DROWNING: Episode 1

EPISODE 1:

“Ayo! Ayo!! Ayodele!!! What is the level of your deafness that you cannot hear your name after calling out to you three times? What has been your problem lately? Studying for over four hours now without eating? Is that the new record that they asked you, students, to beat at school? The food I cooked has been exposed and has gotten extremely cold. You know i will not condone your habit of using the microwave to warm your food. Come to the dining table to eat your food now! You are behaving like you are the only one that went to school; I did as well and even graduated with good grades, so stop forming one serious student for me if that is what you have been using to cajole those girls in your school. When done, you must go over to your friends’ place and link up with them. You need to interact with people, enjoy yourself, and not study every time. “Remember all work and no play make Jack a dull boy”” “Mom, please be patient with me, I am almost through with my school assignments, and I need to revise for tests tomorrow. When I have ticked off every item on my To-do list, then I can get something to eat. By the way, mom, I am not Jack, the supposed boy who will be dull for not playing. Remember, you have always told me that dad promised to take me abroad for my higher education if and only if my result is decorated with A stars all through. That reminds me, when is dad coming? For all these years, you have told me he is busy with work abroad. Am I not his son? Are you not his wife? Are we not important? It will be necessary for him to show up next Monday because we senior students in the school are having a hangout session with our dads just like the time you came for the moms’ session last year. Will daddy come? Can i speak to him over the phone?” “Ayodele! Do not let me get you there.” “Okay, i have heard ma, i am coming.”

Hmm…I go by the name Ayodele Uche. The only Yoruba Igbo student in the whole school. Yoruba land happens to be where my mom originates from, and the father I have never set my eyes on is Igbo. My classmates in school call me ‘outcast’ because of my extreme weirdness and nerdy glasses that has become part of my identity. They termed me the most Studious person in the whole school, and I even got an award for that when entering S.S.S 2, asides from other prizes won. One thing that interests me about longing for school every day apart from the common sayings that “you are at school to learn, build a future, make your parents proud and become a leader of tomorrow” is this girl in my class named Brittany. Guy! This babe is an angel in human disguise. She has this calmness that suits my personality. Her neatness and dress sense even, in the school uniform, cannot be overemphasized. I am willing to listen to her voice every day and night as she is an excellent singer just like me!! Going by classification of intelligence, her exceptionality is beyond human comprehension, although the world of my school has made us rivals due to our competitiveness. I still have a crush on her knowing fully well that we could be friends and learn from each other if i were to prove my innocence in time past. Sometimes in Junior secondary school, we were good friends who shared everything until someone somewhere turned the table around. A lie was fabricated by virtually everyone in the class that I stole her phone which, was prohibited on school premises. From nowhere, the phone found its way into my bag. I begged for the chance to explain but got severe punishment in exchange for a crime i did not commit. Ever since that incident, I am always 50 miles away from Brittany and anyone’s properties in the class. I forgave her wholeheartedly as well as everyone but gave her that assurance that things might not go back to normalcy between the two of us.

The reality of life unfolded barely to my face as mom came home the eve to my hangout at school. She bought a lot of clothing and snacks for me. An act of bribery I perceived. She sat me down on the four-seater dining table, firmly locking her hands against mine. In the twinkle of an eye, she burst into tears as she let loose a time bomb. Your dad is late. In order to understand the kind of lateness she meant, she screamed, AYO YOUR DAD IS DEAD!!! He died long before i conceived you. I am sorry for placing you at this height of suspense. Our future together was blurred just as my parents already warned, but it was too late as I was pregnant. One month after your birth, I went in search of him only to discover he lost his life in a car accident on his way from work due to his drunkenness. Our love was out of this world, except for his mental instability. I never wanted to accept your birth as a misfortune. Sixteen years of sleeping on the bed of lies, only for the truth to wake me up in tears unexpectedly…
(To be continued next week Wednesday).

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