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� Oyin Oluwatosin Emmanuel
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Disclaimer : This story is a complete work of fiction, no resemblance to any real person, dead or living or real places and circumstance is intended.
The story begins with Chapter One tomorrow.
It was a cool beautiful morning, the breeze was blowing gently and smoothly. Although it was just 5am, men could be seen on the streets with their bags, office files and some market women with their sacs of goods and wares hurrying down to their respective places of work and trade. The street cleaners – mostly middle-aged women – could also be seen cleaning up the roadsides and drainages with their torchlights stuck somewhere under their caps, they dared not wait until it was bright enough; the crowd of people and sellers that would have arrived the road wouldn’t give them the chance to carry out their jobs.
Somewhere off the road was a street called Monibow, a jam-packed street it was; most of the houses were built in a disorderly manner and most of them were the “face me- I face you” houses. Most people living in the street were tenants, the few landlords who lived their had very funny looking houses which were old and in need of restructuring.
The name of the street “Monibow” was coined from the Yoruba clause “mi o ni bow” which is translated in English as “I won’t bow”. On that street lived the Ogbighe’s family, in a house of their own.
Oh! Did I call it a house? Maybe it would be better described as an advanced hut. Okay, okay, let’s just call it a house; I won’t want to speak badly about the Ogbighe’s prized possession. At least, it had two rooms, a kitchen and a toilet in it.
“Amen…amen…amen,” sleepy voices could be heard chanting answers to prayers. That was how they had the Ogbighe’s had their devotions every morning. For the children, that time was the most boring moment of their lives, to them always seemed longer than an all night payer meeting.
Ogbighe was the man of the house, married to his faithful wife, Lydia. Together, they had five kids; two boys and three girls. They used to all live in the two room apartment until one of the boys left the house to join the army. But the rest of the family lived happily in their two room apartment, well how do I describe it? They were happy; they never felt bad or less privileged about their situation.
The first child was a girl named Patience, she was twenty five, a student in a nearby college of education. She wasn’t at home most times, she stayed with her friends in the school hostel. As the eldest in the house, she felt no need to keep bothering her parents with her own burdens, so she worked as a per time teacher in a secondary school to take care of her needs and only came home sometimes at weekends to spend time with her family.
The Second Child, a male, twenty two years old named Testament was a school dropout. He had stopped schooling in his two hundred level when the struggle to pay his school fee had become much for his parents. He took the army recruitment form and passed the exam. Since when he left home, he had never stepped back into the house. The only time they heard from him was when he sent a message home through his friend, telling them he was fine and they should not bother about him.
The third child was another girl, aged twenty, her name was Covenant. Since she left secondary school four years ago, she had sat for waec and Jamb examinations three times without success, she then decided to register in a vocational training centre and learn hairdressing which she proved to be very good at.
Their fourth child was a boy, eighteen years old, he was christened Nazaretha. He was a fresh secondary school leaver, the most intelligent and promising child in the family. Though he had a quiet nature, he wasn’t a gentle person, only those who were close to him knew this. One thing which held him from becoming a total bad boy was the upbringing that he and his siblings went through.
The fifth child, Magdalene was only fourteen years old. She was in the Senior secondary school first level and she attended the nearby school to her house, which all of her siblings also attended, Government Day Secondary School.
“ He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee…”
The whole family recited the Psalm for the day in unison, although the children were yawning occasionally. The book of Psalms was their dad’s favorite, even if Psalms wasn’t part of the scripture reading for that day, he would still make the family include one or two verses from the book. After Psalms, it was Proverbs, then other books came after in no particular order. Lydia was also a fan of Psalms like her husband, so the children had no other choice than to like Psalms too and make it their favourite except for Nazaretha who choose Songs Of Solomon as his favorite, then Psalms was next after.
After the devotion for the day, the children went about their daily chores while the parents began to prepare for work. Ogbighe worked six days a week, he only had Sundays for himself and he always took the Sabbath seriously.
This Friday, he had someone important to meet before going to work, so he rushed his preparation process.
Lydia also began to prepare to go to the canteen where she worked as a cook and assistant to the owner. The children went about their activities the normal way, except for Nazaretha who was unusually in a rush, no one understood why he was rushing but they all remembered that he mentioned the last night that he was going with some of his friends to do a menial job that morning. But that wasn’t enough reason for his rush, it wasn’t the first time he was going to do a menial job.