“I’ll go with you and mommy, I want to see grandpa too,” I said happily.
“No you can’t, your school is not yet on break so—” He hadn’t finished talking when I burst out in tears. “Hey Diza, stop crying.”
“You and mommy want to leave me alone” I said, still crying.
“Okay, you know what? Once you are on break, I’ll take you to grandpa to spend the holiday with him, I promise,” he said.
“No, I want to go with you now.”
“Hadiza, grandpa is sick, we just want to go and see him, that’s all. We won’t spend more than three days there, and moreover, you won’t be alone, you have Uncle Usman and Mrs. Maryam to be with you. Please wipe your tears, okay?” he said, wiping my tears with his hand.
“You promise I’ll spend the holiday with grandpa and grandma in Kastina?” I asked, wiping the remains of the tears that was left on my face with the back of my hands.
“Yes, I promise,” he said and touched my forehead with his right hand to seal his promise.
“So when are you travelling?” I asked.
“We’ll be travelling in four days’ time” he answered °
“Okay dad, but you will get something for me when returning, right?”
“Sure I will,” he said and hugged me. He released me from the hug and said, “Hope you know that this world is full of challenges?”
“No, I don’t,” I answered simply.
“In life, you must have to face challenges and problems that even money cannot solve some of them. So many obstacles will try to block your way but always remember this: stay strong and do not succumb to defeat. Always pray to Allah to give you the strength and patience to overcome every challenge that comes your way. Your mom and I love you very much because we know how hard it was for us to get you, and since you were born, you have brought nothing but happiness to us. Be industrious and hard working as your name implies, don’t let my wealth carry you away. And when you grow up, make sure to indulge in charity giving. One more thing, whenever you are facing any challenge, put your right hand on your chest and say, ‘this is good’ three times. Hope you get all what I just told you?” Dad asked.
Why is he telling me all this? Oh, I almost forgot that dad was like a private tutor to me.
“Yes dad, I’ll make sure I don’t forget every word you said to me,” I answered.
“Wait, let me tell you another story.”
“No story, food is ready,” Mom said, walking into the sitting room from the kitchen.
Dad smiled and said, “Let’s eat first, story comes later. I don’t joke with tuwo shinkafa.” We burst into laughter and walked into the dinning room.
Four Days Later…
The scene was the dinning room of the family of Mr. Ahmed. Hadiza was dressed in her school uniform, taking breakfast of pap and akara with her dad and mom.
Today is the day we’ll be traveling to Kastina to see my father. He has been sick and was hospitalized since last week. We are taking breakfast before embarking on the long journey. Hadiza was dressed for school, but taking breakfast first.
“Hadiza, be a little bit fast, you are already late for school,” I said, checking my wristwatch and discovered it was almost 8am.
“I’m through mom,” she said getting up.
“Are you sure you ate to your satisfaction?” her dad asked, munching a ball of akara in his mouth.
“Yes dad,” she answered.
“Come here baby,”I called her. She walked up to me, I held her both hands and said, “Don’t worry baby, we’ll be back soon. It’s just a three days journey. We promise it won’t exceed three days.”
“Okay mom. Tell grandpa and grandma that I love them and will spend the holiday with them,” she said.
I smiled and said, “Sure, I will.” I hugged her tight and kissed her on the forehead and muttered, “I love you very much” in her ears before releasing her. She walked up to her dad who was by now through with his food and hugged him. He whispered something in her ear which I didn’t hear and kissed her on the forehead before releasing her. She took her school bag and lunch box and exited the dinning room, heading outside to meet Usman to take her to school.
Thirty Minutes Later…
“Please take care of Hadiza,” I said to Mrs. Maryam before entering the car. My husband was already sitted in the driver’s side.
“Dont worry, I will,” she replied. Maryam was not just my house help, she has become a part of my family. She’s very nice, hardworking and honest. She was there with us during our trial times, she encouraged and prayed with us all through those time. I trust her with my daughter totally.
“I have transferred some amount of money into your account in case Hadiza needs anything. If it’s not enough, don’t fail to call me okay?”bI said.
“Okay Hajiya. I wish you a safe journey. Drive safe Alhaji and may Allah be with you all through your trip,” she said to my husband and I. We smiled and answered amin. We bade her goodbye and left for our journey.
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