Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Ride.

Cover Picture for The Ride
Episode 1

Post-UME results came out and I didn’t make the cut off mark required to gain admission into University of Lagos. I was ecstatic. I knew that once again, my ploy had worked. I just needed to deal with my Mum.

Three days later:

“Nkechi”, she called out. “I heard your result came out last week. Why didn’t you tell me about it?”

(Listen to the Audio File here)

“I just got to know today. A friend of mine called me from the school to tell.”

“Just imagine. A friend had to call you for a result that your whole life depends on. Are you not a fool? I have told you; there is only a limit to what I can do for you. You have to take your life in your hands. Do not think that because your parents are wealthy, you have an excuse to be foolish or live a senseless life. I have promised to stop comparing you with my friend’s children, but you keep pushing me.

Just look at Tina, Mrs Okafor’s child, her WAEC result was flawless, she did not give her parents any stress or disgrace. She passed her papers in one sitting. But you? We had to pay for a special center to ensure you pass your GCE examination. I cannot wait for you to leave this house to the university before you bring disgrace to me in the presence of my friends.”

My mother was like this. There must have been something I did to her that I am not aware of. She complains about everything I do. She compares me to everyone: Her friend’s children, church members; movie characters and even my younger sister, who was just twelve years old. I never got it.

For a long while, I had imagined that that was how mothers were supposed to behave, until one day, in secondary school, I was in the boarding house and it was a visiting day. I had begged my guardian not to inform my parents about it. My Dad was always busy; he worked for the Federal Government and was out of Lagos most of the time. And my Mum; leaving Ikeja GRA to Queens College, in Yaba, was the world’s most stressful act. She would come and leave hurriedly as though she didn’t want to be seen with me in public.

So this particular day, all the girls in the dormitory were out with their parents except me and I was just fine with it. I laid on my bed and cast my mind back to all the stories my dad used to tell me and I laughed about the funny ones he told me about my Grandma. Then, I heard voices from the corridor, it was Ada and her Mum coming into our room, so I faked sleep. I did not want her Mum asking me questions but faking sleep was almost fruitless because it was clear that Ada’s Mum was not leaving the dormitory anytime soon. 

She sat on Ada’s bed and they discussed, giggled and laughed like teenagers did. Ada told her about our annoying Mathematics teacher and how she liked to say: Is anybody still carrying last on this topic. She always said this with a barricade tone that annoyed all of us. Ada’s Mum, laughed heartily and told Ada to pay less attention to how our mathematics teacher spoke and more attention to the contents of what she said. Then, she asked Ada about her childhood friend, Ikenna and if they still spoke, Ada smiled deeply and told her mother that she was sure she was going to get married to Ikenna in future.

It was when Ada’s Mum smiled at and asked me to join them, that I realized that I had been moping at them helplessly. I flinched and went back to my fake sleep. Ada’s Mum got up, walked to my corner and she said,

‘My dear, I could tell you were enjoying our conversation as much as I was and there is nothing bad about that. Please, come and join us, so that you can tell me if you also think mathematics teacher is annoying.”

I looked at her for about a minute or so and replied,

“She can be annoying at times, but I like Maths, so I do not care about her voice.”

She stretched her hand to me and I took it, got up and went with her to Ada’s corner.

“Oh, Mummy, do not mind Nkechi o, she is the only person I know who passes mathematics and fails English."

“So, the both of you will do something for me then,” Ada's Mum said, then smiled at me and continued, “Nkechi, you will teach Ada Mathematics and Ada will in turn teach you English. This way, the both of you can come out with flying colors and become very good friends.”

I smiled and nodded my head in agreement.

Then, she went on to ask me about my hobbies and more. She wanted to know everything about me. It was strange to see a woman my mum’s age that concerned about me. It was not a feeling I was used to; neither was it one I hated. I was overwhelmed by the little details she knew about Ada. She told me how Ada was as a child, what Ada liked and the name of Ada’s boyfriend. My chest was about to explode from love and admiration. How did she know that much? Did she really find Ada interesting enough to talk to?

“Do you care for some apples my dear?”She asked me.

I remembered my mother’s warning about me not collecting anything from strangers, but it was hard to say no to anything this woman asked me to do. I had never seen such motherly love before. So I nodded and she gave me three green apples and left the remaining two for Ada. She then told Ada to share the rice she brought for her with me and we escorted her out of the dormitory.

On our way back, I told Ada how surprised I was that she could have such intimate conversations with her mum, but she replied in a careless manner, as if it what she shared with her mum was totally insignificant,

“What is intimate about how our mathematics teacher speaks. Leave my mum jare, she likes to know everything about me.”

And that was how Ada and I became best friends and her Mother, my second Mum.

Ada is the most interesting person I have ever met. She was a bubbler (A big chick) in our Secondary school, she was famous for winning the Miss Scruples in Jss1. She always represented her house (Obasa House) in every dance competition and won, this made senior students like her and a lot of our mates want to be friends with her. She was the first person to smuggle a phone to the hostel when we were in Jss 3 and every night, she spoke to Ikenna, her hopeful husband.

During the next term break, after I met Ada’s Mum, my father was back from one of his trips to Abuja. He came to my room to have our usual chat; but this time, all I talked about was Ada’s Mum. I told him how astonished I was at the fact that she was interested in knowing everything about me and how I wished she was my Mum.

That night something went wrong in my home. I do not know what exactly, but for the first time, I heard my dad and Mum argue loudly in the living room upstairs. I ran to find out what was happening and my Mum gave me a very disgusted look and walked out of the living room. I ran to my Dad and strangely, I started to cry. I asked my dad what the problem was, but he just hugged me and promised that he will never let anything happen to me.

 *************To be continued*************

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  1. Good beginning. I'm hooked already

    1. It feels good to know that you like it already... There is more where this came from, stay tuned dear.

  2. I really can't wait to attend your book publish. I already got a special library waiting to host my collections written by you.