The Ache In My Neck


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Australopithecus!!You heard me right. Who can give the meaning of this word? Mr. Brown, my English language asked the class. In the last class, Mahmud had retorted that our teacher was unable to spell correctly the word occasion. He has spelled it as ocassion. Certainly, we know the next class was going to be a tough one and my classmates were prepared.

So many other strange words were pronounced for the class to spell in their exercise books. They were indeed difficult words. The most brilliant boy in the class managed to spell three correctly out of ten. It wasn't a good day for me to say the least. Mother would be patiently waiting at the doorpost to check my school work before I would be permitted to remove my school uniform.

In my mind, any question emanating because of this English language stuff, I am ready to defend myself as much as possible.

Thank goodness, mom wasn't around when I got home.

On the table in the living room is a short note.

Dear son,
I had to travel to meet you daddy, will be back in a few days.
When you're back from school, take your stuff and go to your uncle, Bola. He is expecting you.

With Love,

With my eyes widely open, my heart raced, wondering what could be so urgent for my mom to travel to Ibadan without waiting for me to get back from school.

From the kitchen to my room, I ransacked the whole place looking for what would give me comfort in my single uncle's apartment. Toothpaste, toothbrush, hair cream, roll-on, pajamas, and so on. How would I ever forget my box of fish-cake biscuits?

When I arrived at uncle Bola's place, he seemed to be expecting me.

Good afternoon, uncle B.

Uncle Bola replied:

How was school today?

Quickly, I sat in the only chair in the massive living room. He was busy playing Play Station evolution soccer against the computer. I sat and watch for close to thirty minutes before my uncle asked me to join him.

"Is this some kind of joke?"

Uncle B is one of such that would never allow gadgets for kids, neither would he subscribe to anything outside of academics. Now, he is asking me to play against him. Maybe he is just pulling my legs.

Uncle B, I don't play video games.

I said turning down the offer. It wasn't like I did that will all of my mind. I just wanted to play the boy is good."*

That evening, after he had brainwashed me, I joined him in playing video soccer games till late in the evening.

I won the first round. Uncle B couldn't believe that I could trash him in the game.

How did you do that?

He asked, looking serious.

I thought you never played video games.

Now, I know nothing serious would come out of this. I have been sneaking to our neighbour during weekends to play this game. I have become a pro in it.

Mom did not come until after for days. By this time, I have found comfort in staying with uncle B. On the fourth day, mom arrived and requested that we go home. My body language showed I wasn't interested in going with her.

Bola, what have you done to my boy?

Mom asked, not seriously though. He just laughed it away. And my mom looked me in the eye and looked back at uncle Bola.

Alright, stay. I will come back for you during the weekend.

I have been with my uncle more for the games than any other thing. Mom will be coming in a few hours to pick back home. She is now an ache in my neck
I don't feel like going with her.


This might have been titled Bola Grows Up. That's all it took to cut his mother's apron strings, some quality time away with an interesting uncle. Very soon though, he will appreciate his mother again :)

Thank you for sharing this well-told story with the Ink Well community.


I hope the tension with his mom eases with time.
This is a beautiful story, and very realistic in it's portrayal.
Thank you for sharing, I'm glad I read it.