Hello again! I thought I’d use this note to say a thank you to those who liked my previous stories and followed me. Could you kindly also comment on them? Thank you. I’m feeling the urge and am very curious to know why they got liked by you all, lol. Anyway, this is also a brief wording into what this story is. It is partially written based on a true-life story, and I hope you can understand whatever words I mixed and matched into this work XD. If you do, could you drop a quick ‘thumbs-up, you did a wonderful job’? Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Copyright © 2021 by Fallow. All rights reserved.
There are times in life when making choices are compulsory. Times when you have that one interview that would probably land you your dream job; or when you know you are sick, you need to go to the hospital and begin using medications; or even when your elders find out you were behind a horrendous event. Whatever it is, those times are just definitely the worst, and that’s what Wemimo Atinuke Oluwatumininu thinks.
Wemimo is not entirely your everyday rich kid who goes to school in a range rover or a GMC with a stolid chauffeur, in smashing black liveries, who listens to her every complaint or command of whatnots. Instead, she attends Duntro Schools, the only private institution her bustling Lawanson neighbourhood can afford. Or where her parents can pay to take her to. ‘Education is very key’, her Yoruba parents never seem to stop reminding her. Undoubtedly, it was not a lie, and possibly not the truth also.
Wemimo learnt in school that the British missionaries in the 1840s introduced education to her country, the giant of Africa with 54 nations. She found out about her roots, her people, her tribe, her culture, her religion, her personality and her duties as a growing child through this education. Had they not been colonised by them, she would probably still be in Ikare, her hometown in Ondo State, plucking taros, cashews and cocoas to brew the breakfast tea, like her cousins with ignorant parents. Yes, Wemimo’s parents were not the least bright or learned, but they did know how to care for a child they wanted to be responsible to them. Ko omo re ki o le fun o ni isimi, teach your child to give you rest, and that was what they were racing.
Education had saved Wemimo on days like when she wanted to wash clothes or dishes in the house. On Thursdays, when she learnt how to handle a dishwasher or washer-dryer in home economics classes, she made it a habit to come home to tell her mother and father.
The respectful name attributed by students in her school always found a way into each sentence, dropping casually from her full pink lips, “Teacher said—”
And, she would only continue after grabbing their attention, “—to maximise time and effort, we use a washer-dryer to wash and dry all our clothes, no matter how small or big.” She would demonstrate in such phenomenal ways that would make graduates in marketing flop and feel useless. The following week, or month, her parents would buy it, depending on how prayerful she was.
So, she liked it – education, even if it wasn’t something she could make as a choice of hers to do.
When it came to achievements in all her life studies, her mother would pick the perfect style for her, and she would wear it to congratulate a new stage. It was not something she needed to argue. She was indecisive in the smallest of choices and nondifferent in the largest of them.
Two years ago, she had told her parents she would become a secondary school student, and she would be taking her Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) the week after. Her mother had looked her in the eye and replied, “Study sciences and become a big doctor like Baba Akinnuoye-Agbaje in that TV station you like watching!” It was evident that she had gotten most of her gestural expressions from her pepper-selling mother. Her father, on the other hand, hadn’t spoken, quietly thinking of all possibilities of the future. Later at night, he went to her while she was getting ready to go to bed and said, “I believe in you to make the right choice, Atinuke mi; whatever you would like to become, your mother and I would support you, be it a doctor, a lawyer or an accountant.”
Wemimo didn’t sleep, not like she had a choice. She tossed and turned in bed severally. Her father was always a wise man, and she wondered why she hadn’t grabbed that part of him. Instead, she only took his brains and looks. That was why Wemimo was probably anxious. This stage in her life would determine the rest of it; if there were the slightest glitch, that would be the end of their hard-earned money. Her father had told her what to do in the junior grades of secondary school. Telling her again what to do shouldn’t be difficult, but he didn’t, and he never would. So, Wemimo skipped school for two days, praying fervently in the local mosque for God to intervene, make her father decide for her or send a helper to her.
She took the examination; as expected, she passed in multiple flying colours. She had the best distinction in her local government and was given a scholarship to a school in the finest communities – Lekki. Pinefield Schools had now become her citadel of learning. She knew her prayers had worked, but not in the ways she had wanted, most likely.
The following year, she began senior secondary school. As a student, she needed to participate in extra-curricular activities and few screenings to determine the department she would be placed. The day of the activities had been a Friday, as a part of the norms. Wemimo had dressed in blue sportswear, one of the many clothes given to her on her first day. Thankfully, the divisions of the clubs, one of the activities, were at different time intervals. With naïvete, Wemimo danced through the various clubs, from homemakers, debating, press to even the team of the STEM or commonly called JETS (Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientists).
She had come home in joy, narrating continuously, till she was exhausted or her parents skipped together to the kitchen to prepare supper or dinner, “Mother and father, today we learnt many things. I learnt how to sew a button to a dress, how to make a volcano, how to give a speech, and I speak French!”
And, every day, she awaited another Friday to come. Not until the next one did she realise she had to make two decisions that would finally be by her. Wemimo had gone to the French club first to say a few words of bonjour, Je m’appelle, and j’aime or just some other random new phrases. Then, it had been the homemakers club, where she stated the various types of stitches and explained briefly.
Unfortunately, there had been a clash between the press and the JETS clubs. When Wemimo had sauntered upstairs to fetch her book, pen and CASIO calculator had been when she saw the headmaster with a long stick in hand. Wemimo had run for her life because the one impact the cane had on her buttocks in her previous school was an experience she would never forget.
It had been between the chess and JETS clubs; both were on the same floor, facing each other. Wemimo preferred mixing things to form a new compound better than sitting in silence, calculating people's expressions to know their next move between pawns or bishops. When the insects the young scientists scrutinised on the tables called her in short buzzes, she obliged and ran towards the laboratory. Yes, that day had been in her small diary by the window with a picture attached to it of how she had made the best decision to join the JETS club and the science department. Maybe, become a doctor like Baba Akinnuoye-Agbaje as mother had said.
Now, fifteen-year-old Wemimo is the leader of the JETS club, all-around A student and youngest to make a 320 in JAMB (Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board), the examination that would allow her to enter the school of her choice. The University of Medical Sciences in Ondo, where she would make her hometown better than ever. Not by colonisation, but by treating the sick, including children, who would improve the state with the different choices they make.
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I really enjoy the fact that you don't use many cliche descriptions or phrases and that you really set the stage nicely at the beginning. This short story reminds me of The God of Small Things in the way that life is made up of a series of little decisions that all feed into each other. Nice write.
Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the first part. I don't know the story, but it sounds like a good read. Yes, that's very true. How life is made up of decisions that still seem to intertwine till the very end.
Wow this was really well written! The thing I loved most about this story is how she embraced education, and that her parents supported her. How cool is that! Also, the fact that this is a true story is icing on the cake. I like true stories, and I haven't read many on here. I appreciate your author's note in the beginning. That was was a cool way to let everyone know about this true story ;) Overall, I would give this story a 10 out of 10. I'm sure a lot of thought went into this, because it really shines through. I think you have a g...
Thank you so much!!! :) Lol, whenever it comes to education in my country, the child has to finish it up (except for a few circumstances). I haven't even read any at all here. I was really inspired by the prompt, lol. That was what made me write about the story. Thank you! I hardly ever write an author's note. Thought I should spice this one up XD. That's the most I've gotten from a comment! Thank you so much. You've literally just inspired me, lol. Would defo dedicate my next story to you :)
Hi there! You're welcome, and it was my pleasure to read this story. I thought it was really good ;) I live in the United States, but it's really cool to learn how other countries do things. I'm so glad I was able to inspire you. So far, I really like your stories and I know others will too once they find them :)
Thank you!!! That's super cool. Yup, the joy of a wanderlust, lol. I'm super confident on that, XD. I sometimes post a few stories too on my website, in case you're interested: https://fallowamber.wordpress.com
That's cool, I'll check it out ;)