Today, I will not go to school because I’m ill, and mama says I must stay home. This makes me sicker because I won’t get to see the tall buildings in town outside the window of my seat which looks like giants above my school bus.
There are always many people on the streets all dressed up fine and going to work in the town. Emeka’s dad also works in the town at the Railway Station. He says that’s where the money is. But Mama doesn’t like the town; “it’s too busy and noisy”. She loves our village, and buys fish from the riverside every day. Sometimes, they get spoilt when she doesn’t sell all of them on time.
Some days I wish they all get spoiled so I get to fry them and eat with my friends during break time. I dont like cleaning them. They smell and always attract flies
We lived in town before I was born, but mama moved back to this village when daddy got very sick. Now I’m ten and my Uncle has been with us as long as I remember. He hardly ever speaks about my father. And I was surprised when he came to me and said Ikenna, Mama hates the town because that’s where your dad got sick from. He was a coal miner there.”
Uncle never smiles and looks like Mr. Noah my French teacher at school. I think this is because of the town. The town makes everyone angry and hungry. At home everywhere is quiet and everyone is happy, the wave of the ocean sends cool breezes to us. I love playing on the beach sand with Emeka on Saturdays.
Emeka has a bald head just like his daddy, and calls himself a boss. He always wears more clothes under his uniform to look like a big man. He was punished the last and he went home to tell his daddy, who came to our school and all the kids were laughing because he looked like he’s pregnant.
When I’m grown, I want to live in a big house in town away from the forests in this village; here I see only thatched houses and bald heads.
Last year, before Uncle got married to his wife, he got a small car, then another big one. And also stopped working at the coal mine where daddy worked. I love his big car. He prefers taking buses to work, making me wonder why he bought those cars he wont use!
My hairline is going back; I don’t know the reason for this. But Im afraid Ill be bald headed as dad whose vintage frame hangs on our wall.


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