Rita is fond of her grandmother. She would do anything for her. A reason she spends most of her short holidays with her paternal grandmother. Rita loved to sit by her grandmother’s side as she spins historical stories and folklores to her. Rita loved storytelling. She loved to hear the stories about kingship and the Warlords of her dear town. Never in her thoughts, did she imagine what nature had in store for her. She was cultured and her good nature reflected like the sunny rays of a glowing sun.
People often told her that she had a strong resemblance to her grandmother. Mama Agnes, as she was fondly called, was beautiful and so was Rita. Everyone loved her charming beauty.
Rita’s parents live in the big city. At twelve years, she left the city to continue her education at the All Girls College in the town where her parents grew up. Adaigbo, is a beautiful town devoid of the paraphernalia of the big cities, like Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Jos. Her father’s Mother lived alone in the big compound. The husband of her youth, died of diabetes when Rita was barely 11 years old. A death that left her devastated. A death that left a deep hollow within her soul. Her only respite now were her three sons. And Rita’s father was her first fruit.
After one year of trying to cope with the realities of his father’s death, Okocha and his wife, Rita’s parents, told their only daughter one Sunday afternoon that she would move to their hometown to live with her grandmother. All inquiries for her to resume studies at the All-Girls College has been concluded. Even without her consent, her fate has been decided.
That evening, Rita nibbled on her food slowly, a little bit apprehensive of what life with her grandmother will be like. She had an uneasy qualm about the darkness that engulfed the town of Adaigbo. It has been a major concern to her parents whenever they travelled home. How would she cope with the constant screams and thunderous echoes of “NEPA, NEPA has brought back the light”? These incessant chants have become a regular chorus orchestrated by the youths whenever “The Power Holding Company”, deemed it fit to restore light (electricity) to the people.
It was a norm to stay for days without electricity from the government. This lingering glitches led to the reverberations and polluting noises from Generators, the only source of light to defeat the looming darkness whenever NEPA struck. The town was always thrown into confusion and rude blackness, such that the sight of light always triggered a sudden ripple in the small town.
Consumed with these disturbing thoughts, Rita almost screamed to her parents in defiance to their plan. How would she face the darkness? How would she cope? Her softness was alluring. Her compassionate spirit glitters wherever she goes that almost everyone who crosses path with her, got hypnotised by her unbridled display of courtesy. But her mind was made up.
Quietly, she came out to the parlour where her father was watching the 9. 0 clock News. She interjected into his stern focus on the pretty Newscaster. The News was her father’s favourite TV programme and daily ritual.
“Yes, Daddy, I will live with grandma”. She blurted out. “I want to help her with her house chores and ensure she is happy”. Her father looked up to his charming daughter. Thrilled. “God bless you, my dear girl”, he voiced out. “May your children always bring joy to your good soul”.
She smiled as she gazed at the clock, which hung at a corner of the massive parlour. “Good Night Daddy”. She said.
May the day break, her father replied.
In response to the Daily Prompt – Qualm.
Peace and Love!
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