The teacher rescued me.

My secondary school days were sort of miserable in the beginning. I was at the bottom of the class in most subjects. There was no wind in my academic sails.

While the lads in the hood jeered at me for attending a low-class school, the big dudes in school bullied me for being ‘the little kid.’

Maybe, I just got to quit school. This might prevent mom – a single parent – from throwing her hard-earned money away. So I thought.

One day, I wrote mom an SOS letter. Begging her to let me quit to save me from further humiliations.

The following week, we had new teachers who were young and full of life. One of them was Ms Ayensu-Gyimah, the new blood to teach us textiles. She had a petite kind of Jheri curls, and she was tough enough to put the miscreants on a leash.

During classes, I only scribbled in my notebook. I never participated in any class discussions. So Ms Ayensu-Gyimah named me ‘the stenographer.’

We wrote her first exams. The following term, when she marched in, her cold stare brought a deafening silence. Trouble was looming over the roof without a ceiling.

“Your results are disgusting, to say the least,” She said. “You’re going to make my work extremely difficult. However, one student performed exceptionally well.” Then she mentioned my name.

The teacher shaped the future.

Ms Ayensu-Gyimah began seeing the potential in me. I was no longer ‘the stenographer’ but her favourite student – the lighthouse she used to show others the way.

Some days, she bought food for me and financed my school assignments because I couldn’t afford them.

During our final exams, she’d pussyfoot into the exam hall and pat me at the back. She assured me the sun would shine whether it rained or not. And even on cloudy days, there’d be light to guide me.

Ms Ayensu-Gyimah saved me from bowing out of secondary school. Her kindness lit me up.

Eventually, I became one of the best students in the school, with many honours pinned to my chest.

I passed well enough to be accepted into college, where I continued to receive her support.

“When you finally find yourself a girl… of course, you’d get a nice one… make sure you love her with all your heart,” She said to me in a telephone conversation.

Lamentably, this was the last conversation we had before I lost contact with her.

“Love reigns when we open our doors wide enough for the wind to seep into the depths of our beauteous heart.”

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