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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Leave Things As They Are Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Mbũrũ, Kenya Sep 5, 2006
Child & Youth Rights , Sports , Human Rights   Short Stories


“She just came to class and fell down,” answered Purity, her best friend.

“Just like that?” I asked feeling her left hand pulse. Everybody became silent as if I was talking in Greek. Unreliable helpers, I thought.

“Carry her to the office,” I commanded. Two boys and four girls obliged. “As for the rest of you, continue studying.” As I was leaving, it dawned on me that I had an agreement with her the previous Friday. I sensed danger.

While in the office, we conducted prayers for our sick patient, cursing the Devil for bringing this unexpected calamity into our school. My three other colleagues had also assembled but did not offer any help at all. They knew that I was a staunch church-goer, so ‘she was in safe hands’. Ten minutes of first aid and intercessory, she was still silent. I feared for the worst.

I unbuttoned her blouse leaving the bra in the full view of the eager spectators. On looking around, everybody was mute with hands on their mouths. I chased the boys who left mumbling. I again felt her pulse. Nothing. I stopped and shook my head. I called one of the girls and asked her to repeat what I had done. She, like me, was equally bewildered. A stream of cold sweat started flowing on my forehead. I was getting rather irritated by Nyambura’s situation.

The school’s Principal and his deputy were attending a two-week annual Principal’s meeting in Mombasa, so I was virtually in charge of the school. The rest of the teachers on seeing this excused themselves to attend to their noisy classes. I was not in good books with them since the reforms I brought to the school, in spite of my young age, and having been voted the best teacher for two years running.

One hour later, Nyambura regained her consciousness. I was so happy I almost hugged her but on realizing that we were not alone and that she was my student, I rescinded. She looked so confused and smiled at me. I feigned not to notice. The rest of the girls left on their own leaving Nyambura and I in the temporary sanatorium.

“What is wrong with you?” I asked rather shaken.


“Me? What do you mean?” I asked

“Remember what I had asked you on Friday?”

“What?” pretending to be amused.

“Teacher, I…I told you that …”

I covered her mouth. “Shh!”I whispered. “The walls have ears.”

She frowned as though not understanding.

“Did you have to do it this way?”

“Yes, to prove that you are concerned.”

“Okay, I love you too,” I whispered again.

She smiled and became more beautiful than ever. I made her hair and helped her stand up. “Don’t let anybody know about this,” I warned. You may now go to class.” She winked at me and left.

I was left agape not knowing that I was doing the right thing or if it was against my profession. In the media more and more teachers were reportedly getting intimate with their students at an alarming rate, as others were marrying them while still in school, therefore going against the teachers’ code of conduct. This was rampant in the rural areas where the education officials were not doing anything to counter the situation. I did not want to rebel against the code but I was in love with this girl. The choice was too hard to make.

When evening came, Nyambura was at my office again. She looked casual. I was a little mystified but courageous. “Nyambura, you must be feeling better now.”

“Yes mwalimu. This has been my luckiest day.” She cuddled herself like an immature girl.

I hated myself for being too naïve and easily allowing her into my life, but did I have another choice? I needed love since my previous girlfriend left me some three months before. I was very heartbroken.

“Don’t be too happy,” I advised, “Love is not as easy as A-B-C. I just joked that I was...” I stared at her.

“So you lied to me?” she asked with a cloud of tears forming around her eyes.

“What do you mean?” I enquired

“You told me…,” she startled amidst sobs “… that you love me!”

I just looked at her and asserted that I was aware of my earlier assertion but our age difference and my profession were things to look into. That did not amuse her. She went into a frenzy and uncontrollable crying. I stood up from my chair and hugged her young warm body. She leant on my chest and wept. I felt like a hero liberating a captured city single handed.

“Irene, this is the wrong place for showing how much we love each other,” I continued, “Why don’t we do it somewhere else, say at my house?”

Her eyes flickered.

“When?” she asked coyly.

“Over this coming weekend,” I added, “to be precise, on Sunday.”

“Okay,” an almost weak whisper came from her.

* * * * * *
Irene and I were intimate for over two years. I was sure that we would be married once she completed her secondary education, which was just months away. Her school work also improved so much that she was a leading student in her studies. This was not her effort. I was the one who assisted her. I would get all the examinations beforehand and photocopy them for her so that she passed. This eventuality, which I am paying for dearly, led to a web of puzzles.


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Writer Profile

I am a researcher on educational issues especially in the rural areas, with much emphasis on girls' education.

As a trained journalist, I have a lot of concern with the handling of the education sub-sector in Kenya and take a critical role in viewing the reforms currently being conducted to integrate education structures for the sake of the youth in Kenya.

One major aspect, sadly, is that Kenya has been sovereign for over four decades but has been the only African country besides Somalia not to have made education compulsory, free and basic. For Somalia it can be understood - the country had been in civil strife since 1992- but for Kenya the politics of the day have played a negative role in reducing the promotion of education to a system sheer competition, instead of progressive

Apart from that, I write fictitious literature.
Currently I am working on prose on love and betrayal and a collection of poems.
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