Good morning,you have probably read the first chapter of this. This is a story I am writing on WATTPAD and I want you to see it here as well. Read and enjoy.
I walked from the filling station to the junction of the street I lived with my mother. The marshy road made all the drivers I flagged down charge more than the normal amount.
I stared at the sky and the black cloud gathering in preparation for another downpour. I pulled off my sandals and walked home with all determinations not minding the dirt that got to my feet. I clutched my hand around my slippers and shivered. I couldn’t afford to get the slippers into the flooded street, there was no extra resources to waste on a new slippers.
I walked towards the mud building that served as shelter for me and my middle aged mother. The iron roof was making noise as the wind blew in all its strength. I thought about calling Baba Alani the carpenter who came to our rescue whenever we had a leaking roof but his words telling us to purchase another iron roof echoed in my head.
I knocked on the wooden door that would be pulled down with just a pound by anyone that has the strength several times, before it was opened by my Mum.
“Todun you are back.” She said as she loosened her ragged wrapper and tied it again. She adjusted her already faded buba as well and led the way inside.
“Yes I am ma, good evening ma.” I knelt down.
“Kaabo my daughter. How was sales today?”
“It was nice ma, I almost finished selling the whole lot.”
“Well done.” She said as she bent down and carried the bowl of water that leaked from the room and went to dispose it at the backyard.
We always experience leakages around the house whenever it rained. More reason why I should call Baba Alani, I thought as I heard her pouring water at the backyard. I reached into my bag and took the remaining oranges out of it. I took out the money in my pocket as well and handed it over to her while she praised and prayed for me as usual.
I went into the bedroom that would have been dark if not for the single and small window that irradiated it. I changed into a three quarter jeans and an oversized cardigan. The little money my mother gave to me as appreciation for hawking for her was kept inside my kolo. I then left to help her on cooking at the kitchen.
The air was filled with smoke that emitted from the half dried wood that was used in cooking as my mother fanned it. I took the fan from her and continued fanning while she went into the house.
I thought of the exam I had the following day. It was going to be a JAMB examination and I had been studying for it since a very long time ago. If I should pass it, I will leave to the university and read the course of my choice, English and Literary Studies. The thought of the course made my heart leap in joy.
I thought of what I would do once I graduate. I pictured myself becoming a successful woman and making sure my Mum enjoys everything she couldn’t enjoy in the early part of her life.
Gain the admission first, I muttered as the fire came to life and started burning.
There was no time for any tete-a-tete when we were eating because my Mum was either sneezing or breathing with difficulty. I only told her sorry at intervals and shoved the amala and okoro soup down my throat. Just so you know, my Mum is asthmatic. She wasn’t born asthmatic or maybe she had the elements of someone who did but it never showed up when she was younger.
It started when she worked at a building construction site where she helped the bricklayers in carrying prepared cement and sand. She started having difficulties in breathing and had to go many days on taking drugs.
Obliging to the advise of one of her co-workers she visited the hospital and got informed by the doctor that she was asthmatic. They advised her to stay away from dust and any other thing that could trigger her condition which included smoke. She stayed away from dust but smoke is inevitable since for us a gas cooker and stove is a luxury.
I packed the plates into the kitchen and went to the bedroom to get her inhaler. After using it for the third time, she finally felt calm and I guided her into the bedroom. I went back to check if the doors were securely locked even though I knew that one push from the men of the underworld will have it crumbling on the floor.
I went back to the room, picked the cloths I was going to wear to the exam venue, read my book a little bit and drifted off to sleep. It had been a long and tiring day.
“Todun, Morountodun.” I could hear her call my name from far away as she tapped me awake.
“Alarm e ti dun o, dide kole kawe, ko de tete mura.”
I rubbed my eyes and struggled to stand up from the bed. I was feeling so much asleep but the job at hand denied me of one of the things I loved doing. Trying to lie down on the bed again, she tapped me and I stood at attention. I took my books, the kerosene lantern and made my way to the living room for a little bit of revision.
The two chairs and the wooden table located at the centre of the living room served as the only furniture we had. There was also a mat resting against the wall at a corner of the living room. We only use it whenever we had visitors.
I pulled the chair closer to the table and read my book. I had read it several times, so I only did a few revisions and went through my previous jottings. I tried cramming somethings too. I must admit I am an average student and not a complete dullard.
I switched on my phone and the alarm rang five o’clock. I quickly scrambled to my feet and went to the place that served as bathroom at the back yard to have a cold bath on a cold morning. I couldn’t go through the stress of blowing wet firewood.
Shivering as I went back inside, I wore my clothes and took the money my mother gave to me as transport fare then raced outside to catch a bus after a long stretch of prayers were rendered by my Mum.
It didn’t take me a long time before I was able to get a vehicle heading to my direction. I had to fight my way through the early morning crowd as they all wanted to go early to their destinations. I repeated the things I could remember in my mind and constantly asked the person sitting beside me for the time. Mobile phones are not allowed at examination centres and I forgot to take my wrist watch.
The bus arrives at my destinations after many stops and starts that almost got me agitated. As I alighted from the bus, so many people already stood on the queue awaiting their turns for the exam. I felt out of place on sighting my mates richly dressed while I looked miserable in my shabby faded jeans and black blouse.
You might think anything black is attached to bad luck but I had no choice but to put it on because it was thick and black colour rarely look faded.
It eventually got to my turn and I was to sit at a computer. I stared at its screen for a while before praying to God that it shouldn’t misbehave because anything it does will determine my fate.
INTERPRETATIONS OF YORUBA WORDS.
BUBA – Yoruba name for blouse.
Alarm e ti dun o,dide kole kawe, ko de tete mura – Your alarm has rung already,wake up so that you can read your book and dress up quickly.
Amala – Yam and cassava flour.
Kaabo – Welcome.
Who else apart from TODUN was nervous while preparing or writing JAMB ?
Let’s all wish her well.
Tell me what you think about this chapter.
Don’t forget to vote and comment kindly share as well.