Peace is a high school- level educator and a writer that is dedicated to creating engaging contents for online platforms.
An indisposed student, May was being carried by several students to their matron's house at about midnight on a certain day. Some of them were weeping while the others were yelling at each other as they were carrying the girl along.
As usual, the matron who was deep asleep was woken up by the extraneous noises even before the students could get to her house. She groped in the dark for her rechargeable lantern as there was no power supply.
She was panting as the students came knocking at her door.
"What is it again?" Asked the matron as she opened the door.
"A student is in a state of coma", they chorused. On hearing the students' comment the matron said: " I hope you're not blowing the illness out of proportion?"
She became traumatized when she sighted the unconscious girl being surrounded by other students. She then ruffled the girl, touched her body, and placed her hand in the girl's chest to feel her pulse.
"Her heart's still beating and her body is not hit. What happened to her "? She asked.
"Call me the Janitor and Mrs. Ogah the newly wedded female teacher", said the matron as she rushed back inside to put on her dress and get her car key.
A few minutes later, she came out with her dress work inside out and put on two different footwears. Indeed, she was highly upset.
The students looked at her dress and winked at each other
"Where are the people I sent for?" asked the matron.
Mrs. Ogah said " my husband regrets he cannot release me because we are on honeymoon", chorusing the students humorously.
" What?!!! Are you kidding? Well, that statement has an undertone of romance", she murmured. "Where is the janitor?" She asked.
"He is groaning at the gate. He says he fell into a pit and had a dislocation while pursuing a suspected thief around the administrative block" says the senior prefect.
"Hmmm! Even the janitor has become a part of the problem. Sometimes, you cannot take his YES for an answer", said the matron.
The matron then entered the car and asked the students to carry the unconscious girl into the car. This was fine and three other students entered the car at the request of the matron.
The matron turned in the ignition key, but the jalopy would not start.
"All of you should push the car," said the matron. They pushed and pushed but the car simply jerked and stopped. She then brought out her phone from her handbag and checked the phone number of the father of the indisposed girl.
"Network busy! Network busy! Network busy!!! Shit", she yelled.
She looked at her phone screen and said "Jesus! The time is quarter past twelve".
"No other vehicle in the school premises, no network service, no sickbay, no nurse, no school Van, no this, no that"!!! Said the frustrated and devastated matron. The absence of mobility is exacerbating students' health, she said.
"Is this what the previous matrons passed through? Yesterday, it was Gertrude with typhoid and malaria; today, it is May, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, the story is always the same. Emergency cases all the time. When will I get respite from all this?"
"I am always on duty twenty-four hours every day even when the nation sleeps. All these problems make my head reel", said the matron." Now I know! Now I know why no matron waves to live in the school compound", she said.
She again placed her hand on the chest of the girl, who was extremely debilitated by an unknown illness to feel her pulse.
"Carry her to my parlor", she instructed the students. In the parlor, the girl was laid in a mattress placed on the floor.
Begin to pray for her, everybody. Pray, pray!!! Asked the matron.
Some prayed while others spoke in tongues ``Back to sender,..." " We bind the demons, Satan, marine spirits and we cast them into the Red Sea''. "Any tree that is not planted by the heavenly father just he uprooted. Sickness and diseases are part of such a tree. We uproot and cast them into the Holy Ghost fire in Jesus' name, Amen, they prayed.
One of the students whose eyes were tightly shut, with a veil on her head exposing her teeth with tightly stretched out lips and half-smile, which a new convert might term: " the smile if a mad person", started interpreting the tongues'.
"Ummm! I can see black liquid flowing in your body, May, in place of blood. Who has done this to you? But behold, you will not die but live because you have been healed by the Living God", said the interpreter, as the rest of the students listened with rapt attention and answered with a loud A-M-E-N!!!
She continued her interpretation. " The spirit has asked me to warn us against saying" back to sender" in healing prayers like this. This is because, if the sickness is the cause of her sickness, and you say " back to sender", she may never survive that illness because the curse will go back to her as God answers prayers", age added. The Bible says " The Holy Spirit teaches us how to pray, for we do not know how to pray as we should". Therefore, let us ask the Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray.
Hardly has she finished relaying the above divine message when a student who doesn't believe in miracles says: "Jesus! May (the sick girl) is healed.
They all opened their eyes only to see May sitting upright on the mattress.
The matron saw her, called her and she answered. She walked up to her, carried her on her lap, and continued praising God, adding: " My dear, you will not die young, your miraculous recovery has given me a new spirit of confidence, I thank God for your resilience.
"Otherwise, what would I have told your parents, the press, the government, the police, the staff?", She asked.
"God thank you for not forsaking me and failing me" She prayed.
May asked for food and water. The matron quickly ran to the kitchen to bring water, a cooler of rice, plantain, chicken, and stockfish.
As she was eating, other students were salivating and gazing at both her mouth and the food. She ate a little and was satisfied. The other students quickly grabbed the cooler with the excuse of going to wash it only to consume the remnants in it voraciously within seconds.
The matron laughed and she then asked May to sleep in her room and the rest to go back to their hostels.
She immediately went with her housemaid to see the janitor at the gate. She has great empathy for all and sundry.
Later in the day, the school counselor invited May to her office and the following dialogue ensued:
Counselor: May, have you, parents, if so, what do they do for a living?
May: Yes, I have. My father is a retiree while my mother is a school teacher.
Counselor: (Nodded her head) " I see. Do you have a health problem?
May: Not quite.
Counselor: Come on, don't hide anything from me. I'll keep everything you tell me a secret. Open up, May.
May: Aunty, you know I returned only last Monday, three weeks after the resumption. My parents had no boarding and school fees, not even pocket money to give me. They only gave me transport fare. My father retired six months ago and had not been paid his gratuity and pension. My mum has not been paid her salaries for the past three months. My dad said I should not go back to the boarding school but my mum insisted I complete this session before withdrawing from the school.
Two of my elder siblings graduated from the university three and four years ago respectively and are still jobless. So each time I thought of all this and my imminent gloomy features, I felt a hollow sensation in me and I felt like committing suicide. And so, that day before yesterday, I decided to end it all by taking an overdose of indo…
Counselor: ( cuts her short). Taking an overdose of indo...what? May, listen, God loves you. Your financial problems are over. This is so because the government has decided to address all the long-standing issues. For instance, the government has decided to make education free up to senior secondary, reduce boarding fees by 50%, award scholarships to brilliant students like you for your undergraduate studies, recruit more teachers especially in the science and vocational areas, improve facilities and provide more infrastructures in schools, with effect from the next academic session. The government has also approved the payment of the outstanding arrears of annual increments, salaries, and allowances for elementary school teachers and to effect their promotion to retain the best hands in service.
Also, the government has approved the establishment of five cottage industries in each of the local government areas to absorb both graduates and school leavers. It has also promised to clear the outstanding arrears of pensioners.
May woke up from her sleep and found out that she had been dreaming. She looked upwards as if to see the Angels that brought the message through the dream and started soliloquizing.
" The dream looks so good, but what is the meaning of all this? Will this dream come to reality? Will the government fix the lapses in the society? Will jobs be created for graduates? Or this is another way of bolstering up my confidence? I need to know the interpretation of the dream and who can do that?" She asked.
Finally, she looked down and said "This dream must be a revelation from God. After all, I have never dreamt like this before. And she remembered the Book of Jeremiah 29:11, which says "I know the thoughts I have toward you, thoughts of good and not of evil, to bring you a future and a hope".
"Yes I have hope and a future," she said. To her, this is something to be excited about, because God is not a man that reneges on his promises", she said.