I was still standing on the same s₱0t when I heard a unique sound that our wheelbarrow produced anytime it was being pushed,
Wait! my mum? How come she got back so early?
I raced to meet up with her and Carry the wheelbarrow, mama good evening, “I greeted and Carried the wheelbarrow from her,
How are you doing my son, ”
I’m fine, mama please am very sorry you didn’t see me in the market today, I was…,”
Nooo you don’t have to be sorry,” she cut in,
I understand perfectly, I know how stressful school can be, most especially the distanced ones,” she said and smiled but all I could see In her face was suffering and hærdsh¡p,
I pictured my mum when my dad was still alive, her skin was so glowingly nourished, though she was married with children but still looked very young and vibrant, I recalled those days she would be asked if I was her kid brother, I just wonder why my dad chose to go so soon, look what we’re going through now, untimely wrinkles broadly displayed on her face because of what she went through, “these thoughts made me moody, my eyes turned gloomy and ready to pour, what is it, my son,” she asked and that was when I came back to reality,
Nothing mum,” I said and feigned a lame smile hoping she bought.
She said nothing again till we fully got to our compound, I removed the big basket that contained pots and other utensils she used for the business and also a polythene bag that contained the things she bought, I carried everything in,side and hurried out to repark the wheelbarrow at the usual parking lot but as I got outside, I found her resting on the foot of one mango tree in the compound that we normally used as shed during hot weather, I wanted to carry the wheelbarrow to its usual position but paused when she called me,
Yes mama, “I answered,
Come,” she said and I knew from that instinct that all was not well,
I slowly advanced to where she sat,
Sit, “she said and motioned for me to sit next to her at the foot of the tree.
“Prosper,” she called again
“Yes mam, “I answered,
” having you as a son has always been my source of joy ever since your father died, you have been a child, a husband, and even a friend since then, every single day I want to pray, I would first start by thanking God for blessing my life with someone like you, because I know that my life would have been history if you weren’t here for me. Prosper, the pain of seeing you in a sad mood is far worse than the death of your father, that’s why I do everything possible to make sure that you lack nothing that is under my power, I have observed you closely with an elderly eye and I know assuredly that all is not well, now I want you to tell me everything, and hide nothing from me.
It was when she was done speaking that I realized that hot tears wear rushing down my eyes, her words were just so emotional that I couldn’t help but weep,
I told her everything that happened, starting from the masked man I saw in,side our house, how he made us unconscious, and how I woke up and find myself on the floor.
Hmmm, she sighed and remained Mute for minutes,
Birsha, “I heard her say and wondered what she meant by that, what did you say?” I asked curiously,
But she didn’t tell me anything about what she said, instead, she told me to be cautious of everything I do from that moment on,
Let’s go in, “she said and stood up, I also stood and followed behind,
As we got in,side, she sat on the edge of the mat and told me to get the polythene bag I carried in earlier,
She collected it from me and brought out a nylon bag, then stretched it out to me, open, “she said and I loosened the tightened mouth.
Wow, my new school uniform, so properly ironed, thank you very much, mama, “I recited amid smiles,
Open this too, she said and handed another nylon to me, I checked and found the unique Bright future academy Nike air max, ohh, I’m so happy, I can’t even thank you enough, “I exclaimed and hugged her happily,
She also brought out one shiny black beautiful wrist watch and I felt like jumping,” for me too? I asked doubtfully.
“Yes,” she replied and I hugged her again, thank you very much, mama, honestly mama, word of mouth cannot describe how I feel now,” I would have been very curious to know where she got the money for all these but remembered the money I got from the money doubler,
I could still recall how happy she was that very day I gave her the money, though she yelled at me first for going close to a stranger and warned me not to try such again, still didn’t relent to express how happy she was.
“You don’t have to thank me, son, you know you’re my only son and I can do everything under my power to see you happy, and also you know you’re even the owner of the money.
Mama, for goodness sake, I’m very grateful, because it’s not every mother that would reason things your way, that’s why I always thank God for blessing me with such a wonderful mum, thank you very much mama” I recited and hugged her again, that’s me, I always liked hugging my mum cuz I found great solace in resting on her shoulder,
Have you eaten something since then? “She asked as we disengaged from the hug.
I didn’t want her to know I hadn’t eaten and I also didn’t want to lie,
MMM, ERM, I stammered not knowing exactly what to say,
Take this, I got it for you in the market, “she handed nylon that contained 4 egg rolls to me,
I will be outside cooking, she said and stood up to leave,
Mama, please rest a bit, you and I know you just got back from the market, at least rest a Little, “I pleaded but all my efforts were to no avail,
Don’t worry, I’ll be ok,” she said and carried out some foodstuffs, she walked in a moment later and carried the pot.
After eating one egg roll, I was already satisfied, I wondered what really happened, cuz I was thinking that I would be doing justice to all of them but just got stuck at the first one,
I managed to eat one more and kept the remaining two, emptied a cup of water in my stomach, and hurried out to help my mum in the kitchen, our kitchen was one little hut that was made of mud, it was so little that one would bend when entering in,side.
What are you cooking, “I asked as I entered and found her sitting on one little stool, she was removing something from the tray of beans on her lap,
Yam porridge,” she said and I smiled,
yam porridge had always been my favorite meal, I didn’t joke with it at all,
Do you like it, “she asked and I knew she was teasing.
No, I don’t like it,” I replied and she stared back at me unbelievably,
I love it, “I added and she smiled,
Where’s the yam, let me be peeling it,” I asked but she refused and said, “so you’ll waste it finish abi, just go in,side and rest, porridge is not that hærd to cook you know.
I insisted and told her that even if I don’t peel the yam, I was going to do other things. In the end, she gave up and agreed to have me in the kitchen,
After we were done cooking, she served the meal and we ate, to be candid, the meal was damn delicious, though it wasn’t prepared with quality ingredients but the taste was heavenly, that’s my mum for you, she never disappoints in area of cooking, I would always wish that we had enough money to set up a big restaurant. That would have earned us a big fortune.
After we were done eating, I stood up to wash the plate, that was how we did every time cuz we didn’t have many plates.
I didn’t forget to recite the country’s after_eating_slogan” THANK MA”
she responded, Thank God.
I checked the time and it was already 26 minutes past 7:pm.
My Mum left to have her bath while I went through my books.
I woke up as early as 4:30 in the morning, it was just so unlike me, my mum also was surprised when I greeted her,
His response was “good morning my son, Why have you woken up by this time of the day, do you want to sleep in class?
I reminded her that I slept very early yesterday and she bought the idea,
But I sure knew the particular reason I woke up very early, I was just anticipating how I was going to school that day in new outfits.
I joined her to do some of the house chores she usually carried out before going to the market.
I usually swept the compound evening before the next day, that had been my system for a very long period, even when I was yet to change my school,
My mum told me to be doing it that way to reduce the chance of going late to school.
Some of the chores she carried out before going to the market were warming the food, washing the utensils which she used for her frying business, and so on.
It was 30+ minutes past 5 when she was through and ready to go, (though I didn’t check the exact time) “mum, this is just too early, how can you walk along lonely streets this early, what if something happens to you, “I asked when she told me she was leaving.
” My son, you know there’s no way I can enter a commercial bus or bike with this wheelbarrow, so I have to go as early as possible to reach the market on time,
Don’t worry, nothing will happen to me, take care of yourself,” she said and carried the wheelbarrow that was already loaded up with all the things she needed in the market.
I sat on the tiny pavement and watched as she slowly hauled the wheelbarrow away, she was going very slow and lasted like forever before disappearing out of view,
I stood up, wiped off the strand of tears that rushed down my eyes, and started preparing for school, though I didn’t make haste as I normally did cuz there was still enough time. I started with brushing my teeth to having My bath and from there to eating and then dressed up.
when I was done, I checked the time and It was 37 minutes past 6, I sure didn’t make haste.
I gently Walked out of the house and locked the door with the spare padlock my mum brought for the replacement of the lost one.
I felt like a king of his own jungle as I walked all the way to the bus stop, who never feels that way in a new outfit. my air max was so good and comforting, my uniform was so perfect, credits to aunty Mira the tailor, she was such a talented dress Maker.
She was very perfect at the sewing of unisex wears.
That was the main secret behind her numerous customers.
As I got to the bus stop, I took a glance at my wristwatch, and it was already 6:43 am, the weather was still very cool and a little dark cuz it was just the beginning of a new dawn. not everything could even be seen clearly,
As I was still waiting at the bus stop, I beheld one big yellow bus approaching and flagged it down,
“Agberu, kote, abala, where you dey go” the conductor listed and asked using a street vernacular,
“Bright future bus stop,”
Oya enter, “said the conductor,
If you no get change no enter oo, “the driver echoed from the driver seat,
There were about 7 people on the bus which meant I was the 8th,
good morning, “I echoed to the hearing of everyone and some responded while the Rest didn’t, that was what my mum taught me to do, she said that I should never forget to greet my co_passenger whenever I enter a commercial bus.
Hey, I heard someone say and looked beside me, that was when I discovered I was sitting beside a female student, but I didn’t know which school she was going to, cuz she was putting on s₱0t wear and a sleeveless blue cardigan.
“Hi, “I responded,
Are you not a student of the bright future academy? “She asked and I wondered why she would ask a thing like that, well there’s no harm in agreeing to be in a school,
“Yes,” I replied and waited for her response,
“You must be a newcomer, ” she signified and I began to wonder how she got to know me too well,
“Yes,” I replied,
“Aren’t you aware that everyone will be wearing s₱0t wears today?” She asked and that was when I got her point, ”
“I am aware but I’m yet to get one, “I explained;
” Hmmm, just pray senior strika happens to be in a good mood today,” she said and fear gripped me,”
“Does he flog people that don’t have one?
“He doesn’t flog,” she said and I was beginning to get relieved not knowing that she was yet to complete her sentence.
“He strikes, that’s why he’s called strika “she sounded mean and I couldn’t help but trembled.
“What class are you in,”
“Ss1,” she replied,
“Wow that means you’re also a senior,” I appraised and she grinned,
“Seniority starts at ss2 in the bright future academy. “She stated and I gazed directly into her eyes,
“Are you also a student of the bright future academy?” I questioned surprisingly,
“Of course, “this is just my s₱0t wear,”
“Wow, it looks so beautiful on you, “I teased and she smiled broadly, no female would ever resist falling to this trick of telling them they’re beautiful, that’s how they were naturally fashioned, even if they tried to hide their feelings for the main time, they will still be smiling later.
Oya your money there, line by line, hol your change oo” the conductor shouted when we were halfway to our destination.
“Don’t worry, I will pay for two of us,” I said to her but Deep in,side, I wasn’t comfortable with what I said, I was just making an offer that would cause me to trek all the way from school to home,
The money I had with Me was just a go-and-come transport fare,
No other money with me and I was offering to pay for someone, hmmm, father Lord help your son oo,
She looked at me and smiled,” you want to pay for me?
” Yes, “I replied assuredly,
“Go ahead,” she said and I brought out the N200 I had with Me, the transport fare was 100 naira for each person, so I paid for two.
“Thanks,” she muttered,
“You’re welcome,” I responded and broadened my chin in a shadowy smile.
Oya bright future come down,” the conductor shouted again, we sharply got down from the vehicle and it zoomed off,
I took one last glare at the girl I was speaking with and discovered she was such awesome beauty.
Hmmm, looks like nobody even ugly in this school,” I said to myself as I observed her fair round face and the damn pink l¡ps, the tummy was flat while the chest was busty and the down backside was another thing to fall for.
I peeked at my wrist watch and it was already 7:07 am.
We entered in,side the gate, everywhere looked so quiet and deserted, Only the gateman that sat on a plastic stool by one side of the gate, “good morning sir,” the girl greeted and I also did,
“How una dey?, This one wey una come very quick, make I no hear any bad News oo, “he said and w¡dened his eyes jokingly, I knew that what he meant was that he wouldn’t want to hear that we engaged in any fishy activity as we came very early.
I didn’t know what to say, likewise the girl cuz she was also silent.
The school compound was such a florist delight, it was so wide, and the whole ground was covered with stamping German floors except for the little spaces that were left for beautiful flowers of different species. I also noticed the football field, had sprinkles of carpet grasses all over, and the distance between two goal posts would not be up to the normal measurement of a goal post.
Two Huge and long L-shaped buildings faced each other, I learned that some classes were just too many to be in one class so were separated into 2 or 3 different classes. For instance, Js1 alone had three classes, A, B, and C. The Wall of the buildings was painted with two colors, half of it from the middle downward was painted with brown paint while half of it from the middle upward was painted with Milky white paint.
There was a mini-storey building that was situated about 5 meters away from the two buildings that faced each other. That was where the principal and all the teachers stayed.
“Please may I know your beautiful name? I asked the girl as we were about to separate to our prospective classes,
“Wow, such a beautiful name for a beautiful girl,” I said and she blushed,
“Thanks,” she said and left,
I also entered my class with my everlasting suitcase, and that was when I got back to my senses.
Why would I be teasing someone that was in a higher class than mine,
Who knows if her age is even more than mine, “these thoughts made me regret every bit of the words I said to her, I wished there was something like “unsay” so I could just use it to delete everything I said to her.
As I sat down, I kept my suitcase by the side after bringing out a book for reading. I read for getting to 5 minutes when another person entered, it was the slim guy that always stayed in the class even during the break period.
“Hey,” I said to him and he stopped abruptly.
“how far na, he stretched out his palm for a handshake which I reciprocated politely.
Omo guy, your face show for this uniform oo, and your shoe even shine pass, “he checked out my outfit in admiration.
“Thanks,” I said and smiled sheepishly,
“You’re not only welcome but also feel at home,” he said and I was beginning to get happy,”
“Please when will the morning assembly begin, “I asked inquisitively,
7:30 he replied.
People started coming little by little and the class was even becoming a bit noisy, at 7:30 dot, the bell rang, which signified the starting of morning assembly, I quickly collected the morning assembly manual and headed straight to the assembly ground.
After the conduction of the morning assembly, the principal came out to give his speeches.
Good morning students, “he said,
Good morning Mr principal,” the whole students chorused in one accord.
We all know that in third terms like this, we always have lots of activities in hand, so I would like to inform you that we’ll be using the period we normally used for sports for other important training.
The future kids’ academy has yet again challenged us in a debating game, and we need to try and give our very best to win this particular one, otherwise, our school would be labeled a laughing stock.
The date is the 31st of next month which means it’s still about one month plus from now, it’s still very much longer but we need to start practicing to be able to select the very best participants that will go and bring home the Glory.
I would also like to further inform all the footballers and urge them to tighten up their training, The strong destiny academy has also challenged us in a match, and there are thrilling prizes to be warned, the date for that game is by 24th of next and we should also not forget the send-off of the Ss3 students, which also feature the welcoming of new students to this school. (interhouse)
So that Is by the way.
The principal ended his statement by telling us to always study hærder to make a bright future and then walked away. Leaving us in hands of seniors.
And Paul the ruthless one also happened to be there.
If you know that you didn’t come to school with sport wear, come out of this place.
He shouted with the long Cane in his hand and fear gripped me.
To be continued.