The Single Parent

The Single Parent

The alarm on the chest to her bed rang, it was already 5:40 am and so the day’s activity led to begin. She slowly got out of bed and fell to her knee’s to pray. Reluctantly, Neon walked over to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for her kids who would be up in no time. The neighborhood was quiet, the morning was very new. She turned on the lights, her iris retracted as she walked into the kitchen like she was drunk, dizziness had a grip on her and fighting it was so tough. She walked over to the kitchen counter and made herself a cup of tea. There she sat, sipping from her cup slowly and trying to have a fore sight of what the day held in store for her. The doors slammed upstairs, thuds on the stair followed and finally kitchen door open.

“Morning mum” the children, 2 teenagers Jake and Sweeney and an 11 years old Josh

“Morning kids, you’re up for school already?” Neon replied, the words coming out very slowly.

“Yep. I am”, only Josh seemed to reply as he moved over to the table with Neon.

“What’s for breakfast mom?” Jake started; he opened the fridge and pulled out a jar of milk. Neon only sighed, not having an appropriate answer for the question. She had woken up that morning to make breakfast for her children but instead turned out to just sit at the table in the kitchen, starting the day on a weird note-what more awaited her?

“You’ve got a whole lot on your mind these days mum” Josh said, taping Neon’s head before joining his brother at the table to prepare cereal. Neon watched in silence, surely she had a lot going through her mind-perhaps even more than a lot going through her mind.

The thought of the day’s activity raced through her head as she wondered what it had in store for her.

Jake scooped from Josh’s plate; he made a weird face which made them laugh. Neon managed a smile as she watched her children laugh so early in the morning. Perhaps, every mother’s desire was what she experienced almost daily.

The school bus arrived later, the kids dashed out of the house as soon as they heard the bus honk!

“Goodbye mom” The door slammed and it all began, it was the silence in the apartment and this got a grip of Neon just like every other day. Neon sank into a sofa; the emptiness in the house ate deep her into heart. Although not a widow nor single parent, Neon had learn to live with this silence in her life as hard as it was. She did a very good job in hiding her hurt from her children.

The phone rang, to her joy it was one of her most valued customers. Mrs. Willow.

“Hello Neon, you mind stopping over with my package?”

“ Sure, how soon will you be needing them?”,Neon’s eye flashed past the clock.

“In an hour or two”

“Okay then, be expecting me!”

Neon felt a gust as she dropped the phone; finally, there was an opportunity to leave the house. She rushed upstairs to her room which was all messy; the sight was very appalling of what a woman room should look like. There she stood, staring at how much of a mess her room had turned out to be. Neon rushed into the shower to take her bath, the clock struck 8 0’clock when she emerged from the bath room.

“Oh no!8 0”clock already?’’ Neon explained as she hastily wore her cloths, almost omitting the sight of 2 different shoes she had worn.

A small minivan pulled over at the front of Stemond’s fast food. It was a large building without any storey. It had a simple look and excellent service. Neon emerged from the mini-van, and dashed into the building trying to think of an excuse for being 19mins behind schedule.

“I’m here to see Mrs. Willow?” she said, trying to catch her breath.

“You’ll have to wait Neon” The lady at the counter replied. She was thick dark lady, perhaps a little younger than Neon.

“You’re late-again “Jasmine said with a look that was somewhat not approving of Neon lateness. Neon sighed, what more could she say or do.

The rumble in her stomach seemed like world war III as Neon waited for her turn to see Mrs. Willow. The rich smell of coffee filled the air, the hissing sound of the cappuccino machine could be heard and the smell of fresh flower gave the fast-food restaurant a pleasant mood; so much to be owned by an African yet it had that Italian feel. People walked in and out as Neon sat there, watching. This wasn’t her first time here, a few blocks away was Stripes and Drake, the marketing firm Neon had previously worked at until a new management took over and the labor force had to be reduced. Neon turned out to be a victim of this. This restaurant was where almost every staff in the block had lunch. It was a sort of rendezvous.

“You’re late again Neon” Mrs. Willow started, even before Neon seated. She was a thick lady with raised eyebrows and chubby cheeks.“If this is getting too much on you Neon, just quit”

Neon gasped ‘quit?’ it was the last thing she could every think of at this phase in her life,having to raise 3 kids all alone without any help. There was no way she could risk losing even 1 customer.

“I’m sorry Mrs. Willow, at least your stuff arrived without any damage” Neon, said with a sober voice. Mrs. Willow smiled,

“Neon, you really should take a break because you deserve it “she patted Neon’s shoulder.

“Thank you Mrs. Willow” she managed a smile.

They settled the bills together; it was these same bills that kept her family afloat. Every parent wants a child who’s better than them;Neon worked extra-hard to make sure she had 3 which would be better than her.

She finished with Mrs. Willow and made a few more stops downtown before finally driving past Stripes and Drake, heading home.

She felt the emptiness which the management had created within her. Though she was making more gain but the work and stress associated with it was just too much. After stopping by at The Mall for some household supplies, Neon, felt she really needed a nice shower when she got home.

She got home early enough to prepare lunch for her children who got in immediately she was done.

“Mom! Mom!!,I’m home and I’m hungry” Josh proclaimed aloud as he threw his book bag on the sofa heading straight for the kitchen.

“Hey kiddo” she said “Guess what you’ll be having for lunch?”

“I can’t wait Mom”.

“Oatmeal cookies and limeade drink”

“Whoa!Oatmeal” Jake exclaimed, digging in.

“So how was your day”, she asked Sweeney who seemed a bit moody.

“Usual, Dollop-heads and their poppy-cock talk, but well at least made a new friend”

“Uh-Hun”

“Mom!”

“What?It was just an expression”

“Okay, no more stories then”“But – “

“Mom please”

Neon, could feel some satisfaction within her about her relationship with her children. At least she still had a little part of them to her because most times, the only time they got together was during dinner-which was of course as a result of her job.

The sun was beginning to set as it gave its last glows of light to the earth. In a few hours, the stars would appear like diamond in the sky and another rough day had gone by.



11 thoughts on “The Single Parent” by Ugochukwu (@Ugochuckwu)

  1. Looking forward to reading more

    1. Okaayy……..hope i dont fall your hand!!

  2. Waiting for the next…

  3. helooo. neon? niaja name? like this is so not nigerian

    1. uhhhhhh…..what if i told you this; NeonBradley, born an American by a Nigerian father and American mother(makes her a Nigerian). She’s spent all her life there and has always been identified as Neon…….now she’s Nigerian!! :D
      Glad you stopped by though!!,thanks

  4. The story does a good job if introducing us to the character but theres a small contradiction. You said shes not a widow and shes not a single parent but then later you say shes a single parent and that she does everything herself. I was a bit confused also there are quite a bit of grammatical errors. Im not sure if this is flash fiction but if it isnt I’ll be looking forward to reading more. @oxymorontalks take it easy now lol

    1. that was intentional, the “single parent thing”.you’ll just have to find out yourself in other chapters……. the typos are my bad ;) will surely work on them

  5. Nice read. Noticed a few typos.

    1. i’ll work on them….hope you stop by for other chapters

  6. Have read this yesterday. So gripping.

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