© Kemiliz Aiyemo Omotayo
Born into a morally and religiously upright family, Esther Aduragbemi was a definition of a chaste girl.
She had been shown the way of the Lord which she joyfully tread on with no iota of doubt that she might ever fall off the track. God forbid!
She had spent her childhood days in one of the remote villages in Ogbomosho, Oyo State. Her family moved to a nearby town, still in their state of origin when they had successfully completed their own building to a habitable state, which was coincidental to the period she finished her Junior secondary education.
Being the first child of a lower than average family of four, she had greatly learnt the value of contentment and had made it a point of duty to establish in her siblings as well.
Esther is the kind of girl your parents would always compare you to and would make it so clear they would happily trade you for her if possible. As a disciplined and intelligent child, Esther was the joy of her parents and was loved by all.
Her family joined the headquarters of their church in their new abode and it didn’t take a while before they blended in.
Each and every member of the family had joined their respective departments, apart from Faith, the baby of the house; while Esther fit perfectly into the teenagers choir.
Coupled with her self derived virtues, she was an epitome of beauty with a soul lifting voice.
Esther became friends with almost every of her mates, not because she really wanted to, but because they are so drawn to her and she felt there’s no reason not to as they were all in the same faith. One of her closest friend was Benjamin, popularly called Ben. He was the only son of the church’s choir director and was musically inclined.
Both will get to church for rehearsals on time, and while Ben played the keyboard, Esther would worshipped God with her melodious voice.
Don’t get it twisted, they had no negative thoughts or ideas, they were simply enjoying the moment in the presence of God.
Ben and Esther became so close and were soon referred as siblings when she gained admission for her senior secondary education in the Ben’s school.
Ben, an SS3 student, who later became her school brother did a great job in making her first year in school a pleasurable one. He had made her easily acquainted with the norms of the school and had protected her from the snares of the bad boys.
Although Ben had been her saving grace, but she would have done well for herself even without him.
By the time Ben passed out of the school, Esther had been fully grounded and still in the way of the Lord.
Ben left for Lagos thereafter, and Esther missed him a lot. They would always communicate via letters and sometimes through their parents phones.
Their parents however knew of their children’s platonic relationship and would sometimes joke about being in-laws, but without the kids awareness.
Everything was going smoothly well until that faithful day the principal had summoned her into her office.
She had felt something indescribable within her but she knew she had committed no wrongs. She had just been appointed as the Head girl but then, every step she took towards the principal’s office was as if she was walking into a Lion’s den. She said a silent prayer within her and hoped that God would save her from the impending danger she doesn’t even understand.
“Ko ko ko”
Esther knocked gently on the door and a voice, obviously the principal’s one asked her to come in.
” You can have your seat” Mrs Comfort, the principal said as soon as she entered while her eyes were fixed on the piles of files on her table searching through them.
Esther sat down silently for some minutes that seems like eternity until she heard Mrs Comfort said “Yes!” in an excited mood indicating she had seen what she wanted.
” Look through. Here are the pictures of the past head boys and girls of this great school in the last decade. They are all doing greatly well and I have no doubt you will be great as well.” Mrs Comfort explained.
“Is this all?” Esther thought.
She knew all of these and more, and she wondered why the principal was telling her all about it again. All the prefects had been briefed a day after they were appointed, and she, as an inquisitive student had made more and thorough research and was sure she has been deeply rooted about the information of the school, at least that which is relevant to her.
Esther wasn’t comfortable, but hoped strongly she was just feeling weird for nothing. She was in her free period before the closing time and the principal was aware of it as she clearly stated it before all her undesired explanation.
Mrs Comfort continued describing how this is practicing medicine already; this, an engineer, this, a barrister, this, just got admission into the university, this won a scholarship and many more this’ and that’s.
” Apart from these set of people, I have counselled more within and outside this school and I can proudly tell you they all are doing absolutely well in their lives.” Mrs Comfort continued.
” To be honest, most of my students are doing well, but those who are struggling are the ones who refused to follow my instructions. Those who rejected my teachings hardly go far in life an I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be among them” she added.
Without a word, Esther affirmed the principal’s words with a repeated nod.
” I really want to be a woman of influence” Esther thought within her and then she relaxed her body, soul and even her spirit to listen to the counsel of an intelligent and experienced woman, Mrs Comfort.
Mrs Comfort knew she had gotten her to relax and then she smiled within her, oblivious of the fact that it was visible on her face.
Esther saw the smile and was confused, thoughts of what she could have done to make Mrs Comfort smile ran through her mind. And just as this thoughts ran through, she felt uneasy again.
Her Spirit became restless once again and then she asked politely, ” why are you smiling ma?”
This question came as a rude shock to Mrs Comfort who did so well to compose herself with a wider and now conscious smile making Esther calm again.
” I have longed so much for a child, preferably a daughter. Although I still long for one even after medical reports have made me realize I can never have any.” Mrs Comfort said as a tear dropped on her right cheek which she quickly wiped off.
Esther felt bad. If only she had not asked about why she smiled, she wouldn’t have been the source of pain to this innocent woman.
She hurriedly left her seat and knelt beside her apologising for reminding her of her pains.
Mrs Comfort asked her to stand up but she didn’t. Esther felt bad. If only she had kept her long mouth shut, and she wouldn’t mind remaining on her knees if it would atone for her forwardness.
Mrs Comfort tried to raise her up and purposely rubbed her breast in the process.
She apologized immediately and Esther took no offense in it. Although she felt the touch was too real to be a mistake but she wouldn’t want to upset her again immediately after apologising for the first one.
Mrs Comfort asked her to return to her seat and while she walked back, she smiled again.
Mrs Comfort explained how she had find soothing relief in being around children especially helping them grow, how she is now a mother of many even if she’s a biological mother to none.
Esther felt spell bound to her words and outrightly promised to look unto her as a mother and never disobeyed her.
Exactly what she wanted, Mrs Comfort felt the imagined clicking sound of the opening door of Esther’s mind.
She offered her snacks and soft drink which was a luxury to her. She accepted it with thanks and soon began to gulp them down hurriedly.
Mrs Comfort smiled at her and she returned the smile with a filled mouth.
After she was done, Mrs Comfort left her seat and rested slightly on the table facing her.
” Do you know you’re a very beautiful girl?” She asked and Esther nodded.
Of course, she do see herself in the mirror and people often compliment her.
” And you’re not just beautiful but smartly intelligent, a balanced virtue that’s lacking in most young girls of your age” she continued.
Esther smiled and felt proud of herself. This remark coming directly from the principal was more than winning an award.
“Thank you ma” she blushed.
” You’re welcome darling” Mrs Comfort said as she stood up and patted her shoulder.
She peeped out of her office and realized the school is almost empty as it was closing time already.
She had spent more time gaining Esther’s confidence than any of her pupils.
“Now, back to why I summoned you; you already have two out of the three virtues you need to become great in life, your beauty and your intelligence.” Mrs Comfort related but was interrupted with Esther’s question.
” And what’s the last one ma?”
” You need to always watch, listen, get involved, learn and keep quiet” Mrs Comfort advised and was interrupted yet again.
” But these are more than one, and you said I needed just one more.” She enquired.
” Those are not the last virtue but the principles that will make you thrive successfully. And if only you promise to abide by these principles will I unveil the last virtue, and then you’re good to go.
So do you promise to stay true to this principles?” Mrs Comfort asked patiently
” Yes, I promise to watch, listen, get involved, learn and keep quiet and follow many more of your instructions ma.” She admitted.
“Good!” She exclaimed and continued
” You need to be sexually experienced and active to be a woman of influence” Mrs Comfort added.
To be continued…