Short story of the day
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January 18, 2020 at 8:21 pm #1357345CoolvalAdmin
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It was on a night like this when her knock sounded on my door.
I was not expecting a guest. Neighbours hardly even knocked my door by that time of the night.
I stood up and opened the door to behold a Hausa woman clad in a long white Ijab.
She was holding the hands of a small boy who was about four or five years old.
She inquired about a man like that who she claimed lived around our area.
She said she was directed to my house from the other street.
She looked me keenly in the eyes and said I looked exactly like the friend of the man she was actually looking for.
I asked who the man was and she said the man was the Father of this child standing beside her.
She spoke in the Hausa language. I understand Hausa quite well but cannot speak it fluently. So I picked my reply carefully.
According to her story, the father of the child was a footballer who played for a team in Abuja.
Being the aunty to the man, she said the father of the child had dropped the child with her and left for Abuja to pursue his career.
He usually sent her money every week for the upkeep of his son.
But of recent, she has not heard anything from the man.
She tried to call him but his line had been off.
So she came in search of the friend who played in the same team with the father of the child.
She needed to confirm his whereabout and also to tell the friend to pass a message to the father, that his son whom he left in Jos was starving and needed food.
I looked at the poor innocent child who didn’t bring himself to the world. A child who was just a victim of circumstance.
I told her I never knew anyone with the name Shaibu.
She starred at me for a while. She pointed the light from her phone screen at my face.
She claimed I looked exactly like the friend to the father of the child.
I heaved a sigh. Thank God she didn’t say I looked like the father himself. The story would have become a different one.
I told her My name is Praises Obiora and I don’t have any friend whose name is Shaibu.
In fact I don’t have any footballer friend.
She looked at me closely. She said this was her last bus stop. She told me that she had gone everywhere in search of the friend and she was directed to this place.
She pointed her light at my face again. She said the friend to that man, although she had seen him just once, was a fair guy and was tall like me and had my kind of hairstyle. (Mohog most people call it Gallas.)
I told her I am Igbo and not the one she is looking for.
She heaved a sigh. She was obviously out of Ideas.
She made to leave when I heard the boy say in Hausa language to the woman, telling her that they should go home, and that he was hungry and needed to eat.
I was touched.
She thanked me and was about walking away, when I willingly called her back. And beckoned on her to wait. I walked into my room and brought out three hundred naira which I handed over to her.
“Hajiya buy him bread and tea for dinner. By God’s grace tomorrow, things will be better.”
She thanked me and collected the money.
I walked back inside and locked my door.
I had barely climbed my bed when another knock sounded on my door.
“Please give me small Vaseline and small soap if you have. The boy have not taken his bath since today.”
I went back in and returned with a handful of Vaseline and a tablet of soap.
Five days later a knock jolted me up from sleep. It was late at night.
I opened the door to find the same woman standing at my door.
She said she tried to contact the father of the boy but to no avail. She said she was going to travel to Abuja to look for the father of the child.
She complained bitterly that she can’t keep suffering like this.
“Eyaa” was what I kept saying.
Inside of me I began to ask myself how this one concerned me. So you just left the comfort of your house to come and complain to me.
After I had let her dish out everything in her mind, she turned to leave and I shut my door slowly.
Seconds later she knocked again.
“Please the child is hungry do you have anything for the child so he can eat for dinner.”
I heaved a sigh.
I walked in grumpily and picked two hundred naira which I tossed in her hands.
I never saw her for over month.
Five months back, she knocked my door and I opened.
She complained about the father of the child. And asked me for food for the child.
This time she came without the child.
I was fed up.
This is Nigeria. I cannot be carrying another man problem. Am I father Christmas? I am not even the friend to the father. She was always using the child as a weak point to get something from me.
I told her I do not have. I told her I was broke.
She threw a thank you and turned to leave immediately.
I shut my door.
Days after that encounter, I saw her on the road and greeted her. She passed me without answering to my greetings.
I thought she didn’t hear, and I quickly greeted her again. This time, I was sure that even the villagers in my village heard me greet her. She turned her face the other side and walked away.
I have since been passing her and she pretends not to know me or even answer to my greetings.
And I am like.
WHERE DID I GO WRONG?
HOW DID I BECOME HER ENEMY.
Just few days back, I saw the boy walk into the school I teach with a guardian.
Obviously, the woman had come to confirm the fees and registration for her ward. She intends for the child to attend our school next term.
Somehow the proprietor asked if she was the mother of the child, and she said yes. I was interested. I drew in to listen to their conversation.
I told the mother that I had seen the boy with a fat woman once around my side. She came to look for someone around my area.
After describing, the mother confirmed to me that the woman was a neighbour of theirs, and the child was usually left in her care hence she and her husband were both busy parents.
I nodded my head like a lizard.
She further confirmed to me, that the woman was a stupid woman, who carried her son round people houses to beg for money from people.
She claimed to have learnt her lesson. And have decided to put her child in school.
“People are wicked.” the child’s mother concluded bitterly.
N.B. Watch over your children. Do not leave your children in the hands of another person. Keep an eye on them. Not every one is a trusted fellow. Not everyone is an angel. Some are devils.
Story written By Praises ObioraJanuary 18, 2020 at 9:55 pm #1357363Daniel EdemMember
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Nice advicesJanuary 18, 2020 at 9:59 pm #1357364Emmy01Member
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I have seen A Lot of Them here in Abuja, some of them are renting children from either an Illegal orphanage homes of some ‘unfortunate mothers’ At times you’ll see a woman of about 45 to 55 yrs with a new born baby. I pity those childrenJanuary 19, 2020 at 7:15 am #1357390Ireoluwa EmmanuelMember
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hmmmmmm… this is something oooooJanuary 19, 2020 at 12:06 pm #1357424HenrymaryMember
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Things are happening ohJanuary 19, 2020 at 2:31 pm #1357438ItzprinceModerator
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I dont really blame them because this is the world we found ourselves inJanuary 20, 2020 at 7:05 am #1357450Ekejiuba mercy
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Hmmm….speechlessJanuary 20, 2020 at 5:16 pm #1357560Itz Ibukun Oluwadamilare PeterMember
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dis is critical