The Dean’s Office (Part 3)

Read Part 2 of the Dean’s Office

“Your phone is ringing,” I heard Jimmy from the bathroom.

“Please, who is it?” I shouted back.

“The number is not saved on your phone but Truecaller says it’s F. Smith,”

“Why would he be calling me this late?” I asked, more to myself than to Jimmy.

“Who is that?” Jimmy shouted, “Should I answer?”

I quickly dashed to the bedroom and almost snatched the phone from Jimmy’s hands. He looked up surprised.

“No, you do not need to answer that,” I said, almost out of breath.

The call went off before I could decide on whether to answer or not and when I looked up, Jimmy still had the surprised look on his face.

“Did you have to snatch the phone like that? Who was that and why was he/she calling you this late?”

“It’s nobody you know and I am not really sure of the identity of the caller. Truecaller does not always get the id right,” I answered as I regulated the temperature of the air condition, turned off the bedside lamp, went under the covers and prepared to go to sleep.

“Ok,” Jimmy said, not sounding convinced. I heard the ruffling of the sheets and felt him draw a little closer to me. He raised himself a little and kissed me gently. I felt his hand on my thigh too.

“Not tonight, dear. I feel so exhausted and I have a long day tomorrow,” I said.

“It’s been long since we got intimate,”

“I am sorry but I will make it up to you. I promise,”

I gave him a peck on the forehead and turned to face the wall.

Ha! Francis. That man is shady. Calling me at 23:00 GMT. I wonder what he wants. The last time in my office, he said he only passed by to see my pretty face and to take my phone number. How weird? Even though I acted annoyed, I felt flattered. That man has the guts and is not afraid to show it. I can still remember the smell of his perfume.

Oh, sleep! Where are you?

*************************************

The Dean’s Office

Waking up early to attend lectures as early as 7:30 am is not fun, especially when the taps are not running. We either have to carry our buckets to the ladies part of the hall to fetch water or go for the lecture without taking our baths. Boys do not complain much when they have to go through this ritual, on Tuesdays, when Dr. Osei is taking Corporate Finance.

“That woman is fine. Her! I swear,” Nana said, while we made our way from the ladies side of the hall to the bathroom.

“She pretends to be strict but I know underneath that show she puts up, she is all soft like wool,” Kojo responded

“She is so pretty and could easily pass for one of our mates in Level 200,” Percy added, when they had all started to take their baths.

“It’s her natural hair for me,” Keli commented.

“I think she is the whole package that is why I am putting in extra effort to not only pass her exam but to make it onto her honours’ list. You know she takes the two best students in her class for dinner each semester,” Nana said dreamily.

“I hear she is married with about five kids or so. Make sure you are not entertaining any thoughts,” Percy reminded Nana.

“That is not my problem. I could be her side guy or even a servant in her house so I could gaze at her beauty every single day,” Nana said while rubbing his hand on his belly and licking his lips at the same time.

His friends burst out laughing.

“Isn’t she the reason you all picked your buckets, walked several kilometres to fetch water just to look fresh? If it was a male lecturer, would you all have gone to these lengths?” Nana asked.

This drew more laughter from the friends.

“Masa (Master), it’s true that the woman is fine but we all don’t have a crush on her like you. Yours is not even a crush, you have fallen for her,” Kojo said in between laughs.

“But Charlie guys! Through fair of foul means, I need to make it onto that list. I will not only make it onto that list but will go further to be her side guy. In fact, who will come make we bet?” Nana asked.

…….to be continued.

©

The Dean’s Office (Part 2)

Read part 1 of the Dean’s Office.

Our home hasn’t been the most peaceful in recent times. It started when Shirley took that senior lecturing role at the University. The money she earns is not bad but we miss her presence at home – the kids and me. It was not as if we were doing terribly -financially- before she took that role. We were comfortably living on my salary and no one complained but you know women,

“Oh Jimmy, I need to progress further in my career. I can’t live on your earnings alone. I need to support the house too,” she said.

I knew a lot of lecturers who had very flexible work schedules and spent most of their waking moments consulting for firms but not Shirley. She is always the first to leave the house and the last to return at night. Her excuses were numerous,

“Oh. You know the Accra traffic – I needed to beat it,”

“The children can be a nuisance at times and my office is the most conducive for the articles I am reviewing,”

The children. They keep asking of their mother who is extremely busy beating all the traffic in Accra. I missed those days when she had no job in any formal setting. During that period, we had no business thinking of employing any helps for the house.

Now my advice for men who are doing extremely well – don’t let the women work, especially when the kids are still young. If she pretends to be angry, let her be. She will get over it in no time. Don’t fall for the, “Oh! I need to support the house” mantra.

“Jimmy, things will get better in no time,” Shirley reassures me whenever I start complaining about the limited time she spends with the family. As to when the situation would improve, I have no idea.

You know what? Now I need a drink.

*******************

This morning, I couldn’t help but reminisce over how drastically my life has changed. From an unemployed graduate and a mother of three, who solely relied on her husband’s income while spending every waking moment writing applications, praying over them and sending them out without any response. This happened until one of my former roommates encouraged me to apply for a scholarship which I did. Jimmy, my husband, had been the only stumbling block but I managed to push him aside.

The journey has not been easy thus, when I sit in my brand new Mazda CX -30, driving around campus, I know I deserve every bit of goodness that is coming my way. I could sometimes feel the stares of not only the students but members of faculty who probably do not understand what I have been through and I am determined to rise through the ranks. Being a professor wouldn’t be enough. Professor Emerita? Possibly.

A knock on my door jostled me out of my daydream.

“Come in,” I said.

“Dr. Osei, please my name is Bernice. I am having issues with the topic I chose for my long essay. I cannot seem to find any articles to review,” she said.

“That is why I keep repeating that you students need to start the literature review before settling on a topic. What if no one has written on that subject? Are you going to spend your remaining three months in school creating something new?” I asked.

Another knock interrupted our conversation and before I could respond to it, Dr. Francis Smith, looking all manly, walks into my office without an invitation.

“Erm,” I said looking at the student.

“Bernice,” she offered.

“Yes. Bernice. Kindly write the topic you have chosen here. Add your phone number and email address and I will get in touch with some ideas, ok?”

“Thank you, Madam. Eh. Dr. Osei,” she responded and hurriedly run out of the office.

“Great. And how can I be of help to you, Dr. Smith?” I asked while finally focusing all of my attention on him. Dr. Smith looked exceptionally handsome in his neatly sewn multi-coloured African print shirt with navy-blue pants that fitted him so well. The sleeves were short enough to show his proportionately built muscles. With my desk separating the two of us, he bent over a little which gave me a glimpse of his hairy chest. I could smell his perfume too.

“Ahem,” I cleared my throat rather loudly, “do you mind taking a seat, Dr. Smith.”

He did, rather reluctantly.

“You showed me how to get to your office but forgot to add your phone number,”

“So you came all the way here for my phone number?” I asked in disbelief.

“And to see your pretty face as well,” he added with a smile.

“Excuse me?” I replied. Not sure if I heard him correctly.

…….to be continued.

©