A white ambulance drives in speedily into the parking lot just outside the general hospital in Lagos. The medics brings out a man through the back door lying on a stretcher almost lifeless with an 11 year old boy crying ‘Dad please don’t leave me too’. Bayo’s father had just suffered a relapse of bone cancer which he has been battling for the past 3 years.
Mr Oluola was rushed into the operating room for doctors to operate on him. Bayo was shut outside the door as he watched the doctors and nurses help his sick father. ‘Promise me son, whatever happens you will always be strong’ Grandpa said to Bayo (His hands on Bayo’s head). Bayo looked at his Grandpa ‘I’m not sure I can’ he said in tears. Little Bayo never knew his mother because he lost her when he was just two.
Now this was Mr Olaolu’s second chemotherapy after he survived the first attack some months back. His father feared the worst for his sick son and so he took Bayo home to get some rest and promised him that he was going to bring his dad back. So grandpa went back to the hospital to stay with his son Olaolu whom the doctors have been working on for the past seven hours.
Grandpa sat on a sit at the waiting room hopeful for a good news from the doctors. ‘Lord please do not take him away. His son needs him’ grandpa said and then sighed. Suddenly, he saw the doctors storming out of the operating room taking off their gloves putting away other medical apparatus used for the operation. So he ran to one of the doctors ‘please can I see him now?’ he asked the doctor.
The doctor replied ‘I’m sorry sir but you won’t be seeing him any longer. We lost him he’s dead’ (Grandpa goes down slowly) ‘Nooooo!!!!!!’ he screamed. Mr Olaolu had died at age 41 after battling cancer for 3 years leaving his 11 years old son in the hands of his father who is 68. He was a housing agent. Bayo his only child has become an orphan.
After some hours, grandpa put himself together and thought of how he was going to tell Bayo that his beloved father was no more. ‘How will he take it?’ he said (In his thoughts) ‘Either way I have to tell him the boy’ so he stood up with a sigh and headed home to give Bayo the news. Back home, Bayo was banking on his grandfather’s promise hopeful that his dad was going to come back home.
Suddenly, the door opens and grandpa walks in slowly (face down) as Bayo rushes to give him a hug (smiling profusely) he asked ‘Where is dad?’….(Stunned) Grandpa replied ‘Dad is not coming back son’. (Tears rolling down his eyes looking into grandpa’s eyes) Bayo cried out with a loud voice ‘Oh God why??? You promised me he was going to be back grandpa’ he said. (Slowly wrapped his hands round Bayo) ‘Together we’ll pass through this my son’ Grandpa said mumbling. Bayo (still in tears) said ‘Now I have no one no parent’ and Grandpa replied saying ‘You’ll always have me son always’ (hugging Bayo even tighter).
Months passed after that and little by little Bayo was beginning to get over the pain of losing his father and he began to live his normal life although this time he has become an orphan. Bayo was in JS 2 at this time so he started going to school again like the normal kids. He was withdrawn from his expensive private school and transferred to a school which his grandfather’s pension could afford.
It became a whole new experience for Bayo as he had to make new friends and adapt to his new living condition. Grandpa was ageing by the day and to that regard he couldn’t do heavy chores around the house anymore so he began to teach Bayo how to clean, sweep, wash and even cook at home. They could no longer afford paying the house keeper so they let Funmi go. Bayo was a very smart and cheerful looking boy and so he learnt everything his grandfather taught him even though he had never been exposed to that kind of life until now.
One day, Bayo was in class and the Mathematics teacher asked a question on a topic she had not taught the class. Mrs Ireti asked ‘what is the almighty equation formula?’ and no one responded as she wanted to know if her students read ahead of her. After some seconds of absolute silence, Bayo raised up his hands ‘Excuse me ma’ he said. Mrs Ireti replied ‘Yes Bayo can you provide an answer to this question?’ he said ‘Yes ma I think I can’ so he was given the marker to come write the formula on the board.
Bayo was smart and some students in his class disliked him for that. So he took the marker (turned his back on the class facing the board) he wrote the almighty formula perfectly on the board and explained to the class how the formula was derived. Mrs Ireti was very pleased with Bayo and she told the class to give him a round of applause.
(Class clapping) As Bayo headed back to his seat. Mrs Ireti commended Bayo and she said ‘It shows you read ahead and the rest of the class should emulate this as well’. At this point, Bayo was all smiles as this was joy after a very long time. That day Bayo made so many friends in his class but also made some enemies who thought he was a show off and so they planned to deal with Bayo… [To Be Continued]