Heart broken

A Note For Lailia

“And they shall come to celebrate, for the child of my brains
has become like me”.

1960-
I was in high school, basking in the euphoria of my natural
intelligence. I was widely known; not for truancy, not for
disobedience, not for any form of juvenile delinquency but for
academic prowess. It was something honourable to be associated
with.

1966-
I met Lailia. She was in junior school. The school was engulfed
with the amazing aura of intelligence she came with. We were
picked after a very rigorous intellectual process to represent the
school in a ‘Science Quiz Competition at Kafanchan, Kaduna
state. Lailia was picked and she represented the junior section.
I was picked and I represented the senior section. We were the
defending champions and yet, we brought back that prize home;
yet again. I was impressed by Lailia’s performance. Such
talented little mulatto!

1968-
Lailia wrote me a note, I quote her “You are my hero, I want to
be like you. Let me be the child of your brains and you- be my
intellectual godfather”. I marvelled at such bravery. I admired
her adroit use of words, her verisimilitude, her originality and
her honesty.
Those words- “You are my hero”, came back at me occasionally,
sweeping me off my feet and landing me to the sweet comfort
of the bed of immense pleasure. I replied thus- “Yes, you shall
be the child of my brains and myself- be your intellectual
godfather”.

1972-
It was the year I got admission to study Medicine and Surgery
at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Two years after the Civil
War ended. I wrote to Lailia, telling her about my success. She
came to see me, she came with many gifts. But the gift which
made me become misty-eyed, namby-pamby, ecstatic, convival
and exultant was that ’10 in 1 notebook”.
It was customized. My picture was on it and these words were
inscribed on it- “My hero, my godfather, I shall be like you”.
I didn’t want to cry but I let two droplet of tears come out; one
from the right eye, and another from the left eye, then my
handkerchief came in handy. I loved Lailia even more.

1977-
The operator buzzed me, It was Lailia. She has gotten admission
into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Into the same department
of Medicine and Surgery. Into the same faculty of Medical
Sciences. Under my auspices and tutelage. Her voice became
more lovely, it was not frail nor hustle-sounding, it sounded
just like her- like Lailia’s voice. I rummaged through my mind
to find the exact words to say but then her voice brought me
back to reality and she said- “Godfather, I have finally become
just like you”.
The emotions doubled and I let out four droplet of tears; two
from the right eye and another two from the left eye.

1978-
It was Lailia’s matriculation ceremony. I shall prepare for a
mini party for Lailia- my intellectual god daughter, the child of
my brains. My family shall be present. My friends shall not be
found wanting. Lailia shall be there also, with her family and
close acquaintances. And there, I shall ask her the meaning of
her name. It was surprisingly that she knowest it not; I found
great pleasure in the honest innocent sweetness of her not
knowing the meaning of her name. For Lailia means “The Night
Beauty”. A mullatto being a Night beauty? Such sharp irony!

1999-
I became a renowned, retired and internationally acclaimed
Chief NeuroSurgeon.
Lailia- my intellectual god daughter, the child of my brains
became also, a renowned physician and psychotherapist who has
contributed greatly to the field of human psychology worldwide.

2015-
I lay on my bed- frail, weak and feeble. And I remember these
words-

“And they shall come to celebrate, for the child of my brains
has become like me”.



11 thoughts on “A Note For Lailia” by Aluka Igbokwe (@Alusdagreat)

  1. a love story of achievements and patience..

    But I almost stopped reading. What turns me off when most African Authors write is their battle with unnecessary vocabulary words.

    I admit it, its my fault for not knowing what these words meant but geeez, you just threw them.out like water and it just didn’t sit well with me. This was suppose to be an epic romance story that ran for decades but I didn’t get that feeling because you lost the sweetness in the mist of your battle with words…

    I’m.huge fan of when writers bring in romance from the 60’s that’s the concept that kept things alive here. Us wanting to see where it all ends.

    1. I understand you. Most times, I want to write just with the intent of introducing new words…

  2. I really can’t say what the nucleus of this piece is. I really don’t know where to place it. Is it about romance or going back memory lane? Cos it was rather bland for me. I was looking forward to the ending so at least to get a better feel of the what you were trying to pass across …..Geez! I was so dissapointed. Atleast I learnt some new words which I know I will never use.

    You were concerned with your use of complex and infinitesimal vocabs that personallyto me shouldn’t be too pertinent to your future write-ups.

    Like I always say,”Keep on writing Bro”.

    1. I sure will. But I’m geared for constructive criticism. Correct me and connect me. Its not right to pick faults and not correct them. Give ideas on what should be done next time for a better piece to be born.

  3. Heartfelt and enjoyable. Nice one Aluka.

    1. Thank you Scribe.

  4. @alusdagreat Why is *A mullato being a night beauty* an irony? Please elucidate because when the use of a word or phrase is unknown, its abuse is inevitable.

  5. Teary eyes I bear just reading this piece. I wish I could write as Good as this.

  6. Good story, except for the “vocabulary thing” mentioned earlier and the use of “mulatto.” This is an offensive word and you would be better served describing the girl differently.

  7. @Alusdagreat. I like this, as I read on I kept hoping that the child of my brain and the godfather will end up in a romantic entangle but I still like the way it ended.

  8. This work has some potential but its too wordy. Now it left alot to be desired as far as grammar. So when using such big words that everyday readers struggle with you must make sure that at least the grammar is is on point or else it may end up sounding like gibberish.

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