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Prose

Dear Daughter

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man people woman hand

It was another beautiful day, bright enough to brighten even the most troubled heart yet, intertwined in the midst of an avalanche of stress. It had been a long day and all I longed for was my bed. The academic stress was really taking its toll on me. I had known it wouldn’t be an easy process but I never knew it would be this difficult.

I had always been a star student, among the best in my class throughout my secondary education and even during my one year pre-JAMB class before getting into the University. It had always been my passion to study Pharmacy, the reason I didn’t mind staying back after my first Jamb result couldn’t get me the course I wanted.

My love for academics had never been hidden. I wasn’t just a lover of knowledge but one who loved to read. At a point, I could feel the fear in the eyes of my loved ones as they watched me twill into a world of my own, burying my head deeply in studies with little or no attention to human interaction nor friendship.

I still remember going through secondary school without a single person to call “my friend”. It had been hilarious then because I didn’t see the point of having friends, I couldn’t just understand why everyone placed so much emphasis on the word “friendship”. Now that I look back, I smile. The thought of how deep a transformation my thought process has undergone marvels me.

I haven’t only bought the idea of friendship but have grown so attached to mine that they could easily be mistaken as my sisters. We have gotten to the point of sharing and doing everything together. We even happen to share a room right now. How the friendship started, I can’t really tell. I just feel the universe decided to be merciful unto me. The Lord has really blessed me through those.

As I walked into my room, lazily dragging my feet out of tiredness, I managed to drop my bag to the floor before going for my bed. I was hungry but too tired to think about it. I needed the feel of my bed against my back for a while before paying attention to anything else. I took a deep breath as I stretched out my limbs.

My thoughts suddenly drifted to Ebuka, a final year law student. He was running his second degree program in Enugu Campus, the second branch of the prestigious University of Nigeria. He was one of the few guys who were bound on braking through my defences no matter how tough I make them. I had made up my mind, even before getting into school to focus on getting my degree first before anything else.

There was this saying in town that men love female pharmacy students. Better put, men love female pharmacy students because of the license they are to acquire. A saying I had brushed aside and considered trivial until it played out right in my face a few months in the department. I also got to confirm the rumor that hardly any female pharmacy student becomes a Pharmacist without already being engaged.

As I thought about Ebuka, I was at a loss on what to do. I had tried everything I know, every trick I have learnt yet, the young man wouldn’t just leave me alone. “I’m just a 3rd year pharmacy student for crying out loud, why don’t these men understand when a woman says she doesn’t want to get into a relationship until she finishes school?” My head was beginning to ache. I could literarily feel the throbbing like I was being hit with a hammer, a good reminder that I had starved myself for far too long.

As I staggered up to my feet, I blindly kicked my bag, causing the crashing of my plastic reading chair and a few of my books scattered to the floor. I sighed as I picked them up one after the other while supporting my head with my left hand as though it will stabilize the pounding I feel. As I picked up the last book, I noticed a folded piece of paper at one side of the table. I was sure it wasn’t mine as I hadn’t turn out any piece of recent.

“It must be from one of my mum’s old books”, I told myself. I had been told she died giving birth to me. The only way I had ever felt close to her was by going through her things in the house.

I was transfixed to a point the moment I saw the heading of the letter. I quickly went for the last page to be sure I wasn’t mistaking but no, I wasn’t. It was a letter from my mum. I sank to the floor as I read through, tears pouring down my eyes as I read.

My dear daughter

Dear daughter, you are the apple of my eyes, my joy of motherhood, my seed in whom I am well pleased.

You are stronger than you feel, smarter than you think and wiser than you know.

You are an epitome of beauty, a combination of beauty with brains.

Your elegance stands you out amongst your peers, you speak and they listen.

Your carriage, your humility yet strong stand for what you know is right distinguishes you.

Your good attitude, intelligence and domesticated lifestyle attract people to you.

But here is one thing I want you to always remember: “books before looks”. This is the principal foundation to a good life and the best start for the journey towards harnessing your skills and fulfilment of your destiny.

Be a woman of impact, be a woman of purpose. Be a woman who leaves a mark, a transformation on the lives of others.

You have all it takes but remember, the strength for these can only come from the lord. Make me proud!

Love, Mum.

I kept crying, not just because I missed my mum but because I had long walked in the footsteps that she would have directed me in. I cried because her words, even though as old as I am, sounded like they were just spoken. My heart ached from longing for her, but at the same time, I was glad to have heard these words. Even though not directly from her, it was exactly what I needed to hear.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. GraceoftheSun

    June 26, 2021 at 11:06 am

    So beautiful and heartfelt, Dera. I loved how your mother’s loving message found you out of no where when you needed it.Beautiful!💕🙏💕

    • Dera

      June 26, 2021 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you dear. I’m glad you loved it. Though its not a true life story. It’s fiction.

      • GraceoftheSun

        June 26, 2021 at 1:34 pm

        That just shows how great it was, I thought it was a true story.Excellent!!!💕

        • Dera

          June 26, 2021 at 1:37 pm

          Thanks honey. I appreciate your love and support.

          • GraceoftheSun

            June 26, 2021 at 1:39 pm

            My pleasure.💕

  2. Akuoma

    July 3, 2021 at 9:38 am

    So beautifully penned down. Love iy

    • Dera

      July 3, 2021 at 9:54 am

      Thanks honey. I’m glad you liked it.

  3. Ogbu Chimdimma

    July 3, 2021 at 9:44 am

    Very emotional and touching, keep it up

    • Dera

      July 3, 2021 at 9:55 am

      Awhnn😍
      Thanks love

  4. ViKtorsobe

    July 5, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    The mother and the girl child…

    • Dera

      July 5, 2021 at 8:29 pm

      Yessoo
      The males aren’t left out though, just not the focus in this context.

  5. Hertz

    July 10, 2021 at 10:15 am

    I nearly cried. Another masterpiece

    • Dera

      July 10, 2021 at 11:17 am

      Wow! Thank you dear

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Prose

Beaten and Untangled

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family doing grocery shopping


It was another beautiful morning in Phoenix, Arizona, my favorite state in the whole of United States. In my seventeen years of life, I have traveled across a greater part of the states in US and have succeeded in living in five out of the many I have passed by. My dad is a Civil engineer and his work takes us almost everywhere. Moving to and fro wasn’t easy at the beginning but I guess I have become used to it now.
I smiled as I watched the sun perform its magic on everyone and everything. As I waited for the school bus, I couldn’t help but notice, again, the happy and well knitted family: “The Hunters”. Though new in the neighborhood, I was already abreast with the details of the Hunters. Trust me, they are that captivating and ravishing! I still remember asking the first kid I saw in the neighborhood who they were. Everything about them is inviting. Their house was the best in the entire street, their cars were numerous, I could go on and on.
I kept staring as Mr Hunter opened the front car door of his Ferrari for his wife while their daughter sat at the back. Their affluence apart, the love and unity between them made them the center of attraction; the family everyone wanted to be like.
Whenever I did something wrong, my mum would always remind me of Kathy, their daughter. “Don’t you see your mate Kathy? Don’t you see how good, respectful and well behaved she is? Why can’t you just be like her?”.
The time difference between the onset and end of academic activities for the day was short, brief like a trance. Maybe its because I was lost in thoughts throughout. Mr Hunter’s perfectionism and how mind-blowing he has made his family was all I could think of. Sometimes I wished he was my dad too.
The sudden hault of the school bus jerked me back to reality. I made a quick survey of the environment. We were at my street but not yet at my house. I was both shocked and frightened when I sighted the numerous cop vehicles in front of the Hunters apartment.
I rushed home immediately, banging the door behind me out of fear. Mum wasn’t home yet, neither was dad. I was so frightened and my heart was beginning to beat really fast, heightening my fear. How relieved I was when mum came back.
A middle aged young man showed up at our door later that evening to interrogate us. He introduced himself as Detective Jones. It was on the course of the visit that we realized that Mrs Hunter had been stabbed in her apartment and the murder weapon missing. Kathy was left alone in their apartment as her dad couldn’t be reached.
The shock and flabaggasted expression on my mum’s face was equivocal to the feeling surged in my chest.
The Hunters of all people, who could have done such a thing?
“I just hope Mr Hunter doesn’t commit suicide. We all know how he never leaves her side”, my mum said.
The very month following the incident was grueling. Back and forth confrontation, uncomfortable invasion of privacy and out of the blues accusation by the cops.
We were all angry and stressed out. The worst feeling was the rumor that Mr Hunter had killed himself.
I couldn’t curtail the shock, the surprise and the confusion I felt when Detective Jones showed up at my house two months later to inform us that Mr Hunter was in their custody for the murder of his wife, Jasmine.
“He has given his statement and presently awaits trial.”, he added.
No one in the neighborhood could believe what happened. Mr Hunter of all people!

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Prose

OBNOXIOUS GRANDMA

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grayscale photography of woman

Laura woke up perplexed. The last thing she remembered was getting drunk in a restaurant on a bid to escape the fraustration that sorged her system. Everything was unusual about this strange environment. Ranging from the sweet fragerance of fresh roses to the elegantly decorated bedroom with magnificent pieces of furniture lying at strategic positions.

The size of the bedroom alone surpassed her entire house put together. She was lost in awe as she starred from furniture to furnish, almost drooling. The sound of someone clearing his throat alerted her. She turned briskly to the direction of the voice and froze. She wasn’t sure but something about this young man sitting comfortably by her bedside looked familiar.

“Who are you and what am I doing here?” She asked, guarding herself on the bed, ready for the worst. The guy said nothing but only pointed at a shirt hung at a corner of the room. Laura looked from the guy to the shirt, back to the guy. It wasn’t clicking. She couldn’t tell what was going on.

“Use your words mister!” She screamed at him, rolling her eyes.

The young man cast a quizzical glance at her. For a moment he was silent. When he finally spoke, he pointed at the shirt again. “Doesn’t that shirt strike a cord?” He asked, calmly at first before raising his voice when Laura just starred at him without saying a word.

“That was the shirt I wore last night and I doubt if I would ever wear it again, no thanks to ill mannered simpletons like yourself!”, he yelled.

Laura was shocked and scared as the memory of the awful encounter flashed through her mind. She quickly covered her mouth with her hands, expecting the worst.

A knock on the door by Raph, the young man’s driver and personal assistant took Laura off the hook. She immediately took a deep breath and retracted further from the young man.

“Boss, the witch is here!” Raph announced the moment he entered the room. The young boss whom Laura got to know was called Leo, jumped to his feet, agitated.

“Is there a problem?”, Laura asked when she noticed the sudden focus on her.

“Mrs Gladstone is here. I know you don’t know her but the summary is that she is Boss Leo’s biggest business partner and she is trouble. Boss Leo is forcefuly engaged to her grand daughter Lucy, even though he has no interest in her. It’s the only reason their business relationship still waxes stronger. She is equally boss Leo’s mother’s closest friend. They have the same character. I know you are from a poor family. Let’s just say that if she singles you out, you are as good as dead!”. Raph explained.

Laura’s mouth was wide open. She wasn’t sure what to say. “Hey, is that hereditary?”, she said after the pause, looking at Leo who cast her a warning glance, then looked away.

Mrs Gladstone walked into the room with her head high. She always carried herself like a queen. “Who is she?”, She asked without even a response to their greetings. Leo immediately cooked up some lies about Laura’s background. Laura was terrified. She had been scared at first but seeing how Mrs Gladstone kept every other person on their toes terrified her. She couldn’t wait to run away from this oven called home!

Laura ran off the moment she got the chance. She never stopped running until she got to the bus stop where she boarded a bus. As expected, her mum and her younger brother were already parambulating around, walking to and fro their little compound wearing the typical hopeless countenance.

“Where did you sleep last night? Do you know how worried we were? Your father even had to go to work late all in the name of waiting for you to return. We haven’t even gotten any edible ready for your grandmother who informed us that she will be paying us a visit today simply because we were worried about you!”, her mum sighed. Laura didn’t need a suite Sayer to inform her that her mother’s bag of questions were rhetorical.

“Did you say grandmother, what grandmother?” She queried, turning to look at her mother.

“Which other grandmother do you have if not mine, or are you ready to resurrect your paternal grandmother from her grave?”

“Mum, that is not funny at all. The point is, I have never seen your mother!” She complained and made her way into the house.

“Well, you will see her today. It’s about time” her mum said to the already closed door.

The sound of the approaching vehicle alerted everyone in the house. “Your grandmother is around” screamed Laura’s mother.

Laura was shocked to see the same woman she had seen earlier that day. “Mrs Gladstone!”, She screamed before she realized it.

“Yes, that’s your grandmother. I’m sure you are taken aback by the fact that she looks almost my age. She had me when she was sixteen, that’s why.” Laura’s mum explained.

Laura was speechless. She had no idea what to say. Lots of questions to be asked. How could a woman as rich and accomplished as Mrs Gladstone be her grandmother yet, they have lived in abject poverty for as long as she could remember.

One thing was certain, Mrs Gladstone wasn’t exactly an easy person to deal with but that notwithstanding, her mum had a lot of explaining to do.

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Prose

DWINDLING OF A SUN FLOWER

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brown hummingbird selective focus photography

Amanda was so excited as she checked her name on the admission list, over and over again. She had worked hard for this very moment, but so did every other person she knew. She could still remember the long hours of reading, the ceaseless attendance to tutorial classes, the mid night candles… She was finally abreast with the saying that one tends to forget their moments of struggle once the anticipated result knocks on their door.

The rest of her family wasn’t left out in the joy. Amanda had always liked English and literary studies with a plan of either becoming a writer or a good editor in the future. She was that little girl who admired lecturers a lot, held them at high esteem and couldn’t wait to be one of them. She gladly tagged along her mum as she went round their exquisite town market, getting all the necessary new things she needed for school.

Amanda’s joy was complete when she heard that her best friend and reading mate was equally successful. She couldn’t wait to meet up in campus. She insidiously took her mind across “the campus girl attitude, comportment and dressing” as in the numerous books she had read. She made sure she got herself some new dresses and accessories, most especially, her first handbag and weave-on. She made sure to nail the look she had in mind before heading back for school. She needed everyone to take her seriously.

Her first lecture was not exactly as she had expected. She had arrived late having found it difficult locating the lecture hall. She felt different, like she had been thrown into a crowd of strangers. The only friend she had, Nazom was in another department. The class rep, whom she later got to know was elected shortly before the onset of the first lecture soon addressed them, welcoming them once again into the great citadel of learning. He shortly briefed them on how the rest of their day was going to be, lecture wise, with a promise to get back to them with a more detailed time table the following day. A sheet was passed round for everyone to pen down their phone numbers for the class group chat.

Amanda let out a big sigh as she headed back to her hostel after the day’s lectures. Her knees were feeble and knocked together as she slowly made her way. Saying she was tired will be an understatement, she was fed up, angry and perplexed. She had no idea what to do. The entire ginger she had come into school with had suddenly flown out the window. Her anger was boiling, though she had no idea who to channel them to.

The lecturers? They were only doing their jobs! Herself? She wasn’t sure because to the best of her knowledge, she did everything right. She wasn’t so sure but the Lecturers she had just met didn’t fit into “the perfect description and ideology” she had about lecturers. The more she thought about it, the more confused she became. “This shouldn’t be happening to me”. She screamed in her mind. She had always been a star student. She had worked her butts off to meet up with the dreaded cut off her department pulled out.

She entered her room looking dejected and used up. After lying on her bed for a while, expecting compassion, no matter how little from her roommate, she rose when she was sure that none was coming. One look at her roommate, Juliet and she was shocked. The babe was still busy pulling out and testing dresses. The entire floor was buried in a pile of dresses of different types.

Amanda’s mouth was now open. She couldn’t utter a word as she observed Juliet go from one skimpy dress to another. Amanda couldn’t believe someone could actually wear dresses like that. She thought they only existed in the fictions she read. She was completely thrown off balance when some friends of Juliet barged into the room, hailing and throwing compliments at a particular dress Juliet was putting on. It was at that moment that it dawned on Amanda that she was in for trouble. She had found herself in an environment she wasn’t used to and lashes have started to land on her body from every angle. She was still yet to recover from school stress and now this.

Days went by and things weren’t becoming any better. She was beginning to catch up with her academic work but Juliet wasn’t making things any easier for her in the hostel. Amanda was fast becoming a sheep without shepherd, a lonely wanderer with no place for abode. She was trying everything possible to limit her time in her room but there was only much she could do. Nazom stayed with her aunty who lived very close to school and there was no other friend she could hang unto in campus.

She was soon wallowing into the stronghold of depression, struggling to keep up with her academic work. Her initially well spelt out dreams now looked blurred and unattainable. She was struggling to keep herself from failing and at the same time, draw her already distracted mind away from the misleading lifestyle she was surrounded with.

Note from Dera

The rekindling ability never departs from its source…always know that😍

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