Life

Enchanté

I was sitting on my bed, feet dangling down. On my laps I carried a book. On top of the book was my open French test paper from the previous exams. In my right hand was a pen. But I was staring out the window, smiling dreamily. I was lost in thought.

From her bed opposite mine, Thelma refocused her attention from her phone. She was looking at me. Feeling watched, I glanced in her direction. Our eyes met temporarily before I guiltily went back to the task at hand.

”What are you doing?” she inquired curiously. I informed her that I was doing corrections for my past French exam.
“Since when do you care about doing French corrections?” she remarked rhetorically.

I just smiled and went back to doing my corrections.
“I know you love interacting with people and associating with them to make them feel welcome. You make them feel like they fit in; but with the French teacher, that was Way out of League,” she added. “You love him. The whole school noticed”.

Thelma was right. But let me take you back to the beginning.

The story begins in 2015, when I was in Senior Five. Our French Teacher was away on maternity leave. To replace her, the school hired someone temporary to teach us in second term. Teacher Brandon was fluent in both English and French. He was still at University, doing his Masters.

He had a striking personality. It also helped that he was 26 years old, tall, handsome and slightly dark-skinned. Did I mention the dimples? Well, he had cute deep dimples. Each time he smiled, we couldn’t help smiling back. His was a contagious smile. My only fault with him was that he gave very depressing ticks. The girls in S.6 didn’t like his handwriting on the board- not that their opinion mattered anyways.

Rebecca and I were the only students in class taking French. In the first week, I noticed that our teacher was slightly shy. To hide it, he was always on his phone when he was not teaching. To help him out, I was always active. I asked questions and gave answers all the time. He grew to like us and we adored him.

Rebecca brought to my attention that each time he came to class and said, “Bonjour Classe”, then she would know he wasn’t okay. But with time he would smile at a joke or comment….and by the time the lesson ended, he would be WAY happier.

Tr. Brandon was great in the classroom. He was professional and had great teaching techniques. Our lessons were very interactive. I loved the times when he told us jokes and stories about himself and his family in relation to the lesson that day. I looked forward to his classes. I recall one day when I was chosen to represent my school at another school. I was ecstatic until I realized I would miss a French lesson that day. I would have given anything not to miss a French lesson.

The French are known for love and romance. “Amour”, the French word for love, was once voted as the most romantic word in the world. Predictably, several passages, stories, poetry etc… in our syllabus were about love. That said, each time our teacher wrote words like ‘love’, ‘kiss’, ‘hug’ etc… on the white board; he would immediately rub them off.

Him: If someone passed by, they would be worried about what I am teaching you.
Me: But teacher, those words are in French. They don’t understand French.
Him: These are very common words. Everyone knows them.

Our last lesson that term was on a Friday. I was in silent mode. After class, I stayed behind and cried as everyone else went for break. Our female teacher returned in third term. Tr. Brandon got a teaching job with an International School.

Later after his departure, Rebecca told me that he had told her once never to let any man make her a mother. Not even after six years from then. Considering her beauty, that advice suited her best. But to this day, I applied the same advice with my own life.

There is a whole journal in reference to him from 2015. After reading through the pages, I came to the same conclusion as Thelma and several others had at the time. I loved Tr.Brandon. However, you would have fired about thirty bullets through my skull before I admitted it to anyone -let alone to myself.

The End.

Disclaimer: The names that feature in this story are fictitious. They were made up to protect the identity and privacy of those involved.

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8 Comments

  1. Julius Natuhwera

    July 29, 2022 at 4:48 am

    Most Student teachers have always been lovable. They’re fun and most often cute and handsome.

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      July 29, 2022 at 7:12 am

      Yeah, absolutely.

  2. Ayebare Patience Joy

    July 29, 2022 at 8:08 am

    And Tr.Brandon was there clueless about your feelings.This world!

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      July 29, 2022 at 9:56 am

      I think he was aware. Like my sister termed it, ‘The whole school noticed’. But, I guess they just cut me some slack. I never acted on the feelings anyways. The adults believed it was a crush that would eventually go away. It wasn’t just me though. Many other girls were tripping. Everyone was more concerned about me because I was the Head Prefect.

      1. Tukamushaba Godfrey

        August 28, 2022 at 11:43 am

        I wasn’t aware hahahaha…

        1. Echoes Over Coffee

          August 28, 2022 at 4:57 pm

          Lucky for me… hahaha
          At least someone in that school knew the concept of minding his business.

  3. Esther Byoona

    August 4, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    Amazing 👏 😊🥳

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      August 5, 2022 at 7:52 am

      Thank you.

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