I like to think everybody has a story. I am always very curious of it when I meet new people. What brings you here?, What is going on in your life?, What was your past like? are the question running through my head. So I present to you the story of a boy who often comes to my house to my house to dispose the trash in exchange for money or food.
Lekan – My True Story
Meaning- My wealth has increased by one.
I always saw him around the barracks but never talked to him because I didn’t know him and I was very awkward at talking to people I never talked to before. This continued until he started coming to my house to ask if he could dispose the trash in exchange for money. Knowing my parents weren’t always around when he came, I resolved to giving him two packets of instant noodles which he was more than grateful for. After a while I got curious about this lean, short boy who always looked sick when he came to ask for the trash, so I asked him about himself and he told me he was 15 years old and was still in the 4th grade which I don’t believe. I assumed he did not wasn’t to tell me the truth for some reasons and I duly resolved not to pester him more about it — This was about a year ago.
Recently my siblings and I joined the tennis classes for the holiday . The couch,Mr Williams, introduced himself to us and we took a seat with the other children in the class. While I was talking to my siblings, I heard a whipping sound and when I turned my head to the cause it was Couch Williams flogging Lekan with a stem of a plant as he complained that he came for practice without his racket like a man going to his farm land without his tools. Lekan walked back home which was just behind the court to get his racket
During warmups Mr Williams would insult Lekan with a smile on his face. It was then I realized that all he did was because he cared very much for the boy and wanted him to be at his best. Couch Williams told us his story and how he got where he is today.
Lekan was born an “imbecile” as he described him. His mother did not love him or his father so she left him to the care of her father and went to marry another man thinking that her son would die soon. When Lekan grew up he became worse. It took more than a minute for him to respond to some one calling his name talk more of responding to a question directed at him. He was slow to think and slow to execute actions. Couch Williams didn’t know him when he was younger he was already about 11 years old when he statred working in the barracks as a tennis couch but when he noticed him he was curious and asked him if he was in school which he replied that he had indeed not been enrolled in school. This intrigued him as he further interrogated Lekan about his biological parents, he revealed that he never knew his father but his mother who abandoned him lived in the slum areas of the city. With this knowledge he and his friend Papa S took the pains to enroll him into a federal primary school to start his education. He also started making him engage in tennis as a preoccupational sport in order to make him more physically and mentally active. After almost a year of training and school, Lekan got way better than he used to be. He could talk and assimilate like almost any normal child could.
Couch Williams knew he had improved and tricked his mother into coming into the barracks to meet him. Unknown to her due to her ignorance and nonchalant attitude towards the welfare of her son and father she was unaware that her father kicked the bucket several months back. He asked her to go and find her father . On coming back to where Coach was sitted, she was crying realising her father was dead but he knew that she was shedding crocodile tears. He scolded her and sat her down in front of the tennis court. He asked her if she saw her son but said she didn’t. She did not even notice that lekan was playing tennis and laughing with another boy. He pointed at him and told her that that was her son. She was truly surprised as she expected him to be dead or at least an imbecile as she left him. “You are a very stupid woman. You left your only child with your father. This boy will not die, he will grow and succeed in life and you will not enjoy his wealth because you did nothing to earn it.” At that she started crying and wailing. By that time Coach had called Lekan to his mothers presence. Lekan knew it was his mother but he kept an emotionless face on. The coach asked him if he was in school. “Yes, I am.”, he answered boldly. “What class are you in now?”, asked Coach. “Fifth grade”, he said as his mother just looked at him in fear, shame, astonishment, regret and worst of all disappointment. When Lekan saw this he was disheartened. Later Coach dismissed him and he cried. He cried for his mother, his grandfather and most of all him self.
Weeks passed and one fateful day Lekan was went missing. For days nobody had seen him in the barracks or in the places where he usually went to when he was free. After almost a week, one of his mates, Ola, went to a local market nearby. When he was there purchasing his goods he saw Lekan passby him. Alarmed he discreetly followed him until they reached where some houses where he was welcomed by his ‘mother’. A little relieved Ola went back to Coach and reported what he had seen. Coach did not want to go get Lekan back because he thought his mother wanted to make things better even though it was wrong that she left with him without telling anybody especially those who were taking care of him.
Coach thought his mother would let him go to school, but he was wrong. Lekan mother made him stay at home while filling his heart with lies on how much she loved him, missed him and was sorry for all the trouble she had caused him. Now Lekan did not want to leave his mother even if he knew in his heart that her husband was a bad and dangerous man. When Coach Williams called his mother, he asked her why Lekan was not attending school, she said she did not want him to go back to school but wanted him in the house with her. She claimed she could take care of him but when he asked her what her occupation was she truthfully said that she was an hawker who sold food on the street. This made Coach furious as he wondered how and why this selfish woman took the child that was well taken care of to a place where he won’t find three-square meal to eat. He could not comprehend this but he knew lekan would not want to leave his mother so he left him. ‘At least he was safe and alive’, he thought.
A few days later, Lekan was walking into the barracks sulking. He went to Coaches house. He was so surprised to see him here. So many things were running through his mind at that moment but what Lekan explained to him was beyond his imagination. Lekan said that one day when he was walking back to his mothers house, a neighbour of his called him and warned him that his mothers husband was a dangerous man. He was a man who used to set children up for sale in the disguise of finding the work. His newest target was him. The man warned him to escape from the house now that no one was around. Lekan did not respond to the mans advice. As if he knew what he was thinking the man continued saying that even if he told his mother she would not believe him. She was too in love with the man to believe anything negative about him. Lekan did not want to trust this stranger but he knew these people more than he did . His heart told him to listen to him. He search his expression any trace of deceitful and malice but all he could see was concern and fear so he gave in. He told the man that he did not have any money for transportation on him and he handed him a few notes. Lekan rushed home and took his few clothes and left he compound as fast as he could. The Coach welcome him back but he was not happy thinking he might have made a big mistake by coming back. Days turned into weeks and lekan realized that his mother did not love him as she did not even come back to get him but he learned to accept his life the way it was as other people and part from his mother loved and cared for him. He learned to work hard to put his enemies to shame .
I can only hope you dear readers learnt from this amazing story. Lekan is still struggling he is younger and willing grow and learn. All he has to do is to work hard and part nondescript pray hard and let God’s plan falling out place.
We all have a story, it does not defined who we are going to be but it explains how we got to where we are and we learn from it to be the better person we want to be.
Tell a story, a good one it doesn’t have to be yours. It only has to convey a powerful message that will give people the motivation to want to LIVE and LIVE LIFE tommorow.