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THE ROAD HOME

It was early in the morning when the lights were kept off, the birds were asleep, the road was silent, the street lights were deemed off. The journey of a thousand miles began, where the mountains were cracked by fears. With a heavy breeze of calmness, the cloud was freezing away from my sight. I heard its sound whispering to my ears. I searched the sky; all I saw was rain. The journey started in just the blink of an eye. As the clock was striking midnight, a Halloween voice I heard, With the trees waving higher. I picked up my earphone from the bag I kept under the chair close to my legs to listen to some incredible music that could drive me away from the scary weather of fearfulness. Sleep took me away, like the waving wind. I opened my eyes hours later, slightly like the sun in the early hours of the morning. It was a child I saw crying, looking at me for help. I searched around but could not find anything to explain what was happening.

His condition was terrible. I sat him down by the roadside, with his cloth filled with blood-red like the colour. He stood up and started walking down the lane with only one of his shoes on his left leg, creeping down the street in the desert night and shallow depth of life.  I asked him what was happening. He looked at me with a horrible face like a stranger who had been furloughed with fears, and his response was crying. I looked for a way to make him speak, but he kept silent, thinking about what had happened. What was it that happened? I thought of taking him to a nearby hospital, but his crying could not allow me. I looked for a way to stop him from crying, but no, he kept on weeping and shedding tears. Then he kept shut.                                                                          

I took him to the hospital for treatment, where the doctor asked the nurses to wrap up the wounds on his body. The doctor said it was just a pain he passed through, where he got a lot of bruises on the body. After treatment, I looked for a way to make him speak. 

“What is your name?”

 He kept silent, looking at me like a stranger. Opening his lips, silently chewing what to say like a moving snail. But his eyes were blinking, continuously looking at me.

“My name is Ibrahim.”

“How old are you?”

 It took him some time to give a reply. I thought maybe it was because I was a stranger to him. After a deep breath, he answered.

“I am seven years of age.”

“Where are you from?”

“I have no one. I lost my parents in a fatal accident.”

I was shocked and stopped there. Tears drop instantly from his eyes like the beginning of rain before it drops heavily. With a sad face looking at me, it made me feel depressed. All he needed was help. He knew of no one, lost his happiness, found himself in the darkness walking in shackles.

I took him back home and introduced him to the family. Mother was around.  I narrated what happened from the beginning. When she heard his story, she felt sorry for him. 

“What bothers me most is his age, she said.”

Here is someone losing what most have, losing what most dream to have. Imagine that situation, she thought.

We went inside the house to take his bath. After finishing, he was given food to eat and relaxed. In the evening, we went to the market to get some clothes for him.

On our arrival back home, the younger ones had just arrived from school. I called the older one among them.

 “here is a new friend, Ibrahim, by name. He will be staying with us.”

“Make him feel comfortable and play along with him. I don’t want unnecessary questions to be asked.” 

I called him to come close from the angle he was sitting on the chair at the extreme end of the parlour.

“Ibrahim, come and meet your new friend Mustapha.”

And he smiled blissfully as they moved out of the parlour to their room. I went back to meet our mother in her room.  She said,

“What are you thinking about this boy.”

“Well, He needs our help.”

“What bothers me most is his age, tiny boy like this”

“He told me he is just seven years old.”

“You see, he will not have a problem since there are children in the house.”

“Yes! I just sent him together with them to go and play.”

“By tomorrow, go to Mustapha’s school and get him admission.”

“If we are going in the morning, we will go together with him.”

The following day immediately after the children were prepared and set to go, I called Ibrahim to follow us along to the school for his registration. They were also happy for the new friend, and now a brother will be in their school, which will always be together. And seeing them around will make him feel more comfortable and not think of the past.

After registration, he was given a school uniform and some books to start with. I put them in his bag, and I see him off to his classroom. On our arrival at the school, there was a teacher (An English teacher almost rounding off the lesson for the day). I took an excuse from the teacher, and she allowed us to come in. I explained that he was a new student and today was his first day. She directed him to a seat. And I accompanied him with his bag. And I said;

“Ibrahim! What class are you now.”

He looked at me and smiled as he always does. And he arranged his chair and a table beside him to make him comfortable writing and placing his bag close to him. I waved him goodbye and left.

On my way out of the classes area, I went to see Mustapha, waved him goodbye, and studied hard. Soon I arrive home. On my arrival, I met mother sitting on the parlour looking at the beautifully colour curtain (Green and white, with irrational direction like the smoke), and I greeted.

“Good morning Hajiya, we left when you were asleep.”

“Yes, I slept late last night. How was the registration with Ibrahim.”

“Well, the boy performed excellently in his entrance exam and became the highest among other written in that day.”

“That is good. That was what I was wishing.”

“Let me go have my breakfast. I will have visitors in my office today.”

“Okay, till you come.”

“Stay safe, Hajiya. Bye.”

The days passed by like a flying bird. And here comes Ibrahim, a grown-up man now in his senior secondary school. Where he performed excellently in his first and second year in the school. And one of the most knowledgeable students and a representative of the school.

It is now time for his examination for the final class at secondary school (WAEC). The exams took place, and expectedly, the result was out, and he got six A’s and three B’s. With this result of his, he was given a scholarship for his tertiary education. 

His ambition was to become a Medical Doctor, and he set forth at dawn and wrote his UTME and was able to secure admission to read medicine and surgery. Victory it was, for his dream were achieved.

He is now ready and set to go for studies and off we went to see him at the airport which he will be departing soon.

We shed tears and had some fun as if we would not see each other again.

The announcement of their flight was soon made. And they were prepared. I remembered what mother told him, “Don’t forget you are making history. Make us proud, and don’t forget your family.”

Ibrahim shed tears as if it was rain, rushing down his cheeks wetting his cloth. Soon he was on the plane. The pilot sped off on the runway and disappeared from our sight into the feezing sky.

Soon we all went back home, and after some hours, we got his phone call. They had arrived. It was all thanks to the Creator who made it possible for this journey.

The boy (Ibrahim) is now at his new school, doing well with his studies. Some years after, it was a call of glory when I heard my cell phone ringing. It was Ibrahim calling and happy to announce his last day in school. Some weeks coming, he will be on his way back home. And indeed, it was a happy moment in the family.

It was on Monday evening after closing from work on my way back home. It was Ibrahim calling. 

“Hello, brother”

“Hello Ibrahim, how are you doing.”

“I am doing fine. Guess what?”

“I am presently at Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport Abuja”.

“Wow, unannounced. Okay, let me come pick you up.”

“Thank you, brother.”

I drove down to the airport to pick him up. This is ridiculous. The Ibrahim I knew was now a family man, fully grown up, a bit fat, and his smiling face always.

“Come on, Ibrahim put your luggage in the car; Let’s go. We will surprise Hajiya.”

“Even me, I did not call her, likewise Mustapha also.”

When we arrived, after parking, we went straight to the parlour. Where we met Hajiya, Mustapha and other family members seated and watched the 8 O’clock news. Mustapha first sat us as he rushed and hugged Ibrahim forcefully. Indeed, it has been a long time. Then Hajiya’s attention came back to us, and she was surprised.

“Is this you, Ibrahim!”

” Yes hajiya, this is your ibrahim”

“Glory is to God you are back home safely. Go have some rest; we talk in the morning.” 

Mustapha went to the kitchen to get some food and cold water for Ibrahim as he walked to his room. I asked the other children to bring out his languages from the car and be careful if there were easily broken items.

No one can make it. It is just determination and how you work to achieve it. Life is a mission you embark on. You meet a lot along the way. And when you have patience, you will achieve what you want.