If Tomorrow Never Comes
The next scene was at the same school.
This time we were all at assembly and I heard the headteacher mention my name and I cowered instantly.
I did not know what I had done this time, and I was sure I was going to receive some strokes from ‘asempa ye tia’ that day.
Usually, that was what happened. The whole school would be made to congregate when someone grossly misconducted him or herself. Then, he or she would be flogged to serve as a deterrent to others after what he or she did is made public to the whole school.
I walked with steel legs to the veranda just in front of the classrooms where the teachers and school prefects were standing. To say I was scared was putting it mildly.
I was about twelve years old then.
The headmaster pulled me to his side, placed his hand on my shoulders and addressed all present.
“Usually, when we come here, and you are called up it means you have done something very terrible that is deserving of some punishment of sorts. Today, it will not be so. This boy here has really warmed my heart and I think his example should be emulated by all.
A week ago, on my way to school, I saw him give his lunch to Akakpo, the madman you kids throw stones and anything you can find at every time you pass by, to and from school.
When I asked him why he did that he told me he saw him eating rotten food and thought that was not good for him.
And then yesterday, during the storm, I chanced on him outside his classroom and asked what he was doing especially because it was raining cats and dogs with lightning and thunder.
He told me he had to get to his sister who gets panic attacks when it thunders. So, I went with him to get his sister and took the two of them to my office.
I pretended to be working while they sat and I saw him draw close to the sister, put an arm around her and told her thunders were just the clash of two sounds.
And, he shocked me by saying that “thunders are one of God’s ways of reminding us that He exists and that He’s that powerful.”
He went on to tell her sister that “every time you hear thunder, think of Jehovah and appreciate His handiworks and know that I will always be there with you, wherever you are.”
This same boy here was ready to take the strokes for his sisters a few weeks ago and this goes to show the kind of person he is. I have not seen such show of selfless act in my entire life and I think we should all learn from his example. It is humbling how he cares for the people around him. I, therefore, give him this citation with an award as The Most Caring and Well-behaved Boy Ever.”
I was really happy that day. I felt loved and appreciated and it felt good to be the centre of attention for something positive.
On the screen now was me and my siblings. Obviously, I was in Junior High School now with my black shorts and white shirt.
My siblings are wearing the same primary uniform. We were heading towards the maternity block of the Winneba Government Hospital, now Municipal Hospital. Our mother is a nurse but that was not why we were headed there that morning.
Our mother had been in labour for two days, and we had passed by every morning and afternoon before and after school. It was afternoon now. In the morning, when we passed through, she did not say much to us. I guessed she was in so much pain and that got me worried throughout the day.
The three of us prayed together on our way to school that morning because it looked like something was wrong.
On the screen, we are at the entrance of the maternity block now and the nurses are smiling at us. They told us we had an addition to the family, a baby sister and we all dashed to the ward my mom was and oh boy, am I not blessed?
Another cuteness in the form of a sister, black beauty, plump and a real beauty stared us in the eyes as we looked down at her in the cot. I was really happy I got another sister to dote on. I told myself I’d be privileged to have three or even more brothers-in-law later in life.