“AN ESCAPE FROM HOME”
You live once, you die once, you love once,” that’s what my mum used to tell me. Though I didn’t understand the meaning, she never ceased saying it.
* * * *
Growing up as the only boy and the only Child of the Fadeyi’s family was quite challenging. I had a lot of expectations to meet up with and everyone wanted me to be 100% focused on my studies. I wasn’t allowed the free time to go play or hang out with friends like other kids do in our neighborhood. That’s even if my parents let me keep friends. They were too overprotective, always making feel like an apron on two people’s neck- my dad and mum.
Finally, I was done with secondary school and it was time to apply to university for admission. ” This is my time to cut loose the hold my parents have over me,” I’d say to myself. I never knew what life had in store for me. Mum wanted me to choose a close by university, probably in Lagos state, ’cause we lived in Lagos, but I decided to pick MacPherson University, Ibadan. Although, it wasn’t far enough, but it was better than being under their watch.
Getting admission into Nigerian university isn’t like pouring water into a bucket. You’d first have to pass your WAEC, then JAMB, lastly POSTJAMB. it’s more like breaking a rock with a hammer. However, I got accepted to study “Economics” at MacPherson university, Ibadan.
“You’re now a grown up,” Mum said
” I know, mum,” I replied.
“There’ll be a lot of distractions in school, mostly girls. Don’t let them decieve you. They’re all the same- after your money and after that they’d leave you directly. Focus on your study, I’ll miss you when you go.”
I could see tear rolling down her eyes, I didn’t understand why. I wasn’t getting married and leaving the house forever, I was just going to school. One can not truly understand a mother’s love for her child. Dad, on the other hand was elated about my leaving home to further my education and finish with first class Bsc in Economics then work in a great company and become wealthy. My family wasn’t exactly a rich or wealthy family, we managed whatever we had. Dad worked as a lecturer in one of the polytechnics at Lagos and Mum was a nurse at a teaching hospital.
The day I was to leave home for school finally came and I was ecstatic. I’d finally be free to do whatever I wanted, not being watched and pampered by my parents. Dad took me to school, the journey was long and I slept throughout. I haven’t actually travelled for a very long time before.
“Hey, wake up. Unbelievably, you slept throughout the journey. Probably because you’ve not travelled far before. There’s always a first time for everything,” Dad said.
“You took the words right out of my mouth, Dad.”
After dropping me off at my dorm, he crouched and held me. “Now son, you listen to me carefully. Life’s filled with challenges and different situations that’d wanna hinder you from moving forward. Do not let forget the family you’re from and your sole purpose here. I have faith in you son, and undoubtedly, I believe you’ll exceedingly be great.”
What an inspirational speech, I said to myself.
“I promise not to derail from my sole purpose here. Hopefully, when I come home, you’d notice a difference in me,” that was my response to him.
Written by Praise Osawaru