Hidden Dream – Episode 6
” Jared Zimba , come to my office I want to talk to you.” The commerce teacher called out as she walked outside of our classroom. She had given us a second test after the end of the topics and I failed them both.
It was now evident that I wasn’t a bright pupil in my class. I practically failed all the mid term tests and slowly I started withdrawing.
My friend John noticed how I was finding it difficult to catch up on my studies but I wasn’t willing to open up to him.
I walked to the business studies department to see the teacher for commerce.
After knocking softly, I heard her soft voice calling me in.
” Jared,” she sighed looking up from the file in front of her.
” Yes madam,” I responded standing a couple of steps from her.
” come on sit down” she smiled slightly showing me a chair across the table. .
” I have observed how you have performed in the last tests I have given to your class. Now I hear You have been through grade 11 before. I don’t know why you find the contents so difficult. Do you have anything you want to tell me? Are you having any particular problems with my subject?” She asked calmly looking at me.
I shook my head.
” what is it then? Talk to me Jared are you having any problems settling in?” She went on.
I looked down without words. She wasn’t the only teacher talking about my poor performance. I over head them talk one day when I was passing by the staff room.
“He seems like a good boy” one of the teachers had said.
” oh well what do you expect the boy is obviously a spoilt little boy who is used to having all the luxury and he doesn’t even understand the importance of being in school” another one responded.
” he’s probably a problem child no wonder they had to send him to this school. Far away from home and the luxury. Well they have not solved a thing as the boy is completely out of school league. He can’t pass a single subject even if he speaks very fluent and good English he cant put his words on paper.”
I had heard all the comments and I rushed back forgetting to go and ask for the teacher who told me to go and see him that day.
So here I was now in front of the commerce teacher and I felt she too had the same perception.
Deep in my heart I still felt confined and the fact that the past weeks I had avoided going near the dance club made it even worse. John had been dragging me to his club but I was always not getting used to being around them. Especially that all the guys in the club seemed so aquinted with what they were doing and all I could manage come up with was a simple box with a theory that it would kill a cockroach, as cockroaches would die when inclosed in a dark place.
Who ever gave me the idea, I couldn’t recall but when I tried it, indeed after some minutes a cockroach had died and I called it a cockroach killer. I recall how some guys made fun of my small project. John encouraged me to continue and I only went ahead because he stood by me and helped me out.
” I don’t know madam, I told her honestly.”
She talked to me for a while and told me she would give me some remedial lessons as she expected me to pass the end of term exams.
That day I left her office more drained than encouraged. Even though she was trying to be polite, I could tell her words somehow connected with what everyone was saying about me.
The following day was Saturday, so I woke up early and took my clothes for washing.
I had just finished hanging them on the line when I saw Ms Jere walk to our hostels.
I tried to hide lest she asks about my decision to join her club.
I ducked pretending to be doing something on the ground but yet again I heard her voice calling my name.
With Shame I smiled like a child caught in the act of something forbidden and walked towards her.
” How have you been?” She asked when I stood with my bucket close to her.
” am fine thank you” I responded not taking my eyes off the ground.
” why do I have the feeling you are avoiding me.? She asked a question that shocked me.
I was always running away from her but I had not anticipated she had seen me. In fact I even avoided Tracy, for fear she could bring the issue of me dancing.
It was like I was running away from myself. Trying so hard to suppress the desire to do what I really wanted.
” am not madam” I answered
” okey. Listen, I have a few questions for you so why don’t you go inside and put your bucket then join me in the Music class. I have some one am talking to but I want to see you before I go back home.” She told me. More like an order.
I did as she told me and went to join her when she was just finishing her lesson with one of the female students.
I watched her as she stood towards the radio player turning on the Music.. I knew the song playing, it was one of the best songs for a dance called Waltz. A very passionate dance that involved a powerful and emotional way of dancing. A woman would have to do a lot of throwing up her hands and bending her head whilst a man was to follow her moves and hold her close ensuring he connected with her every move and touch.
I recalled how the dance teacher at one of the dance schools I used to sneak to would emphasis to the guys to have a strong hold and follow closely the lead of a woman and avoid her body slipping off your hands and holding the lady close by the waist.
I was lost in thoughts when I saw Ms Jere walk to the centre of the room. She had the curtains to the dance class drawn.
For a minute I developed shivers thinking negatively.
” you know this song” she said. It wasn’t a question but more like a statement.
” what?” I asked surprised. How could she tell?.
” I have seen you dance before Jared Zimba.”
Now I was completely numb.
I was sure I had not danced since I got to that school so I wondered what her words meant.
” look, am just trying to help you come out of the shell. I know for sure when you open up even your academic life will improve. You have been hiding and suppressing your true dream no wonder even your brain will not be free to do other things because the mind listens to your heart.” She explained as though answering my questions.
I looked up at her amused. When she extended her hands towards me I was now practically shaking.
She walked towards me and whispered, ” I was once a student at Shine dance school and I saw you several times. That’s how come I know about you. The instructor there told me lots about you and when Tracy showed me and told me that it was like you were struggling to open up to dance. I remembered you.
Maybe you don’t remember me but 2 years ago I used to go help at Shine dance school before I got this job here. ”
She nooded her head when my eyes went to her face in wonder.
” if you know so much about me. Then why are you doing this? You must know that my parents won’t approve of this.” I told her almost in a whisper.
She smiled her red lips curving right in front of me.
“I think dancers can talk as they dance too ” she responded avoiding my question.
Reluctantly I took her hand and followed her to the centre.
“Am sure you have not forgotten” she smiled again.” Come on,” .
I let myself free and allowed her to lead then i joined in dancing alongside her. Her black frayered dress moving from one side to the other.
I was lost in the moment dancing with Ms Jere forgetting I was with one of my supposed to be teachers, the dance was so intense and captivating I enjoyed every bit of it. When the Music finally stopped playing I was panting heavily as she did her last stance laying her head on my hand as my right hand remained on Her waist holding her still. Her face coming close to mine.
I gazed at her for some seconds and she cleared her throat to bring me back to the moment.
” you can let go now” she smiled
” oh yeah I sighed pulling her up.”
” see Now, that wasn’t bad at all” Ms Jere announced turning off the radio.
” how do you feel inside?” She asked indicating for me to sit on a chair as she sat on the opposite side. .
I actually feel relieved, I acknowledged honestly
” Good. Now I want, No, am asking you to join the group we can use someone like you. You are already accustomed to the dances. I need you to help me with the other students. There’s a competition coming on in three weeks time and I want the group to go and participate. You too If you would accept.”
” I I don’t know,” I shrugged. ” am not sure I should do this. Besides I was told to start some remedial work for the subjects am not doing well so..”
” that’s alright. I know your friend John can help you with your studies, Tracy is quite good academically too. I will ask her to help too then I will see if i can talk to some teachers. I need the whole group training everyday for the next week’s after classes and the headteacher has given me a go ahead. I just need to talk to the class teachers and am sure they will understand” she explained.
” okey” I nodded my head and smiled for the first time since I got to the class.
She explained what needed to be done and I went back to the hostels just before dinner. I was almost jumping up and down with excitement. Everything just felt right.
To be continued
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