THURSDAY EVENING RAGE (SHORT STORY)
This is a fictional story but it’s very convincing. I hope you enjoy it and learn one or two things from it. I welcome your civil reactions to the story and would love that you share it on social media. (Professor mentioned in one of the graphics is used in the American sense of a university academic staff, not just the Ogas at the top.)
Thursday Evening Rage
Juanita was in a murderous mood that Thursday evening. It had become a pattern at the same time every week. Thursday evenings were becoming her least favourite time of the week. She was so mad her chest was tight and her breathing hard. Someone clearly needed to be punished for what she had been put through.
She wasn’t about to wait for friends, so she trotted to her hostel, Herbert Macaulay Hall. She slammed the door so hard after she entered her room that her roommate jumped. The girl, Julie, who was about to leave for a date, exclaimed,”Whoa, easy! You want to break the door?”
Juanita’s reply was a scowl which Julie missed because she was taking a last look in the mirror. She turned and twirled asking Juanita, “How do I look?”
“You can’t be serious!” was the caustic reply.
“Someone is in a happy mood tonight!” she teased.
Juanita lunged at her but she grabbed her purse and dashed out, laughing all the way to the car park where her date was waiting.
Still fuming and unable to relax, Juanita decided to work out her bloody emotions on her clothes. Ironing was a good way to exert herself and deal with something that won’t cry out. She hoped she would be tired and calm enough to sleep when she was done. Supper was off tonight. Who eats when they are this angry, she wondered.A lot can happen to anger you each day but you have to set boundaries for the anger. Click To Tweet
She brought out a pile of clothes she had washed earlier in the week and commenced the process of exhausting herself on them. There was a knock on the door to which she did not respond. The knocker let herself in anyway. It was Brenda, her classmate and neighbour from two doors away. Since Juanita’s bed was covered with clothes, she settled herself on Julie’s bed.
Bad timing, Juanita thought, and continued her ironing. She was in no mood for small talk, so she ignored Brenda and her chattering. The girl was so nice she couldn’t take a hint, Juanita was thinking, till Brenda shook her shoulder.
“Thank you for listening to all I’ve been saying.” Juanita who only caught Brenda’s last few words missed the sarcasm.
“I said there’s no need to iron all these clothes at once. It’s almost 8 p.m., let’s go and get something to eat.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“Then just escort me. When we return, I’ll help you do the ironing.”
“My friend, go and eat if you’re hungry. I’m not going with you, period! You think I don’t know the only reason you’re here harassing me is because Timothy is not in town.”
“Ouch!” Brenda exclaimed.
That was awful! Juanita knew it but she wasn’t about to acknowledge it. She just wanted to be left alone and if that was what got through to Brenda, then so be it.
“You’re nothing but an idiot!” Brenda spat at her as she left the room.
Juanita suddenly felt drained. It was true Brenda spent an awful lot of time with her boyfriend, Timothy, but she was a good friend. She was good company – smart, funny and beautiful. And she did hang out with her most of the time when Timothy travelled. She had just hurt a dear friend because she succumbed to her Thursday rage yet again.Words spoken in anger are often regretted. Weigh your words carefully before you speak. #quote Click To Tweet
And it’s all the fault of that Philosophy of Education lecturer! Every Thursday, they strode over one kilometre under the hot sun to attend his class scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. He usually arrived thirty or more minutes late and kept them there till almost 7 o’clock talking all manner of stuff, including personal trivia like experiences from his time as a student plus domestic squabbles with his wife and teenage children.
The most annoying thing was that he never missed a class! He would be there religiously every Thursday, spend his alloted time and more religiously but he avoided touching the course, religiously too! Any other matter would receive his detailed examination and pronouncement (including political, religious and economic sticking points nationally and internationally) except the main subject for which they were there!
The majority of her classmates hailed him as broadening their general and current affairs knowledge and their enthusiasm egged him on. But Juanita felt that what was going on could pass for beer parlour discussion where lesser minds lap up what a fellow who buys the drinks pontificates. Some of the positions the esteemed doctor held on these issues, she felt, would fall apart under closer scrutiny in a rigorous intellectual discourse.
But more importantly, she didn’t think she enrolled for her degree programme to be taught general knowledge and current affairs. She saw teaching as her vocation and wanted to be adequately prepared for it. Besides, she was older than most of her classmates, being on the wrong side of thirty. She was better informed than most of them having worked in the university library for years where she picked up the habit of reading quality newspapers, magazines and well-written books on diverse subjects.
The death of her dad just as she was finishing secondary school had stalled her education and that of her younger siblings: two girls and a boy. She had been so thankful to get the job and with the little pay, she had helped her mum see her younger ones through primary and secondary school. She had also saved for furthering her own education. When her immediate younger sister got married three years back, she decided to seek admission into a university to pursue her dream. And there she was, having someone foul up her mood by spewing highly debatable opinions as gospel on all kinds of issues.
(Related: “Not My Portion!!!” – Short Story)
She had wanted to skip the classes and buy some books to prepare for the exams (which were fast approaching) but, wait for it, the guy took attendance and had a knack for giving unscheduled tests! But none of these things could excuse her nastiness to Brenda, she told herself. An apology was in order even though the Brenda she knew would probably stop by on her way from Mama Gertrude’s (the nearby haunt for hungry students) to see how she was doing.
She further reasoned that she needed to quickly devise a plan for going through Thursday evenings without feeling homicidal or having a splitting headache. She would buy cellular data for her phone so she could sit at the back row and surf the Internet, even if it meant visiting comedy pages on social media. She would wear an earpiece to channel the sound but would feel free to laugh. Since laughter was common in the classes, the lecturer would be none the wiser, she figured. If I’m going to spend the hours laughing, I’ll be better off sourcing my own entertainment because what is going on in those classes is not funny at all.
She could also use the time to copy the notes for the Social Studies lectures she missed on Wednesdays due to a clash in the timetable. And for variety, she would have some colourful magazines handy, say fashion mags, to look at styles for her customers because she did some tailoring in her spare time to get spending money, a skill she had picked up while staying with her aunt as a teenager.
There! It was all settled. Nobody was going to waste her time anymore, not even on Thursday evenings! And believing that she’d got a solid handle for preventing her weekly fury, she felt she deserved a hearty meal. So off to Mama Gertrude’s she went to treat herself and make up with Brenda.
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2019
Hi! I would love to chat with you.
**Is there something that really makes you mad often? What is it and how do you handle it?
**What is your relationship with your lecturers or students like? Can you speak frankly to one another?
**What do you think of Juanita’s ideas for enduring her Thursday evening classes? Perhaps, you can give her what you consider better suggestions.
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