The Glue Called Friendship

Friendship is like a commitment, to accept a person into your life regardless of their faults and shortcomings. The thing about friendship is that, unlike the vows and constricts of marriage, friendship is not meant to hold you down and you can choose to leave as easily as you started, no benedictions necessary.  Friendship is one of the glue that hold the world together and finding a true friend can be one of the hardest and also one of the easiest things ever. It all depends on how open minded or how close minded you are.  Like Ralph Waldo said, “The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”

 When we were younger it was easier to make friends because we didn’t have a care in the world. We were still experimenting; we were not yet sure of who we are, we were still trying to find ourselves, so we could not decide what kind of friends we wanted to have. You grow up practically wanting everyone to be your friend, because we don’t know any better. So we get entangled with everybody, the good, the bad and the ugly, and with every friendship and bond we form with people, we experience new things and find out things we didn’t know about ourselves. We get hurt, we learn when to let go, we learn which friends are good for us and the ones that are bad. We make friends that form us and help us grow. Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

So as we get older and know ourselves better, making friends becomes harder, we become selective of who we want to make a part of our lives. It is no longer as easy as it was when we were young. We also realize that some of the friendships we have formed fell apart or grow stale. This might not be due to anyone’s fault; it is because we might grow past a certain people or some of them grow past us. Our wants might change and where we are going mind seem too foreign for them

You get to know who your true friends are, and realize that life is even better when you have true friends. You learn that some friends are also worth fighting for. According to Jon Katz, “I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, and don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.”

When we think about the people in our lives that are truly our friends, we often tend to find out they are not so many. “The friend who can be silent with you in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with you in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, now that’s a friend who cares”, Henry said.

I read somewhere that life is such an awful, ugly place not to have a best friend. Now, you should know that it doesn’t matter how many friends you have, it can be one or two. It’s not about numbers but value. If you have two friends in your lifetime, you’re lucky. If you have one good friend, you’re more than lucky. I am not saying you should not try making more connections as you grow, it might require more effort to make new friends or even maintain the ones you have, know that it is worth it. Friendship makes the world go round and makes life a tad easier. So go, meet more people, make good connections, make more friends,  but heed the words of Alice Walker, “No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”

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My Beautiful Mistake

While sorting through some old keepsakes, you found an envelope with your name on it that hasn’t been opened. You recognize the handwriting. It belonged to you; you frown, as you cannot remember writing it. The letter was addressed to you and there were smudges on the envelope that looked liked someone wiped away water, tears you thought. You resist the urge to tear it open, as you proceed to open the envelope gently. Why can’t I remember? You thought. The date on the envelope read June 2010, that was the point in your life where everything came crashing down. Karma had dealt you a huge blow. You were addicted to drugs and had just found out that you were pregnant. You couldn’t go back home because your family would have been disappointed as usual and you would have been that failure your mother always said you would be, if she could see you now. You smile as you brought out the paper from the envelope and sat on the wicker seat by the window overlooking the water and began to read.

Dear Me,

I am writing this to you because I know you think everything has gone to shit. Do not worry, life is totally unpredictable and I know you are strong. I know you think you can’t continue but you have it in you, do not give up, and do not stop moving because that is when things will really go to shit. Like Roy said, “your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life, keep going…tough situations build strong people in the end”. Do not listen to anyone who has no words of encouragement to give, they are there to watch you fail. Remember, the one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never tried, do not fear failure but rather fear not trying.

 Having a baby at 18 is not the worst thing that can happen to anyone, you made a mistake, but that does not define you. Mistakes are often great teachers; they allow us to see a light that we probably won’t have seen, sooner rather than later. So, man-up, you are smart and I believe you will learn from this. Years from now when life is much better and you probably have big decisions to make, and you find this letter, it will guide you and remind you that; you are your own light. You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.”

 Go out there and be happy, you survived mistake lots of people might not have, all by yourself, and you made it. So what are you afraid of? What could be worse than getting pregnant at 18? Having no family or friends to turn to? Running away to a strange city to have a baby when you are only a child yourself? Do not allow yourself to wallow in doubt or self-pity, you are more than that. Remember, you love yourself too much to allow anyone to love you shabbily; life is too fleeting to be unhappy or settle for less.

Always, always stay strong and positive and know that the some of the most beautiful things we have in life comes from our mistakes.

 Regards,

 Your inner wise self.

You feel the tears drop from your eyes as you fold the letter and put it back into the envelope and stare out the window. Truly, the best thing in your life had come from a mistake. Your daughter was 12 now and she is the best thing in your life. Apart from being a successful entrepreneur who ran one of the biggest fashion houses in the city, everyone seemed to love you but very few people know your story.

Now you are caught in between marrying a man who you think loves you, and following him to a new city and remaining in a place where you have set-up and built a life for yourself and your daughter and you cannot seem to figure out what to do. This letter came a point in your life where you needed an answer. It seemed like your young self-knew that one day you would face this dilemma. Do you let this love go and risk staying alone for the rest of your life? Or do you dive in and let the rest play itself out?

“We have to go mother”, your daughter says as she breezes into the room snapping you out of your thoughts.

It had always been like that since she was little. She never walked anywhere; she ran or may be floated. You do not know how she does it, she was so graceful and smart and you could see a lot of yourself in her and a part of you is often so scared she might make the mistakes you made. So you try, maybe a little harder than necessary to make sure that as much as you are her mother, you are her friend. You believed that was the best way to raise her right and be everything your mother was not.

You rise from the seat and followed her to go get dressed. She is an athlete, one of the best track runners her school had and she was the overall best in the state amongst her peers. You could not have been more proud of her. This was one of the reasons you didn’t want to uproot her from a place she felt settled and safe to a place where she would become the new kid on the block.

As you grab your car keys and proceed to drive her to practice, you make a decision. You would talk to the husband to be and try to reason with him. He had a good job here and moving to another city might not be ideal for you and your daughter. You hope that this goes well as your daughter had to come to like him and they were good friends.

“Put on your seat belt Sweetie”, you say to her as you turn on the ignition and drive into the street.

You smile as she tried to convince you that it would be easier for her to jump out of the car with her seat belts off instead of on…in case you drive into a tree or an upcoming truck and you smile as you worry that she might have a twisted and a really creative imagination.

Karma Has Come To Take (2)

I had gotten to the office earlier than usual than morning,I had a lot of work to do. As I sat I down and opened my email,  one with subject in all caps that read pretender caught my eyes. This was my personal mail and not a lot of people had it so I wondered who it was. At first, I thought it was all those spam mail or the notorious email marketers but, when I opened it I froze on my sit. It was a sex video, one I made years ago…in my final year with one of the guys I was going out with, in a hotel room. I couldn’t believe my eyes; My hand subconsciously went to my head as I continued to watch myself fool around in the video. The message on the email said that they would send the video to my husband if I didn’t pay them two million naira.

I knew it, I knew my past will come to haunt me one day and this was just the beginning. I never told Seyi about my past life and all my craziness, he always saw me as his beautiful, innocent wife and I didn’t want to change that. If he saw this video, it will not only break his heart, he will never trust me again. Before he announced his candidacy for governor, he had asked me if I had any secret or anything people will use against me or use to get to him and spoil his chances of winning and I had promised him their was nothing. How did I know that this video still existed after eleven years? I called the number that the person that sent the email said I should contact him on and to my surprise, a female voice was what I heard on the other end of the line, I begged and pleaded with the lady who refused to tell me her name not to release the video or give send it to my husband and her response was to tell me to transfer the requested amount of money to an account number she will send to me after I hang up. There was nothing I could do, I couldn’t let Seyi know, I had to pay them off one way or another. We had a joint account and my personal account had little over two million naira inside. I decided to pay them off using my personal account; little did I know that my trouble had just begun. They assured me they had destroyed the video and won’t be bothering me again.

Two months later I got another email exactly like the last one, my heart skipped when I saw the same exact mail like the first, I didn’t have any more money on my personal account and Seyi will ask what I needed such amount of money for if I asked and I didn’t have any answer to give. The enemies have to come to destroy my family; Karma has come to take her pound of flesh. I didn’t know what to do, my only option was to tell Seyi, I know he loved me but this was a big chunk to swallow. I didn’t want to break his heart and I was scared this would break our marriage. The only person I could confide in was my sister; she couldn’t believe it when I told her till I showed her the video. Her reaction was the same as mine, her mouth first fell open in shock before she put her hands on her head and started lamenting. She rebuked me for bringing this upon myself and upon my family before she calmed down and suggested that both of us think of a way to deal with this problem. She said we couldn’t pay them again because they will come back and demand for more. I couldn’t speak again, and I just sat down silently as tears ran down my face. Life had been too good; I have been living like a queen and forgot that one day I will pay for my sins.

I made up my mind I will tell Seyi and bear the consequences, it’s better he heard it from my mouth than from a cold email from a stranger. My sister left saying she will call me once she came up with a solution. That evening I went into the kitchen and made Seyi’s best food, egusi soup with goat meat and pounded yam. I took a shower and put on the lovely red gown he loved and waited for him to get home. As I dished his egusi soup into his plate a few hours later, he kept asking me what the occasion was since I hardly made him soup by myself except on special occasions. I told him everything was fine but his eyes told me he didn’t fully believe me. He washed his hands and started eating, smacking his lips and praising me on how delicious the soup was and how much he loved my cooking. I opened my mouth to begin but nothing came out, I tried again but it felt like there was a hollow in my throat, tears filled my eyes and started rolling down my face. Seyi had stopped eating and I saw the look of concern in his face. He stood up and came to hold me while he gently asked me what the problem was.

How could I tell my husband of eight years that his wife was an amateur porn star? How could I tell the love of my life that everything he knew about me was a lie? Will he be able to look me in the face again? Will he still love me? I braced myself, opened my mouth and began to tell him the story that might change our lives forever.

Karma Has Come To Take (1)

Thoughts flew through my mind like mosquitoes, I had come to a point in my life where I thought nothing could ever go wrong again but like they say, karma always comes when you least expect. How do I to tell my loving husband Seyi that I am going to be the fire that will burn down his political career? How can I look him in the face and tell him that the sins of my past have come to hunt not just me, but him also? This man has been the source of my joy since we met and got married which has been eight years, five months, two weeks and three days. I will always remember the day he walked up to me in the midst of my three friends at the a cafe in Victoria Island to tell me how he had been watching me for the past few minutes and how I was such a beauty. My friends and I laughed at him and walked away leaving him looking so stupid. Then I was 24, I had just finished youth service and life was just beginning.

I come from a good Christian home and I was raised in a strict Anglican home, which I couldn’t wait to get out of. Immediately I got admission into the university, which was quite a distance from home I knew my freedom has finally come. I got into the university and began living the life my mother will call wayward and will secure me a first class ticket to hell. I felt the pocket money they gave me was too little and I didn’t want to live in the hostel, I wanted to live off-campus like the so called big babes so I decided to join them in using what I had to get what I want. I made friends with the big babes and joined them in attending their parties where I will meet rich men that will be able to cater for my chosen lifestyle. I attended the most lavish parties; I was always traveling to Abuja, Lagos, Calabar or any other state where the craziness took me.

I thought I was living the life. We were the most popular babes on campus, the one who wore the best clothes, had the best-furnished apartments and the most fashionable. I barely attended lectures, but I knew how to go about in getting good grades. I was quite brilliant but I had since forgotten what it means to pick up my books and read. I had also forgotten what going home was. My mother kept calling and threatening me with coming to the school if I didn’t come home for the next holiday. I went home for the holiday, leaving most of the clothes I usually wore in school behind for more conservative gowns and skirts which were what I grew up wearing and what my parents believed was the proper way a young Christian lady should dress. I hated dressing that way and the fact that my parents made me dress like that made my dislike for them grow more and more. They still saw me as that little girl they bought Christmas clothes for but I wanted to show them that I had grown, I was no longer their little girl. The holiday was for two weeks and I couldn’t wait to go back to school. I noticed I was tired all the time, sleepy and my body felt strange to me. It seemed my mother noticed too because she kept asking if I was okay, I told her I was fine and there was nothing to worry about but there was a lot to worry about when I realized I hadn’t seen my period last month and it was a new month. I was pregnant and if my mother found out that will be the end. I called my friend Ginika, who directed me to a place where I could go to get rid of the pregnancy. That morning, I hurriedly left the house immediately my parents left for a wedding at the village, it was Saturday and I knew they won’t be back till later in the day.

I found my way to the place Ginika had directed me; it was on the outskirts of the town. As my taxi man drove down the bad road, I got goose bumps all over my body. I had a really bad feeling about what I was about to do but there was no going back. We got in front of an old looking one story building and the taxi man stopped to tell me that was the place. I quickly paid and got out, my legs were all shaky as I climbed the stairs and knocked on the door. A middle-aged man in a blue shirt and black pants opened the door; we already spoke on the phone so there were no long introductions needed again. That day turned my life around, on that operating table, I could feel the man probing and prodding my private part, and the blinding pain and the thoughts of death rolled in my head. I prayed I made it out alive, it was my final year and I wanted to graduate, get married and have kids, I didn’t want to die like this. I promised that if I made it out alive I would become a better person. I got home that day looking like a shadow of myself, I looked at myself in the mirror and it felt as if I had lost a lot of weight in just a few hours. I avoided coming out of my room so my mother doesn’t suspect something was wrong. I had to eat and drink a lot of water as the so-called quack doctor suggested because I didn’t believe a genuine doctor would do what he did to me. I got better, after a few days, I had lost a lot of weight though but I was a changed person. I went back to school and for the first time, I studied for my final exams. I graduated with a second-class upper, most of the marks I paid for, but I graduated and there was nothing I could do about that now. I got posted to Lagos State, luckily for me to a media house, where they will retain me after my service year.

The day I met Seyi was the day we completed youth service. I had gone out with a few friends to celebrate. I noticed the cute guy seated at the end of the cafe sipping on a bottle of hunter and throwing glances my way. I also noticed when he stood up and started walking towards where we stood. He stopped for a second as if to catch his breath and then continued walking towards us. When we laughed at him and left him standing there, we noticed he still followed us to the bar upstairs and sat not so far away from us. When it was time to pay for our order, the waiter told us that it had already been taken care of. I knew he paid our bill and we decided to go say thank you. All the while we spoke to him he kept staring at me and my friend Bunmi who couldn’t help but noticed teased him about having eyes only for me. Before we left he took my number and promised he would give me a call. I later learned Seyi was from a very wealthy and respectable family. We had been dating for almost 8months when he asked me to marry him. He managed his family business as his father had passed away a few years before we met, the responsibility fell on him because he was the only son and his two sisters who were married with kids lived outside the country. The problem came when I found out his family didn’t want him to marry me and the fact that I was Igbo was another issue. As educated as they were I wondered why my tribe was an issue. The mother told him that they had already found him a wife, it has been his father’s wish when he was alive that he married the daughter of his closest friend and he would not be allowed to go against that wish. Seyi stood his ground and insisted that no matter what they said he was going to marry me. I could not contain my joy when I saw the way he fought for me and I grew to love him even more. We finally won the war and they gave in and gave their blessings.

Our wedding day was the most remarkable day of my life. I woke up that morning at the penthouse of my hotel in Victoria Island, I had the room all to myself as the groom wasn’t supposed to see the bride before the wedding. Seyi had spoilt me with so many gifts; we had gone to London to shop for the wedding dress, shoes, and the rings. I could see the love in his face whenever he looked at me and sometimes I find myself pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. This was real and it was happening to me, I had the best husband any girl could ask for and I was living the dream. Someone knocked on the door, and I jumped down from the bed, grabbed my housecoat from the chair by the dress as I went to answer the door. I asked who it was and Seyi voice answered from the other side. I told him he shouldn’t be there, as he wasn’t supposed to see me until the wedding ceremony. He persisted till I opened the door, he said he just wanted to see me before I dressed up and tell me how I have made him the happiest man alive. He crept out of the room a few hours later all smiles, as my sister and my friends had called to say they were on their way up to help me get ready.

The wedding took place at the Pentecostal church not far from the hotel; the crowd I saw left me dumbfounded. The dignitaries that came for the wedding made me realize how affluent Seyi’s family was. They wished us well in our new home, prayed for good children, good health and a blissful marriage. We left for our honeymoon in South Africa immediately after the reception. We spent a week and a few days before we got back as Seyi had to get back to work and so did I. Six months later I realized I was pregnant, Seyi was overjoyed, he wanted to me to stop working as he didn’t want me to stress myself in order to keep the baby safe but I wasn’t having any of it. I didn’t want to stay at home and do nothing; I would not be able to stand the boredom. I insisted and he let me have my way, but told me that after the first trimester I was going to have to stop work. We didn’t get to see the end of the first trimester as I had a miscarriage in my second month. I was so heartbroken and bitter, Seyi tried all he could to console me saying we would have another baby but I couldn’t get over the one I already lost. I prayed God wasn’t punishing me for the baby I aborted three years ago and asked him for forgiveness all over again. Seyi decided we should go on a short vacation to help take my mind off the miscarriage. It worked but deep inside I would always cry for my child who I never got to hold in my arms or name.

Another six months passed and I got pregnant, this time, I stopped working in order not to risk any miscarriage; I will go mad if I lost another baby. This time, everything worked out and I gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, which we named Wale (strength has come) and Obinna (Father’s heart). Two years later we welcomed another child, a baby girl this time who we named Ifunanya (Love). I and Seyi decided we didn’t want any more children as we were fine with just two. But four years later I found out I was pregnant again, I didn’t mind another baby and it turned out Seyi loved the idea too. We gave birth to another baby boy who we named Dimeji (Wealth has doubled), he was a carbon copy of Seyi and he loved him so much. He was a happy child, he didn’t cry so much and people always commented on what a lovely child he was. We were living in peace and I couldn’t ask for more than I already had. Then Seyi announced his plan to run for the post of the governor in the next election and that was the beginning of our or rather my problems.

Hooked!

He calls, you knew he would, you have just met for the first time at a party and it feels like you have known him forever, isn’t that how it always starts in the movies? You let your mind wander a bit to your first meeting or maybe first date, as you let your phone ring a bit more so it doesn’t you don’t seem so anxious.

You have been standing with a small group of friends and some other unknown people when everyone agrees that an introduction is necessary, but before it gets to his turn, he gets called away… You think he was cute when you caught each other’s eyes, but you can’t really tell what he thinks because he seems quite expressionless, or you just can’t plainly read minds. You secretly search him out in the full room and notice he’s mingling with other guests, he seems to be important as practically everyone seems to say hello or give a friendly hug or handshake…. You walk to the bar to get a little tipsy and gain just the right amount of buzz to mingle and pretend this is your usual crowd and you were just born into it.

As you down the second glass of tequila and turn around, there stands Mr. Smug as you have chosen to call him, a distance away, speaking to a really stunning lady. You remember her as one of the people who had taken part in the earlier introductions in your circle a few minutes ago, but you can’t seem to remember her name, not that you cared. What seemed to bother you was why they stood so close to each other. You frown as you wonder if something is going on between them. You shake yourself a little and try to talk yourself out of the way you feel, and as you look up, you lock eyes with Mr. Smug briefly and quickly remove your eyes as you walk away. You just mingle with the guests and stood to chat with some but a little bit absentminded as you wondered who he is.  Someone taps you, you turn around and it’s him, spotting the most charming lopsided smile you have ever seen. You could bet that smile had charmed a lot of women before you straight into temptation and maybe doom!

He introduces himself, and in a matter of minutes you find out you both seem to have a lot in common. The conversation flows so easily as you argue so comfortably when you disagree with him that to a third party, it would seem you both have known each other for a long time. You catch him checking you out when you pretend to look away and smile to yourself; he likes me too. There are so many things about him, the way he carries himself, the way he talks, and the way he smiles. Now he’s singing along to the songs in a low tone that you can barely hear him, if you aren’t standing so close. You realize he just makes everything sexy.

You like the way he talks, the way he thinks, the way he pauses briefly before he responds to a question, his crooked smile that makes his eyebrows arch. The way he sings along makes you think he’ll make an awesome bathroom singer. His clothes fit so perfectly, as if it has been tailor made exclusively for him. You have just met this drop dead gorgeous man and you like everything about him. Then it hits you, this it, “You are hooked!”… Probably for a really long time, and deep down, you do not really care. You feel like you are living the lines in the song by Camila Cabelo, “Never been the same”. Something must have definitely gone wrong with your brain”.

Her Famous Mystery Man

Chisom was so excited. She had never met anyone quite like him before; well…they hadn’t met in person really. They met on Twitter, she had commented on a friend’s post and had gotten lots of retweets and she had become a mini-celebrity that day. David had been one of the many followers she got with her popular comment. She had gone and checked out his profile when he sent her a direct message on Twitter that read.

“Hey, I think you are pretty smart, wanna have a drink and maybe talk?”.

He had no profile picture and all her efforts to find him on Facebook or LinkedIn proved futile. She had also tried finding him on Instagram to no avail, so she gave up and decided he was just a ghost. The way he talked spoke of arrogance, the kind she liked. Not necessarily the bad kind of arrogance, but more like confidence, someone who is used to giving orders. The more they talked over the phone, the more attracted to him she got and she knew the feeling wasn’t one-sided. So why could she not shake that nagging feeling that something wasn’t right? She hadn’t told any of her friends about her mysterious stranger, she didn’t want to jinx it. They were supposed to meet the next day, which was Saturday, and she couldn’t wait.

As she was dressing up to go to the salon, her phone rang.

“Hey dear, how are you today?” he said immediately she picked up.

“I’m good, about to go run an errand, how are you?” She responded.

His voice sounded so familiar like she had heard him somewhere before. She swallowed the urge to ask him again why she couldn’t find him on any other social network site. He had told her he wasn’t very active on Facebook some time ago, but she wasn’t having any of that. She kept trying to place his voice in her head but with no luck.

“Why don’t you have a profile picture?” she asked when she couldn’t help it anymore.

He laughed and said, “I know you can’t help yourself, curiosity kills the cat you know”.

“Well, I don’t know how someone is only Twitter, with no profile picture, and doesn’t belong to any other social networks”.

“As a matter of fact Darling, I am pretty sure whether I belong to any social network or not doesn’t change the fact that you like me and would see me tomorrow”. He responded.

They went back and forth about it for so long that she gave up and decided to go run her errand. He said something about looking forward to meeting her and hung up. She knew they were attracted to each other, she also reminded herself to take it slow but it seemed she might lose this particular battle. David was so intelligent and from the way he described himself to her when he has refused to do a video call, he was over 6feet tall, fair skinned and not bad looking. Well, she would have to wait and confirm herself, tomorrow.

At 5pm the next day, Chisom clad in a blue denim Jean pants, a white fitted top, and sunshades, got in her car and drove to the nice lounge in Victoria Island where they had agreed to meet. She entered and chose a spot at the extreme of the room, away from the speakers and close to the balcony. She had been a little early intentionally, so she would watch him come in.

She was still about to respond to a chat on her phone when she spotted a familiar figure enter the lounge, she couldn’t believe her eyes as the figure drew closer. No! This couldn’t be him she thought, this man is famous and a man of God, everybody knew him, and she knew he was so married. So what is he doing here? Ok, she thought, her heart pounding in her chest, maybe he was here to meet someone else, but that voice… that was definitely his voice. She knew it now and she has heard it lots of times, so why couldn’t she place it before? She could not believe her eyes; he was even more handsome in person.

She watched him walk towards her and tried so hard not to let her jaw drop or her face show what she was feeling, which was to turn and run.

He stopped in front of her table.

“Hi Darling, you have quite an expressive face, can I trust you not to run?”

At the same time Chisom was picking up her purse from the seat and was making for the nearest exit from the other side of the table, all she could think of was not being the next exclusive gist on Linda, and her not so mysterious stranger persistently followed closely behind.

The Future in Her Hands (2)

The university was quiet when she arrived on Sunday at noon. She entered the Catholic church by the gate and sat down on the seat at the back of the church. Later in the day as she went out to look around, she noticed students were already coming in with their luggage. She took her Ghana-must-go and headed in the direction where she saw the cars with the luggage going, which she learned was where the hostels were located and where would later become her home for the next 6years. The hostel provision store was open when she got there, and she was thirsty. She walked into the store to buy a sachet of water, she was drinking the water greedily when a chubby girl walked into to the store to buy soft drinks. She introduced herself as Tina and asked her if she was living in the hostel too. Chiadi told her she just got admission and she didn’t have a hostel yet. Tina then invited her to stay in her room as her roommates were not coming back till the upper week and by then a hostel would have been assigned to her.

Tina she later learned was a 2nd-year medical student, who would later become her best friend over the years and, would be there for her during all her troubles and her success, giving her words of encouragement. She would also sit in the crowd with Chief Osita who later took an interest in her life and became the father she never had and cheered when she got the award for the best graduating student in the school of medicine and got several offers from the best hospitals in the city.

1st year and the 2nd year where the hardest for Chiadi as she had to adjust to city life. Living on a little stipend that was barely enough to cover her feeding, talk about buying other necessities. There were some days she went without eating because there wasn’t enough money to eat, buy textbooks and work on assignments at the same time. It was during her 3rd year when her performance report had gotten to her sponsor Chief Osita who could not believe such a genius existed, decided to pay her a visit. After hearing her story, he took it upon himself to make sure she never lacked anything. He would invite her to his home during holidays and breaks, his wife was a wonderful woman, who treated her like the daughter she never had. They opened their home to her, and she never had to go back to the house which was never a home.

It was Chief Osita who after she graduated with the best result had told her to choose any university of her choice abroad to further her education if she wanted. She has chosen to further her studies in the UK and he happily sponsored her. She made sure she didn’t disappoint by coming out the top of her class. She had come to see Chief Osita as the father she never had and would be forever grateful for the many opportunities he had given her.  Chief Osita was overjoyed when his son who had a thing for her from the first time he saw her, asked for her hand in marriage.

She thought he was crazy when Osita Junior asked her out, even though he hadn’t been around much, he had grown to love the woman she had become and he wanted to be a part of her life. Chiadi had argued that she wasn’t ready for marriage and he had insisted that he would be there to support her dreams and would not stop her from achieving her goals. He went on to shower her with so much love, gifts and, attention that at the end of the day he won her over. He was a smart, caring and loving man. He understood her dreams and Chiadi fell in love with him.

She had wondered what it will feel like going back to the village and facing her aunt again after years of being away. Chief Osita had assured her that there was nothing to worry about and they were all going to be with her on that day. She will never forget the look on her aunt’s face when she ran out to see the fine luxury cars parked outside her compound on the day she and her fiancé Osita junior and his relatives, had arrived in the village to seek their consent to marry her. She had seen her peeping through the faded curtains to see who it was and what they were doing in her compound. Chiadi was sad when she learned her uncle had died years ago after a brief illness. She never got to repay him for the kindness he had shown her and in years to come she would honor his memory by building a hospital in his name.

Her aunt was dumbfounded. Chiadi had changed so much and even spoke with so much sophistication, that she almost pinched her to make sure she was real. She couldn’t believe her eyes.  Chiadi caught her staring at her countless times and the only thing she could think of was that she looked old and worn out. Her aunt had shamefully collected her bride price and other gift items and have been marveled when she sent them a flight ticket to attend the white wedding months after.

Years later Chiadi will tell her daughters her story and encouraged them to take their fate into their hands and decide that what they want to be. She would let them know that she didn’t allow any obstacle or anyone stand in the way of her dream, she had done whatever it took to make it. She would later become an inspiration to young girls who wanted to become something in life. She received many awards and recognition and her name became a household name. Her story became one to be told to young girls who refused to go to school.