POSTED 08/11/2018 12:43
Anderson has silver-blond hair and wire rimmed spectacles, he often appeared timid and unassuming, an impression emphasized by his frequent stutter. He had not so much to be desired except for his voracious and undiscriminating appetite for facts, this way, he was very intelligent.
In the evening preceding their closing for the school term, John visited Anderson and they both discussed on how they will take first position in their different sections.
‘Do you remember that boy that swallowed the pendulum bob?’ John asked, a sound like wind rushed from behind the corridor.
‘I didn’t swallow any bob, so stop gossiping me,’ Akpan bounced in and jammed hands with Anderson and John.
Akpan is very intelligent and likes staying close to Anderson whom he fondly called “Oroko”, because Anderson was liked by ladies in his class.
His case was different, he moved away from ladies because his throat had goiter swelled out; a big, gleaming growth full of spider veins. The boys were very happy to meet each other. As the evening became darker, they all moved to Mma Okuti shop who gave them roasted corn which they ate and part ways.
In the morning, Mrs. Lola, Anderson’s step mother, gathered the family for morning prayer and after the prayer session, she glanced briefly at Anderson and her two daughters, and then began
‘Believe me. I know what I’m talking about. I was almost killed,’ silence fell and everyone was quiet.
With his hands clasped in his lap and the back of his head resting against the panel of the wall, Anderson kept his eyes shut and made a quiet snoring noise as Mrs. Lola added ‘Enemy gunfire had whirled around us like autumn leaves. With a piece of shrapnel in my armpit, I lay beneath a burning tank and might well have panicked. But I wasn’t afraid. I knew that I could count on the loyalty of my comrades, I knew that they would, if necessary, climb down into the inferno to rescue me...” Mrs. Lola said all that recalling her times in the military before she got married to Richard, Anderson’s father.
When she stopped talking Anderson and the sisters hailed her, laughed and left to do their morning duty… Mrs. Lola was funny and kind.
After taking breakfast he put on his mustard-colored corduroy trousers and took a fresh shirt from the cupboard on the wall, it was crumpled. He left the collar open and slipped into a thick blue woolen jacket with two rows of buttons. He was ready for his school closing party.
As he stepped out, he shrugged his shoulder and said goodbye to Florence and Esther who were chatting affably, and asked them to come for the occasion later.
As Anderson reached school his class teacher, who was also the compound master, called him into the office just before the occasion was about to start.
“You did very well in Biology, English, Government and Accounting and perform very poorly in physics and math” Mr Ekong said.
Anderson wants to be an Engineer, even as his two friends Lawal and John had decided to do chemical and petroleum Engineering respectively. Anderson winked at Mr.Ekong and smiled vaguely and almost wistfully.
As he moved into the hall, the event had started and all his friends were all sited. He glanced through the hall and picked a sit at where his two sisters Flourence and Esther sat.
As the event came to a close, Anderson was very sad because he didn’t win any prize in the science class. As music was played. Anderson’s close friend Ngozi came closer and, had her both hands rest on Anderson, let her legs dangle and hummed along with the tune. She avoided looking at Anderson. She nodded to an acquaintance and waggled her finger at her younger sister, who was pressing herself against a squaddie.
‘So, what’s the matter, Anderson?’ she asked. ‘Never seen a silk dress before? Aren’t you going to ask me to dance?’
Anderson didn’t reply, or not directly.
So She straightened up slightly, jutted her chin out and looked into the taproom; as she did, she pushed her lower lip above the upper, and scratched her throat with her little finger.
‘Fine. As you wish,’ she said at last. ‘Crybabies aren’t my thing. I’ll find someone else.’
Anderson was not happy because he did badly in Physics and Math but wanted to become a Mechanical Engineer. As he reached home, he was welcomed by her step Mum who looked at his result and said “I knew you were good in English and Government”.
But that did not make Anderson happy at all, he would like to do well in Physics and Math like his two friends who have decided they will apply for Engineering courses in their JAMB.
As Anderson rushed to put his result in an old file to keep it off his sight, he stumbled on a dirty sheet of paper that is halve torn, he opened the letter and lo it was the letter he discovered on the road the day his mother died. On the letter it was written
My son Anderson, the product of my hope, shall be trained in the legal profession, so that he will help bring justice to the poor and the rich, so that he will change the judiciary. He is the only hope I have got.’
His mother wrote the letter addressing it to his English teacher at Junior Secondary One(JSS1). All those were like resounding reggae as thought flood through his mind. Anderson could remember how his Vice Principal called him a Barrister when he spoke and won in a debate organized by Lagos State Governor.
Anderson became very poignant and began to ponder as he grabbed the letter.
“Can I become a judge?” he asked himself.
Did you enjoy the story? Let your friends know about it