Amara And The Strange Elderly Woman


Once upon a time, but not a long time ago, there used to be a poor single lady by the name, Amara. Seven years – seven good years – after striving through the four walls of the University for a Degree; after seeking tenaciously for a job, yet she couldn’t find a job.

“Nigeria is such a terrible country,” she sighed in her soliloquy with a sombre countenance and shook her head slowly from side to side, whereupon she continued, “what kind of country is this? No job, no husband and no money. I’m just tired.” She paused and continued, “but I’m not giving up.”

Amara is such a nice lady, quiet and sometimes shy. She has quite a handful of friends, most of which are in a similar condition to hers. The adversities in Nigeria had been trying to leave creases on her face but to no avail, because she still remained cheerful despite all the setbacks. So one day, one of her numerous job applications replied and called her for an interview. She was so happy because she felt that, of all the employment opportunities she had applied for in all those years, this vacancy – ICT Officer – was the one that seemed she was the best match for.

Eagerly, she set out early in the morning for the interview. On getting to the bus stop, there were no buses.

“Oh my gosh,” Amara muttered in disappointment and continued, “how am I going to get to this interview before 9 am? God please help me.” This was painful for her. She waited almost an hour before she could get into a bus. Eventually, she felt a sweet sensation of relief as her bus began its journey to her destination, despite the traffic jams. Unfortunately, this sweet sensation of hers met its demise as the bus jerked and jerked and the engine rumbled and stuttered and then stopped.

“Ah, why me?” she whimpered in frustration and stepped out of the bus peacefully, while the other passengers were busy quarrelling over the balance of their transport fare. Luckily, her destination wasn’t that far, so she paced up in order to meet up, in time.

Finally, Amara got to the street – a busy street – where the company is located. As she crossed the street to the other side of the road in order to get into the company, she met a strange woman, who was nicely dressed but seemed to be sick or something.

“Hello! Please can you assist me to cross the road? I ain’t feeling quite well,” the elderly woman stammered. Amara paused for a second and contemplated on that request.

“Oh God, why are all these happening to me; how am I going to get to this interview, I’m already 30 minutes late?” she queried within herself in a brief dilemma and then assisted the elderly woman. As they sauntered and crossed the road; the elderly woman said, this time, revealing her foreign accent, “please, don’t leave me here. My doctor recommended at least a stroll per day to boost my health.”

Amara couldn’t take it anymore. She didn’t come there for a casual walk with an elderly woman; she has an interview to get to. So as she tried to voice herself and express her plight to this woman, the elderly woman touched her on the shoulder and said, “don’t worry my child, everything is gonna be alright.”

Those words touched Amara and she yielded resignedly to walk with the elderly woman in her stroll. They walked for a while and conversed with each other and then walked back through the same route they came from. To Amara’s surprise, the elderly woman led her into the same company she was to have an interview with.

As they got into the building, the elderly woman said in her sweet accent, “I’m sorry Amara, for all the troubles: for the bus stop incident; for the bus’ breakdown; and for delaying you from getting to your interview…” At this point, Amara was dumbfounded.

“How in the world, did this woman know about all the setbacks I encountered today?” Amara puzzled within herself.

The elderly woman then continued in a gentle demeanor, “you see my child, no pain that we suffer or trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education and to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, tolerance and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our character, purifies our heart, expands our soul and makes us more tender and charitable. This life is ironic: for it takes pain to discover pleasure; it takes sadness to know happiness; it takes war to value peace; and it takes hatred to treasure love. Remember my child, patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet…”

The son walked up to his mother, hurriedly and interjected, “Mum, where have you been? We’ve been looking for you.”

The elderly woman enthused, “Ah my son, don’t worry about me; I only went for a stroll with this young lady. She’s such a darling,” and then turned to Amara and said, “Amara, meet my son – the MD/CEO of the company. He’s such a hardworking single man.” Turned to her son and said, “meet Amara – the lady I told you about – our new Personnel Manager.”

“Oh my gosh! Mummy, thank you so much…” Amara burst with great excitement. She initially came for the post of an ICT officer, now she got something much bigger. You could notice a raft of joy all over her. She thanked the elderly woman as much as she could as the woman sauntered away, leaving her son and Amara in their new acquaintance. “My mum is such a strange woman, you know,” the son commented as they conversed and walked deep into the building.

That comment relieved Amara of her earlier puzzle about this elderly woman and she reminisced about those words the elderly woman told her before the son interjected.

“Remember my child, God will not suffer you to be tempted above that which is beyond your ability, but with the temptation, He will also provide a way out. He is faithful and will always love you.”

©Emmanuel Aghado 2013

35 thoughts on “Amara And The Strange Elderly Woman” by Emmanuel (@Emmanuelpro)

  1. A stereotypical account from someone trying to be a writer. I guessed right from the ‘once upon a time,’ that you are a starter and a newbie in every sense of the word.

    Well, this isn’t really a bad piece for a start. You just need to read more and get rid of the hackenyed

  2. Just there…try harder next time

  3. Wow @Hymar your pseudo condescension just reveals your hidebound views. You should have checked the tags and the genre of the story before venting.
    Stories come in different forms and genres. There are novel-length stories and there are short stories, (including very-short stories). Whereupon, there are different genres – horror, thriller, fantasy, etc. A person who decides to write a short story with a fantasy genre doesnt mean he’s a wanna-be writer. It just means, that is his own style or genre of interest. Have you heard of “Modern African Low Fantasy”? Where you use scenes of contemporary Africa and mix it with low fantasy features to produce a moral story that has a happy ending.
    This is apparently, what this story is all about.

    Arbitrarily, the phrase “once upon a time” is never a hackneyed. It’s a starter phrase for this kinda stories. It could sound as a cliche to you and to another, eye-catching.

    I remember sharing my “once upon a time” moral stories on facebook and it gets hundreds and sometimes thousand likes, thus, it aint hackneyed to this people. They just like the “flavor” of those stories.

  4. *is never hackneyed*

    This site is “Naija Stories”, so basically it means “all kinds of Nigerian stories” and not a particular genre or length.
    Genres does not signify naivety or novice, rather, bad punctuations, poor diction and grammatical errors etc, do. Otherwise all fantasy writers including juvenile fantasy, fairytale fantasy, medieval fantasy, low fantasy etc are all wanna-be writers.

    So next time you’re trying to make a judgement, be cogent about it with profundity and not conjecture based upon your predilection.

  5. *sighs*

    You must think I just left secondary school. I understand your being touchy about your work, I also understand your need to defend it at great lengths.

    What I also understand is that you are still in the taking off stages of writing. Yeah, I noticed you have a steady grip of tenses, punctuation and word choice( Obiagbohonese much) but while giving you credit for that, I am not the least impressed when someone with such command of the rudiments of grammar doesn’t dig deeper into the wells of his imagination. You say I didn’t notice the Fantasy tag eh? Check out Fejiro aka @FeiO‘s fantasies and you will have a pretty good idea of what I am talkin about and RANT LESS.

    I have told berah writers worse. You should be flattered.

  6. And oh, I checked yo facebook link. Lemme tell you something; facebook friends and family, they will read anything and thumbs it up as long as it tells a story, is interesting and has a moral. You will never, if ever hear then tell you something like, ‘hey, this plot could have been tighter.’ And know why? Cos they dunno ripshit about critique and stuff. No,sir.

  7. Encouraging. But try to accommodate critics.

  8. @Hymar, it is nice to have you reply again. Despite i do appreciate your response and your critique, i dont turn a blind eye to pseudo condescension and pettifogging objections. And that is one of the things i have noticed on this site.
    Last time i checked, i only SHARED a story, i didnt submit a manuscript for publication or a dissertation for a degree. I only SHARED, i repeat SHARED a moral short story.
    So who gives a rat’s a*s if youre impressed or not? Youre not even my publisher or editor.

    Okay let me quote your so called critique:
    “I am not the least impressed when someone with such command of the rudiments of grammar…”
    “A stereotypical account from someone trying to be a writer. I guessed right from the ‘once upon a time,’ that you are a starter and a newbie in every sense of the word.”
    “You just need to read more…”

    So in your sober state, this is how to review a story? A story you have little grasp on and about a writer you know nothing about. To an extent of even using derogatory remarks.

    You said, “facebook friends and family, they will read anything and thumbs it up as long as it tells a story, is interesting and has a moral.” That is the raison d’etre of this genre of stories (ie to tell a story, be interesting and felicitous and have a moral) and it gets hundreds and thousands of fb “likes and “share”, so i dont care if youre impressed or not. i only SHARED a story on this site.
    Oh i read the stories you referred me to. i read Denial (more like drama & urban fiction genre about siblings having some kind of disagreement), Cyan’s Revenge: Bloodlust (more like crime, tragedy and murder mystery about a juvenile who woke up discovering his family had been killed, then goes out for revenge) and The Quake (more like a mystery fiction and thriller – an earthquake and mysterious disappearance)

  9. So you see, i have read some of the stories you referred me to and they werent fantasy or even short stories per se, they were more like novel excerpts with more chapters to come.

    So next time you want to make your unwarranted or unsolicited unprofessional review on people’s stories do it to people that are docile and submissive. You dont bring your cockeyed opinions based upon your predilection for a particular genre and expect me to buy it just like that. I also review critics to ascertain their level of reasoning on that subject.

    I’m only SHARING my stories because after 3 days tops it gets buried into the site’s database with other stories and it ends there. So no need about your fuss about this story. More stories keep coming and old stories get buried just like that.

  10. What are you? Patrick Obiagbohon’s clone wanna-see? Nonsense.

  11. Thanks for commenting @Miskay.
    Yeah, i do accommodate criticism but not condescension. Because for all we know, you could even be far better in writing than that person who is making that pseudo smirk on your write-up.

  12. @emmanuelpro and @hymar one of u should send the other a friend request. Most people that are very good friends now started out not liking each other. U guys should read each other’s works and see what happens.

  13. Jo (@josephoguche)

    Nice work here .. We are all elite minds here. Criticisms should always be constructive and objective and should always be accepted in good consideration for growth. either ways, what we need is a mind to grow ourselves and grow others.

  14. Jo (@josephoguche)

    @hymar, @emmanuelpro,
    Nice work here .. We are all elite minds here. Criticisms should always be constructive and objective and should always be accepted in good consideration for growth. either ways, what we need is a mind to grow ourselves and grow others.

  15. Yeah @bunmiril i have no disdain for anybody. I’ve sent friend request to almost every user on this site, when i initially joined.

    Some people come to people’s stories and ruin the story with an ignorant and bias comment and then they go to their friend’s stories and say nice things (even when the story isnt even nice).

    I’ve read brilliant stories with just 20 views (ie few people read that story because the writer isnt that famous on this site) and yet an unknown quack just comes with a terrible comment and his/her amateur unsolicited critique and ruins the whole story.

  16. Thanks @josephoguche for your comment.

  17. Nice and morally interesting. I even had a deja vuic feeling as I read.
    I have read stories like this, an example of such writing would be Gaskell E’s ‘Hand and Heart’. It carried lots of morality and was told in a refreshing way.
    There is nothing wrong with the story you wrote, but it could be made better. If you go through this piece, you would see things that ought to be trimmed off or tightened.
    As for the stories, @hymar shared, I doubt it was for a comparison of genres or themes but for you to note how the writers handled the short stories and pulled it off.
    What do you want out of NS? A place to SHARE your stories and get LIKES? If yes, disable your comment box – people would read and keep their opinions to themselves, afterall, comments by fellow writers can’t help you grow. But if you leave it, you will get ‘unsolicited’ comments.
    There is always room for growth and improvement if one is open to it, whether they come in pseudo-condescending or buttered words.
    Well done, Emma. Keep writing and getting better.

  18. This tale took me-way back to the early eighties ‘Tales by moonlight’ on NTA. Those were the days…where life was less complicated and all good deeds were ‘rewarded’… Bedtime stories for our kids. Cheers!

  19. @Ibagere, lol. I get your meaning.

    And @Sibbylwhyte, twas nice of you to forgive his allusions to ‘amateur’ reviewers. Lemme follow suit. #Holsters.

  20. Mtchew! It get’s worst with stick and carrot comments from those who should simply call a spade a spade!
    @Emmanuelpro, don’t let these things bother you.
    To me, the first principle of a better living is to know yourself first.
    Not by so much noise, but I think we know who is who already. Friends compliment friends you know? That’s what happens sometimes in NS. Learn to sieve through comments and know those from the heart, and those meant only to make their light shine by dampening others’.

  21. Thanks @sibbylwhyte for the comment.
    You said, “Gaskell E’s ‘Hand and Heart’ […] carried lots of morality and was told in a refreshing way.” Thats exactly the sine qua non of this my kinda stories, just as i’ve earlier listed its raison d’etre. Also, i’ve previously explained my ulterior motive for sharing this kinda stories. The stories @hymar referred, are great stories that were more like novel excerpts of different genres. It was a poor analogy to refer me to those stories for comparism because those stories dont possess that sine qua non that made @ibagere to identify this story as Bed Time stories; the same essential elements that make this kinda stories to boom on social media. And that “boom” is one of my objectives for a bigger plan.
    @hymar‘s misconception was to conclude that people that write this kinda stories (juvenile fantasy, fairytale fantasy, folklore, african tales, etc) are wanna-be writers. And that was a complete toomfoolery that made me react. For goodness sake, if someone doesnt like a particular genre of a story then let him move to other stories rather than belittle the story, not knowing it comes with its own style and serves its own purpose.

  22. Thanks @ibagere for your comment

    @Chime221 Thanks too. All you have said, i have noticed that too. I recall reading a flash story from etisalat, a NS user posted its link here and wanted people to vote. I remember a comment from some dude like that couching with asperity. Writing trash about the story in the name of review and that prompted me to even read the story. After i read it, jeez, the story was an anthithesis of the trash that dude was saying. And then i knew amateurs exist on this site.

  23. Yeah, @sibbylwhyte, i just remembered your “Comments off” suggestion. I’m not gonna place a comments off on my stories. I also want the well-wishers and professional reviewers to comment, if they want to. As for the amatuers and quacks, i want them to comment too, so that i can be oppurtune to challenge them in a debate and expose their quackery, pseudo-intellect and their illusions of knowledge. They must present a cogent analysis of their criticism or face my scrutiny. Nobody says crap to me without a scholarly riposte.

  24. My buddy Cobra Joe said,
    ‘Curiousity killed the cat
    Arrogance blinded the bat’
    That’s why they say ‘takes one to know one’
    Emma, you can spit dictionary like Soyinka
    But you can’t write to save your soul
    That’s why I smile cos I know yo goal
    Is to impress with your grammatical rant.
    And when I wasn’t impressed you posted a link
    To some AMEN page on facebook with some lousy likes,
    But u don’t get such here cos NSers ain’t dense
    They can see enof to kno yo stories ain’t sense.

    I write and everyone falls over to like
    And even Chika Unigwe tells me ‘CHURCH’ is dope
    Hehehe, So take yo TALES from NS
    And tell them by MOONLIGHT to illiterate village kids,
    Ganging up with another clown seeking attention,how does that feel?
    Guess you are that weak, you needed some help, well, tis no crime.
    Rant, rant, rant all u want, yo bell won’t Chime,
    I don’t need to make noise, I write and I get them fawning
    Even my Etisalat makes your Etisalat look so retarded,
    Like you haff got dementia,
    I don’t post some phoney link, I got the proof,
    I am The King of Letters, the Spinner of Stunners
    I am the Anti-Bullshit Bulldog that tears apart sissies and wannabes.

    I am Hymar David, the one you can never hold a candle to,
    So it doesn’t matter how loud you rant, the difference is so clear,
    So tuck yo pen in and like @Kaycee would have rightly said

    Hahahahahaha, I have already made one famous, now lemme make another have a name that rings a bell.

    Congratulations, new born babies, call me when you need to find your feet in d murky waters of writing.


  25. Emma, the Coconut conundrum is a story just like yours written by an NSer – Idiong Divine, read it if you may.
    If your purpose of writing is to Boom on social media, then you are on the right track. Stick to it, don’t let anyone tell you differently.

    Strangely, the comments have proven to be more interesting than the story. The grammar, plain and veiled insults, sarcasm and references. Pure entertainment.
    @hymar, is this part 2 of your last post? It sure made me laugh harder than part 1 did.
    You guys should cease fire abeg.

  26. I agree wit @sibbylwhyte oo. Cease fire abeg.

    I think we all on NS should be able to take criticism, constructive or not.It makes us better writers and well,better people.

    Emma, ur type of story is cool But I hope that isn’t all u can write?

    That said, well done.

  27. You guys should stop this ferrying of insults and just agree to disagree. It is getting nasty in here, and NS is meant to be a place free of issues that abound on sites like Nairaland and its ilk.

  28. @sibbylwhyte abeg make we beg them oo. Seriously, we are better than this. Like, Seriously.

  29. Hehehehehe… Ɣε̲̣̣̣̥s
    Let the fire cease, after all, what can one say when another becomes unnecessarily an ultracrepidarian.

  30. @hymar
    Thanks for your rap.
    Alas, that explains it all.

    Thanks again for your comment. I’m gonna read the Coconut conundrum.

  31. Thanks @Mimiadebayo for your comment.
    Definitely no, this is never all that i can write. Honestly, the stories i share or i’m gonna share here are the least of my kinda stories. I dont think i ought to share my highbrow stories here and then lose the oppurtunity to publish them or apply them for a contest. Because most publishers and contest organisers seek for exclusive publishing rights, which means you shouldnt publish them elsewhere. Its after they’ve published them, then you can share it anyhow you want. Besides this is just my 2nd story since i joined this site and the objective is working on the net more than i thought. I have read biography of some great fantasy writers (eg George R. R. Martin) they began by promulgating their sweet little stories before they got recognized. And thats the idea!

  32. Hehehe, thanks @Chime221.
    “Ultracrepidarian” is quite a great word that explains it all, about some folks and their amateur reviews on other people’s stories and different genre of interest. Thank God, i didnt stoop to a juvenile tit-for-tat. My argumentation were all professional.

    1. That’s it my brother. I know personally that I’m not a dullard, and I won’t let someone else, who knows nothing more than I do to make me feel inferior, even if the person ‘raps’ like 2pac. I know my onions and I did not just waste my four years in the department of English and Literary studies.

Leave a Reply