Chapter One

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The buzzing of my phone woke me up. It started me to a terrifying jolt. The night before was cold as always has been for the past few weeks as the rainy season had come to stay.

I switched off my alarm and stretched while still on my bed. My bed was large enough to contain comfortably three people my size. Rubbing my fingers on my slightly dim eyeballs, I pulled off rheum from the night before before my mum came in.

"Nne, it's time for our morning prayers," she said smiling.

I got out quickly before my grumpy father came out from his room and looked for me or my elder brother. We all sat in the living room and I sat on an idle sofa while Emeka took his seat beside mine.

"Emeka, lead us in worship," my dad said as he brought out his pair of glasses from the glass case while carefully cleaning off the dust particles that might have settled on it.

"Dad I led yesterday. Nnenna is the one to lead today," Emeka said staring at me.

"Ngwanu Ada lead the worship."

I swallowed hard because I didn't expect the tables to turn on me. Usually, I practice ahead of time so I don't stutter during worship.
"Good morning Jesus... " I started with my voice croaking at intervals.

The day before was a heavy one for me. I just learnt that University of Nigeria had just released yet another admission list and again, my name wasn't on it. I cried myself to sleep and assured myself that another will still come out and hopefully I'll make it in.

Many of my friends had their names on that list and they all called me to break the good news. I felt bad that I wasn't happy the way I should have been when Debbie told me too that she had gotten in.

Debbie my childhood best friend, was more like a sister to me. She would come around when I felt bad and would make sure she leaves me smiling. We had huge plans for university life together and I couldn't imagine everything turning into ruins if I didn't make it in.

I had successfully led the worship and Praise section and I didn't stutter while in it. If I had, my dad would have bluntly said that it was due to my lack of concentration and I should learn to let the spirit of God flow through me. My dad shared the word from Joel's book chapter three. He emphasized on the importance of prayer before we rounded off the morning prayers.

We all dispersed and I went back into my room to get some minutes of good sleep before I continue with my morning chores, when Emeka walked in.

"Nnenna, did you see my headset?"

"You don't know how to knock ba?"

"I'm serious. I want to use it to go out," he replied almost immediately.

"I borrowed it from your room last night when you were sleeping. Take," I said reaching under my pillow and getting it for him.

"Borrowing without permission, is that one borrowing?" he asked smiling resorting me to laughter.

I handed it over to him just in time as to answer my mother's call from the kitchen.

"Mum, you called?"

"Yes dear. Come and help me pound pepper. I want to quickly prepare this food before going out."

I washed the peppers she had placed in a plastic bowl and set it to be ground.

"I heard Debbie has gotten admission," she started.

"Mhmm," I mumbled as I pounded loudly.

"Do you know when the next list will come out?"

"Me I don't know oo, they said next week and I'm optimistic," I replied as I scraped the ground peppers from the mortar into the pot of boiling tomatoes.

I didn't want to continue having this uncomfortable talk with my parents about admission. I felt they were all putting unnecessary pressure on me and all I could do was wait.

"Mum I'm going!" Emeka called out from outside and had Obi, our gateman lock the gate after him.

Emeka was in his final year in the University. He usually came home for the weekend and would leave very early on Monday back to school. I envied him. I envied the way he talked so much about the University and I wished that one day I would be the one saying the same words as he did every time he came back. "Lecture was fun!"

"Nne are you OK? You cut your finger," my said rushing towards me. She held out my hand and told me to go in and wash it up. I didn't even know when I held up a knife. As I pushed open the door, I dodged hitting my dad who noticed my bleeding finger and asked my mum what had happened.

"I really hope she gets this admission of a thing. She's really loosing it," my mum said.

I got into my bathroom and sighed as I washed out streaks of my blood out in the sink. The red colour quickly disappeared in no time and I went to the closet to get a plaster and wrap it up.

I sat back on my bed and thought about calling Debbie. I stared at my blank screen and just immediately I saw a call come in; It was Debbie's.

She went on and on telling me how she had already started shopping for school and I somewhat felt stupefied because she spoke more and I mumbled in response. After the call, I made a short prayer to God telling him how very good a child I'd be if only I got admitted.

We lived in New Haven, Enugu and through out my life I have never lacked anything necessary. I had a strict father who throughout life had always pushed us to be better versions of ourselves.

Before Emeka gained admission, he was a huge fan of football and had always wanted to be a footballer but my dad never approved of it. He coerced him into putting Civil Engineering and made sure he passed well.

On my part, I had always been a bright student. I was never cajoled into putting any course my father liked, I personally chose Medicine and Surgery but the admission was not forthcoming. I learned later that there was a lot of competitors and that perfectly explains it.

My eyes dimmed once more. I didn't get enough sleep the night before and it's effect was dawning on me. I dozed off seconds later and a slight buzz woke me up. Not getting up or flinching, I searched with my fingers for my phone. My fingers slid under the pillow and I snatched my phone nearly removing the phone case. Bringing the phone close enough for eye view, I read the text

Hey how you doing today? Just felt I should check on you though.
Balogun.

Author's note: A new story and the first chapter is up. Please guys if you liked it so far, please vote and drop your comments. I would love to know what you think. It's OK if you don't also but along the line, I pray you grow to enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

12:43pm


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