Aside

Sour 1

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The neatly printed sheet stamped a pretty smile on Azuka’s face. She searched again for what was circled at the top as if to check if it had changed. There it was in bolded italics ‘AZUKA I. TRUST, 4TH OF 56’. The smile exploded on her face.
It was the best result she gotten and deep down she knew she was only going to get better.
She checked her watch, it was already almost 5pm. She had to be home by 5pm otherwise her mum was going to be really mad. She carefully folded her result sheet, tucked it in her bag and went her way.
Her heart pounded in excitment as she got closer to her house. She played in her head every scenario that could playout when her parents saw the result. She remembered the faces they made when she had told them that she would come out top ten in her class. However she didn’t hold them for not believing she could do it as she had been the architech of it. Only three years ago had been swimming at the bottom of the class. Her parents tried everything they could to make her get better grades, from hiring freelance tutors to enrolling her for summer schooling but as it said ‘you can only force a horse to the stream but not to drink water’.
Luckily, she had an epiphany when they entertained a relative during a christmas break and it dawned on her that the only difference between success and failure was its buildup. She buckled down, gave more attention to school work and moved a little above the middle of the class. She remembered the feeling of warmth when her dad held her hands and said he was proud of her.
The silence that heralded her into the compound was defeaning and confusing at the same time. It rearly happened that her younger siblings were not running around the house or playing football whth the neigbours kids.
The door to the house was slightly opened and she could finally hear voices but they seemed intentionally low and heavy which unsettled her the more.
All eyes turned towards her as she entered the house. Her siblings were seated at the end of the room looking pale. She almost did not recognise her mum. Her cheerful appearance was gone and her eyes looked as though she had been crying.
Azuka’s heart skipped as she saw a tear drop down her mother’s face. Why was she crying? Why were these people in her home? She wondered. Where was her father? She suddenly remembered.
‘where is dad?’ she forced out of her mouth and her mum burst into tears.
***
The breeze drove across Azuka’s dry face as quickly as it came. She was hurting and needed comforting but none was forthcoming. It seemed everyone was hurting too. The entire place reeked of agony and pain. It was her first time of being in a cementary. It was something she dreaded probably because of the movies she watched. Her eyes moved from tombstone to tombstone. Some seemed huriedly built but some were outrightly beautiful. She wondered if she was admiring graves. She felt sick in her stomach.
She passed by a group of people buring their dead. She saw both husband and wife in tears. They held two little ones close to them. The little ones seemed to be unaware of what was happening. One of them looked at Azuka and winked. She smiled back at her. She wished she could feel what the child felt, if she couldn’t even feel then she would have been okay. Now she was lost the one person that made her want to better. She wanted to make her proud more than anything in the world and now he was no more. She remembered what he always made her saw ”discipline is more difficult than hardwork which makes it even better”. She felt bugged whenever he made her say it but not she wished to hear it non-stop from him. She was broken.
”Azuka”. The voice sounded like her father’s.
She quivered in her boots wondering if it really was her father. She had heard stories of ghost coming back to bid their loved ones goodbye. She wanted it to be her father but she would be scared to death if it was.
”Azuka”. The voice called again.
She turned.

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