It was a Wednesday afternoon, freshly back from school and had just finished dinning ona plate of Eba when, my grandma called to inform that we are eating Rice and Beans for the dinner and i quickly measured out beans for picking.
“You need to be quick with the picking of those beans, Tuyil.” fired in my Grandmother, Rachael.
“Okay, ma.” I retorted. Then my mind drifted back to my escapades in school today.
Today was unusually my happiest day in secondary school and I was currently in Senior Secondary School one (SSS-1).
“Tuyil, please can you explain this simple equation to me today.” asked Funmi my girlfriend. I simply answered no because I was feeling playful and joyful today even though the cause was unknown to me.
To some of my classmates i was the second teacher in nearly every subject except Mathematics, due to my brilliancy, but today was an exception. I have up to four of them already because I was too immersed in many pranks.
I had been unusually punished three times today for making noise during lectures and this came as a surprise to my entire classmate but who care?
“When will you finish picking those beans? abi u don’t know that it’s getting dark already?” asked my grandma with a spank on the head that woke me up from my dream .
“I am almost through.” I replied with a grudge.
“You better be.” retorted her.
All of a sudden, I saw our church Reverend accompanied by some elders trotting into our house to break a news that would forever shape my life.
“Let us pray” said Reverend Seye.
“Father in Heaven, we thank you for the life well spent of our brother, because only You giveth and only You taketh……….”
“Amen” chorused me and grandma not letting the Man of God to finish the prayer.
“Please, can you explain your prayer to me because it’s getting suspicious to me with the you started” queried grandma.
“But let the Reverend finish the prayer first” put in one of the elders.
“No” I chipped in and guessing by the way of our quick response to their prayers and questions, and our strong-will to know the reason for the prayer, the Rev. decided to broke the news.
The Rev. continued, “It’s your son that you have been running helter-skelter to treat that…….”
“That what?, you mean Adewumi my son is…..” she ran out of words
On hearing this, the Rev. calmed her down and said “yes he is dead” and I fainted.
With this news, the misery and the bitter-sweet experiences of my life began.
Adewumi is my father; I was born as a result of a pregnant that ensued between him and a girl named Marian in his twenties. He was in his final year in the premier university when he put Marian into the family way, this generated so much chaos between the two families because Marian have just gained admission to Teachers’ college and this will definitely put an end to that dream of becoming a teacher.
After all the brouhaha, I was born and weaned exactly twenty months old. They put me into the care of my paternal grandmother. Through love, care, trust and thorns, I thrived.
It was because of the misunderstanding that created gap between my father and mother; my father remarried on his own part whiles my mother choses to remain single.
Fourteen years later, my father was diagnosed of Kidney failure and the doctor made him to know that one of the kidneys has gotten spoilt. This came as a sad news, as he was about to clock forty years later that year.
On hearing this, my grandmother tried all her capacities to ensure he got well but all to no avail and he eventually died six days to his fortieth birthday and on my fifteenth birthday, hence the reason for earlier joy in the school today!
The burial has been done, now we should focus on the prompt clearing of his gratuity so as to cater for his wife and children (remember that he wasn’t married to my mummy)” Uncle Ola my father’s brother pointed out.
“since you are the one close to his place of work at Akure, you should be the one to take care of that Ola” Uncle Ade the eldest of the five brothers replied.
They were five in number born to my paternal parents. They are, Uncle Ade, Uncle Wole, my late Daddy, Uncle Ola and Uncle Niyi.
The four brothers concluded that the money should be shared among the five children of my late daddy (he has four from his legally married wife) and the wife.
Uncle Ola collected my passport photograph and birth certificate so as to open an account to deposit and fixed the money till I will be in higher institution. I was greatly overjoyed that at least I won’t have to beg around when the time comes for my tertiary education.
Life seems to proceed as normal for the following months and I continue to live with my grandma until exactly a year that my daddy died when an unexpected happened.
Uncle Ade is the first born of my paternal grandparents. He was a well-to-do man, currently a Director in the State Ministry of Education and we were hoping that the next promotion would take him to the post of Permanent Secretary.
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He personally called me aside after the my daddy’s burial and explained to me that I am now a man and I should neither waiver nor relent in my studies, he always bought me the latest textbooks and even promised me that I will study Medicine if I passed my Secondary school examinations without flaws. This gladdens my heart and I put in more effort into my studies.
One Saturday morning, I was lying down in the sitting-room waiting to hear the customary vibrating sound of his Volvo car anytime soon. I drifted into a slumber and was woken up around 1pm by the familiar sound and I rushed out to welcome him but to my amazement, l only saw the driver.
“Good afternoon oga Saka” I greeted him
“Good aftanun Oga Tuyil” He replied with his local accent
“What happened, where is daddy” I queried him.
“My Oga no fit come, he strong small” Saka responded opening the booth to unload its contents.
“Okay” I said downheartedly. After a small pause I continue “but what is the nature of the illness”
“Na boil o, e just started on Wednesday”
“All will be well in Jesus name” I prayed
“Amen o” chorused Grandma and Saka.
“Oh Mama you are there, come and help me with this load please” I pleaded.
Things seem to be alright for the next few weeks except that Grandma was always shuttling in-between Ado and our town.
When I confronted her to know the reason for her sudden travelling, she said it is nothing that it’s for visitation purposes.
A week later, on Monday afternoon to be precise, I am now in SS2 and about to write the promotion examination to the SS3. I just got home from school. As usual, I didn’t meet grandma at home, so I took my time to rest a little bit before reading for tomorrow’s paper. All of a sudden I started having an uneasy feeling, I tapped Samuel my classmate who was with me that day.
“Samuel, I can’t understanding my feelings at all it looks like I’m expecting something” I said with a chuckled.
Samuel who has gotten the wind of a matter jokingly brushed the conversation aside and answered that maybe Funmi my girlfriend will be visiting us that day. We both laughed and forget about the conversation.
“Samuel I need to buy soft drink at the other side of the street” I said dressing up to go out.
“Don’t worry yourself, let me get it for you” he replied
“This is uncommon of you” I said arousing my suspicion.
“It’s nothing. Just that I want to stroll out” he responded with a fake smile
As he was about to step out, I saw people coming in to the house wailing and cry profusely, without asking for the reason behind their mourning, I joined them! Immediately Samuel grabbed me, looked into my eyes and said “be brave and be a man; Uncle Ade has gone”
“Yeeee!!! My hope is fading away Samuel, if this is true then my future is definitely bleak” I said with tearful eyes.
“Don’t think like that pal, all will be well” said Samuel comforting me.
“You can’t understand. This is the man that has been shouldering my responsibilities”
“God will raise a new helper” he said reassuringly.
“From where” I asked fiercely.
“Don’t worry it could be anybody” patting my head.
“I don’t think there is God at all” I lamented.
“Ah ah! Don’t say that please” Samuel said and covered my mouth with his palm.
“There is no God” I retorted “if there is one , why would he allow my helper to die like this; why would he allow me to suffer like this” I asked rhetorically.
“Maybe it’s your Destiny” put in Samuel calmly.
“Destiny be damned!” I fired back.
“Don’t you know that the efforts of man are fruitless except it is his Destiny” asked my friend.
“I don’t” I answered calmly changing my sitting position to be more attentive to this sudden interesting topic.
“Hence the saying Futility of man in the Hand of Destiny” explained my friend, he paused and went on “but you need to be brave and strong and remember that tough times never last but tough people does” he concluded
“Okay” I sighed. “Futility of Man in the Hand of Destiny indeed” I repeated almost to myself.
The burial was done at his home residence at Ado later shortly; everyone went back to their normal lives but not me because a straight road has just taken a curve.