I was angry and wanted to react, but one thing I have been taught well not to do is fight a woman. I wasn’t going to attack her physically nor verbally. “Daniella, you can be angry all you want, but you are overstepping your boundaries. I don’t know what I have done to you and if I have, just be straight with it and stop feeding on my affairs…” I said calmly but authoritatively as possible. No one was in the class yet so I wasn’t contemplating on my diction. I have had it up to the brim and there was little or no room for her nonsense. All this while, she never said a word. She was just waiting patiently for Prudence to leave. When it was clear that Prudence was far gone, she sat down. “Saint… Please sit down. I want us to talk…” She said politely to my amusement. Since I knew her from a distance, she had never been that polite and humbling. It took me by surprise but I sat anyway.
“The fact is, I don’t hate you, but the world wants to see me hate you. I’m trying to appear strong and firm. My words has been law to the girls until yesterday. I felt undermined and disrespected. All that I said was out of anger and sincerely not true. Please you must understand where I am coming from…. ” She said and was touching my hands softly. I was becoming very uncomfortable and sweat started forming on my forehead. I couldn’t tell if she was playing “mind games” with me or she actually meant what she was saying. I have known her from a distance enough to know that she could be witty. Instead of just swallowing everything hook and line, I decided to advise her and bargain as well. “You don’t owe anyone strength nor firmness among others. Your ability to accept that you are weak sometimes and wrong sometimes is strength enough. I do have nothing against you as a person and the words you’ve used are hurting but I am surely putting them behind me. On the condition that you accept to join the class… ” Truth be told, I didn’t know where the words and confidence came from but I didn’t stammer, I didn’t hesitate, I just poured out the words. She turned sharply to look at me carefully. Probably she was surprised I could talk with such clarity and coherence. “Saint, that’s what I want you to understand. What do you think people will say when all of a sudden they see me going for extra classes with you? They will conclude that I’m stupid. I don’t want anyone to look down on me.” She explained. Throughout our conversation that morning, it was clear to me her life is controlled by public opinion. She always wants to be feared, respected and loved. In trying to find solutions, we agreed on a time where most people would have left the campus and a location a bit farther from the seniors’ block.
She told me a little about her upbringing and the environment she was born in so I really understood why she was a “misfit” in the school. “Saint, I have to go before the others come and start poking their nose into us.” She said as she dusted her sandals. The sentence stroke a cord in my memory. I knew I heard a similar sentence earlier but I wasn’t sure. I thought about it a little and I remembered I heard same sentence earlier when I was going to take my bath. I didn’t realize earlier but after she said that, I could identify a little similarities between the voice I heard and hers. As I was still analyzing the fact that she could be the one, she stood up and extended her hand in an effort for us to bury the hatchet. She was a little tall so I stood up as well before I could shake her hand. A simple handshake became longer than expected then she opened her arm to signify that we should hug. I was hesitant because she could be cooking up something against me. Her behavior was just too strange. As innocent as I was, I gave in, and hugged her briefly. While we were at it, Lordina walks in and saw us. We were not completely out of each other’s arm so anyone who saw us might conclude we were kissing hastily and stopped. She didn’t enter the class, instead she walked back with one word, “Sorry”. Unlike me, Daniella just smiled and walked away, showing no concern at all. I tried to go after Lordina but she was far gone. I didn’t want to ruin our relationship or friendship before it even started.
When I was still figuring out a way to make right Daniella’s deliberate attempt to implicate me, I remembered Prudence needs an apology as well and I had to listen to her Confession…. (Story Continues)
_______________________________ Written By: *Benard Makafui Mordedzi*