Home / Short Stories / “BREAKTHROUGH”- A Short Story


The unending screams in the house wouldn’t stop as his father and mother argued daily. It always ended with his father beating up his mother and him intervening. It had become a daily routine in the family. The neighborhood was aware of the quarrels and fights by the racket from the house.

‘When will this ever end?’ David asked himself. He returned to the house to settle the dispute between his parents once again. His dad got angry because his mother hadn’t cooked before he got home. Now he was hungry and food wasn’t ready. He explained to his father that he and his mum had just gotten home not quite long and it was immediately after that, that his mother began preparing dinner. Seeing as his father couldn’t say anything, he walked out and slammed the door behind him. David’s mother fell down on her knees and tears dropped from her eyes uncontrollably. David comforted his mother. He never liked seeing his mum cry.
 “It’s okay mum. Don’t cry,” David said as his wiped the tears from his mother’s eyes.
            “I don’t know why your father always does this to me,” His mother responded, looking towards the door. He helped her to her feet and arranged the dining table which he father had thrashed out of anger.
Afterwards he recited her a poem which he had composed. His father didn’t return home until 3am in the midnight. His mother stood up awaiting his arrival. Noticeably, he had gone out to drink again and was looking horrible. ‘Not again,’ His mum said worriedly. He crashed on the couch, snoring aloud. She took some sheets and covered him.
David’s alarm woke him up at exactly 6am. He didn’t want to get off his bed but his mum came knocking on his door.
            “Wakey Wakey David! It’s time.” David’s parents were poor and weren’t able to sponsor him to the University. His dad was a nagging drunk and his mum was jobless. He joined him mum in cleaning houses daily. That was their source of income.
“I’ll be out in minute,” David responded. He freshened up and went to me his mother. He observed his father lying down at the living room on the couch. “Came home drunk again?” He asked unsurprisingly.
            “Unfortunately,” his mother responded.
They both left the house together and arrived at Mr. James compound. Mr. James was a rich man who lived in a duplex. He’s a widower and has a young beautiful daughter, Danielle.
“Mary, I was just thinking about calling you,” Mr. James said, opening the door for them.
 “Oh, sorry sir. I had some stuffs to take care of,” His mother responded.
“What have I said about calling me sir? Call me James, at least I call you by your name.”
 “Okay, sir. Um, James.”
 Mary; that was John’s mother’s name. Mr. James always called her that in hopes that she’d call him by his name too.
“You take upstairs and I’ll take downstairs, Okay,” His mother said. David went up the stairs and began cleaning the rooms. His mother on the other hand was cleaning the living room. David entered Danielle’s room. It had numerous celebrity pictures across the wall. Just as he began cleaning, Danielle walked in. he felt shy, so he didn’t look at her instead he faced down.
“Hello,” Danielle said.
“Hi,” David replied shyly.
            She walked towards him and touched him by his shoulder; slowly orbiting him to face her. David didn’t know what to do, so he left her room hurriedly. He went to another room to clean. The room was quiet and had shelves filled books. Then he realized he had entered Mr. James study room. Some minutes later, Mr. James came into the room and saw David reading one of his memo from the refuse bin.
“Don’t bother reading that. It was endorsed,” Mr. James said, as he reclined upon a chair.
“Oh, sorry sir.”  David took the trash and was exiting the room quietly. He paused halfway and came back, Mr. James looked at him awkwardly. 
“Um, anything the matter?” He asked.
“Uh, I was just thinking about that memo. The topic is ‘Inefficient Production’, instead of writing about the economic recession in the country, why don’t you focus on the workforce, workload and inadequate raw materials, lack of technical know-hows. I’m just saying.”
“I didn’t look at it from that perspective,” Mr. James responded, rubbing his chin. He took the torn paper from the trash and began assembling it back with a stapler. David humbly departed from his presence. He and his mother finished cleaning the house, got paid and left for another house. Whilst they walked out of Mr. James compound, David noticed someone was peeking at him through a window from upstairs. The figure disbanded when it realized David had figured.
                                                *          *          *
David sat down at the porch right outside the house staring at the sky. He opened his book in which he wrote poems he composed and plots he drafted out. David enjoyed writing even though his academic study wasn’t in that line of work. He composed a new poem for his mother, who he loved dearly. Just as he had begun to bask in the serene atmosphere which he had encountered, his parents started arguing again.
Just when I thought this night would be different, they prove me wrong,’ David said to himself. He went into the house and settled the quarrel like he does every day. His dad flared up because there wasn’t enough salt in the rice and he threw the plate of rice on his mum’s body. David never understood why his dad always behaved like that.
He took his mother outside to the porch and held her hands firmly.
“Don’t worry mum. I’ll make it one day and all this will stop. I promise you.” He kissed her on her forehead.
David woke up early the next day and did all the house chores before his mother woke up. She was awed when she found out. She had him kneel down and prayed for him. Moments later, a black Toyota entered their compound. They had no idea who it was. They soon realized it was Mr. James.
“Mum, what’s he doing here early this morning?” David asked curiously.
“Come on, shut up and go collect that nylon bag from his hands,” His mother responded, giving him a tap on his head.
David approached Mr. James with a broad smile and greeted him.
“Good morning sir,” David said, bowing down his head in respect.
“Good morning David. I know you must be surprised how I got to know your house and why I’m her so early.” David nodded.
“Morning sir,” David’s mum interrupted.
“Mary, I got this for you and your son,” he said, as he handed over to her a polythene bag. David’s mum accepted it thankfully and blessed him.
“Actually, the reason why I came here is because of your son,” Mr. James stated out.
David and his mother looked at each other speechlessly.
“David gave me an advice yesterday and I humbly did as he told. To my surprise I received a call from my editor this morning that my article was endorsed. I just had to come and say thanks to your son.”
“Oh, you’re welcome sir,” His mother replied.
“You have a brilliant son. Which school is he in?” Mr. James asked.
“He just finished secondary school and we don’t have enough money to send him to the university yet,” She replied sadly.
“What?! You could have told Mary.”
“I didn’t want to disturb you sir. You have your own child to take care of.”
“That’s not a problem. You know what? What would you like to study David?” he asked David.
David scratched his head and replied, “I want to become a writer,” He responded. His mother hit on the head and gave him an unusual look.
“Don’t mind him. He wants to study accountancy. Don’t you David?” He mother replied.
“How would you like to go to Pan African University?” Mr. James asked
David screamed and jumped on him, “Thank you sir.”
“Come by my house later in the day.” Mr. James drove away leaving David and his mum in abrupt joy and happiness.
“Come here,” His mother drew his ear. “How many times have I told you? Writing is not a profession, it’s your hobby. Accountancy is your profession,” She added.
David went to Mr. James house later that day. He had ironed his clothes perfectly just to impress him. He met Danielle at home. He felt awkwardly shy around her for no reason and she loved staring at him. He gave Mr. James necessary details for application into the university.
                                                    *          *          *

David was now a 100 level student of the Accountancy Department of Pan African University, Nigeria. Although he was happy but he wasn’t satisfied yet. He still felt that he hadn’t achieved his dreams. Like there was some part of him that he hasn’t shown to the world yet. He remembered his mother’s word ‘writing isn’t a profession, it’s your hobby. Accountancy is your profession.’
He sat down at the cafeteria after lectures eating and thinking, so that he didn’t notice when Michael sat by him. Michael was his friend, the only friend who truly understood him.
“David,” Michael said, waving his hands before David’s face. “Earth to David,” He added.
“Oh, Michael. Anything the problem?” David asked.
“For a second there, I thought you had left the planet,” Michael responded jestingly.
“Nah, I was just thinking about some stuffs.”
“Well, hope you know that next week Monday is the school anniversary and there’s going to be a lot of girls and free food?”
“Ha-ha, you and free food. You’re something else,” David chuckled.
“Speaking of… There’s this girl I met at the counter. I like the girl but she’s in Theatre and Art Department. I mean, why is that all the girls I like are other departments.”
“You mean there’s a theatre and art department in the school?” David asked.
“Yes, you didn’t know?” Michael questioned.
“Can you point me in the direction, please?”
“Point you? Heh, let’s go. Let me scope some babes there.”
Michael took David to the theatre and art department of the school. David was awed at the beauty of the department. They walked into the theatre and found the students rehearsing for a play. David decided to approach them and ask what the play is all about but he was shunned by one of the students because he wasn’t an art student.
“David let’s go before they disgrace us,” Michael suggested.
David tuned deaf ears and walked towards another student. “What are you guys rehearsing for?” He asked.
“We’re preparing for a drama presentation at the school’s anniversary celebration,” She replied. “But I don’t think we would anyway.” She added.
“Why do you say that?” David questioned worriedly.
“We’ve been here for hours and gained nothing. The students aren’t getting the play.”
“Then why don’t you change the play?”
“Heh, I’m not the one in charge.”
“Then who is?” David asked. She pointed towards the Drama coordinator, who was looking frustrated.
David went to meet her to convince her to change the play. She declined, saying “What do you know about Drama?” David disclosed to her his in depth desire to be a writer and showed her his journal, which he wrote his poems and story plots. She denied at first instance but after David relentlessly pestering her, she finally agreed.
                                                *          *          *
The whole audience stood up to applaud the students for the play well presented. Amidst the audience was the C.E.O of Iroko TV. He loved the play so well that he wanted to personally commend the efforts of the students. The Drama coordinator told him that they wouldn’t have done it without David’s help. He was perplexed at David’s artistic skill even though he wasn’t an art student. He offered to employ David as a writer in his Media Company.
David signed a life changing contract that day. He eventually achieved his dreams. Regardless the challenges he faced, he overcame.
                                                  THE END.
N.B: If you wish to have an eBook of this story. Click Here To Download
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                                     ABOUT AUTHOR

Praise Osawaru is a writer, poet and a public speaker. He’s published various articles targeted at young individuals. He’s all about ‘Achievement’.
His first story was ‘Love Struck’; a teen drama story. He intends to write on novel ‘Fated To Love’, based on a true life story.

About Praise

Praise Osawaru is a writer, poet, content developer and entrepreneur-in-training. His works have appeared in Black Youth, Nantygreens, Sprinng Literary Movement and Writers Space Africa. He was longlisted for African Writers Award 2019 and Shortlisted for The Zi Prize 2019. Follow him on Instagram/FB/Twitter: @wordsmithpraise

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