TIMI SANGANA - Episode 4

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - sisters, phone calls, orphanage, sister, the boy, send him to school, the university, school, money, Uncle, hugging him excitedly, she became a nun, went into panic mode.

As the meeting dispersed, it was clear not everyone shared Sister Margaret’s courage. One by one, most of the sisters admonished themselves to stay away from Timi so not to get into trouble. Within a few weeks, Timi noticed that the majority of sisters in the orphanage were avoiding him. He couldn’t figure out what it was, but it hurt him deep. Sometimes he found a lonely spot to cry. No one had seen him even angry, much less crying. However, the boy was pinning away in deep seated pain. He thought he had found a home, he was sure Mr. and Mrs. Kelvin loved. They told him so; they treated him like their own biological son. They called him lovely names and he worked hard to impress them. He knew it was the phone calls. Everything changed when the phone calls began to come in. And now the place he thought he could call his other home had for some reason decided to reject him also. The sisters had conspired not to talk to him and he didn’t know why. With time the boy learnt to cry in secret and wipe his tears. He found the world one big lonely place.

However, Timi had to run away from the orphanage when the rejection from the sisters became unbearable. He had at one time told Sister Gbemisola, one of the few sisters who spoke to him that he might sneak out of the orphanage to go look for his mother, Mrs. Kelvin. Sister Gbemi discouraged him from doing that and assured him all was going to turn out right. But two days later sister Ihuoma found out that Timi was not in the orphanage. His disappearance from the orphanage made the sisters realize how selfish they had been; they had turned their backs on the boy when he needed them most. Most of them cried when they heard of the boy’s disappearance and they went into panic mode, searching for the boy frantically. After three days he was found by Sister Rose and Gbemi. Timi was found sleeping near the wall of his adopted father’s house. When they asked him where he had been for the three days, he said he had been sleeping beside that wall hoping that his mother or father would come back and take him in.

When the sisters returned to the orphanage with him, the orphanage sort of exploded with rapturous joy. The sisters promised him they would never take their eyes off him. As much as Timi could tell there was renewed affection for him in the house, he had questions. He couldn’t understand why people had to throw away their babies and why nobody would come and take him and the other children home. Bit by bit Timi regained his old jolly-good-fellow persona, the sisters and his little friends were happy he did, but beneath all that, the pain he had felt was beginning to cloud his once beautiful vision of the future. One day after a long time, Timi walked into Sister Margaret’s office and asked her, “Sister, my parents won’t be coming back for me and no one is coming to take me home right?”

Sister Margaret was so heartbroken she cried even though she wouldn’t want to do that before the boy. Wiping away her tears she said to him, “If your parents don’t come back for you and no one else comes for you, I will take you home and forever we will live together.” Sister Margaret knew his parents were not coming back for him and that the mystery man out there might not allow someone else to adopt him. She knew the future really looked bleak for Timi Sangana, and she didn’t know how to tell him.

Years flew by and so did Timi Sangana. A lot had changed in the orphanage; all his mates were eventually adopted. Sister Margaret resigned from the job. She couldn’t bear the strain of the job, it got to her several times and her doctors advised her to quit. Sister Rose was assigned to a new responsibility in another part of the city. Sister Gbemi revoked her nunnery vow and returned to London after being unable to convince herself she was ready to live without a man for the rest of her life. She told Timi she would marry when she got to London. Sister Ihuoma left for Owerri to work as the headmistress of a new primary school set up there by the church. Timi having grown too old for the orphanage was sent to live in a one-room apartment rented for him by the new head of the orphanage. But that was not all the reason he was moved away from the orphanage.

The new head found out that some of the new sisters working with the orphanage had an amorous interest in Timi and one of them was Esther, a young sister whom Timi probably had affection for too. So she acted quickly to save the day. Timi had grown up to become the fine young man every one predicted he would be.  Before Sister Gbemi left, she gave Timi a nick name, “dazzler.” She said it was hard for Timi to pass without ladies turning to look at him. He had that much charm.

Timi worked in a factory by day and moonlighted as a student late evening. He kept at this until he passed his WASC examination. The money for university education was way more than Timi could afford, so he continued with his menial job hoping that someday God would send him an angel who would send him to school. He had left the orphanage after he turned eighteen years, and had hoped he would be a graduate by the time he was twenty-three. Most evenings when he returned from the factory where he worked, he would stand before the mirror in his room, staring at himself in disbelief, and would often whisper to himself...

“...boy I can’t explain it, age sort of sneaked up on me. I can’t believe I am twenty-six years old. Frankly the last time I checked I was eighteen, brimming with hope. I was even going to change the world and become the most famous man on earth. But the reality is at twenty-six I have no university education and can hardly renew the rent for my one room apartment without a fight with my landlord. Timi I am not a prophet or a soothsayer, but I think something is wrong with me. I can feel it, but I don’t know what it is.” He would hiss and add, “Well what would you expect from a child that was thrown away by his parents? They must have seen I was going to turn out in life as nothing and decided to save themselves the pain and threw me away.”

Timi’s regular evening lamentations over time became known to his neighbours and earned him a name, ‘Soli’, short for soliloquy.

Long after Timi had given up hope of ever going to school, Sister Gbemisola came to the rescue. They made a little deal, Sister Gbemi proposed for Timi to go to school from home and still keep some of his menial jobs for support, while she took care of his bigger needs like school fees and house rent. That was okay by Timi, he knew he could do his little jobs and still pass his examinations as a medical student, he had the brain to study even nuclear physics if he wanted to. Even though Timi had moved away from the orphanage, he and Esther kept their friendship. Esther visited him whenever she could and didn’t mind if she was seen going or coming out of Timi’s house. Esther was a strong willed lass. Timi did not know why she hated being a nun so much as she did, and one day after Timi had moved into his one room-apartment, she told him the sad story of how she became a nun.

Esther had five sisters ahead of her. Her father was poor and could not put her and her sisters through school. But they had an uncle who was very rich but childless. So they went to him asking for his support, he agreed and promised to sponsor every one of them even to university level.  Whenever each one of them gained admission to go to the university, they would go to him and he would unreservedly, so they thought, give that one the money for school fees and her other needs. Esther being the last of the six girls his father gave birth to was the last to go to her uncle when she gained admission to study accounting in the university.

Her uncle seemed genuinely happy for her and told her she would be accompanying him to work the next day and assured her she would get the money she needed when they got back. When they got to work the next morning, her uncle quickly gave instructions to his staff and they left. He didn’t tell her where they were going, after some minutes of driving through a few streets, they arrived at an hotel. He walked through the reception and straight into a room and Esther tagged along thinking her uncle had a meeting with someone in the hotel. When Esther got to the hotel room she rapped on the door and waited for an answer. Her uncle who had just entered into the room answered lightheartedly, “Come right in Esther.”

So she went into the room and shut the door behind her. “Esther I have single handedly been sponsoring your five sisters through the university and that’s quite some money, but I am not complaining. And now it is your turn. But you must understand that there is an understanding I have with your sisters. I am not as rich as I was some years ago. So we have to look for something different and affordable for you. You can always go back to accounting later in life if you want it that much,” said Mr. Stephen, Esther’s uncle. “No uncle, my sisters have gone to the university or are in a university, I don’t want to be different. Please help me, I am just the last one and after me there will be no one else to send to the university,” Esther pleaded. What came next from her uncle was a blast from the blue.


                                                       CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 3

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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: TIMI SANGANA - Episode 4
TIMI SANGANA - Episode 4
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - sisters, phone calls, orphanage, sister, the boy, send him to school, the university, school, money, Uncle, hugging him excitedly, she became a nun, went into panic mode.
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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