At The End Of The Tunnel – Episode 1
© Jennipher Duru
“My sweethearts please finish up your breakfast before you are late for school. Your father will be here in a minute, and if he finds that you are not ready, you will have to go with uncle Ben” Mama Stella said
Upon hearing this, Florence and Austin ate as fast as they could. They always wanted to be driven to school by their father because he would always drop by the bakery and buy them some pancakes.
“Florence, if don’t hurry up, we will leave you” Austin said as he finished the last bite of egg from his breakfast.
“Hmm, dad cannot go without me. He knows I am the last born” Florence teased her brother.
Mama Stella laughed at the two. Finally, the father came down from his bedroom, adjusting his jacket. Mama Stella stood up and helped him adjust it better. “You look so handsome honey” she said, gently pinching his cheeks.
“All because of you my wife. Thank you. And you young fellows, it’s time to go.” he responded. Mama Stella took her children’s bags and her husband’s briefcase and esc-rted them to the car. She waved to them and they drove off. She went back in,side.
The Kenta Family was a happy one. Mr. Brian Kenta was a successful Engineer who worked for a big Conglomerate. He loved his children and most of all, his beautiful wife Mrs. Kenta who was popularly known as Mama Stella. Mama Stella used to work as a nurse, until she had her second child, Florence. Her husband asked her to leave her job and stay home to take care of their kids as he promised to take care of the entire family. She was a good mother and wife. She was well known in the area because of her baking skills. She was also known for having a big heart. She had helped quite a number of people. She was indeed the pride of her husband.
The two had two children, Austin the first born and Florence the second born. Austin was 13 years old while Florence was 11. Mama Stella would have wished to have more children, but because of some major complications she had during her second child, her husband and her decided not to try to conceive again. Mr. Kenta and his wife had managed to build a good home. Mr. Kenta had built a big house where he lived with his family. He also had a few properties around town and had built a house for his parents in the village. Mama Stella had lost both of her parents and had two sisters.
“Put the water on the stove as I prepare the vegetables. We need to be through by noon today because I need to deliver the two cakes I baked last night” Mama Stella said to Nadia the house help. Nadia had been living with them from the time Austin was born. She was now part of the family as they all treated her with so much respect.
“Mama, do you remember the guy I told you about, who said he loved me and wanted to go and meet my parents? Ndella said
“How can I forget? Is he not the one that fell down in the gutter by the roadside as he ran after you in the market?” Mama Stella answered
Nadia couldn’t hold her laughter. She laughed so hærd that she held on to the pot. “I can’t believe you still remember that incident. Anyway, I was told yesterday that he got a young girl pregnant and ran away” she said
“Hmm. Really? You see what I always say about these boys and girls of today? They are in a hurry to experiment things. When we were growing up, boys were even afraid of looking at a girl’s p-nt. But these children of today have seen even more than their elders. My dear, wait for your time, don’t fool around with visionless men. Why is he running away? Let him come back and take responsibility. What was sweet has now become bitter” Mama Stella said.
They both laughed and continued cooking as Nadia continued telling her stories.
Mama Stella left her house later to deliver the cake to her customer and friend, Catherine. The two had been friends for years because their husbands were also very good colleagues and friends. Catherine worked as the Head Teacher at the Junior and High school in town. Florence and Austin attended the same school. Catherine and her husband had 3 children, two of which also attended the same school.
Catherine: Mama Stella! Always on time! You are indeed a good supplier. Take a seat
Mama Stella: Oh Catherine. You know that you are my best customer. At least you always pay in time. How is everything going?
Catherine: We are doing fine by God’s grace. I am sure our colleague will be surprised to see the cakes. She is a good teacher and I appreciate the effort she has invested in putting in place so many good programs for the school.
Mama Stella: You have done well to order cakes for her birthday. You are a good Principal.
Catherine: Thanks my dear. So how are your husband and the kids? I saw Florence the other day looking so beautiful.
Mama Stella: They are all fine. The kids were having their exams last week. Brian is fine too. By the way, I ordered two very nice outfits for us from abroad. One of my clients is coming from India, so I asked her to get me two of these. I want us to look different during the Couple’s dinner org-nized by the Company. Let me show you.
She opened her phone and showed her the picture of the clothes.
Catherine: My Gosh! Stella you are the best. I honestly can’t wait to see the look on their faces when they see us. I know exactly which pair of shoes to wear.
The two friends discussed for a while before Mama Stella left.
“Mummy, mummy, I got the first position in class” Florence shouted as she got off from her dad’s car. Mama Stella was standing by the door to receive her loved ones. She hugged her daughter with so much joy. “My Flora! Mummy is happy” she said. Austin was rather a quiet boy. He came down slowly from the car and also showed his result sheet to his mom “I came out first position too mummy” he said.
Mama Stella started dancing. Her children teased her and laughed. Brian was now out of the car. Mama Stella went toward him dancing to receive his luggage “Come and see what the Lord has done” she sang.
Brian laughed and hugged her. “Indeed. These children are really doing well” he said.
The children had their supper and went to sleep.
Mama Stella and Brian were also about to sleep.
Brian: Honey. I received a call from my brother Godwin. He says he wants to visit us this weekend.
Mama Stella: Hmm. But he was here just a few weeks ago.
Brian: Yes I know, but did you expect me to say no? He’s my brother
Mama Stella: I know that he is your brother honey, but Godwin has a very bad character. You and I and your entire family have tried our best to help him but he refuses and every time he comes to visit, he only brings one problem or the other
Brian: I am planning to speak to him seriously this time. Honey I understand you perfectly, but please just give him this last chance and if he doesn’t change then I promise you he will never come back here
Mama Stella: Well, alright then, if you say so. I trust you.
Godwin was Brian’s only brother. He was the second born in their family of five. His elder brother had tried all he could to take him to school so that he could make something out of his life, but it seemed to yield no fruits. He was 43 years old but still living in his parents’ house in the village. His brother had secured him some jobs, but he was always sacked because of his behavior.
He arrived on Friday evening. The driver had gone to pick him up from the car park. The kids ran to welcome him when they saw him. They always enjoyed his presence because he told them stories of the village and brought them wild fruits.
“Hello my little friends. How are you doing? Uncle is happy to see you” he said.
Mama Stella was in the living room watching TV. She stood up to go and greet her brother in-law. “You are welcome Godwin. How was your trip? How are mummy and daddy and the rest of the family?” she said as she helped him with his luggage.
“Everyone is fine. They all send their greetings” he said.
“Nadia….Nadia, come and help Uncle Godwin to take his luggage to his room” Mama Stella shouted
Nadia took the luggage to the guest room. When Brian arrived, they both talked about how things were going in the village. “Elder Mekas was ordained as the new chief for the local constituency” Godwin said as he ate his food.
“Don’t tell me! That drunkard! I wonder what is happening to our village. Does it mean we no longer have good people that can lead? Brian said, looking so surprised. Their discussion went on for a while before they both went to sleep.
Mama Stella woke up early morning on Saturday to prepare for a wedding she had to attend. She went to the kitchen to make breakfast for the husband and children before taking a bath. Surprisingly, she found Nadia and Godwin talking. She stood behind the door to listen to their conversation
Godwin: Eh Nadia. You are growing so fast every time I come here. How old are you?
Nadia: I will be 25 this year
Godwin: Oh really? So when is your birthday? And what do you want me to get for you hun?
Mama Stella interrupted them and pretended like she did not hear anything. Nadia felt guilty and continued her work. Godwin exchanged greetings with Mama Stella and, pretending to be taking a glass of water, he left the kitchen. Mama Stella starred angrily at Nadia. She decided to keep the warnings until she came back from the wedding.
To be continued
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