Bode was the closest to me among all the choir members. I could see in him, a younger brother I never had. My school was not so far to the church, so sometimes after service or choir practice, he would say “Aunty Sewa, I’m coming to your place to eat o”. I would tell him to come, since I really didn’t know how to prepare one man meal, I was always having leftover.
He was only 20 years old then, while I was 24. He was a 200 level student of College of Education, Okene, and a native of Oyan where I was serving. When I first got to the church, his school was on break. Before we could really get to know each other, his break was over, so he went back to school. About a month after he left, I saw him in church one sunday morning.
And then the story of my life changed..
I asked him why he came home so soon, he told me he had not paid his school fees and that his parents were not able to give him the money. I got to know that his dad was an old farmer, and his mum, a petty trader at Oyan market. Money was never my problem, because besides the allowance I was receiving from NYSC, my dad was always sending money into my account without my sisters’ knowledge. He would say he didn’t want me to suffer since I was far from home. So, I asked him d amount he needed. He told me, and I told him to come and meet me in school the next day, so we could go to bank together to withdraw the money. I withdrew almost everything I had in my account, gave him his school fees, transport fare and a token as pocket money, and he was very happy.
His mum came later to show appreciation on behalf of the family and that was what really brought us closer.Whenever he was away in school, he would be sending text messages to me, thanking me for helping him. Sometimes, he would send me message that he went to bed the previous night with an empty stomach, and out of compassion, I would quickly send him any amount I could afford to buy foodstuff, and as usual, he would appreciate me.
Soon, we were on Christmas break. I didn’t want to travel, but my dad insisted I should come to Lagos. After the break, I was supposed to return to Oyan in January. Daddy couldn’t give me enough money as he had spent a lot during the festive season. He expected me to still have some money in my bank account. He was taken aback when he asked me how much I had with me and I answered, “Nothing sir”. “You don’t mean it!. What are you using money for? Are you feeding more than your mouth? What did you do with the money I sent to your account last month?….Hun?.Tell me!.” Mummy and Sis Temi heard him as he was
talking to me in annoyance.
Sis Temi came with her husband and daughter to visit our parents. She was busy chatting with mum, when they heard daddy raising his voice. The moment she heard that dad was sending money to me, she said “Da-dd-y!.So you’ve been sending money to Sewa every month!!..I am the first person to go on service in this house and I remember if I didn’t ask you for money, you wouldn’t give me and I will have to give you the details of what I needed the money for, before you would give it.” “And you, (turning to me) what are you spending money on?.Have u bought a plot of land?.Oh!..you want to build a house in Oyan?.Is that not so?” My
compassion for Bode which is as a result of my lascivious spending almost led into a fight in my family that fateful day.
But then, was I doing the right thing?
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