“Julia come immediately, hurry” my mother screamed reaching for the TVs remote and increasing its volume. It was the 8:00 news, they were speaking on the current educational issue in the country as most universities were on strike. I was washing the dishes because we had just finished dinner so I had to leave it to answer her.
“Mummy” I said, sitting down on a twin couch next to hers, “shhh, listen” she replied pointing to the screen “it seems you’ll be going back to school sooner than expected.’’ I listened, she was right the strike had been called off and I wasn’t ready to go to school just yet, colour me lazy or non-challant I just wasn’t ready to face the stress so soon.
“Do you have everything in your bag, I hope you’re not forgetting anything?’’ my mother asked. She might be scolding because to her, my bags looked lighter than usual.
“Yes everything is intact” I replied, staring at my Ecolac and ‘Ghana Must Go’ bags which took me a week to pack. One thing she didn’t know was I had extra stock fish and other food stuffs in the ‘Ghana Must Go’ bags which also had my provisions. That’s my mum trying to double check as she watched me board a bus that would take me to the main park.
A ghastly accident at a fueling station that swallowed a lot of lives, robbed us of my dad leaving my mum a single parent. He was an Engineer while my mother took to teaching after being relieved of her job at the bank. I’m all she has and I have no sibling.
“Julia, Julia” favour screamed trying to beat the noise of the rowdy crowd in the classroom awaiting the next lecture.
“Stop shouting she’s not deaf” Kelan snorted, as we hurriedly walked to meet favour to avoid further screaming by her. Kelan and I had our Pre-degree programme on different courses, but ended up in the same department when we gained full admission. We’ve been friends ever since.
Favour on the other hand, is also a very close friend we met at the admission unit only to discover we were in the same department and from there, we kicked off really good.
“She’s really serious with her studies, l should sit up’’ I said to myself as she asked if we’ve done our assignments.
“What assignment?” Kelan asked reading my mind.
“Even if we’ve not done ours, shouldn’t you have done it for us while doing yours, what are friends for?” Kelan continued, adjusting her flowing hair that almost entirely covered her right eye. She was a model who always dressed as if she was going for a fashion show and attentions were never scarce on her whenever she steps out.
“I have already done that” favour said trying to calm Kelan with her eyes.
“That’s why I wanted you guys to come pick it up” I immediately hugged her in appreciation and pecked her on the cheeks. Kelan joined in the hug tightening her embrace as we laughed and let each other go.
Things had become a bit difficult, the economy had changed into something else, we had moved into a new school year, so meeting up with school demands was always a bit challenging. While waiting for a lecturer who was late, I sat in class one Monday morning with favour who was battling with daily devotional book and the Bible app on her phone with the excuse that she forgot to pray while rushing to meet up.
“Okay, but you could have just prayed on your way to school and read the devotional when you go back, because the noise in class is something else” I advised after her excuse.
“That’s also another way to go about it, thanks” favour said. Kelan walked in confidently towards us, knowing we must secure her seat.
“Sister favour I have a headache would you please speak a word that I might be whole again” she teased, noticing the devotional and Bible verse that was open on her phone.
“Seriously?” I said, turning to Kelan as she sat to my left.
“What?” She asked, smiling mischievously.
“Ignore her” I said talking to Favour as she nodded in consent.
Things were more difficult with the country’s economy and what we majorly learnt in school tolled us in the line of working for somebody or under somebody. That was not bad but getting the job was a problem, so most people took the easy way out.
Most of the religious ones chose marriage as an easy way out while the non-religious decided to do what was best for them or what they knew best. They used what they had to get what they wanted, while the few who were left have nothing but their dreams of a better world and tomorrow.
They are regularly teased by the world for choosing to stand out from the rest, deciding to follow the road less taken, to dream, to have goals, to have targets with little or no support and comfort. They find comfort and support in themselves, pushing for their dreams and all they believe in, knowing in themselves that they are their own miracle.
Blossom Obi writes from Owerri, Imo State. For comments and responses, reach her via [email protected] or Twitter/Instagram: @BlossomObi3