Life

Frighteningly Intelligent

After my mom’s passing, dad made my aunt swear that she would take me on and raise me if anything ever happened to him. Already a widow with four children of her own, my aunt protested.
“Edward, I am a window with four children to look after. I can not add another. It is already hard enough”.
But dad would not take no for an answer. He insisted until my aunt gave him her word.
Shortly after that, my dad committed suicide. This was two years after mom’s death. My three siblings and I were now orphans.

Once upon a time, life had been wonderful. I was born when life was great. My brother Morgan tells me I had a maid, but I don’t recall that much. Our home was always full of joy and laughter. By the time I was three or four years old, my parents were roofing our new permanent house. It was big, complete with three bedrooms and a sitting room. I was particularly excited about the sparkling iron sheets that glowed in the sun.

My parents practiced subsistence farming. Ninety percent of all our food was home grown. As a child, I witnessed harvest seasons of rice, maize, millet, sweet potatoes, cassava, beans and groundnuts. We also had pigs, rabbits and chicken. Two times I will never forget; the first was a night when we were awakened by loud shrieks from the pigs. They were attacked and wounded in their sty by a lion. The second was the day Morgan awoke to the great news of his rabbit giving birth. That is the happiest I have ever seen him when we were children.

A few acres of our land were dedicated to coffee growing. I remember spending most of my time in the plantation, staring with fascination at chameleons as they changed color. Usually from brown to green and vice versa. No wonder my nickname was Chameleon while growing up.

In case you were wondering, I have two sisters and one brother. Our parents used a five years age gap. Fortunate for me, I am the last born. Morgan is ten years older than me. My twin sisters Cathy and Anita are five years older.

Some of my fondest memories were of when dad came home for lunch and mom served him food. He loved his spot under the tree shade in the compound. He often ate his food with red pepper but would put a portion aside for me without pepper so we could eat together-(even though I had already eaten before he came). Other times we would just sit there as he tickled me, told me stories, or showed me his wallet-sized picture and IDs. He was a quiet, calm, gentle and kind man. I knew he loved me limitlessly.

I did not go to nursery. Instead, I was homeschooled. My learning was primarily supervised by dad and my siblings. I learnt my ABCs, stories, songs and how to write just like every toddler. For reasons unknown to me, Morgan tutored me with such enthusiasm and passion. Each time he caught me idle, Morgan would lead me to a chart in the sitting room and make me recite my ABCs after him as he pointed at each letter with a stick. He really took his role seriously. I am surprised he never became a teacher himself.

Dad mentioned in his will that all his land must be shared equally amongst all his children. He was a rural man that had a reasoning way beyond his era. Years have passed since his unfortunate death, but my aunt can never talk about him without telling me how intelligent he was. He was a brother she loved so dearly. To me, he was a man that came second to none.

The End.

Disclaimer: The names that feature in this story are fictitious. They were made up to protect the identity and privacy of those involved.

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6 Comments

  1. Julius Natuhwera

    June 26, 2022 at 9:19 am

    There’s something different and unique about those old good days. These days, they seem too good to be true. Those days are really worth remembering once in a while.
    It’s sad when a person that loves you this much passes on because things get a little different. Regardless, we’re grateful for the little amazing time we had with such people.

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      June 26, 2022 at 12:14 pm

      True. Those times were golden, nothing beats a childhood in the village.

      Most men can’t cope once they lose their wives. I’m glad dad pushed for two more years, and that he made sure we would all be okay in his absentia. He tried. Life just got overwhelming.

  2. Ayebare Patience Joy

    June 26, 2022 at 9:43 am

    Oh dear,I’m sure your struggling to find a man that can match the intensity and genuineness of his love.
    He sure adored you..

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      June 26, 2022 at 12:21 pm

      I’m sure there are so many great men out there. With God’s assistance, we will find our way to each other.

      If there’s anything I learnt from my dad, then it’s that I’m lovable. Lucky is the man that will have me for a wife.

  3. Mark

    September 7, 2022 at 10:52 am

    Thanks for your blog, nice to read. Do not stop.

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      September 7, 2022 at 11:54 am

      Thank you for reading and for the comment Mark.

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