A PREGNANT TOMORROW

By Okolo Chinua 4 months ago

"Here, there is a father unhappy about the arrival of his son from school because it means an extra mouth to feed..." writes Dubem as his poem stares him in the face unable to complete it.
 
An aloof feeling overwhelms him as the house seems to have no space for him. He rubs his eyes hard as he breathes in quickly taking in the strand of catarrh that was about dropping from his nose. His challenges stare him in the face as he wonders how he will ask his father for help. 
 
In his room, Umuchukwu is at the top of his voice. His daughter had just told him that the Christian Bank had requested his presence.
 
"They said we must bring our parents if we want to pay school fees," Ada said.
 
"My friend Obinna si m na O mummy ya jee kwunye nke ya, na-ekweghi ya jiri aka ya," Izu chipped in, indicating that his friend had had a similar experience.
 
Umuchukwu's mind is clouded. He rubs his forehead tightly with his palms as the sound of the crickets outside seem to mock him, his eyes reddened from constant thought. He was worried about how to seek permission from his boss just to answer the bank's call. In his mind he curses the bank, wishing it never existed.
 
At the other end of the room is his son, seated and hunched, his hands over a piece of paper as he seems to write something. His son had come back from school at a time when he, Umuchukwu's finances were as dry as a desert. In his mind, he considers telling the boy to drop out because he could no longer cope with the expenses. Immediately, his phone rings. It is Mr.Ogochukwu the owner of the firm where he works calling. Series of abuses are poured on him as Mr.Ogo hangs up, threatening to fire him the next day if he didn't show up early and put life into the work. 
 
Umuchukwu opens his mouth to speak but the words elude him. 'Gabanu' he manages to say as he embraces himself with his wrapper, crouched on his bed. Dubem is to return to school the next day and he has to provide money for him which he didn't have; the bank requested he comes the next day or they cancel the payment of the fees; his boss had ordered he comes early and stays devoted all day or risk being sacked. 'Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery but today is a gift' the words of Roosevelt prowl through his mind as he wonders how the coming day would play out.
 


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