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The man we call Pa Kay was coughing, all of us saw blood come out of his mouth, he have been trying to cover it up each time they ask how he is doing. ‘It’s nothing, I will be fine, you people should not bother about me.’ Pa Kay will say, walking slow slow and holding the wall for support as the cough will be coming out big big. All of us see his brown handkerchief, blood have cover it, we managed to sit him on chair. Some of us are blowing him breeze with our clothes, the others are giving him water. ‘Pa Kay don’t die, please remain alive.’ I say. I don’t want him to die, he is the one that is like my father after my real father die.
Months ago, father will tell me stories of great men and women who rise from nothing to become something in life. ‘Awele, you can be anything you want to be in life. All you need is education.’ Father will say.
‘Father I want to be a fashion designer, I want to make fine fine clothes for popular people so I can buy you and Mama big big house, big big car and give you plenty plenty money. Father will tell me to read my books and come out in flying colors in my exams. It is then I know that he not like the thing I want to be in life, he always tell me about lawyer, doctor, accountant and all those big big people that wear ironed suits and wear big big shoes and climb big big cars. Me, I will now tell him that all those people like to wear fine fine clothes and I will make plenty plenty money from making them these clothes.
Problem started happening when father lost his job at the university. He has many many talents, one of them is making electronics to work. Everybody knows father is the best engineer in our community. Father can repair radio, television and everything that have wire in it.
The day father lost his job, he come home with a sad face and tell us that his Oga take credit for the water turbine thing he help them build in the university. I have not seen father wear that sad look in my life, the thing pain him well well. He drop his resign letter and hope that they will call him back and beg him and give him more money and make him a long time worker instead of a short time worker.
Weeks climb weeks and father was not called back. He now focus on his shop, even though the money is small for us. After junior WAEC, I start hawk water melon so I can help father and mother with their small small income. Each time I pass where I see fine fine clothes, I will stand with the tray on my head and look until I am tired of looking. I know one day I will be fashion designer. After I have finish secondary school, I decide that I will go to university and if father can’t provide, I will start tailor work as apprentice for Aunt Lucy, Mama friend.
All my dream get accident, when herdsmen come to our community and put fire everywhere, kill plenty plenty people with their big big cutlass. I did not see father and mother, they have run for their life, our room have catch fire, everything burn finish. Later, I see father who say he didn’t know where mother go. We find a camp to stay, they say government provide for people who do not have home. That is where I meet mother, Pa Kay and my friend, Temi. We soon become one big family again.
It is Temi who show me to big big men in town that will sleep with us for money. Sometimes we don’t want them to put it in our mouth, they show us more money and we allow them, they will now pay us after they have finish with us. Father meet people in camp who drink ogogoro and talk about the corruption in this country, even in their drunk – they make sense.
One night, father did not come back to camp and we think the herdsmen have kill him. It have reach two months we did not see him.
I am holding Pa Kay’s hand, tears dropping from my eyes. Pa Kay has been good to mother and me since father disappeared. The doctor in camp say he have Tuberculosis that we should not stay where he stay. Each morning I wake, I ask God when I will be fashion designer.
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