No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home

 

I’d been awake since about 8a.m but had decided to lounge on my bed for a while, to plan my day in my head. I don’t usually wake up late; the reason for my waking up late today was because I’d spent the previous night on Naijastories, reading Betrayals and Funerals by Mimi and each episode kept drawing me in that I didn’t know when I read to Episode 28. The suspense kept me awake till 1am! More so, the Harmattan season was taking over from the Raining season in the city of Zaria so I guess that indulged my over-sleep too.
I wrapped myself in my blanket, earpiece in my ears listening to 360 degrees – my favourite song – by ASA while I planned the whole day in my head. I was not sure if I was actually planning my day or enjoying the music but then I knew I was engrossed in both acts that I barely noticed the presence of my father.
My father was good-looking in a weird way: short, light complexioned with a slightly long nose; his eyes are the strangest thing about him – they have a thick red color like someone who’d spent so many years crying. My father wasn’t a tall man yet he wanted, so much, to be larger than life. A feat, I think, he really couldn’t achieve to the fullest and which he wanted me as his first son and firstborn to achieve.

He never took our education for granted. He’d always say: “Your education is a priority and everything else is a luxury.”
He’d graduated from UNILAG as a dentist and always told us stories of his exploits and awards as the best student.
“Hey son,” He tapped me as he sat beside me on the bed.
I peered out from beneath the blanket and nodded at him. I didn’t want to talk because I hadn’t brushed. I’ve never liked talking with my morning breath still fresh. I sat up and leaned against the wall.

“Morning son, hope you slept well?”
I nodded again.

People have always said that the resemblance between me and my father is unmistakable. Well, personally I didn’t think so. He had a full hair while I, at twenty-two, was already going bald. While his upper lip was thicker than the lower one, both lips of mine were equally thick and big. Strange how such things are noticed, right? Well, except for the fact that we’re both fair; I don’t think I resemble my Dad in anyway. Yet I beam with joy when friends and family argue over it.

“Michael resembles his dad.” One would say. “No,” the other will say “His younger brother resembles his dad.”
He stroked my feet slightly and said, “You know I love you son.” I nodded. Whenever my father wants to tell me something that’s very important to him, he always starts with that phrase. You know I love you son. “And I always want the best for you.”He added.

I wanted to say, that should be the priority of every good parent but I just shut my mouth and nodded again. (No talking if I hadn’t brushed was my number one rule.)
I unwrapped myself completely from my blanket and stood up from the mattress. I dragged my reading chair closer and sat so that I was facing my father, bearing in mind that a long talk was ahead.

My father adjusted himself and faced me properly. He opened his briefcase – I tried to peer inside – he brought out a brown envelope, closed the briefcase and handed the envelope to me.

I hesitated before I collected it. I was curious. What could be in this envelope? I wondered, mused. I couldn’t guess because nothing was written on it except a 50 naira stamp glued to the left side of it.

I flipped the envelope in a manner that meant “what is this for Dad?” And he understood.
So he replied, “You know what, my son. That’s your VISA to the states plus a valid ticket. Your uncle helped us out. I want you to go and study overseas.”
I was exasperated rather than excited and I knew my father noticed that but I didn’t care. “But Dad, I am already in 200 level at O.A.U studying Chemistry.” I said. I was disgusted in that moment because I’d just broken my rule of no talking before brushing.

“Yes, my son. But you’re on strike and I’m tired of that. In the states, you’ll have an uninterrupted education.” Pointing to the ceiling as though the STATES was somewhere in the ceiling.
First, I didn’t understand why he was fed up with the strike. It’s not as if he’ll have to pay school fees all over again when the strike was called off.

I wanted to tell him that I was enjoying the strike; that I was using the opportunity to finish up my manuscript but I couldn’t. Even if I would, it was not in this kind of atmosphere. So I got up angrily from the chair, dropped the envelope on my reading table, then I faced my dad, leaning against the table.
“We have talked about this a million times dad, and I told you I’m not interested in leaving my home. You should have done that for my younger brother.”

My father knew I said those words with anger but I didn’t care. I could read something on his face that meant, is this how you talk to a caring father that went an extra mile to get the best for you. But I didn’t care.
He stood and walked a bit closer to me, “I will do the same thing for your brother as well when…”
“Look dad, just give it to him.” I interrupted rudely.
“Now listen to me Michael!” He began and I knew he was angry. Not because he shouted at me but because he called me by my name. My father rarely called me my name. “You are leaving this home next week whether you like it or not and your uncle will be waiting for you at the Miami International Airport. So get set!” get set sounded more like a race call to me.
He turned, picked up his briefcase and walked briskly out of my room, banging the door behind him.
“Come and force me,” I said under my breath and didn’t care if he heard. I picked the envelope from my table, flung it to the floor and brought my foot down on it hard, real hard. I Jabbed myself up and down like an angry child then I lay on my mattress but I refused to cry.
On my mattress, I began thinking: Am I doing the right thing? This is an opportunity for me to make my life better, as some will say, yet am throwing it away. Am I crazy?

I was in this stream of thought when I heard my door creaked. Instantly, my thoughts got redirected. Who was that? Could it be my father again? My father was fond of being persistent. He would keep going and coming, virtually repeating all he had said until he gets his wish. So I was sure he’d come back. Definitely he would be the one.

I wrestled with the idea of staying put and not looking up but I couldn’t so I decided to look.

Oh my God! I did not believe who was at the door. Was this a joke?



33 thoughts on “No Place Like Home” by Fadehan (@Fadehan)

  1. Isshes Much,

    1. Punctuations are scattered. Lacked Ordering.

    2.Rainy season not Raining season.

    3. ‘I guess that indulged my over-sleep too’. Hey, is that English?

    4 ‘ I never liked talking with my morning breath still fresh’. Whoa, you mean your mouth is ever fresh or you meant to say, ‘ with my unwashed morning breath?’

    I can go on and on, but what’s d point.

    There’s work to be done.

  2. I am so glad you commented hymar. Thanks so much for the criticism. I will sure do better next time my oga at the top….
    Much love joor

  3. Am happy you took this in good faith. You are most welcome, brotha. And I am sure yo next post will definitely show improvements.

    Thanks for showing some much needed maturity here. Not like some dudes I know who go spit defensive grammar till headache dey worry me

  4. Definitely need to work more on editing this. I think the work needs some brushing up.

    Nice one,Fadehan.

    P.S It wasn’t complete, you know. Needed a second edit.

    Keep writing dear!

  5. @ MIMY thanks so much dearie… I appreciate it. But i wanted it that way…. Hope u understand.

  6. I would say your plot is nice. I’m expecting a second part.

    Now coming to the story itself. I like the fact that you pointed us to things we are used to like Mimiadebayo’s Funeral and Betrayers, ASUU strike and the rest.

    Oboy, come on. Which Nigerian student would reject a chance to school abroad.

    @hymar has told you some of the errors you have in this post, other hawk eyed NSites would point out more. Just make sure you listen to them without any bitterness, and you will get better

    Thumbs up on this

    *KG*

    1. @kodeya : Well said. The key part is ‘without bitterness.’

  7. Eh, first, I believe you’re a good writer @ least I was too engulfed to notice all the ishes wey Odogbu Hymar point out. @Hymar, you dey worry. Second, I think you should take the visa and move. Come back sha. Well done.

  8. @Kay…. Thanks so much Kay, I appreciate what you said… But i just will like you to see the second installment which is also the last…
    It is a satirical story.
    And thanks for encouraging me. God bless.

  9. @ psalmy…. Very funny. I wont take the Visa man.. cos there is really no place like home.
    buh lets wait and see what who was at the door would say too

  10. Waiting for part 2.

  11. Hymar has done a good job pointing out the flaws. Who gets mad at a Visa to get out of Naija in the face of an indefinite strike? Well, I hope it’s only fictional characters.
    Keep reading, learning and writing.
    Well done, Fadehan

  12. @Bubblina…. Glad you read my work. It is a great pleasure and i appreciate it.
    Well, No one really can reject a Visa but I did and i am sure that if you read the second installment you will know why…. And somehow you might call me a clown.

  13. @Nalongo…. You will sure get the part 2

  14. Indeed, no place like home! But if I had that opportunity, I’d grab it with both hands. I’d go, better my lots and come back. After all, a popular Igbo adage says that no matter how bad a person’s house is, he’d always return to it.

    Thanks for posting this, and believe me, you can do better than this, ok?
    Well done.

  15. @Chime, thanks so much for reading….
    i might still go of course… just lets see how the second installment goes

  16. I know you will do better in your second installment.
    Nice story line.
    Well done.

  17. @ bunmiril thanks so much

  18. lol…rejecting that visa with so much ferocity jes sounds fake….I really like the story….errmmm…pay attntn to all said above. well done.

  19. @omoniyi…. it sounds fake for real but the second installment will shed like on that
    thanks for reading

  20. @ Fadehan, nice one bro, just watch out for the mistakes Hymar, Bubbllinna have pointed. Waiting for part 2

  21. @Fadehan , you are very correct, Ajo ko le dabi ile , No place like home.

  22. @Blackgold…. Ajo ko le dabi ile lai-lai.
    Thanx for reading…..
    Next installment coming soon,

  23. If I hear say I reject visa and ticket to go and study abroad, except there’s something better than that for me in Naija. I enjoyed the story though, the rejection really got me curious. Eagerly awaiting the second part. Well done.

  24. Okay, let me start by saying @mimiadebayo is a superstar..she features in fiction now…

    Great fiction are the ones that are believable. This your story is not believable. Why would the MC be exasperated? Most importantly, getting admission into any school in the USA requires exams other processes that an uncle can’t do without the MC, so he won’t just be knowing about it a week to departure.

    Even if the MC doesn’t want to go to USA, I doubt if he will throw a visa down and stamp on it with his feet…

    The writing was not too good, there were wrong word usage, poor sentence construction and inconsistent tenses….

    The suspense is good, and I’m looking forward to the concluding part…

    Well done

  25. I was almost believing this was a memoir until I got to the part where the visa was rejected, that had better be fiction, else, You dey MAD

    Nice piece, for the fact that it started almost like a true life story, that’s a mark, and the suspense is there, let’s see.

  26. well, @topazo, thanx for the criticism…. i take it positively…

    To answer you.
    First: I think you really do not have to judge if the story is believable or not until u see the last installment.. well I’m glad my suspense held you… but you’ll be surprise when you read the second installment that the suspense is not even meaningful…… i just tied you down till i can get my message clear to YOU!
    Second: you said getting admission into any university in the USA requires processes.. Well fine, i dont argue that. But did i say my uncle got a student VISA for me? that brings me back to saying, READ THE LAST INSTALLMENT…..
    Third: i didnt stamp on a VISA, i stamped on an envelope…. Remember i”ve not opened it.
    Fourth: let me start by saying @mimiadebayo is a superstar..she features in fiction now, (that sounds to me like envy) and i just hope i’m wrong because i am sure that’s one thing that can ruin the career of a critic. if you care to know, i am writing something on a fellow critic like you. His name is HYMAR. i Love him cos i think he does his work rightly on here.
    fifth, what is MC? did you really follow d storyline?
    Lastly, you criticised my work without really giving me examples like HYMAR did…

    Conclusion: Topazo, i respect your points on NS and i really value Critics but i suggest you sharpen your skills and do your work rightly rather than demoralize writers on here…(NOTE: wait to read at least a third installment before reacting critically)
    what if dont have a big heart, i might have committed suicide the moment i saw what your comment #laughssss# + #a big hug#

    Thanks for reading, though and i really appreciate you. TRUST ME….

    1. @fadehan I read this and I smiled..
      I’m not envious of @mimiadebayo , in fact she is my favorite author on NS right now

      As to ur oda comments, I can only say, the purpose of the site is for feedback and constructive criticisms…the comments were not meant to put you down but to help you get better…

      Once I hv mentioned tenses errors and odas, it was meant to make you re-read it and find them out, cos I’m sure u knw wat too look for..

      MC means main character…

  27. @clemency, I no dey MAD….. #laughs#
    Just wait and see the final installment, i bet you wont be disappointied and i hope you’ll get what am driving at.

  28. I’m looking forward to Part 2. The intro where you mentioned Naijastories threw me off a bit. For a moment, I thought it was a blog post, but I get your point.

    As for Michael, don’t worry. You can always start afresh (pointing to the heavens) in the STATES. :D

    But I think there is more to his reluctance to leave than he is telling us. We shall see.

    Keep it coming …

  29. @ sharon…. Thanx so much… sure there is more to Micheals reluctance… Who will actually reject a Visa…. it sounds odd but you’ll see..
    Thanks for reading…
    will post the finale soon.

  30. Nice one. I guess I wasn’t reading carefully enough to spot your errors. Thank God not everyone is like me. I love the suspense by the way. The lack of explanation as to why he rejected the visa(I mean, who does that???) just adds to it.

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