CHAPTER 1. - Moving To The City
Beatrice sighed again “how I wish morning will come quickly”. She said as she turned to the right side. She then thought of her dead father and his great expectation for his first daughter, but now she has left primary school eagerly looking forward to go to the secondary school but with her father now dead... “What next?”, thought Beatrice turning to the left side. Then she got up and started pacing the room. She thought of her mother and all her efforts to keep her and the twins in school after their father’s death.
Since her husband’s death, Mrs. Adams, Beatrice’s mother now relies on her little income and her brother John Oju for her children’s education.
After her primary school, Tana Oju has been married off to Timothy Adam’s and there and then she has joined the man in his produce buying business.
She has considered herself very lucky indeed and eternally, grateful to her father who has given her the opportunity to go to school at a time when some fathers considered it a risk and a waste of time and money to send female children to school only for such children to end up in another man’s kitchen. Some fathers were even adamant and refused to send their sons to school because they thought that by so doing they are depriving themselves of available and cheap farm hands.
Mrs. Tana Adams was therefore determined that her children are going to have the opportunity that she and her husband had missed and her husband fully supported her views on this.
Beatrice their first child was given birth to after waiting for ten solid years after marriage. Timothy Adams stood firmly by his wife during this trying period despite the many pressures and persuasions from different quarters most especially his parents to get a new wife who would bear him children.
Mr. and Mrs. Adam’s Joy therefore knew no bound when Beatrice was born and four years after a set of twin boys was also added unto them. Although since then Mrs. Adams was never pregnant again, both husband and wife were however contended with their lot and looked with great expectation that their children must get and also develop and all round education of the soul, spirit and body even if it took a lot of sweat off their bodies. With this determination, both husband and wife worked relentlessly.
It was therefore a terrible shock for Mrs. Adams when her husband passed away after two days of fever, suddenly leaving her as the bread winner who has to take care of herself and three children.
After the initial shock was over, the woman made up her mind to see that her husband’s goal for the children was realized. She therefore brazed up herself for the task ahead as she threw herself into her work with more zeal than before always seeking advice from her brother concerning the children’s welfare and education.
Mr. John Oju, her brother has indicated his willingness to have Beatrice live with him and his family in Lagos. Though he was blessed with four boys, John Oju was always craving inwardly for a daughter, whenever his wife was pregnant, he was always expecting it to be a girl only to be disappointed later. But being a loving husband, he always tried to waster his emotion but his wife Aisha was not deceived.
So a few months ago, when he suggested that he will like his niece to continue her education in Lagos, she grudgingly argues even though she resented bringing up another woman’s child more so a village girl at that time. She conceded for the time being while planning what one was going to do in her mind.
Beatrice got up from her wooden bed carefully and started to pace the room she shared with the twins. She envied the two boys as they cuddled together in their bed fast asleep oblivious of their elder sister’s anxiety and lack of sleep.
The thought in Beatrice’s mind was making her sleepless as the day of her departure to her new home was drawing nearer, whether the Oju would accept her or not, as far as Uncle John was concerned, she knew that she was loved and cherished like a daughter. However, she has only met his children on one or two occasions and then only briefly, but the cause of her anxiety was Mrs. Aisha Oju the couple of time they had met, the older woman was not pleasant she recalls, she could not fathom the cause of the older woman’s hostility towards her. Beatrice wondered if she was got being unduly pessimistic, after all, she thought “I have never done Aunt any wrong”.
When morning finally downed, Beatrice forgot about the anxiety of the previous night, while she looked forward to seeing the Lagos she has heard so much about. She could remember vividly three years ago when her father was to go to Lagos to purchase some items for his farmer’s club, he had decided to take her along because it was during the vacation period, but this hope was cut short a day to their departure when the twins went down with malaria fever, her father has to leave her behind to help their mother in coping with the twins. She felt very sad that she was now going to that same Lagos, without her father but the little cloud that wanted to darken her horizon was seen dispelled when some of her friend come around to wish her journey mercies. She could even see that some of them was envious of the fact that it was her and not they that was going to Lagos to live, how some of them wished that they were in her shoes.
It has been earlier agreed to that her mother and the twins should accompany her since it was holiday time.
Uncle John has always been insisting that his sister needed a break but Mrs. Adams continued to dismiss this with the notion that she would actually break down if she has to go on holiday, but John Oju who was determined that his sister needed a little rest, probably a week holiday told Mrs. Adams how important it was for her to come to Lagos with Beatrice.
In his letter, he has emphasized clearly that his sister must come to Lagos with Beatrice and the twins too, “I know that your coming would help the girl settle down quickly and moreover the two of us can put hands together to decide which school would be most suitable for Beatrice.” Mrs. Adams seeing no way to wiggle out of this reluctantly agreed to go to Lagos. So, it was with pampered pageantry that Mrs. Adams and her children were seen off to the motor-park en-route Lagos by all their neighbors and well-wishers, some not even minding the seven kilo miles, and more they were going to trek to the nearest village where the motor-pack was situated
They even volunteered to carry the Adams luggage’s for them. this was a treat for Tai and Ken who under normal circumstances would have been the ones to carry such loads.
Tai and Ken felt like royalty as they matched along knowing fully well that they would be requested by their friends to give if possible a day to day account of their stay in Lagos when school resumes. They therefore did not forget to take along with them their note pads and ball-point pens.
“Oh, how I wish we have a camera to go along with too,” Tai voiced out while matching along the grassy footpath with his right hand dipped in the pocket of his chinos trousers, and his ball point pen clipped to his shirt pocket just as he had watched reporters do. Since the day he was opportune to get to the nearest town and watch the news reporter on the screen, the well standard white uniform of the local dispenser in the village welfare clinic no longer appealed to him as it used to, as he now prefers stylish reporter’s attire and composure.