Aduke ran into her daughter’s room. “Maya!”
Maya startled awake. “Yes, Mummy!”
“Maya! Sorry to wake you.” Aduke walked over to the queen-size bed. “Are you okay? Sleeping at this time of the day.” She pressed Maya’s forehead with her cold palm and sat on the edge of the bed.
Maya sat up. “I was reading, and I dozed off. What’s the time?” Simultaneously, she checked her phone. “Ah, not even 6!”
“Since you’re fine. See. Your post-JAMB is out.”
Maya jumped up. “Where is it? Did you get it?”
“Yes.” Aduke laughed. “You passed. Too well.” She hugged her. “And I saw Professor Imabong. She is so excited.”
Maya shrieked. “So, I’m going to med school!” She danced around. “I have to tell Ope.” She grabbed her phone.
Aduke laughed. “I am so happy for you. God is faithful. Professor Imabong wants you to come to her office tomorrow.”
“I will. Hello! Ope! My post-JAMB is out. I passed!”
Aduke stood. “You didn’t even look at it.” She placed an envelope on the dresser where Maya’s personal items were neatly arranged as was the rest of the room. “Food will be ready in thirty minutes.”
Maya shook her head. “I cooked.”
“Thanks, my dear.” Aduke walked to the door. “Greet Ope for me.” She left with Maya’s excited chatter trailing her.
She found some vegetable soup in the kitchen and smiled. Her daughter did not like doing chores or cooking and as long as she did well in school, Aduke indulged her.
“Hmm, thank you, my father. I give you all the praise.” She took one wrap of “eba” she found in a small food warmer, dished a healthy portion of the soup, and walked into the parlour with her food on a plastic tray.
Aduke turned on the television to listen to news and ate. She could still hear Maya’s phone babble with the occasional shrieks and giggles. She had peace in her heart. Though she had only one, this child gave her so much joy. When she was done eating, she picked her phone and called Aunty Ranti, her prayer partner. Usually, she would have gone to her house first, but she was too excited to share her news with Maya.
“Glory to God, Aunty mi. Testimonies everywhere!”
Aunty Ranti chuckled. “When you sound like this, it’s something super. Is it the dream again?”
“Ah, the dream now is real and it’s a winner-dream.” Aduke smiled. “Ah, this our God is too much.”
“Will you tell me or not?”
“Aunty mi, God has done it again! He has conquered the enemy.”
“I will drop this phone and order you to my house if you don’t talk.”
Aduke laughed. “It’s the post-JAMB result. Maya passed. In fact–”
“Praisssse the Looord!” Ranti screamed.
“Halleluyah!” Aduke responded with her reciprocal scream. “You see now?”
“The devil has been defeated. You know I told you those horrible dreams had something to do with the devil trying to do some harm to Maya.” Ranti sighed heavily on the other side. “I knew it! We have conquered. Ehn, it’s now to ensure her space is not compromised and given to someone who will bribe them o!”
“You know me, now, Aunty mi. I hurried to Professor Imabong’s office and told her. Immediately, she checked the list. Maya’s name is number 2! She said nobody dares tamper with the first five names on the list!”
“Ah, glory to God. Praise God. At least, now she can focus on what she really wanted to do.”
“Yes ma. You’re right.”
“Hmm, Aduke, but listen and I am very serious. Since you were having those bad dreams, and we’ve been praying, the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about you.”
“Aduke! You have to minister salvation to your daughter. She needs to be able to pray for herself!” Aduke could visualize Ranti pulling her ear. “Do you hear me?”
“But Aunty Ranti, Maya is saved.”
“Huh, but you know what I am talking about, don’t you? She’s saved but does she pray for herself? The only time she attended prayer meetings was when you were having those dreams and we started forcing her to join us.”
“No o! She even attended once in her school during that period.”
“Hmm, only once! Okay, I have told you my own.”
“I will tell her.” Aduke scratched the back of her ear. “She will be serious.”
“Even those of us who are very prayerful face the toughest challenges how much more someone playing with destiny.” Ranti paused. “I told you I saw this your daughter with a very bright star! In fact, the impression I got is that she will become the first female president of Nigeria.”
“But you need to protect her and train her to fight her own battles too.” Ranti sucked on her teeth. “So that we will not lose her!”
Aduke snapped her fingers and turned it over her head. “God forbid!”
“Well, we will continue to pray, we will never grow tired.”
“Amen. Thank you, ma.”
“I will come over later in the evening and see Maya to congratulate her.”
“Thank you, Aunty mi. See you later, ma.”
Aduke smiled. Aunty Ranti always seemed to lace her joy with dooms-telling. She kept her phone aside after the older woman hung up.
Maya walked in. “Ope wants us to hang out. To celebrate my result.”
“There’s prayer meeting tonight. Will you be back in time.”
Maya rolled her eyes. “Ahhh, it’s every day. I want to hang out with my friends.”
“Huh, no problem, now. Don’t stay too late o!”
“Thanks, Mummy.” She walked to the door. “Bye.”
“Bye.” Aduke shook her head. “God, please keep her for me.”
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