It all stated early last year, I had just gotten admission to study microbiology. I was really excited. After staying at home for a year after secondary school, who wouldn’t be excited about going back to school? Everything was moving perfectly fine during my high school days, I wouldn’t say my parents were poor, they weren’t rich either, but we had everything we needed. Like I said, things were perfectly fine, we owed no one at school, church or at least none that I knew of. I had the best girl at my side to pose with in front of the boys in school, I had the best of grades and “boy I was enjoying every bit of it”.
On the 8th of February 2013, my father died. I never knew he had a heart condition, my father was just like every typical Nigerian man hustling for his family; he wakes up as early as 4am to prepare for work, he was a banker and as expected he comes home when the day is almost over. Sometimes I don’t see him for a whole day and sometimes the whole five working days passes without me catching a glimpse of my father. I thought he could never die. People like him? That was what I least expected, but then again, it happened and that’s one thing that can’t change. I remember that night, it was a Sunday night and the stars and moon didn’t appear, it was a bit windy and I swear it looked like a perfect night for children to listen and tell stories. We just had dinner and we were at the living room watching TV and all of a sudden he started choking and holding his chest so tight as if his heart was about to pop out. It was a terrible sight, mom had already gone to bed and it was just me and he. I was already dozing off but I saw everything happen, I remember it like it was a minute ago. That was the first time I saw a dead body, my father’s.
The death of my father changed a lot of things in my family, well family was just my dad, mum and I, I had no other siblings or relatives apart from my grandparents, my mom was an only child and my dad too. The first few months were full of nightmare for my mom. All I felt for her was pity. I practically couldn’t console her. I was in my last year of secondary school then and yeah it was a very big school in Surulere and a very good academically oriented school, there weren’t clubs apart from the jets club, mathematics scholars club, practical science club and then the only one that looks like it wasn’t about the bookworms was the press club. I belonged to the practical science club and the press club too. After the death and burial of my father things changed, and they happened really fast. My mom resorted to transfer me to another school, a public school. That didn’t break me or made me angry with my mom, or God, or anyone dead or alive, I knew it was hard enough for us to feed talk more of paying that grave amount for school fees and although there was nothing I could do to change it, I wasn’t ready to accept it with open arms so I went to the director and explained things to him and he was kind enough to provide us with some options that actually works fine. My mom was furious at first but with time she accepted the kindness that God was showing us through Mr. Marvin the director.
Life continued and everyday came with its own challenges and together we scaled through, it was very difficult maintaining my excellent grades in school, I remember when I was a junior and during social studies how the teacher would explain how what I was passing through could affect the grades of a student, not just grades but mind, soul, emotions and everything entirely, I never really believed that it could be me someday as it is now. My final exams were around the corner and I was really excited and at the same time the pressure from both the teachers and the students scared the shit out of me.
One Friday, I was summoned by the director and at first I thought it was just about my badge, we were supposed to submit our badges as prefect to the school before our exams commence; and Monday was the big day. The almighty WAEC Examinations.
“good afternoon sir” I greeted with a very broad smile as a bowed my head below my neck and leaving it there, waiting for him to say something before I go back to position.
‘Yeah, David’ immediately I went back to position.
‘I’ve been meaning to call you all morning but I just kept forgetting’ his eyes still fixed on his phone. I waited for what seemed like forever after he said those words, waiting for his next set of words to flow, I accessed him with my eyes, looking at him from his head to his stomach which was how far I could see, I looked away to access his office then back at him again, this time I caught him smiling to his phone, then I cleared my throat and said
‘Well, I’m here now… Sir’ he gave me a darting look, I thought for sure that I must have sounded rudely with the throat clearing and that statement.
‘You know what Dave, go home, prep for your exams and say hi to your mom for me’
‘Okay sir, have a great weekend’ I quickly replied as I exited his office. No question about my badge nothing about something that actually matters, and what’s it with my mom? All this thought ran through my mind as I moved across the stairs leading to my class. I took my bag and I zoomed to my father’s house.
That afternoon, my mom asked me the strangest question in history
‘How’s Mr. Marvin, your school director’
‘ Oh he’s ok, what’d you cook?’ I answered raising my pitch at every word.
My afternoons are usually like every typical secondary school kid but I never joke about napping when the sun is blazing each afternoon, well, blazing or not I just enjoy the comfort of my bed for an hour after school, but this particular afternoon was different, with exams around the corner and everything that’s been happening at school, I just couldn’t bring myself to sleep. As I lay on my bed the only thing running through my mind was Rebecca. The girl I love. In secondary school, we were thought that whatever feelings we have for the opposite sex wasn’t real love but rather lust but this wasn’t what I felt about Rebecca, I knew I loved her and yes I’d die for her but ever since my dad died and the whole school now knows how my fees are paid she’s been giving me cold shoulders, we used to be Romeo and Juliet but now she hardly looks at my direction and she hardly responds to my texts on her social networking profiles.
I remember my first day in that school, she was the only one that came to me to talk to me and that was on the first day, she made me feel welcomed and as a ‘sharp guy’ I adapted into the system real quickly. I really like this girl and I’d do anything to be with her, as I tried not to think about any other thing, my mom’s phone rang beside me, it was Mr. Marvin calling.