Growing up as a kid we were made to believe one terrible thing, something no one really had a clear cut understanding of, until age and little intelligence caught up with some of us. I must admit I am one of such kids whose life had been dragged up and down in the mud of life riddles.
It was just last two month ago that the real deceit of life caught up with me. I sat under the mango tree close to the road and I was counting every one of the cars, motorcycles even bicycles that pass me by. Don’t ask me why, because I will tell you before you do.
I happened to be the third born of my mother. My father died before I could even learn how to walk. I was just six months old when he died and left us in the crazy world. Mum didn’t have the opportunity of continue her secondary education before she got married to dad. Unlike other families dad refused to sponsor her higher education after marriage. The reason was visibly clear like the sky is even in the thickest dark night.
Mum was extremely beautiful and young when dad married her. The fear of other men snatching his angel from him made him not to send her to further her education instead he setup a business for her.
Dad worked with a Lebanese construction company and never had much time to spend with the family as the nature of their work was such that they hardly spend up to three months in a place, so I never had the opportunity of knowing him.
Two months after I was born, my elder sister, the second was admitted in the clinic. It was confirmed she had pneumonia. According to hear say that was when dad was rushing home to meet his only daughter and had the unexpected accident that took away his life. It was a devastating situation for mum as her life came crumbling down. Her hope and future was shattered.
Few days later, to make the situation worse, my beautiful sister died even though I never knew her, I was very sure she was beautiful. Most people say she was the exact copy of mum.
Even though mum was young she refused to remarry but took a hard decision which was to give us a better life through her petty trading business. She struggle and cry just to make sure we were happy and ever smiling.
When went to private schools, both primary and secondary school and one thing that made her not lose hope was the fact that we were always in the top five every of the sessions.
It was after secondary school that everything changed for us. Mum made a decision that we were all happy about because we understood our conditions. I was made to wait for my big brother to finish university before I start mine. May be he might be lucky and get a job immediately after school and therefore reduce the stress mum had to go through to provide money for two of us. I was just 17 years old when I finished secondary school, so it was a good thing that age was on my side. At least starting university education at age of 21-22 wasn’t too bad. I learnt so many things such computer graphic design, electronic repairs and other minor things.
It was a great news that big brother had finished school after four years with a first class in Economics. We were overjoyed and celebrated him like a king. Mum looked straight into my eyes and I already knew what she wanted to say.
“you better do more than him when you start soon”
“haba mum what is better than first class”
We joked and laughed at them. That night it was as if we had no problem at all.
About five months later, big brother went to camp for his NYSC in the far northern part of the country. I couldn’t wait for him to come home for Sallah break that November.
Preparations were made as big brother told us he was coming home for Sallah. Our hero was coming home and we couldn’t wait a bit as we call him every hour to ask about his journey.
Towards evening that day we received a call from big brother but the voice was a deep cracking one.
“am I speaking with Muhammad?”
He asked and my heart was already beating against my chest heavily as though people were pounding inside of it.
“Please what is wrong”
-you may be required to come to Federal Medical Centre Lokoja for identification please.
“Identification of what?” I asked but this time no reply came through.
In my mind I already knew something terrible had occurred but how do I break the news to my hypertensive mum! I mustered the courage and lied to mum that big brother was at FMC doing medical checkup as directed by the NYSC officials.
“Mum we may be require to meet him there”
-but why can’t we wait for him to come home? She said as I search my head for another lie.
In midst of our argument another call came through mum phone but this time they broke the news in black and white.
“madam we are sorry we lost him” was the last statement I heard from the call on speaker phone.
Like a dream mum fell to the ground too and she too never woke up, and that was how life gambled with my destiny.
Sitting under the tree remembering all these from the fountain of memory I became devastated and not minding the road I crossed without looking and got collide with a car. The car passed over my left hand.
“am sorry we will have to cut it off”
The doctor said as though I were some sorts of a tree in a lonely forest. I cried to stupor as I watched my destiny being cut off. I didn’t finished education and the handiwork I learnt also had become irrelevant.
Mum used to say everyone’s destiny was in their hands and now the doctor has chop off and buried my destiny….