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Kelechi’s unconcern about what had happened to him since the incident at the party was soon likely to be a tinderbox.  In consequence, something actually happened.

Two weeks after he regained his normal health condition, a friend invited him to Nekede.  They were both course mates back in the polytechnic and the friend’s name was Billy.  He invited Kelechi over for a party which was indeed going to be revelry.  He knew that with Kelechi’s presence there would never be a dull moment, so he wanted him to be there and be part of the fun.  However, his decision to attend the party would meet with strong rejection.  His mother was the first to strike.

                “You will not kill me, this boy!  You will not kill me!  You are my only son and I will not allow you to put yourself in harm’s way just like that.  What if something should happen to you there?  Please my son, we don’t want to lose you, please!”

               “Mum, nothing is going to happen, so don’t be afraid.”

                “Why won’t I be afraid?  Have you forgotten so soon what happened at the party you last attended?  Have you forgotten what it cost you?  I am sure you do not want to revisit that incident.”

                 “Mum, I said nothing is going to happen to me!  Moreover, like you’ve always said, the good Lord is going to be there to protect me so that nothing will….”

                 “The good Lord you said!  Is it not a popular saying that heaven helps those who help themselves?  You shouldn’t expect God to protect you when you are running headlong into danger….”

                  “What happened the other day did not happen because I attended a party, it was because someone provoked me.  I didn’t start attending parties just yesterday….”

                  “I will press no further.  May heaven help you, which is all I can say.  But if trouble should come, you will bear it alone.”

                  “The onus is on me.  I take full responsibility for whatever happens to me, after all I am no longer a child; for heaven’s sake I am twenty-five already and so have a right to whatever decisions I make.”  Kelechi’s mother then decreased the potency of her voice.

                  “Even if you should go, please think past the drinks; alcohol does no good.  I don’t blame you at all; it was your father who showed you the way.  It was by the grace of God that he was able to desist from drinking heavily and I hope that one day you too will learn your lesson.”

                  “I’ve told you mum to stop worrying too much, I’ll be just fine.  You know, just pray for me and I’ll be fine.  And pertaining to what happened some weeks ago, least said soonest mended.  That is the past now and I’m going to get over it.”

                  “I am certain your father would not want to hear anything about attending a party.  What the ear doesn’t hear, the heart doesn’t grieve over, so don’t even mention it to your father.  You can tell him that you want to travel to see a friend, that’s all.  I think he will appreciate that.  Do not forget that discretion is the better part of valour and only fools rush in where angels fear to tread.  Listen to me, I am your mother.  I gave you birth and you sucked no other than these breasts of mine for two complete years.  So when I am talking you should listen….”

                  “Women, you are all the same.  Can a young man not have his space for just a passing moment?  When I was at school, were you there to monitor my every move?  If I was okay then in spite of the number of parties I attended and the number of alcoholic beverages I guzzled, why worry about now?  Maybe I shouldn’t have brought up this matter in the first place…”  He walked out on his mother towards the kitchen.  “Food dey this house sef?” he said as he opened the pot on the cooking table.  “Oha! Oha and fufu!  This is just enough to pacify me, and I think to cool my temples I also need chilled beer guzzling down my throat.”  Then he served himself.

                  “Kelechi, I suppose you didn’t take more than a piece of meat from the soup?  All you do is eat and eat, drink and drink, party and party!  When will you be serious with your life and look for a job?  All your mates with whom you attended the same school are engaged in one work or the other.  Your own work is partying and drinking.  May God surely help you…”

                  “Nwaanyi a!  Make you dey your lane o!  Make you just dey your lane, make you no make me vex this afternoon o!  Abeg sef, make I chop this food make I go take one bottle beer wash am down….”

It seemed as if Kelechi’s mind was made up to attend the party.  When his father came around, he lied to him that he was going for a job interview.

                   “Nwoke m, when did you apply for the job, I hope you are not trifling with me?  I am surprised because, for some time now you’ve been up to no good.  Anyway I wish you a successful outcome; may you go and come back but with a job in Jesus name.”

                   “Ka ódika isi kwue!”  was the pretenseful answer to his father’s prayer.

When Kelechi was set to fall out, his parents, especially his mother bid him farewell.  He travelled on a Friday and was to return the following Sunday.


The meanings of Igbo words and expressions as used in this story are given below.

Nna m, gini mere?  -----------------------My father, what happened?

Biko ----------------------------------Please

Egwu mmanowu -----------------------------Igbo masquerade dance

Na odika isi kwue! ---------------------------------------Amen! (so be it; surely)

Noro nwanyo!  --------------------------Keep quiet!

Nwoke m! --------------------------------------Young man!

O buru na nwata enpu isi oga ataa ahuhu --------------- If a child does not humble himself, he will                                                                      suffer adversity

Nwaanyi a!  ------------------------------This woman!

Nwanne, idi sharp! -------------------------------------Smart guy! (a hail word)

Ibu ajo mmadu! --------------------------- You are a bad person!

Chineke m! ------------------------------- God (as used- my God!)


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