We had just moved into a new house in the year I gained admission into the University.
We left the busy side of town where I was born for a new area where there were very few people; and my mom had to close her shop.
Within those first months we used in the new area, I knew we really suffered.
We had to pick wild vegetables from the bushes around the house and feed on waterleaf soup on so many nights.
Three days before I was due to resume school for registration, I still had not paid the twenty thousand naira acceptance fee.
We had raised ten thousand in the family, and the church had already helped in the way it could.
I remember the last night I spent at home, just before the day I was travelling.
Rain fell that January morning, and the day was cold.
While I slept and prepared for my journey, my mom and three sisters went to the large bush behind our house and they plucked vegetables.
When they finished the ones behind the house, they went to the bush at the end of our street, and they plucked more.
They used three hours in the bush, until they had enough vegetables to fill two sacks.
I was later told my younger sister’s finger nails broke during the hard labour.
My mom then carried the two sacks to the market that same evening, and she sold them to the customer from whom she had always bought vegetables.
That woman bought it all at a cheap price.
My mom came back home around 8pm that day and counted the currency notes until the remaining ten thousand I needed was complete.
She handed the money to me, and she left my room quietly.
After she had given me the money, only one hundred naira remained from the money.
Later that night, she came back into my room and she gave me the remaining 100 naira for transportation to the car park.
None of my sisters collected any money from the toil; not even my younger sister whose fingers were starting to bleed.
When I left that morning and waved goodbye to them all, my mom was close to tears.
Three weeks after I left home, I was caught up in the newly-found freedom of the school environment, and I never called home.
Save for the one time I called when I arrived in the school safely, I never called my mother again.
Anytime she called, I am ashamed to say, I always ignored the calls.
I didn’t want my new friends in school to know I was from a poor home.
I even deleted most of my family pictures from my phone.
I didn’t invite any of my parents or siblings for the matriculation, and when my mom called me to congratulate me, all I could ask for was another money.
When she tried to explain to me that things were very hard, I am ashamed to say it now, but I shouted at my mom.
It was the first time I would ever shout at her; and she was shocked.
I ended the call myself and when my conscience started to prick me, I told myself school life was different, and that it was necessary to draw a line.
Me, a young son of a caring mother, I said I wanted to draw a line for my mother.
Since money was scarce at home, I became really friendly with a rich boy who shared a room with me.
The things we did, even as 100 level students, I may not be able to write them all here today.
I was never born again while I was at home; I just attended church with my parents, but I thought I still feared God a bit.
But while I rolled with my friends, the fear I thought I had for God disappeared within the first two weeks, and things I had sworn I would never do, I did them without second thoughts.
During the end of that semester, my mom called and asked when I would be coming home for holidays.
I asked her angrily why I would come home to ‘suffer in poverty’.
Those were my exact words; ‘suffer in poverty.’
And I said those words to a woman who toiled all night just for me.
When she heard what I said, my mom’s voice started to shake and I could hear the tears in her voice.
Yet, mother still managed to tell me that she was ‘Sorry’.
Listening to her tell me sorry made me more angry and I cut the call.
Till the end of that session, eleven full months, I never went home.
I spent my life the way I wanted, and sought all the world inside the campus life.
I tasted things I had never imagined, and did things I had only seen in movies.
When I was preparing for my last paper of the second semester of 100 level, my friend didn’t return to the room one night.
I called his numbers, none went through.
The next day, his elder sister called me and told me my friend had died the previous night.
She said he was knocked down by a bus while crossing a major road around Ring road.
My world came crashing as I listened.
I knew I was done for.
I couldn’t read again for the rest of that night; and when I got to the exam hall the next day, I shaded the answers without second thoughts.
I submitted early and almost ran out of the hall.
When I returned to my room, I lay on my mattress and tried to think things through.
I had absolutely no money. I had spent the change I had with me with the hopes that my friend would bring me money from town.
I went through my friend’s cupboard and bags and all I could gather was one thousand naira and a nylon of Garri.
I had never felt so alone all my life.
My friend was dead; and my family was dead to me.
I stayed on campus and ate the Garri in a poly bag I found in my dead friend’s bag.
For two days, all I ate was Garri. I could not spend the 1000 naira because I was saving it for transport.
Transport to where? I didn’t know.
One week after my exam, the entire school had finished exams and the school closed officially.
Letters of Notice were pasted around the hostel, mandating the students to leave before the next Friday.
I read the notice on Thursday morning.
On the night of that Thursday, I was sleeping when I saw my mom in the dream.
She was fetching water at the well in the front of our house, and she was crying as she drew the water.
Her tears dripped into the bucket of water, and she cried more tears.
When the bucket was full, she would pour the water away and start to fetch again.
As I watched her repeat the same futile effort again and again, even in the dream, my heart began to hurt.
I wanted to tell her to stop crying, but in the dream, I was just an onlooker.
My heart pained me deeply until I woke up.
When I did, my eyes were wet with tears, and my chest beat hard in pain.
I held my chest and ran out of the room.
The hostel had a basket court facing the rooms; and I ran onto the court.
I knelt down there and the pain in my chest increased greatly.
I clutched my shirt and I cried.
I was alone. I was in pain. I was crying.
I couldn’t say much words, except to tell my mother that I was sorry.
When I tried to call her, my airtime was finished.
I knelt on that field that night, while the stars stared at me from the clouds, and the wind blew cold into my joints.
All I could mumble out of my cry was, ‘Mom, I am sorry.’
I recalled the good deeds my mom had done for me just to make it into school, and I remembered the days I had shouted at her over the phone.
The hurtful words I had spoken to her came back to me and hurt me deeply.
My chest continued to pain me; in a way I had never thought possible.
My mind told me I would die that night without having the opportunity to beg my mom for forgiveness.
In all these, my eyes were blurred with tears, my nose was blocked with cold, and my lips shook both in fear and supplication.
‘Maybe I can still ask my mom to forgive me.’ the thought came suddenly.
‘I will go to her and beg her with all my life to have mercy on me.’
I returned to my room with that resolution but the pain in my chest didn’t abate.
I slept in the darkness of my room, and the ‘Sorry’ my mom had said to me months ago reechoed loudly in my ears.
When I tried to block the thought off, it became even more louder.
Again, I wept into my pillow and asked why a son would say that to her own mother.
Transport fare was more than 1000 naira in the car park, so I trekked to the outskirts of the city, and waved down private cars.
One of them stopped and agreed to take me back home for the money I had.
One hour into the three-hour journey,
I begged the driver to lend me his phone and the man did.
I hesitated before I typed my mother’s phone number.
My fingers shook, and twice, I started to delete the figures.
Eventually, I decided to send a text message, so I wrote;
‘Mommy, it is me. I am on way home.’ that was all I wrote.
I gave the driver his phone and thanked him.
A minute later, my mother called my phone but I couldn’t bring myself to pick the call.
I knew I would start to cry in the vehicle if I heard my mother’s voice.
I placed my phone on silent and closed my eyes, holding back tears.
The driver’s phone soon started to ring too, and when he picked, I knew it was my mother.
I shook my head at the driver and he could see the deep pain in my eyes.
He told my mother the estimated time we would arrive at the park, and promised her he would make sure I didn’t run.
For the rest of the journey, I said no words; and the driver said none.
And at last, I got to the park.
When the car stopped, I held on to the handle of the door, but couldn’t pull it open.
My fingers were weak, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t leave the car.
The driver looked at me and smiled sadly, and urged me not to worry.
‘I don’t know what happened, but mothers never stop loving their children.’ he said and smiled again.
Those words of his broke my heart and tears gathered at the corners of my eyes.
I turned from him and finally opened the door.
When I stepped out, I raised my head.
I looked around the park.
I saw my mother. She didn’t see me.
It seemed she had grown older than the last time I saw her.
She looked weary.
At the sight, my knees became weak.
I held the side of the car for support and swallowed hard.
Mom turned her head just then, and saw me.
She didn’t move. And I didn’t move too.
Slowly, a felt a hot tear streaking down my face.
Another tear followed.
My Mom was walking up to me.
I wanted to run, but I couldn’t.
She kept coming.
When she came to me, my hands were by my sides, my eyes were clouded with tears, my face was wet.
I couldn’t speak.
Where do I start?
My mom stretched out her two hands and she touched me.
I lost it then.
I knelt beside the car, in the full glare of those at the car park, my hands were clasped in front of me.
And I begged my mother.
I doubt if she heard any of my words, for my cries were more than the words.
All I could say was how sorry I was.
I mentioned all the things I had done to hurt her, every single one I could remember, and I ask mom to forgive me.
My mother’s hand touched my head and she gently raised my head until I was facing her.
My eyes couldn’t look into hers; but when I finally saw my mother eyes,
All I could see were tears rolling down her cheeks.
Her eyes glistened and she was smiling.
‘I have forgiven you long ago.’ She said, still smiling sadly; the tears still rolling down her eyes.
‘I have forgiven you, my son.’ she said again and she raised me up.
For eleven months, one week and four days, I had not seen my mother; I had wandered away and turned my back on the soul that loved me most.
And despite my foolishness and betrayal, my mother embraced me and forgave me.
How much more God?
#this complete Fiction to remind the world about the open doors of God’s mercy to all those who seek to be forgiven.
Just turn to God, ask him, and he will forgive you.
Friends, Return to God and Give your life to Christ.