Funke graduated from Talent University, located in the South Western part of Nigeria with a First Class Honours in Business Administration. After her National Youth Service, she secures a scholarship by her university as the best graduating student to pursue her Masters in the University of Notre Dame, USA. As a child from a poor background, this means a lot to her as she has always had the dream of studying abroad.
Her flight was scheduled for 10:00pm on 4th August and she is looking forward to it, having heard a lot about America.
Excitement clenches her but she is afraid at the same time because this is going to be the first time she would be flying.
She prepares for her departure by visiting her friends and relations and getting the few necessary things that she can afford for the journey. She visits Wahidi her boyfriend of five years a day before her depature. Theirs was a very strange relationship-Whereas Funke is brilliant and studious, Wahidi is a village tout who dropped out in his second year in the Polytechnic. He specializes in roaming about the village drinking, smoking and terrorizing people. Funke didn’t even know how she fell in love with a scallywag as him, but she is helplessly in love with him and she doesn’t care about what her friends think about him. She had lost her v!rginity to him in her second year in the university and since then it has been constant love making between them as she has never dated any other person.
Wahidi: “So, you are leaving me here all alone. Na by force to go school for America I go surely miss you die.”
Funke: “Common Wahidi, don’t talk like that. I am only going away for two years after which I will return for you.”
Wahidi: “E no go easy like that o, who go come dey warm my bed now? You know say na only you I get. Hope say you no go marry one oyibo for there come forget me o, I no go take am o.”
Funke: “I won’t, I promise. I will come back for you, you are the only one I love.”
Wahidi: “Okay, I go wait for you. No break my heart o, no try am o. If not, ah! I swear, I go…”
Funke: “No swear, jor! You too like swear, haba!”
Wahidi: “But before you go, you go give me something wey I go take dey remember you o”, he said as he draws near her making for her lips.
Funke: “Wahidi, go jare, you are too naughty.”
He draws closer, she puts up a little fight; it is a ritual for them. With little effort he draws her closer and makes for her lips, she k!sses him too. The colour of his eyes goes from white to yellow with a mix of green; his world is on fire. They are in a world of ecst@sy. They make love like never before. Wahidi though a village boy knows the trickery of pleasing a woman.
She is going to be away for two years and she knows she is going to miss Nigeria. However, the prospect of meeting new friends excited her.
A week before her departure, her father called his brother who lives in Mararaba, Nasarawa state to inform him that Funke is going to be in his house on the 3rd day before her departure. This arrangement was necessary because her flight to the US will take off from Abuja International Airport and Ibadan where she lives with her parents is far away in the South. They didn’t want her to leave Ibadan the same day of the flight as anything could happen on the road to delay her journey. She couldn’t afford to miss her flight.
On the eve of her departure to Abuja, her parents called her into their room for advice and prayers.
Funke’s father: “Funke my daughter, I have never regretted giving birth to you. Ever since God gave you to me, you have been a source of joy and happiness to me. Your outstanding performance in the University has given me an edge over my peers. Even though I am poor, I can raise up my shoulder and hold my head high when people refer to me as the father of the girl that broke records and graduated with a First Class after many years in her department. Omo dada nii o (you’re a good child), and I know you will never put me to shame. God has lifted you up and you are going to study in another man’s country, a place where your grandparents didn’t visit talk less of your parents. Please, behave yourself o. Avoid bad company, avoid drugs, avoid pr0stitution and avoid all vices. My God will go with you and he will grant you success.”
Mama Funke: “Omo mi, you hear wetin your papa talk o. I go just add to it. Remember where you dey come from. Our people says if you do not know where you are going, you better know where you are coming from o. Remember say your father and I with your six siblings dey look up to you. Do not engage in any act that will bring disgrace to this family o. I have already told everyone in this our village that my daughter is going to America, ee go break my heart and I go die if you go do something there dem come pursue come back. Their mama Rashida and other enemies of progess go laugh us tire. Study hard and bring an Oyibo husband home, you know time no dey wait for anybody especially women.”
Funke: “Ah, maami, I am going there to study and not to get a man.”
Mama Funke: “Who say you no fit marry when you dey go school? Or, you no want make I come visit you when you marry born for their? “
Funke’s father: “That is enough, woman. Allow the poor girl to settle down to her studies there first before pushing her into marriage.”
Funke’s mother: “O da, moti gbo. Oko mi, don’t forget all that your father and I told you. The God of my father’s will go with you and anyone wey say your water no go boil in America, his or her own firewood no go even catch fire.”
Funke: Ba mi, ma mi, I have heard all that you said and I will never let you all down. I will make you proud this poverty that has become a middle name in our family will soon be a thing of the past.”
Funke’s mother: “Amen.”
Funke’s father: “You can go to sleep now my child. The bus to Abuja leaves very early tomorrow morning, from Abuja, you will take another bus to Mararaba where my brother lives.”
When Funke gets to the room she shares with her four sisters, she opens her box which she had already packed the previous day. She wants to make sure that she has packed all that she needs for the journey especially her travel documents. She can’t risk leaving anything behind. When she is sure that everything is intact, she zips it back using her left hand to press the bag as the right hand controls the zip.
“So, na true say you dey travel go obodo Oyibo?”, her kid sister’s voice interrupted her.
Funke: “Yes, dear but before you know it, I will be back.”
Tobi: “Wetin you go buy come for me?”
Funke: “What do you want?”
Tobi: “Buy me big motor and that big house wey I see for TV.”
Funke: “Okay, I will. Now go to sleep.”
At exactly 2:14am, Funke’s parents are awaken from a deep sleep by a loud scream, another scream and then everywhere went still as in a graveyard. When they hear the scream for the second time, they recognise the voice as Funke’s.
Funke’s Mother: “They have killed my child o, they have killed her when she has only few hours to leave for America. Our enemies don cut short our joy.”
She grabs her wrapper, throws it over her body and runs to Funke’s room, her husband walking fast behind her.
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