SHORT STORY TITLE SPECIAL GIFT BY OGE NWABUEZE

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By OGE NWABUEZE
THE SPECIAL GIFT

Looking at the entrance of the familiar door of the house, I was engulfed with fear. I had with me, the result to my Junior Secondary School Certificate Exam (JSSCE). Thoughts of falsifying the result and presenting it to my mum flashed through my mind. My mum’s last statement during our last discussion kept playing in my mind. “If you ever bring this kind of result home again, you will see the redness of my eyes, nonsense!” One other thing that made me desirous of changing the result was that after scolding me, she still showed me love by promising me a special gift if I did well in my JSSCE. She didn’t stop there as she adviced me to read, study hard, join a discussion group, watch less of Television, play less of games in order to make a good result and also stand out in life. Without a further thought, I turned my back to that familiar door, headed back to school, went to my classroom; because I knew I would be the only one there at that time of the day. Entering one of the empty classes, as I sat to effect the change, right there, something took hold of me. I suddenly had a change of mind. Whatever it was, I didn’t know. Could it be conscience? All I knew was that I could not carry the plan through. As I placed my head on the table, the word “honesty” re-echoed severally. Why? Then I remembered it was the last topic that was taught in our civic education before the examination. My teacher defined honesty as the ability to stick to the truth always without compromising. I also remembered it being the title of our pastor’s message. My pastor had mice no words in saying those truthful and scary words “A liar is the Devil’s son and would also join the devil in hell when he dies in his sins”. Then it dawned on me that it wasn’t just conscience but the Holy Spirit. At that instance, I made up my mind to go and show my mum the result the way it was. Honesty became the key word.

As I again got close to that familiar door, my fears intensified. Without wasting more time, I entered the house where I met my mum waiting for me. The stern look on her face wavered my resolve to tell her the truth, but I was not going to change my mind even if I had the whole day to do that. I told her the result as it was, 3c’s others were D’s. I waited for her next line of action which of course I knew would be series of scolding’s (as usual), beatings and punishments depending on her mood. But my thoughts were soon brought to an abrupt end. My mum surprised me. She held out her hands to me and I ran into the waiting embrace. Still in her embrace, I wondered why my mother was hugging me after failing my exams,” didn’t she hear me well, Just 3c’s others are D’s Mother, I shouted silently in my mind”

Releasing me from her embrace, I asked her why she hugged me after failing my exams. Minutes passed by as she explained her reasons. She had actually entered my room one of those days when I was still writing my exams. She found a small piece of paper on the floor with the words ‘’If I don’t pass this exam, I will fake it for my mum’’ She had gone ahead of me to check my grades. Though she was unhappy with my poor performance but she was happy that I came out honest about it. Tears rolled down my cheeks. Right there I had a true change of mind and I promised to do all it takes to be the best in the class. She promised to stand by me. Taking advantage of the present joyous mood, I shyly asked “mum do I still have a gift”, with that warning look she gave me, I knew I couldn’t push the question further. I immediately dropped the idea then thought of the positive ways to be the best in my class so as to get that special gift.

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