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The next day, I was a bit nervous when I got to school. I wondered what Miss Feyi would do after what happened the day before. When I got to class, she was there but she didn’t call me out or treat me funny so I chose to believe that she had forgotten. During our lunch break at 1:30, I remained in class as usual while most students were out. I had begun to bring my own lunch to school since I started cooking both breakfast and lunch at home. I had just begun eating when Miss Feyi walked into the class.
Maybe it was my nerves or the fear, whatever the case, I felt the food go down the wrong way and I began to cough. Miss Feyi quickly rushed forward, covered up the food then forced me to drink some water. After I had calmed down, she said ‘Why are you scared, Rita? You haven’t done anything wrong. Calm down and eat your food, okay? Everything’s fine.‘ Phew. I could breathe again. I was so scared thinking that I had gotten into trouble. That day, I didn’t stay back at school so I went over to Kemi’s school to surprise her and she was so happy.
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The following day, Miss Feyi stayed back in class during the lunch break. Just as I had gone over to the last row at the back, I saw Miss Feyi approaching me with a food flask, a spoon and a bottle of coke in her hand. She stopped by my table and she said ‘Miss Rita. You have a new lunch companion today‘ I was speechless. She turned a chair to face the desk where I was sitting and she sat down. I just kept looking at her. ‘Rita, won’t you eat your food?‘ She opened up her flask.
I remember what was in it clearly… White rice and pepper soup. She had taken a few spoons and I was still silently watching her so she picked up my spoon, put it in my hand, opened up my flask partly and said ‘Rita, eat now… or do you want me to leave?‘ I said ‘N-no. I’ll eat’. Few minutes into the meal, Miss Feyi said ‘Hmmn. Rita, your food smells so nice. I won’t even lie, I want to taste. Can I?’ I nodded so she tasted from it ‘Wow, that’s nice. Your mom made this?’
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I shook my head. ‘No? So, who did?’ I said ‘I did.’ She looked shocked. ‘You made this? How come?‘ ‘This morning.’ I said. She said ‘But how… Anyways, it tastes very nice. Wow. You’re a good cook at this age. Hmmn. I like you already oh.‘ She kept on eating from my own. She took out all the meat from her pepper soup (which was also very nice) and put it in the Jollof rice so we could eat it together after asking me if it was okay. By the end of that meal, I had fallen in love with her personality. She was so free and full of smiles. She made me feel so comfortable around her.
When we were done, she said ‘Thank you, Rita for this delicious lunch‘ and she left to prepare for her next class. I just kept smiling all through that day. I didn’t understand what someone like her was doing with me. Teachers always ate their lunch with other teachers in their staff room so it was a big deal for a teacher to go to class to eat with a student. In fact, I don’t think it had ever been done that a teacher was found eating in class with a student. I felt so special. The next day, I cooked a little extra and I dished out enough yam and egg sauce for two. For the first time in a while, I was excited to be going to school.
Read the next episode of Rita’s story here