I decided to share this paragraph from my soon-to-be published novel, Clay Whispers of Love.
I had a dream and I saw Nana Ndika, from the house where we lived before, coming out of their apartment in one of those rare days she ever did due to her mental (illness) state. She was weeping and crying with tears.
She had lost all, her husband, children, love, hope and sanity. She came to the front of our house holding a lot of money, probably all she had left of life and a deck of playing cards that wasn’t even
complete. It was probably the only good memory she had left. The memoryof those days when she played it with Mona and her other kids while her husband watched contentedly at the family she gave him.
She cried and gestured at my father and the other people in front of the house then she threw up all the money and cards.
There was a slight hesitation from passers by but after a few minutes, it was gone.
In a rush, people went for her money which lay scattered on the floor with the woman herself sitting in the midst of it but wanting none of it. All the muscles of my body moved, especially when I saw the 500 naira note was closest to me but I didn’t make a move to pick it. The woman was making a statement, despite all her woes, she was still being hounded and plundered without mercy. The only other person in that crowd that never picked a naira note was my dad.
He simply stood, looking gravely at the woman on the floor. When everyone had cleared the money and it remained the scattered cards. He bent down and picked the cards, every single one of them. Then he called me and while the woman watched, he gave me the cards and asked me to keep them safely and never lose any one of them. He put them in my breast pocket.
Nana Ndika watched me as I returned to my place, she looked awestruck. A few of the cards fell from my pocket into the gutter but I bent down and picked them and cleaned them with my shirt and replaced them in my pocket. She was awe struck and when she looked up into my dad’s face, she was crying, this time silently.
Even in her mental state, she recognized true love. She knew what it meant for my dad to have entrusted me with her cards, for I was my dad’s first son, the most trusted and competent son on the street, the one with the Medical degree completed in Johns Hopkins. I was the perfect child whom every one wanted to have in their memory. I woke up from my dream and that was when I decided to return to Nigeria.
I have gotten my American degree but it can do the most healing in Nigeria.