Day 23 – Kindness

I’ve been waiting for the next 10 minutes for almost about half an hour, I was barely keeping up with the numerics and logical cross-sections of Mr. Gbade’s mathematics class. More than my veins were dehydrated at this point, I felt as if the nerves in my brains were jaded and decomposing slowly. Only one thing could fuel my disinterested mindstream. Food!

I easily became a blockhead during any period that directly preceded break time, shivering down to my throat. I had just two options – eat breakfast at home and be non-expectant of any meal at school or skip breakfast and have my mum pack my food in a flask for me so I’d eat it at school. I preferred the latter, everyone had something to chew on during break but on days when I decided to tradeoff my meal for breakfast, I always had to bear the torture that came with the aroma of different attractive meals. I rarely talked with people so anyone would care less if I had a meal for myself, nonetheless offer me some of theirs.

Iya Silifat owned a small canteen by a corner on our street. It was just a makeshift arena, constructed by some planks and plywood. Iya Silifat was fond of greeting my mom. She always prepared me for school very early, sometimes when we’re the only ones that walked down our street and we’d always catch the earliest cabs so it was inevitable that they didn’t at least say a hi to each other regardless of if they were acquainted as Iya Silifat was also an early bird, she needed to do so for those that relied on outdoor meals for their breakfast, most times Iya Silifat and her maids already had their canteen open with a variety servings ready for customers. My mum also feel victim, she began to rely on Iya Silifat as we’d always branch there to buy some food into my flask.
It first started as her serving my food to the brim of my flask, for my mum it was perhaps the rate at which they sold. Then, Iya Silifat had queried my mum why she didn’t always allow me to have breakfast at her place. Well, my mum gave the excuse that it’ll be a drag and I’ll perhaps be late for school but Iya Silifa disagreed with her. She insisted that I must always eat before school so I’ll be healthy and agile. Iya Silifat had me and my mum eat breakfast every day.

Soon, Iya Silifat warned her maids to never collect a penny from us, by this time, she and my mum had already become close and I was now a beneficiary of eating breakfast before leaving home and still having something to feed on at school. Sometimes on my way home, Iya Silifat would give me some pieces of pancakes to eat once I got home.

Iya Silifat had noticed that I carried my food to school in a polythene bag, my birthday gift from her was a lunch box. Iya Silifat wasn’t super-rich but her actions pierced through the veins in my heart. I ended up always addressing her as big mummy.



Iya Silifat – Silifat’s mother


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