By Maryam Muhammad Lawan
They both entered Ammi’s room with crestfallen faces.
“Ammi, I don’t know what’s wrong with this boy. I saw him in the afternoon wandering about the street with those ludicrous coteries and now with a gamepad instead of a book!” Yaaya exclaimed.
Ammi sighed as if she could not utter a word.
I know she could, for she has been trying her best. Anis would only pick his book to study when Ammi sounds emphatic. Not sure if it’s hearty, for he would start to sleep shortly after he starts reading, and that will be the end.
Yaaya broke the silence in the silent room with a query. “What exactly do you want?”
Mentorship! I answered the question for Anis quiescently.
He continued, “Unless you straighten up and fly right, our efforts will be fruitless.”
Anis is blessed with a quick cognitive capacity but is prone to play.
“I’ll try my best and make sure he get his acts together, but he’s listless now. Tomorrow will be a better day,” I said to myself.
The Next Day
I stealthily entered Anis’s room and met him ironing his sport wears.
“This is supposed to be done before today, my friend,” I said teasingly.
He replied amusingly, “I heard you, but not well. However, I may hear you well when you go out and say Assalaamu Alaikum.”
Deep down, I know he’s trying to requite, for this is always what I say whenever he bangs into my room without saying the Salaam.
I went out, said the Salaam and entered.
I soothingly asked about his preparation(s) for the forthcoming exams.
“Which preparation?” He asked. “Y’all should know that this JAMB is just luck,” he added.
“So you wrote the exams before, wow! What was your score? “I uttered innocuously.
“Look, Anis, can you please give me a listening ear?” This time around, it’s more of motherly.
He switched off the iron and turned his attention to me.
“Last year, when I did my JAMB examination, were you not proud of my score? Were you not the one that added that to your status with ‘can ur sis be brilliant like this’ as the caption? Do you remember how that result trended? Why? It’s all because of the score, Anis. I wasn’t the only one that wrote JAMB that same year, but mine trended most.” Can you remember how I read hard? Why don’t you do that, Anis?”
The room was silent for a while.
“There’s nothing like luck, except that in almost everything, there may be a refutation. Some candidates may prepare well, but fail, while others will pass without preparing, but this is a hen’s teeth. I want you to train hard and pray harder, please, dear. Will you do that? “
He astonishingly answered in the affirmation.
“I remember how some students mocked us (me and my friends) just because we were preparing hard. How foolish? None of them scored more than 130. Karina was among them; she scored 98. I know you can still remember that. So, in case you come across those sets of people, get them the cold shoulder. But, eventually, we shall smile together,” I said.
“It’s almost 7:30 am. Let me leave before your school bus arrives. Peace out, bro, I said and added “no procrastination please,” when exiting out of the room.
“Anis!! I shall celebrate with you as well, “I said this when I saw him reading voraciously after coming back from Islamiya in the evening.
I could see happiness in Ammi’s and Yaaya’s faces.
It’s time for the Maghrib prayers, so the young boy must keep everything and pray.
He stood up while uttering, “So help us, God.” I wasn’t the only one that said “Ameen.”
Yaaya was at the parlour, ready to move on to the mosque, while Ammi was there to pick the phone she left at the dining table. I, Yaaya and Ammi said that Ameen happily.
The young boy moved on to the restroom to perform his ablution.
He held Ammi and Yaaya in awe, they happily prayed for him, and they both left.
Maryam Muhammad Lawal wrote from Kaduna via firstname.lastname@example.org.