Your 1 Stop Online Story Hub

Wednesday, 26 September 2018


One month after, at about after two o'clock in the mid-night. Nnenne was already asleep like a log of wood, while her mother sat at the edge of the mattress, counting the money they had saved so far. It was a sum of twenty thousand naira. She used an elastic band to hold the notes together and placed it on the bed.
"Wake up!" she tapped Nnenne's leg.
"Hmmm...Yes Mama" she muttered, scratching her neck.
" Nọdụ ala —Sit up. I want to talk to you" her mum said, folding her hand on her breast.
"Mama, Odikwa mma ? What's the matter?"
Mrs George took a deep breath and continued:
" Chineke dị anyị mma —God has been good to us"
"We've been able to save enough money for you to resume school."
"So you'd be leaving first thing tomorrow morning" she said.
The sleep vanished from Nnenne's eyes like a bursted bubble and her brows knitted. She didn't feel comfortable leaving her mum alone, not in this condition. She knew she wouldn't be able to change her mother's mind but she tried anyway.
"Ah! Mama I can't go now"
" gịnị mere ?—Why?" Her mum asked, puzzled.
"Because I can't leave you right now. And if you give me all the money we've saved, for school, you'll have nothing left. Rather when we've saved enough for both of us and I'm sure you'd be fine alone, then I'd leave for school" Nnenne explained, rubbing the back of her neck
" Abeg jhor ! that's not an excuse. You've already missed a lot, you can't miss any further" her mum pointed out
"Don't worry about me, I can take care of myself"
"But Mama—" Nnenne tried protesting but was cut short
"—Don't "Mama" me anything, you're leaving for school first thing tomorrow morning and that's final"
She glowered at her mother. Knowing it was pointless to argue, she reluctantly went back to sleep.
The next morning, Nnenne's belongings were packed in a big red and white ghana-must-go bag. She wore a red long sleeved jean shirt-dress that stopped below her knee with a black flat shoe that sparkled with red stones. The black belt in the belt loops just around her waist, showcased her wide hips.
She walked outside, carrying her luggage. Mrs George was seated on the kitchen chair, washing clothes and jerking her waist from left to right as she sang:
Aka Aka Ya (The arm of the Lord)
Aka Jehovah na ' eme mma (The arm of the Lord does great things)
Olu ebube ya (The display of His splendor)
Nke na eruari na' ebem no (I see all around me)
Isi iyi nke ndu (The stream of life)
Nke na dighi ata ' ta (That never runs dry)
Aka aka ya (The arm of the Lord)
Aka Jehovah na ' eme mma (The arm of His strength does great things)—
Nnenne watched her mother, grinning, then she cut in
"—Mama, I'm not happy with this your decision, but ana m aga —I'm going." Her mum raised her head, a cloth in her hand.
"I hope say you wear tight and you don stick the money between your laps, you know say you dey enter bus." She scanned her and pointed out.
"Let us not come and hear story."
" Biko —please, hair no dey my armpit" she held up her arms, showing her armpit.
That was Mrs George's way of saying, she had nothing left.
"Yes mama, I've placed the money between my laps and don't worry, I'd walk carefully." Nnenne grinned, wobbling her head.
"So how would you get to the Park?" Her mum asked.
Mrs George expected Nnenne to say that she wouldn't be taking okada. But she was disappointed. Her mum didn't like her riding on motorbikes. She feared it was unsafe.
This, she made clear in pidgin as she dropped the cloths and wiped her hands with her wrapper
" Abeg —please, you dey carry money oh!" She reminded.
"Rather take keke to the junction, then a drop to the Park"
"What bus do you intend on taking?"
"Edo line" She said
"No, instead take Agofure Motors" Her mum suggested
"It would take you to Ojuelegba "
"Okay mama" Nnenne nodded.
"Now, to a much serious matter" her mum said, as she approached her.
Her expression dulled and her face wore seriousness like a cloth. An expression that came on each time she was ready to give a pep talk.
"Nne" her mum called, her eyes moist, not with tears of sorrow, but of new hope and believe.
She pressed on "My greatest achievement in life so far is sending you to the University. With God by our side, we were able to raise money needed to get you to school and I'm sure HE would make way to settle the subsequent fees."
"This is where you set your path for life, so be careful with those you come in contact with. Don't forget where you're coming from and what you've been through. Tie the values I've been able to bring you up with by the grace of God, around your neck like chain and never forget them."
"And remember what I always say.." her mum paused, looking expectantly at her and then recited.
" Sexual sin is destructive and always hurts someone .." Nnenne sang along;
" It grieves God and deeply affects our personalities. " They smiled at each other, tears ran down their cheeks. Emotional, she sank into her mother's embrace.
This was a common quote Mrs George often mentioned to Nnenne right from childhood, so much, it became part of her and helped her to stay chaste.
"You know I love you Nne, just as I know you'd make I and your late father proud" Her mum said, her eyes closed with her head resting on Nnenne's.
After reveling in the moment for a few seconds, they loosened from each other and stared one last time. Nnenne wiped her mum's tears and picked her bag.
"Call me when you get there" her mum said
" Gaa nke ọma —Go well oh" the corners of her mouth quirked up in a smile as she watched Nnenne disappear through the compound gate.

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