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In times of cold comfort

5 min read

He could not take his eyes off the endowed ladies who were prepped up in swag.

Welcome, Moses. I am Chimamanda, Jide’s twin sister.  (GistEnd)

The office was quiet, cold quiet. None of the two men facing each other was ready to speak.

Undergraduate days.

What had earlier transpired caused an ice cold silence to travel around the space they occupied; their minds were open to each other’s thought.

Moses replayed Professor Rems short speech in his head:

I think you need to be schooled, just a little bit more, and alongside, some grooming could do. The University’s decision is final.

Moses took a good last look at the paper before him, stuffed it in his pocket, got up, and left..

The University's decision was final.
The University’s decision was final.  (The Conversation)

Moses got on the train the minute the doors drew apart, and without looking, he hit another going out with his bag, and all his music notes flew to the floor. The very first thing that came to his mind was his violin, which hung across his shoulders. Everyone around helped him out, while he busied himself arranging the loose papers accordingly. The last paper had found its way behind a commuter’s feet, who was neither aware of his presence nor his paper; Jide, the boy from somewhere in Africa.

He looked at his mixing notes, conspicuously laid very close to Jide’s feet, and as he made to look the other way, their eyes locked. Jide caught Moses stare, he smiled, although he knew how the otherdetested the sight of him, then bent and picked up his note. Jide stretched out his hand to offer the loose sheet, but Moses eyes nearly turned a shade darker, he looked at the empty seat close to Jide, out of fatigue, he had been standing for hours upon hours of practice. Moses got up,packed the rest of his notes, and then made his way farther away. Jide just smiled, and then tucked the note into his bag.

Humble beginnings.

The letter arrived unannounced. Jide could not believe that he had been accepted in one of the said prestigious schools in Canada, although he was very good at his games. He started singing at a very young age, his father a Violinist didn’t take it lightly when he noticed his son’s capabilities, much more, when he led a two hundred-man choir to win a competition in London and Canada; it was his first visitabroad, and before he left, he promised that it won’t be his last.

He started singing at a very young age.
He started singing at a very young age.  (Fisk Jubilee Singers)

That was why he was elated when he got the invitation to further his studies in music. His first gloomy experience was at the airport; when he landed from Nigeria for the first time, it was as though he was the only person who wore a darker shade of skincolour, but what caught his attention was the way people stared at him. The other experiences were in class; some students would rather sit away from him, rather than close to him, Moses was one of those. The train experience was one out of too many.

Jide got off the bus at the designated stop, along with Moses who would not look his way still, and both seemed to be headed for the airport. At the end of the last semester, students were sent out for a one weekexchange course. Jide had been posted to France, while Moses had been posted to Africa. Moses had no idea where he was headed in Africa, but only knew that he would be picked up from the Airport.

Moses could not believe his eyes when he got on the flight; people around were mostly his countrymen. He could not possibly imagine why they were all headed the same way. The first time he searched about Africa was the day he got his posting; he did so with so much resentment, and what he saw made him imagine less.

African surprise.

It took several hours to get to theirdestination, and when they did, Moses still felt dreamy about home, he didn’t mind failing Professor Darwin’s course inexchange for where he was, but he needed his marks, because his scores slanted. His parent’s separation got to him. The only food for his soul was music. He was on a trip to Nigeria to find his feet in African music, and he would be hosted by a worldrenowned professor in African music and drama.

Moses waited for his ride; he took his time to look around; he was disappointed in all instances: there were no monkeys on trees, and definitely no humans with tail, all he saw were people who walked about their business. The air he breathed was warm and hospitable. Someone called his name:

“Mr Moses Cane?”

He turned to behold a young, but familiar face, but could not place a name.


They shook hands, and the man said:

“Igwe. Welcome to Enugu. Please, this way.”

They got out of the airport, and the first thing Moses felt was the hot air that took away Canada’s hostile cold off his lungs. He felt warm after a very long time. They got into a car and drove off. Moses took his time to look at each corner, he wanted to see something that was out of the ordinary, but there was none: people walked, drove or biked.

Igwe. Welcome to Enugu. Please, this way.
Igwe. Welcome to Enugu. Please, this way.  (Government and Business journal)

He could not take his eyes off the endowedladies who were prepped up in swags. The music coming from markets, mixed with the chatters and horns, made music in his ears. Moses had never experienced this form of reverberating energy in his life. With time, they left the hustle and bustle behind.

The driver stopped the car in front of a hugemansion that looked exactly like the one at home, and he stepped out. While his bags were being taken out of the trunk, people with identical faces emerged from the house, he walked up to them, this time, smiling and happy; an old man stretchedforth his hand and said:

“Welcome young man, I am professor Okoye.”

Moses nearly swallowed his tongue, and before he could get a hold of himself, a beautiful young lady came forth, and said:

“Welcome, Moses. I am Chimamanda, Jide’s twin sister.”

He certainly did not get the first one, but the second one gave him a feeling of coldcomfort.

Written by Oluoma Udemezue.

Udemezue, Oluoma loves to read and write, you can catch her on, oluomaudemezue on Instagram, and @Udemezueoluoma on Twitter.

From Toktok9ja Media

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