Deep Sea Episode 2**
“Will you visit if they post her to one of those remote villages?” Gift hissed and decided not to respond. Her family rarely traveled, except during the Christmas holiday. They sometimes travelled home to Esan Central to visit her grandparents. But, they don’t spend more than a week there.
She had never been to any other part of Nigeria and now that her elder sister had been posted to the capital city for her NYSC programme, she would vist her as much as possible. She hoped to be posted to Jos, Portharcourt or Abuja when she graduated in three years time.
Those were the parts of Nigeria she had been longing to visit since she was a child. “Don’t mind your brother, you can visit whenever you want.” “Thank you Promise, ” she smiled at her sister and stuck out her tongue at her elder brother. Prince eyed her and concentrated on the road.
His younger sister was a pain in the neck. He avoided her at school, but whenever they were home on vacation, he had to endure her presence. As far as he was concerned, last borns were pests. The sooner he graduated, the sooner he could leave home and start his own life. He had two sessions more before he completed his tertiary education.
Promised closed her eyes and leaned back on the leather car seat. She had never been to Abuja. Since she had been posted, she had googled about Abuja almost everyday, trying to find out as much as she could about the place. She wondered where her place of primary assignment would be.
She doesn’t mind teaching a bunch of students but she would prefer serving in a communications company, be it telecoms or any media houses. ‘God, you know my heart. You know my thoughts and desires. But not my will, let your will be done in my life,’ she said a prayer within her.
Prince drove into their compound at exactly 8 p.m. Promise and her siblings carried all the baskets, coolers, mats and sheets into the house, while their father shut and locked the gate. His wife waited for him and they went into the house together. It had been a good day.
Promise stood under the torture of the morning sun and tried to get a cab to work. Unlike Lagos, cab fares in the capital city was fairly cheap. She would have opted for a bus, but she wasn’t accustomed to the buses and their routes.
Taking a cab to work and back was the best she could do at the moment. She was headed for Government Secondary School in Garki. She had been a bit disappointed when she found out that she was going to be teaching. How she wished she was posted to NTA or somewhere else. ‘Where are all these crazy cabs going?’ She said to herself. She had been waving, but they didn’t stop. She would get to work late if she didn’t get a cab on time. The self-contained apartment she shared with three other corpers was a stone throw from the bus-stop.
She met the girls when she arrived at the camp and had found out that their place of primary assignments were also in some Secondary Schools in Garki. The schools they were all posted to had made no provision for accommodations for them. They had gathered the little money they had and rented a self contained apartment in Area 1, Garki. The landlord had been lenient enough to collect four hundred thousand naira for a full year.
The other houses they had surveyed were more expensive and their owners wanted two years rent. Where would they get that kind of money from? The money she had left might sort her out for the rest of the month, but she hoped that the government would pay them promptly and not delay their monthly allowance.
The Secondary School she had been posted to had made no provision for monthly stipends. She wondered if the principal was siphoning the Corpers’ fund allocated to the school and transferring it into his own pocket. If she ran out of cash, she might have to call home. That would be her last resort. She doesn’t want to disturb her parents with her needs.
They had a company to run and two extra mouths to feed. Her siblings were a handful. She hoped to get a good job after her service year. She would be able to support her parents and also take care of her siblings.
She wanted her parents to eat the fruits of their labour before they began to age drastically. An hour later, she walked into the school compound and sighted the principal, Mallam Bature, speaking to some of the corpers. Every morning, he stands at the school gate immediately after the assembly and any corper that came late was given a stern lecture about punctuality and discipline. ‘Doesn’t he ever get tired?’ She groaned and joined the others.
The school had made no provision for accommodations and monthly stipends for them, yet, they want them to resume work early.
That was slavery! According to her anyway. Promise went straight to the staff room the moment the principal was through with them. She needed to go through her time-table and make some changes. She cannot afford to teach every single day,TBC