“You can sit down.”
“Thank you, sir.” Sweeping a hand under her skirt, she turned to sit down and caught the glare coming from Gloria. If eyes could kill, she’d be dead. She lowered her gaze and was glad to have her back to the girl. What was Gloria’s problem, anyway?
“Before we get started,” Mr. Thomas said in a deep mellow voice that captured the attention of the whole class. “I want to let you know that the registrations for the exam preparations tutorials are open today. If you’d like extra help with preparing for your finals, then get your name down.”
Leaning forward with elbows on the desk, Lara rested her chin in her palms and just stared at the new teacher. She’d had young teachers in her previous school, mostly Youth Corpers, but she’d didn’t recall anyone looking this young. Or this good.
He stood strikingly handsome and tall. They were all seated but she’d bet he’d tower over everyone around if they stood close to him. His skin, a dark, hickory-brown shade, contrasted brilliantly with his white shirt. The top two buttons lay undone, leading her to look up at his face.
With fascinating almond-shaped mocha-brown eyes, thick curved brows, balanced nose, full sensuous lips and square jaw line, his face suited the cover of a magazine. Model David Agbodji had nothing on him.
Her mouth watered and she licked her lips. One word whispered in her mind. Sexy. She’d heard the term bandied about by her friends but she’d never used it to describe anyone until now.
She’d never been more sexually aware of anyone until now.
The thought had her straightening her posture as her body warmed. She’d never had a boyfriend before, although she’d attended a mixed boarding school. Boys her age never appealed to her. Also her parents had been strict about boyfriends. She’d been taught that boys were bad and getting involved could only lead to trouble.
Her focus had always been on academics and getting great results.
All that flew far from her mind as she couldn’t look away, absorbing every word the teacher spoke as if he addressed her alone.
“My tutorial classes will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays afternoons. All those interested should register using the forms on the Year Twelve notice boards.” He placed both hands on his desk and leaned forward. “Next week, there will be a test, which will cover everything we’ve discussed so far this term.”
A murmur passed through the class. Lara insides quivered and she swallowed down the panic, surprisingly not at the thought of failing the test but at disappointing her teacher. She’d have to study extra hard this week. Of course, she’d be signing up for his tutorials.
“Sir?” A student at the back raised a hand.
“This is unfair. A week is not enough notice.”
“Have you been paying attention in class since the start of the term?”
“Of course, sir.”
“Then you should have nothing to complain about. If anyone should complain about short notice, it should be Lara.”
“That’s what I meant, sir. I was complaining on behalf of the new student. It’s unfair for her to take a test when she hasn’t been in class with us.”
“Well, let’s ask her. Lara, do you think the test next week is unfair to you?”
Copyright Kiru Taye 2016
Want more? Come back tomorrow for Chapter One: Part 4
Bound to Fate is out January 28, 2016
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